Death has been conquered. You hit your head on the sidewalk, fall off a building or end up in a car crash and you are taken to a revival center. You body is mended and you are able to live your life again. Humans are immortal.
Death has been conquered but the world is not perfect. The population has to be controlled, a job left to an elite group known as Scythes. They are charged with “gleaning” or killing people in order to keep the world’s population under control.
The Scythedom appears like a well oiled machine on the outside but on the inside it is falling apart. Something that two new apprentices Citra and Rowan begin to learn quickly. They can become masters of death but is that something they want? What does it mean to be the one that controls if people live or die? What does that do to a person? Can you keep your moral heart and do this job?
The concept of death being conquered is what drew me to this story. I loved the idea of a story that centers around reapers or scythes. This group is not one that you find in stories very often and I was eager to find out how this concept was interpreted.
I thought the idea of no one dying and what that means for the people was really interesting. It is pointed out numerous times that without the fear of death and an end to life, people have become complacent. They just live to live. They don’t work towards anything. They know they have literally eternity and no one really strives to make anything of themselves. They are all alive to be alive.
There are no more issues to conquer. There is no hunger, no war, no real crime and no death. All of life is controlled by an AI called the Thunderhead. Life is literally perfect and simple. But without anything new to discover and no problems to conquer what does life mean then? What do you do when you can’t change anything? What do you do when your job is to just keep you from being bored? What does life mean in this world? I loved exploring that concept.
I also really enjoyed Citra and Rowan’s journey’s. In this book Rowan stood out to me more than Citra did. I think it was because Rowan was thrown into a situation where he had to find a way to keep the good side of him alive. I really enjoyed watching him struggle between two sides of himself.
Rowan gets caught up with a group of Scythes that love to kill. They enjoy bringing death to people. In our world they would be classified as Sociopaths. They show no care or remorse for their actions. They take in Rowan and we watch as he struggles to not become them though that is not an easy task.
For a character who has always felt invisible or like “lettuce” as he puts it, he finds his new role enticing. There is power at his fingertips. There is meaning to his actions. People notice him. He is caught up in that feeling at times and we watch him struggle to keep himself from falling down a wormhole. I love watching characters struggle with their darker sides.
At first I thought I had an idea of what this story was going to be about. These two apprentices coming to terms with their new roles and then fighting to right any wrongs. It had some of that but there were some serious twists throughout the story. I actually found myself shocked at points. Any book that can throw me for a loop is one that I will enjoy.
There was a middle chunk where Citra was running away, for a reason that I won’t state to no spoil anything, that I thought was not necessary. It was there more to give her something to do while Rowan was completing a part of his story. It was also an update on another character.
I thought it felt like it was just there to buy time. There was no real consequences of the whole ordeal other than some character development. For the plot thought it really didn’t do to much. I think there are other ways for those moments to happen without needless running around.
I also had a little issue with how resolute Scythe Curie was about Rowan having turned dark while he was with his tutor. She was firm that he was not on their side anymore and that Citra could not trust him. I thought that seemed harsh. They didn’t even talk to Rowan at first. It was a decision made quickly without thinking about why he did what he did.
I think Curie’s character was smarter and could have seen that some of the things Rowan did was to save himself and Citra. I just felt like her character was not the right character to have this doubt. It just didn’t fit with what we knew about her.
The only true issue I had with the book was the romance aspect. I did not feel any chemistry between Citra and Rowan. I thought of them more as best friends. There was no reason for them to have a romance storyline. I think it would have been better to keep them as close friends and nothing more.
I highly enjoyed this book and went out at ten o’clock to Target to get the next one to continue the story. I ended up giving it four stars on Goodreads. It is a fun story about what life and death mean in this “perfect” world.
“So then, if we are no longer human, what are we?” (pg. 110)
“The sanctity of the law… and the wisdom to know when it must be broken.” (pg. 114)
“Immortality has turned us all into cartoons.” (pg. 191)
“Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy. The best we get is pleasantness.” (pg. 244)
“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace of comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we were lose that.” (pg. 386)
This was another filler type episode. It was mostly in place to put Zelena completely on the group’s side. Her loyalties have been debatable since the last season finale. I was glad that we have tied up this loose end as well. Now, we can completely concentrate on The Black Fairy and her plan and don’t have to worry about what Zelena is going to do.
The episode began with The Black Fairy coming to Zelena to ask her for help. She tells Zelena that she needs her assistance and that they are similar. She offers a hand of friendship to Zelena, though it is one we know isn’t real. Friendship and having someone on her side is the theme of the this episode for Zelena.
Zelena tells the group about The Black Fairy’s offer. (I do like that in this show they tend to tell each other the big things that happen and don’t keep them secret. Now the more minor things they hide and let them get out of control for some reason). Everyone is upset but know that they have to find out what she is up to before running after her.
Zelena is not in the mood to hang around waiting for The Black Fairy to do harm to her or her daughter. Zelena can only think about one thing and that is protecting her daughter. Regina instructs her to not go after The Black Fairy which annoys Zelena. She doesn’t want anyone thinking she is weak and she doesn’t need anyone to tell her what to do.
