Chosen

Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 7 episode 17 Chosen picture image

Rebecca Mader as Zelena

This episode explores more of Hansel’s backstory and what wrong Zelena did to him and why he is crazy. It also explains how he woke up, it was Facilier. Facilier is like the Palpatine of this season, he’s behind it all.   

Considering Hansel’s vendetta, two counts of murder, two attempted murders and two counts kidnappings his back story is actually underwhelming.

The backstory is that the witch that kidnapped Hansel and Gretel, who was also the blind baker woman, was in OZ and Zelena didn’t want her there so Zelena goes to her candy home and they get into a witch fight. Zelena has a chance to free the children but doesn’t and goes her magic goes out from the fight. She is then nursed back by a blind man who is also the children’s father.

Zelena withholds the information from the dad but does go to try and save the children when her magic is back but they have already escaped and told their father what happen. They are all pissed at Zelena who is remorseful but she does end up purposefully burning Hansel. Hansel was being antagonistic  but he was also a child who had gone through trauma so while he didn’t deserved to get burned it does seem anti-climatic when compared to getting burned by an oven as someone trying to cook and eat him opposed to a hurt women who made a big mistake.

The Hyperion stuff is Hansel going after Zelena and kidnapping her fiancé, Zelena trying to deal with both her personas, saving Henry and Dr.Facilier’s plan. Hansel also gets the axe from Facilier since Hansel wasn’t operating toward Facilier’s goal of getting the Dark One’s dagger which seems to be Gothel’s plan. It’s also revealed that Naveen a.k.a Drew is awake. I don’t get this curse since it’s easy to wake people. Would Henry die if he was woken but the curse is still in affect?

So Hansel a.k.a the Candy killer was a Mid-Boss who did help to wrap Ivy’s storyline and Zelena though Zelena’s story also got wrapped in season 6 and according to press stuff she’ll be back towards the finale. If I didn’t know that from Reddit it would have been a nice ending for Zelena as she got back with her fiancé.  

With Hansel there have been five villains this season. Victoria/Rapunzel in the beginning, then Ivy/Drizellla,  then Gothel, then Nick/Jack/Hansel and Facilier. Is that it? Did I miss one? Also Hansel was nearly a good kidnapper except the parts where he was sloppy using his nickname with Jacinda in the text from Henry’s phone AND holding Henry at his own apartment. In the living room no less.   At least that plot-line was short.

While this episode was ok at best, I did like Zelena’s interactions with Rumple and Margot (with a T) and the fire motif.  

Overall the episode was B-.   

And I still want to know who was Dr.Sage???  Can I just BELIVE she was Esmeralda? I mean Sage is green and Esmeralda means Emerald which is green so it works in theory? She’s Esmeralda till otherwise proven like the other two ladies I suspected as being Esmeralda. 

Colin O'Donoghue as Wish-Hook, Rebecca Mader as Zelena and Tiera Skovbye as Robin Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 11 Secret Garden picture image

 Colin O’Donoghue as Wish-Hook, Rebecca Mader as Zelena and Tiera Skovbye as Robin

I guess I was off on the episode count, oops. Anyway, Once is back and I didn’t notice, oops. While the show was on hiatus it was announced that this is the final season, which isn’t really that surprising but it does seem unlikely that Hunchback will ever enter into the narrative. Though the way the show films its season as it being aired who knows. It’s very doubtful but the upshot is the season will at least have a conclusion since the producers knew the cancellation could happen and will give the longtime fans the resolution they deserve.  

So how was the episode? It was pretty good.  Aside from the Lucy, Henry and Jacinda scenes, the episode advanced the plot and characters. We learned how Zelena got her groove back. We also learn how Robin and Zelena were in the Enchanted Forest 2.0 in the first place. Though I really can’t see Zelena being into the whole dive aesthetic  

The central theme of this episode is the length of maternal love. Zelena nearly dies for Robin and Victoria/Rapunzel does die to save Ivy/Druzilla. It was rather touching in the end to have Victoria/Rapunzel die for her  Ivy/Druzilla. I will miss Victoria/Rapunzel though.

But on the upside I did like the interaction Zelena had with the other characters this episode, especially with Nook (Hook or wish-Hook or Rogers.) Seriously  the realm doesn’t get a name but everyone else gets half-dozen names. Also glad to see gal-pal Regina back.

