"Unforgiven" is the thirteenth episode of Season Four of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Andrew Chambliss & Kalinda Vazquez, and directed by Adam Horowitz. It is the seventy-ninth episode of the series overall, and premiered on March 8, 2015.
David and Mary Margaret suspect Cruella and Ursula have come to Storybrooke looking for something more than their own happy endings – something that threatens to reveal a secret they thought was long buried. Emma begins her own investigation of Cruella and Ursula, but she can’t shake the feeling that her friends and family are keeping something from her. Regina and Henry continue their search for the Author, turning to Pinocchio and Marco in the hope Pinocchio might remember a clue that will help them. Meanwhile, in a flashback to Fairy Tale Land, Snow and Charming cross paths with the Queens of Darkness as the threat of the Evil Queen’s Dark Curse hangs over all of them.
In present-day Storybrooke, Maine, Mary Margaret Blanchard awakens in her loft as the clock flips from 2:37 AM to 2:38. She reaches an arm over and, finding that David Nolan is not in their bed, rises. Baby Neal cries out, and his mother lifts him from his crib. As she comforts the infant, Maleficent compliments the baby. Mary Margaret responds by telling Maleficent to stay away from her son. Cruella De Vil and Ursula appear, telling Mary Margaret that the trio are not the ones she should fear, that something far worse looms over her son's head—according to Maleficent, the truth of what Mary Margaret did to her. Suddenly, Neal is in Maleficent's arms. A shaken Mary Margaret implores the women to not hurt her family. Maleficent replies that, when she's finished, Mary Margaret won't have a family left to hurt. The clock flips from 2:37 to 2:38 and Mary Margaret awakens with a start, realizing shes just had a nightmare. She reaches for David, who is not in their bed. She checks on baby Neal, who is in his crib, awake and calm. Mary Margaret calls out for David, who is sitting at the bottom of the loft's stairs.
David reveals that he hasn't slept because of Cruella and Ursula being in town. Mary Margaret agrees, telling him that the two women were in her nightmare, but with Maleficent. David moves to the table, pouring a glass of MacCutcheon whiskey. A distraught Mary Margaret tells him that Maleficent threatened their family, and David reassures her by reminding her that Maleficent is gone. Mary Margaret responds that the other two women are still around, and they know of the couple's past with Maleficent, and it can't be a coincidence. David replies that it doesn't matter, that all that matters is that they get the women out of town before anyone finds out their secret.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, Snow White and Prince Charming return to the Royal Castle after their honeymoon. The couple dismounts at the entrance to the bridge leading to the palace, and Charming remarks that Snow White seems excited for their honeymoon to be over, and his wife replies that, while the Summer Palace was wonderful, it's time to return to reality and find a way to deal with the Evil Queen. Snow White notices that Sleepy, on guard duty, is asleep at his post. She laments that she told the other dwarves not to put him on guard duty. Charming takes a few steps, noticing and pointing out that another guard is also asleep. It dawns on the couple that they are under a Sleeping Curse. Drawing his sword, Charming mutter's the Evil Queen's name.
In the courtyard of the palace, Snow White and Prince Charming find that everyone has been placed under a sleeping curse. The couple calls for the Evil Queen to show herself. Maleficent appears behind the two, who turn to face her, swords drawn. Maleficent introduces Cruella and Ursula, who emerge to stand with her. Charming asks her what the women want with him and Snow White, and Maleficent replies that the trio are not there to fight—they wish to make a deal.
In present-day Granny's Diner, Mary Margaret and David sit a booth with baby Neal nearby. At the counter, Granny slices lemons, ignoring Cruella and Ursula. Cruella asks her how much longer their drinks will be, and Granny moves away from the women without a word. Will Scarlet enters the diner, greets Granny and asks for the "usual". Granny cheerfully hands him two coffee cups and Will leaves the diner. Regina and Henry Mills enter the diner, and Ursula requests a "heart rip" from the Mayor, telling her that Granny needs some encouragement in serving them. Cruella, in an attempt at flattery, recalls that Regina once ripped out the hearts of every villager in the North Woods. Regina turns to Henry and suggests he goes to her office and get started on the book. Henry reminds her about getting donuts and exits the diner. Regina moves closer to Ursula and Cruella, telling them that if they bring up her evil past in front of her son again, she will throw them out of town. Deciding to take their business elsewhere, the women leave.
David and Mary Margaret approach Regina, asking her what the plan is to do with this "latest crisis". Regina replies that they shouldn't worry about Cruella and Ursula. Mary Margaret asks if Regina truly believes the women are looking for redemption, and Regina replies that if she didn't think it was a real possibility, she would not have let the women into town in the first place. David declares that they have to be certain and keep "eyes on them 24/7. Regina replies that that is a job for the Sheriff's Department, and that she has bigger things to worry about.
Outside the diner, Ursula and Cruella pass Emma Swan and Hook as the couple approaches the diner. Ursula and Hook exchange a look, and Ursula greets the former pirate by saying his name in a cold tone as Hook looks slightly distraught. Emma asks if Hook knows her, and he replies that he encountered many "vile creatures" during his travels. Exiting the diner, David approaches the two, telling Emma they need to go. Perplexed, Emma laments that she's there for lunch and has been "dying for a grilled cheese all day". David responds that Cruella and Ursula are up to something and they need to hurry to pick up their trail.
Cruella and Ursula enter Mr. Gold's Pawnshop, where Belle French, at the counter, pulls out a bottle and threatens the duo that, if they do anything, she will turn them into toads. She asks the women why they are in her shop, if they're there to kidnap her again. Cruella replies that the women are there to congratulate her on "defeating" the Dark One. As they converse, Ursula, unseen by Belle, uses a tentacle to explore the shop. Cruella informs Belle that she did "quite a number" on Mr. Gold. Belle asks if she's seen him, and Cruella explains that he's been reduced to his old cowardly self, a bum. Ursula's tentacle picks up a box in the back room of the shop. Cruella asks Belle if she doesn't enjoy Gold's suffering. Belle responds that she would never take comfort in his suffering and Ursula's tentacle brings the box back to her hand. Belle asks if the women have come to the shop to buy something or just harass her. Turning away from the counter, Cruella pulls out her cell phone and types on it briefly as she tells Belle she's looking for a hood ornament for her car. Belle replies that she'll check the inventory and heads for the back as Ursula stands with the mysterious box in her hand, out of Belle's line of sight.
Deep below the Storybrooke Free Public Library, Mr. Gold enters the chasm where Maleficent, in her dragon form, was defeated by Emma. He receives a text message on his phone, "We got it". He uses his magic to manipulate the dirt beneath his feet, drawing together a pile of Maleficent's ashes. Picking up a handful, he declares that her "slumber is nearly over".
In the Mayor's office at Storybooke Town Hall, Henry Mills examines the pages of his storybook containing the story of Pinocchio. Regina Mills places a box of donuts on the desk in front of him. She asks her son if he's found anything, and he replies that he hasn't, but if the Author has left clues as the Mother Superior suggested, they'll find them. He asks his mother how she's doing, pointing out that she didn't seem fine when they encountered Ursula and Cruella. Regina explains that the women remind her a time she'd like to forget—the time when she was a "true villain", and it makes it worry that her happy ending might not even be possible. She states she was the closest to happy when it was "just" her, Henry, Robin Hood and Roland, and she wants that feeling back. Henry assures her that she'll get that feeling back—they will find the Author and Regina will get an ending that will be exactly as she wants it to be. Henry takes a bite of a donut, and Regina tells him to be careful, as he is getting crumbs on the book. Walking around to the other side of her desk, she brushes off the pages of the open book. Looking perplexed, she fingers the pages of Pinocchio's story, commenting that it's different than the other pages of the book. Henry tells her that it's Pinocchio story, and Regina asks why that would make a difference. Her son replies that August added the story to the book, that he wanted Emma to know his story and believe. Encouraged, Regina hypothosizes that, if August took the book apart, he might know more about it. When Henry laments that August isn't around to ask, Regina replies that he might not be, but "Pinocchio is".
On the main street of Storybrooke, Emma Swan and David Nolan sit in the Sheriff cruiser, gazing at Cruella's car outside of the pawn shop. Emma asks her father if he knew the women in the Enchanted Forest, and he replies that he and her mother had "run-ins" with them. Emma tells him that she feels like he is leaving things out, and asks if he is. Before he answers, Ursula and Cruella exit the pawn shop. The women get into the car and drive off. David follows, instructing Emma to call Belle to find out what happened in the shop.
In the Royal Castle of the past, Prince Charming, Snow White, Maleficent, Cruella and Ursula discuss the deal the women are proposing. Maleficent informs the couple that the Evil Queen has a way to make her promise to destroy their happiness a reality. Charming asks how Maleficent knows this, and she responds that the Queen has stolen "the darkest of curses" from her. Urusla tells them that it will punish everyone in the Enchanted Forest, including them. Charming asks them what their plan is, and Maleficent tells him of a magical tree in the forest, the "Tree of Wisdom", that will answer any question asked of it. Even, as Cruella tells them, a question about defeating the Queen and the Curse. Snow asks the women why they don't ask the tree themselves, and Maleficent explains that the tree's wisdom can only be unlocked by "two of the most valiant heroes". She makes a map of the tree's location appear on the table in front of Charming, explaining that the women will escort them there. Snow White and Charming confer together, deciding that, given the situation, they have no choice but to go along with the trio.
In Storybrooke, David and Emma follow Cruella and Ursula along a wooded road. Emma ends a call with Belle, informing her father that Belle is sure a wooden box is missing from the back of the pawn shop. David asks what was in the box, and Emma replies that Belle doesn't know. David turns on the cruiser's siren and lights, pulling over the women. He approaches the car and asks Cruella to step out. He searches the vehicle while the women stand off to the side with Emma. Searching under the passenger seat, he finds a secret compartment, the missing wooden box inside. He opens it, revealing an object—a small, silver raven's claw clutching an orb—that he clearly recognizes. Emma calls to him, asking if he's found anything. He responds in the negative, and Emma ponders if Belle just misplaced the missing box. David states they can't arrest the women for speculation, and Emma tells the two that they're free to go and apologizes. The women head back to Cruella's car, and Emma suggests going back to the sheriff's station to check any video footage to be sure. Her father hands her the key to the cruiser and asks her to drop him off at their loft so he can check on Mary Margaret. Suspicious, Emma asks him if everything is okay, and David replies "of course". Emma gets into the cruiser and David pockets the item from Cruella's car.
Later that day, at their apartment, David shows Mary Margaret the object he recovered from Cruella's car. Recognizing it, Mary Margaret comments that it belonged to Maleficent, and meant a lot to her. David theorizes that Ursula and Cruella would want an item of Maleficent's for one reason—to enact a spell to resurrect her. Mary Margaret asks if it's even possible, and David replies that it doesn't matter—since they have Maleficent's totem, the witches can't do anything. Perplexed, Mary Margaret suggests that, when the women discover the item is missing, they will just find something else. David suggests that they take Maleficent's remains to thwart the witches' plans, that if they dump the ashes into the harbor they'll be gone and it might drive Cruella and Ursula to leave town, taking the couple's secret with them.
In the woods of the Enchanted Forest that was, Snow White, Prince Charming, Maleficent, Cruella and Ursula have been stopped by guards at a bridge over a large ravine. Charming informs the group that the guards will not let them pass. An incredulous Cruella asks if the guards know who they are—travelling with Snow White and Prince Charming should "open some doors". Snow White responds that they do, but the also know who they are, and they will need to find another route. Charming suggests walking south to avoid the ravine, a plan Ursula says will set them back two days. Cruella suggests Charming show the guards how "skilled" he is with his blade, and Snow White retorts that the guards are just trying to do their jobs and she would do the same. Looking about, Snow White realizes Maleficent is no longer with the group. A rumbling is heard, and Snow White and Charming approach the edge of the ravine. As they look down, Maleficent, in her dragon form, swoops up and over them. She flies toward the bridge, unleashing a breath of fire upon the guards. Charming and Snow White run to their aid, but only helmets and shields remain. Maleficent emerges, again in her human form, announcing that the detour won't be necessary. Angrily, Charming shouts that she should have given them another chance to talk to the guards. Maleficent replies that while Charming was unwilling to do what was "needed", she was.
In present-day Storybrooke, Emma Swan sits at her desk in the Sheriff's station, working on her computer. Hook arrives and presents her with a grilled cheese and onion rings from Granny's Diner. He asks her what she's working on, and she replies that she's reviewing ATM security footage to determine if Ursula and Cruella stole anything from Gold's shop. Remembering their earlier encounter, she asks him how he knows Ursula. Hook replies that Ursula was just someone he encountered back when he was a pirate. Clearly skeptical, Emma asks him what that means. Hook replies that he doesn't recall, Emma doesn't accept that answer, and Hook replies that that's "all there is to know". Emma responds by saying he's holding something back and Hook replies that he doesn't know what to say. Clearly perturbed, Emma replies "neither do I". Her computer pings, alerting her that the video download is complete, and she says she should get back to work. A distraught-looking Hook wishes her luck and leaves.
