Once Upon A Time S04E16 Recap: Best Laid Plans

Past. Snow and Prince Charming go running through the forest. They're tracking something, a unicorn. She moves to get it over with. He knows that she's worried about Maleficent's prediction that their child will grow up with a dark heart, but she could even be a powerful hero. She said that too. Snow and David approach the unicorn. According to legend they only need to touch its horn to get a glimpse of their child's future. Snow feeds the animal an apple and then they lay their hand on the unicorn. David sees a bright future, one where the baby is perfect and beautiful. He thinks that everything will be fine. Snow sees a different future. She will be beautiful, but she will rip her heart out and crush it literally. Snow tells David the child is evil.

Now. Regina doesn't understand how the author is trapped inside the book. Emma isn't sure. Regina wonders if they need to draw a key or something, ,but Emma isn't sure, only that they need to do it before Gold figures it out. Henry alerts his mothers that August isn't doing so well. They take him to Mother Superior. August has been changed by magic many times, he will need to be very strong to survive.

Regina tells Emma they have a bigger problem. Gold and the other Queens are after the page, but since its the actual door they can't, and if she comes back empty handed, then her cover will be blown. Emma suggests that they hand over a conjured page. Henry marvels over Emma's good magical skills. Regina doesn't think that a forgery is the answer, its Gold after all. Emma tells her that she can either use that or pull out and they'll protect her. Henry thinks the copy is good, but Regina thinks that maybe another type of copy would be better, and takes a picture with her phone. Emma sees the brilliance in it, since they think they're looking for an actual physical door. Regina hopes the photo will keep them on their wild goose chase. Regina hugs Henry, holding him too long, worried about when she'll see him again.

Emma and Henry come home, to find Hook with her parents. He reveals what Ursula told him before she left. Gold and the others plan to darken Emma's heart and turn her into a villain. Henry thinks that you can't unsavior the Savior. Hook knows that the author can make that happen. Emma finds it ridiculous, she has no plans to go dark. Hook knows darkness, its a funny thing, it creeps up on you. Emma thinks that no one gets to decide who she is. Snow wonders if it is possible that Emma could go dark after what they did. David doesn't. They were told that they had to guide her, but the author has the power to change everything, maybe even turn Emma dark. David and Snow make a quick escape.

Regina returns to the villains, they've been waiting. Regina claims that she didn't get the page, it was under a protection spell. The savior nearly caught her trying to break the spell. Gold isn't sure that he believes her, she's been gone a long time, and she came back empty handed. She's not empty handed though. Cruella isn't impressed with the photo, ruined by a glare. Gold sees the glare as something else, magic. The door has been sealed by it. He realizes that the author is behind the door in the book. He wants the page. Regina doesn't think that will be an easy task, since its being protected by the savior. Maleficent has a plan to take care of Emma.

Hook asks after the Wooden man child. Emma admits that he's not great. Hook hears in her voice that she care for him, just a hint of jealousy creeping into his voice. Emma tells him that now isn't a time for that green eyed monster, but he knows her preference for men in leather jackets. Emma assures him that August is only a friend. Emma asks him if he remembers her friend Lily. She had a hard time making friends, of letting people get close to her. August was a rare exception, and nothing more. Hook notices something odd, and tells Emma to look, right before they're hit by Maleficent's spell.

Past. Charming tries to get Snow to tell him what she saw. She refuses, afraid that saying the words allowed would make it too real. They come across a peddler, with a stuck wagon. Charming moves to help him, and offers him a drink. They tell him to keep the bottle. As they head back off, he warns them that Maleficent has taken up residency down there. They know about her all too well. He tells them that she turned into a dragon, and laid an egg. She's claimed the surrounding area. He advises that they go east, but the path is unclear. They could be lost in the forest for days. He tells them to stick to the path, there's a kind old man who will help them get to where they need to be. They take his advice, and head east. They travel until they reach the cottage, its the apprentice's cottage. He opens the door before they knock. He sensed that they were coming, and that they were at a loss over their child. They hear Maleficent's dragon shrieks in the background, but he tells them to pay her no attention.