I feel like I  should be a little annoyed that one of the supposed big bads of the season seems to be Madame Leota from the Haunted Mansion ride but I’m not. So long as it’s fit into the overall convoluted narrative, whatever.  I wonder if, in theory, Esmeralda COULD be one of the Coven members. It would make her evil but she was nearly burned for being a witch, so maybe? Doubtful but I wouldn’t mind.

Anyway, it was a pretty good episode.  

Episode 17: Awake

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White and Josh Dallas as David Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17 Awake picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White and Josh Dallas as David

There is so many issues with this episode that I’m amazed it got written in the first place. First off as it turns out Snow and David woke up from the curse ten years in because of pixie flowers. These deus-ex-machina flowers unite people with their true love which does connect Snow and David to Emma, remember that for later. So when they have a chance to get Emma back they can’t because if they do she’ll never be the savior. How? How does Emma growing up alone without her parents make her the Savior? Because if recall she was the “savior” or the one to break the curse because Rumple put that into the curse that a product of true love would break the curse. Her being a savior has zero to do with her being an orphan. They could have raised to the age of 28 and something else could have led her to Storybrooke. This just a retcon for no purpose. It doesn’t even make sense. No wonder the rules of magic keep changing, the writers can’t remember the reason why Emma was a chosen one or where her powers come from, they just made up the Savior thing as they went. I do wonder if they started that to keep Emma special because there is another product of True Love who keeps getting forgotten, Baby Neal, who is somewhere, probably, maybe. Are Snow and David good parents?

Also Snow and David wake up from the curse and not in the way you think. The Idea of their curse is that since they share a heart they share the curse and when one is awake the other is asleep. Oh, if only there was another person that was part of this True Love triangle. Oh but wait there is.

By the episode’s own admission Emma is part of that love ergo she could have woken them up this whole time. The freakin epsiode said she was their true love as children often are BUT the episode didn’t do that. Instead of the logical method which they have done before the show opts for a Kumbaya method where the town’s people take the curse to share it with them to wake them up. How does multiple people taken a weaken sleeping curse even wake them up in the first place? It makes no sense. The only reason I can think of for why the didn’t have Emma kiss her parents because it would have less dramatic and kind of a “duh” moment if it had come to that. But then again Rumple was under the dark curse till David woke him and then went back under even though in season 1 and past section in that Welcome to Storybrooke episode in season 2, he was clearly not under curse, so whatever.

They only decent part of this episode was Tiger Lily and Hook. They teamed up to get Hook home so that he can give Emma a wand to banish the Black Fairy apparently Tiger Lily has a history with her. And also Hook return via the pixie flower and pops the question again.

This episode was a trainwreck. It retcon elements to the point of ruining the story and the previous set-up which the writers have clearly forgotten.

Episode 18: Where Blue Birds Fly

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17 Where Blue Bird Fly picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

This epsiode rounds out Zelena’s arc as a sort sidebar friend-sister-enemy. The Black Fairy tricks her into charging some fairy crystals with dark magic as Zelena wanted to prove she was the best like no one ever was. Turns out she chooses to fix her mistake and picks friendship over magic and in doing so elects to drain her magic from herself which drains the crystals. So Zelena is sans magic.

The b plot was about finding a wedding venue. Snow is all cheery and happy saying a diner would be perfect but David has higher standards. Turns out David just wants to stall things till the battle is done so Emma can enjoy the day but Snow is all hope speeches. But I agree with David, a diner, really Snow. If only there was a lavish unoccupied space like the Sorcerer’s Mansion? Or A park that is the gates to hell? They also plan on postponing the wedding till the Black Fairy is dealt with. Anyway not a bad B-plot but very much a b-plot.

This episode was alright aside from rounding out Zelena’s arc it didn’t do all that much for the plot. There is this part where the Blue Fairy wakes up from her coma which Gideon caused to reforge the sword that kills Emma. Apparently the Black Fairy wanted her off the table because she know her darkest secret. What could it be? If it’s that she is really Blue’s darker side, that would bring the season full-circle and aside from the Aladdin plot, the other plot threads would make sense. Would also make Blue more interesting.

