ONCE Upon A Time Season 4 Episode 21 SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

There’s a whole lot of mama drama on tonight’s Once Upon a Time‘s penultimate episode of season 4. Our recap covers all the unhappy reunions.

While everyone is running around waiting for Emma to turn herself over to the darkness, Regina is the one that the town should be concerned about. Sure, over the course of the season Regina works to remind us of her unfailing loyalty to the cause of making sure the heroes win and the villains get their happy endings. But in the opening moments of tonight’s Once Upon a Time we are reminded just what the evilest sorceress in the land is capable of.

On the anniversary of Daniel’s death, Regina does not sit and mope about her lost happy ending. Rather, she takes her father out to crash a wedding and destroy the heart of the groom. After letting the dust fall, she heads over to Daniel’s grave where she is met by a yellow rose and Cora. Borrowing a white rabbit, Cora escaped from the Looking Glass and found a way back with a new mission– get her daughter a happy ending.

Cora’s journey in Wonderland somehow ran her along the path of Tinker Bell who revealed Regina was meant to meet a man with a lion tattoo. The Sheriff of Nottingham has a few choice words about Regina’s suitor, but that is neither here nor there for Cora who has other plans for the handsome tax collector.

Robin of the past aside, Robin and Regina of the present have a major obstacle between them that will last far beyond the nine months Zelena carries it. The first step is to get Roland to Storybrooke where a potion will erase every memory of Marian’s return. Second, get Zelena in custody. Beyond that, Zelena still has the upper hand, giving Robin something he can never produce with Regina.

If their ride up into Storybrooke in a minivan and Zelena stowed away in the backseat of the bug seemed too easy, than the loophole with the ink may seem even more convenient. Gold’s heart is nearly out of life and getting ink is at a standstill now that Emma has remained immune to the darkness. While it is high time for Gold to perish, he does bring up a good point. Rumpelstiltskin will die once the heart turns black, but whatever amount of human that remains is keeping an untamed Dark One from running free. Do we really want that?

Regina does not see that as any of her concern now that she has the quill, the Author, and a plan to get the darkness into the ink. The charge of the Savior’s darkness exists elsewhere, in the person who took her darkness many years ago. While Regina contemplates how to get the blood sample from Lily, she asks the Author about the page that magically appeared in Robin’s belongings. Robin is taken aback like someone hearing their fan fiction being read in public. The fact that it appeared means something though. Someone, probably the Sorcerer, is looking out for Regina.

Maleficent and Lily’s little reunion goes about as well as Emma meeting her parents for the first time. Yet another 30 year old is tasked with an entire life behind her is faced with accepting a life a magic and people who pushed her away in an egg shell before she had a chance to grow up. When Maleficent is less than interested in making Snow and Charming pay for what they did, Lily questions whether the dragon bitch is really her mother after all. Instead of waiting around, Lily digs deep to her roots and takes her magic for a spin in the form her mother might find easier to relate.

With Lily off in the sky, Maleficent enlists the help of Mary Margaret to find her. But once they find her, Lily has a more direct way of dealing with her issues than chatting. In one quick blow she sends Snow into a rock and runs off. As Snow lies knocked out, Maleficent goes off to deal with the situation the way a hero would, with words not fire. While their relationship may not be perfect, the dragon bitch is willing to meet her daughter’s expectations halfway if she agrees to stay for a week.

While all of this is going on, Emma and Hook finally have a scene together with both of them in focus and speaking! The horizon may be calming to a pirate, but rum helps both Emma and Hook deal with the elephant in the room. Freezing out her parents is not going to last forever and when she sees her mother lying in pain on a rock, Emma heals the physical wound. While the superficial wound is gone, like the bump on Mary Margaret’s head, what is underneath will take a bit longer to feel right.

With two happy endings on their way, one in the past is smashed to pieces. Cora entices the Sheriff of Nottingham to play the role of Mr. Hood in order to sweep Regina off her feet. But Cora’s plans fall short when Regina recognizes the lion tattoo is enchanted and sends the lion up his arm until he confesses that Cora wanted to ensure the family line continued without Snow on the throne. Regina gets the gist and takes a potion to ruin any chance of her having a child in the future. After all, who needs a baby when your happy endings are set to fail.

The only person standing in the way of Regina’s happy ending is Regina. And that becomes clear as she has the Author, Zelena, and her happy ending in reach. Regina decides to keep the Author unemployed for the moment and trust that things will work out. But the Author can not sit idle for long and writes himself into Gold’s custody.

Upon his arrival, Gold hands him a blank book titled Heroes and Villains. And so we begin again with, “Once upon a time…”