‘Once Upon a Time’ “Fall” Recap and Review

Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 9 Review
Jennifer Morrison and Georgina Haig in ‘Once Upon a Time’ (Photo Credit: ABC / Jack Rowand)

The dreaded Shattered Sight spell is just hours away from ripping loved ones apart in Storybrooke when ABC’s Once Upon a Time‘s episode nine of season four opens, and by the time the credits roll the townspeople will be in dire straights and Emma will once again be called upon to try and rescue her friends and family. “Fall,” aired on November 30, 2014, involved good-byes (although hopefully only temporary ones), betrayals, and sacrifices, and even hinted at the possible demise of a key character.

Here’s a quick recap of everything that went down in “Fall”:

The Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) has sealed the town with an ice wall and has cast the dreaded Shattered Sight spell. In order to escape the devastating effects of the spell which turns loved ones against each other (except for Elsa and Emma who are immune), David tries to climb over it but the wall won’t allow him to sink his axe into it. However, when he attempts to, a crack opens up that reveals Anna’s necklace. Elsa (Georgina Haig) believes it’s a sign they will be able to stop the spell and find Anna (Elizabeth Lail).

Belle (Emilie de Ravin) thinks the Snow Queen’s spell is unstoppable but that there may be a way to undo the spell by creating a counter spell by using someone who has been rescued from the curse. Elsa now has something of Anna’s, so Belle can help her locate her missing sister. Elsa is sure Anna was under the Shattered Sight spell when she put her in the urn and even though it’s been 30 years since Anna disappeared, Elsa doesn’t care how old she is because she can save them.

Meanwhile in Arendelle, Anna and Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) are finally freed from their frozen state and Anna knows she has to find the urn and free Elsa who she never wanted to encase in it in the first place. Anna knows it’s all Rumple’s fault. Unfortunately, just as Anna and Kristoff prepare to go find Rumple (Robert Carlyle), Hans (Tyler Jacob Moore) and his brothers arrive to take them into custody for imprisoning Elsa. Kristoff and Anna team up to take down their would-be captors and escape from the palace.

Back in Storybrooke, Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Rumple are at the dock looking at the Snow Queen’s wall. Rumple’s new plan is for Hook to get all fairies into the hat so he can cleave himself from the dagger, and Hook has no choice but to do as Rumple says because the Dark One has his heart. Rumple will kill the cure that Belle and the fairies are working on, and he doesn’t care that that means everyone (except himself, Henry and Belle) will be trapped in Storybrooke under the spell. Rumple doesn’t care how much Hook glares at him or how tightly he clenches his jaw, he’s ready to be free of the dagger’s control and leave the town before it becomes impossible to do so.

As the Shattered Sight spell approaches, Regina (Lana Parrilla) warns Robin (Sean Maguire) to scatter his men or else when the spell hits, they’ll wind up killing each other. She wants to memorize his face (and the love in his eyes) because she’s worried they will be torn apart. The only people who believe in her are Henry and Robin, and soon Robin will be looking at her with hatred and Regina confesses that that might kill her.

Back to the fearsome twosome, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Elsa are using the necklace to try and locate Anna. They follow its glow, which gets brighter as it gets closer to its target. Elsa thinks they’ll find Anna still frozen by the Snow Queen, and the glowing necklace leads them to the library where Regina once held a dragon captive for decades.

In Arendelle, Kristoff and Anna seem to have escaped and make plans to get the urn back from Rumple. Anna thinks they need a wishing star to get Elsa back and remembers that her parents tracked the wishing star to Black Beard (Charles Mesure), but she believes they never actually found him. Anna thinks they can buy the wishing star off of Black Beard, find Elsa, and save Arendelle.

While following the necklace, Emma and Elsa are led to a dead end below the library. The dust is new and Elsa thinks she can use a spell to break the rocks up, but Emma stops her because she worries about causing another cave-in. She promises they’ll find another way.

The action heats up as Anna and Kristoff find Black Beard’s ship and he welcomes them aboard. They tell him they want the wishing star, and he says for the right price it’s theirs. The price: his weight in gold. Anna wants to know what he weighs but then says it doesn’t matter as they’ll buy it no matter the price. Just as she’s about to make the deal, Hans and his brothers arrive to dash Anna’s hopes of finding her sister.

Leroy is determined that he dwarves will clear the passage under the library so that the townspeople can escape. Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and the rest believe it’s a good plan, but Emma and Elsa still want to take the necklace to go find Anna. Regina says they don’t have a couple of hours to wait while it’s being cleared, but that may be their only hope. Just then David (Josh Dallas) rushes in to tell them the necklace can either save the town or find the sister, but not both.

Hook’s given the hat by Rumple and told to go in the back of the diner where Belle and the fairies are working on the cure and wait. Rumple enters the diner where the work is being done to counter-act the spell and wants to take Belle away, but the fairies don’t want her to leave. Unable to convince Belle to go with him, he bides his time by staying with Belle while she works.

Regina knows that if they don’t get the necklace to the fairies, the town will be lost. She reminds Mary Margaret, Emma, and David that as leaders they have to make the tough choices. They agree that they need to do whatever they can to keep the town safe and if that means the necklace can’t be used to find Anna, then so be it. Emma breaks the news to Elsa, who hands over the necklace and leaves.

Emma, Regina, David and Mary Margaret bring the necklace to Belle and the fairies only to discover it’s pebbles from the mine and not Anna’s actual necklace. Belle says it’s too late now and Regina asks Mary Margaret if she has a speech to give about hope and blind faith. Mary Margaret says it’s Elsa’s blind faith that’s screwing them now which startles Regina since Mary Margaret is the eternal optimist. Elsa has taken the real necklace back to the cave-in under the library where Emma catches up with her. Elsa uses her magic to open a hole in the cave-in, and she and Emma step through the hole and onto a beach – but Anna is nowhere to be seen. The necklace is still glowing, but she’s not there.

