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Closing One Book and Opening Another – Once Upon a Time (Season 6 finale)

images-6I was prepared to be done with Once Upon a Time after the season finale. This season was tough, disjointed and all over the place. It has felt like the writer’s were grasping at straws, desperately trying to find ways to keep the show going. I stuck it out because I knew that there were rumors this could be the last season. I wanted to see how they ended it.

The season finale was a great way to end this story. We spent six seasons with our set of characters and the season finale was the time to close that book and open a new one. I had no idea going into the finale how they were going to wrap up the storylines and then set up a new, fresh season. The last few minutes left me intrigued. I wasn’t going to watch season seven, but I now have to at least give it a shot and see where they are going.

The finale started in “The Enchanted Forest, During a Time for Great Upheaval.” This should have been a tip off that something was odd because this show always gives a time period when doing the flashbacks. We see a man run and wake up a little girl. He hands her the storybook and tells her she has to run and to protect the book. We see him take a stand. We assume that he dies in the battle.

We then jump to our present “timeline,” right after The Black Fairy’s curse has taken affect. Henry wakes up on the roof where Hook and Emma’s wedding took place. He has the book. He goes down into the town and quickly learns what the curse did.

The Black Fairy’s curse sent Emma to a timeline where she is in a mental asylum. In this time she came to storybrooke but there were no Charming and no one was from The Enchanted Forest. She is found to be crazy for her believing Henry and is forced to an asylum to help with her supposed delusions.

Henry is desperate to find her and make her see that she is being tricked. Of course, The Black Fairy intervenes and tells Emma that she has to stop believing in the stories in order to help her son. She centers her argument on that Emma is only making it so Henry can’t live a normal life.

The rest of the group has been sent back to The Enchanted Forest. They are desperate to find a way back to Emma. We quickly learn that all the storylands are falling apart and disappearing. Since Emma no longer believes, the stories are starting to fade.

I loved this idea. I wish this was the idea that was the theme throughout this whole season. This main problem with this season was that there was no overall theme. We had too many stories going on at one time. This idea, that without belief there are no fairytales or stories, is an interesting idea. I think a lot could have been done with it.

This show has always been about the power of belief, hope and stories. Without belief no story can exist. If ,as you are reading you don’t believe what you are reading or don’t feel like the characters could be people you could ever meet and talk with, then the stories haven’t done their job. You have to believe the story could be real, that the situation could happen. You have to get lost in a story or else it is just words on a page.

The Final Battle that has been spoken about all season is not a huge battle between The Black Fairy and Emma. It is a battle for Emma’s soul. The Black Fairy knows that if Emma stops believing and leaves all that she has gained behind then The Black Fairy can win. Emma can’t fight her, she will no longer be The Savior.

Henry refuses to give up on his mother though. He starts to play the game of the world and figures out ways to convince Emma that all of the stories are true. He takes her to where her and Hook got married. For a minute she gets flashes of memories.

Emma tells Henry she has to get away. She needs to start over and get away from Storybrooke and everyone thinking she is insane. Henry agrees to help her escape, though he has a different plan.  He finds The Storybook and decides to take it back to Emma, though gets caught by The Black Fairy.

She knows that Henry is in her way, so she decides to push him down the steps. She injures him in order to convince Emma that she needs to stop believing in order to protect Henry. The Black Fairy is able to convince Emma that the way to save Henry is by burning The Storybook.

As the book burns the Enchanted Forest (the last of the story lands) begins to crumble. Emma walks away and returns to Boston. As she runs, our group is desperate to find a way to save themselves but they quickly find out that there is no hope. They can’t stop the destruction.

Emma gets back to her old apartment (though why it has been kept for her, untouched, is a mystery). She is willing to restart her new life, but finds a new storybook written by Henry. It tells her, her life story. It is the story of everything that happened to Emma since she came to Storybrooke.

Emma returns to help Henry. She tells him she may not remember her past life but she believes in it.  That it is the life she always wanted and she is willing to believe in the possibility of that life. That is the moment where everything stops falling apart. Emma decides that she believes her son. She believes that there is something else to life then what she has been fed. She decides to take a chance and see where it leads her.

IMG_3906-1200x675-1200x640While Emma is deciding what path to take, Rumple is also making a huge decision for himself and his family. In this alternate timeline Rumple has his son but Belle has supposedly run off and left her family. Rumple doesn’t believe this and he knows that The Black Fairy did not keep her word. She did not give him his family.

Rumple has his own decision to make. He can either buy into what his mother tells him, that with her new, grand power she can give him back Bae, and put his family back together or he can fight her influence on him. She offers him a new life but he knows that all magic comes with a price.

Rumple is done letting his family suffer for his choices. He decides that he does not buy into his mother’s schemes and he ends up killing her. Once The Black Fairy is dead the curse is lifted. Emma remembers who she is and everyone is brought back to Storybrooke.

Unfortunately before The Black Fairy died she commanded Gideon (whose heart she still had) to kill Emma. The Black Fairy learned that darkness cannot snuff out light. Only light can destroy light. She forces Gideon to do her dirty work.

Rumple rushes to find Gideon’s heart to return it to him. As he is picking it up he is given one last choice. The devil on his shoulder tells him that he can have all that he ever wanted; power and family, if he only puts down Gideon’s heart and lets him kill Emma.

Rumple decides that he is done betraying his family. He tries to stop Gideon. He tries to command him to not hurt Emma, but it doesn’t work. The Black Fairy’s spell cannot be undone that easily. In the end Emma knows what she has to do and that is to let Gideon kill her. She sacrifices herself for her family and her home.

She falls and appears to be dead. Everyone rushes to her side and in an echo of Season 1 Henry kisses her and wakes Emma up. True love’s kiss wins again.

The storybook returns and we learn how the final battle was actually won.  The last page says “When good and evil both did the right thing, faith was restored and the final battle was won.” Snow then gives a sweet speech about what comes next. That this is not the end of their story. It is not about the happy ending but believing in the possibility of the happy ending. Now, they live on. They get to see what happens next in their lives and they get to do it together.

