Once Upon a Time is back again! The first half of the season saw Emma trying to come to terms with the fate she was shown. She knows that in a battle she is going to be stabbed and possibly die, she now has to determine if she is going to accept that fate. This half of the season seems as if it is going to focus on the characters fighting back against what destiny supposedly has set out for them. There is no one fate for anyone. You get to make your own story.
This episode opened with a glimpse into the past. We got to see how Emma decided on her last name. She was living on the street when August finds her. He steps in and stops her from burning a book of fairytales. He specifically pulls out The Ugly Duckling and tells her that the best stories are about transformation. He leaves her with the thought that she can choose her own path in life and that there is no one set path for her to walk down.
Back in the Wish Realm, Regina and Emma are robbed by Robin. He takes off with their jewelry leaving Regina confused and stunned. Emma convinces her that they need to find a way home before they get caught. She leads them to Pinocchio who agrees to help them build another magical wardrobe to get them home. While they are talking Regina runs off intent on hunting down Robin.
Regina cannot shake the idea that Robin has a life without her. She needs to find him and find out if his life is better; she needs to know if she meant something to him. She finds him and he tells her that his lives a carefree lifestyle and that he is happy (thought he is lying). Regina is crushed. She had been hoping to find out that without her his life is a mess.
Regina has a pretty clear idea of what her destiny is supposed to be, loneliness. She doesn’t get lasting happiness. She sees her life as nothing but pain. And she has a point, everytime she gets something she wants, she loses it. She convinces herself that Robin being happy without her just proves that she is destined to be alone and unhappy. She sees this as a sign that they were just passing connections.
But then Robin talks with her, and is honest. He is not happy and doesn’t enjoy his life. He has no wife, no children and is stealing for himself. Robin is missing a point in his life. Regina is faced with a choice. She can walk away from Robin and leave him in the Wish Realm. Put that portion of her life behind her and be done with the pain but also risk losing a second chance at love.
Emma convinced Regina to take the chance. Everyone in the realm has aged as they naturally would have without the curse except for Robin. He is the same age that he was when he died. There could be a part of the original Robin’s soul in this new version. Regina is being handed a chance, a chance to stop wallowing in her despair and try a new path.
Emma is also given a choice in this episode. Emma has the sword that is foreseen to kill her in the Wish Realm with her. She has the option to walkaway and leave it behind but she decided to take it back with her. She knows she has a legitimate choice in front of her but she decides to confront the vision. Emma decides that destiny is in her control and she is not going to let anyone take that away from her.
In this episode we also learn a little more about Gideon (Rumple and Belle’s son). Gideon was raised by the Black Fairy thought he does not view himself as evil. He does not possess a fully dark heart. He states that he does not want to hurt anyone but Emma. He tells his parents that he needs to kill Emma in order to become The Savior. He need to be a Savior to save another land and stop the Black Fairy. I am sure there is much more to this story that we will find out throughout this half of the season.
The other interesting aspect of this is how Rumple and Belle have to work together to save and stop their son. They are Gideon parents and they believe they may be the only two who can get through to him. They can’t do it alone and they are going to have to find a way to work together.
Rumple makes a point to say that throughout his whole life he was constantly looking for a slice of light in his darkness. He doesn’t want his son to have to live that way. He doesn’t want him to be bogged down and unable to fully live his life. Together his believes that he and Belle can save Gideon from a life of sorrow and pain.
“If we believe in something strong enough we will have the power to change our fate.” – Austin – Emma knows now that she has to believe she can win the fight for her life. Without belief it is too easy to give up or give in at the first sign of trouble. Belief is what pushes us forward and gives us the ability to write our own stories.
“It might not work” -Regina, “Then again it might.” – Robin – This is an interesting exchange. Robin allows that moment of hope into the situation. Things could go wrong but you won’t know until you take that risk. You can’t live in that in-between you take the chance and see what comes of it.
Can Gideon become a Savior?
Who does he need to save? Can Rumple and Belle work together? Will Emma actually have to die?
Is the first Robin living somehow in Wish Realm Robin?
How can Emma defeat fate?
Where does this all tie into Agrabah?
Where are the characters from The Land of Lost Stories? Are we done with them?
Rumple has officially screwed everything up. In my opinion there is no hope left for this man. He has made some terrible decisions in the past but now he has made the worst one he could ever make. Like everyone else in the show I am done with him.
There was two main storylines with Rumple in this episode. One (the past) was supposed to create some sympathy for Rumple and maybe give a bit of light to the reason for his actions. For me it didn’t do that, I still blame Rumple for his actions. He has made poor choices for too long.
Rumple starts the episode by sending a threat to the group. He uses a dust to age a fairy. It is his way of saying, this is what I will do to Belle if she does not come to me williningly. He wants to speed up Belle’s pregnancy in order to get his hands on his son before Belle can find a way to save him.
Rumple doesn’t actually use the dust on Belle, it is The Evil Queen who does it. But this does not redeem him in my eyes. He was going to do it, allowed it to become an option. He still wants to force a life on his child. He still threatened Belle. Rumple has had a thousand chances for redemption. He has given been given second chance after second chance. He does not deserve any more.
