Given that Robin has been a rather interesting character, it felt rather nice for him to have his own centric episode with his backstory as the framing device for the episode. The origins of his friendship with Will in the past was also nice to see along with the mention of the latter's sister (although I still hope we'll see more of that backstory in the future cos he's such a likeable character & I don't like how they've handled him in his transfer to OUAT from OUATIW) & it was interesting to see how he became the honourable outlaw we know today. Although I may not like Zelena as a character thanks to her actions & bratty personality in general last season, I actually rather enjoyed seeing her again! I had a feeling we weren't going to see the last of her after her 'defeat' in season 3 due to her popularity, but now it looks like she hasn't changed one bit after everything & it looks like she's not gonna stop any time soon...she may still annoy me, but she also entertains me at the same time as a villain I love to hate. It also felt rather refreshing to see what happened to Robin & his family after they left the town (along with not really adjusting to modern day life involving alarms & police during his good deeds), and Rumple's goals now that it's revealed he was pretty much dying thanks to his dark actions & is doing everything now to avoid Robin being in danger & for Zelena to get what she wants. Speaking of, I very much enjoyed seeing more of Rumple's complexity as a character again after coming across as one dimensional this season during his talk with Robin about how to get his happiness, although I wish he'd take his own advice given he's been going the wrong way to get his happiness even if he's only following Zelena's orders in all of this.
As for Marian really being Zelena, I thought it was going to be in some contrived way since Marian happened to be the person Emma decided to bring back from the past & that Robin happened to be with her half sister at the time before she was 'killed', although since it seems that it became a back-up plan after Emma decided to save her from Regina in the past. Although I was rather surprised they took this route, I wasn't 'shocked' per se as Marian had been acting weird in the scenes beforehand & it gave some of it away for me, but Christie Laing's performance was rather convincing along with Rebecca Mader clearly having a ball returning as Zelena.
If I had a problem, it'd be the timing of the episode wasn't really the best as we had just continued from the huge revelations about the Author, what Snow & Charming did & Lily being Maleficent's daughter, but none of them are touched upon in this other than Emma calling her parents out & Rumple taking the Author at the start & it felt like it was slowing down the main story & adding in more complexities now that Zelena is in the picture & threatening Robin if Regina won't work with Rumple.
Despite the order & slowing down the main plot, I wouldn't say this is bad at all! I still enjoyed the episode despite my personal dislike for Zelena (hey, it's better than Greg &/or Tamara returning) along with the flashbacks in New York being enjoyable with Rumple's role throughout, the acting being great & some rather interesting twists & answers to questions. It's a pretty fun one to watch regardless, although this episode somehow managed to do something more disgusting than Rumple & Zelena making out...and it looks like Regina & Robin are in the clear over their 'adultery' from the first half!
Thank you Emma for calling out your parents for what they did regardless of how they were led to the Apprentice!
HAHA! 'You are quite possibly the biggest pain in the ass that I ever had the displeasure of writing about!'
How nice keeping Regina prisoner!
OK, that is AWESOME!
Nice to see you again Little John!
Nice to see you again Sheriff of Nottingham...speaking of which, what the hell happened to Keith after Gold beat him up?!
Seems Marian could speak for herself back in the day...what happened?
So many feels seeing Neal's apartment again!
'Do you remember what you said to me on our first day as outlaws?' 'I said so many things.' In other words, you don't know!
Wait, why is Rumple acting like they've never met before...?
You mean to tell me he could've called Regina the whole time?!
Only just realized that every member of the Floof Family has now been in hospital...weird parallel, but thought I'd put it out there! And seems his dark deeds are finally taking it's toll!
Feels rather nice seeing Oz again!
Hmm, interesting to see how Robin & Will became friends!
Funny that they remembered Walsh owned a furniture shop...looks like that didn't mean he didn't have to be witty!
Rather pretty design for the elixir bottle!
Yeah, stealing for the honourable reasons doesn't really translate well to modern day New York when there's burglar alarms & police!
Really not like Marian to say that they should just leave Rumple to die!
Nice to see you again Zelena! Yes, I still find her annoying, but I can't help but love Bex!
AH, so that's how he got his bow & arrow that never missed it's target!
Is it me or does Robin look like he could play Fiyero from Wicked in that outfit?
Uh...why isn't it working?!
What did he ever do to Marian?!
WHAT?! THE?! FUCK?!?!?!
Ah, right, she did it when Emma was in the past! Poor Marian though, being killed twice by both the Mills sisters...
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ZELENA!? Seems you're still a petty brat...
HAHAHA! God, her impression of Rumple is hilarious!
NO, DON'T TAKE UP HER DEAL, RUMPLE! YOU'RE BETTER THAN THIS!
Aww, I still remember him mentioning his sister to Alice!
Well, looks like Rumple has another reason to be pissed off at Will other than dating Belle!
Rather shameless advertising for Aladdin on Broadway!
Sweet idea to give him Neal's stuff!
'Maybe you should take a piece of advice from a man who pushed away every chance of happiness because it was never enough: If it's in your grasp. If you know where it is & who it's with, then you should run to it, grasp it and never let it go.' Aww, nice to see him give Robin some good advice! If only he followed it himself...
Hmm, pretty badass!
Well, I guess that explains why he looked like Tom Ellis in 2x19!
'No matter where we are or what we face, I want to be with you.' NO, IT'S A TRAP!
EWW!!! Just when I thought her making out with Rumple was the most disgusting thing!
I hate you Zelena...
So saving the Saviour from going dark or saving her beloved Robin from her sister...I have no idea what I'd pick if I were her!