Episode 9: The Bear King

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 9 The Bear King review picture image

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan

Well more Brave but also the return of Ruby and Mulan so that is a good get. Most this episode was okay. There was no Storybrooke or the main crew so the show is prolonging the mystery of what happens now that Hook is a Dark One.

Arthur is the one who killed Merida’s dad and took his helm that the witch lady wants back or she’ll turn Merida’s people into Bears. The show’s treatment of Brave is so on the nose. Anyway Arthus wants the helm because it can make people follow the wear into battle. Arthurs’ motivates for this plot are really dumb. He convinced a guy to commit suicide for Camelot, he REALLY doesn’t need the helm.

Merida was a little more likable in this episode. Less combative more open. Her interactions with her mother and Mulan were good too.

Mulan is the one who taught Merida to fight and helped in the operation “find the helm.” Ruby went back to the Enchanted Forest to find her pack but the witch enchanted her and now Mulan and her are all of a quest to find her pack. Got say a few episodes of them on adventures sounds better than either Camelot or Brave.

Episode 10: Broken Heart

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 10-Broken Heart review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Welcome to Dark Curse Number 3 in five seasons. Hook becomes a Dark One and in just seconds reverts to Evil Hook and has a grand plan. This Grand Plan of his which is more than just revenge on Rumple is to bring back all the Dark Ones so they are not just aspects in his and Emma’s mind but in the flesh. The show makes it seem like they were in the underworld but also part of the Dark One so it’s confusing.

The twist of Hook crushing Merlin’s heart to enact the curse because Nimue loved Merlin was good but again are the Dark Ones in the Underworld or a part of the Dark One(s) psyche? It seems like it shouldn’t be both but it is I guess.

All this is pretty dumb if you think about it. How could Hook not have known he was a Dark One? Does a memory wipe just cancel out the darkness? Why didn’t Emma just make herself forget she was ever a Dark One in the first place then? Then no one who have remembered anything and they just could have lived until they relived they couldn’t die. Can someone using the dagger just order the darkness to go away?

Then there was Rumple being the key to opening the way to the underworld. Rumple and Belle are also off again. They are so back and forth so many times that you can’t root for them anymore. Henry and Emma teaming up. Basically Emma had to learn had to work in a team again to earn back Henry’s trust. And Zelena gets to hold her baby under Regina and Robin’s strict supervision.

Honestly this wasn’t a bad episode there is just too much confusion and weirdness to this plot to help it now. Also why was Merida, a ruling Queen, just riding through Camelot? I know they needed to explain why she was in Storybrooke but the whole of the Brave subplot and Merida has been really forced into the narrative. Frozen at least was the plot in season 4.

 

Episode 7: Nimue

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin

This episode was great. The plot revolved around the origins of the Dark One which out turns out to be a flip side of Merlin. Merlin drank from the Holy Grail and became a do-gooder wizard. He the fell in love with a lady, Nimue, who secretly drank from the grail and gave into to darkness thus creating the Dark one. Giving into darkness is killing and revenge. This show does take a simplic path to evil despite the grey tone to many of the characters.

Also in the episode Merlin’s soul get tethered to Excalibur as he tethered the Nimue’s dark magic to the dagger or other half. The Dagger and Excalibur are also made from the Holy Grail. Merlin made into a sword to cleave his magic and immortality, Nimue is the one that broke it and Emma restored it at the end of the episode despite Merlin’s warning in 1989 not to put the sword togather. Excalibur can destroy either the light or the darkness so probably not too good pending on Emma’s true plan.  This plot is getting more Star Wars all the time.

One minor problem, if the Dark One and dark magic were created 500 years before the events of Snow White, Regina and David and Rumble was the Dark One for 200 years given Hook’s revenge plot. Seem like it should have been more than 500 years.

I have another issue. Last episode, Merlin’s voice mail said that to get rid of the darkness they should find Nimue, the original Dark One. Either it was a clunky line of dialogue to promote mystery of who Nimue is or only a Dark One can destroy the Dark One.  Also Nimue and the Lady of the Lake are separate characters and there is no hint of Morgan le Fey.  Boo.

I do like how this arc doesn’t have a new bad big bad, Arthur hardly counts, he is a douchey mid-boss at best.  All in all the mythos of the Dark One was great. Interesting and decently compelling.

If I were in this show I would want to be a Dark One extra       

 

Episode 8; Birth

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 8 Birth review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

So Emma’s massive Dark One plan was to save Hook because she made him a  Dark One when she tethered his soul after he got a nick by Excalibur and to save him from the darkness she wants to put the collective darkness in Zelena then kill her but before she can do that she needs to evict the baby so she used dark magic and spiked onion rings to expedient the Zelena’s pregnancy.   

Well it’s a twist Hook being a Dark One but doesn’t make much sense since the tethering of one soul SHOULDN’T have created a Dark One. I thought the darkness was born out of a Holy Grail drinker giving into to dark impulses Nimue was a Dark One before Merlin tethered her soul to the dagger. Does beg the question, how did Nimue successful touch and drink from the grail since the dude with Merlin was turned to ash.