Snow jumps in and informs them that planning the wedding will help restore hope to the group. Zelena walks away and we think she is going to actually listen to Regina but that is, of course, not true. Instead she leaves Robin with Belle and decides to go after The Black Fairy on her own.
Regina finds out what she is doing and goes after her. In the dwarves cave they have an argument. Zelena tells Regina she is tried of being blamed for everything. She feels like she is an outsider to the group and that no one wants her. She is upset that Regina got to mourn her lost love while Zelena did not. Zelena resents the ways everyone treats her.
After a small fight the cave caves in and they have to find a way out. They encounter the Black Fairy who leads Zelena into a trap. It turns out that The Black Fairy did not want to work with Zelena. What she wanted was her powers. She needed to channel Zelena’s dark power into the fairy crystals, which turns them all dark. Effectively Zelena helped create a magical nuclear bomb.
Regina is beyond angry. She is upset because Zelena has no idea how to work with anyone. She is so consumed by proving her strength that she could have destroyed everyone. We know from Zelena’s backstory and the past points in this episode that Zelena is scared of being weak. She believes her magic is what makes her strong. She believes that if she can prove her strength than she proves her worth to the world.
We learn in this episode that Zelena feels alone. She is someone who has never had anyone on her side. She hates that she is alone but she also can’t give up a part of her to get a friend. She could have saved Stanum from becoming The Tin Man but she couldn’t sacarafice the one thing she believed made her worthwhile. We see that she hates being alone but also hates feeling weak even more.
In the end Zelena realizes she has to fix her mess. The only way to revert the fairy crystals and destroy the weapon is for Zelena is sacrifice her magic. She gives up what she believes is her strength and fixes the crystals. Now, she has to find a new way to define herself.
There are only a few episode left in this season. By the end I think that Zelena will have found her place in the group. She has no power now and she will have to work with and rely on the rest of the group. Zelena will quickly learn that her strength is not connected to her magic.
The other part of this episode was looking for Hook and Emma’s wedding venue. Charming is turning down everything and we learn that is because he is scared of what will happen to the day if The Black Fairy interrupts.
Charming voices the thoughts I had about the wedding. We know that there is some huge final battle coming and yet they want to find a way to set up a royal wedding. To me, this spells disaster. There is no way the wedding will go off without a hitch. First, because that would be a boring episode and second because it would be the perfect time for The Black Fairy to attack. Everyone in one place not ready to fight. I am sure the wedding will have a sour turn.
“You used your magic for good that makes you special” – Stanum – This is what will be Zelena’s strength. She doesn’t need magic to do good. She has the capacity in her, she just needs to learn how to find it again. Magic was a crutch for her, now she can find ways to help that uses the innate good inside of her.
Why did The Black Fairy give up Rumple?
What is The Black Fairy’s final plan?
How will the final battle go?
Will the wedding happen without a hitch?
How will they get Gideon’s heart back?
Will we learn more about The Black Fairy’s past?
Where is Violet?
The 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.
Hook 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.
“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.
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?
The theme of this episode was true love and the power that love can wield. This is a common theme in this show and one we have explored a number of different ways throughout the seasons. Most of the time during this episode I was wondering where everything was going but the pay off at the end was a new and interesting twist.
The episode opened with Snow having a dream/meeting with The Evil Queen. The Queen gives her a vial and tells Snow she has 12 hours to surrender her heart or The Evil Queen will destroy the town.
Turns out the vial is filled with water from the River of Souls. The water could decimate the town in no time. At this point Snow is losing hope for once. She can not see way to save her and Charming as well as save everyone in Storybrooke.
The Blue Fairy shares information about a possible weapon. It is a magic sapling that was created by true love. The true love we learn through flashbacks was actually Charming and Snow’s after their first real meeting. They find it but The Evil Queen destroys it right away.
The sapling storyline seemed pretty filler to me. I expected it to go somewhere but it died out right away. It appeared to be put in the show in order to tell us yet again that Snow and Charming are in love, have been in love for long time and have a love that has endured many trials. They are one of the main couples of the show, we know all of this and have been told it a number of times before. We really did not need the sapling goose chase to tell us that Charming and Snow are in love and that their love will win out in the end; we know that.
In the end Snow and Charming offer themselves to the The Evil Queen to save the town but she doesn’t kill them. What she does is put a sleeping curse on their shared heart. Which means that when one is awake the other will be under the curse. They can never be together again.
For a form of revenge this was a good idea. The Evil Queen wants Snow to suffer for what she did to her and her lover, Daniel. She wants her to feel the hurt and pain that she felt. Killing Snow would have been too easy and quick. Snow wouldn’t have suffered and The Evil Queen would only have felt satisfaction for a short time. This curse allows her to revel in Snow’s pain and feed off of it. This will bolster The Evil Queen for whatever other plans she may have.