Also Pancakes are to Hook and Emma to what Tacos are to Snow and David. ^_~.

Episode 19: Sisters

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 19 Sisters review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

 

Regina wants to get in the way of Hades and Zelena because Hades is a Villain and the God of Death and therefore cannot be redeemed. Evil Queen, Sure. Dread Pirate Hook Hand, you bet. Snow Queen, sort of. Rumple, jury is still out on that one. But the God of Death is beyond that even though Death is the ultimate equalizer.  

Hades’ plan is now to go to Storybrooke with Zelena and have a life but leave the heros in UnderBrooke so they don’t get in the way so he puts all their names on tombstones for good measure. Regina then enlists Cora to make  Zelena forget Hades. Zelena sees through this but in the end Cora makes them remember an incident from their past a kids where the met and liked each other but Cora made them forget. The sister reconcile and Cora moves on to Olympus. Regina tells Zelena that maybe she can change Hades but before she gets to him, Rumple and Pan kidnap her.

The B plot is about James and David. James’ real motivations for hating David is that David stole his glory. That is so dumb. In the end James take the plunge into the River of Lost Souls. This side plot has yet another case of Emma being lied to and not picking up on it.      

The hero are acting dumb about Hades and Zelena. Maybe if they convinced them that they WON’T get in the way of their happiness, he might let them go home. Hades just seems to care about Zelena right now. Maybe Hades is up to no good but if he is up to some nefarious scheme he hiding with well with all his wooing of Zelena.  

The emotional crux of Regina and Zelena was good towards the end of the episode. The emotions landed well. Having the sisters meet as children was weird as it retconned them and led to a quick reconciliation, guess they had to expedite things. The B plot was dumb, Cruella was the only good part. Hades proposal was cute, asking to make chaos with Zelena. So sweet. This episode was about a B.   

Episode 20: Firebird

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 20 Firebird review picture image

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

There is a lot going on in this episode.

Hades goes to the Heros for help to save Zelena from Rumple and Pan. In exchange he offers to take their names off the graves. Hades compiles with Rumple and tears up the contract and frees Zelena. They kiss and presto, True Love’s Kiss awakens Hades’ Frozen heart. Apparently Hades knew it was true love. Hades triggers a portal to open but it will be open for a limited time only and Emma can’t split her heart to give to Hook as he’s been dead too  long. Hades tells them about Orpheus and Eurydice and a rumor that could bring hook back.  Hook and Emma descend into a low level of the Underworld to try and get some ambrosia which will bring Hook back but Hades cut it way long ago, thus tricking the heroes. Hook convinces Emma to let him go and go back without him. It’s a very sad scene, actually.

While that is going on. Henry tries to complete Operation Firebird which was to help people of the Underworld move on using his author powers. Too bad he didn’t think of this idea ages ago instead of whining. Cruella and the Blind-witch halt this by trapping them with a spell of Hades gave them in the library. Hades tricked them again. Meanwhile Rumple tricks Pan by saying he got a living heart but it was that river of lost souls AGAIN. Pan’s plan wouldn’t have worked anyway. Tricked AGAIN.

While all the heros are getting tricked Hades, Zelena and the baby leave. Just some backstory that I missed, Hades can only leave the underworld when true love’s kiss makes his heart beat again. Zeus stopped it for reasons.  His heart “fluttered” when he was with Zelena, so he knows it’s True Love with her. He did have plan to go back into time so he could be the one on Mt Olympus but dropped the plan because he wanted Zelena. If they have kids, they will have red hair and be very snappy dressers.   

The past section deals with Emma getting caught by a bail bonds person and how she got her leather jacket or her armor. The final part of that plot was very emotional.   

So true love is apparently easy to find and hard to keep. The scene with Hook and Emma was very emotional and done well. Hades should have just done nothing. The heroes would have left him alone but he ruined with this scheming. He should have done nothing, unless he really does have some grand master plan that has yet to be hinted at. His plans so far have been go back in time,  keep souls and  be with Zelena.

This episode had some winky meta moments. Like the ticking clock that is the portal out of the underworld is an actual clock. And the bails bond lady telling Emma Phoenix isn’t hell, which is where she pretty much is now. 

