‘Once Upon a Time’ season 4 finale review: Merlin and Emma Swan’s new darkness

PATRICK FISCHLERThere were many unexpected developments that took place on the final episode of “Once Upon a Time” season 4, but we would be remiss to say that there was one very expected development: The identity of the new Author. Of course, it was Henry. It is a nice full-circle moment for the show, given that the character first surfaced on the pilot storybook in hand years ago, claiming that he could show Emma Swan the truth about a variety of fairy tale characters in a town.

Apparently, Henry has seen “Spider-Man,” since he knows that with great power comes great responsibility. He realizes that he cannot just use the book in order to do whatever he wants, and that includes making his dream of reviving his father into a reality. While all of this happened, though, he worried about the fate of his grandfather Rumpelstiltskin. There was so much darkness in his heart that he was about to lose his own life.

The good news is that after the Author was stopped completely, there was a chance to save Rumple. The issue was sapping the power out of him, which is something that the Apprentice was able to help with. He’s no longer the Dark One! Unfortunately, what we were reminded of here is that there still needs to be a vessel. Also strangely like Spider-Man and the symbiote, it has to be tied to a person! Who’s that person now? It is none other than Emma Swan, arguably one of the worst people to be evil since we already know about that capacity for darkness that lied within her.

So while our heroes are for the most part okay (Captain Hook was not killed in the alternate universe, after all!), they are left with some huge dilemmas going into the fifth season. How in the world do you handle what happened to Emma now, and is there any way that Henry can pave a better future? We like the twist of it all, and learning that Merlin is the Sorcerer, and really the only person who can turn this around completely. Grade: A-.

What did you think about the “Once Upon a Time” finale, and is there a particular twist that stands out? Share with a comment, and click here to see some of what we’d like to see in season 5! Also, you can sign up to get some other TV magic on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: ABC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!