People can change but they have to want to change. Rumple doesn’t want to change. He expects the rest of the world to change around and for him. When someone refuses to fall under his pressure he forces them to do what he wants.
Rumple is not a good man. I get he has had a crappy past, but again it is about how he has responded. He didn’t want to work to show his courage so he became The Dark One, losing his son in the process. Rumple is someone who wants a simple solution to everything. He refuses to work for anything.
The past portions of this episode revealed who Rumple’s mother is. She is The Black Fairy, someone who let darkness consume her (like mother, like son). She abandoned him, not even caring enough to give him a name. He wants to know why but she doesn’t give him an answer.
Again, we know that Rumple’s past has not been easy. He has had to fight against a lot but he doesn’t actually fight anymore. He gave up a long time ago. Belle has tried to help him, to help him start over but he doesn’t want to. Rumple is too set in his ways and his anger, to let anything good come into his life.
Belle is forced to send her child off with The Blue Fairy to save him from Rumple. She will not let him destroy their son’s life. She has tried for so long to change Rumple, to fix the mess they are in, but she can’t do it alone. She shouldn’t have to do it alone either. Rumple needs to do some work too but he refuses.
Rumple needs to decide what his priorities in life are. Who does he care about? What does he want? If the answers are himself and power, he will never see his son again. Rumple needs to start fighting for the good or lose everything.
“It’s never too late to be a hero.” – Snow- Is this true? Could Rumple ever redeem himself enough to be considered a hero? Or has he made too many poor choices in his life?
“I think I’m a man no one can love.” – Rumple – This isn’t true. He can be loved, he just won’t let himself be loved. He has to let someone in or else this will actually become true.
“Sometimes you have to choose power over love.” – Black Fairy- Rumple did this. If he could let go of his obsession with power, he could have the family he always wanted.
Where is Belle and Rumple’s son?
Will we see him again?
What will Rumple do now?
How will he attempt to find the boy?
Can Zelena and Regina ever fix their issues?
What will happen now that Aladdin is the genie?
What is the sword in Emma’s vision?
Who is under the hood?
What happened to the people for The Land of Untold Stories?
Are we going to get to see more of them? Or are we done with them?
This week Once Upon a Time was all about perspective. Rumple has a very clear idea of what he will and will not do in order to save the ones he loves. Belle learns that sometimes there are certain actions that are justified when the right circumstances call for them. Hades pushes Belle to learn her lesson while also ensuring that hope can not destroy his kingdom.
The episode opened with Belle going to Rumple. She tells him that while she doesn’t completely trust him and is not okay with his decisions, she needs his help. She knows that he will do anything to protect their unborn baby. But she makes it clear to Rumple that they will not save the baby with dark magic. She wants to do things her way. She insists that dark magic has no use but to hurt people. Rumple tells her it is all about perspective.
POV was the over-arching theme of this episode. Rumple tells Belle, “That is the thing with dark and light, it comes down to POV.” He knows that there are some things that require a more harsh hand.
Rumple is sure and strong in who he is now. He is no longer wavering between if he is dark or light. He is no longer fighting with himself. Rumple has accepted who he is. He is a man who likes power. He is a man who will not let anyone control him. And he is a man who will go to great lengths to save his wife and child. He knows that some situations require dark magic and what is usually defined as dark deeds.
Later in the episode, Belle asks Rumple to use his magic to get into Gaston’s locker. She is looking for a clue to what he unfinished business is so that she can help him. Rumple laughs and tells her that now she is okay with him using his power. She is okay with it when it will help her. She tells him that it is different, but Rumple once again points out that is is about perspective. To anyone else it is breaking and entering but to Belle it is finding a way to help someone.
It is common to hear people say, “I would never do that,” in response to some action another person takes. We like to think that we have this very high moral ground and nothing will comprise that stance. But that is not necessarily true. Belle stood on this high ground for much of the episode.
The problem is you stand on that high ground until you are standing in that situation. No one has any real idea of what they will do until they are living through a situation. When it comes down to saving your own life or saving the life of a loved one, you are more capable of certain acts than you think. During that moment, your POV says that the act is justified. You had to save someone, so all of sudden harming someone else is not that horrible of a deed. You are saving a child, or wife or brother or sister. Your POV changes very quickly when faced with the situation.
Rumple understand this idea. He knows that when it comes to Belle and his unborn child, he will do whatever is necessary to protect them. He will kill, harm and rob, no questions asked. From his POV it is protecting his family. Belle is feeling the threat to her family but she doesn’t see Rumple’s POV until the end of the episode.
Gaston is out to get rid of Rumple. He wants revenge for him taking his life. While they are fighting, Belle ends up pushing Gaston into the river of souls in order to save Rumple. She makes a split-second decision. She watches him fall and realizes that she could not save him.
Hades set this whole scenario up. Earlier he had made a deal with Belle. That if Rumple or Gaston threw the other into the river of souls than he would rip up his deal with Rumple and the baby would be safe. But it is Belle who pushes Gaston in and thus the deal is void. Belle has this blanket of hopelessness fall over her. She couldn’t save Gaston, she hurt someone and her baby is still in danger.
I think this moment will open Belle’s eyes to her situation. She will have to make some tough decisions soon. She will have to see what Rumple was telling her. That some actions are justified when saving a loved one. I think this was the start of her perspective beginning to change.