The other aspect of this episode involved Rumple and Belle. Belle finds out that Rumple is hooking up with and helping The Evil Queen. She also finds out he has the shears and plans on using them on their son. She isn’t too bothered by his hook up with The Evil Queen. She is more upset about what he plans to do with the shears.
She tells him he can’t be in their son’s life right now. He has to earn their son’s future love. Right now he is forcing himself on them and that is not going to fly. Rumple confesses he is scared he is too weak to be good and Belle tells him he has to start trying. That is one thing Rumple fails at, trying.
He always wants a magical, quick solution to his problems. He never wants to work at anything. To prove he wasn’t weak he became The Dark One. He didn’t stick around to try to mend his relationship with his other son. Rumple is a weak man because he refuses to work for what he wants. If he can’t have someone else do it for him he won’t do it. Rumple needs to find a tougher side of himself and an independent side or else he will never get what he wants in life.
“If someone believe in you, you’re never alone.” – Blue Fairy- The group always has someone behind them. No one is alone in our group. Rumple on the other hand has no one who believes in him. He needs to find someone who does or else he will never succeed.
How will they be able to break the sleeping curse on the hearts?
Will The Evil Queen do anything else now?
Is she going to take out the rest of the group somehow and let Snow suffer?
How is this all connected to Emma’s vision? Do we know the hooded figure?
When will we learn more about Charming’s father?
How will Agrabah play into all of this? What side is Zelena on now?
Can Rumple find the strength to be good?
When we met Jekyll and Hyde in the last season finale I thought they were going to be what this half of the season revolved around. I felt that Hyde had a master plan, that was going to take a while to play out. Last night’s episode squashed that idea. It seems that they were there to further Regina and The Evil Queen’s storyline.
The episode opened with Hyde and The Evil Queen visiting Rumple. Hyde’s wanted a necklace that Rumple had. During the confrontation we learn that Hyde can’t be killed, much like The Evil Queen. Before he leaves with the necklace, Hyde threatens Belle, which sets Rumple off.
Rumple, again, makes a poor decision about Belle. In order to protect Belle from Hyde, Rumple puts a protection spell on Hook’s ship. At first it seems like a decent idea, Hyde will not be able to get onto the ship; but there is a catch, Belle also cannot leave the ship. Rumple has yet again, imprisoned Belle.
Rumple keeps doing this to Belle. Het tries to forces his ideas and way of life on Belle. He won’t let her take care of herself. He believes he knows best. To him, Belle has no idea what is going on in this world and she cannot think for herself.
Rumple and Belle’s relationship has become abusive over time. Rumple thinks he has control over Belle and everything that she does and thinks. He will not allow her to act on her own. He tries to disguise the abuse by stating that he is protecting her but taking away her choices and freedom is not protecting her, that is controlling her. Belle is becoming Rumple’s prisoner once again.
Rumple will never win Belle’s love back with this behavior. Belle is not a weak minded person. She has stood up to Rumple before, yet she keeps trying to give him second chances. Belle is at the end of her rope though. She has played this game with him for too long and she is done. Rumple must back off, and let Belle live her life. At this point if he continues this way, he is going to end up hurting Belle or finding himself at the end of an unwelcome spell.
While Rumple is making poor choices the group is trying to help Jekyll make a new serum. They are hoping that Jekyll can make a serum that can kill Hyde and The Evil Queen. Unfortunately Hyde and The Evil Queen find Jekyll. They destroy the lab and steal what they believe is the new serum.
Regina and Rumple find a beaten Jekyll. In their panic they learn that Jekyll hid some of the serum from Hyde. Rumple wants the serum to kill Hyde in order to protect Belle. He threatens Jekyll, forcing Regina to give up the serum. Rumple finds Hyde and tries to use it on him but turns out he was tricked by Hyde and Jekyll.
I am not sure if it was from the very beginning, but at least for awhile, Jekyll and Hyde have been working together. Jekyll hates Hyde but they both have the same desire for revenge against Rumple.
We learn through the flashbacks that Rumple was the one that encouraged Jekyll to take the serum the first time. He made it seem that it would help Jekyll get everything he ever wanted. He was bringing out the stronger side of himself but it did not end well. In the end Jekyll gets jealous of Hyde and ends up killing the woman they are both in love with. Ever since they have blamed Rumple for her death. They have always wanted revenge.
Jekyll went after Belle, intending to hurt her in order to hurt Rumple. Hyde brings Rumple to the boat to watch it all happen. In the end Hook ends up saving the day by killing Jekyll which in turn kills Hyde. We learn the secret to getting rid of The Evil Queen; Regina has to die.
I thought that the Jekyll and Hyde storyline was going to last longer but I now see why they had them in the story. What this episode showed us and Regina was that the capacity of evil never goes away. The potential for making those choices is always there, no matter what you do.
Regina remover her darker side but as I stated before it was only her past darkness. She removed what had already been done and destroyed the darkness that had already been built up. She did not remove the potential for darkness itself.
