Once Upon a Time: Season 4 (2014 - 2015)


Season 4
Once Upon a Time

Critics Consensus

The addition of a Frozen subplot feels like a marketing angle, but Once Upon a Time Season Four shines, adding more layers to an already complex story.



Critic Ratings: 13


Audience Score

User Ratings: 764

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Air date: Sep 28, 2014

In the fourth-season opener, a frightened Elsa makes a snow monster to protect herself. Meanwhile, Regina wonders if there's a future for her and Robin Hood; and in the Arendelle of the past, Anna seeks to finish her parents' thwarted journey.

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Air date: Oct 5, 2014

Elsa traps Emma in an ice cave, where the low temperatures endanger Emma's life. Meanwhile, a depressed Regina isolates herself; Mary Margaret tries to restore the town's electricity; and back in the past, Anna gets a meek David to stand up to Bo Peep.

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Air date: Oct 12, 2014

Elsa is framed for an icy spell cast on Marian. Meanwhile, Will Scarlet is caught ransacking Robin Hood's tent; Hook suspects Mr. Gold's lying about the dagger; and in the Arendelle of the past, Elsa and Kristoff try to halt Hans' attempt to seize power.

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Air date: Oct 19, 2014

Emma asks Hook out on date, which leads him to make a deal with Mr. Gold to have his missing hand reattached. Meanwhile, Henry and Mary Margaret try to instill hope in Regina; and back in the past, Rumplestiltskin needs Anna's help to acquire a box.

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Air date: Oct 26, 2014

Regina and Emma join forces to track down the Snow Queen after Sidney locates her. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret and David look for Will Scarlet, who's fled from jail; Elsa sees Anna in the woods; and in the past, young Emma befriends a fellow runaway orphan.

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Air date: Nov 2, 2014

The Snow Queen is hunted by the folks of Storybrooke, who want to uncover her true motives, and Belle tries to use the dagger in this quest. Meanwhile, back in the past, Belle asks the Grand Pabbie to help her learn about her mother's fate.

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Air date: Nov 9, 2014

The Snow Queen is apprehended by Emma, who learns about the similarities between the two of them. Meanwhile, Emma observes Mary Margaret's maternal side with baby Neal; and back in the past, Ingrid discovers her powers and makes a pact with her sisters.

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Air date: Nov 16, 2014

Part 1 of 2. Emma isolates herself from loved ones to protect them as her powers grow uncontrollable, and she seeks help from Mr. Gold. Meanwhile, in the Arendelle of the past, the Snow Queen struggles to ignite a rivalry between Anna and Elsa.

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Air date: Nov 17, 2014

In part 2, Hook tries to stop Emma from giving up her powers. (C) ABC

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Air date: Nov 30, 2014

The townsfolk prepare for the Spell of Shattered Sight as an antidote is sought by Belle and the fairies. Meanwhile, Emma and Elsa use the locator spell to try to find Anna; and back in Arendelle, Anna and Kristoff learn their kingdom is in jeopardy again.

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Once Upon a Time: Season 4 Photos

Tv Season Info

Two new adventures comprise the fourth series of this fantasy series. In the first half of the season, characters from the movie "Frozen" make appearances as they try to reunite with one another. A frightened Elsa winds up in Storybrooke and initially puts the townsfolk in peril as she desperately searches for her sister, Anna. But soon Emma befriends Elsa and aids her in what turns into a complicated family reunion. In the second half of the series, an exiled Gold reunites with a dangerous trio: Ursula, Cruella De Vil and Maleficent. The three villainesses enter Storybrooke determined to get the happy endings that have eluded them for so long.

News & Interviews for Once Upon a Time: Season 4

Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time Season 4

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5)

It's rolling toward that place-you know, the one where TV goes to die. That the writers are trying to throw in new plotlines is only strategic.

Oct 14, 2014 | Full Review…

Longtime fans of Once Upon a Time could (or should) feel cheated by the show's latest tool to mask that it plays the same storylines over and over again.

Sep 29, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Whether Frozen ultimately helps Once Upon a Time will be a true test of the Disney movie's appeal. But we're talking about Once again, and that's a start.

Sep 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Unfortunately, I don't see much momentum for the Frozen season; it just appears to be an attempt at an audience grab to capitalize on the most profitable animated movie ever made.

Sep 29, 2014 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Overall, this episode was enjoyable, but it felt disjointed.