“Love make you do crazy things,” – Hades- Belle loves Rumple and their baby. She will see quickly that she is capable of a lot in order to save them.
What will Belle do now?
Will she allow Rumple to use his magic to save them?
Will Belle have to choose a side between the group and Rumple?
What is Ruby doing in The Underworld.?
Is Ruby dead?
Or was Ruby sent there somehow by someone?
What happens if too much hope infects The Underworld?
Where are Pan and Cruella?
What will happen if Zelena lets herself fall for Hades?
Will The Underworld change fundamentally if Hades’s hearts beat again?
Is Zelena Hade’s weakness?
Will anyone make it out of The Underworld?
We learned a few things about the supposed villains of this half of the season. Hades wants love and to have his heart beat again. While Zelena is finding that loving someone requires you to open yourself up and sometimes requires sacrifice. This episode showed us that yet again all these characters truly want is to love and be loved in return.
The episode started with Dorthy stopping Zelena from taking the Scarecrow’s brain, which Zelena needed for the time travel spell. Dorthy tells Zelena that she can never win because, unlike Dorthy, the people will never love her. Zelena can never have the respect that Dorthy has and no one will ever fight for her.
Hades shows up to help Zelena get what she wants and hopefully use the spell himself. We learn that Zesus stopped Hades’s heart and made it so he can’t love or feel joy. All he can feel is anger and the need for revenge. The only way his heart can restart is with a kiss of true love.
It doesn’t take long for Hades to fall in love with Zelena. He tells her that he no longer cares about the spell, he just wants to be with her. Zelena does not believe him. As Dorthy stated, no one can love her and she firmly believes that. She thinks that Hades is manipulating her in order to get the spell and use it for himself. But Hades is adamant that, that is not the truth. He just wants to be with her.
It is not surprising that Zelena is unable to believe him. Zelena was abandoned by her mother. She feels as if no one can ever love her. She has never had anyone on her side or fight for her. So it is natural for her to reject Hades’s advances. She firmly believes that no one can love her. Her heart beats but it is hardened against any true feelings. She can not open herself to anyone because that would leave her vulnerable and that is unacceptable to her.
Zelena sees the world this way until she had her daughter. In this episode, we see the extent of her love for her daughter. She tries to take her from Storybrooke and then runs off with her in order to keep the group from getting her. She has opened her heart to this baby. Her daughter is what matters to her and nothing else.But what Zelena realizes is that sometimes no matter how much you want to protect someone you are not always the best option. She uses her magic to repel the group and in the process hurts her daughter.
Zelena becomes terrified of what she has done and thinks that she can not truly protect her daughter. She makes a tough decision at this point and that is to let Robin, Regina, and the others protect the baby. She is able to see that the best option for her is to not be with her.
Zelena is no longer the cold manipulative person we have seen for so long. She can love. She can care. She is much like Maleficent from last season. Her child is what matters to her now. She will get her back and have the happy life she wants though the lengths she will go to get that end could be disastrous for everyone else.
Hades reveals that he has never given up on Zelena. He loves her, even after all the time that passed. We learn that the reason that The Underworld looks like Storybrooke is because Hades made it for Zelena. He wanted to give her what Regina had.
Zelena refuses Hades advances. She tells him that she does not need him, she can get her daughter and everything she wants herself. Hades acknowledges that she is right. He knows she does not need him. He steps away from her and tells her to come to him when she wants him. This is an important point. Zelena does not need anyone to help her but she needs to give into her wants. She needs to open her arms and heart to Hades and let him love her. She is not unlovable and she needs to learn that before she makes a mistake she can’t go back from.
The other important moment of this episode happened between Rumple and Belle. Belle ends up in The Underworld and runs into Rumple. She learns she is pregnant, the deal Rumple made about their unborn child and that he is The Dark One again.
Belle is understandably angry with Rumple but Rumple isn’t upset by her anger. He is resolute and sure of himself. Rumple tells Belle that this is the man he is now. He will not change. Belle wants to see two separate people, the beast, and the man. What Rumple reveals is that he is both the beast and the man. That is all there is to him. He needs Belle to understand that.
Rumple is not going to change, we know who he is now. He has accepted the man he is and that is all there is to it. He still loves Belle and will love their child. But he needs power in his life, he needs that control that comes with power. That is the man Rumple is. He has finally figured that out.
Belle now has to decide if she can live with that. She can’t change him. She needs to accept the beast and the man or she needs to walk away for good.
“If you want me to be a different man, I’m sorry, this is who I am,” – Rumple- This sums it up well. This is Rumple, for better or worse, and Belle has to come to terms with that.
“Thing about true love, it endures and can’t be broken,” – Hades- We have seen his countless times in this series. Hades learned this and learned that he can love and it might be the way our group is saved from The Underworld.
What is Zelena’s plan now?
Has Hades’s plans changed at all?
If Zelena accepts Hades will he let everyone go and forget his anger?
What else is Hades up to?
Will we meet Zesus?
Will we learn why he stopped Hades’s heart?
Will Zelena get some way of having custody of her daughter?
Will Zelena’s daughter continue to change her?