The final scene shows all the worlds we have seen throughout the last six seasons coming back together. Then get to see how everyone gets to move on with their lives. Snow and Charming have a farm. Snow goes back to teaching. Henry goes back to school. Emma and Hook work together. Rumple and Belle start new with a baby Gideon.  And Regina is once again mayor, or as the dwarves put on her door, “Queen.”

That proves the perfect ending for this series or at least this “book.” All of our characters get to move on and actually live their lives. They get to see where their stories go now, no longer having to fight. They get to live this next chapter with one another, in the life that is meant for them. To me it was perfect. It was literally closing this book and that is what this show needed. Life moving on with joy and togetherness.

The last few moments gave us a hint as to what is to come in the next season. We find out that the man from the beginning, the one that sent the little girl away, was actually adult Henry. His daughter arrives at his door step (much like Henry did to Emma’s in season 1) and tells him he has to save his family.

She is carrying a new storybook, one that contains our old story but will start a new one. After that last scene I am intrigued to see where this story is going. I was so set on letting this show go. Especially after this finale. It all ended so well!

Now I want to know what is going to happen. I feel like this is the only way for this show to move on. It is time to move our focus to a whole new set of characters, a new theme and a new story. This will only work though if this “book,” feels new and fresh. We need to have new themes, something other than the power of love and family. We need to have new characters and brand new stories.

I know that Regina, Hook and Rumple are supposed to play a part in the next season but I am hoping they are side characters. I am hoping this will feel like a sequel to a book series. New story but with cameos from people we know. It needs to find a way to get us hooked on these new characters and I think this time jump may just be the ticket.

I don’t know if I’ll do reviews for the next season but I am interested to see how this show handles this new turn. It could go very well or it they could get stuck. It will be interesting to see.

Quotes:

“Curses have never stopped us before.” – Snow – It was nice to see this end to a curse. I hope that in the new season we stay away from curses. Curses are the tool used in this book, time for a new way to stir things up.

“Belief in something, something that isn’t real, can be dangerous” – Black Fairy – This is what she wants Emma to believe. She wants to her to think having firm belief is a bad thing. When the opposite is true, having belief in what you can’t see will give you hope and provide a driving force for you to take risks and do the impossible.

 

 

 

You Will Not Be Alone – Once Upon a Time 6×17 (Review) (Spoilers)

617WeCantAskUsThe final battle is coming quick. This episode wrapped up the loose strings so that the rest of the season can focus on this fight. Hook has found his way home. Emma and Hook have fixed their relationship and Hook has also fixed his relationship with her parents. Snow and Charming were woken up and everyone is ready to fight with Emma.

The main part of this episode focused on waking up Snow and Charming. They are both still under the sleeping curse and Regina was having trouble finding a way to wake them up. She comes up with an idea but she is not sure it will work.

Snow is adamant they try it because she does not want Emma to have to face the final battle alone. That was the theme of this episode; not fighting alone. Emma keeps trying to tell her parents that it is okay, that she can handle herself; but no one will hear of it. Snow and Charming still feel guilty for not being around most her life and they will do anything they can to save Emma.

Regina’s plan ends up backfiring. Instead of removing the sleeping curse from the shared hearts it triggers a failsafe plan. They have until the end of the day to find a way to wake up both Charming and Snow or else they will both end up asleep forever.

While the group is trying to find a solution to the problem we get to see a moment from the past that I found interesting. In the previews last week I thought this week was going to be another version of trying to keep Emma from being The Savior. I was not thrilled with the idea. We have seen it a number of different ways at this point. We know that Emma HAS to be The Savior, period.

Once-Upon-a-Time-6x17-Awake-Snow-White-and-Charming-under-a-sleeping-curse-at-Reginas-vault-720x373
What the past portion of this episode showed up was that Snow and Charming had the opportunity to find Emma. Snow found a pixie dust flower that woke up Charming. When Charming woke up he remembered that he was from the Enchanted Forest and was able to wake Snow up from the spell as well.

They were excited to be out of the curse and were intent on finding their daughter. They went to Rumple to see if he had a way of finding her. Once Rumple woke up though he was not for the idea of running off after Emma.

He told them that it was too early for them to find Emma. Emma had to be 28 in order to break the curse for everyone else. If they went and found her at that point, she would never become The Savior and never be able to wake everyone else up. The pair was faced with a choice; reunite their family at everyone else’s expense and or go back under the curse and wait until Emma found them and saved everyone.

In the end we know that they chose to let Emma live her life and find them. They knew that they could not sacrifice everyone else’s life and well-being for their own happiness. Other lives were at stake and they needed to help them, and to do that they had to let their daughter find her own way.

The episode ends with the whole town coming together and taking a piece of the sleeping curse into themselves. (I am not entirely sure I understood how this worked but I am just going to go with it). By everyone taking a small piece of the curse they were able to dilute the curse enough to wake up Charming and Snow. Now they can all fight the final battle together.

This moment felt like it setting up a final ending for this series. I know the fate of Once Upon a Time is still up in the air (as of this posting). I have also read that if it gets renewed there could be a major cast shake up with also major story shake ups. This episode felt like a tying together of stories and preparing for everyone to come together to fight this final evil. I would love to see the whole town fight together and it not be just Emma. This series has always been about a number of characters lives and stories and I would love to see it end that way as well.

Quotes:

“I practically invented dark magic.” – Black Fairy- I wonder how much of The Black Fairies past we will see. Will we see how she became who she was? Or how she fell so far into the darkness? I think that could be interesting.

“Because it needed to.” – Emma- She says this after she finds the one pixie flower that survived The Black Fairies destruction. This is a statement of faith and belief, a statement that past Emma would never had made. She has much more belief in fate and destiny now then she ever did before.

Questions:

Will Rumple tell everyone that The Black Fairy has Gideon’s heart?

Who will fight the final battle?