And it turns out Dark Ones all get resolidified at the vault expect Rumple since that is where Dark Hook appeared. It’s a continuity error because the writers invented  the vault in season 3,  guess  it’s more Dramatic.

So are we really to believe that when Emma took Hook’s memories he didn’t have an inkling of the darkness? Seems like he should have known something was up in his mind. He does have more of a temper this season but Emma was the Dark one, he has a history of hating the Dark One so his anger made sense but this turn of events seems like overkill.

Also Emma’s motives were out of place of love so it makes her Not quite a villain, she just has darker methods.

Gotta say most of the characters have been really flat this season. Most of their conversations are about how Emma is the Dark One but she isn’t Emma but she is but she isn’t.   

This episode does pull a big twist and the execution was bit all over the place.

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 7 Nimue review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One

 

Episode 3: Siege Perilous

 Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 3 Siege Perilous review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

I found this episode mostly boring. It centers on David and Arthur going on a quest to get a mushroom so they can chat with Merlin who is a tree. Arthur turns out to be sketchy as he steals the mushroom from David in the flashback and convinces a dude to kill himself in Storybrooke. To be fair, Arthur was sketchy in the legends as he tried to murder his incest baby and killed the May Day babies, so he wasn’t that great. At least Lancelot reappears to tell Snow about Arthur, sometimes you just got to tell these people or they won’t learn who the villain is.

In other events Emma tricks Hook and learn how to wake Rumple up so he can pull excalibur for her from the rock in her cave-like basement. Apparently he is a perfect hero as he is a blank slate. Not really sure how the makes sense. All his karma is wiped away because he not the Dark One? Good thing he cured his heart of darkness from the last season. And hey, where is Lily and Maleficent? Guess the show dropped them too.

Aside from a few action set-pieces and Emma’s crafty new attitude this episode was a bit of a snooze.

Episode 4: The Broken Kingdom

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 4 The Broken Kingdom review picture image

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere

I mostly liked this episode. The exploration of Guinevere and Arthur’s broken relationship was the most compelling aspect of the episode. Guinevere didn’t like Arthur’s obsession with getting excalibur mended at the cost of ignoring his Kingdom and wife. He basically uses a sand that fixes things to brainwash her into being supportive. Arthur is a selfish A-hole.

I more like like the fake-out between David, Snow, Arthur and Lancelot but since Arthur uses that sand it doesn’t amount to anything. Might as well not had the plot at all since it doesn’t seem to further the arc. The only thing it add was getting Lancelot locked-up and apparently Arthur wants to kill Merlin for some reason. Could be as simple as Arthur hates that the sword was broke. Made he thinks Merlin is making fun of his manhood.

Emma and Hook have a date to make her forget the voices in her head. It was visually pretty with the flowers and Emma’s white cape. I really like the cape. Speaking of the costumes I do like Emma’s dark one jacket. Nice nod to the crocodile.

The only part that took place in Storybrooke is Emma using Merida to make Rumple “Brave,” they literally name drop the movie. Though you could have made a drinking game with the number of times they say “Frozen.” Oh and Merida is in Arthur dungeon and she doesn’t like him very much. While I don’t love the character of Merida, I do think the actress, Amy Manson does a good job.

 

 

Episode 3: Rocky Road

Georgina Haig as Elsa and Elizabeth Mitchell as The Snow Queen ABC Once Upon a Time RockyRoad picture image

Georgina Haig as Elsa and Elizabeth Mitchell as The Snow Queen

This episode isn’t exactly bad just boring, dare I say underwhelming. We learn more about this Snow Queen Lady. She apparently knows Emma and Elsa but they have memory lost. Memory loss is such a crutch for this show but at least Rumple makes like a meta joke about it. It makes the memory loss tactic  worse if they are aware that they are doing this plot again for the third time in four seasons.

Basically Snow Queen is Elsa’s aunt who was also trapped in the urn. The whole past section of the episode involves Hans looking for the urn to trap Elsa so he can rule Arendelle. Kristoff and Elsa try to beat Hans to the punch and instead of trapping Elsa out comes the Snow Queen.

Ok, I have a nitpick. Why does Han want to rule Arendelle? It seemed like in the movie Hans just wanted to rule any place he could and Arendelle had an unwed heir and unwed Queen, seems like an ideal situation, so it makes sense. Now he just wants to conquer it for no real reason. Is Arendelle wealthy is some way? Like Ice? Trading? Precious Metals? Minerals? Reindeer? What is it show? Or is Hans butt-hurt that he didn’t get his way? It’s so contrived. One line would have given him some motivation.     

In Storybrooke the Snow Queen is causing deadly shenanigans so that Elsa will be blame so that everyone in town will hate her. Really? That is your plan? Are you a child? She puts a freezing spell on Marian. Robin tries to break it with true love’s kiss but it fails since we all know that Regina is his true love. Hey Idiots! Get Roland to do it. True love’s kiss has worked two times out three from the parent-child bond and both times it was Henry with his moms. Ok, now I have massive confusion, shouldn’t true love be like between two people in a two way street situation?  Henry has two true loves? Or is one way? Henry is Regina’s and Emma’s true love even though that doesn’t seem right. The point is they blame the ice  for blocking the lips or the skin as foreheads work too but they didn’t think of using Roland, instead Regina removes Marian’s heart to keep it from getting frosty.