Will love change The Undeworld, change it into some kind of neutral purgatory?
Will Belle leave Rumple for good?
How will the group fight Hades?
What will Henry write next?
Can the quill come back with Henry?
How does magic work exactly in this place?
In tonight’s episode, we had a number of people step up and become who they were meant to be. Merida learns that her skills with a bow and the lesson her father taught her are enough to be able to rule her kingdom. Rumple learned what it truly means to be a hero. Both of them learned their lesson with Belle’s help, she became their guide which is becoming her main role for characters in this show.
At the beginning of the episode, the group breaks into the dungeons and rescue Lancelot and Merida. As they are walking through the forest Merida knocks out Belle, because she needs Belle’s skills with magic. Merida is determined to rescue her brothers and she firmly believes that she needs magic to accomplish that task.
Merida tells Belle that the clans lost faith in her during the last battle they had against an outside force. During the battle, Merida had the chance to save her father from an attack but her arrow missed. To this day, she blames herself and so do the clans. She has lost all faith in her abilities. She does not believe her skills with a bow are enough to rule the kingdom. She feels inferior to the men she is supposed to rule.
Belle listens to Merida’s story and she hears her. She understands the way Merida feels, but she tells Merida that she can;t continue to blame herself. She has to put that aside and see herself as a great queen. She has to have confidence in her abilities to rule or no one will ever follow her. Through a little trickery Belle proves her point and Merida sees what she can do and realizes that she already has all she needs to be a good ruler.
Belle has always been one of my favorite Disney princesses. She is a bookworm, which obviously instantly appealed to me. She also always sees past the surface level of a person. Instead of taking them at their word and she sees deeper. She sees that Merida can be a great ruler and she sees that Rumple can be a hero. She will not let people pretend to be someone other than who they truly are. I love that Belle always sees the true person.
This is proved more than ever in this episode. When Rumple realizes that he is supposed to fight Merida to save Belle he freaks out. He tries to run. Belle is not going to go with him. She gets out of the car and tells him off. She is not okay with him running. She understands his fright. She understands that he has trouble forgetting the man he once was. But she knows there is more to him. She knows that he has the ability to stand up and save her. Running is that way.
She will not stand by and watch him run away. She turns away and heads back to Storybrooke. Belle is not one to give up. There is always a solution and she will find it.
In the end, Rumple does set up and save Belle. He finally is able to see himself as Belle sees him. He finally understands what she has been telling him for so long. He becomes a hero. I thought this transformation would take much longer, but it was done well in this episode.
Because he is now considered a hero he pulls Excalibur from the stone for Emma. Emma is satisfied and gives Merida back her heart. While Rumple hands over the sword he also hands her a threat. He is now a hero and she is a villain, their roles have reversed. Rumple will not allow Emma to destroy the new life he has gained. The others are out to save Emma, Rumple is now out to stop her.
“Even will all the time in the world some things can’t be forgotten.”- Zelena- She tells this to Emma. Henry is not going to forget what she did easily. Even after she loses the darkness there is still going to be many consequences waiting for her to deal with. Zelena points out that she is alright being alone and hated, something Emma will never be alright with.
“If you remember what you fight for you’ll never miss your target,”- Merida- Our group has to remember who they are fighting for. Emma is still inside of The Dark Swan, they just have to pull her out.
Where is Merlin in the present?
Is he dead? Imprisoned?
Did Emma get to him?
Why would she go after him? Can he stop her somehow?
How is the sword reforged?
What happens when the sword and dagger are rejoined? Does it all depend on who uses it?
Who is Nimaway?
Is she the love of Merlin’s that he was crying over before he became a tree?
Is she somehow more powerful that Merlin?
What is this new Rumple going to be like?
Will he help save Emma or is he going to try to destroy her?
How is Arthur gong to play a part in all of this?
Where is Lancelot?
This episode was Regina centric. Regina started her stint as spy with The Queens and we got a flashback where we learned that Regina is responsible for Maleficent getting her power back. This flashback was used mostly to show how at one point Regina reminded Maleficent of who she was and now it would seem that Maleficent is trying to repay the favor.
The episode starts with Regina approaching The Queens and telling them that she wants in on their plan. They, of course, do not trust her at her word. She has to prove herself to them. They put her through a few trivial trials to see if she has gone soft. She needs to prove beyond a doubt that she is on their side or else they will never tell her what she needs to know.
Regina is not happy about her roll but she is determined to play it right. This Regina is confident in herself and her abilities to connect with these women and make them trust her. This Regina is much different then the one who approached Maleficent all those years ago.
When Regina walked in Maleficent’s castle she was scared and timid. She knew she was walking into the home of someone who could easily kill her. She knew the stories and knew the power this woman was supposed to possess. What she found is a disaster of a woman. Maleficent is depressed and cares about nothing and no one. This threw Regina for a loop because she always saw power as keeping someone together. If you are super powerful then you need nothing else. There is nothing that can break you and no one that can hurt you. What she saw before her was the opposite of that. Maleficent failed at her mission and she was beyond hope. This one moment does humanize someone that is supposed to be our major villain. These people are not infallible. They can hurt and they can break. Regina has shown us this process throughout the seasons.