Everyone is capable of doing a dark deed. We have all heard people say that they would never do X,Y and Z, but none of us know what we would do until we are faced with that moment or choice. Threatening loved ones will make people make some tough and dangerous decisions.
In the end it comes down to your choices. Regina has learned to make better choices over the seasons. She doesn’t automatically think of killing or harming someone as a solution anymore. She cares about others now. In this episode The Evil Queen would have let Rumple kill Jekyll in order to get what she wanted. Our Regina knows that killing someone to get what you want is not an option. Regina understands what consequences her choices have now. That is what is going to save Regina.
I think Regina will have to come to terms with the idea that darkness is and will always been a part of her. Her past is her past. She knows that she messed up badly at one point but she has been making amends for a while now. In order to “defeat,” the Evil Queen she is going to have to reconnect with her. She can either kill herself or most likely she is going to have to accept that side of herself again.
“You can change the outside but what is inside is still there,” – Hyde – Here Hyde is talking to Rumple. Rumple has always embraced his darkness. No matter what he changes about his appearance he will always be The Dark One. Belle sees that and unless he does a radical transformation he will lose Belle for good.
What is Jasmine and Aladdin’s story?
How will their story end?
Will Regina end dying?
Or can Regina accept her darker half and reconnect herself in some fashion?
Who was the hooded figure that stabs Emma in her vision?
Can life ever be normal the way Snow wants it to be?
Will the oracle play a bigger part as the season moves on?
Can Rumple ever let Belle go?
Will Belle run and hide from Rumple?
This episode pretty much wrapped up all hanging story lines, so that in the finale they can upturn everything on us. For about a minute everyone was happy. Emma finally forgave her parents and realized how important they are to her. Maleficent met Lily and they are going to try to get to know each other and build a relationship. And Regina finally figured out that the only one standing in the way of her happy ending is herself. Rumple is just about the only one who ended this episode more miserable then he started it. And of course this means he is going to destroy everything for everyone else.
This episode mainly revolved around Regina. The group returns to Storybrooke from New York. Regina is devastated by the news from Zelena and she can’t see a way to work around it. Robin tries to tell her they can find a way to live happy together but Regina can’t see what he sees. When they return she locks Zelena away. Regina then goes looking for the author in order to erase Zelena’s existence from their lives. She is intent on removing yet another obstacle to her happy ending.
What Regina learned in this episode is a lesson everyone can take away . Your happiness and thus your happy ending is in your hands and your hands alone. The path to true happiness is full of twists, turns and dead ends. The path is never going to be easy, simple and smooth. If it was, how would you ever be able to appreciate what you have? If you don’t work and struggle for what makes you happy you are going to take it all for granted. We savor the good we have because we know what it took to get to that point. If Regina changed the story so she never had to go through all her issues then she would never be able to fully appreciate what she has and could easily lose it.
Regina has had to struggle more than most people. But all the obstacles have gotten her to this point in her life. If Regina continued to blame the universe and think she needed a new story in order to be happy she would never get to that ending. Even the most perfect, “happy ending,” has its dark moments and struggles. That is just life, even in a fairytale.
I love Regina’s character because she is so strong. In the flashback portion of the episode we saw her mother, Cora, trying to set her up with the Sheriff of Nottingham. Her motives seem to be for Regina to get pregnant. She says it is to see Regina happy but it is unclear how true any of that is. For a moment Regina buys that the Sheriff is supposed to be her soulmate. But then he tells her that he will be the strong one so she can be weak. Instantly Regina knows that something is wrong with the situation.
She doesn’t stand there and wonder if he has a point. She doesn’t try to make herself okay with what he said in order to keep him as her soulmate. She fights back and tells him off and ultimately puts him in her dungeon. When her mother questions her she tells her that she knew it wasn’t true because that is not how a soulmate would act. Her soulmate would never tell her to become someone she isn’t. That person would never tell her to be a weaker person then they are. Never tell her that because she is a woman she can’t be strong. She knows what it means to have someone truly love you. They accept you as you are and compliment you as a person not try to change who you are.
Zelena quips about how of course Regina found her happy ending now that she has a man. Bur Regina quickly steps on that accusation. She tells Zelena that Robin is not her happy ending alone, he is only part of it. Her happy ending is learning to feel at home in her world and with who she is as a person; trusting herself, and knowing that she has come so far and changed so much from the person she once was. Regina finally sees that her happy ending has been around her this whole time. She has Robin who loves and accepts her. She has Henry who does the same. She has friends in Emma, Charming and Snow who have looked past the past and see who she truly is now. And most importantly she loves herself.
Whereas Regina finally sees that her happy ending is in her hands not the author’s, Rumple cannot see or understand that idea. Rumple did not get any type of happy ending in this episode. Rumple said before that once his heart is completely consumed by darkness his ability to love will be gone forever. The Dark One will take over and Rumpelstiltskin as we know him will be dead. There will be nothing left but evil, hate and darkness.