Now. Gold tells Maleficent that she knows what she has to do. She does, but she wonders if he does. She needs her happy ending, and now she's changing their deal. Cruella and Ursula were a means to an end, Maleficent is more useful, and that's why he needed them to get to her. She just put the entire town to sleep herself, proving she's worth more than they were, which is also why he hasn't been a bit remorseful about losing Ursula. To keep her, he needs to give her what she wants. She needs to know what happened to her child after those heroes got rid of her child. She needs to know its true fate. After she gets him the page, and she gets her answer, the heroes will pay.

Snow walks fast, and David catches up to her. They made a vow to be good, but since the Queens have arrived, they've done nothing but lie. They want to turn Emma dark, and if they aren't careful they're going to help them. Snow notices that everyone is asleep, but they aren't. Snow thinks because they've both been under sleeping curses, but Emma hasn't. They rush back to their daughter.

Cruella and Maleficent sees how nonthreatening Emma looks under the spell. Cruella is tempted to ring her helpless neck, but Regina tells her not to. She claims that kill the savior at the moment would be ill advised. Gold tells her that the page isn't there. Regina is sure it was there, and it didn't suddenly walk away. Maleficent put the whole town to sleep, except those who have been under a sleeping curse before. Regina realizes that there is someone that includes.

Henry runs with the book. He's likely going to test his mother's commitment to Gold. Regina warns all of them against touching Henry. Gold sends the women after Regina. He has something else he needs to attend to. Snow and David spy on the villains, wondering what they're up to. Snow gets a call from Henry. He's at the sorcerer's mansion. He figured that when everyone fell asleep the bad guys were up to something. Snow warns him that as long as he has the page, he's in danger. David thinks that they should destroy the page. It would stop Gold from ever freeing the author. Snow worries what it could do to him or Regina's chance at happiness. She wouldn't get happiness from the author, but maybe she could find it on her own.

Past. At the apprentice's home, Snow asks him the meaning of their visions. Charming saw pure happiness, she saw pure terror. She wants to know which is the truth. They both are. They're all born with blank slates, and with the potential for good and evil. She wonders how to ensure their child's goodness. He tells them that there is a way. To banish the potential darkness they have to pay a grave price. He cannot simply banish the darkness, another living vessel would have to absorb it, a vessel also a blank slate. If they wish him to perform the magic, they need to secure the proper vessel. He tells them to be sure they want to proceed, because once its done it cannot be undone. Charming sees that its wrong, even if it insures that their child would be good, it would destroy another. Snow wonders if it doesn't have to be a child. The peddler mentioned that Maleficent laid an egg, and they've seen what type of person Maleficent is in both forms. She doesn't think that her child or offspring would be any different.

Henry hides beneath the table with the page. He stares at it and a light begins to shine from it, leading him to a drawer. Inside the drawer is a key. Regina finds Henry, and she's not alone. She didn't want it to come to this, but she had no choice. She told the other Queens that she could handle the retrieval, but they didn't believe her. She warns them off, touching her son. Maleficent has no plans to intervene so long as she does what she needs to. Henry at first refuses to give her what she wants, but she presses, giving him the eye. She's obviously telling him to slip her the fake. He hands over the page, and satisfied, the Queens leave to find Gold so they can set the author free.

Past. Ursula and Cruella complain about the cold. Ursula passes out, and Cruella is next as Snow knocks her out. Snow and Charming head in after the egg. Maleficent has filled her lair with shiny silver items in preparation for her offspring. Snow and Charming close in on the egg. They go to grab the egg, but Maleficent's tail is wrapped around it. The dragon rears its head, and breaths fire. David grabs the egg, throwing it to Snow. Snow warns Maleficent that if she burns them, that she'll burn the egg too. Maleficent turns back into a human, and pleads with Snow for her baby. Snow promises to return the egg once they're done with it.

Snow and Charming arrive at the mansion, warning him that the Queens are on their way. They've already been there, and left. He tells them that they took the forgery page. The real one is hidden in a book. He shows them where the page really is, David wants to take the page to hide it. Henry tells them that he's found the key and they can free the author. David snaps at Henry not to, and forces Henry to hand over the key. Henry reluctantly does. Snow thinks that they're on a slippery slope, on their way to being no better than Gold.

Gold goes to his shop to check on Belle. He takes his beloved and puts her in bed. He makes a confession to his sleeping beauty. His magic comes at a cost, and he's racked up an enormous debt. He's heart is changing, and he needs to change the rules and fast. He kisses her hand, promising to come back for her if he can. The Queens arrive, and Cruella wonders what he was doing inside. It's none of her business, he wants to see the page. They hand it over, and Gold sees that its a fake immediately. Regina claims that she was duped, but the jig is up. He's suspected her loyalties may not lie with them, and she's just proven him right. He has Maleficent knock her out.