What happens when the book ends?

Will anyone die?

What does The Black Fairy want exactly?

 

The End of Evil Queen’s Storyline – Once Upon a Time (6×14) (Spoilers)

images-3The Evil Queen storyline has finally come to a conclusion and I am hoping this will give the show an opportunity to branch out and try to tell some new, fresh stories. While the Evil Queen story ended, the circle of issues with Hook and Emma is still spinning.

The episode opened in the past with The Evil Queen yet again looking for Snow. As she is threatening the village, Tinker Bell, comes in and tells them that she is to blame for the way the villagers are being treated. She reveals that Regina walked away from love and that made her bitter and angry. Regina denies it all, trying to make it seem like she cares about her people.

In the present The Evil Queen and Robin are bonding. They both realize that they do not belong in the mortal world. Both of them don’t belong in a place where things are calm and selfless. They both have hard and difficult personalities and need somewhere that works with that. Robin reveals that he wants to return to his world, he wants to be back in a world he understands and can work with. The Evil Queen agrees to help him if he helps her.

We then hop back to the past and we learn that Regina’s father is desperate to help her find true love. He tricks her, making her think he is going to help her find Snow White. In reality he brings her to cupid’s arrows. He tells her that she deserves love and he wants her to be happy. Regina lashes out, angry that she was tricked. At that time she thinks she has what she wants, revenge.

Regina takes the arrows and reworks them to show her who she hates. She believes it will take her straight to Snow, when it instead it shows her, her own image. This isn’t new information for us. We know that Regina spent much of her past pretending that she was happy with her revenge plot. We know that she thought that killing Snow would solve all her issues.

We also know that she learned that love is what she was missing. Past Regina didn’t want to admit that she had lost an essential part of herself. This whole series has been about Regina taking a step back and learning what she really deserves and that is a second chance at love.

In the present Regina faces off against her evil half. She is set on destroying her for good. She wants to be done with this whole thing. They fight and in the end Regina takes her heart and combines it with The Evil Queen’s. She forces light into her darkness, while also darkening her own heart again.

This was the end that I assumed we were heading too since this all started last season. Regina was dead set on pushing all the dark out of her life while The Evil Queen was set on destroying all the light in hers. They both learn in this episode that there has too be a balance between the two forces. Light and dark do not exist without each other.

Once The Evil Queen’s heart is lightened she is no longer interested in destroying Regina. She wants to make amends and then start over again. Regina helps her go to a fresh start, which includes Robin.

I found this part interesting. I had a feeling at the start of this episode that Wish Realm Robin was in fact Evil Queen’s true love and not our Regina’s true love. I liked that The Evil Queen got to live out what she denied herself. Wish Realm Robin is a bit selfish and hard, same as The Evil Queen. In the end part of Regina got the true love she deserved.

While Regina was tying up her storyline, Emma was destroying hers. Hook is feeling guilty for not telling Emma about what he did to Charming’s father. He goes to Captain Nemo for advice. Nemo gives him two options. He can either forgive himself and let it all go or he can tell Emma and ask for forgiveness.

I personally thought he should find a way to forgive himself and move on. We know Hook had a dark past, everyone knows this. Hook made poor choices and he hurt others. That was past Hook, everyone knows he had things he did that some may know and others may not know. Revealing this transgression does no one any good. It just picks at a scabbed wound, a wound that will never fully heal. I thought he should just put it behind him and let it go.

Of course, Hook does not do any of the above options. He instead attempts to burn the dream catcher with the memory. Emma catches him and she lashes out on him. She breaks down, telling him that he should have been able to trust her. She accuse him of keeping secrets and not being open and honest about everything. She turns it all on its head and makes it about her.

This whole thing drove me crazy. Hook tries to explain to Emma that he wasn’t trying to hide it from her because he didn’t trust her. He just couldn’t live looking at her parents knowing what he did. Instead of listening and trying to understand how he is feeling, she just makes it all about her. I wish she had just listened to him. Understood that his past was yet again hurting him. In the end she gave him back the ring, telling him they needed to find a way to connect again.

images-4Hook is heart-broken, believing the this past has done what he always feared it would do; taken away the one woman he loved. Hook debates leaving with Captain Nemo, going on a journey of self-discovery; but he after talking with Snow he decides he is not running away. Of course, Gideon has to throw a wrench into the idea.

Before Hook can get off the submarine, Gideon launches it and forces Hook to leave. Emma thinks he has left her and is in the process of believing their relationship is over.

Next week it looks like the story is going to be the “I have to move on,” storyline, which I am going to hate. This is committing one of my most hated story crimes. Emma and Hook have literally gone to hell and died for each other. Emma should know that Hook wouldn’t walk away from her without a fight. She should know that he has his demons but he fights them. It is going to be frustrating watching her act like she has no idea who the man she claims to love is.

I am hoping this will have a quick resolution. I don’t think I am going to be able to take watching this back and forth stuff for too long. I am hoping a dramatic event will put things back to where they need to be and things will be alright again for these two.

Quotes:
“Guilt can be as corrosive to the soul as revenge.” – Captain Nemo – Guilt is always going to be apart of Hook’s life. Emma needs to learn to listen to him and help him ease this guilt once in a while instead of fighting him about it all the time.

Questions:
What is Gideon’s plan?
How will Hook get off the submarine?
Where is Nemo going?
Why are Jasmine and Aladdin on the submarine?
Is Gideon going after Emma again?
What happened to The Land of Lost Stories characters?
Can Emma learn to help and listen to Hook?
When will they be able to lift the sleeping curse?

Sometimes You Have to Let Go of What You Once Thought – Once upon a Time (6×12)Review

Once-Upon-a-Time-6x12-Murder-Most-Foul-David-in-the-docks-720x480You can get a thought about someone in your head and it can be almost impossible to accept who they truly are or were. In this episode Charming learns how his father really died and Regina finds out that Robin may not be who she wants him to be.

