Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
1 user 3 critic

Operation Mongoose: Part 1 

The Author proves to be a formidable wild card and forges an alliance with Gold. Emma, her parents, Hook and Regina scramble to stop them, but when Gold and the Author turn the tables on ... See full summary »


Romeo Tirone


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan / Prince Charming
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French (credit only)
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Michael Socha ... Will Scarlet (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin
Lee Arenberg ... Grumpy
Eion Bailey ... August W. Booth
Patrick Fischler ... Isaac Heller
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena
Sean Maguire ... Robin Hood
Keegan Connor Tracy ... Mother Superior


The Author proves to be a formidable wild card and forges an alliance with Gold. Emma, her parents, Hook and Regina scramble to stop them, but when Gold and the Author turn the tables on heroes and villains alike, the prospect of any happy outcome appears worlds away. Henry discovers he has big shoes to fill as he steps up to save his family before the story's final page is turned. It's a race to the finish, and everything culminates with a shocking twist that will leave the residents of Storybrooke reeling. Written by mickeyhorcrux

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 May 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A 1966 suburban couple, "Do we really need a color tv ?" Before 1965 most tv programing was black and white, as were most tv sets. 'Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color', which premiered in 1961, was the main reason most folks bought color tv sets in the early 60s. See more »


When Henry is in the Enchanted Forest using the 'Heroes and Villains' book for guidance past traps he is carrying a book with nothing actually written in it.

The book he is reading has blank pages. See more »


Isaac Heller: Your family is fine. If you want to get technical... They're in here. See? The original copy of my book... The one that I always wanted to write. They all live in here now in kind of an alternate reality.
Henry Mills: You made them miserable.
Isaac Heller: I see that you've read some of my book. Good. Good. Then... Then you know that everyone got the ending they deserve. Except Emma, of course. You won't find her in the book. There was no room for a saviour in my world.
See more »


Written by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey
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User Reviews

Starting the race to the finish
12 June 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Season 4 had a lot to live up after Season 3 being as impressive as it was. At this early stage of the season, one can see a lot of promise, some may argue that it is capitalising on 'Frozen's' success but there is much more to the season than that. This promise was apparent from the get go, with a great season opener in "A Tale of Two Sisters". As far as the previous Season 4 episodes go, they were all decent to brilliant with the only small dip being "Family Business" and the best being the "Smash the Mirror" two parter, "Best Laid Plans" and "Mother".

Both parts of the season finale "Operation Mongoose" for me are wonderful and Season 4 at its best. It is a tense, compelling and emotional episode with inventive twists and turns, the ending in this first part is unexpected.

Loved the expanded role of The Author, bringing a lot of mystery, fun, intrigue and tension to the proceedings. His alliance with Gold is a perfect example of character and story advancing and the race against time story is always engrossing. A lot happens with several characters involved, but in a way that never feels over-stuffed or crammed. One doesn't feel like they're going round in circles, in fact the story is pushing forward, and the characterisation is not contradictory or underdone.

All the acting is strong, with particularly terrific performances coming from Patrick Fischler and Robert Carlyle proving why he was always one of the show's best and most consistent actors. Lana Parrilla, Colin O'Donoghue and Jennifer Morison don't put a foot wrong either.

Furthermore, "Operation Mongoose: Part 1" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable theme tune.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue, or corn or cheesiness here. This aspect has come on such a long way since when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, much more complexity and nuance.

In summary, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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