It’s the winter break already? It’s only been ten episodes. Now we have to wait until March for the rest of the season, which I should be used to by now, but it can be agony. Good thing this episode is more or less a good note to go on before the Christmas period. My thoughts on the sixth season have been mixed so far. Plots are a little predictable, the Land of Untold Stories has all but been wasted and forgotten, characters are underused, and it feels like the writers are treading on water to keep things going. I disliked the first half of the fifth season but at least it kept things moving. Virtually nothing has actually happened of major significance apart from Snow White and Prince Charming being split up.
There is an ongoing sense of disappointment. We were given a brilliant tease for what was to come with Mr. Hyde and the Land of Untold Stories, but he died in the fourth episode and new stories have been limited to one-shot episodes and characters of the week. We have had a couple of good episodes, but new plot threads are wasted. I expected to properly explore the world of Captain Nemo, but his presence was used to set up Captain Hook’s half-brother being a badguy only for that potential arc to be wrapped up in an episode. Aladdin’s role as a former Saviour would have been an interesting plot to explore but it was just skipped to show Emma’s apparently inevitable death prophecy and shaky hand. And I really hoped Jafar would come out of the magic lamp, but they instead took a more sillier direction. Speaking of which, it takes us to the main point of this review.
So, at the end of the last episode, Emma and Hook find a sword in Mr. Gold’s shop which Emma foresees as the weapon that will kill her. They and Regina head to the vault only to find the Evil Queen waiting for them at Robin Hood’s grave. The Queen taunts both Regina and Emma, but it becomes apparent that the sword can somehow harm the Queen without in turn hurting Regina. Well, that’s convenient. The Queen flees but runs into Rumplestiltskin, who places a golden bracelet on her to track her should Emma fail to kill her. Emma plans to kill the Queen, though Henry objects out of concern for his mum’s safety, running off to his room to have an angsty cry. He isn’t Jon Snow, you know. Teenage angst doesn’t suit Henry.
Emma, Hook, and David do one of those epic walks down the street but hear Jasmine scream from Granny’s. They find Jasmine being held captive by the Queen, who produces the magic lamp, named occupied by Aladdin, who became a genie in the last episode. The Queen reveals she heard Emma’s wish that she had never become the Saviour. She forces Aladdin to grant it, causing Emma to disappear. While her loved ones freak out, Regina goes straight to her twin who is having a drink with Aladdin, intending on rubbing his magic lamp if you know what I mean. While the Evil Queen gloats, Regina turns the tables on her, realising since they are the same person, they both are Aladdin’s master. Aladdin then sends Regina to the wish realm created by Emma’s “wish”.
When I first saw the preview of the episode, I dreaded they were going to retcon the whole series, but they did the opposite, instead creating an alternate world where the Dark Curse was never cast. Emma is now a sweet, innocent princess similar to classic Disney maidens, her parents are now old (or the little makeup applied to them says otherwise), and Henry is to become a knight, but seems to be a little bit more reckless and Anakin Skywalker-ish then before. There is also a nod to Baelfire, though this brings up a whole ton of questions about how Emma and Baelfire got together in this AU. Emma’s real life appears as dreams and she produces the sword meant to kill her, giving it to Henry for safekeeping. Now, if Henry was the one who kills his mother, that would be quite a shocker.
Regina arrives in the wish realm and finds the seven dwarves who freak out and run away to warn Snow and David. In this world, it turns out the Evil Queen was defeated and banished. So what, she was banished in the actual timeline, so what’s the difference this time and who is the Saviour in place of Emma? The imprisoned Rumplestiltskin still seems to know she is the Saviour, so how has this wish changed the story? Regina stumbles across Emma strolling through the woods collecting flowers, which Regina finds hilarious. She tries to coax Emma back to reality, only for Snow and David to appear and threaten her. Regina is gobsmacked by their age but has to flee before she can explain things – albeit trying in the vaguest way possible.
Meanwhile, in the real world, David makes a stand by seizing Aladdin’s lamp. He specifically wishes for the Queen to get “exactly what she deserves”, but nothing happens. Mainly because the Queen has gained her revenge and made David’s life a misery. The Queen then makes her escape to gloat. Back in the wish world, Regina goes to Rumplestiltskin for help, releasing the imp from his prison in exchange for a magic bean to return home. Rumple encourages her to become the Queen to make Emma the heroine she is supposed to be. At Henry’s knighting, Regina crashes the ceremony and kidnaps Snow and David to antagonise Emma.
Regina paces back and forth in her fortress, only for Emma to arrive. However, Emma whips out the key to the kingdom and pleads for mercy before the astonished Regina. Regina crushes Snow and David’s hearts but Emma sobs even harder. Henry barges in and throws the sword at Regina, but she cannot fight back, bringing Emma to her senses and she stops Henry, now back to the Emma we know and love. The two go to the lakeside where Rumplestiltskin pops up and gives them the bean before vanishing. Just as they open the portal back home, an arrow is shot at their feet and Robin Hood shows up! Now there’s the writing I love. Regina becomes bedazzled by her boyfriend’s true presence, leaving Emma reeling as the portal closes.
Back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold is feeling pretty bummed about Belle sending their son Gideon/Morpheus away with the Blue Fairy. He uses his son’s hair to try and locate him on his magic Google Earth globe, but it brings up nothing – Morpheus is beyond his reach. Panicking, Mr. Gold meets with Belle and informs her of their son’s fate. They dash to the convent, discovering the Blue Fairy in bed, revealing that the Black Fairy took Morpheus. In the last episode, the child-kidnapping fairy was revealed to be Rumple’s wayward mother. The Queen encounters the mysterious hooded person who will kill Emma, only to be transformed into a snake and locked in a cage, which is found by the dwarves and delivered to David.
Mr. Gold and Belle have a shouting match where the former reveals he didn’t force her pregnancy to speed up, since he couldn’t bring himself to do it anyway. Belle laments the pain they have caused to each other and their son. Hey, it runs in the family. Mr. Gold proposes they work together to find their son, not knowing what dark realm his mother took Gideon too – despite then spouting out a lot of exposition about time being faster there and anything is possible. Guess who then walks through the door. Yep, it is the hooded guy, and surprise: It is noneother than Morpheus. This was a little predictable, but yet still exciting at the same time. Did I call it or what? Looks like Rumple Jr. has taken a walk on the dark side after all. But what are his plans and will Emma and Regina get back home? We’ll have to find out in March.
Final Score: A
Pros and Cons:
+ There may be hope for Rumbelle after all.
+ The alternate timeline was fun but brings up a lot of questions.
+ Regina was great as usual.
– Not entirely negative, but the big reveal at the end was a little predictable.
What did you make of Once Upon a Time‘s mid-season finale? Let us know in the comments section or send us a Tweet!