This episode was alright. It had some great emotional moments but again Emma didn’t notice a lie. Will we see Hook again? Maybe not  but who knows. Glad to know Cruella got a bit of a happy ending. Cruella is going to run the Underworld now, good for her.

 

Episode 15: The Brother Jones

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 15 The Brothers Jones review picture image

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

Meet the brother’s Jones. One is an eyeliner wearing emo and the other is self-righteous to a fault. If you have to guess, you don’t watch the show. Though there are three brothers and two are named Liam so who really knows what Liam number 2 is like.

This episode fills in the gap between Liam and Hook getting sold into servitude as boys and joining the navy. Ah, the Navy, where you can sail the seven the seas and put your mind at ease. Turns out the lads nearly had enough money to get out but Hook gambled it away and Liam couldn’t leave him. So as the their captain was leading the ship into a storm from some sapphire, Liam and Hook lead a mutiny and as Liam is plotting a course GUESS WHO TURNS UP WITH A DEAL. Hint not Rumple, though he does like deals. Nope it’s Hades and he wants souls. So in return for leading a lot of guys to their death by horrible drowning, Liam gets to live as well as Hook PLUS the stupid sapphire which will pretty much grant them anything they want from the King. But Liam is too moral of a person, nah he takes the deal and him and Hook join the Navy.

In UnderBrook, lots of plots are going on. Liam doesn’t like Emma because of the whole Dark One thing and being selfish about not letting Hook move on. Hook is mopey because he thinks he shouldn’t be saved. Henry wants to be a Hero. Cruella wants David who is pretending to be his twin brother James. And Hades wants pages of the Storybook destroyed because he has a past with Zelena. Well of course he does because how else is Zelena going to factor into the plot. You think Regina sending her to Oz last season was the end of her? Actually I have no idea where this thing is going.  

How did Hook know the sailor’s unfinished business? Tell me show. He just assumes that a bunch of people have the SAME unfinished business. What if one of them regrets not being a dentist to make his mother proud after a deathbed promise when he was eight? Bit of a leap you took there  Hook with their salvation. But whatever they were just extras, existing solely for Liam and Hook’s story.  And how did Liam get “saved?” He was going to put his brother before himself and that was his business? Is this business things part of being a good person or do you solve your issue and the you get to move on to Zeus?  Does a horrible person in life get to move if they figure out their business? Wasn’t there some judgment talk? Or is hell for those who didn’t solve their problem but think they did?  I feel I’m going insane asking all these questions, the show doesn’t know it’s just a nicer ending to have Liam and the sailors move on so that Hook can feel good about wanting to be saved and have a life with Emma. I mean that is what the people want!

Not the best episode. It does moves things along but it’s boring. Aside from Cruella  who is just too delightful.    

 

Episode 16: Our Decay

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 16 Our Decay review picture image

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

They missed a chance to do the “I’ll get you and your little dog too”  line. This episode focuses on Zelena and Hades and their special connection. To fair it’s that special connection is standard for this show; it’s True Love. Hades and Zelena actually do have a connection as they are both bitter about their siblings getting more from life than them. Hades got the Underworld while Zeus got Olympus, Zelena was abandon and Regina was kept and made Queen. They actually feel like a natural couple. Expect Zelena rejected him in the past because she thought he was after the time-travel spell and currently she thinks Hades is after her baby for the same spell when he had Rumple bring the baby to the Underworld and Belle and Zelena get inadvertently pulled through the portal. Not sure how she  got from OZ back to Storybrooke but the show glossed over it so we will too. Hades claims he was trying to get Zelena’s baby away from the heroes.

Let’s just touch on ort “heroes” for a bit. Apparently in their book it’s ok to leave your infants  to save friends in hell if you think they died in vain. Maybe one of the Charmings should have stayed with their third season plot point, or infant son.  But Robin thinks being noble is more important than his baby or his small motherless son. And he going to hide the small baby in the forest of hell instead of the nice apartment Robins is also super annoying with regard to Zelena and the baby, maybe if he was trying to cut her off the baby she woudn’t act out.  Siding with the villains on this one. Though Hades could be lying as his reasons for getting the baby, don’t really think he is. Think he is in love with Zelena.  She’s the reason why he created the Underworld in Storybrooke’s image, because she wanted to cast the Dark Curse.      