B plot is Snow White is the mayor and she puts a bird on the wall of the office, which Regina hates, and Snow is super clingy with Neal. You know in other culture Mothers constantly carry their children, so this plot was dumb aside from put a bird on it part.       

What else to say? Oh! Emma mentions her “super power” again.  Writers please stop with the BS of Emma saying she has a super power because it’s more like Emma has an instinct sometimes but only when the plot says she can so either have it or don’t. Or at least make her not so damn confident about it.   

A positive I had was Elsa’s up-do was pretty. Like it was really pretty, A+ on her hair style. However I got to say in Frozen the CG work really enhanced the ice but not here, OUAT doesn’t do the computer generated stuff that well, at all.  And where is Olaf? Elsa mentions making a living Snowman but she could have been referring to Marshmellow? I demand Olaf so I regret demanding Olaf!

For all my complaints and nitpicks this was unassuming episode. It did move the plot forward but the plot points seemed hindered by the writing.

Episode 4: The Apprentice

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

They went and did it again! They made Hook a patsy for the villain using blackmail. This time Hook coforcesives Rumple to give back his hand by threatening to tell Belle about the fake dagger. Rumple restores Hook’s hand for his big date with Emma but Rumple plants the idea that the hand holds Hook’s villain mojo and reattaching it will make Hook revert to his old ways of being a villain. So when Hook starts acting out he thinks it’s the hand ask Rumple to remove it. Rumple then makes Hook help him trap the sorcerer’s apprentice in the hat  so Rumple can charge up  the hat with magic, sure okay that makes sense. Then  Rumple frames Hook by magical altering a videotape  to make it look like  that he did it all, it’s so quaint that they still use video tapes. And turns out Rumple lied to Hook about the hand. So Hook is dumb because pre-hook, he was just arrogant  pirate who had love. His villain persona happen AFTER Rumple killed Milah, so if Hook had thought about it he wouldn’t have fallen prey to Rumple. Also Hook did you not learn from last season which in the scheme of things was a few days ago, tell Emma the truth and then you don’t have to a pawn in this. Geez.  

Also I’m sick of Rumple’s yo-yoing between of good and villain. It’s like all the character development you had in the past three seasons is gone. Rumple was an interesting character when he was trickster to achieve his goals but now he is tedious.  

I guess that means we should bring out the past section. Anna meets Rumple. And if you recall last episode Rumple says that he didn’t know of Anna right to Emma’s face, where is your superpower now? Anyway Rumple makes a deal with her to have her  give some old guy who may or may not eat children a suspicious vial. This guys is the sorcerer’s apprentice. Anna can’t bring herself to poison him so she doesn’t do it. Turns out it was trick and Anna had the antidote to poison that Rumple gave him and sorcerer’s apprentice turns in a mouse al la Mickey Mouse. You see Rumple needs Anna to break an enchanted on a box that has the sorcerer’s hat so he be free of the dagger’s control. The hat also can stripe a person of magic which is why Anna’s parent were looking for it. In the end, Rumple does get what he wants from Anna, but Anna gets the dagger and she orders him to give her the box, turn the apprentice back to a man and send her back home. Rumple has to comply but he is not happy.

There is other stuff happening in this episode , like Henry and Regina mission to change the book, Emma and Hook’s date, David and Snow being weird parents to their adult daughter, Elsa looking through public records for Anna, and the Snow Queen stalking Emma.

There just so many plot going on in here and yet it’s mostly still just set-up for the season.
Though apparently Henry is OK with letting Marian be curse so Regina can have a happy ending. Henry is thinking like a villain. Has his character deteriorated? Apparently a former villain can get away with like that in his mind but not a hero because he went to pieces when Snow White did questionable things or when Emma bent the truth.  I did like the date but I’m a fan of Lady and the Tramp. Hook looked good in normal clothing. Personally I was getting bored with his costume. Emma’s dress seemed a little out of character like it was too girly for her. Will Elsa get a costume change?

Episode 21: Snow Drifts

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC's Once Upon a Time, Snow Drifts picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

In this episode is all about Emma and Hook’s adventures back in time, where they steal clothes, meet Rumple,  go to a ball and mess up Snow and David’s meeting resulting in them never falling in love so Emma will never have been born, oops. Basically they are told that messing with the past will have consequence but it doesn’t really.  Hook even punches himself because “in time” Hook is kissing Emma and  Hook is jealous of himself. It is weird and somehow endearing. Good thing there is no time paradox or something in this show. I bet Hook and Hook could have a drink and nothing would have happen aside from Hook calling himself handsome, as he does.   

The worse thing about this episode is seeing Abigail’s hideous dress again. The costumes in this show are growing on me BUT that dress is a TRAVESTY, it’s horrible and I hate it. It’s good so see Abigail and Kathryn mention, people disappear a lot in Storybrooke.  Like she she and the gym teacher ever get together after the curse? 

Also we got a BIG Star Wars reference, when entering the ball Emma calls herself Princess Leia, wonderful. Hook is Prince Charles.      

