The 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.
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.
“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.
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 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?
“Once Upon a Time,” gave us yet another episode packed with revelations. We got the full story behind what Charming and Snow did to Maleficent’s child. We also found out the fate of said child. Emma learned all about the lies her parents have been telling her for so long. And we finally met the author who appears not to be the most savory of characters.
The main aspect of this episode was the story behind what Charming and Snow did to save Emma from the potential darkness she has inside of her. They go out and find a unicorn. Legend tells them that if they touch its horn they will get a vision telling them the fate of their child. Charming touches it and gets a calm vision. Emma is a brand new baby and seems happy and whole. He is happy and excited when he tells Snow. Thinking that what he sees is true.
Snow on the other hand sees a completely different type of vision. She sees teenage Emma and she is not happy. This Emma is angry and resentful. She reaches into Snow’s chest, takes out her heart and crushes it with Snow watching. These two visions show that their child has two types of potential in her, just like any child who is a blank slate. She can be good or she can be bad.
What interested me most about all of this was the fact that Snow’s vision did come true. Emma did not literally rip out her heart, she did it more figuratively. After Emma found out that her parents were lying to her this whole time she is understandably upset and angry. She leaves and Snow tries to stop her. She says, “But I’m your mother,” and Emma replies with “I don’t care.” This is the exact exchange from Snow’s vision. Despite everything they did, Emma is still crushing her heart.
Emma, just like any child, was born with a blank slate. No child is born evil or good. They are born without understanding a thing about the world. In the end it is what surrounds them in the world that influences who they become. Snow and Charming are told after they did the spell on Maleficent’s child that they now have to guide their daughter. But no one guided Emma, she had to do it alone. All the decision that Snow and Charming made, they still have to watch their child turn away from them. No spell can take away that potential to hurt them. It all comes down to how the child is raised and what influences they live with. Snow and Charming did not need a spell to save Emma, they just needed to be there to guide her and watch over her.
But they did do the spell. Snow and Charming are led to the Sorcerer who tells them that there is a spell that will take out all the darkness from Emma and put it into another vessel. But that vessel has to be as pure and as much of a blank slate as their child. They know that Maleficent has a child on the way and they decide to kidnap it and have it take all the darkness from their daughter. The Sorcerer does the spell and because of the dangerous potential the child holds he banishes it to our mortal world.
When Snow is taking the egg from Maleficent she refuses to use the words child or baby when talking about it. When Maleficent asks how they could hurt a child Snow replies with it isn’t a child ,it is a monster. Despite all that Snow has done the idea of hurting a baby still stops her in her tracks. She cannot see Maleficent’s child as she sees her own. To do the spell the egg has to be nothing but an egg from a dragon that is a monster. Snow refuses to see that no matter who the parents are a child is still an innocent child. Plain and simple. Just because it comes from Maleficent does not mean that the child is going to be evil.
Then they do the spell and Snow realizes that the egg actually held a human baby inside of it. She freaks out, begging to save the baby. It is in this moment when she sees the reality of what she has done. That baby was just as pure as the child she is carrying. They are the same and the fact that she just doomed this child to darkness as well to being banishes to another world is almost too much for her to take. Charming and Snow realize they made a horrible decision and that in their fear they hurt an innocent life.
We see that Snow can’t get past what they did to Maleficent. Everything she sees and does reminds her of the choice they made. She is desperate to do something to fix it but knows that there is nothing she can do. Charming takes her aside and tell her that the decision they made was a horrible one. They both acknowledge that they hurt someone and that what they did was no better then many of the things that Maleficent did.
Snow tells him that what they did “was brave but was not kind.” In this moment Charming tells her that for now on they will live a kind life. They will spread hope and faith throughout the kingdom. They will help who they can and try to live pure lives. It is this moment that makes them the heroes to me. They made bad choices, they hurt others. But they do not shrug it all off. They live with it everyday and they are desperate to change what they did.
A hero tries to help and take care of others even when they aren’t the best person themselves. The Charming’s, in this moment, make the decision that in order to correct their mistakes they will live good lives. They cannot undo what they did but they can strive to live better from now. We all makes horrible mistakes when we are scared and emotional, it is how we react to those mistakes and how we try to fix them that makes us heroes or villains.
In this episode Rumple did show Maleficent what ended up happening to her child. The baby was banished to the mortal world and was adopted. We find out that that her child is actually Lily, the friend of Emma’s. I read theories that this might be the case and I am very happy that they are true. I love this idea that these two children, one full of good and one full of supposed darkness, became friends
When we met Lilly she wasn’t some sadistic kid. She was just as lost as Emma. They both feel like they do not belong in the lives they are living. They both are looking for more and they find a kindred spirit in one another. Emma is supposed to be full of pure light while Lily is supposed to a hold all this darkness yet they are able to get along and feel connected to one another. They formed a bond that Emma still regrets breaking to this day. She tells Hook that Lily was her friend. They were friends, despite what the potential they are supposed to harbor inside of themselves.