Past Regina is concentrated on revenge and getting to hurt Snow White. She becomes determined to help Maleficent regain her past power and ability to become a dragon. She needs to reignite the fire inside of her. Regina needs to see that this woman can get her revenge and hurt people. Regina needs to see a revenge plan in action.
Rumple is Regina’s teacher at this point and he sent her to Maleficent because Regina is impatient. Regina wants Snow dead and she wants her dead now. She thinks that with Snow dead she will have her revenge and the ache in her chest will ease. What Maleficent teaches her is that revenge takes time. She also learns that killing Snow is not the answer. This is the point when Regina put her plan of destroying everything Snow loves into action. We learn that Maleficent helped shape the Regina we have now.
In the present, Maleficent decides that to prove herself Regina needs to kidnap Pinocchio. They want to torture him to get him to remember what he knew when he was August. They firmly believe he has the answer to who the author is and how the storybook works.
We see that Regina is not going to backslide easily. She initially balks at the idea of taking the boy and hurting him. She tries to get out it but is unsuccessful. She then makes it her mission to protect Pinocchio from any major harm. She knows she has to play her role but she is not going to hurt someone to do that. The good in Regina is strong.
The only part that is a bit worrying about her plan is that she ditches Emma. Emma was following her and watching just in case Regina ended up in a situation she couldn’t get herself out of. She tells Emma, “I got this.” This is a very confident statement and has me a bit worried.
Regina is like a drug addict or an alcoholic. To recover from addiction one of the main things addicts are supposed to do is stay away from what they were addicted to for a while. They have to get over the initial addiction before they can have that temptation around them again. They have to gain strength against what hurt them. Regina has come a very long way but I am not sure that she has come far enough for what this spying situation needs. Doing this alone without anyone watching her just seems to be spell bad news to me. She needs someone there to pull her back if she breaks down. We saw her freak out on Pinocchio and it showed us that the woman who used anger and power to get what she wanted is not completely buried yet. I just hope this situation doesn’t go on too long and relapse her.
Regina learns at the end of the episode that Rumple is back in town. She realizes quickly that this changes a lot of what she believe is going on. She is going to have to get out somehow and pass that information on soon before things start unraveling.
Rumple had a small part in this episode and in those few scenes he has basically destroyed any chances he ever had with Belle. Rumple took on Hooks appearance and convinced Belle to give him the dagger. Rumple is now in possession of the dagger again and now no one can stop him. We know he will never give up that dagger again.
Belle will find out what Rumple has done and there is no way she will ever trust him again. If Rumple had any hope in getting her back, that is gone now. One of the major issues between the two of them was that Belle could not completely trust Rumple. Rumple never told her everything and never gave her everything. He cannot walk away from the power that the dagger represents. Now that he has done this to Belle he can never get her back.
We see again that Rumple is hurt about Belle’s relationship with Will. He is crushed when she is telling him that Will makes her smile. He realizes that he has lost Belle to another man because he could never do what Will has done. He made her smile once in a while but not often. Belle was always wondering what Rumple was hiding, or what she was missing. We know Will has secrets but they are nothing compared to what Rumple hid from her. In the end we see that what is clutched in his hand, the dagger, is what means the most to him. And unless he can let that dagger go, he will never see his happy ending.
Rumple and The Queen’s want happy endings without having to lose anything in the process. They want the author to do the work that they won’t do. But a story doesn’t work if a happy ending is gotten without any work or sacrifice. That type of happy ending is hollow and leaves a reader empty and needing more.
“Don’t even know what revenge looks like,”- Rumple – Past Rumple tells this to Regina. Regina wants Snow dead at first. She thinks with Snow’s death that everything will be fine. What Regina learns is that revenge takes time and requires work, similar to true happy endings.
“Pain always makes you stronger,” – Maleficent- The villain’s thrive off pain. They like to see people hurt, it makes them happy. But pain can strengthen the heroes too. They become intent on keeping pain away. The heroes will work just as hard to prevent pain as the villains do to cause it.
“Spent so much time around heroes you forgot who you are,” – Maleficent- What Maleficent doesn’t realize is that who someone is, is complicated. You aren’t one aspect of your past, actions or personality. It is all that together. Regina knows who she is and she is going to fight tooth and nail to hold onto that person.
August is back, what does he know or remember?
Did August meet the author at one time?
How did he find out about the author?
Will it require torture to get the information to of him? Will Regina take part?
How long is Regina going to be able to stay undercover without relapsing?
When will Regina tell the others that Rumple is back?
Will Rumple try to get Belle back? Is their relationship completely destroyed?
Will we find out more about Will soon? What happened to his love?
Who is the author?
Can the author help? Will he or she help?
What are all the blank books for? Are there other books?
Where is Robin Hood?
When will Emma find out about all the secrets being kept from her?
Is Maleficent’s child dead or just lost?
How will Emma react to Snow and Charming’s lies?
Who is going to get a happy ending? Anyone?
The midseason finale broke hearts all around. Regina found out that Robin’s heart chose her but then had to watch him walk away from her because of outside circumstances. Belle finally found out that Rumple had been lying to her this whole time and banished him from the town. While Hook actually got his heart back, the only one who’s heart got better and not worse throughout the episode.
