In this episode, we got to see the end of Hades and we also learned just what kind of man he was, while this battle yet again destroyed Regina’s happiness. Zelena also had to make a difficult choice between her sister and Hades.
The episode started with everyone arriving back in Storybrooke. It becomes their mission to find and defeat Hades. They all know now that Hades cannot be trusted and he has not changed. They do not have time to let Zelena try to change him. He does not trust them and they do not trust him.
Regina tries to explain to Zelena what happened with Hades but Zelena does not want to hear it. All Zelena can hear is that Regina wants to destroy the man she loves. She sees Regina not trusting her. Zelena is upset that yet again no one is on her side. They are all fighting against her and she cannot deal with that.
Zelena tells Hades about how everyone is after them and she suggests just running away. Zelena just wants to be happy with her love and her daughter. That is all that matters to Zelena anymore. This sets up the key difference between Zelena and Hades’s characters.
Zelena would be satisfied with a calm life living in the woods somewhere with just Hades and her daughter. Revenge and taking out their enemies does not matter to her anymore. All that matters is having the two people she cares most about in her life at her side. She no longer wants to hurt Regina or anyone else. Fighting is not on her radar.
Hades is the opposite. Hades will not be happy just living off the grid somewhere. He will not be happy without having everyone under his control. He wanted out of The Underworld in order to rule a greater kingdom. What is important to him is power and control.
Hades and Zelena parallel Rumple and Belle. I do not doubt that both Rumple and Hades love Belle and Zelena. That love is true but that love is not enough. Both Hades and Rumple cannot deal with others being in control of their lives. They cannot let anyone else have power over them. Rumple has to be The Dark One and Hades needs to have the Olympian crystal. With these powers, they are tough to fight and defeat. They believe they are safe because they are the strongest ones around.
While Belle and Zelena want to just live their lives. They do not want to fight. They do not care about power or control. They want to live calmly with their loves and families. In the end, neither can change the men they love. Rumple will always need the power as does Hades.
Zelena was faced with a choice in this episode. She had to choose between her sister and Hades. Hades wanted Zelena to kill Regina in order to eliminate her as a threat. Zelena could not kill her sister. Her sister loves her and does not want to change her anymore. Hades could not live the life that Zelena wanted. He would always want to hurt others and take out Regina. Zelena realized that she could not change this side of him. I think once Belle wakes up she will make the same realization.
There is an issue I had though with this episode and Hades’s character. In all the other storylines the adversary gets an extensive backstory. We see why they became who they were and what caused them to be full of anger and resentment. We got hints at Hades’s story in this second half of the season but nothing extensive which disappointed me. I wanted a flashback to why Zeus cursed Hades.
I wanted to see who Hades was before the curse. I think it would have given me a better way to relate to him. For the Once Upon a Time X Challenge, I am going to write a more extensive post about the use of fairy tales and mythology in this show so I will go into more detail there about the potential that was not realized with Hades character.
In the end, Regina lost Robin in this episode. In the previews for next week, she asks Emma if she is worried that the Evil Queen will come back. I am not sure how I want this to play out.
On one hand the last thing I want is for Regina to backslide. Her character has been written so well. She has the best arc in this series. We understand her so well and all her choices make sense. So having her revert to her old ways out of grief and anger would seem to cheapen her journey. She has dealt with grief before and she should be able to find a way to deal without trying to destroy everyone.
On the other hand, I would not blame her for lashing out. She cannot catch a break and it is getting a bit annoying. There is only so much one person can take. Regina has been through so much and overcome so much. Every time things get close to things being good for her the rug is ripped out from under her feet. I can see her resenting Emma because Emma got Hook back and again not sure I can blame her. I think Regina is strong enough to fight her grief and not fall into that dark place but I would not be surprised if she is angry and resentful for a while.
“Sometimes the truth really hurts,” – Regina- Zelena learned that her love was not enough for Hades. Regina learned that the universe does not want her to be happy.
“Our future is not determined by our past,” – Robin – Robin gave Regina a chance and saw her change. Regina is a new person but her past still haunts her and it may be something she can’t ever fully escape.
“Only way to be safe it be strong,” – Hades- For Hades strength was one of the main things that mattered. Love was not enough. In the end strength was not enough to save him.
What will Rumple do with the piece of crystal?
Will Belle’s father really leave her asleep?
Is there another way to wake Belle?
How will Regina handle Robin’s death?
Will Regina come to resent Emma because she got Hook back?
What will the new threat be?
Will Zelena be a deciding factor in Regina not reverting to her old ways?
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?