Rumple has done a lot of bad through out his life, which is why he is in this situation to start with. Yet for all that he has done he is not welcoming this change with open arms. With the last bit of humanity left in him he is trying to find a way to save himself. Rumple doesn’t want to be a purely evil man but he knows that he can’t save himself in this life and story. He is too far down a dark path to be able to do enough good to save his heart. The only solution he sees is the change his story completely.
Rumple could just change his story. Instead he gives the author a new storybook called “Heroes and Villains,” and tells him it is time the villains win. He doesn’t just change his story but everyones.
Though at this point it is interesting to note that Rumple is the only one who truly still sees himself as a villain. (Zelena may see herself that way as well). Maleficent has her daughter and no longer cares about revenge or hurting anyone. Regina gave up the role of villain ages ago. Rumple views himself as a villain and that is influencing his decisions. It all comes down how they see themselves and that is influencing the choices and decisions that are being made.
“We can be happy in the future or angry in the past,”- Maleficent – She realizes that holding onto grudges and pain makes being happy nearly impossible. You have to let the past be the past and stay where it belongs.
“The only one standing in the way of your happiness is you?”- Cora – Words the every character should always remember in this story, especially Rumple.
Now that there is a new story book how will everything change?
Are we going to have an alternate storyline type deal?
What does Rumple truly want out of his life?
In the new story will Rumple still be the dark one with that power? Could he ever give up that much power?
Are we ever going to see Maleficent and Lily again?
Is Emma now safe from turning dark or is that always going to be a possibility for her life?
Will someone die?
Can Regina reverse the potion she took so she can get pregnant if she wanted to?
What will the alternate universe idea do to Henry? Will he just cease to exist?
How many of you reading remember the computer game Oregon Trail? For those who don’t know what I’m talking about; it was supposed to be an educational game where you took a journey on the trail the pioneers took to Oregon. It was a way for the player to learn about the hardships that those who took the journey had to endure. What it actually was, was a test to see if you could reach the end without killing half of your party. What made it even better was the fact that you could pick your wagon party, generally picking friends and family and trying to do all you could to make it to the end with a few of them alive.
Starkid (a musical theater group based in Chicago) just released their latest musical called “The Trail to Oregon,” on youtube. And it was everything I was hoping it would be!
When I heard that Starkid was creating a parody show of the game I knew that they would be able to do it justice. They did so well at parodying Harry Potter and Disney movies that I knew they would be able to incorporate all the jokes and ideas (fording the river, being the banker, dying of dystentry, and never being able to bring back more than a quarter of the food you shot and hunted) that we know so well while also giving us a poignant story that was fun, entertaining and also hit an emotional note. I was not disappointed at all.
The story is about a family of five who are making the journey to Oregon. They have no choice because the father burned down their farm. The father is gung-ho about the new adventure while the rest of the family is weary about what is going to happen to them. The story is about them trying to not only stay alive but also strengthen their connection as a family.
While making jokes about hunting, landmarks like Fort Hall and setting pace and rations there is a poignant story about a family struggling to stay together and not lose each other. This is one of the reasons I love this group, they create a story not only that make you laugh but also make you feel for the characters. You feel bad for the father who desperately wants to find a new and better life for his family, but has no idea how to do that for them. You understand the wife’s frustration in wanting to do what is best for her family while also trying not to lose hope. You feel triumphant when they rescue the teenage daughter together and make a pact to reach the end as a family. You grieve for them when it appears they may not be able to keep that pact.
As with all Starkid shows you get sniffle and sad moments but a giggle and a joke are never far behind. They really know how to mix comedy with telling a good and true story. It isn’t all ridiculousness. At the end there is always a message that cuts through the jokes and laughter.
The stand out actor for me in this show was Joey Richter. Since the cast was small he played a number of parts from the general store owner to the ox. He had to change voices and personalities constantly and he did so well at it. He made each character stand out and not fade away. He changed voices and costumes constantly, all without getting any of them confused or mixed up. His talent really stood out in this show. In past shows he was one character, maybe two if they needed a background character. In this show he had to carry all the side parts and he did it so well. All the rest of the cast was very talented as well, especially Rachel Soglin and Jamie Lynn Beatty’s voices, but Joey’s performance was the part that stood out most to me.
One significant aspect of the show that was different then the usual shows was that they let the audience make some choices about what was going to happen, making each show unique. First the audience was able to choose the names of wagon party, just like in the game. They did a song about picking names, all picking normal names until the grandfather picks ridiculous names. This moment lets the audience know that they are allowed to pick some ridiculous things to name the characters. In the version that was put on Youtube, the party names are: the father was Jack Bauer, the mother was Slippery When Wet, the teenage daughter was Mouthface, the son was Craphole and the grandfather was Tittymitty. I loved this concept of including the audience and letting them choose these ridiculous names. And I give credit to Jeff Blim ( as well as Nick and Matt Lang and additional writing by Brian Holden) for the great script and the cast for the great acting, because by the end even though the characters have crazy sounding names you still feel a connection to them. The ridiculous names don’t make you feel any less connected to the family or to their struggles and triumphs.