We started the episode with Regina returning Marian’s heart to her. Marian thanks Regina and tell her that she understands that Robin has moved on and if he chooses Regina then she will step aside and let them be together. For half of a second we got to think that finally Regina has caught a break and she will get to be with the love of her life.
But the writers of this show really enjoying hurting this poor woman and pushing her so close to the edge she is basically holding on by her finger tips now. Marian still had some of The Snow Queen’s spell in her system and if she didn’t get outside of the town where there was no magic she would die. Regina knew the only way to save her was for her to leave the town. But unfortunately The Snow Queen had cast a spell that made it impossible for anyone who left the town to ever be able to come back.
Regina knew that leaving was the only way to save Marian and she also knew that Marian couldn’t be allowed to go out into a strange world alone. Robin had to go with her. Regina had to watch as Robin Hood left her behind to take care of Marian and his son. Once again Regina watched as her happy ending slipped through her fingers.
Before Robin actually walked over the line Regina was in her car and Rumple joined her. He told her that he would miss Henry after he leaves with Belle. And he also asked what Henry was spying on him for and Regina confessed her search for the author of the storybook. Regina than asked Rumple a very important question for not only her but for this episode. How did he (Rumple) get his seemingly happy ending? Regina is watching her love walk away from her, leaving her miserable and in pain yet again. She is losing hope. Every time she gets even a semblance of happiness it is stolen from her and she is desperate to know how Rumple has achieved his own happiness. (At least what she can see from the outside).
Rumple told her that he got his “happy ending,” because he didn’t wait around for things to work out. He took what he wanted. Fate and destiny do not have any control over him. The only person that makes decisions for Rumple is Rumple. He suggests to Regina that getting rid of Marian would solve all her problems. He tells her that when there is something in your way you get rid of it to get to what you want. His solution is death and destruction, the only solution he knows.
If there is any doubt in your mind that Regina has indeed changed you just has to see her reaction to that suggestion to know that Regina has turned herself around. In the very beginning of the season she considered killing Marian for half of a second but she quickly realized that was not the answer to her problems. She knew harming Marian would get her nothing but more misery. Robin would be angry and horrified. Henry would be disappointed and confused. Emma, Snow and Charming wouldn’t ever trust her again. Regina knows that killing and destroying lives is not the solution because it would undo all the work she has done to redeem herself. There would be no happy ending then because everyone she wants by her side would leave her far behind.
Rumple believed that he was above these such rules. He thought that if he continued to take and manipulate the world and people around him he would get whatever he wanted. He never thought about any consequences for anyone else, if he was happy that was all that mattered. But Rumple learned in this episode that he is not above the rules and if he hurts others he will get hurt in the end. A lesson he learned in the most painful way possible for him.
Belle finally figured out that Rumple lied to her and kept the real dagger for himself. She takes the dagger and after saving Hook she takes Rumple to the town line. She tearfully tells him that she has spent too much of her time and life trying to change him. She realizes that in her struggle to turn him around she is losing herself to that fruitless task. She uses a special artifact that shows her that what Rumple loves is power. He loves Belle but power comes first and always will for him.
Rumple thought he had achieved his happy ending but that wasn’t true. If he truly had found happiness he would not have needed the hat, he would have been satisfied with Belle and their life together. Rumple thinks that power is just a tool and it will get him everything he wants including love. But killing and destroying other’s lives is never a way to have a real happy ending. How can you live happily if all those around you are suffering and hurting? Regina realized this and it is why she has been working so hard to make the right choices. She knows that she can’t be happy if everyone around her is upset. Rumple thinks about him and his only while Regina now considers all those around her not just herself.
Belle banished Rumple from the town, meaning he can never return. Even though it breaks her heart she knew that she had no other choice. Rumple can’t see past power and control. The only way I see Rumple being able to redeem himself and start to change is if he has no power or magic. Power is a temptation he can’t get away from. He needs to be powerless, mortal and reliant on others to be able to begin a process of change. But I don’t know if he would ever be able to make that transition. There would have to be very dire circumstances for him to decide to become powerless.
The second half of the season is going to focus on the author and what he or she can do for these “villains.” Both Rumple and Regina want him or her to rewrite their stories. Regina deserves it, because she has sacrificed a lot to change and better herself. Regina is not the evil queen any longer. Rumple is and will always be The Dark One. It will be interesting to watch and see what the author can do and decides to do.
“It’s about manipulation, you find one weakness and for almost everyone that’s the one they love most,” – Rumple – This sums up Rumple perfectly. He manipulates others with the idea of love. As Ana stated, he turns love into a weapon. He doesn’t understand love and what it can do to heal and change hearts.
“Being good doesn’t mean good things will happen,”- Rumple – We all know this is true. We know that bad things happen to good people. But what is also true that if you make no good decision the likely good of good happening is very low.
“The game is rigged, the villains never win,” – Ursula – This is because they keep choosing, “villain,” choices. If you do bad and hurt and harm you will always have someone after you. Once you begin choosing better you get to start getting better results. Sooner or later Regina will win, the rest of them I am not so sure about.
Is the Sorcerer the author?
If so who is he exactly?
Can he write new endings?