Past. The apprentice approve of their vessel. The child's darkness can be transferred to the egg. The apprentice begins his spell, but some of the wording causes him concern, the distance shore bit for one. Once its complete, Snow asks about it being placed in the vessel, but the apprentice has cast it out of the realm. He sent it where it belongs, where it can hurt no one. Snow made a promise she cannot keep. They cannot return the egg to its mother. The egg begins to hatch as the portal opens to take it away. Cruella and Ursula have tracked them to this place, and they get sucked into the portal along with the baby. The apprentice warned them, once the spell was complete it couldn't be undone, and the baby is lost to their realm forever. He congratulates them. Their child is pure in intent, and heroic in spirit. Its up to them to keep the baby pure. They told Maleficent that they would bring back the child. They didn't know that baby would be sent to another land. They've made a horrible mistake.

David prepares to burn the page. Snow worries what they will tell Henry. She cannot tell more lies. She gave Henry that book to give him hope, and she cannot take it away. Regina has become a friend. She told Regina her secret, and Regina has risked her life to keep it. She cannot repay her that way. When Regina showed her her heart, she thought the darkness was from killing Cora, but now she realizes that it started long before. They have to tell Emma the truth, because heroes do what's right, not what's easy.

Emma looks shocked. This whole time she knew that her parents were lying. She wanted to believe them, in them. David tells her it was to protect her. Hook tries to comfort her, but she pulls away. She needs to leave. Snow tries to stop her, but Emma doesn't care.

Cruella thinks that they should just slit Regina's throat and be done with it. Gold doesn't plan to do anything like that. Maleficent doesn't think that Regina will help them, but Gold knows otherwise. He has something that will make her do his bidding.

Hook comes to check on Emma. She needs some time, but he's come with news. August is awake, and he'll be fine. They will all be fine. Emma wonders why her parents sent him, they knew that she wouldn't listen to them. They were right.

Past. Snow tells one of the dwarves to dispose of the mobile that Cinderella sent over. It's a beautiful mobile full of unicorns. Sneezy thought she liked unicorns. David excuses him, reminding her that its just a mobile. Snow doesn't want to be reminded of the mistake they made. She doesn't want to see it everyday. She's haunted by the baby. David is too, and maybe Maleficent deserved it. Snow thought that they were doing something brave for their baby. They were brave, but not kind. They were selfish, they're no longer heroes. David thinks that they need to find redemption, to raise their child right. To get there they have to be the best people that they can to avoid the stain of their actions. Snow asks what of their child. The unicorns could be a good thing, a reminder how easy it is to lose their way. Redemption won't happen overnight, but they can take the long hard path together.

Maleficent goes to Gold once more. Now that Regina is taken care of, she thinks that she should be taken care of. Gold points out that she didn't get the page. She deserves the answer. She has pain, but pain fades if you let it. Maleficent needs answers, she doesn't care how much it hurts, but she needs answers. Maleficent hands over the rattle. Gold reminds her that it was thirty years ago as he shows her the vision of her baby. It was a girl, named Lilith, or Lily. The same name as Emma's friend, and she's in this world.

Emma rushes to August's side. He's betterish. She claims that she's okay, but he knows that she's lying. She shows him that they have the page, and the key. She thinks that they should let out the author, and ask him some questions. Snow cautions her, that she's doing exactly what Gold wanted to do. Emma isn't worried about turning dark, but she has questions about herself, and her story. August cautions that the author behind the door may not have been the one who wrote her story. There have been may author's through history, its a job. The author was intended to record history for posterity, but this author didn't just record, but changed stories, which made some very angry. The apprentice is angered that the author forced him to perform that dark spell. The author felt that it made for a better story. The apprentice urged him to return the quill. He was making changes that should not have happened. The author went against his vow, and his position, and because of that he was banished into the book. The sorcerer and his apprentice are the ones that choose the author, and they took responsibility for his actions. Emma knows though that he still has the ability to make changes. August is surprised at how far Emma has come since they first met. Emma uses the key to open the locked door. Out comes the peddler. Snow and David recognize him, but before Emma can get any of her answers he runs off, disappearing without a trace.


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