Mostly I liked this episode, Emma and Hook were fun but Time Traveling isn’t a story line I like  also I don’t really like redoing David and Snow’s meeting, but all the whole an ok episode. Emma is still annoying about the whole New York thing.

 

Episode 22:  There’s No Place Like Home

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David with Baby Neal ABC's Once Upon a Time There’s no Place Like Home picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David with Baby Neal

This episode was a little bit of a trial because I can’t take it seriously when they talk about Princess Leia, Emma isn’t Leia. It might have easier to take if they just referenced to her as Leia but they used Princess. It just made me giggle too much every time they said it which diminished the impact of this episode.    

Ok, so what is the finale of season 3 about? It wraps up both Emma and Hook’s past adventures which was operation “fix Snow and David’s meeting and get her in that ring so they can fall in love,” I’m not good at code name formation.  It also wraps up Emma’s wanting to return to New York because she relieves she misses her parents and to her home is the place that when you leave  it you just miss it. So Emma got a little more character development which we saw her somewhat working towards all season with the help of Hook and her family.  Also the baby’s name gets revealed, it’s Neal.

There is a lot of plot elements that get sort of wrapped up but more elements to set up the next season. For instance in the past Emma saves a random do-gooder lady from execution. As a means to make sure the lady doesn’t mess up the past, Emma brings her to the future. This lady turns up to be Marian, Robin Hood’s dead wife, which throws a major wrench into Regina’s love life. Let’s just say Regina isn’t too happy with Emma. Emma learns how Hook got to her in New York, as he sold the Jolly Roger for a bean. That pretty much sells Emma on a romance with Hook, the ship lives because he sold his ship. Rumple and Belle get married and I’m sure it’s smooth sailing for them, I mean what can go wrong…? Knowing Rumple, everything because drama.    

Let’s see anything else that will be relevant next season? Do, do, do, do, think think, think. Oh yeah, friggin Elsa gets transported from the past via a gold urn thing and she seems PISSED, with her trail of ice. Elsa is the Groke!   
All in all is was a good season finale. It  is a little underwhelming that their trip back in time didn’t have a little more consequence aside from an extra story in the book  but shrugs.  

Episode 17: The Jolly Roger

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel ABCs Once Upon a Time The Jolly Roger picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel

From now on, i’ll be calling Charming David and maybe at some point I’ll probably switch Hook to Killian but Hook is easier to type.

This episode, pretty much has the A plot and the B plot. A centers on Hook and his new pal Ariel and B plot are the Charmings a.k.a both Snow and David.

Plot a are the usually past/present tie and B plot is something else. The Past section is Ariel is trying to find Eric who was captured by the captain of the Jolly Roger which is not Black Bread. And Holy Crap is is a diet Jack Sparrow. Ariel enlists Hook’s help because he WAS the captain but now he wants his ship back. However when the chips are down Hook would rather keep his ship and kill Black Beard than help Ariel find her one true love. This OF COURSE leads to all sort of angst in present Hook as Ariel as pops up in Storybrooke, with amnesia and is looking for Eric whom Hook knows is dead.

The Charming focus Hook to help Ariel find Eric since they have more important task of proving to Henry that they fun, it’s pathic of them really. Also in the B plot Regina is teaching Emma magic so they can beat Zelena. Emma turns out to a genius at the whole magic thing.

Hook does confess to Ariel about how he sold her out for his ship but it was ALL a rouse. Zelena was posing as Ariel so she could curse Hook’s lips in a scheme to get him to drain Emma’s  magic. Turns out Ariel and Eric are fine. And for good measure Zelen threaten to kill Henry if Hook speaks.

So a few things. There was an episode of the Moomins  here a Pirate refused become a highway-man because the are not the same thing and it would be beneath him, turns out Hook doesn’t care.  I did like Hook in this episode, he’s great a sweet in love goon who did play into Zelena’s scheme but does seem to be smarter than most as he figured out that Zelena can’t kill or hurt Emma.  Though getting Hook to help Ariel was so contrived and what was Zelena’s back-up plan is A) Snow had been a better friend help Ariel instead of throwing the task to Hook in weird attempt to get a pre-teen boy to think she is cool? And B) what if Hook DIDN’T  confess the whole leaving Eric to die to Ariel/Zelena? You can’t leave SO much to chance wicked lady (hey A Sailor Moon Ref )

 

It was a good episode Ariel is a delight and Hook is an great well-rounded character. So while there are some flaws with is episode they are easy to overlook, though the Charmings are losing their charms.    

    

Episode 18: Bleeding Through

Rose McGowan as Cora ABCs Once Upon a Time Bleeding-Through picture image

Rose McGowan as Cora

What can I say? I like the Cora related episode.  There is a lot of plot going in this episode. Like what is Zelena’s plan, time travel and why? The why is addressed in the flashback. Basically Cora got knocked up by a douche who straight up lied to her about being a prince. When she finds him as a royal gardener he basically calls a harlot (which is another show I like). Cora then meets prince Leopold a.k.a Snow’s father, and the two do seem to hit off to the point where he was going to marry her but Princess Eva tattles on her and Leopold send Cora away from lying.  Cora then gives up Zelena to a cyclone to give “herself her best chance” her being Cora.  