Will he write new endings?
What is Rumple’s plan exactly?
How will he get back into Storybrooke?
When will we see Robin again?
Because Regina and Robin are soulmates will this bring him back in some fashion?
Will he fall back in love with Marian while he is away?
What residual effect will Hook’s actions have? If any?
This episode was the episode where Belle finally became more of a round character. We got to see that her relationship with Rumple is in serious jeopardy. We also got to see what The Snow Queen seems to have planned and we are learning that yet again a romantic vision of life is not something that is going to be able to be forced into reality.
The episode started with Belle and her mother hiding from the ogres that are attacking their land. They are about to be attacked when Belle blacks out and wakes up to find her mother has died. She has no memory of what happened and becomes obsessed with getting those memories back. She goes to Arendelle to find the rock trolls and meets Ana.
Belle is an interesting character. She has always seemed like a flat character to me. She is someone everyone trusts and she is friendly with most. She gives people a chance and sees the good in people, such as with Rumple. For the last few seasons that has seemed to be all that she was. We did see her doubt herself and need a boost when she was given the task of helping everyone get out of Neverland by Rumple but that was never expanded on. Until now it would seem she was okay with who she was. Until now we did not really get the full understanding of how much she doubts herself and her abilities.
She finds the mirror in The Snow Queen’s ice cave and her reflection says out loud all the things she has been hiding inside of herself for so long. It tells her that she is pathetic, weak and will never be a hero. Until now we didn’t get a real indication of that these are issues she has been dealing with. She is always helping others or fighting for others and we never got to see what she is fighting with inside of herself. She actually has very little confidence in herself. She has never been the leader, always the follower. This sets up a chance for her character to really be able to grow into a strong woman who stands up for herself and truly believes in her abilities.
We saw that this element exists in her when she suggests going to Rumple to help save her family and kingdom. That suggestion took bravery and confidence. So it is all inside of her she just has to find a way to bring it out into the open where it belongs.
At one time I would have said Rumple could have helped her bring out these elements of herself. But now I doubt that. Rumple is living a double life and he has not conquered his demons or found his true confidence in himself yet.
The mirror tells Belle that deep down she knows that Rumple is a beast and she can’t truly trust him. And the mirror is not wrong in this manner right now. Despite what Rumple continuously spouts out to others he has not changed, at least not as completely as he pretends. He still possess the real dagger, meets with The Snow Queen in secret and it out to capture magic to make the hat work for him.
Rumple is yet again playing this game where is he is pretending to live one life while he is really living a completely different one. Sooner or later this act is going to catch up with him as it always does. When it does he is going to have a fallout much bigger then he has ever had to deal with before. Belle is going to be livid and her trust in him is going to completely evaporate. Not to mention the whole town is going to be on guard against him for knowing what the The Snow Queen has been planning for so long. He is going to end up alone again and when Rumple is hurt he gets dangerous.
The question becomes why is he doing this? Is it because for so long this has been how his life has been and his can’t break the habit? He has to be involved in everything that is happening around him, has to know who is in power and what their plans are. For so long he has been the one that everyone uses and he can’t break out of that mold. Also he seems to be protecting his position of power as well. Rumple has always been the most powerful and every time someone threatens that he lashes out. The Snow Queen seemed like he met his match but yet again he pulls out something that gives him leverage. No one is going to control him or be more powerful then him. Despite what he always says that is what his life is truly about right now.
This episode also answered some questions about The Snow Queen and what she seems to be planning. Turns out she really is Ana and Elsa’s aunt. She is one of three sister and she appears to be the only one left alive. She is out to recreate the family the she lost.
We know that somehow her and her other sister Olga disappeared at one point in time and everyone’s memories of them were erased. Why they were kidnapped or where they went we have no idea. Did it have something to do with the snow power? Were they the odd ones out and they were seen as a threat and taken away? We are not sure yet.
What we do know is that she seems to have tried to recreate this family a few times before. She started with Elsa being all kind by helping her learn control. She earned Elsa’s trust but Ana doubted her and discovered that she was not who she seemed to be. As a consequence Ana was captured and most likely still in The Snow Queen’s possession.
Something happened to make her have to imprison Elsa and erase her memories of everything; same thing with Emma. She was Emma’s foster family for six months and judging by the papers and cards she saved she cared for Emma and Emma actually like her. Again something happened to break this relationship.
The Snow Queen appeared to be trying to create a family organically. Earn the trust of these people and let them come to care for her and be the family she always wanted. But we know she has a hard side that does not accept when things do not go her way. She lashes out and it becomes about control.
Now she has given up on the trying to be nice and create a family that way. She is going to get this family she wants no matter what. She plans on using the mirror to turn everyone in town against each other, hopefully leaving only her, Elsa and Emma still alive or around. Then she has this group but it is not a family. She will have to find a way to make these two trust her and like her again. Remind them of the past? Take away memories of the evil she has done? Somehow she is going to have to make it so they actually want to be around her. Without that there is no family. Just because three people are together does not make them a family. A family requires love and respect and that is something that neither Emma or Elsa have for her.
“Magic always comes with a price,”- Belle’s father- Yet again we are reminded of this fact. Everyone in this world knows this fact by now but they seem to forget it or underestimate the consequences too often. I think Rumple and The Snow Queen are going to learn this lesson yet again.
