Once Upon A Time: Kansas (3×20)

David: “You need help. Take Hook.”

Emma: “Are you insane?”

David: “He’s going with you. You’re going with her.”

Hook: “I thought you didn’t trust me, mate.”

David: “Zelena backed you into a corner. You did the best you could.”

Hook: “See? Even your father gets it.”

Emma: “Yeah, because he knows about keeping secrets from loved ones.”

David: “Hey!”

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The arrival of Snow’s baby means that it’s time for Zelena to make her move. Emma finds herself backed into a corner while confronting Zelena, and the “mystery of Hook’s lips” is solved. In past Oz we learn how Zelena rose and fell from power, with a few iconic Wizard of Oz moments throw in for nostalgia’s sake. Then we have a final confrontation, character development (and arrested character development) and events set in motion by that will most likely change the course of the show.

In the hospital Snow is worried again about the fate of her and Charming’s baby, but Charming assures her things are different this time. Because not only do they have Regina, who tried to take away their first child, they have their first child and savior, enacting a protection spell. Hook arrives to make amends, and finally reasons with Emma that he didn’t have a choice in not telling her. David agrees, and in a bromantic moment for the ages, tells Emma to take Hook with her to find Zelena, because she can’t do it alone and Hook did the best he could. Looks like Hook finally has the Dad Seal of Approval. Emma begrudgingly complies, and off they go for more married couple bickering time.

At the hospital in the midst of all the magic spell protection, Henry is sitting down with Archie. (Where have you been, cricket??) He’s circling apartments in the local paper because Snow’s apartment is going to be crowded now with the baby. Archie asks if Henry’s talked to his mother about staying, and Henry says there’s nothing to talk about; Storybrooke is home.

Oh but Emma has different plans in mind, stubbornly wanting to go back to NYC after she melts Zelena. Hook reasons with her that it was a fake life and that’s she’s scared to stay because she might actually be happy in Storybrooke. “With you?” Emma asks, but before Hook can answer they are interrupted (again!!!) by Zelena and Rumple, who they actually should have been looking out for. Zelena is tired of Emma’s griping, so she speeds things up by having Rumple drown Hook in a very conveniently placed watering hole. So Emma has to either save Hook and lose her magic, or let him die and still be the savior. RIP Killian. Kidding! Like we all didn’t know she’d never let him die and would of course save him with a… CPR kiss? Does that even count as a kiss? In any case, technically her lips touch his, she saves him (showing that she cares more about his life than her magic), his lips go green, her magic goes poof, and Hook wakes up asking what she’s done (but obviously aware of the answer). Damn you, showrunners, for denying us a real kiss!!

In Oz, Zelena has set up camp in the wizard’s room, spying on Regina and lamenting her lack of magic, when Glinda arrives, thanking her for turning the wizard into a flying monkey, and tells her she knows what Zelena wants. A family. So she takes her to meet the other witches who represent elements of magic. While Glinda is Love, the other ones are Wisdom and Courage. Zelena would take the last elusive spot – Innocence. Zelena says she isn’t innocent, but Glinda says she can choose to be good and regain it. (This message will come in handy later). Glinda also reveals that Zelena fulfills a prophecy of Oz, which states the last sister will come to the land via a tornado, which Zelena did.

Zelena spies one last time on Regina and Rumple, and then stops and lets it go, saying she’s done. Glinda poofs into the room, saying that Zelena took control of her destiny and is now part of the sisterhood. Her envy is gone, and also her green skin. Glinda gives her the necklace that will harness and grow her power, but also will leave her powerless without it. Seems like the necklace should be worn in a much more protected or secret space, but I guess she assumes there will be no evil.

And Zelena is being her wicked self in Storybrooke, having harvested Gold’s brain from his golden straw, and making him dig the satanic ritual-like compass drawing on the ground. Then she comes for Snow’s baby. Robin Hood and his men are absolutely ineffectual. Belle stupidly tries to stand up to her and fails, and Regina is knocked out in as fast a manner (although more violent). I guess the protection spell was rendered useless after Emma lost her magic. Snow is glowing and holding her baby boy, David is grinning from ear-to-ear, but not for long because Zelena freezes everyone, poofs the baby out of Snow’s arms, and then whisks away. Snow is devastated after losing another baby, and Charming goes into full-on hero mode.

He storms off to get his son back, and runs into Emma who tells him that Zelena took her magic – in a manner that is not important at all, nope, not at all – so they’re going to have to find another way. Henry tells Regina that she can choose to be good but Regina says all she knows is dark magic. Emma reminds her that Regina broke the curse with true love, so she is capable of light magic. Then Henry goes into a somewhat annoying spiel about how Regina is a hero now; yeah we get it, kid. Fewer words, please.

