Lies, deceit, and hidden agendas...that's what we got from the supposed heroes on Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 14, as Mary Margaret and David scrambled to hide their past from their daughter.
Below, TV Fanatics Paul Dailly, Allison Nichols, Robin Harry and Amanda Steinmetz are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to debate the Charmings frustrating behavior, Regina's temptation to backslide and their favorite scenes from "Unforgiven."
Ready to join the discussion?
Should David and Mary Margaret have told Emma that truth about their past, even after hearing her speech to Hook?
Gareth: Yes, I always think honesty is the best policy. Emma may have been hurt by it but hearing it from her parents would be far better than second hand from Regina or Maleficent. I think things are going to get very twisted and the consequences of lying to Emma could push her down the path to the dark side!
Paul: I'm with Gareth. Why would Snow White and Prince Charming lie when they know they have a very mature daughter who would react a lot better to finding out from them, rather than finding out she has been lied to? I think there is much more to this story and what we've been told so far isn't close to the full story.
Allison: Yes. They just witnessed Emma feel ashamed at how she jumped to the worst conclusion about her parents. It is going to be so much worse once she realizes that she was right. Emma is going to close herself off even more than if Charming and Mary Margaret had have come clean immediately after that speech to Hook.
Robin: I agree with everyone, they should have come clean right away. It took Emma so long to get over her feelings of abandonment from them, and this betrayal will only make things worse than they ever were. There's no way they'll be able to keep that secret forever, and Emma will never trust them again after this.
Amanda: Looks like we are all on the same page. Lying to Emma will probably push her closer to her dark side. This will blow up in their faces. Emma has grown to admire and love her parents. I don't think what they've done would make her hate them forever.
Do you think Regina will backslide if she goes undercover as a villain?
Gareth: I hope not. I think Henry is her anchor and will keep her balanced and on the right path. Her love for Henry is greater than her darker impulses.
Paul: Nope. Regina will relish being the good one for a change, while Emma slowly slips over to the dark side. It should make for some interesting dynamics with her being undercover.
Allison: It would make sense if she did. She's an addict that is going to be tempted. I'm hoping that she has constant reminders of why being a hero is better, Henry being the main one.
Robin: I think that Henry will keep her grounded. She told Geppetto that she knows she can't get her happy ending if she reverts to her old ways, and I think she wants that happy ending with Henry badly enough to keep her from becoming who she was. That said, she'll enjoy it a bit.
Amanda: I don't think she will. This half of the season is clearly going to explore Emma's dark side. Regina will pretend to be villainess, but she's come too far to backslide. I'd be very disappointed in the writers if she went bad again.
How do you think Rumple will react to the fact that Belle has a new romance?
Gareth: I was shocked when I saw Belle and Will kissing. I really enjoyed Will and Anastasia’s relationship on ‘Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’, it was the best thing about that show. I will be quite upset if they have broken up that relationship or killed Anastasia off just to put Will in the middle of some ridiculous love triangle. As for Rumple, Will had better watch out; 'Dead Man Walking' comes to mind!
Paul: Rumple will react the only way he knows: revenge. I was so shocked at the scene confirming she had moved on, but Rumple doesn't deserve her. She deserves to be happy and Rumple won't allow it.
Allison: His immediate reaction was heartbreaking. Belle moved on a little quickly, but hey, she deserves happiness. I wonder if this will tempt Rumple to make his presence known in Storybrooke. It wouldn't surprise me if he went after or did a little something to Will.
Robin: I'm probably wrong, but I'm not actually convinced that was real. It doesn't seem like Belle to move on that quickly, while still in Gold's shop, while still married to him. Also, Cruella and Ursula lied when they told him Belle didn't ask for him. Perhaps Rumple saw what someone wanted him to see? Regardless, Will's life expectancy just dropped big time.
Amanda: I was really shocked to see Belle kiss Will. This all feels way too fast. I don't see Rumple hurting Belle like he did Milah, but I do see him hurting Will. Or maybe he'll use magic to keep them apart.
Do you think Snow White should have worked with Maleficent to stop Regina’s curse? How different might their lives be if she had?
