I feel almost like with tonight’s episode, they pulled off what they did last year – wrapping things up in the penultimate episode of the season to give us an exciting two part finale with one focus. Okay, so they didn’t completely wrap everything up, but I do think that my theories about Mal and Lily and even Emma were proved wrong as I feel their stories are finished without the big drama and fights I was expecting. If it weren’t for the Author and Gold, they could all live happily ever after.
But we can’t have that. And I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s back up to the Enchanted Forest and the flashback.
We join Regina on an anniversary. A very sad one. She’s so upset she takes out her anger on a peasant getting married without permission in a royal meadow. Yes, it is the anniversary of Daniel’s death. But when she goes to the grave of her late fiancé, she finds that someone else has already been there – Cora.
But Cora is there to apologize and rebuild a relationship with Regina. In fact, she’s met Tinker Bell and learned about Regina’s mysterious True Love, and she sets out to find him. However, she first runs into the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Sheriff knows the man with that tattoo, but Robin Hood has just gotten married. And he’s too nice, so Cora and the Sheriff hatch a plan.
Cora tries to pass the Sheriff off as Regina’s sole mate, but Regina sees through that very quickly. She’s brings his fake tattoo, put on by magic, to life and gets him to talk. Turns out Cora wants Regina to have a child.
And so Regina confronts Cora. Regina is sure that Cora wanted to be the power behind the throne for a suddenly orphaned young ruler, but Cora insists she just wanted Regina to be happy. Still, Regina has brewed up a potion that will leave her barren, and she drinks it in front of her mother. And Cora heads back to Wonderland, she tells Regina, “You are standing in the way of your own happiness.”
Storybrooke was all over the place as they tried very hard to wrap up the storylines they’ve had going on this half of the season. Hang on to your hats.
After a talk at a bar in New York between Regina and Robin, everyone heads back to Storybrooke. Regina and Robin don’t resolve anything except that their relationship is now very complicated.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma has a joyful reunion with Hook and Henry while ignoring her parents. Then she introduces Lily to her mother. Mal is awestruck and overjoyed to meet her daughter, but Lily is only interested in one thing – revenge. Mal, on the other hand, wants to put all that behind them and work on being happy now that they have each other. Lily just wants out, so she plans to leave town.
After getting back into town, Regina has gone and talked the Author away from a dying Gold. Well, Gold might not die if his heart turns black, but he will turn completely into The Dark One with nothing holding him back – something we are warned we don’t want to see. But that doesn’t stop Regina. When she learns that a drop of blood from a very dark savior is what was needed for the ink, she gets a plan – Lily. If the savior’s darkness went into Lily, then her blood would do the trick, right? Regina goes to talk to Lily, but Lily wants nothing to do with her, so Regina slices Lily’s hand and takes that drop of blood by force. And the little glow in the bottle shows that it works.
Meanwhile, Mal has gone to David and Mary Margaret for parenting advice. They agree to try to help her connect with Lily, but the trio find Lily in dragon form, something she became after Regina cut her hand. She leads them on a chase around the outskirts of town until they try to approach her again in a field. Mary Margaret runs the closest and gets knocked against a rock for her efforts. The dragon flies off, and Mal follows.
While this has been happening, Hook has talked to Emma again. (I told you there was a lot happening.) He finally gets through to her that she needs to forgive her parents for what happened before she was born. After all, they have worked hard to put that behind them and become heroes, and Emma is big on second chances. Look at her and Hook. She finds them while David is hovering over the recently injured Mary Margaret. Emma heals the wound with her magic and then tells her mom that she forgives her. While the two hug, David looks at Hook with appreciation.
Mal tracks down Lily who has finally turned back to human form. That’s when we learn that Lily wanted her mother to be a fierce dragon, and she’s afraid of the darkness inside her ruining any new relationships, including the one with Mal. Mal encourages Lily to stay around for a week on a trial basis, promising that she likes darkness and will teach Lily how to be a fierce dragon.
When they first got back into town, Regina locked Zelena up in the basement of the hospital, saying how convenient it was since Dr. Whale works just upstairs. (Not that we saw him, but it was nice to hear his name spoken again.) Now that she has ink that works, she heads back there with the Author, ready to rewrite the story. And her rewrite? Zelena will have never existed. That includes the baby she is currently carrying. Everyone will just forget about her. Zelena spits out that, despite Regina’s attempts to not become like their mother, she is exactly like their mother.
Now this is where the friend I always watch with and I disagree. He says that Regina was just looking to see how Zelena would react. To me, based on how Regina was slipping back into her Evil Queen behavior all episode, I think she really had intended to go about erasing Zelena from existence. Either way, that comment stops Regina, and she says that she is going to go after her happy ending and leave Zelena alone with the warning that Zelena will have the world’s most restricted visiting rights after she gives birth (and she’s still confined until then). Zelena spits out that Regina is just identifying her happy ending as being with a man, but Regina counters that she is happy with her place in the world – Robin is just part of it.
And there you have it. Happy endings all around, right? This is looking like a great ending to the season. I wonder where they will go next season….
Okay, so the episode really doesn’t end there, but you see what I mean at the beginning? It looked like everyone was well on the road to a happy ending, no Author involved. If there was any theme to this episode and by extension the second half of the season, it’s that the choices we make lead to happiness or sadness. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t really work that way, but there is a certain truth to the idea that you have to face the consequences of your actions, and if you choose to be bitter and try to harm others, it will consume you (turn your heart dark) and hurt those you love, keeping you from the happiness you think it will bring you.
The one person who doesn’t seem to have learned this year is Gold with his dark heart with only a glimmer of red in it. When the Author realizes that Regina doesn’t want his services after all, he writes himself to Gold’s side. Gold is happy to see him and a full vile of ink. “It’s time the villains got their happy endings.” The Author writes “Once Upon a Time….” on a blank page in the front of a new book entitles Heroes and Villains and we fade to black.
Cora and Zelena are two wonderful characters, so it was great to see them back again this week. Their scenes with Regina rocked.
Overall, it did feel like they were packing in as many resolutions as they could so they could go off in a new direction next week. And that direction? It looks from the previews that Gold is going to rewrite everything with the villains as good guys and our heroes as the evil ones. I think it will be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see what happens. Last week they teased that the season finale would change the show forever. I’m curious and worried what they mean by that. Only one week until we get to find out.
With things pretty much wrapped up expect for Gold’s upcoming curse, I don’t think I have too much more to say. What do you think will happen next week? I’d love to hear your theories in the comments.