Back in Oz, Glinda gives Zelena control of the west. But then another green tornado lands and Dorothy Gale steps out of it. Glinda is impressed that she survived and excitedly welcomes her with open arms and wants to introduce her to the sisters. Zelena is not happy about this and doesn’t join them for dinner. She complains to Glinda that Dorothy is her “latest protege” but Glinda says Zelena and Dorothy are very alike and no one is taking Zelena’s seat. But Zelena’s gone green again and brings up the prophecy and how if Dorothy is “Innocence,” that means Zelena will be Evil and Dorothy will be key to her destruction. Glinda goes on another “Only you can choose your destiny” spiels but Zelena is having none of that.

She surprises Dorothy at the well with a fireball. Dorothy who is holding a bucket of water. Fire, meet water. She tosses the bucket at Zelena, who instantly starts to melt. Dorothy panics and calls Glinda, who then tells her it was her destiny to defeat Zelena. Geez, what is it with Glinda and destinies? Is she going to pick just about any person who falls out of a tornado to be the final witch? Dorothy refuses the position because she wants to return home, so Glinda takes her to the wizard, who should be back in human form again after Zelena’s death. The wizard tells her to click her shoes which came off the melted Zelena, and Dorothy returns home. And surprise! The wizard is actually Zelena, who tells Glinda she can change the past now with Dorothy out of the way. Glinda vows to stop her as long as she is in Oz; she will find someone else to fulfill the prophecy. Poor choice of words, Glinda. Zelena zaps her to the Enchanted Forest.

Back in Storybrooke, with the baby representing Innocence, Zelena casts the curse and tells Rumple that he will choose her. He tells her no matter where (or rather when) she goes, he will kill her. Then our heroes arrive, and all are pretty much rendered useless due to Zelena’s Jedi force. She grabs Regina and tells them they are both dark inside, but then ta da! Regina uses light magic and knocks Zelena down, scattering Gold’s dagger and then grabbing her pendant. That was it? Is Regina the metaphor for Dorothy’s slippers? She had the power all along? They only needed to come back to Storybrooke so she could love Henry again and Emma’s power wasn’t really needed? Damn the inconsistent magic rules on this show.

David is about to take out the last flying monkey but luckily Little John transforms back into himself before David takes his head off. Rumple finally sees an opportunity for his revenge, but Regina grabs the dagger and stops him, saying that heroes don’t kill and reminding him of all the people they’ve killed in the past to get what they want. I feel like this decision will come back to bite them. Spoiler alert: in about 10 minutes’ time.

So Zelena gets locked in the local jail cell and here, finally, is when I started to feel sympathetic towards Zelena. Zelena tells Regina that she had everything. But Regina says she lost the love of her life and tried to kill Snow White and failed, but was given a second chance. So she is giving the same to Zelena. Regina then says she’ll put the pendant somewhere safe, which turns out to be her vault. Nooo! Destroy it!

“Evil isn’t born, it’s made. And so is good. If I were you, I’d consider creating a new destiny. Because if you don’t, I’ll be right there to take your heart and crush it.” – Regina

Gold is back in his shop, not looking very happy. Belle comes in, excited to see him. If Gold headed straight to the shop instead of the hospital it means he wasn’t trying to find her first. You can sense something sinister is brewing. Belle tells him that Regina gave her Rumple’s dagger to make amends. (Wait, was Regina otherwise going to keep the dagger forever, taking away his free will?) Belle in turn gives the dagger back to Rumple, who wonders why Belle is still with him after everything he’s done. Then he gives her the dagger back, saying he trusts her because she trusts him, and then asks her to marry him. Now that’s some engagement ring!

But unfortunately, Rumple has a trick up his sleeve. You see, the man who spent years preparing the darkest curse possible just to reunite with his son will do dark things to avenge his son’s death. He fooled Belle with a fake dagger (because basing your marriage on a lie is totally the right thing to do), and shows up in Zelena’s cell, telling her that even though she is powerless and apologetic now, he keeps his promises. And he stabs her, in a very family-friendly way, as she turns into a porcelain figurine and shatters. And as much as I was feeling sympathetic towards her, I’ve missed dark Rumple in a Walter White kind of way. But then guess what happens? Zelena’s pendant releases its power, and the time curse is enacted again. Good one, Gold.

“Because I promised my son his death would be avenged. And Rumplestiltskin never breaks a deal.” – Gold

Back at the hospital everyone is smiling and happy, even Emma, and Hook points that out (even though she was totally smiling at him at the diner practicing her magic). He thanks her for saving his life and they are both so giddy I was expecting them to kiss, but nope! Emma says her magic didn’t return after Zelena was defeated, but it’s all good because she won’t need it in New York. Right to his face. Smiling. Damn, woman, can you try to be a little less callous about it? She calls Henry to meet his much younger uncle, and Hook pretends not to be devastated at this news. I think because Emma realized her feelings for Hook she’s now ready, of course, to bail like she always does. But I have a feeling next week’s season finale will throw a giant wrench into her plans. Because really how much does Hook have to suffer before Emma finally admits she cares about him – to his face while he is conscious? I’m expecting a big payoff in the finale. Please?

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