Once Upon a Time successfully introduced a new villain of the show in the previous episode, however, the Snow Queen made almost no appearance in The Apprentice episode. The fourth episode was mostly focused on Hook and Gold, who are obviously still holding a grudge against each other.
A long time ago, there was a sorcerer’s apprentice, whose mission was to keep the Dark One away from a magic box. Every Dark One has tried to get a hold of this box, but no Dark One will ever possess what is inside that box. Well, judging from previous episodes, Rumpelstiltskin now possesses the magic box, which turns into a purple-glowing hat.
Back in the present day, Emma decides to ask Hook out on a date, so he pays him a visit at Granny’s dinner. He happily accepts the invitation, under one condition- if he is the one who plans the evening. After Emma leaves, Hook visits Gold and tells him that he wants his hand back. He is still blackmailing Gold, since Hook knows that Belle has a fake dagger in her possession. However, Gold tells him that he changed the daggers, but Hook does not believe him. It appears that Gold kept Hook’s hand all these years, but he warns the captain that this hand belonged to a man Hook used to be- a selfish pirate, and once it is reunited with his body, there is no telling what influence it could have. Hook is convinced that the Dark One is joking and he demands his hand back.
In the flashback from the past, Anna visits Rumpel, because she is still looking for her answers. She asks the Dark One if her parents visited him and after he confirms her suspicions, Anna wishes to know what answers did they seek. However, she soon finds out that Rumpel gives nothing away without making a deal first, so she tells him that she will do whatever it takes to help her sister. The Dark One is delighted to hear that, so he sends Anna to plant some liquid into sorcerer apprentice’s tea. Unwillingly, she visits the old man. When she comes back, Anna tells Rumpel that she fulfilled her end of the deal and it is now his turn to tell her what she wants to know. Well, she is shocked when Rumpel tells her that the liquid was an antidote for the poison, which the old man drank the previous day. Anna is devastated when she sees the old man turning into a mouse and she begs the Dark One to turn him back.
Emma and Hook go out on a date and they look quite lovely together. Swan is surprised to see that he no longer has the hook, however, Killian soon discovers that Gold was not really joking when he said all those things about the hand. After Will accidentally spills some wine over Emma’s dress, Killian looses it and grabs the poor guy by his throat. However, he immediately realizes that something is not quite right, so Hook apologizes to Emma, who decides that running after Will is not an option, because she does not want to ruin her date. Later that night, Killian escorts Emma home and the two of them share a sweet goodnight kiss. As he is walking home, Killian stumbles upon Will, who is trying to break into the library. As he looses it again and starts hitting Will, Killian decides that he no longer wants his hand.
Back in the Enchanted Forrest, Anna rushes to the old man’s house, but she is too late, since he has already turned into a mouse. Rumpel tells her that this was all a part of some test, because only a person, who faced the inner darkness and turned away, can break the curse on that magic box. However, Anna tells him that she never intended to give that liquid to the apprentice, so she never faced any inner darkness. The Dark One tells her that, according to their deal, she will remain his prisoner forever, since she failed to fulfill her end of it. Anna freaks out, pulls out a sword and she is really tempted to kill Rumpel. And this is exactly what he needed, because in that moment, Anna faced her inner darkness, but she chose not to kill him. As she is crying, the Dark One catches one of her tears with his dagger and now, he finally breaks the curse, which was keeping the magic box safe. Anna now demands the information, since she did fulfill her end of the deal. The Dark One tells her that her parents wanted to know if they can take away Elsa’s powers, because they were afraid of her magic. However, they were disappointed when they learned that there is no way to do that. Well, until now. It appears that the magic box steals magic and it could also take away Elsa’s powers. Their conversation is interrupted when the mouse bits Rumpel and he drops his dagger. Anna is quick enough to pick it up first and she soon discovers that as long as she has it, the Dark One must obey her. She orders him to give her the box and send her back to Arendelle.
Killian intercepts Gold and tells him that he wants his hand back. However, he is forced to make a deal with the Dark One, since he keeps saying that he gave Belle the real dagger. Since it was Gold’s magic that re-attached the arm, only Gold’s magic can take it off again. The next day, the two of them meet by the docks and Gold tells Killian that they are going to visit an old friend. The Dark One releases some kind of magic broom, which leads them to the apprentice’s house, who seems to be alive and well. At least until Gold opens the magic box and the hat sucks the apprentice. It appears that the Dark One is collecting magic, so that he can become the most powerful magician and of course, so that he will not be controlled by the dagger anymore. As Hook tries to blackmail him again, Gold tells him that he has a security tape from the apprentice’s house and he will not hesitate to show it to Emma. Also, the Dark One actually lied about the hand, which only gave Hook the permission to be the man he wanted to be. Gold now has the power over Hook, who surely does not want Emma to see that tape, from which Gold conveniently deleted himself.
Meanwhile, Henry and Regina are trying to find a way to help Marion and Henry tells his mother that he knows why the true love kiss did not work. He is convinced that Robin still loves Regina and he is even more determined to find the author of the book, so that his mother can get her happy ending. Henry believes that Rumpel knows who the author is, so he decides to go undercover and he asks his grandfather for a job at the shop. Judging from his reaction and the looks on his face, the Dark One is delighted to have an apprentice of his own.
Despite the fact that The Apprentice episode was very enjoyable, it did not reveal more about the Snow Queen’s plan. The viewers are probably eager to find out how she arrived to Storybrooke, since there is no record of her arrival with the curse. Plus, Anna obviously returned to Arendelle, safe and sound, so one main question still remains. Where is Elsa’s sister? Next episode of Once Upon a Time airs on Sunday, Oct. 26 on ABC.
By: Janette Verdnik