Gareth: I think things could have been very different, in both good and bad ways. Perhaps we will see an alternate universe storyline play out where the curse is never cast and the consequences that would have on the core characters.
Paul: I'm not sold on the benefits of working with such a treacherous character, but it would have been interesting to see how different their lives would have turned out. Would it have been better, or worse? I don't know. They should have an episode showing us what might have been.
Allison: I think she should have considered it, yes. Instead, she was so hung up on Maleficent being a villain to even consider teaming up to stop the darkest curse of all. Maybe if Snow did, she wouldn't have had to give up Emma, and they would all be living in Fairytale land right now. This would mean that Henry would have never been born and so Regina would still be evil, most likely.
Robin: I think she should have at least heard her out instead of rejecting her outright. Maleficent came to her in peace as a desperate mother; that can make people act differently. Who knows, Snow might have been able to show Maleficent the merits of heroism over villainy; Maleficent could have turned out to be a serious ally.
Amanda: There's no way to know for sure if helping Maleficent would have changed things for the better unless the show presents an alternate universe like Gareth suggested. However, I think Snow has the tendency to sit on her high horse too much. Maybe mutual motherhood would have bonded them.
Was there anything about "Unforgiven" that disappointed you?
Gareth: This episode really confused me in terms of continuity errors. In the pilot episode, when Snow was heavily pregnant, she paid a visit to Rumple to find out what exactly the Queen’s threat was. It was Rumple who first told Snow and Charming about the Dark Curse that the Queen was planning. The writers seem to have forgotten what they have established in the pilot and we are now told that Snow and Charming were aware of the Dark Curse many months prior to their visit to Rumple in prison. It just seems like they are changing established timelines to fit their latest plot, very sloppy continuity.
Paul: I didn't pick up on any of that Gareth, but that is quite annoying. Regina shouting at Pinocchio really annoyed me. She seems to forget that the child version has no idea what's happened, so for her to shout at him, it was a bit of a step back for her character.
Allison: To me, it came across that Mary Margaret and Charming didn't want to tell Emma that she has the potential for great darkness, which made no sense. Everyone can become evil if they want - free will. It took to the end of the episode to realize that what they really didn't want Emma to learn was the lengths that they went to ensure her light magic.
Robin: Everything about Snow and Charming disappointed me. The lies, the secrecy, the revelation that they're not as "snow white" as they've pretended to be for years. I'm also not really a fan of of the black-vs-white hero-vs-villain dichotomy theme of this episode. If we've learned anything over the course of the show, it's that these people are far too complicated to fit into these categories, and it's really weird to me that they've all suddenly started believing that their fates are sealed by their villain/hero status.
Amanda: Snow and Charming can be the most frustrating characters sometimes. They should've just been honest with Emma. I also agree with Gareth. I get so confused by the timeline in the Enchanted Forest. I never know if one event came before or after another event.
What was your favorite scene in Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 14?
Gareth: The scene between Regina and Marco. Tony Amendola and Lana Parrilla were brilliant. It is nice to see some Once Upon a Time Season 1 characters coming back to the forefront again.
Paul: My favorite scene was Hook taking Emma food and trying to trick him into thinking he got her the wrong side for her grilled cheese. It's moments like these that make me love her character.
Allison: My favorite scene was Emma opening up to Hook about how she misjudged her parents. This is a huge moment for Emma, opening up on her flaws and why she always jumps to the wrong conclusion. Emma shares a little about her past growing up and lets Hook see part of her soul.
Robin: Maleficent's regenesis and her confrontation of Snow and Charming. She's officially my favorite villain after Regina. The way she turned from dragon to woman was fantastic, and her calm-but-cold promise to ruin Snow was absolutely chilling. I loved every second of that.
Amanda: I agree with Allison. It takes a lot for Emma to be vulnerable, and I enjoy seeing her walls come down. She's opening up to Hook because she trusts him. I hope whatever he did to Ursula doesn't ruin the relationship Hook's developing with Emma.
Check back next Sunday night to read our review of Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 15.
And don't miss out on a minute of the magic. You can watch Once Upon a Time online now at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.