Oddly there is a neat little tie into the Hades’ myth that makes him and Zelena makes sense as a couple. When Zelena joined the sister witches of OZ she represented the West which stood for innocences. Persephone also represented innocence. Also Zelena was born on April 15th, which is tax day and is in the Spring.  So Zelena is Persephone. I wonder if this was intentional by the writers or a happy accident.

Then there are other characters. We have Henry going all teeanger because his parents can understand his artistic methods. Apparently he black out when he writes. Henry’s plans is to record the stories to get the missing pieces about Hades so they can beat him.  Snow White and David haunt their baby via  a Haunting Booth, which is a payphone. There is a fine line between being clever and dumb. This seems to taking that step over the line.

Then there is Rumple. Rumple tells Belle about the contract, her condition and his Dark one status. Rumple’s character arc this whole time  isn’t one of redemption of anti-hero but accepting the man and the beast. So he can be slightly nicer and loving but not a hero. Rumple doesn’t want to change he wants love and power. I guess he is being honest…?

This episode was pretty good. Somehow Hades and Zelena are super compelling but they need to stop with the flaming hair. It’s just uncanny valley. Can also have done without super self-righteous Robin and the Haunting Booth.

 

Episode 17: Best Laid Plans

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Josh Dallas as David Once Upon a Time Season 04 Episode17 Best Laid Plans picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Josh Dallas as David

“Best Laid Plans,” like Maleficent laid an egg, real punny. Let me get this straight, Rumple’s plan is to get the author to make Emma’s heart dark so that villains can get their happy endings but her do-gooder parents swapped her darkness with Maleficent’s baby who they just assumed was a dragon for no real reason and they did this even though they were told by by the apprentice that everyone starts out as a tabula rasa (blank slate) so there is technically no darkness getting transferred but only the potential of darkness from Emma to Maleficent’s baby who is Lily, Emma’s childhood friend, and the only thing this spell did was sending Lily, Ursula and Cruella to the land sans magic but turns out that everyone was being manipulated by the author who had gone rouge and was creating drama, Did I get all that? But what I really want to know is how Ursula and Cruella didn’t age in thirty years? Bit of a plot hole there. Maybe New York is good for the skin.

This episode really does make Snow and David look really bad. They know what they did was wrong but they still throw around the word heros and villains so casually, I mean Maleficent is far and away more sympathetic. Emma being all whiny about her parents lying to her, this lair revealed story is as old a time and super boring.

Not sure how to feel about this episode, since you could just write David and Snow off because they were being manipulated but some sketchy dude. Plus Maleficent was great in this episode. The twist of the who the author was and him taking off running was good, really he seems like a douche. I just wish everyone wasn’t being so whiny, Maleficent is the only one right now who has a good excuse. Also that line about Walt being a great storyteller, way to stroke your ego Disney.

This episode does remind me of 30 Rock quote “Sometimes you gotta do the right thing even when the wrong thing is a whole lot easier… Die, werewolf-zombie”

Episode 18: Heart of Gold

Rebecca Madder as Zelena and Sean Maguire as Robin Hood Once Upon a Time Season 04 Episode 18 Heart of Gold picture image

Rebecca Madder as Zelena and Sean Maguire as Robin Hood

Oh yay…. Zelena’s back! Goody… In a way this feels like some ploy but Zelena is good for shaking things up and I do like her brand of evil so I’m not so against on this turn of events. What I am against is a Robin Hood focused episode, he is boring. He’s better as support character.

This episode is all flashback since it focus is 9 weeks in the past and how Robin went from former thief to bartender to nobel thief and all he had to do was steal something for Rumple that now needs in New York to mend his heart which is steeped in darkness. So the Dark One has some weird time limit now?

Another question I have is Why would Robin go to freaking New York City? Have these people never heard of Portland Maine? Boston exists and so do a LOT of other places between Maine and New York City. Is it because Neal’s place is available? Did Neal keep up the rent while he was in Neverland or in the Enchanted Forest or dead? You know a year has passed or did he own the place? There is also Emma’s apartment. Did she get out her lease? Or did she own? I mean Manhattan Real Estate .

