For those non-shippers out there, “Outlaw Queen” is the phrase used by fans of the Regina-Robin Hood pairing. I would count myself amongst those fans. Marian has been nothing but a stereotypical damsel in distress ever since her introduction back in season two. She’s always an obstacle to overcome, constantly the victim, and never any help. Robin has even admitted that Regina is his true love now. So why can’t they just live happily ever after?!
Well, it’s not Marian’s fault actually. Marian is dead. She died in the Enchanted Forest, just as everyone believed until the end of season 3. Emma and Hook didn’t bring back Robin Hood’s long-lost wife. They brought back Zelena!
The Witch is Back
Turns out that this entire season it hasn’t been Robin’s long-lost love getting in the way of him and Regina, but actually the Evil Queen’s sister! A diabolical plan as convoluted as Zelena’s, with all its dirty deceits and well-timed trickery, requires a great deal of explanation In the show, this resulted in actress Rebecca Mader outdoing Robert Carlyle’s Rumple for vicarious villainy. Usually when an evildoer exposes their plan, basking in the glory of its greatness, their demise tends to be just around the corner. Here instead, having Zelena reveal her plans to a helpless Mr. Gold only solidifies her advantage in this situation. Gold might have failed in getting revenge for the death of Neal, but Zelena has yet to give up on hurting her sister.
As I said, Zelena’s master-plan is a little hard to keep track of, as is the plot of this episode with its numerous flashbacks within flashbacks, so here is a quick timeline to cut through all the timey-wimey stuff.
- Many Years Ago
- Sherwood Forest: Rumple hires Robin Hood to obtain the Elixir of the Wounded Heart.
- Oz: Robin successfully steals the elixir (and several other trinkets), escapes from the Wicked Witch, but gives the potion to Will Scarlett instead of Rumple.
- Sherwood: Robin takes on the mantle of Hood (as in hoodlum), beginning his life of “stealing from the rich, giving to the poor” all whilst hiding from Rumple via a special transformative necklace he stole from Oz.
- Season 3, Episode 20-Zelena is stabbed by Rumple and “dies” before his eyes. However, her life-force escapes and activates the portal that transports Emma, Hook, and herself to the past.
- Season 3, Episode 22-Zelena kills Marian and using the necklace Robin originally stole, steals Marian’s identity.
- 9 Weeks Ago: Zelena reveals her true self to Mr. Gold and strikes a bargain with him to obtain her happy ending.
- Present: Mr. Gold has Regina call Robin, only to have Zelena answer instead. Regina, upon learning that her wicked sister is playing house with her love, is tempted by Gold to join him in turning Emma evil.
Come To the Dark Side
The episode cut out before Regina could answer Gold’s proposal, but I see this situation going down one of two ways: either Regina refuses Rumple or she yet again plays double agent only appearing to acquiesce to his request before her sudden but inevitable betrayal.
Regina’s answer may go unseen next week, but what we do know we’ll see is lots of Cruella. I’m excited that we’ll finally be getting her backstory and finding out whatever desire she has for a happy ending, but disappointed that it’s taken this long and we’ll probably be losing this character just as she gets interesting. This episode may indeed prove the perfect moment for Emma to turn dark, for kidnapping the child of two powerful magic-wielders is a damn near suicide mission and could result in Emma killing de Vil.
As always, there were a couple of Disney references sprinkled throughout the episode.
- In a nod to the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a guard is knocked out by Robin upon his arrival in Oz, leaving only his boots exposed.
- Why yes, that was a poster of the Genie behind Robin Hood. An advertisement for Disney’s Tony-Award winning musical version of Aladdin fits in perfectly on a New York bus stop.