Looks like all sorts of magic still live in Storybrooke — the good, the bad and a sorcerer’s hat? This week’s Once Upon a Time reveals pretty quickly what exactly the hat in the box that Rumple finds does. Meanwhile, Emma and Hook go on their first date, but will Hook pay the price for following his heart? And still on her mission in the Enchanted Forest, Anna seeks help from Rumple, but what price will she pay?

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

A long time ago, a man with dark magic tried to steal a box from the sorcerer that is guarded by an apprentice. When the man can’t open the box, which is the same one Rumple finds on his honeymoon, the apprentice tells him that anyone who is under the influence of darkness can’t get into the box.

Years later, Rumple, of course, wants the box. And when Anna comes to him searching for answers about her parents, he convinces her to make a deal. And we all know what happens when you make a deal with Rumple. Nothing is ever what it seems. He asks her to put a potion into the apprentice’s tea. Realizing she doesn’t want to hurt the man, though, she tosses it into the fire. However, she lies to Rumple and says that she gave it to the man. Rumple tells her it was all a trick, and that the potion was actually an antidote to the poison he gave the apprentice the day before. The apprentice turns into a mouse.

When Anna goes to help the man-turned-mouse, Rumple is already there. He informs her that he’s going to use her to get the box, since she was faced with darkness and turned away. She assures him that she never faced darkness, but then threatens to kill him when he wants to put her in a tower. She can’t do it, and Rumple catches a tear of hers on his dagger in order to open the box.

He explains to her that the sorcerer’s hat in the box takes away powers, and when it’s fully charged, he will be the most powerful man. He also tells her that her parents came to him looking for something to take away Elsa’s powers. According to him, Anna and Elsa’s parents feared Elsa. Anna doesn’t want to hear any more and wrestles the dagger from Rumple. As long as she has the dagger, she has the power. She takes the box from Rumple, demands to be returned to Arrendale and wants the apprentice to be turned back into a man.

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Hook Makes a Deal for Love

After Emma asks Hook out on a date, he heads to Rumple to get his hand back. He explains that he wants to be able to hold Emma properly and not with a hook. He uses his knowledge that Belle does not have the real dagger to convince Rumple to give him his hand back. However, Rumple warns him that the hand may take control of him, bringing back memories of his old life as a pirate. Hook wants to take the chance, and Rumple re-attaches his hand.

Their date goes off without a hitch, even when Will Scarlet runs into them in the restaurant. Throughout the date, though, Hook worries that his hand has a mind of its own. When he punches Will outside the library, his fears are answered and he seeks out Rumple.

And then it’s a showdown between Rumple and Hook essentially. Rumple forces him to make a deal in order to get his hook back. Hook finally agrees and helps Rumple find the apprentice. Well, a walking broom (a la Fantasia) leads them to the apprentice’s home. Rumple opens the box to reveal the sorcerer’s hat. The apprentice is convinced he’ll never get enough power into the hat to make it work properly. And that’s when Rumple faces the hat toward the man, who is then sucked into the hat.

Back at the shop, Hook gets his hand back and wants out of the deal, again with the knowledge that Rumple has the real dagger. But always one step ahead of everyone, Rumple shows him the surveillance video from the apprentice’s house, which now just has Hook on it. He says he’ll show Emma what Hook did, unless they stay bound by the deal. And just for good measure, since he’s Rumple, he tells Hook that it wasn’t the hand that was forcing him to do bad things, it was just his inner darkness, or true self, coming out.

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What’s the Snow Queen’s Deal?

Emma seems to think the Snow Queen is after her somehow. Even though she managed to not let the Snow Queen drama bug her on the date, the next day, her car slides on a patch of ice. She follows the Snow Queen into a parking lot, but she’s gone by the time Emma gets there. Emma still can’t seem to understand how or where she knows her from.

Elsa and Charming go through some census records for Storybrooke. They find that the name the Snow Queen goes by isn’t in any of the records, which means she didn’t come to town by a curse.

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Henry Goes Undercover and Will Breaks into the Library

Though there were two subplots going on this week on Once Upon a Time, they seem to be pretty significant. While Regina searches her lair for a spell to help Marian, Henry seems to be focused on Operation Mongoose. He always did love secret missions. His plan — go undercover and work for Rumple. He thinks Rumple knows who wrote the storybook and hopes that by working for him, he’ll get some answers.

And Will, who popped over from Wonderland, seems to possibly want to go home. He breaks into the library. When Belle finds him, he’s passed out drunk holding onto a book. That book is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I love how all these tangled storylines are weaving together nicely this season. It seems the Anna and Elsa storyline is much bigger (and better) than a story arc lasting just a couple weeks. Even though Anna got her answers and returned to Arrendale, she’s still missing. So where the heck did she go? And who is the Snow Queen really? What does she want with Elsa (and Emma)?

This sorcerer’s hat is very intriguing too. I like that Rumple is back to his old tricks. I don’t like how he’s bringing people back to the dark side with him, though. We all know he can’t stay good for long, but it worries me that he was able to trick Hook so easily. I actually like Hook the nice guy much better than Rumple. But then again, Emma was never really lucky in love anyway. Now, if only Regina can get back to her evil, tricky ways.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV