After a painfully long hiatus, "Once Upon a Time" returned to abc on 1 March for season 4 episode 13, titled "Darkness on the Edge of Town". While Storybrooke seems calm after the heavy storms of "Heroes and Villains", it is quite unprepared for the arrival of a Chernabog-like creature that rattles the town.
Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) has been banned from Storybrooke by the love of his life Belle (Emilie de Ravin) after he lied to her one too many times. Realising that the newly reformed Evil Queen, now Mayor Regina (Lana Parrilla), may be on the right track in trying to find the author of Henry's (Jared S Gilmore) story book, and asking him to rewrite the stories into giving her a happy ending, Rumple or Mr Gold tries to get the task done himself.
Towards the end of season 4 episode 12 "Heroes and Villains", Gold was seen approaching Ursula, the Sea Witch (Merrin Dungey), now a cleaner at an aquarium, with the promise of a better, a happier ending for villains like themselves. It was also revealed that during their time in the Enchanted Forest, Gold had crossed paths with Ursula, Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit) and Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten).
Towards the end of "Darkness on the Edge of Town", Gold's cunningness get Cruella and Ursula into Storybrooke, but they are yet to bring Maledicent back from the "not exactly" dead to complete their task force.
Meanwhile, Prince Charming (David Nolan) and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) might be hiding a dark past from everyone, especially their daughter Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison). Snow White even threatened to rip out the hearts of the two new additions to their quaint little town, the sea witch and the dog whisperer, if their secret was to be revealed.
Emma and Regina, has to pause their efforts in trying to find the sorcerer, who they initially thought wrote the story book, and take care of the Chernabog who escaped from the magic hat, along with the fairies who were trapped in it.
Naturally, every finger, including the Queen's own pointed at Regina, when it is revealed that the Chernabog is looking for the heart with maximum potential for darkness. With the hopes to chasing the beast out of Storybrooke, she and Emma drives to the border, where Cruella and Ursula are waiting. As they reach the border, Regina vanishes from Emma's car and stands at the border, but the Chernabog still gnaws at the car, before flying off to the other side of the Storybrooke border and dissapearing.
One wonders if the Evil Queen was in fact the darkest person in Storybrooke, a doubt which later confirmed by the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin. He tells his new friends, "That beast did seek out the heart with greatest potential for darkness... But it wasn't going after Regina. It was after Emma Swan."
As of now, it is clear that Regina is still considered as the person with the darkest heart in Storybrooke, although she is reformed. Emma and their son Henry are looking for a way to get Regina her happy ending, just as Ursula, Cruella, Gold and most possibly Maleficent are.
However, what the villains' happy endings might entail remain a mystery.