This episode opened with Charming and James’s parents in dire straits. Their children are sick but they cannot afford the medication to save them. Rumple appears and offers them a deal. They can have the medication to save the boys but they have to give up one of their babies. They are hesitant at first but realize it is the only way to save their children. They toss a coin and James is chosen to go live with the king and become a prince while David (Charming) gets to stay with his parents.

We jump ahead six years and find Robert drowning his sorrows in drink. He cannot accept that he was not able to save his children. He has been drinking to quiet the guilt he feels at losing James. So when the king comes into a tavern and announce that James has been kidnapped Robert decides he is going to prove his is a good father and find his son.

In the present Charming is being plagued with visions of his ghost father, imploring him to find out the truth about his death. Charming can’t focus on anything else. He is determined to find out what happened, to find out if his father was really the drunk he always thought he was.

What Charming finds out is that his long held belief about his father is wrong. Robert finds James and tries to save him but is unable to keep him from the king. King George sentences him to death, telling his guards to make it look like an accident.

Charming is hit by a sudden realization that what he has always thought his father is wrong. Robert wasn’t just a man who gave up on his family. He is man who wanted nothing more than to save his boys. He defined himself as a father and when he failed at that, he had no idea how else to frame himself.

Charming learns that sometimes what you think is not true. Sometimes you get only pieces of the information and the picture you create is not always real. Regina seems to also be learning this lesson.

Once Upon a Time - Episode 6.12 - Murder Most FoulRegina brought Robin back from the Wish Realm with the firm belief that her Robin was present inside him somewhere. She has this image of who he should be in her head. What she doesn’t realize is that he has lived a very different life than her Robin. He is not the same man.  He has not gone through the same trials and tribulations. He has been shaped differently making them different people.

Regina is coming to terms with the idea that the man she brought back may not be who she wants him to be. The question now is going to be can she accept who is and try to build a relationship from there? Or is she going to push him away?

I think right now she is suspicious of him. She doesn’t know what he wants or what drives him and that makes her nervous. She is used to having control and knowing what the people around her want. To have a man she used to know everything about being a complete mystery to her is going to throw her off for a while.

At the end of the episode we learn that Hook is actually the one who ended up killing Charming’s father. It was when he was at his most ruthless and did not care for anyone or anything. In this episode we learned that he was planning on proposing to Emma.

But this revelation is throwing him off. Hook knows he has changed but he is unsure of what the rest of the world believes. He wants to prove that he is a different man but his past keeps coming back to haunt him. The question is going to be can he reveal what he did, can everyone accept him as this new man and move past this? Or is this going to destroy everything he has built?

Quotes:

“Family is everything.” – Robert – Robert defined himself by his family. When he thought he had failed them he nearly gave up on life. He ended dying trying to protect his family. In this show everything revolves around family and that intense bond that families create with each other.

“Small things can hold great power.” – Rumple – Rumple took one of Robert’s hair, though we aren’t sure why. Is he going to use it for a spell later and are we going to see the consequence of that action this season?

Questions:

Will Hook tell Charming what he did to his father?

Will Hook be able to move past this and ask Emma to marry him?

What did Robin want with the box in Regina’s vault?

What does Robin want?

Will Zelena do something to Robin to keep him from her daughter?

When will Aladdin and Jasmine come back?

Why does Gideon want to be a Savior?

Can Rumple and Belle save Gideon?

Will the Evil Queen come back?

How will any of this play into the Agrabbah storyline?

Are we done with The Land of Lost Stories?

What did Rumple do with Robert’s hair?

 

 

A Family Bond Can’t be Broken – Once Upon a Time 6×06 – Review

606thedevilamiThis episode centered on the importance of family and the strength of that bond. It also again explored the idea that revenge does nothing but breed hate and anger. We also got a better idea of what The Evil Queen is after; though it fees like we are spinning our wheels on her storyline right now.

The episode opened in the past with Hook being taken onto Captain Nemo’s ship. He is taken specifically because Nemo wants to save Hook. He knows about Hook’s past and he tries to explain to him that getting revenge does not help. He explains that he did what Hook is trying to do and all is left him with was hate and anger. He does not want Hook to suffer like he has.

Hook tells him that he can’t give up when the one he wants is so close. At that time Hook is centered on getting his revenge and that is all. He is counting on the act of revenge relieving some of the pain he is constantly feeling. Nemo explains that it won’t help, not how Hook wants it to.

What Nemo tries to explain is that what Hook needs is a family. He needs people to care about and that care about him. Nemo is constantly emphasizing the importance of family. He finds the key to The Land of Untold Stories, in order to give them a home. He wants everyone to have fresh start, which at that point is not something Hook wants.

In the present it is a completely different story. Hook has found love with Emma and somewhat of a family in the rest of the group.

The conflict in this episode is between Hook and Henry. Henry is not warming to the idea of Hook moving in and the idea that he may one day become Henry’s step-father. He lets The Evil Queen plant the idea that Hook will hurt Emma and hurt their family. She helps him find the shears and he instantly thinks that Hook is out to take away what is special about Emma. He becomes resentful and angry towards Hook.

Now, I really did not like the way this story was told. Never has Henry acted like he has a problem with Hook and Emma. When Emma was The Dark One he helped Hook find a house for them, he held him find a way to connect with Emma and give her a future. Henry was just sparring and spending time with Hook an episode ago. Now all of a sudden he is resentful and not trusting of Hook. Where did that come from?

I know that maybe all of a sudden Henry is thinking about the idea of Hook being his step-father but it is not like Hook is trying to force a relationship between them. He is acting like he always has, and they have always had a friendly, easygoing bond. I feel like this was put in in order to tell this story with Nemo. I did not like the way Henry took such a turn in his character.

Also Henry would never let The Evil Queen influence how he thinks and sees people. He knows that she is not to be trusted. As soon as she showed him the shears he should have thought about what she was trying to do. He should have gone to Hook and asked him about it. He should know by now that The Evil Queen just wants to cause trouble. This episode seemed to make Henry very dumb.

once-upon-a-time2-1Near the end of The Evil Queen tells Rumple what she really wants. For a few episodes she has been trying to tear apart the group but has begun to see that is not as easy as she wanted. She wanted them to destroy themselves but it is not happening.