Back on Black Beard’s ship The Jolly Roger, Anna and Kristoff are taken into custody by Hans and his minions. Black Beard tells Anna he met her mother and father, a very regal couple, and that he sold them the wishing star at cost, actually. Anna wonders why they didn’t use it to take away Elsa’s powers, and Black Beard reveals that the wishing star can only be used by those with pure hearts. None of this matters anyway as Hans is now in charge of the royal treasury which means Anna can’t pay for a wishing star even if she was free to do so. Hans tells Anna that The Jolly Roger is now in the exact spot where her parent’s ship went down. Black Beard orders a trunk brought forward so that no mermaid can save them; there will be no “fin-terference,” as he puts it. Anna learns from Hans that they’ve been frozen for 30 years just as Black Beard’s pirates heave the trunk overboard.

As the trunk sinks underwater with Anna and Kristoff screaming for help, Elsa and Emma are walking the beach with the necklace which suddenly stops glowing. Elsa says the necklace was the last gift she gave Anna, and Emma tells her the curse is about to hit the town.

Anna and Kristoff struggle underwater and Kristoff manages to get his hands free and unties Anna. They are about to drown when Anna recites her wedding vows, believing they are about to die. Kristoff says she can’t marry him unless they get out of this.

Elsa clutches the necklace to her breast and apologizes for not finding Anna. As she desperately wishes her sister were there on the beach with them, the necklace flashes brightly.

Underwater, Anna and Kristoff say they love each other and prepare to drown when the water starts churning around them. On the beach, Elsa and Emma witness the water spout and see the trunk wash up on shore. Anna and Kristoff emerge and Elsa runs to her sister, telling her how much she missed her and how she’d been searching for her everywhere. Elsa wished it, and the necklace turned out to be the wishing star. Emma says if they can get Anna back to the fairies quickly, she might be able to stop the spell. As Elsa and Anna embrace, a bottle with a message in it surfaces close to shore.


Back at the diner, Belle tells the fairies that Anna is on the way and she asks Rumple if it’s possible they can do it. Rumple rushes her out of the store while Hook prepares to trap the fairies.

Emma, Anna, Kristoff, and Elsa all hurry to the diner but Hook has already started capturing the fairies. Only one – Mother Superior/Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) – manages to hide out during Hook’s initial attack, but she’s not safe for long as Hook discovers her hiding place and pulls her into the hat. Emma and the gang rush in and see that the fairies are all gone and their work is destroyed. Hook is hiding and hears them say it’s over for the town now and and they must all prepare for the worst.

Rumple tells Belle they have to separate and that he’ll do a protection spell to keep her safe. He says he’ll be back soon and they’ll be together before sealing her into the store with a protection spell. Hook shows up with the hat and gives it to Rumple, however Rumple still won’t give him back his heart. Rumple tells him that by morning all should be complete and promises that Hook will be dead soon, advising him to have a good final night on earth.

At the sheriff’s station Kristoff and David greet each other like long-lost friends. Mary Margaret and David have a plan which involves everyone locking themselves up in the jail away from anyone they can hurt. Emma, Anna, and Elsa are immune, and Mary Margaret and David tell Emma they believe she will fix this and come back and save them all. Henry’s in a safe place and they give the baby to Emma to take care of, telling her they trust her, they don’t fear her magic, and that she’s special. The magic will help her and she’ll be able to save the town.

Hook arrives and asks for a word in private with Emma. He tells her he needed to see her before he chained himself up for the protection of all. Emma says she’s a terrible goodbye kiss person, but maybe just this once she can pull it off, and then hugs and kisses him. He says goodbye and it sounds like he means forever.

Everyone hears the storm coming closer and it won’t be long now. Anna turns from the window and says, “It looks like one more adventure together,” as the spell nears and everyone prepares.

Regina and Henry (Jared Gilmore) have one last chat in which she tells her son she’s sorry they didn’t complete Operation Mongoose. Regina’s going to lock him in and everyone else out, and he tells her that Emma and Elsa will find a way to fix this. They say they love each other, and then Regina casts a spell to keep Henry safe. Robin arrives and he and Regina share one last embrace before Robin readies to go chain himself to a tree. Regina needs to seal herself in her vault to keep herself in, telling Robin he should be very afraid of her when the spell hits.

With the spell just minutes away from hitting, Mary Margaret and David hold hands and David says no spell is strong enough to break what they have. The Shattered Sight spell hits and everyone turns to the sky to watch before shielding their eyes as pieces of glass fall to the ground. As it hits, Mary Margaret and David unlock hands and look at each other with contempt.

The Bottom Line:

Rumple’s gone full-on villain again and if he gets his way the townspeople of Storybrooke will find their lives torn apart as their love for their friends and family members turns into hatred because of the Snow Queen’s Shattered Sight spell. And “Fall” finally reunited separated sisters Elsa and Anna, a turn of events that should help to wrap up the Arendelle storyline and shift all of the upcoming events to Storybrooke rather than divide the time between the two as has been the case in season four episodes.

In addition to introducing a new storyline focusing on how Emma, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff will work on reversing the Shattered Sight spell, “Fall” opened up the possibility of a Once Upon a Time without Hook. Now, it would be silly to kill off a key character who’s a fan favorite but just the hint of Hook’s possible death should be enough to keep fans on edge for the remainder of the season – or at least until the “Rumple has Hook’s heart” storyline has been resolved.

All in all, “Fall” was one of the more entertaining episodes of the season, upping the stakes as the town falls completely under the Shattered Sight spell.

GRADE: B+

-By Rebecca Murray

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