ONCE Upon A Time Season 4 episode 18 SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robin Who? Tonight’s Once Upon a Time bewitched everyone with Zelena’s return and Robin Hood’s devious past.

“We didn’t know what we were doing,” says David in tonight’s Once Upon a Time season 4, episode 18, “Heart of Gold.” It might as well be the true author’s of Once Upon a Timespeaking to us about getting rid of Zelena at the close of last season because tonight the Wicked Witch is back and better than ever.

But first, we go into the wood where magical trees are lacking and a proper quill lies in near Gold’s heart in his chest pocket. Regina’s pocket holds another matter dear to her heart, Robin’s phone number across the town line.

Nine weeks ago, Robin, Marian and Roland left Storybrooke and hit the streets of New York City. Our question as to why everyone from Storybrooke feels the need to travel to The Big Apple is answered when they begin looking for Neal’s miraculously rent controlled apartment. Their first few minutes in town already have Robin commandeering a white steed to stop an unjust robber as he chases him through lines of Vancouver… we mean, NYC taxi cabs.

In the Sherwood Forest, many more moons ago, Marian has made a decent man out of the former thief. The own a pub, share long glances across the bar, and keep a stool open for Little John. Life is good! But it could be more comfortable if Robin swiped a bit from King Midas’ carriage as it passes through town. Especially now that the Sheriff of Nottingham is nailing tax notices to the door as he shakes out the last pennies from everyone’s boots.

A weary traveler comes knocking in both the big city and the forest. Gold arrives in New York seeking a good rest in Bae’s apartment, but Robin is not eager to strike a deal just yet. But in Sherwood Forest with only two days left on his taxes, Robin’s mind is a bit more open to dealing with the Dark One. In Oz lies a potion meant to mend wounded hearts. Gold needs that elixir both in the past and the future as he lies on the floor of Baelfire’s apartment.

No magical elixir besides a stead drip of aspirin is going to help Gold as he recovers from a “heart attack.” Medical professionals aside, the Dark One knows that deep inside his heart is morally poisoned and is slowly draining the life from him as payment for the darkness he cast upon the world. Robin arrives in his room to receive the same mission and another rule bender for the non-magical world. Magical items may cross realms and be used, but magic can not be created nor destroyed in the real world. Somewhere in New York City the elixir exists and Robin’s code of honor holds him to saving Gold’s life yet again.

Meet-cute-and-destroy-the-time-line-time: Robin arrives in Oz where a magical portal drops on a guard that happens to be apprehending Will Scarlet. This is their first meeting. Are we to assume that the heist on Maleficent’s castle, when Will joins the Merry Men for a brief time in Wonderland, was after the Merry Men were well established and on the move.

When the Wizard was keeping an eye on Emma he had a shop that now houses the elixir, similar to his nifty digs in the Emerald City. Robin lifts the goods from NYC and is met with a moodier Marian than he has come to know, but in Oz Zelena’s attitude feels too familiar to one in Robin’s present. As Robin slips Gold the potion, the only thing that he will feel is clearer sinuses. Marian enters with the true potion and plot twist it is actually Zelena!

When the portal was open (HI, EMMA AND HOOK! WE MISS YOU!) Zelena tailed the dynamic duo long enough to kill Marian (ouch) and play the town and Regina for fools. Zelena waits around for Gold to be revived and lays the final few yellow bricks from her days in Oz — give Regina a wound that will never heal and have Gold manipulate the Author into writing her happy ending. If viewers wanted Gold/Rumple/Dark One to suffer, they certainly got their wish this week.

As the clock ticks down nine weeks ago, the same clock is going off on Gold’s life in the present. His heart remains damaged despite the efforts he put in to preserving himself, which are bountiful. With Zelena’s mission now tagged onto his own, and a clever plug for Aladdin on Broadway, Gold exits the hospital to find Robin with a box of Baelfire’s belongings. However, they serve more as a reminder of the man Neal Cassidy who grew as a symbol of Gold’s failures as a father.

Time-to-fix-the-time-line-moment Robin Hood returns a proud thief to his land with a six-leaf clover and a mission to steal from the rich and give to the needy. Should he ever cross paths with Rumple again he will merely use the leaf to transform himself into another figure.

In another realm, within a realm, Will Scarlett and Robin have a battle of honor on the outskirts of town as the vile slips from Robin’s hands to Will’s before the two part ways. A similar exchange of broken hearts passes between Gold and Robin as the former encourages Robin to hold on close to what he has with Regina. (Who is watching Roland?) While Robin takes it in stride, the Gold of our present still has Regina hanging on the line.

Before Robin can escape the real world he must face the perils of modern technology — another woman’s number on his phone. Deleting the contact is one thing, but when Zelena answers the call the tables finally begin to turn in the present. Will Regina save Robin or prevent Gold from turning Emma to darkness. She seems rather adamant about keeping Emma away from the shadows, but when her happy ending is pinned against Henry’s happy ending all the questions go unanswered.

Stray Observations:

  • Once Upon a Time‘s second story arc is finally gaining some steam and it only took six episodes and an entire flashback to get here.
  • No Hook and Emma means a trade off for two seconds of shirtless Robin and a brief shout out to Swan Queen shippers!
  • Gold/Rumple delivered two great game show lines tonight: “Do you want to make a deal?” and “Is that your final answer?”
  • Roland is going to need to be put on the waiting list for Storybrooke’s “Family Tree Therapy Sessions” for ages 6-12.