We learn that what she really wants is Snow White, which should not be a surprise to anyone. This has been her storyline for the whole series. She wants revenge for what happened to Daniel. I am curious how they are going to use this, because right now it is a pretty stale storyline. We have see her try to take out Snow White a number of times before. How exactly will this be different then before? Will it involve Regina having to make a choice between herself and Snow? I am hoping this deepens the character in some manner.

Quotes:
“Nothing you do will ever tear this family apart,” – Snow White- Our group has been through quite a lot together. They are not people you can break apart with a few whispered words or tricks.

“You don’t need allies when you win,” – The Evil Queen – That’s not actually true. No one can rule alone. The biggest fear of dictators is that the people will rebel, that someone will take them out because they are too weak on their own. You can only live behind a facade for so long before those who oppose you get together and take you out. You need someone on your side or you will lose eventually. The Evil Queen needs at least one person on her side or else she is going to be defeated fast.

Questions:
What happened to Agrabah?
How will the Agrabah story and the Evil Queen story intersect?
Can Aladdin become The Savior again?
Does Emma want to be The Savior anymore?
Would she give it up if she actually had a choice?
Who was the person in the hood?
How will The Evil Queen go after Snow White?
How will they make that a fresh storyline?
How will Regina deal with The Evil Queen?
Will Regina have to sacrifice herself?
What happened to Charming’s dad?
Does Emma really have to die?
What will Rumple do with the shears?

Fear Can’t Be In Control -(Once Upon a Time Review)

603promo10This was a bit of a throwback episode. We got to finally see more of a few characters that we met in the first season. We briefly saw Dr. Frankenstein again and Emma had to remember how she used to be able to help people before she had magic. Though the main part of the episode was about Cinderella and helping her finish her story.

Much of the beginning of the episode was about the start of Cinderella’s story. We saw her get the invitation to the ball, we saw her attend the ball and fall in love with the prince, then run off leaving her shoe behind. Then the story starts to deviate from the one we know.

In present day Storybrooke Emma, Hook and Henry learn that Ashely (Cinderella) has run off with her husband’s shot gun. Everyone thinks she is after her stepsister who has come over from The Land of Lost Stories.

Turns out that Cinderella is out to stop their stepmother. Clorinda, one of the stepsisters, is not evil. She was acting the whole time because she had a secret that she was keeping from her mother. She was in love with the footman of the prince and she wanted to run away with him. She knew her mother would never approve and she knew she had to keep up an appearance in order not to raise suspicion form their mother.

Cinderella is ready to help her sister but is stopped when her stepmother threatens her happiness. She ends up telling her where Clorinda and her love are. In the end her stepmother and Clorinda end up in The Land of Lost Stories. There her stepmother plans to wait until she can have the fame and fortune she thinks she deserves.

Back in Storybrooke, Ashely has found her sister and stepmother. Her sister learns that she was trying to help and they both stand up to her stepmother. Their stepmother does not care, she is prepared to kill them both. In the end she stabs Ashley. Emma races in just in time to save her.

While this episode finally gave us more of Cinderella’s story it was more about Emma and her work to overcome what her vision keeps showing her. Emma is terrified of her vision, to the point where her magic no longer works. She has no control and she is letting her fear hold her back.

once-upon-a-time-saison-6-episode-3-episode-1-700x264Archie realizes this and tries to explain to Emma that if she keeps letting this possibility control her she is going to lose everything. She is so afraid of what could happen that she is going to let nothing happen. Her magic isn’t working properly and she is not taking the steps forward in her relationship with Hook. She is becoming stuck.

Fear can do this. Fear is a paralyzing force that keeps things from going anywhere. A lot of the time the fear of something happening is worse than the event actually taking place. It becomes a barrier that surrounds the person and suddenly you are a prisoner in your own life. Fear can be controlling and throughout much of this episode it is controlling Emma.

Yes, maybe Emma will die in that battle. Then again maybe she won’t. Maybe that is not when she has to die. None of that matters ultimately though. No matter what the ending,  she has to live her life until that point. She can’t let everyone down and she can’t push them all away. If she does, she is going to hope for that end because she will have nothing left.

In this episode Emma is reminded that she used to be able to help people before she had magic. Magic does not make her the Savior. Magic is just a tool she uses. She used to help and save people before magic returned to Storybrooke. Emma has to remember that she has power and worth. She has always had strength and she can’t lose it all now.

What Emma really need to do is to tell everyone around her what is going on. This is one of Emma’s major faults, she never asks for help. She is always so determined to fix things herself. She can’t do everything alone. I thought after the whole Dark One thing she would have learned that lesson but apparently not so much.

Emma cannot take care of this all by herself. She needs her parents, Henry, Hook and Regina. They have proven to be her help and support system for so long. She needs to trust them and let them help her. Emma is never going to be able to live her happy ending if she is always refusing to ask for help. This will all destroy her if she is not careful.

Quotes:
“Maybe it’s not how you end things but how you live them,” – Archie- Archie tells this to Emma at one of their meetings. Emma’s vision tells her that in the end she may die. But that is the end for everyone. You can’t concentrate on all of that, you have to live the life that you have. No one truly remembers the end, they remember how you lived and Emma needs to remember that.

“Hard to stay one step ahead of yourself,” – Hyde- Hyde tells this to Regina. This is an interesting dilemma in the battle between Regina and The Evil Queen. They both think alike, they are the same person after all. Regina literally has to outthink herself, which will be interesting to watch.

Questions:
What is The Evil Queen’s ultimate plan?
Doe she want to rule everyone?
Does she want everyone dead and gone?
If she wants them all dead then who will she rule?
Doe she actually want to rule or does she just want everyone to suffer?
Who killed Charming father?
How far will Charming go to get revenge against that killer?
What is the next story that we will see?
When will emma tell everyone about her vision?
How will everyone react?
Will it cause a rift between her and Hook?
Will Rumple be able to get close to Belle again?
Will Zelena betray Regina?