The audience was also able to choose the person who was going to die in the end as well. In the livestream version it was the son but the youtube allows you to choose each family member and see them die of dysentery. Each actor brings their own personally and acting talent to that end. I really liked that they allowed us to be able to see each ending.
I highly enjoyed this musical. It was probably one of my favorites of all the shows that they have done. They not only incorporated all the concepts we know from the game but they also told a significant story about a family who just wanted a new and better life for themselves. The songs were fun and catchy. The actors were all great and portrayed their characters well. The singing was great as usual. If you know the Oregon Trail game you should definitely check out the show for a dose of nostalgia that will make you laugh.
Once Upon a Time is back! And it came back with a handful of questions, new characters and set ups for what look to be exciting story lines. One of my major fears for this season was quickly put to rest from the season catch up that aired beforehand and the episode itself. I can see now that the Frozen storyline is not going to just be a retelling of the Frozen movie which makes me feel better. It actually seems like we are going to get more history of the sister, their families and Elsa’s powers. The show seems like it may answer some lingering questions from the movie and actually add more to the movie itself. After this season’s over or at least this storyline I may watch the movie again to see how it changes how I watch the movie. (Though I do know that nothing in the show is officially part of the Frozen Disney universe but it will still be fun to have this added bit for the movie).
We opened the episode with Elsa and Ana’s parents at sea caught in a terrible storm. The mother quickly works to write a message and place it in a bottle. She says it tells the truth (though what that truth is we are not told). We then jump five years and see Ana preparing for her wedding and Elsa still struggling with controlling her powers. This story line is going to take place right after the movie ends it would seem. (If you haven’t seen the movie I watch highly recommend it. Not only to be able to follow the show better but also because it is a great movie!).
We are introduced to our new characters and then are brought back to our old favorites. The scene opens right after Emma has brought Marian into the diner and Robin Hood has reunited with her. (Note that there is a time jump between Elsa and Ana’s past story and this moment, though we are not sure how much time has passed between the two yet). Regina leaves the diner, angry and broken hearted. She has just seen that Robin Hood still loves his wife and she has seen her whole world collapse around her once again. She is angry at Emma, angry at the whole situation and her heart is breaking. These are a lot of emotions for Regina to deal with at one time.
On top of all that Marian comes out screaming about Regina being a monster. She is upset and confused as to why everyone is defending Regina. She hates her (and I can’t blame her) and she reminds Regina that yet again she is and always will be seen as the villain by someone. She has tried so hard to make herself feel less like a villain and monster but she can’t succeed. She sees yet again that she is not going to get the happy ending that she so desires. She leaves the diner broken and hurt.
Regina enacted the curse because she was upset that everyone in the Enchanted Forest seemed to get a happy ending, everyone but her. She wanted to hurt Snow and she wanted to make it so no one can get the ending that she couldn’t have. Over the course of the show we have seen Regina get so close to that ending only to have it ripped out of her reach again and again. She is on her tippy-toes almost having a hand on that moment and then it is yanked away and she stumbles forward and has to start all over again. It hurts and she is done with that pain.
She thought she had her ending with Henry but he was distant with her and then Emma shows up and she has to fight for her son’s love. She gets his love and trust and then finds Robin Hood. Only to have him ripped right out of her grasp yet again. She is getting tired of this fight and we can see that she is getting desperate.
Henry is like us and worried about Regina going back to her old ways. Whenever she gets upset or angry she falls back into what is comfortable and that is being evil and hurting people. Henry doesn’t want to see that happen to his mother and either do we. I was scared at the end of last season that we would end up with evil Regina again but I don’t think we are going to get that woman. We are seeing a desperate Regina now.
She frees Sydney to help her get rid of Marian. She doesn’t want her killed in this world, because it would come right back to her and that would help nothing. She initially thinks about going back in time and killing Marian before Emma can come along but that idea doesn’t last long. Regina quickly realizes her problem isn’t Marian herself. She is just another obstacle being thrown at her and she is tired of weaving around and jumping over these things. She wants what she deserves and she is going to find a way of getting it, one way or another.
The plan that Regina comes up with excites my writer’s heart dearly. She is going to find the writer of Henry’s storybook and make him basically rewrite her story. She blames the book for her issues. Everyone’s story is inside of this book. You just have to open it and see what has happened to every one and what has led them up to this point in their lives. It doesn’t tell the future but it holds the past and the past is what Regina wants to get rid of. Time travel is complicated but she is intent on having her story rewritten. The stories in that book are the stories that have created everyone in Storybrooke. They hold everything that has made them who they are up until this point and Regina wants hers fixed.
Regina wants her story rewritten so she can actually get her happy ending finally. The problem is I am not sure Regina has a clear idea of what a happy ending truly is. I think she thinks of it has everyone being together and everything working out perfectly with no hurt, no pain and no problems. By that definition no one has gotten their happy ending and never will. Regina wants life to be too perfect and she is going to be upset when she finds out that happy endings are complicated. Plus you can’t get an ending until everything is over and her life is far from over. I think she will start to see that maybe she has all she needs to create that ending and to live happily, right in front of her.