“Captain Guy-liner,” – Regina (in reference to Hook)- I found this line hilarious. I also like that Regina is still witty like this. It is good to see that all that is going on around her has broken her completely yet.
“Nothing I try seems to be good enough,” – Regina- She tells this to Robin Hood right before she tells him that he has to forget about her and fall in love with Marian again. Regina is out of ideas and it is killing her. She is used to being able to solve all problems and now she is at a point where she is out of options. She can’t save Marian and she has to let Robin Hood go. It is a short scene but we see that Regina is breaking and soon she is going to be completely broken. The question becomes when will someone notice and how much damage will there be at that point?
“Sometimes a hero has to sacrifice everything for those they love,”- Belle- How many sacrifices will have to be made before these story lines end?
When will Rumple slip up and everyone finds out about the other life he has been living?
What will Bell do when she finds out the truth?
Now that Rumple has the upper hand over The Snow Queen how will he use it?
What does he want with the hat?
How did The Snow Queen lose the box with the hat?
Whose house was the box found in?
Does The Snow Queen still have Ana?
How long as it been since Ana was captured?
What happened to make her take Emma and Elsa’s memories?
Does The Snow Queen really think these two will ever love or respect her enough to be a real family?
When did she take Emma’s memories?
Can Robin does as Regina asks of him?
Can he really un-love his true love?
When will Regina fall break from everything?
Who will notice and will they be in time to save her?
Belle has been sitting in Storybrooke this whole time anxiously waiting for something she believes will never happen. It is interesting how in this episode Belle keeps saying she doesn’t feel worthwhile. Yet before Rumple left he tasked Belle with completing the cloaking spell. Why would she believe she is worthless if this was a task given only to her?
She does say all she did was say some words but Rumple needed someone he trusted a hundred percent to do this task. He keeps making the point that he believed in her over and over again, just like she believes in him. Belief in someone else is always their saving grace. Henry has to believe that he is loved and will be rescued. Rumple has to believe in the decent side of himself to be able to not give into the dark side of himself.
Bell knows how important this belief is. She knows that without an undying belief in yourself you will fall. Yet she forgets this as soon as Rumple leaves. Yes she doesn’t think he is coming back but she should know better. I was hoping to see ever strong and determined Belle in this episode. Instead we got this doubting woman, one that refused to see how important she is.
It was driving me crazy that she kept saying that she didn’t do anything, even though she continuously helped the town. She represent a point that all these characters seems to be at, a moment where nothing seems to be going right. Everyone is kind of in this doubting, non-believing mode and it is going to get everyone killed.
Emma, Hook and Neil go off to the Dar Hallow to retrieve Pan’s shadow so they can get off the island. While there Hook and Neil end up fighting over Emma and almost getting all of them killed. They fought because each wants to get Emma to see how much they care, but right now none of that matters. They forget why they are there, to rescue Henry.
Emma makes a point of telling them that all she cares about right now is Henry. She doesn’t have time to argue and fight with herself about who she really has feelings for. Emma remembers why they are there and where all their energy has to go. She can’t afford to get emotional, none of them can right now.
Snow is letting her emotions rule her at the moment. She is so angry at Charming she can barely look at him. Charming just wants her to accept his apology and get past his decision. Snow finally breaks and tells him that she is angry because he didn’t tell her. She would have agreed to stay with him, all he had to do was ask. She won’t leave his side.
Charming had to believe in their love. Charming was so caught up in not actually hurting anyone that he almost destroyed them. Belief in the power of love is what gets everyone through in this show. Rumple’s love and belief in Bell snaps her out of her funk, while Charming’s lack of belief breaks Snow. Snow can’t lost Charming but she also can’t live life continuously having to convince charming that their love can conquer anything. Charming needs to work on his belief or he is going to lose Snow.
Pan is having an issue with Henry. Henry doubts Pan, knowing he is hiding stuff from him. Henry knows not to ever fully trust Pan. Pan stops trying to be his best friend, he knows he has to appeal to another side of Henry. The emotional and vulnerable side of the boy.
Pan has Wendy as a prisoner. How he got her as a prisoner is a big question. Neil went to Neverland to protect her and he brothers, so what happened? Pan gets Wendy to lie to Henry and tell him she is dying because the island’s magic is failing.
Obviously this is not true, the island is fine. The water worked, Pan still controls everything and the shadows are still deadly. This line about the magic dying is a manipulation of Henry. Pan keeps appealing to his side of wanting to help and save everyone. Henry thinks hard about certain decisions but not when it come to saving people. Henry will do anything to protect the weak, no matter the consequences. In the next episode we are going to see how much this notion can hurt. Pan’s plan is going to get a push forward and I feel the result are going to be terrible.
“When you do succeed that is when the fun begins,”- Hook- He is making a point that when Emma really goes and does something that’s when things really fall into place. She needs that drive, especially right now
What happened to Wend and her brothers, how did she end up a prisoner of Pan?
Will Snow stay in Neverland with Charming
What horrible side effects will Pandora’s box have?
What is Pan going to do to Henry?
When are we ever going to learn Pan’s backstory?