If the mid-season finale came off as bittersweet, this one is the happily ever after we were searching for. It’s Back to the Future meets Once Upon A Time (complete with Marty McFly reference), as Emma and Hook get sucked into Zelena’s time portal and have to figure out how to get back without setting off dire consequences in the timeline, and Emma has to figure out what exactly “home” is. Spoiler alert: only one of these 2 goals is accomplished. That ending! But first, remember the very sweet and fresh story of how Snow White and Prince Charming met in the first season? Well unfortunately, some of those details are about to get rearranged in a giant Captain Swan fan-service episode. Payoff is a lovely thing.
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.
Anyone who was hoping for some sort of twist or extra depth to Zelena’s backstory and why she enacted this curse might wind up feeling a little disappointed. And probably remain unsympathetic, although I’m guessing that’s what the showrunners want us to feel. We explore what exactly happened to the Wicked Witch and what made her green. Meanwhile Storybrooke is reeling from the sad events from last episode (although most of the town gets over it pretty quickly), and now that everyone knows who Zelena is, Regina prepares for a duel. And in the unrequited love department, Emma and Hook continue to have|conversations|like|this because personal space be damned.
Note to self: the next time you miss an episode of Once Upon A Time on Sunday and have to watch online afterwards, don’t do it during work because you risk the chance of crying at your desk. Now that everyone knows Rumplestiltskin is back, Emma and David track him down while Hook plays babysitter. How exactly is the Dark One alive? One year ago in the Enchanted Forest, Belle and Neal team up to bring Rumplestiltskin back. And finally in present day, the show suffers its most heartbreaking death yet. Now if you’ll excuse me I have something in my eye…
David gets some character development this week as he confronts not only his guilt over abandoning Emma twice, but also his fear in raising his new child when he doesn’t know how to be a father. Meanwhile Emma is back in full sheriff mode with Hook, tracking down the Wicked Witch the old-fashioned way (or should magic be the real old “old-fashioned” way)? The main storyline with Zelena’s motivations slowly reveals itself, and although there are some nice moments, and a clever take on what the Wicked Witch is after, there was just a little something off about this whole episode after last week’s fantastic hour.