Snow and Charming were told that all the darkness was taken out of Emma but young Emma wasn’t some pillar of good. She ran away multiple times, she stole and she made some very poor choices. So how much did the spell actually do? If Emma was supposed to have no darkness left in her why would she have such a troubled early life? That is because the potential she held had to be nurtured. She needed someone to show her the right choice to make. As I stated earlier no spell is going to make her good. She has to make the choices and she can’t make the choices if she has no one to show her the way.
This all leaves a very open ended question about Lily. Where is she? Is she incarcerated and a horrible person? I highly doubt it. I feel like she is in the same position Emma was in when we first met her in season one. She is lost, and does not know what she is supposed to do or be. She has no one on her side and she is scared. She needs a guiding hand just like Emma got. I can’t wait to see these two meet again. I want to see them help everyone else realize that it isn’t what you did in the past that matters or what someone thinks you can do or be it is all up to you and you alone. You make the choices that control your life. Emma and Lily may have made poor choices but they also made positive ones at the same time. They are not controlled by this potential that so terrified their parents.
Emma and Lily had no one making choices for them but we see that our other characters may not have been so lucky. We met the author in this episode and he is not the greatest person. The role of the author is supposed to record the stories of these people. They are supposed to do nothing but observe and write it all down. But this author thought that was boring and he was manipulating the stories.
He was the one who led Charming and Snow to the Sorcerer in the first place. He was the one who wrote the Sorcerer banishing away Maleficent’s child. His excuse was that it made a better story. So how much did he actually influence everyone? What decisions did our characters make on their own and which ones did he have a part in helping them make? Did he have a hand in influencing Regina not to meet Robin Hood? Was he responsible for young Snow telling Cora about Regina’s boyfriend?
Judging by the few minutes we met him he doesn’t seem like the helpful kind. He ran as soon as they mentioned they had questions so getting him to do what they want doesn’t sound like an easy task. But do they want him to do anything? If he undoes all that he initially messed up where will we end up? This feels similar to an altering time story line. You mess with one piece and it touches everything else. It will be interesting to see if he does anything and what the results of his actions.
Rumple wasn’t in this episode much but the part he was in was telling. He goes to find a sleeping Belle (she was under a sleeping spell by Maleficent along with the rest of the town). He tells her that he knows that he has a massive debt to pay for all the magic and harm he has done over his life. He knows that the only way to clean up that debt is to change the story. Then he tells her that “something is changing,” and that he has to do this all quickly. This is where he lost me. What is changing?
While he was saying this he was holding his chest, possibly his heart. Is he dying? Is Rumple losing his heart or will to live in some way? Is this changing the story his only way to live on? Something is off about what he was saying to Belle. I doubt whatever is changing has to do with Belle being with Will. I feel like it is something bigger then that.
Rumple finishes his speech by telling Belle that he will come back for her if he can. This is a very telling statement. Up until now I have assumed that whatever Rumple’s happy ending is, it involves Belle in every way. Now we see him saying that he may not be able to come to her again. Why? What does he actually want? Does it not involve Belle exclusively? Does his love for her not trump something else? I am very interested to see where this conversation takes us.
“Darkness if funny thing, it creeps up on you,” – Hook- He is concerned that Emma does not understand how dangerous darkness can be. You don’t realize it is taking over until it is too late. But hopefully Emma knows enough and has enough support that she won’t be lost to it.
“Heroes do what is right, not what is easy,” – Snow- Her and Charming choose wrong at one time. They chose a spell to help their daughter. They wanted a quick solution instead of taking the harder path. They learned their lesson. When you do what is easy you can hurt others. It would have been better for them to take responsibility of their child’s future and ensured she was good by their influence and parenting instead of some spell.
“You’ve sure come a long way from the woman who couldn’t believe,”- August – This is a great way to sum up Emma’s evolution throughout the seasons. At one point she refused to see her true life and the truth and now she is fighting for all of it with all she has.
Where is Lily now?
When will we see her again?
Is Lily dark? Or is she like Emma was, lost and needing guidance?
Will she forgive Emma for abandoning her?
What is wrong with Rumple?
What is changing so quickly for him?
Does Rumple’s ending involve Belle?
Can the author change what he messed up in the first place?
What were the original stories of our characters supposed to be?
Do we want the author to do anything?
Will any changes be for the better or for the worse?
Did he transport Emma from the mansion to the town square? Why did he do that? How much power does he actually possess?
Is there a more current author right now?
Is Rumple going to use Robin to make Bella work with him to hurt Regina?