Well at least we now know Eva did more than just trip Cora. She ruined Cora and Zelena’s life all because Eva was trying to do the right thing and take her man back against a woman who was pregnant  and wanted a better life. And no I’m not villainizing either Cora or Eva these are some deep shades of grey. Sure, Cora is a gold-digger but who doesn’t want a better life. Cora was taken advantage of by the ass-hat who lied and knock-up and Leopold was taken by Cora. It is weird that Leopold was totally cool with marrying Regina and didn’t seem to recognize Cora. Maybe someday they will retcon that.     

Basically Zelena wants to go in time to kill Eva so Cora could have married Leopold and Zelena would have been passed off a princess. Zelena offers to send Rumple back in time to be with Baelfire all she needs is the Charming’s baby to achieve time travel.  Rumple says he would rather honor Neal’s sacrifice by killing her.

Here some nitpicks that annoyed me, David a jerk about baby being boys, he was like that in the pilot. That look he gives Snow when she says it could be a girl.

And I hate it how when fairy tale type stories have these REAL world shades but they all forget that kings had mistresses. Cora might have been content like that. I mean would have made for a happy dynamic but still.
All in all it’s was a good episode. Not great but highly enjoyable.  Also Regina kissed Robin. It look like smooth sailing for their love, except no probably not this show loves drama too much.  

 

A Note- Up-to-date status on blog postings will now be done through twitter, there is a chance there maybe no new posts next week.

Episode 11: Going Home

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla as Regina, Michael Raymond-James as Neal, Jared S. Gilmore as Henry, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David, Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & company ABCs Once Upon a Time Going Home picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla as Regina, Michael Raymond-James as Neal, Jared S. Gilmore as Henry, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David, Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & company

This episode is very dense and ends the Pan/Neverland arc and sets up a whole new world of  direction. In Storybrooke Pan crushes Felix’s heart because loyalty is a type of love. The ensemble figures out that they need to get the scroll back and a good plan is to switch Henry and Pan so that Henry can just bring it to them however they need the Black Fairy’s wand which the nuns/fairies have, which is in total RPG fashion, you need to get a thing to get another thing to do the thing that completes the quest. So Charming, Hook and Tinkerbell crash the Blue Fairy’s wake to find the wand but that pesky Pan’s Shadow gets in their way. Tinkerbell gets the pixie dust to work so that she can fly up and trap the shadow and then they throw it into a fire which apparently kills the Shadow. This relieves the Blue Fairy and she gives them the Black fairy’s wand.  Does this mean Greg is alive and the other people Pan killed by shadow removal?

Then it’s Operation get scroll but not before Rumple puts an anti-magic cuff on Pan/Henry, the one Greg and Tamara used on Regina in season 2. Regina does get the scroll but she passes out and turns out the cuff doesn’t work on Pan. Pan does put the cuff on Rumple. Pan then tells Rumple about how being a father was the worst because he couldn’t do the things he wanted and his dreams were crushed, I’m paraphrasing but you get the point.  

Regina wakes up and knows what she must do to stop the curse but Pan freezes everyone. Rumple then shows up having removed the cuff by cutting off his hand and using magic to reattach it. He grabs Pan and summons his own shadow with the Dark One dagger and stabs himself along with his father. Pan changes back to Malcolm begs Rumple to stop and that they can be a family again but Rumple says that he’s a villain and villain don’t get happy ending. He twists the dagger and they vanish into a burst of light.

However there is still the curse approaching. The way to beat it is for Regina to give the one she loves the most i.e Henry which will send everyone else safety back to The Enchanted Forest. She tells Emma she has to go with him because Henry will be alone since he was born in  the Land Without Magic, Emma can stay because of her Savior status.  Regina offers Emma and Henry  good memories of a life they spent together but they will not remember Storybrooke. Emma and Henry drive off as the curse falls.

One year later. Emma and Henry are living well in New York City when there is a knock at the door. It’s Hook telling her family is in trouble. He tries the true love’s kiss which fails and Emma kicks him in the rum balls and slams the door in his face. Hello second half of season 3.

Very dense epsiode. They were more parts involving the past of a few characters. The most memorable one was Snow White as Mary Margaret giving Henry the book. After that Henry sees her as Snow White which is when it clicked for him the nature and weirdness of Storybrooke.
All in all  the episode was highly good. Wouldn’t say it was great or a stand out but the setup for the second arc is intriguing.   Let’s see if Rumple will stay dead because I will miss him if he does but we’ll have to see.    

Episode 12:  New York City Serenade

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan New York City Serenade ABCs Once Upon a Time picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Following from the last episode Emma and Henry are enjoying their lives in New York. Emma’s now has a boyfriend who wants to marry her and Henry’s on broad, there is just one problem, Hook. Hook keeps trying to convince Emma that her parents are in trouble and she needs to take a memory potion. Emma thinks he is crazy but she does go Neal’s old apartment at Hook instances. There she finds Henry’s camera he left there a year ago. Emma meets with Hook at central park and gets him arrested. Afterward she gets the  photos developed and realizes that the locations and people are unknown to her except her and Henry on in the pictures. Emma posts bail for Hook and he tells her that her good life is a lie and maybe there is guy who loved her in her old life, oh this ship. Emma takes the potion and remembers everything except there was one one portion so non for Henry.

