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Monday, May 13, 2013

Once Upon A Time Recap: And Straight on 'Til Morning

Once Upon A Time

Well dearies, we've made it to the season finale! From the aftermath of the broken Curse and an adventure in the Land that Was, to the threat of a new and powerful evil, to the reuniting of family and a plot to destroy Storybrooke, we've been through a lot! So let's get to it:

The episode begins with a loving Grandpa watching his Grandson play on a swing. Except it's Rumplestiltskin, and he's trying to kill the threat to his existence. As he begins to fray the ropes of Henry's swing, causing him to fly into some pointy-looking rocks (seriously, who designed this playground?), Emma, Charming, and Snow rush to tell him the news about Baelfire. They also tell him about that Greg and Tamara have the trigger, and he must help stop them. Gold refuses, distraught over losing his son again. Meanwhile, Greg and Tamara take Hook down to the mines and, with a dwarf's pick-axe, strike the trigger to the fail-safe and set in motion the end of Storybrooke, literally wiping it off the map. The forest on which it appeared begins to take back the land as trees jut out of the ground and the earth begins to shake.

Once Upon A Time
"Time to run, then? Yep...let's run..."
The Family Charming, including Regina, are at the apartment when Hook shows up to tell them the news. But not everyone will share in Storybrooke's fate. Because Henry was born here, he will remain here....alone. It is decided that they will take a two-pronged approach: Regina will try to stop the trigger, and Hook and Charming will go after Greg and Tamara in order to get some magic beans as a means to escape destruction. The dashing duo manage to succeed in obtaining a bean, but the Muggle Patrol manage to slip away yet again.

Once Upon A Time
Anyone else see a buddy cop spin-off coming out of this? 
Meanwhile, knowing that their doom is imminent, the dwarves raid Gold's shop in order to find a potion to restore Sneezy's memory so that he can at least die as himself. When they finally are able to get a batch, they offer some extra to Mr. Gold, who restores Belle's memory so that, in their last moments, they can be together. Even knowing that Belle would eventually get her memory back, hearing Gold say "I didn't want to wake you up to die..." just tugged at all of my heart strings.

In Neverland, Hook discovers that the boy brought on board his ship is actually Rumplestiltskin's son, and decides to use him to enact his revenge. When the Lost Ones (a very dark take on Peter Pan's band of misfits) board the ship demanding the boy that the Shadow has great need of, Hook will not give Baelfire up (even under threat of having his shadow ripped out...ouch). After they leave, Baelfire tries to kill Hook, having found a picture of his mother on Hook's desk (proving even then that you need to delete your search history and not leave things open on your desk). Hook tries to tell Bae about what really happened, that he and his mother fell in love...and that his father killed her. Hook offer Bae the opportunity to stay with him and his crew, as a way to make it up to Mila, but the Son of Stiltskin refuses. It is then that he is captured by the Lost Ones. I have to say, not calling them "boys" makes them truly seem like lost souls in the service of a dark, great evil. And it definitely makes them more threatening. 

Back in the tunnels, things are not going so well. Regina does not have the power to stop the trigger from detonating. When Emma goes to pull out the bean, hoping to send the failsafe into oblivion (or at least a dimension in which it can do no harm), she discovers that Hook has absconded with their only hope at survival. No bean, assured destruction, and no way to stop it.....well, it looks like it's sayonara, Storybrooke.

Once Upon A Time
"Not one of my better backup plans..."
Emma is hesitant to leave Regina, but her arch-rival pleads with her. She has been known for so long as the Evil Queen, she just wants to die as Regina. Henry realizes that there's good left in his mom and finally (oh, finally!) he goes over and hugs her. It's then that Emma realizes that she might be able to help. Nubile as she is in the magical arts, she has seen for herself that she has the potential to be quite powerful. And so, together, in the best Mother's Day salute ever, Emma and Regina combine their strengths and defuse the bomb. They are blown back a bit, but a few scrapes serve as confirmation that they are, indeed alive. Yes: Prince Charming, Snow White, their daughter, and even the Evil Queen are all okay. And Henry...Henry? Ahhhh, crap.

Greg and Tamara, seizing upon the distraction caused by the trigger, abduct Henry and bring him back to the docks. As all the main cast members rush to save him, the two villains prove "like father, like son" as they drop a magic bean into the water and jump, arm in arm with their captive, into the portal. Since it is pretty much impossible to cross worlds without one, they must come to terms with the fact they they will never see Henry again. But, ahoy mateys! Captain Hook has a change of heart and sails back into port, magic bean in hand! Mr. Gold knows that, indeed, the boy will be his undoing, but he must find him to honor Baelfire. He bids Belle farewell, and together, the most unlikely family sets off for Neverland.

Once Upon A Time in "never gonna go to that land"
As the waves crash on a distant shore, we come across a man in bad shape. Clinging to life, Baelfire is discovered by none other than Princess Aurora and (ugh) Mulan. But he is worlds apart from where he needs to be in order to protect his son. Because Peter Pan never wanted him....he was after Henry.

Well, then! I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed when I watched it last night, but going over it again really made me appreciate the subtleties of the episode and how it sets up an exciting Season 3. 

Til' then, dearies!

- Joe

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