Emma was blindsided by Hook’s revelation, August’s nose grew once again and one of the Queens of Darkness appeared to find her happy ending in Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 16.
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Allison Nichols, Mary Kate Venedam and Paul Dailly are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to debate Ursula’s back story, Emma’s romantic options and the possibility of happy endings...
What did you think of Ursula’s back story?
Stacy: This show really likes to mess with our classic movies, doesn't it? I thought it was a little weird that Ursula was basically Ariel and had her voice stolen. I did like seeing how Hook played into her story, though.
Allison: I enjoyed it. I like when the show takes a character that we think we all know, and then twists it. I've missed these kinds of character episodes. This was one of the best episodes of this season so far.
Gareth: I really enjoyed it. I thought Ernie Hudson was great as Poseidon and it was nice to see aspects of the storyline being resolved with Ursula getting her happy ending. Definitely one of the highlights of this season.
Mary Kate: I'm sort of indifferent to it. I thought it was interesting how they made her story similar to the Ariel story we know from Disney.
Paul: I enjoyed it. She's not been the most interesting character by any stretch of the imagination, but this made me see her in a new light.
Were you surprised that Emma was Hook’s happy ending? Will he be able to keep it?
Stacy: Not at all, isn't that obvious? I think he'll be able to keep it in the end, but that doesn't mean there won't be challenges to overcome first.
Allison: Nope, it was obvious to everyone except Emma, which made sense. Emma has spent her life feeling unwanted whether it was because of her time in foster care or how Neal left her way back when and she ended up going to prison for him. Emma can't fathom that she is something as precious as a happy ending. I think both Killian and Emma will fight for their happiness.
Gareth: I thought it was kinda obvious that Emma was Hook’s happy ending. I’m sure the writers will continue to test their relationship and provide road blocks right until the end of the series. Nobody wants to see them having dinner and watching Netflix just yet!
Mary Kate: Not in the least. Considering how much he has changed his life for her, it seemed obvious that she was Hook's happy ending. If he is able to keep it, that's a different story. It'll either help or hurt him since he is the one of the few who knows Rumple's plan for Emma.
Paul: Not at all. This much has been obvious for quite some time. He'll struggle to keep it with Emma on her journey to the dark side, but they are an endgame couple.
Who would you rather see Emma with romantically? Hook or August?
Stacy: Definitely Hook. They have great chemistry and I never really saw Emma with August. They're better as friends.
Allison: Why are you making me choose? I love them both, but we have watched Emma and Killian fall in love. With August, we had flirtations, and they have incredible chemistry, but their romance hadn't really begun. I definitely hope August stays his older self, though. He is much more interesting as August than as Pinocchio.
Gareth: I’m not keen on it but I’m resigned to the fact that Hook and Emma could be end game. If I was a betting man, I’d say the odds were in their favor to get a happy ending together. I really like August but I agree with Stacy, I have always seen their relationship as more friendship based.
Mary Kate: If Neal was still a choice he would be #1, but unfortunately, that can no longer be. I've come around to Hook this season, but I've always loved the relationship between August and Emma. We'll see what future episodes bring, but I just want to see the August/Emma friendship more.
Paul: Hook! Let them be together and be happy.
Debate Ariel’s theory. Is it that villains can’t get happy endings or is it that they go about getting them the wrong way?
Stacy: I mean, they are pretty much one in the same right? They're going about it the wrong way because they're villains. Getting what you want at the expense of other people is not likely to work, but that's what makes them villains. If they were going about it the right way, they wouldn't be villains.
Allison: This makes much more sense to me than everyone believing that the author is the one keeping them from their happy endings. It's much easier to blame an all power person for your mistakes and the fact that you aren't happy. Why blame yourself and your poor life choices when you can blame someone else?
Gareth: It all comes down to fate versus free will. At the moment the villains feel like some all powerful being is denying them a happy ending and that the game is rigged. Perhaps as the story unfolds they will come to see that they are the only ones getting in the way of their happy ending through the choices they make. Perhaps there is no author! We are all writing our own story as we go along.
Mary Kate: It definitely is an interesting theory. It makes sense, especially seeing the villains we know, Rumple for one. He has never had the best plan to get his happy ending, and when he's had it he's messed it up every time with Belle and Baelfire.
Paul: They go about getting them the wrong way. The mind of a villain works completely different to the good guys, so they need some coaching on how to get a good ending.
Was there anything about “Poor Unfortunate Souls” that disappointed you?
Stacy: I still think Ursula's back story was weird. I also think Belle should have realized faster that she didn't give the dagger to Hook, but I'm glad they didn't drag that out too long.
Allison: As much as I loved the Captain Swan moment that followed it, Killian being concerned that he won't get a happy ending without help from the author because he is a villain bothered me. He just granted Ursula her happy ending with help from Poseidon and Ariel. The author didn't help. Emma didn't help. Killian Jones, a 300 year old pirate, gave Ursula what she wanted most. Emma should have called him out on saying that the author is the only one who can help a villain.
Gareth: I agree with Alison about Hook questioning his happy ending. It seems out of place when he had just successfully handed Ursula her happy ending. Surely that should have given him hope that it was possible? Overall though, really strong episode. It had all the elements of Once that I love.
Mary Kate: There were parts in the beginning that felt slow, but the last part of the episode got much more interesting with Hook helping Ursula and the reveal of The Author. I'm looking forward to what is coming.
Paul: Ursula left just as her character got interesting. I'd have liked for her to stick around for the rest of the season.
What was your favorite quote or scene from the episode?
Stacy: I loved when Regina communicated through Snow to tell them about Gold being back. She obviously wasn't letting them plan the "discreet" meetings anymore. I thought her way was smart and funny.
Allison: I loved Emma's reunion with August, and Mary Margaret's taking out Cruella with a frying pan. It's nice to see Snow White the bandit every now and again.
Gareth: “The scruff is so much more attractive than the timber” – Victoria Smurfit continues to steal every scene. I can't wait for her backstory.
Mary Kate: The moment when August and Emma were reunited as adults for the first time since the before the curse broke. To have August see Emma's growth with her magic, parents, and the story in general was well worth the almost three year wait.
Paul: The Charmings breaking into the log cabin. Snow really brought her A game and it made me laugh.
Check back with us on Sunday for our review of Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 17 and if you can't wait another minute for the magic, you can watch Once Upon a Time online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.