Armor is No Longer Needed – Once Upon a Time Review (5×20) (Spoilers)

520Promo3Almost all of our group made it out of The Underworld on this week’s episode. Hades also left but not without a bit of manipulation. Emma had to make the tough decision to leave Hook behind.

The episode opened with Hades going to our group to ask for help. Rumple and Pan have Zelena and he needs them to help him get her back. They agree but only if Hades allows them to leave The Underworld. He promises to remove their names from the tombstones.

The showdown between Rumple and Pan and Hades and our group is a quick one. Hades rips up the contract for Rumple and Emma keeps Pan from taking Zelena’s heart. It all happened quickly and left me wondering how things were going to fall apart. Rumple got what he wanted. Pan was abandoned, still without a way to get back to the mortal world.

The most important part of that scene was how surprised Zelena was that Hades ripped up the contract without hesitation. He didn’t try to trick or fight Rumple. He ripped it up in front of him and that was it. He tells Zelena that he will do anything for her. He ends up kissing her and it is the kiss of true love. Hades’s heart restarts and he is now able to leave The Underworld.

Hades’s heart has restarted but he has not changed. I thought this moment would be a bit more dramatic. I thought it would involve him feeling again and being overwhelmed by his choices and his emotions. But he isn’t. He is still Hades.

I don’t know if he hasn’t had time to truly go through his new emotions or not or if this is just who he is as a person. Hades tells the group they can now leave but he sets it up so that they almost do not make it. He uses Cruella and the Blind Witch to trap most of the group in the library. He also has cut down the ambrosia tree, the only thing that can get Hook back to the mortal world.

Hades is not a new man. Hades is still selfish. He still only cares those close to him and his own life. He wants to get back to Storybrooke for Zelena. He wants to give her everything he thinks she has lost over her lifetime. Hades is still willing to hurt others to get what he wants.

images-2Zelena still thinks she can change him. She believes he can be a new man. But so far it is looking like that is going to be nothing but a dream. I do believe Hades loves Zelena but I am not sure that is going to be enough to change him. I think it will come down to why he got cursed in the first place. In the end, I would not be surprised if Zelena has to choose between Hades and Regina.

The main part of this episode surrounded Emma and her attempts to save Hook again. They learn that Hook has been dead too long for him and Emma to be able to share a heart. The only way to get Hook out of The Underworld is with ambrosia. They go down to the tree only to find that it has been destroyed. There is no way to save Hook now. (Or so it seems. I refuse to believe Hook is gone for good until he actually crosses over. I will be in full denial even after that most likely).

In the past parts of this episode we see Emma on the run. She gets caught while she is seeking answers about her past. She ends up forming a connection with the bail-bonds woman who catches her, Cleo.

Cleo is the one who teaches Emma that she needs to find some emotional armor for herself. Emma is obsessing about her past. She is desperate for any reason why she was orphaned. She cannot think about anything else and it is destroying her. She makes mistakes that get her in trouble and she is not living any sort of real life for herself. All she can think about is her past.

Cleo teaches her to let the past go. She needs to move on. She needs to become less emotional. She lets her emotions rule her actions too often. This is the point where Emma begins to push away the world. She is done trying to find someone to care about her. She needs to find a way to begin her life and to not let her emotions of anger and sorrow rule her life.

At that point in time that all made sense. She had no purpose in life at that point. All she could think about and do was search for her past. She had no parents and no one on her side. She was lost and she needed to find a way to focus herself on a new life. She could only do that by losing the emotional side of herself.

Now, life is different. Emma has a life. She has parents who love her and who she has forgiven for the past. She has a son she will do anything for. She loves Hook and she now shows the world how she feels. She is no longer hiding. This episode solidified that she has made that transition. She no longer is afraid to get close to someone. She is no longer scared to let others see her vulnerable.

She had to leave Hook behind but I do not think this will completely break her. Hook made her promise not to put her armor back up. He wants her to be able to live her life fully and I think she is on the path to do that. Though knowing this show something horrific will happen and derail all of that.

That horrific event very possibly could be Henry’s death. Someone is dying next episode if the trailer is any indication. Many think Robin Hood, which is possible, but I am leaning towards Henry at the moment. The only reason I am is because he left the Storybook behind. Henry’s defining object is that book. His story always revolves around it, especially now that he is the author. It makes he wonder why he left it. He could have left the pages with the stories of the residents of The Underworld behind without leaving the whole book. I know there are other books in the Apprentice’s house but something seemed ominous about him leaving that book in The Underworld. I don’t know if this show would go that far but we will find out soon enough.

Quotes:
“When will you believe that I’ll do anything for you,” – Hades- This is an important statement to make. He will do ANYTHING and I believe that includes killing others.

“Not Hell and not the devil,” – Zelena- I like that this distinction was made. Maybe now The Underworld can go back to being the in-between place it was meant to be. It is not meant to be a dark place, just a stopping point before moving on permanently.

“You’re holding on too tight,” – Cleo- She tells this to Emma. She wants Emma to understand that all she can see is her past. It is time she saw that there is more to her life.

Questions:
What is Hades’s plan for Storybrooke?
What will Hades’s do when he learns the group escaped?
Will Zelena be forced to choose between Hades and her sister?
Can Hades be changed at all?
What is Hades backstory?
Will we meet Zesus?
Is Hook really stuck in The Underworld?
Who is the funeral for in the promo?
What will happen to Belle while stuck in Pandora’s box?

Forgive Yourself – Once Upon a Time (5×15) Review (Spoilers)

Once-Upon-a-Time-5x15-liam-hookIt was Hook’s turn in this episode to deal with his past and move forward. Hook learned that while he has made mistakes in his life they do not get to define the kind of man he is at this moment in time. The group is slowly moving forward with their lives and casting away the self-doubt and issues that have plagued them for most of their lives. They are getting stronger and are going to need that strength in order to defeat Hades and leave The Underworld.