Emma goes to tell her boyfriend, Walsh, about how she can’t marry him and her family needs her. Turns out her boyfriend is a freaking flying monkey, I get it, the dating scene is hard sometimes you just have to settle, oh wait, he’s was working for the new villain. Emma, Henry and Hook go back to Storybrooke. Emma reunites with Charming who remembers her but can’t recall anything about the last year and the only reason they KNOW at least a year has passed is because Snow is pregnant, like she nearly ready to give birth.

Over in The Enchanted Forest, Regina is devastated about losing Henry and tries to give up her heart. Snow convinces her not to. Hook also peaces out on everyone because there is  no reason for him to stay, he like-likes Emma.  Also someone has moved in to Regina/Snow’s castle and they group can’t get through the protection spell. They also get attacked by a flying monkey…geeze, I wonder who this “her” Aurora spoke of??? It’s the Wicked Witch of the West. We are now in OZ territory because Oz the Great and Powerful was a thing.  
I really enjoyed this episode. Emma got a little annoying with her whole whining about how great her life is but it’s understandable. It was interesting to have less dramatic episode where you can see the character’s life even for a brief moment. The Enchanted Forest storyline wasn’t as great but let’s just see where the Wicked Witch plot goes, not really looking forward to it but maybe we’ll see what they do with the character.  

 

Episode 5: Good Form

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 episode 05, Good Form Picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

I won’t lie, Hook is starting to become a favorite character of mine. Didn’t love all the double crossing he did is season 2 but as pseudo good guy he’s a great foil to Snow and Charming constant, near constant noble hero characterizations, oh dear are they getting boring. They were at least some what compelling is season 1, I mean Snow White was a bandit and yelled at birds in season 1 now nearly every line out her mouth is about hope.

Anyway the past section of this epsiode is about Hook and how he was a lieutenant on his elder brother ship. They went to Neverland for what they THOUGHT was a medicine but was Dreamshade, the deadly poison (not delectable tea or medicine). Hook’s brother cuts himself with the Dreamshade to prove to Hook that it’s totally safe. However it was deadly poison and Hook’s big brother is dying. Pan tells Hook that a spring can cure his brother but at a cost. Pan doesn’t say what the price is so they leave Neverland. When they arrive back in their land, Hook’s brother dies because the water only works in Neverland. Hook and his crew become Pirates because the King was cruel and corrupt in making them get Dreamshade. Also in this flashback you get to get to see Neverland by day, crazy.

The Neverland portion has Hook tricking Charming to go to the Spring to cure him. Hook does this because he knows Charming is far to noble to put himself before the noble cause of saving the plotpoint, erm Henry. Before they get to the spring, Pan offers Hook a deal that he can leave with Emma if Hook kills Charming. Charming overhears this and tries to threaten Hook but Hook instead moves to get the water. Hook does tell him about the price BEFORE he drinks it but Charming says it’s a small price to pay for the plotpoint…. Damn it, I mean Henry.

While that is happening, Emma, Snow and Regina set up a trap and take one of the Lost Boy’s hearts to they can get a message to Henry. Snow isn’t for this plan but Emma is more agreeable to it. At first Henry doesn’t believe the Lost Boy, thinking it’s a trick but Henry sees the ladies via a enchanted mirror.

When Hook and Charming return to the others, Charming tells them that Hook saved his life but doesn’t mention the poison. In thanks for saving Charming, Emma gives Hook a rather passionate kiss even though Emma says it was a one time thing. Pan then shows up to Hook and tells him that Neal is still alive.

Well first off, I loved the Princess Bride reference with Hook telling Emma “As you wish.” All in all this was great episode. Seeing Hook’s progression from a strict Naval office to a pirate was interesting and it fits neatly into the Neverland arc. Not sure how Emma, Hook and Neal will progress but it was fun that they kissed, still Love Triangles can be taxing.

Episode 6: Ariel

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 06, Ariel Picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel

The character’s past part introduced us to Ariel. Unlike in the Disney movie or even Splash Mermaids can take human legs once a year. Ariel uses this chance to go to the ball so she can meet Eric whom she saved a year prior. Snow White helps her out and the two are rather girlie. Things get a little more interesting when Eric asks Ariel to go on a trip with him. Ariel pleads to Ursula, the ocean deity and Regina posing as Ursula gives her a bracelet that will let her have legs. Ariel puts the bracelet on Snow thinking it will help them both because as a mermaid she can escape Regina. Regina however shows up and tells Ariel to run off with her Prince as she won’t get a second chance. Ariel goes and as Regina moves into to kill Snow, Ariel saves the day and the two get away.

Back to Neverland, Regina is teaching Emma magic but soon grows tired of all their good guy ways, I’m with Regina nobility and hope speech can get to you after a while. Pan meets with Rumpelstiltskin again and tells him to go back to Storybrooke and start a family with Belle. Rumpelstiltskin declines and Pan leaves, Rumpelstiltskin sees a vision of Belle he has been seeing all season. She tells him that she wants a family with him. Regina shows up and reverts Belle back into Pan’s shadow. Regina and Rumpelstiltskin come up with a plan but Rumpelstiltskin needs something back in Storybrooke to execute said plan. Regina summons Ariel and tells her that Eric is in Storybrooke, very convenient, and if Ariel retrieves the thing Regina will give Ariel an upgraded Bracelet that will let her control it, before the wearer could not remove the bracelet. Rumpelstiltskin can only give Ariel a cryptic message so Belle can find it at his shop.

