Here we are folks; the Grand finale of a season 3 of Once Upon a Time. The season paced itself in usual fashion: first half of the season, villain/problem number one; second half of the season, villain number 2. This season’s subplot had a firm focus on redemption: Regina proving to the people of Storybrooke she had the potential to be a good, trustworthy, and heroic person deserving of love. Hook was on a similar, yet simpler, journey to prove there was inherent goodness in him, but I don’t think anyone ever thought he was less than good at heart. Emma was on a search for “home.” Not just in the physical sense, but that intangible feeling of peace that comes with the love and unwavering support of family (biological or chosen)and friends. And Henry, well, he went through puberty at an alarming rate and now goes by the name Big H.
This 2-hour finale was jam-packed with so much information and much of it fluff. Love found and lost. Redemption for some, loss and betrayal for others. A wedding, a kidnapping and a naming ceremony. All we need is a regicide and it’s just like Game of Thrones. Here is the quick and the dirty of what happened in the 2-hour finale:
Emma and Hook travel back in time as a result of the time portal opened after the death of Zelena. They are on a quest to return to Storybrooke but of course mistakes happen and they almost wipe Emma from the annals of history. If Snow and Charming never meet, what shall we ever do? Emma and Hook do some Back to the Future (referenced in the show) style disruptions to put Snow and Charming in the right place at the right time so they can fall in love.
During this journey, Emma and Hook grow closer, and he calls her on the carpet about her penchant for running away, from EVERYTHING. Gold is almost caught like Solange two-piecing Jay-Z, because the police station has surveillance tape of him and Zelena, he magics the video so it appears she offed herself. Gold and Belle wed in the 100 Acre wood in a very private ceremony. Robin and Regina are falling in love and Henry is bonding with his grandparents. Emma and Hook save the life of one of Regina’s prisoners and opts to kidnap her and take her with them to Storybrooke because her family thinks she is dead anyway. Emma digs down deep and finds the magic to use the wand to reopen the portal returning them to present day Storybrooke. Snow and Charming name their son Prince Neal. Marian (the prisoner), Robin, and Regina have an awkward reunion at Granny’s, Regina’s heart is broken and she blames Emma. Back in the barn, a gold urn is buried in the rubble that was left when the portal closed. A blue liquid oozes out and shapes itself T-1000 style into the shape of none other than Elsa of Arendelle.
- Charming saving Snow the lady bug and Emma being both joyful and a bit heartbroken at Snow’s return. Snow doesn’t know Emma’s her daughter and definitely gave her the “Why the hell are you so happy to see me?” look.
- Snow and Charming falling in love all over again. I am a sucker for a romance; as much as they get on my damn nerves, it was sweet to relive the past.
- Emma finally letting Killian in; how long was that man supposed to wait? Until they learned how to regenerate his hand? Sheesh, that accent is enough of a panty dropper; thankfully Emma is finally on Team Hook.
- Regina and Robin sharing a snack by candlelight. Regina being happy for more than an instant should have been a clue to the future.
5. Neal and Emma having a moment on the swings at a closed amusement park. I may not think that Neal is the Guy for her (I actually think he and Belle would be a great pairing); it was a tender moment while they learned about each other and Emma’s definition of home.
- Flashback to Emma in the group home watching one of her fellow foster children get taken away by her new parents. The tallest and eldest of the bunch she weeps as her foster mother assures her that, one day, she will be chosen for adoption.
- Emma watching Snow get burned at the stake. I don’t think we’ve ever seen Regina burn someone alive before; that was pretty brutal even for the Evil Queen.
- Watching Regina’s heart turn to stone when Marian and Robin saw each other at Granny’s. Way to throw a damn wrench in the works Emma. Just like your mother. Love ruiner.
- The wedding of Gold and Belle. I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, but it seems like every wedding is disrupted by a fairytale horrific event. They had a delightful ceremony in the 100 Acre wood, officiated by Jiminy Cricket.
- The return of Maid Marian.
- Naming the baby Prince Neal: for a moment I thought he would be named after Snow’s father or even Rumple. Regardless, this leaves things open for portals and more criss-cross dimensions and maybe a baby stealing Rumple from the other realm. I wouldn’t put it past them.
- Elsa of Arendelle and Frozen fame: Disney knows how to milk a property; I might be on board with this reveal as the 2nd half of the season villain for 2015. Put some real space between the movie and the show. I am being inundated with Frozen references and, even as a fan of the movie, I can take it or leave it.
I’m hoping they leap forward another year because Henry is going to be shaving and complaining about the price of gas soon. The whole love triangle with Regina, Robin, and Marian; how can Robin wrap his head around his new woman planning to kill your presumed dead wife? And where does Elsa fit in the mix? Who is her nemesis? Rumple? The over under on how long he will stay married to Belle once she finds out he gave her a fake dagger? Will hook move in with Emma and Henry, or is that too fast? So many questions and we have to wait until September to get answers. How would you rate the season? Like it, love it, loathe it? I’d give the season a 7 out of 10. Too much time spent on Neverland, and I just couldn’t get past Zelena’s story, even with the twists and turns.