In front of their loft on the main street of town, David Nolan and Mary Margaret pack up his truck, intending to visit the cavern containing Maleficent's remains. Emma approaches her parents and shows them video from the ATM at Gold's shop; video that shows Ursula and Cruella carrying a small box with them. David deflects, saying "we don't even know what that is." Perplexed, Emma points out that just a few hours ago, her parents were so concerned about the women that they interrupted lunch, and Mary Margaret interrupts that she and David are going on a hike and Ashley Boyd is watching Neal. Clearly skeptical, Emma asks what is going on. David claims that he and Mary Margaret have decided to step back from their "crusade", and Mary Margaret agrees, saying that the women were villains back in the Enchanted Forest, and they've treated them that way since they arrived in town. David tells his daughter that they have been seeing the worst in them, and they've decided to give them a chance. Still skeptical, Emma asks her parents if they're really going for a hike. Her father replies that it may seem odd, but he and Mary Margaret have decided to "back off" of Cruella and Ursula. Emma tells them she'll be at the station and walks away. Mary Margaret asks David if they're doing the right thing, and he replies that it's the only way to keep Emma from finding out their secret.
In the Mayor's office, Pinocchio, his father Marco by his side, examines the pages of the storybook that contain his story. An impatient Regina asks him if anything is coming back to him, he shakes his head, and Regina suggests he look at the pages again. Emma enters the office and asks how it's going. Distraught, Regina replies that "it's not", Pinocchio doesn't remember anything. She suggests that since August and Emma spent a lot of time together, maybe Pinocchio seeing her will jog his memory. Emma takes Pinocchio aside and explains to him that back when he was "older", he and Emma were friends. She explains that August took the book apart and added a story, then put it back together. She asks Pinocchio if he remembers doing that, and he replies that, while he knows everyone wants him to, he doesn't remember. A frustrated Regina shouts at Pinocchio, reminding him of who August was. Emma says her name in an effort to calm her, but Regina claims that Pinocchio isn't trying hard enough. She tells him to concentrate, and snaps, "Or is that head of yours still made out of wood?" Marco, having had enough, tells Regina to not speak that way to his son. Regina snaps back that maybe he needs some "motivation". Emma stops her, and takes a visibly shaken Pinocchio and Henry out of the room.
Upset, Marco asks Regina if she's considered that her quest may be "ill-fated"—that, after "ruining everyone else's happy ending", she has no right to a happy ending. Regina snaps back that she could ask him the same, as he lied about the wardrobe to send his son into the Land Without Magic. Marco replies that he wouldn't have needed to if it wasn't for Regina's Dark Curse, and tells her to stay away from his son. He storms out of the office.
In the mine tunnels deep below Storybrooke, Mary Margaret and David make their way toward the cavern that holds Maleficent's remains. Mary Margaret asks David if they should be doing this, and he replies that he didn't expect to need to gather her remains either. Mary Margaret replies that she means lying to Emma, saying that Cruella and Ursula have been in town just two days and they've lied to Emma "more times than I can count", and she wonders when the lying will stop. David replies that it will stop once they complete their task and the two witches are gone.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella emerge from their tent in the forest. Maleficent approaches another tent, calling to Snow White and Prince Charming. Receiving no response, Maleficent peers into their tent. Finding it empty, she beats her staff into the ground, releasing a small ball of fire into the air that is seen by Charming and Snow White as they run through the woods away from the trio of women. Find the Tree of Wisdom, the couple approaches it, discovering two rocks side-by-side with a golden handprint etched in each. The pair each put a hand on a rock, and Snow White asks the tree how to stop the Evil Queen's Curse. The handprints glow a golden hue, and the magic flows along into and through the tree. Unexpectedly, the glow turns red and Snow White and Prince Charming are thrown back from the Tree of Wisdom. Confused, Snow White wonders why the tree didn't answer their question. Charming says the witches must have lied, and Snow White asks if it was a trap. Maleficent, accompanied by Cruella and Ursula, responds that there was no trap, and the trio didn't lie. She suggests that couple may not be as valiant as they believed.
In the present-day, Mary Margaret and David enter the cavern, finding the pile of ashes on the ground. They approach the ashes, David pulling out a bag to collect them in, and Mary Margaret excitedly declares that they've stopped the witches. Ursula and Cruella appear behind the couple, Ursula replying "Not exactly" before using her tentacles to knock out the couple.
- The title card features Maleficent under her dragon form.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on November 26, 2014.
- The Enchanted Forest events take place after Snow White and Prince Charming's honeymoon in "The New Neverland", after the Evil Queen steals the Dark Curse from Maleficent in "The Thing You Love Most", and before "Best Laid Plans". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Land Without Magic events take place after "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and before "Enter the Dragon". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Belle mentions her kidnapping by Cruella De Vil and Ursula in "Heroes and Villains".