But wait there is more. The Emma crew learn Neal is alive and is at the Echo caves. To free him everyone MUST reveal a secret. Hook says that kiss was more than a kiss, it meant moving on from his first love, boy’s got it bad, real bad. Snow reveals she wants another child but Charming reveals that he lied and he was poisoned and now he can’t leave Neverland. These secrets make a bridge form. Emma crosses it and tells Neal that while she’s happy he is alive a part wishes he was dead because it would be easier to move on then relive all the pain he put her through. And voila the he is free.

This episode highs were very high. The ending part with Ariel saving Snow was one the best parts. I liked how she was love struck ditz but did the right thing for her friend. Regina and Rumpelstiltskin working together is a fun combo. The echo cave secret revelation was alright not the best but they freed Neal so that is good. Now the Love Triangle can come to full fruition, …joy… That is going to lead to some unnecessary drama. Ah who am I kidding, I do like a good love triangle so come on OUAT don’t let me down, because I’ve see some bad over-drawn out stupid love triangles, I watch anime and I seen more than one of the Twilight movies at least you can’t be that bad. Or can you? No you can’t. You really can’t.

Episode 1:  The Heart of the Truest Believer

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 01, The Heart of the Truest Believer Picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

The opening of season three was a bit up and down. The lowest point was the crew of the Jolly Roger arguing and fueling the storm. Seemed a little out of place in Once Upon a Time.  It just seem more juvenile.

Speaking of juvenile, Peter Pan was a high point.  He is introduced as a bait and switch. We think he a rogue lost boy wanting to leaving and helping Henry but that was just a test to see if Henry has “The Heart of the Truest Believer,” and of course he does. There is also the demise of Greg and Tamara. The show makes it clear they were pawns in a bigger scheme but they were so boring and Tamara, aside from killing the Dragon in season 2, didn’t have a backstory. We don’t know why she hated magic. At least Greg’s story fit in more to the larger story and characters. Plus he liked Star Wars, that a plus.   

Rumpelstiltskin is welcomed to the island by Felix, leader of Lost Boys, and issues him a warning not to go against pan and is given a straw doll which makes Rumpelstiltskin cry. Wonder what’s up with the doll?

The parts in the Enchanted Forest are also a low. It just Neal wanting to return to where Emma and Henry are. There are some fourth wall jokes about Mulan being made into a movie.  Correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve been marathoning episodes a little bit more now, but Neal gives a reason for how Beans work, you think of the place you want to go and voila the bean send you there, which is why you can go to Neverland or The Land without Magic (except when there is) or where ever.  

It’s wasn’t a bad episode. Not sure if it was on par with season 2’s opening episode but it could be a case of the lows of the episode were pretty low and the highs were really great. I really enjoyed the Hook and Emma exchanges, like him giving her Neal’s sword and saying that he fancies her when she isn’t yelling at him (I think he might  that a little too)   Also as someone who never liked Peter Pan, I really like that he is the main antagonist. He’s like some demonic overlord of Neverland.   

 

Episode 2: Lost Girl

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 02, Lost Girl Picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Quite a bit happens in this episode. For one thing The Neverland plot is stronger than the character’s past plot. The past plot revolves around Snow White  getting her groove back and believing that she is the rightful ruler of the land. This done with Charming planting a fake excalibur to make her believe. Apparently Camelot is another realm, I guess since they mention it and Lancelot has cameo in season 2 maybe they will go there at some point.

The Neverland plot has Pan giving Emma a map to his camp and Henry’s location.  The map can only be read if Emma admits who she really is.  Regina however doesn’t want to wait and uses a spell instead but Pan isn’t too happy that group isn’t playing his game and attacks. Charming is hit by an arrow and SEEMs to okay. After looking into a Lost Boy’s eye, Emma sees herself and spares the kid. She admits that what she really is an orphan, a lost girl and the map reveals where the camp is located. Charming also sees that he has been poisoned.

Rumpelstiltskin also removes his shadow and gives it the dagger, so Pan can’t use it on him. That dagger is a liability.
This episode was good. The emotional impact of Emma saying she felt like an orphan was very moving, though it seems like it was mostly setting up Rumpelstiltskin’s no shadow/no dagger and Charming’s doom…

Episode 20: The Evil Queen

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Lana Parrilla as Regina Season 2 Episode 20 The Evil Queen, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Lana Parrilla as Regina

Poor Queen Regina, no one likes her. In this episode Regina wants Snow White dead, of course, and hates that the subjects prefer Snow to her. Rumpelstiltskin disguises her as commoner to learn about the common people and kill Snow. However Regina and Snow hang out and Snow thinks there is good in her that is until Snow sees the village Regina has slaughtered and takes it all back.  Regina then decides she doesn’t want her people to love her but fear her for she is The Evil Queen.