The other main character in this episode was Elsa. We see that Elsa is still struggling to control her powers. Her emotions set them off and she is struggling not to freeze everyone and everything. We see that she seems to define herself much the same way that Regina does, as a monster.
Both Regina and Elsa have power and aren’t sure how to use it in the right manner. They are both scared of what they can do and have done in the past. They hide themselves away hoping to protect people. Regina hides because of her past and how it can hurt and Elsa hides because she is terrified of what she may do in a moment of lost control. Elsa blames herself for her parent’s death and believes that all her families problems are her fault.
We learn that Ana is missing. She went to Misthaven (also known as The Enchanted Forest) to find out why their parens were heading there when they died. Elsa blames herself and is determined to find her sister one way or another.
I hope that Elsa and Regina see a kindred soul in one another and become friends of sorts. They both are struggling so hard not see themselves as monsters that they would be able to relate to each other well. I think they can take advice from their friends and family but those people don’t understand their situation fully. Together they can offer advice and an ear to listen to because they know exactly how the other feels. They are both outsiders wanting a happy ending.
This season is going to be an interesting one. We are going to continue to see our key characters grow and we are going to get more depth to two characters that many have fallen in love with. Will be interesting to see how everything starts to play out.
“Always the villain even when I’m not.”- Regina- No matter what she does her past continues to haunt her. She is tired of being seen at the villain which is why she decides to rewrite her story.
“Left my past in the past where it belongs.”- Robin Hood- He knows your past may hurt and it can hold things you are not proud of but you can change. He hopes Regina can understand this. Even though his past love is now alive again so that statement got a bit complicated.
“There is always a crisis,”- Hook- I feel like Emma is going to hide behind this idea for a while. She likes Hook but she is scared, as always. If he gets close he can hurt her and she will do anything to prevent that pain.
“We have one answer and more questions.”- Anna- Sums up this show pretty well.
“You can have happiness […] You have to fight.”- Emma- She says this to Regina hoping to make her see that the world isn’t ending around her. This encourages her to fight, just not in a way that anyone probably foresaw.
Questions (feel free to add your own or answer some if you have any ideas/theories):
What were Elsa and Ana’s parents going to do in The Enchanted Forest?
– looking for answers about Elsa’s power?
– Will we learn the source and reason for the powers?
Where is Ana?
Who wrote the book?
If the author rewrites it can it really help Regina?
– Will altering her story actually giver her a happy ending?
– Does she already have some form of a happy ending with her son and her friends?
– What else does she want?
– What will altering the book do to everyone else?
Will Emma let herself get close to Hook ever?
– Or will she always find an excuse?
-How long will Hook stick around if she stays at arms length all the time?
Will Elsa and Regina get closes because of how similar they are to one another?
It was confirmed that what Rumple pulled out of the box thing was in fact Mickey’s hat from The Sorcerers Apprentice from Fantasia.
– So what does it do?
– Why was it hidden as it was?
– Is it a source of power?
-Rumple seems to know about it, so what connection does it have to him?
– Why is it the hat?
– What is Rumple going to do with it?
This episode was full of answers. We got revelations about everything that has been going on, one right after another. A quick list of what we learned: Henry’s storybook was the key to bringing back Henry’s memories. Regina’s true love kiss for her son broke the curse and brought everyone’s memories back. Regina, Charming and Snow were the ones who cast the Dark Curse in the first place so that they could get back to Emma. Zelena’s power resides in her amulet and Emma is the only one who can defeat her. And last Neal was the one who sent Hook the memory potion and note about finding Emma and saving everyone. This was a lot to happen in one episode but we learned a lot about our favorite characters and are set up for them to have the fight of their lives.
First Henry finally gets his memories back. I loved how his storybook was the key to him remembering his real life. The storybook was given to Henry when he was at his lowest point in life, when he needed hope and faith in something. This book holds everything that make Henry who he is. The book has faith, hope and belief in the impossible, all key traits for Henry.
Henry confronts Emma before he gets his memories back. He is tired of being left in the dark and he demands answers from his mother. Henry remembered a life where he was very close to his mother, where she told him everything. To be left out upsets and confuses him. He is worried that he is losing his connection to his mother. He knows something is off and he won’t stand around being the naive child any longer. He attempts to return to New York, the one place that he (at the time) understands.
This moment is more significant for Emma then anyone else. She actually yells at her son. Emma is so afraid of Henry finding out about this life that she finally snaps. Again we have Emma saying that once this is all over she wants to take Henry back to New York and their simple life. She doesn’t want him living this life full of danger and tragedy. She can’t even find the book because of her lack of belief in this life. It seems that Emma would rather everyone suffer then for Henry to get his memories back. As a mother she wants to protect her child, even if what she wants isn’t in his best interests.