The episode starts with Emma healing Hook. Hook is not excited to be with her though. He is upset because he doesn’t think he deserves her care and her help. He is upset that she came down to The Underworld to save him. He tells Emma that he doesn’t deserve to be saved. What he deserves, is to suffer in The Underworld.

Hook is upset at his behavior as a Dark One. He points out that Emma only turned dark after weeks of fighting. In the end, she succumbed to the power in order to save him, she did it out of love. Hook accepted the power right away. He barely fought it off and he is ashamed of his behavior.

What Hook doesn’t take into account are the very different places him and Emma were in when they received The Dark One power. Hook received it without a choice. Emma chose her path, Hook did not. Hook was confused and upset. He was angry and lost. That made it much easier for the power to take ahold of him. He was overly emotional and had no one to turn to. He refuses to see that side. What he sees is that he, yet again, made a poor choice. Hook thinks of his life as all poor choices.

Hook’s brother Liam is also in The Underworld. He shows up at Hook’s place. Hook admires his brother. He thinks his brother is what he should become, someone who never did anything but help others. Hook was the problem brother while Liam always took care of him.

images-8What Hook learns throughout this episode though is that Liam is not completely selfless. No one has not made a mistake in their life. Liam allowed their ship to sink, killing the crew, in order for him and Hook to have the lives they dreamed of. Liam made a very poor choice in this moment of his life, and that is why he ended up in The Underworld.

Hook finds this out and is upset, but Liam tries to save Hook by sacrificing himself. Hook realizes that your past does not change who you are deep down inside. Liam chose poorly in his past but made up for it in that one moment. He still had a good heart, just like Hook.

Hook is finally able to see that to move on with his life he has to forgive himself. He has to realize that his past choices do not get to define who he is at this present moment. He hurt people and he learns from those mistakes. His heart is still good and he will do what he can to live a better life from this point onward. Hook deserves to be saved as much as anyone else in the group that is down there. They have all failed at one point and now they have to move forward with their lives.

Quotes:

“The day you push a sailor too far is the day the mutiny begins,” – Hook and Liam- Hades is pushing everyone too far. He has many people under his thumb but soon they are going to ban together and he is going to lose.

Questions:

What is Hades’s past with Zelena?

What is Hades hiding?

Will the souls all rise up to help take out Hades?

Can Henry save them with the quill?

What role will Henry take on now?

What will Cruella do now that she has lost Henry’s help?

Will Hook be able to leave The Underworld?

Does Hook have unfinished business beyond defeating Hades?

What happens if Hook is able to move on?

Will Hook have to choose between moving on and going back?

Will he lose the chance to move on once and for all?

Where are Rumple and Pan?

What is James (Charming’s brother) up to?

“She made me who I am.” – Once Upon a Time (5×14) (Spoilers)

8403921_once-upon-a-time-season-5-episode-14-devils_821cce0_mThe one thing Rumple hates more than anything is someone controlling and manipulating him. He wants to be able to make his own decisions and not be beholden to anyone. In this episode, we learn more about how he became that man. By the end of the episode he is no longer in control, yet again.

The  past portions of the episode were the important parts. Mila, Rumple, and Bae are in the woods. Rumple is playing with Bae and not helping Mila. Mila is annoyed with him. She tells him he is not good for much. Rumple is a timid man at this point. He will do whatever his wife wants from him. He doesn’t do conflict. He is a calm man who just wants a simple life with his wife and child.

Bae gets bitten by a snake and it is slowly killing him. A healer has the antidote but it will cost them gold they do not have. As they leave Mila tells Rumple that he will get them the antidote. She wants him to kill the healer.

It becomes apparent quickly that Mila is the one who controls Rumple. She is the reason that he now resents anyone controlling him. She is not happy with the man he has become. She has a very vivid image of the man she wants to be her husband. She wants a man who is strong and in control. She wants someone who will fight and is not afraid of hurting others if it protects those he loves. The moment he returned from the ogre war having hurt himself to get out of it, she stopped respecting him as a man.

This moment is kind of the last straw for them. While Rumple is off attempting to get the antidote, Mila meets Hook. He is everything that Rumple is not. He is assertive and handsome and a bit dangerous. He travels all around the world and doesn’t sit at home doing nothing. And Mila is instantly attracted to him.

When Rumple returns with the antidote and Mila learns what he did to get it she is done with him. She not only hates the idea that he sold off their potential child but he also did not step up like she wanted. Rumple is proud of himself at this moment. Proud that he did not become a monster, as he put it. He tells Mila that he realized that if he killed to save his son his son would grow up with a monster as a father.

What is interesting about this whole plot line is that what if Mila hadn’t treated him so negatively about this choice? I understood her anger at him selling their unborn child, that was unacceptable. But what if she had tried to understand the man that he was at this point. What if she had sat down and realized that all Rumple ever wanted was to be with his family. He loved them with all his heart but she made him believe that he was not worthy of that love.

sneakfeatureThis is where Rumple began to fall. He saw that he was not the man she wanted and began to think he was not an adequate man. He began to think that he needed something to make him someone people wanted and trusted. He got the Dark One powers and he realized what it felt like to be in control of his life. It was a reviving feeling for him.

No longer did anyone get to tell him he was not worthy and not a good man. Mila was gone and couldn’t make him feel less of a husband and father. He didn’t get picked on. He got to do whatever he wanted. People feared him. People were forced to respect him. He finally had what he never had before, control.

All through the series, we have seen Rumple’s fight with this idea. He can’t give up the Dark One power because that would require him giving up control of his life. He couldn’t give Belle the real dagger because then he would not be in control of his actions. Rumple was that man once and he will do anything to do not back to him.

He makes poor choices in this episode because Hades makes a deal with him. But despite dooming his companions he is yet again under someone’s thumb. Hades can cash in on the deal anytime and Rumple would lose. It seems that no matter what Rumple does he loses.