A lot in Storybrooke this episode. It’s introduced that the curse has a fail-safe trigger that will destroy everything. Regina plans on using it and having her and Henry escape back to the Enchanted Forest.  Regina and Hook, who has double crossed Greg and Tamara go adventuring to get it down in the dragon pit. However it was a super double cross as Hook only did it so that the fail-safe will kill Rumpelstiltskin.  And they take away Regina.

While that is happening Emma is suspicious of Tamara  and Henry overhears and wants to restart Operation Cobra or now Preying Mantis.  Emma and Henry break into to Tamara and Neal’s room but Neal catches him and call Emma out her lie detector power, thank you Neal.  

This episode was more of the alright to average range. The show is trying to do a lot to get the plot to the season finale and set-up the next season. The magical doomsday for Storybrooke seems like straight out left field and Greg and Tamara are weird as villains.   Greg has some motivation but Tamara doesn’t so far.

 

Episode 21: Second Star to the Right

Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire & Freya Tingley as Wendy Darling Season 2 Episode 21 Second Star to the Right, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire & Freya Tingley as Wendy Darling

I was wrong and yet I was sort of right. Baelfire was not Peter Pan, though he did go to Neverland and was Lost Boy for a time. In the character past after Baelfire went through the portal he went to Edwardian London, sure ok, wardrobe goes to Maine, Beans go to London. There he was an orphan till he met Wendy Darling and is taken in by the Darling. Baelfire learns that Wendy is being visited by a shadow and it takes her away. When she returns in the morning she says the shadow let her go because it only wants boys and it will come for one her brothers. Baelfire doesn’t want the Darling family ruined and so he gets taken away. He arrives in Neverland but gets away from the shadow and Hook saves him.

Still a lot going on in Storybrooke but the main thing is Greg and Tamara are torturing Regina. Turns out they are working for someone to get rid of magic in the “world without magic” but also Greg wants to know where is his father is. Rumpelstiltskin gives Snow a spell so that she can see thing through Regina’s eyes, but all see senses is pain and the smell of fish.

Emma, Baelfire/Neal, Snow and Charming all converge of the canary.  Snow and Charming save Regina but Greg gives them the slip. Tamara confronts Neal and Emma. Neal gets shot and then goes through a portal as Tamara threw a magic bean at them. Emma is heartbroken as she believes Neal won’t survive the portal and a gunshot wound. Also Tamara and Greg get away with the trigger to Storybrooke destruction.      

While I don’t love the story of Peter Pan, I do like that there is a somewhat nefarious tone to the story.  Pan’s shadow is near demonic taking boys away in the dead of night. Though he doesn’t like girls. Though it’s weird because Neal says the World Sans Magic wasn’t his right stop way back in episode 14 but it was. He just went to Neverland too afterwards. Would have sucked for Rumpelstiltskin if Neal was dead in the real world the whole time, very convenient.  

This was an ok episode. Lots of stuff happening though Tamara and Greg are not as enjoyable as Cora or Hook. They are weak bad guys.  Really they just seem like zealots, and no one likes a zealot least of all a boring zealot. But the episode was engaging aside from them. I love that Neal called BS on Emma’s on again off again lie detector.

  

 

Episode 22: And Straight on till Morning

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire Season 2 Episode 22 And Straight on till Morning, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire

The character’s past involves Baelfire’s involvement with Hook and the lost boy pursuing him. As it turns out Peter Pan is a bit of some demi-god who controls Neverland, you don’t leave unless Pan lets you. Baelfire and Hook are bonding nicely till Baelfire learns that it was Hook who took his mother away even though Milah and Hook had plan on going back for Baelfire one day. Baelfire leaves Hook and that is how he becomes a Lost Boy but he is not the boy Pan is REALLY after, Peter Pan is really after Henry, who now is apparently some child of prophecy or something. Man everyone wants this kid.    

In Storybrooke, Tamara and Greg activate the trigger but Hook, is having second thoughts as he doesn’t want to die. The people come up with a plan THAT Regina will hold off the trigger as long as she can while everyone escapes back to the forest with a bean portal. Things go awry and everyone thinks they will die but together Emma and Regina stop the trigger.

Rumpelstiltskin learns that the Blue fairy fixed the whole cursed persona thing so the Dwarf and Belle are cured, wow that whole Belle as bad girl plot really went far.  Also apparently Tamara and Greg’s goal were to bring Henry to Neverland.

The season  ends with Rumpelstiltskin, Emma, Regina, Snow White, Charming and Hook going through a bean portal to Neverland. 

Also everyone thinks Neal is dead but Mulan, Aurora and Phillip save him.  Wow, Aurora and Mulan saved Phillip off screen huh?   

This episode was ok, not real conclusion to any storyline but set-up for next season. It’s really dumb that ALL the character think Neal is dead. Like why do automatically assume that. Because it’s most dramatic?


Season 2 was more smaller stories than a long goal narration so it felt more choppy than season 1 but it wasn’t bad. It had some strong episodes and even the lower episodes felt better than the lower episode in season 1. So while no ultimate conclusion was reached in season 2 it definitely made you want to continue to season 3.