Jan 18, 2019 | Full Review…

Overall, the latest season of ABC's fairy tale drama Once Upon a Time takes an already complex and meandering story and complicates it still further by adding in a whole host of new characters.

Aug 19, 2015 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

Fortunately, Once Upon a Time's fourth season will not consist entirely of storylines that have to do with Frozen.

Sep 30, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Now it's an hour-long commercial for Disneyland with the vanilla-est plot of them all, one that seems built on marketing algorithms.

Sep 29, 2014 | Full Review…

I had no expectations going into this week's Once Upon A Time premiere, which featured the arrival of Frozen in Storybrooke. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the human versions of Elsa and Anna more than their animated counterparts.

Sep 29, 2014 | Full Review…

There are so many added layers that tonight's episode is only the tip of the iceberg. The intertwined stories and plots are quite interesting and done so well.

Sep 29, 2014 | Full Review…

As much as I enjoyed Frozen, I do hope it doesn't completely take over the show. Although that troll was darn cute.

Sep 29, 2014 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

There's been a lot of buzz about the addition of the Frozen characters to the series, and their introduction met expectations.

Sep 29, 2014 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time: Season 4

  • Nov 20, 2020
    A horribly cheesy show that is cloying enough to make you feel Disney is suffocating you with it's desperate and unoriginal script writing. It borrows from 100's of other, good, scripts because this show has nothing to say that other good writers haven't said before.
  • Sep 25, 2019
    I was apprehensive about Season 4 since it was taking on a plot of a movie that had recently come out. However, the casting job was fantastic for Anna and Elsa (possibly even better than the cartoon character). Emma's character had the most development in this season and it paid off going into the drama of season 5.
  • Jul 07, 2019
    FROZEN just no the cast is back and the character and storys feel okay at best it picks up later on in the season but dealing with the death of one of its main characters from the last season it struggles to find its place
  • Apr 09, 2019
    I loved Elsa & Emma's friendship and the blossoming romance between Emma & Killian. The rest of this is just too much to unpack from Regina guilting/vilifying Emma for saving a woman while she fails to realize her own part in this to Zelena getting away with rape. Oh and the Charmings are baby snatchers? That seems like that would have been a secret for the Echo Caves but ok...
  • Feb 24, 2019
    Frozen plot is a blast.
  • Feb 07, 2019
    Perhaps one of the most “mixed opinion” seasons of the ABC Fantasy-Drama, Season Four is actually quite a fun shake up on the show, in this Oncers opinion. If you’re not a fan of Disney’s Frozen, you’ll probably have trouble swallowing the visually heavy “Frozen-over” Storybrooke that is the first eleven episodes of the Season. If you give it a chance, however, the arc features wonderful surprises featuring LOST alum Elizabeth Mitchell, flakes with pieces Fromm Hans Christian Anderson’s original fairy tale, The Snow Queen (the basis for the Disney ice sisters). The characters do a nice job of moving both Emma and Regina’s stories forward. The back half of the season is more “the Once Upon a Time twist on classic films” feel. While it relies more of Disney mythology than past seasons do, ONCE UPON A TIME, Season Four features some delightfully nostalgic moments, impressive casting and new realms without the commitment of spending ten to eleven weeks away from Storybrooke. It also features the fan favorite two hour season finale “Operation Mongoose Part One & Two”; in this fan’s opinion, the gold standard for OUAT finales.
  • Nov 29, 2018
    Why are people hating on season 4 so badly? The first half was not the best, yes, but the second half was kind of good. I liked the complex story lines, and the happy endings being earned to villians. And we also learn that Snow and Charming aren't heroes, no matter what they say.
  • Jul 31, 2018
    this season got a bit annoying at times but anna is hilarious at times so... that helps and that smoke effect is getting a bit old
  • Jul 18, 2018
    I'M A HUGE FAN!!!!!!!!
  • Dec 10, 2017
    They brought in new characters. FROZEN!! Finally. They did so tacky like making Elsa seem faint of heart and weak. There should have been a stronger contrast between her being unsure of herself and gaining self esteem. She speaks softly in both sections. The Emma and Hooke story is watered down and slow and not fluid as it should be. The frozen and other villianous characters should have been seen more. There is too many quick in and out of characters. There was so much potential and this season kinda smacked the characters in their faces. Also regina pretending to be evil again was dumb. She didnt even act dark enough. She was darker in the flashbacks. She should have been written better.

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