Enter the Dragon Review | Once Upon a Time Season 4, Episode 14

When war hits Storybrooke, everyone’s gonna have to pick a side, including Regina.


Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin, Colin O’Donoghue, Jared S. Gilmore, Michael Socha, and Robert Carlyle.

Season 4
Episode 14: Enter the Dragon

Maleficent is back in Storybrooke, resurrected by her fellow “Queens of Darkness” Ursula and Cruella so, of course, the first thing on her mind is a makeover that makes her look like the leader of the Storybrooke mafia.

I’m just kidding. She actually looks incredible. Such a gorgeous look that gives us real insight into her characteristics as a villain. Smooth, calm and collected, but also somebody who you wouldn’t want to cross. That’s what springs to mind when you see this costume, in much the same way as Cruella’s look exudes glamour and sophistication, and Ursula’s…exists…

It was interesting to see the backstory between Regina and Maleficent. It really helped us to understand the connection between the two characters. Regina has referred to Maleficent as her best friend before now, and the flashbacks had never really shown us anything that hinted at this, so they definitely filled in some meaningful gaps. It’s understandable considering the massive role that Regina had in pulling Maleficent back from the brink that Maleficent would want Regina to be on side and to be part of the Queens of Darkness, even if Cruella and Ursula have their doubts.

On the flip side of that, I’ve developed such a flashback fatigue. This show demands so much mental power from me in actually keeping the narrative of each of the characters in the Enchanted Forest together, such that every episode I’m thinking “So this is before x and after y. Wait, there’s Rumple. When does this come in the storyline for him?”. There have been so many tales spun that it’s becoming a bit of a minefield actually piecing them together into a cohesive narrative. This one, at least, fits in quite nicely, but sometimes we’re expected to believe that our characters juggle multiple situations at once, while not mentioning any of the other things they’ve just faced.

Elsewhere this episode, it was massively frustrating to see Belle hoodwinked by Rumple. There’s no way that she should have trusted Hook that easily. Alarm bells should have been ringing from the moment that he asked her where the dagger was. She’s massively intelligent, so why then does she continue to make such basic mistakes and be made such a huge fool of? It was obvious that Hook wasn’t himself when he was blatantly hostile towards Will in Granny’s, as well as his insistence that the pair never talk about the situation again.

It’s even more frustrating when you bear in mind that Belle finally took ownership over the Rumple narrative when she banished him from Storybrooke. The fact that he’s managed to make a fool of her once again, and use her for his own means is just beyond the pale. It would have been much more satisfying if she’d played along with Hook/Rumple, then used the dagger to make him forget about the encounter, while she goes and hides the dagger someplace else, or she could have commanded him to cede his power. That would have been a much more satisfying conclusion that would have gone some way to not portray Belle as a doormat, and a stupid one at that. Belle is neither of those things, and the show needs to stop portraying her as thus.

And, typically, Rumple is more concerned when he returns and speaks to Belle about what the nature of her relationship is with Will. Not her feelings over him, not her hurt at the betrayal and what he subjected to, but instead her feelings and relationship with another man. He is upset at the wrong thing. He’s upset because she’s with somebody else. He should be upset that he hurt and betrayed her repeatedly.

Once Upon an Additional Brainthought

  • Since when has there been a train line in Storybrooke? How is it even possible that there’s a train line in Storybrooke? I thought they didn’t want people to be coming in? Wouldn’t the train driver had noticed the car disappearing in a puff of purple smoke?
  • Speaking of which, that “don’t be a hero” game made absolutely no sense. How is it being a hero to preserve one’s own life? Really, Regina should’ve just teleported herself out of the car and left the others to get hit by a train. That would have solved the problem one way or another.
  • Snow and Charming once again show that they have no idea what they’re doing, as they complain that Regina doesn’t know the situation after just one night? Wake up, guys.
  • If this was the point in Aurora’s history when she was put under a sleeping curse, then shouldn’t she have been a bit more concerned when she woke up about what happened with her parents in the intervening time? She doesn’t even mention them when she wakes! Additionally, she wakes up in a completely different dress and hairstyle.
  • Speaking of Aurora, I really hope that she comes back to the show now that Maleficent is involved.
  • When will Ursula develop a personality?

You can watch Once Upon a Time Seasons 1 – 7 on Netflix. It is also available on home media and other digital platforms for purchase or rent.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Serena says:

    I completely agree that the writers have butchered Belle’s character. Even if she truly believed that Rumple was banished forever, there are three powerful evil witches in town (not including Regina) who could disguise themselves or control anyone. Remember Cora? Remember Hook controlled by the magical removal of his heart? Apparently Belle doesn’t.

    When the plot is so weak that it requires characters to be as stupid as possible, it just screams laziness on the part of the writers. The same plot points can still be achieved by actions that would remain true to the characters — it just might take a little more effort in the writers room.

    And it would be nice if the writers could be less repetitive with magic as well. The limited repertoire of spells is getting boring, as well as making it look even more and more ridiculous for the good guys to fall for, and never develop a counter to, the most common threats (ie. the bad guys disguising themselves or controlling hearts).

    As you pointed out, the Regina “initiation” plotline didn’t make sense, either. Here’s hoping the next episode is better.

    Liked by 1 person

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