Was her Regina’s dream warning her about what Rumple is up to?
Will we Emma go dark in any way?
A/N: These is a review for two episodes. They are very close in the story line and how they set things up. They kind of go hand in hand with each other. Also it was a very busy week and I was not able to get the review in sooner.
These episodes both set up the winter finale that will air Sunday. What they mainly did was give us a deeper understanding of where exactly Regina and Emma are at the moment. Regina is content and understands her place, she really just wants to be Henry’s mother, nothing else matters anymore. Emma on the other hand is refusing to let go of her troubled past, she can’t let herself be happy even for a second. Both of these characters are going to be very important in the second half of this season.
In episode 9 we finally learn how Regina ended up with Henry. Regina has been feeling lonely and incomplete. She isn’t completely satisfied or content with this new life and home she created. Something is missing.
Rumple tells Regina that after she killed her father she left a hole in herself, she left a spot that will always need to be filled. Eventually she realizes he is right and she seeks out a child. Of course Gold is the one to get her a child.
What was most interesting about this episode was watching Regina grow. She is almost like a teenager when she first gets Henry. She is excited and thinks he is perfect and adorable and all she wants to do is hold him. What she doesn’t understand is how much work a child is. Henry always cries around her, Regina can’t soothe him no matter what she does.
Regina doesn’t understand how to show love. For so long she has built a wall around her heart, not allowing anyone anywhere close to her. No one is left to show her how to truly love. Henry, as a baby, senses that she is cold, reserved and that she isn’t nurturing. She wants an answer that is easy and logical, the last thing she wants is to find out is that the problem is really her.
After she sees Snow comfort the baby so easily two things click in her head. She realizes who’s child Henry is, and she also sees that Snow has what she doesn’t, a gentle heart and caring manner.
She tries to return Henry because she says she is afraid of the repercussions on the curse but I think it was because she was scared to actually get close to the child. She would have to fully open herself up and allow someone close to her again. That is a process that terrifies her.
But she doesn’t back down. Regina realizes that to be a strong person, someone no one can hurt, she has to have confidence and faith in herself. She has to let this child in, to give her a purpose again. Without Henry she would have fallen into a funk and lost power. She wouldn’t have cared about anything getting bored with her life. Henry gave her desire and drive again.
But she is still human and still has worries in her head. Worries she can’t get away from. She takes a potion of forgetting so that she forgets who Henry really is. She needs to be in control, she can’t let worries hurt her. She has a new point in life, to be the best mother she can be. Now she can live peacefully and happily or so she hopes.
Episode 10 shows us how much she cares about Henry. Nothing matters to her anymore. The past is just the past. She wants to protect and care for Henry and that is all. She just wants the boy to truly love her. In the rest of the season I think we are going to see a very human and vulnerable Regina.
While Regina is slowly pulling herself together Emma is absolutely falling apart. Emma comes homes still wound extremely tight. While everyone else is getting back into their lives and trying to rejoice and celebrate, Emma can’t settle down.
She knows right away that something is wrong with Henry. She refuses to listen to everyone telling her not to worry. We see how in tune Emma is to her surroundings. She knows her son, knows something is off.
While it is helpful for Emma to be so attentive to her surroundings it also hurts her. Emma can not be happy, she doesn’t understand the concept and wont even fathom what it means. For her happiness never lasts so she won’t even bother trying. Charming tells her to find good moments but she doesn’t understand what that means.
Emma is always going to be looking over shoulder and jumping at the smallest noises. She has to let her loved ones close to her. If she continues as she is, she is going to break apart. You can’t live your life always depressed and scared, eventually it will destroy her. Her parents, Neil and Henry can help her, if she will just let them. The rest of the season is going to have Emma learning to let go of some of this despair and hurt. She has to let some light in soon or the darkness will come permanent.
A few words on this re-doing of the curse. I am very much hoping there is a different twist to this. If we repeat the basic of the first season everything will get very repetitive. This show is good at the twists and turns so hopefully this idea gets very interesting.
“What’s the point if you’ve got no one to share it with”- Dr. Hopper- This hits a nerve with Regina. She knows she can’t live completely with only herself. She has to let someone else in.
“Magic isn’t the answer”- Regina- Very important she says this. We will see her turning away from her usual solutions and learning how to rely on herself only, no powers.
“Look for the moment. Look for the good moments in between the bad ones,”- Charming- Can they ever really do this?
“Price of being the savior is you don’t get a day off”- Emma- It isn’t though. That is only the price because that is what she wants it to be. Being happy will require a lot of work, too much for Emma to handle.
How did Rumple know who Henry was?
What happens to the rest of the lost boys now?
Is there more to Felix?
Does he have a story?
What will the twist be with this curse?
Can everyone unite to save their home? Can it be saved?
What will the shadow do now that it is released?