Snow says something very interesting to Emma. When Emma says that their life in New York was good and happy, Snow says that is because she didn’t remember them, her family. To me, Emma constantly repeating this mantra about life being so great in New York is her way of trying to convince herself that that is actually true. I don’t think she truly believes that anymore. She sees that this life keeps pulling her in, she can’t ever escape it. She wanted New York to be how her life is supposed to be, but that is not the life she is meant to have.
It was much safer and less exciting but it wasn’t real. She thinks that is the life Henry should have but it isn’t the one he gets to have, and not the one he wants. Emma is starting to see that, this is where her family is; this is where love and hope reside, and that scares her. This life isn’t easy or safe but it has everything she was always missing, hope, belief and love. Emma doesn’t know what to do with those elements.
I wonder what Emma plans on doing now that Henry remembers everything. There is no way he is going to want to return to New York and their fake life now. Here he has a family that he adores. He won’t want to leave Regina and all these people he has a built a connection with. Henry loves this life, he fought way to hard for thee people to just walk away now. Why would he want to go back to New York? One good year won’t cancel out the rest of his life, all the love and memories won’t disappear. He is meant to be here and he knows that. Will Emma still want to go back to New York now? Will she try to convince Henry that he should leave Storybook for a normal life? If she tries to force him, he will fight and so will Regina. This is how Henry’s life is meant to be and he won’t leave it without a fight.
We learn in this episode that it was Snow, Charming and Regina who cast the Dark Curse in order to get home to get Emma. Emma is the only one who can defeat Zelena. She is the product of pure love and is full of pure white magic, the only thing that can defeat Zelena’s dark magic.
In order to cast the curse Snow had to sacrifice the heart of the one she loved, Charming. She does it, but Charming was still alive in Storybook so we knew that somehow he had to survive. Regina literally splits Regina’s heart in half and puts half in Charming and half in Snow. The love Snow has for Charming is powerful enough to keep them both alive.
The question becomes what type of effect will this have in the long run. Are they fully connected from now on? Something happens to Snow and it hurts Charming and visa versa? That could cause some major issues later on, but then again for these two it makes sense.
Snow and Charming have a deep and full love that no one can destroy (though we have seen many try). True love is supposed to keep you alive and moving when you have no reason to live. This is the true love all fairytales constantly have us believing in. We see it conquer the dark over and over again. Their true love constantly shows how powerful light is over dark. Charming and Snow have always shared a heart, it is now just literal.
Regina being the one to break the curse was unexpected but in retrospect it makes perfect sense. This whole season we have seen Regina growing and learning to truly love and to let her heart be placed out into the world. This woman is no longer on constant guard and constantly hiding from every person and feeling. Regina literally gave her heart to Robin Hood to protect. She gave trust and faith to someone else in her life. Henry was Regina’s gateway to seeing how good life can be if you let yourself be loved and you love in return.
Henry ran away in the first season to find Emma because his life was missing something. Regina was his mother but her heart was closed off and shoved so far away from her that she couldn’t use it. Going through everything; the curse breaking, her mother dying and having to fight Pan and then having to let Henry go has brought her heart to the surface. She can show her love to not only Henry now but she can truly love Robin Hood and she can show care to Snow, Charming and Emma even.
Regina’s kiss breaking the curse made perfect sense. She loves her son with all her heart and now the world can see how much she cares. She couldn’t get in to see Glinda because her heart isn’t pure and it is damaged but it is slowly healing. She is slowly letting real love in and it is only going to help her grow and become a better woman.
Last we saw that Neal was the one to send Hook the note and memory potion Neal fully trusts Hook, he knows that Hook loves Emma and will do anything to protect her. I love that this was the last thing we see from Neal, that he wanted Hook to do what he couldn’t do himself. His love for Emma extended beyond anything else. He gave his life to save his family.
I do feel bad for Hook. As I predicted Emma is pissed at him and doesn’t trust him anymore. Hook as going to lose no matter what he did. I’m just glad he lost in this manner. Emma knows the truth at least. She is upset he didn’t tell her right away but at least he didn’t give into Zelena and make Emma powerless and pissed off. I have a terrible feeling though that a great sacrifice is going to required of Hook before the season ends.
We got a lot of major questions answered. Now we get to see everyone come together and have an epic fight that I have a feeling not everyone will make it through. None of these characters are going to go down easily.
“Use mine for the both of us,” – Robin Hood- Interesting thing to say since we later see that sharing a heart is actually possible.
“…needed to believe in happy endings again,”- Snow- This is why she gave Henry the book. This is not only true for Henry but also for Emma. She has never actually accepted that a happy ending is possible.
“After true love there is nothing more powerful then footwear, it has to be protected”- Snow- Just a funny line.
Will Emma still try to go back to New York now that Henry remembers everything and everyone?
Will Henry actually go?
Can Emma accept that this is where her life is meant to be?
What will happen now that Snow and Charming share a heart?
Will Zelena succeed?
What part does the baby play?
Can Emma accept her white magic and save everyone?
What will happen if Zelena actually turns back time?