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TV Review: Once Upon a Time Season 4 Ep.4 “The Apprentice”

Last week’s episode was a treat for Captain Swan fans as the pairing went out on their first official date. But it wasn’t all puppy love and squeal-worthy moments, as darker things were going on in the background. 

The fourth episode kicks off by focusing on the Apprentice and the magic sorcerer hat. We see the previous Dark One, Zoso, fight and attempt to steal the magic box from the Apprentice, but ultimately fail. The Apprentice states: “No Dark One will ever possess what is in that box,” but we know that is not ultimately true.

In the Enchanted Forest, Anna meets Rumpel and makes a deal with him. Rumpel wants Anna to poison the old Apprentice, or so it seems. Rumpel’s ultimate goal was to have Anna ‘face her darkness and turn away’ so that he could use her tears to retrieve the box. As the scene unfolds–from beginning to end–there are multiple twists and turns on both Anna & Rumpel’s part and it is easily the best part of the episode.

In Storybrooke, the romantic plotlines move forward as Emma asks Hook on a date. To prepare for it, Hook goes to Mr. Gold’s shop and asks for his hand back. Gold gives Hook his hand, in exchange for a favor, and also warns the reformed pirate that the hand used to be part of Hook when is was dastardly, and he might take on those qualities. Hook initially scoffs at this warning, and goes off on his date.

The date is going well until the Thief/Knight from Wonderland stumbles into Emma & Hook’s table, and Hook angrily reacts. While their date is managed to be saved, Hook is wary of his hand; when things get out of control, the pirate goes back to Gold to replace it again. Gold then calls in his favor, and they pay an unfriendly visit to the Apprentice…

It seems as if Rumpel’s quest to become more powerful once again might make him the more formidable villain once again.

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