The ending with Zelena posing as Marian made up for the otherwise boring episode and actually Zelena killing Marian and taking her form corrected the time paradox. Marian was meant to die and she did. Though I bet if you rewatch beginning of season 4 with the Frozen characters, she was playing the role of Marian really well and no could have see the twist till this episode. It’s like the planned it after Marian came back from the dead.

On a Different note, Christie Laing (Marian) was on season 1 of UnReal, which I just marathoned. That show is bloody addictive and full of horrible people. Also she was in Tucker and Dale Vs Evil which is the most romantic movie ever. It’s a parody of slasher movies, which I typically hate but that movie is great. I highly recommend it.

 

Episode 19: A Curious Thing

Sunny Mabrey as Glinda ABCs Once Upon a Time A Curious Thing picture

Sunny Mabrey as Glinda

Quite a few questions get answered in this episode for starters, Why did Zelena cast the Dark curse? She didn’t, the Charming crew did. Why? Because they found out from Glinda that  only a person strong in light magic can remove Zelena’s necklace which is where her magic resides. So they set-up the dark curse to get to back to Emma but Zelena threw a memory wipe into the dark brew. She then takes a potion to counter the effects of the memory wipe and gives a vial to Rumple who turns into Neal who sends it off to Hook to get Emma, which answers the question of who sent the message to Hook. It’s a good thing that bird Neal uses understood English and knows who Hook is and what the Jolly Roger looks like. Super smart random dove, where is that Dove backstory episode?

Also twist! Snow crushing David’s heart to enact the curse but he lives because they now  share Snow’s heart, cute? Anywho the crew restores Henry’s memories via the book and Regina is the one who breaks the curse, which confuses me. I thought that Robin Hood was Regina’s true love but it’s Henry. Or Robin is her soul mate or he back-up true love? How does this work show? Because yay twists are great BUT you don’t keep to your rules.     

Ok, now random nitpicks. Why didn’t Grumpy and Nova take up again? Remember Nova? I guess the show forgot about her because Grumpy mentions the fairies and not even like an easter egg to season 1.  It also took them eight months to come up with a lead? What?   

Glad this episode is wrapping things up and questions are getting answered but it was a weird episode even for this show’s internal logic. I did like the twist that Snow casted the dark curse and Glinda was fun to see.

 

Episode 20: Kansas

 Sunny Mabrey as Glinda, Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Matreya Scarrwener as Dorothy Gale ABCs Once Upon a Time Kansas picture image

Sunny Mabrey as Glinda, Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Matreya Scarrwener as Dorothy Gale

Well that ends the plot of Zelena, the wicked witch of the west who wanted to time travel. I shall miss her, I found her brand of evil delightful but it could be a case of less is more. So the plot of this episode has Snow giving birth and Zelena takes the baby for her spell. Emma losing her magic after Rumple force drowns Hook so Emma’s light magic is off the table. Regina however now can use light magic because of love and desire to change  I guess and she removes Zelena’s pendant. Rumple then kills Zelena and her magic is discharge and forms a  freaking time travel portal, well she did achieve time travel, good for her. Her plan would have worked.  

The past plot is Zelena joining the sister witches of OZ and how a chick from Kansas made Zelena go a little jealous so she reverted back to her wicked ways. Glinda offers Zelena the position of Witch of the West which holds the aspect of innocence as its magic attribute.  The moral of the past section was that people shape their own destiny and Zelena was wicked because she chose to be so.  Also Zelena had no reason to be jealous because all the witches of OZ had different hair colors Glinda Blonde, Zelena Red and the other two were black and brown. Dorothy would have messed with the aesthetic but Zelena was perfect. That table needed a red-head.   

Mostly this was good episode did wrap up this plot very neatly but a there a few things to carry over. Rumple proposed to Belle and offered her the dagger as a sign of trust except he gave her a fake. Smart Rumple that plan won’t backfire at all will it?  Then there is Emma moaning about her great life in New York City and how she going back there while Hook is trying to convince her not to go because he like-likes her and he REALLY wants a future with her.  Also there a time portal so let’s see how that plays out in the next episode.