Quotes:
“She made me who I am,” – Rumple- Here he is referring to Mila. Mila made him feel like he was not good enough. She was the one who made him reconsider who he was as a man. If she had accepted Rumple as he was much of this would not have happened.

Questions:
When will Belle find out she is pregnant?
What else will Rumple have to do for Hades?
What is Hades end game?
What happens now that Snow, Regina and Emma have headstones?
Are they alive? Dead? Half-dead?
Can Henry get them out with the quill somehow?
Is there a way to get Hook out of The Underworld?
Will another child change Rumple in a positive way?
Will there be after effects for Hook from his imprisonment?
Will Hades try to get Hook back?
Why exactly wasn’t Regina’s magic not working?
What does it mean now that her magic is working?
When will the group find out about Henry working with Cruella?
What is Pan’s plan?

Illusions Are Not Meant to Last Forever – Once Upon a Time – 5×4 – (spoilers)

images-3We learned all about Arthur, his past and his poor decisions in this episode. Arthur is supposed to be this great king, who cares about his kingdom and wants only good for his people. What we learn is that Arthur is selfish with little-to-no integrity left. The draw of power has taken another victim and Arthur is going to lose everything, just like all those who obsess over power have done.

I know the basics about the Arthurian legend and Camelot (I do have a mythology book that I will pull out and see if the legend is in there to learn more and maybe amend some of this later). What I know of the legend is that Arthur was supposed to be this great man who was prophesied to take the sword from the stone and become a great king. What is different about his legend is that he is a human just like the rest of us. Being human he is flawed and in the end his decisions lose him his wife and his kingdom.

It would appear that the writers are using the basics of the Arthurian legend. Arthur finds Excalibur and becomes obsessed with fixing it. He can’t concentrate on anything else in his life. He doesn’t work on building his kingdom or taking care of his relationship with his wife. As expected Guinevere starts feeling neglected and turns to Lancelot for comfort and support.

What is interesting about this is that Arthur is obsessed with fixing this sword but has no idea what will happen when he does. He assumes because of the prophecy that it will give him some ultimate power and he will be this powerful ruler with it by his side. But he doesn’t actually know anything about any of this. It could be the worst idea ever. This all could be an ultimate test.

Arthur is terrified that if the people find out his sword is not whole they will not trust or follow him. He is only a stable boy and to him the only thing making him king is the sword. But that is not what makes a ruler or a king. A king is made by the way he rules. He gains the trust of his people. They see him as someone who is compassionate and caring. They know he will protect them and take care of them. He makes fair decisions and is not selfish. Excalibur can not do any of that. Arthur has to be that man but he doesn’t understand that. He is too consumed by what the sword can possibly do for him.

A king need to be humble and have integrity which Arthur has none of. Camelot was not built over time with hard work and effort, no magic sand was used. Guienevere is not standing by his side because she loves and respects him, no she is under a spell. He used the sand to fix what he believes was broken. But what is truly broken is Arthur himself.

Arthur has built everything he has through magic, which we all know comes with a price. All of this is an illusion and illusions are not meant to last. They are there to be a smokescreen to set up for something else. They are to give an idea for a few moments but they eventually fade. Arthur cannot hold onto what he has created forever. Something is going to make all of this crash down around his ears and when it does fall he will be left all alone.
No one will care about him. He will go back to being that stable boy that no one cared about.

While Arthur is busy setting up his downfall Hook is trying to save Emma from her own collapse. Hook is doing exactly what I knew he had to do. He is taking care of Emma and making her see that she has to trust in him. Emma needs something to concentrate on other then the darkness inside of her.

Emma is having a struggle we all know well. She is so consumed with the problem before her that she can’t see any possible solution to what is going on. We have all done this. We allow our problems or one issue to consume us and we become blinded to the world around us. We can’t see or appreciate those who are trying to help us. The problem at hand becomes our world, it is all we can think about and concentrate on. Doing this only gives the issue that much more power over us and our actions.

Emma can’t force the darkness away because she is so paranoid about it. It is all she thinks about and sees in her world. Everywhere she looks and every actions she takes is with the awareness that the darkness exists. Because she is focused solely on that voice, the voice is always around.

What Hook does is take Emma for a horseback ride. He asks her to trust him and allow him to give her something else to think about and focus on. It works, when the ride is over, the voice is gone.

images-4The problem is that Hook can’t always be around and they can’t always being riding around on horseback. But it is a good step forward. Emma just has to learn how to do this for herself. She has to be aware when the voices starts speaking and be able to push it away.

Unfortnately we see that she has no mastered this trick yet. In the present she is consumed by the darkness but I believe she can force it away again if she just remembers what Hook was trying to teach her.

Quotes:
“Broken Kingdom,” – Kay- Arthur wants to fix his kingdom, but what he doesn’t see is that he kingdom is not what is broken. It is Arthur himself and he can’t fix anything until he fixes himself.

“Love is a weapon.The most dangerous weapon of all,” – Darkness voice- We have heard this before on this show. Love can be a saving grace or a downfall. Arthur is using it to manipulate and hurt others and that is only going to end in his own ruin.

Questions:
Is anyone left on Arthur’s side?
Is there anyone genuine in Arthur’s life?
Will Arthur cause the downfall of Camelot?
How and when will Emma lose complete control and accept the darkness?
Why does Emma stop trusting Hook?
Can Merida actually train Rumple to be brave?
What will rejoin Excalibur and the dagger?
Does the power of the rejoined parts depend on who is wielding it? Can it be put back together?
Did Merlin break it in the first place?
If so why?
When will we see Merlin?
Why is Merida in Arthur’s dungeon?
Did Arthur kidnap her brothers?
Will Lancelot be able to break the spell and save Guinevere and Camelot?
Is Lancelot the true king?
Will anyone forgive Arthur when this all falls apart?
Does Arthur play a role in Emma accepting her dark side?

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