- Prince Charming recognizes Maleficent from his previous encounter with her in "A Land Without Magic".
- Prince Charming broke the Sleeping Curse in "Pilot"/"A Land Without Magic".
- Regina stole the Dark Curse from Maleficent in "The Thing You Love Most".
- August reverted into Pinocchio in "Selfless, Brave and True".
- August added the story of Pinocchio in "What Happened to Frederick".
- Emma and Hook mention Maleficent's previous forms and their deaths. Emma killed Maleficent's dragon form in "A Land Without Magic" and Hook encountered Maleficent's ash-monster form in "The Evil Queen".
- Both forms appear during Maleficent's revival.
- Hook's turbulent past with Ursula is explored in "Poor Unfortunate Soul".
- Emma's love for grilled cheese was first established in "Red-Handed", where Ruby is sent to buy some for her.
- Mary Margaret and David come clean to Emma about their past with Maleficent in "Best Laid Plans".
- Mary Margaret mentions a time when she couldn't keep Regina's secret. This happened in "The Stable Boy".
- How Maleficent lost her child is revealed in "Best Laid Plans".
- How Maleficent's baby rattle broke is revealed in "Best Laid Plans".
- The scene where Prince Charming and Snow White find everyone in the castle asleep is a reference to the 1959 Disney film Sleeping Beauty, where the whole castle is put to sleep.
Fairytale and Folklore
- The design on the wooden box which contains Maleficent's baby rattle, is reminiscent of the horns on Maleficent's headpiece.
- Cruella's phone case has a dalmatian spots pattern.
- An excerpt from the fairy tale of "The Golden Bird" is visible when Henry flips through the storybook.
- The illustration is "Fairies Away! We Shall Chide Downright, If I Longer Stay" (1908) by the famous English book illustrator Arthur Rackham. It depicts Titania in a scene from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
- Another picture by Rackham is also seen: "Preposterous Cried Solomon in a Rage", from J.M. Barrie's book Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906).
- An illustration of Geppetto and Pinocchio is accompanied by a scene from "Snow Falls" and "Snow Drifts":
would have sacrifice his station to live like a fugitive.
He would have to forsake his family and break vows
which would lead to a war between nations. There are
lives on the line, she told herself. The responsibility of a
royal is great. Bigger than one's self. And though she
was no longer of the court and her kingdom seemed to
have turned against her, Snow was none the less raised as
a princess and expected to be a queen one day. This
would never be taken from her. She knew instinctively the
[image ends]e she must make.
Snow takes the ring off her finger and hands it to
[illegible word]. Where ever you go from here, if you need me,
I will find you", the Prince offers, "always." And Snow
[two illegible words] believe it. "Goodbye, Prince Charming," Snow
[image ends] Charming grins, "I told you. It's James." Snow
[image ends] [illegible word] to leave, "I like Charming better." She
[image ends]k over shoulder and they stare into each
[image ends]ey didn't need words to express what
[image ends] their hearts. For it was here, in the shadow
[obscured] Bridge, that their love was born. Where
[obscured] no matter how they were separated, they
[obscured] each other, and true love.
- Parts of the excerpt, were read aloud by Mary Margaret when she was reading to an unconscious John Doe in "Snow Falls": "...They didn't need words to express what they felt in their hearts, for it was here, in the shadow of the Troll Bridge, that their love was born, where they knew, no matter how they were separated, they would always--"
- The crest symbol of the guards at the bridge, is the triquetra, also known as the "trinity knot".
- The golden symbols carved into the rocks in front of the Tree of Wisdom are Anglo-Saxon runes. However, they produce nothing but gibberish when translated.
- The walls and floor on the storybook page with the door, which Henry finds, have the same design as the inside of Jefferson's hat.
- Maleficent's baby rattle is shaped like a dragon's foot holding an orb.
- The wooden beam across the entrance to the bridge, and the carved stone figures supporting it, are recycled from the Troll Bridge set from "Snow Falls" and "There's No Place Like Home".
- Mary Margaret is wearing a Burberry Brit 'Elmwyn' Leather Trim Fit & Flare Wool Blend Coat (no longer available). She wears the same coat in "Poor Unfortunate Soul", "Best Laid Plans", "Heart of Gold", and "Sympathy for the De Vil".
- Emma is wearing a Cashmere Zip-Shoulder Pullover from Saks Fifth Avenue and a Babaton Howell Coat in Charcoal Grey (no longer available).
|Finnish||"Ei anteeksiantoa"||"No Forgiveness"|
|French||"Secret Maléfique"||"Evil Secret"|