 

Episode 15: Quiet Minds

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Michael Raymond-James as Neal ABCs Once Upon a Time Quiet Minds picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Michael Raymond-James as Neal

This is a super sad episode. This episode answers the question of where Neal has been and why Rumple is crackers. In the missing year Neal was so desperate to get back to Emma and Henry that he figured that bringing Rumpelstiltskin back from the dead would be the best way and naturally Belle helps him out. In Rumpelstiltskin’s library a candlestick named Lumiere tells them about a key to “The Vault of the Dark One,” creative name there, where they can bring him back. However this is all a scheme hatched by Zelena because guess what, she also wants to bring The Dark one back too.

At the vault, Belle figures out that Lumiere has been lying and the Wicked Witch is behind this. Neal doesn’t care as they all want the same thing so Neal turns the key which revives Rumpelstiltskin but at the cost of Neal’s life. Rumpelstiltskin absorbs Neal into himself causing Rumpelstiltskin’s craziness but also saving Neal’s life.

In Storybrooke, Neal is found with a triangle burn mark on his hand. Neal’s not to concerned about it as he just wants to find Rumpelstiltskin and wants Henry to remember him. As he and Emma reconnect a bit Belle calls and tells Emma what the marks mean. Neal begs Emma to separate the two so that Rumpelstiltskin can reveal who the wicked witch is in town even at the cost of his own life. Rumpelstiltskin tells Emma the witch is Zelena and Emma tells Henry that his father was good man.

There is also a plot where Regina and Robin connect a little and Regina learns that Robin is her true love has he has the lion tattoo. Does still have his Milah tattoo? I can’t recall seeing it since the beanstalk episode.

I think I like this episode more in theory than I actually do. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the episode but aside from Neal’s death it doesn’t do much. However one thing I did love was exchange between Hook and Neal. It was very nice and touching. If things had gone differently Neal would have seen Hook as a more of a father-figure instead of a rival.

Which brings me to that love-triangle which combinated in one episode and some side-glances. I’m not complaining, I’ve watched Downton Abbey where love-triangles were a big thing in season 2 though that got resolved and one different love triangle last two seasons. I also watch anime where there are tons of love-triangles everywhere so one that last about ten episodes (aside for some flirting in season 2) and was relegated to drama in one episode is fine. Though I’m surprised that this show with all its love for drama didn’t have more drama from this (show ain’t done yet though). But now it’s smoother sailing for Captain Swan. That’s mean, I liked Neal fine but you can’t deny Captain Swan as a ship. I did like the exchange between Neal and Emma, they seemed more chummy than romantic.

Also Loved the music at the end.

It’s a little unceremonious that Lumiere got one episode but so did Rapunzel. I mean if they had named him “Mr Candle” it would have been the same impact. Rapunzel was at least in a tower.

This was a fair episode that’s purpose was to get the main cast to know who the witch was and ax off Neal in a heroic way or at least in an unselfish way.

 

 

Episode 16: It’s Not Easy Being Green

Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin ABCs Once Upon a Time It's Not easy being Green picture image

Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin

Well right off the bat, A Muppet Reference? I love it

This episode goes into Zelena’s beginnings, can’t really say backstory anymore since it’s all backstory, just redundant to say. Zelena was brought to OZ via cyclone and adopted by a nice lady and jerky grumpy guy who hated Zelena because she is a magic prodigy. Like as a baby she was moving trees. Anyway her father calls her wicked and one day he tells her she was a foundling and since he doesn’t like she peaces out to the wizard of OZ.

Once there the wizard shows her Cora, Regina and Rumple. Oz gives her the silver slippers to go to The Enchanted Forest. Once there she starts growing envious of Regina’s life and stuff. She also quickly mets Rumple who trains her in magic. However he doesn’t want her to cast the dark curse since Zelena has a little crush on him. Zelena grows more envious of Regina and starts going green. Zelena tells Rumple she COULD taken him across realms with the slippers but now she won’t and she returns to OZ. There she sees the human Oz who is Walsh, Emma was dating the Wizard of OZ. Anyway Zelena turns him into a flying monkey and decides figure out a way to go back in time to stop Regina being born. She also sees Rumple praising Regina which makes Zelena go full on green.

The Storybrooke part has Zelena challenging Regina to a witch fight. Zelena does come out and tells Regina (again) that they are half-sisters. Which after Regina finds a letter she believes. At the fight Zelena reveals she after Regina’s heart which Regina doesn’t have on her, or rather in her. The crew figures she planning to cast some kind of curse.

