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‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 4 Episode 16 Recap: “Poor Unfortunate Soul”

ursula once upon a time

Ursula’s backstory with Captain Hook is revealed this week on Once Upon A Time, “Poor Unfortunate Soul.”

Like most villains on Once Upon A Time, there are circumstances that lead them down a dark path. Ursula was once a young girl who loved to sing and missed her mother (who had passed away). Her father, the King of the Sea, was filled with vengeance for the humans that killed her. He used Ursula’s enchanting singing voice to lure ships, mostly pirate ships, to their death.

Ursula refuses to sing and sink Hook’s ship. When Hook meets Ursula in a tavern, as she is wearing an enchanted bracelet so she can walk on land, they work out a deal to take her away from her father. Ursula’s father kidnaps Hook and brings him back to his own ship. He has a counteroffer for Hook, asking him to use a magic shell to steal Ursula’s voice. He will then give Hook squid ink that will kill The Dark One a.k.a. Rumpelstiltskin.

Hook tells Ursula about her father’s offer and says he can’t take the one thing she has left of her mother – her singing voice. She steals the squid ink from her father and it seems she and Hook both have what they want. But the Sea King figures out what they are planning and confronts them. He destroys the squid ink and steals Ursula’s voice with the shell.

In Storybrooke, Hook tells Ursula he has the shell and can return her singing voice to her if she tells him Gold’s plan. They bring back Hook’s ship, the Jolly Roger, only to find it stuck in a bottle. They release the ship from the bottle and Hook and Ursula are both stunned when her voice won’t be released from the shell. Enraged, Ursula knocks out Hook and tosses him overboard.

Hook is rescued by Ariel who tells him she got swept up in the bottle with his ship when Blackbeard went on his evil reign. Elsa from Arendelle trapped the ship and Ariel. Hook and Ariel realize the only way to get Ursula her voice back is to have the one who stole it give it back. Ariel goes through a portal and brings the King of the Sea to Storybrooke. He gives Ursula’s voice back to her — and Ursula ends up deciding to go home with her father.

Gold and the Queens of Darkness torture August to find out the author’s identity. After Gold brings back his lie detector (his nose grows when he lies), he tells them the Sorcerer may know where the author is.

Emma, David and Mary Margaret rescue August. He’s alone with Cruella De Vil, while Gold and Maleficent got off to the Sorcerer’s mansion to look for the door. After he is rescued, Regina tells August she has to keep her cover — but needs to know about the door. August tells Regina, Emma, David and Mary Margaret the page from the storybook where the author is hiding. It turns out the author is trapped in the book.

Before Ursula leaves, she tells Hook about Gold’s plan — that he intends to fill Emma’s heart with darkness.