Time for a Trip to Hell – Once Upon a Time – Midseason Finale (Spoilers)

a1f0c3a51e2146c0c6f6ca69ada29616The midseason finale finally brought back our old Emma, the darkness entered someone else and the group is headed to a new destination, Hell. The next half of the season is going to delve into darker depths of the characters.

The episode opened with a flashback to young Hook. We got to learn a little bit more about his family history. Young Hook is scared of the darkness and his father comforts him. He also states that he will be there for him only to break that promise the next morning. This is the moment where we see Hook start to close himself off to the rest of the world.

As I stated in my last review Hook has some major trust issues. His father, who he was very close to, sold him, his brother and mother into servitude. Someone he trusted above all other turned their back on him and betrayed him. His father never looked back. Hook realizes that he can’t count on anyone at this point. And we know that this keeps happening to him. His reaction to Emma’s betrayal last episode makes even more sense now.

After the flashback, we see that the Dark Ones are invading Storybook. They seek out each member of our group and pass through them. The Dark Ones can’t stay in the mortal world without finding a replacement for their soul in Hell. So they mark each member of our group in order to get them to be their replacements.

It was interesting to see everyone’s reaction to this fate. Snow, who usually has so much hope, is intent on spending time with her family before they will have to go to Hell. She doesn’t fight, she is almost resigned to their fate. Rumple is also resigned. He sees no solution and no way to fight the Dark Ones. Everyone thinks that the Dark Ones can’t be fought. Rumple sends Belle away to save her. Everyone is ready to die, but Emma is not ready to let that happen.

Emma knows one solution to their problem. She can use Excalibur to take in all The Dark Ones and the darkness and then kill herself in order to banish that darkness. She is willing to do that in order to save her family. We see in this moment that the darkness never took full ahold of her. She will do anything to save the ones she loves.

It was interesting in this episode to see how the darkness affected three different characters. They were all affected in very different ways.

Emma used the power in order to protect the people she loves. All she wants is for them to be safe and whole. She isn’t concerned about being the most powerful. She doesn’t care about the feeling the power gives her. She is very willing to give up the power when she knows her family is safe. Emma has not had many people to love her for most of her life. Now that she has these people she will do anything to keep them. She let the darkness influence her only when she was desperate to save someone she loved. Emma is willing to let go of that power when she has to.

Hook let the darkness bring out the anger and vengeance in him. As stated before Hook harbors a lot of ill feelings for some people from his past. He has been betrayed and hurt by many and the darkness lets him concentrate on that feeling and that feeling only. He again doesn’t want the power for the powers sake. He wants to use it in order to get vengeance for those who wronged him.

At the end, Hook is strong enough to turn away and let the power go. He sacrifices himself in order to save the group. He knows the man he wants to be and that is not one that is ruled by anger and power. He finds what is important and lets that take control of his actions.


Rumple, on the other hand, can’t seem to do that. At the end of the episode, we learn that Rumple was able to take Excalibur and make himself the Dark One again. ( I am not sure how I feel about the explanation of how this took place and how quickly it happened, but we will see how it plays out). Rumple can not walk away from the power. No matter what happens he always goes back to that one thing.

He has a pure heart. He has Belle. And yet he again is letting the darkness inside of him. He is a man obsessed with power and that is all he cares about. It is almost like that need for power is ingrained in his genes. He cannot be any other type of man. I do not see him every being able to truly redeem himself. Belle will see what he has done and I hope that she leaves him once and for all; because this has all gone too far now.

The next place the series is heading is into Hell. I knew as soon as Hook died that Emma was not going to handle that well. She wasn’t going to just let that be what happens. Emma decides to head to Hell in order to bring Hook back to her.

I am very interested to see where this will take the group in the next half of the season. The previews showed that a lot of the villains and people they have defeated are going to come back. They are heading into a very dark place and I think many of them will be confronting some darker parts of themselves. Maybe this will allow Rumple to see what he has truly done to himself.

“We’re all braver than we think if we look deep enough,” – Hook’s father- Hooks finds his brave side when he needs it most. He is able to push past the anger and disappointment to do what has to be done to save everyone. Sacrificing yourself to save the ones you love is one of the bravest things anyone can do.

“Power is only as good as the one who wields it,” – Rumple – Power is all that Rumple understands. He believes it is essential to be able to live the life he wants to live. He can’t see a way around life without power. He seems to think the he is the only one that can use it and use it right.

“I will always find you,” – Emma- These are the words Snow and Charming always say to each other. They have always found their way back to each other and now it is time for Hook and Emma to do the same.

Can Emma and Hook share a heart?
Will there be any residual feelings between them if they do reconnect?
Who will they encounter in Hell? How will those encounters affect them?
Will the Hell trip help Rumple see how far he has fallen?
When will Belle give up on Rumple?
Can Rumple ever be redeemed?
Will Hell change Hook? Or anyone else?
When will we see Zelena again?
Where is Arthur?
Will he come back?


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