This episode was pretty good. Zelena is growing on me, she seems to be polarizing. Her brand of evil is fun but it could get old quickly. The green with envy skin is REALLY on the nose even for this show. Also I love her earrings, which a weird thing to mention but I like them.

I also really liked the part where Hook offered to tell Henry more about Neal, that was sweet.
Emma does have a type, fairy tale and/or literary characters. Has she dated any normal human from boring old “Land without Magic?” Doesn’t seem like it.

Anyway good episode not a standout but solid and entertaining. Also points to Robin for referring to Rumple as an “Imp.” I feel like they did that more in season 1 but less now since Hook calls him crocodile all the time.

 

Episode 13: Witch Hunt

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena ABCs Once Upon a Time Witch Hunt picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

In this episode we are introduced to the Wicked Witch of the West properly. Her name is Zelena, which means green in Bosnian. She is also masquerading around Storybrooke as a midwife, this way she can get close to Snow.

In The Storybrooke section, everyone trying to figure out how to get their memories back. The consensus is to figure out who cast the curse. Regina and Emma work together and decide to try and smoke out the person with a con that they are making a memory potion at Regina’s office. Regina puts a blood lock on the office so the person can’t get out but they do in a puff of green smoke.

While that is happening people who try leaving Storybrooke are getting taken away by flying monkeys and turning in to them as well. The Flying Monkeys and the green smoke  informs the group that they are dealing with The Wicked Witch.

Zelena has also brought Rumple back from the dead and he is a little touched in the head.

The past section of the episode which is only a year in the past so it feels contemporary, has Regina and Robin hood breaking into her castle. Again the group figures out it’s a Wicked Witch of OZ because if a flying monkey attacks.  Regina is a little perturbed that the blood lock to the castle was opened but she is really there to get the ingredients for a sleeping curse because she can’t bare to live without Henry. Robin pleads with her to find something to live for but her mind is set.  Regina lowers the shield and is about to curse herself when the Wicked Witch enters the room in one of Regina’s gowns and takes the sleeping curse from Regina. She introduces herself as Zelena and tells her that she is her older half sister by Cora. Zelena’s motivation is to take everything from Regina and leaves. Regina then tells Robin that she has something to life for, a person to destroy. It’s nice to have goals

This episode definitely moves the plot along. This core family group is getting more complex, now Regina has a half sister. Who is her father? Rumple? Probably not, would make that family tree weirder that it already is. It was an enjoyable episode but it just leaves more questions than it answered, that’s the point though. And Rumple is BACK WHAT? How? So much for his noble sacrifice.   

Also not sure  on the make-up on Zelena. It’s looks like glowing sweat but green. Still better than The Wicked Witch in Oz the Great and Powerful.       

       

 

Episode 14: The Tower

Josh Dallas as Princes Charming (David) & Alexandra Metz as Rapunzel ABCs Once Upon a Time The Tower picture image

Josh Dallas as Princes Charming (David) & Alexandra Metz as Rapunzel

This is a Charming heavy episode with a one-off appearance of Rapunzel. Rapunzel was a waste. Basically this episode is about facing your fear in a manifestation of yourself brought on by a root. In The Enchanted Forest Rapunzel took some because she was scared to be a leader. Her other self chased into a tower and keeps her there. Charming gives her some encouragement and she defeats her fear and goes home. This is still in the missing year period.

In Storybrooke, Zelena slips Charming the root so he can face his fear of being a bad dad to steal a symbol of his courage. Also they find traces of Rumple as they track down The Witch’s house, which is a Farm which looks like Dorothy’s 1939 farm house.  Rumple isn’t there, he got out, somehow but the spinning wheel and gold are.

Aside from Charming’s dream, which shows a Princess version of Emma and a Emma and  Hook moment this episode was a bore. It wastes Rapunzel to a scared little girl and it seems like she won’t be back as she resolved her storyline. I guess she COULD return someday but there wasn’t much to her character.

Emma’s princess dress was pretty but not the weird feathery arm bands, this show loves its feathers. In her case she is a “Swan” Princess so makes sense, in theory.

Bonus Picture Time

Jennifer Morrison as Princess Emma Swan picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Princess Emma Swan