Once Upon A Time- Winter Finale- “Going Home”

Not entirely the same, but when I see this title, I hear this play in my head:
“I’m coming home, I’m coming home, tell the world that I’m coming home”
Skylar Grey sings that part of Diddy’s otherwise rap-dominated track.

Anyway…
This has been a pretty trying, bordering on traumatic, season of “Once Upon a Time” for me. I haven’t been a happy camper through most of it.
Last night… I don’t even want to use the word “bittersweet” because I really do have mixed emotions about it.

It’s borderline happy, but the price paid for that happiness, I still don’t know if that’s enough to make me entirely happy.
To their credit, it feels as if the writers spent the entire show CUSHIONING the blow that was undoubtedly coming. Like they read my mind and started to ease the pain, get me used to the circumstances over time as bombshell after bombshell came down.

The flashbacks they used made me feel as if this was the series itself ending. Lots of threads were getting tied up. They showed Snow White worrying about the incoming curse and her Prince telling her everything would be all right and their child would find a way to save them.
They showed Hook and Smee in Neverland and Hook meeting Tinkerbell for the first time. He was talking about how he would kill out of love and revenge. At the moment, he’d do just that to get even with Rumplestilskin for taking away the woman he loved… still a very complicated storyline there, even after all this time has passed since it happened.
They also showed Rumplestilksin lighting a candle for Baelfire’s birthday and Belle sees him at one of his most vulnerable moments as a result.
We also had a flashback of Henry where Snow White gives him the storybook she found in the back of her closet. Saying that it appeared as if by magic… so now I’m going to wonder how the book got there, who put it there (aside from the writers, obviously :-P).

The previous episode was traumatic for a number of reasons. Even bigger than Pan’s plan to unleash the memory-wiping curse (at which point, I was screaming about how much a cop-out that was, doing that same crap all over again that started the series)… I didn’t like it when the Blue Fairy had her shadow ripped away because she was one of those characters that didn’t have to die. She’s too good.

To their credit, they remedied that almost immediately. The Prince, Baelfire, Tinkerbell and Hook managed to destroy Pan’s shadow and doing so restored Blue’s shadow, reviving her. And during that confrontation, Tinkerbell regained her powers, which was a really nice bonus.
Yet the point of seeing Blue and her followers was getting hold of a wand once owned by a dark fairy… I don’t know if they even used it, maybe that was how they switched Henry and Pan’s souls back to their old bodies.

They tried to neutralize Pan with the wristband that once shorted Regina’s powers (thanks to “the Home Office” sent by Pan who wanted to blow up Storybrooke)… but OF COURSE it doesn’t work on him.
The writers are such jerks about him, letting him get away with so much.

He needed to be stopped, obviously, but I still don’t think the price paid was the way they should have gone.
I was literally in Belle’s shoes when Mr. Gold had his shadow retrieve his dagger and used it to stab him and Pan… turning Pan back into an old man and the two of them disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
I don’t want to believe that this is the absolute end of this character because I freaking love the guy. I always believed that he had good in him and did plenty to redeem himself throughout the series.
Giving me all the more reason to feel Belle is the character I have the most in common with. How she felt about Mr. Gold/Rumplestilksin and her love of books. As much as I love the actress as well, Emilie de Ravin, who plays her, I still HATE the fact she has blue eyes. Belle in the animated version had brown eyes and her having blue eyes means I’d never be able to cosplay as her (never mind I don’t have the means of getting that outfit together, I’m screwed by the fact I have brown eyes).

So yeah, thanks a lot, writers, for killing of my favorite character on the show… AGAIN…
but if it wasn’t for the two J[Gi]ennifers and Colin O’Donoughe, I would have left the series after this.

Unfortunately the curse has been cast, so we’re left with a couple choices.
a) doing this crap all over again with the memories being wiped… obviously the writers didn’t want to repeat that
b) Regina activating the fail-safe that would destroy Storybrooke and send everyone back to the Enchanted Forest… except Henry
c) all of b, but Emma stays with Henry

Henry (and the actor playing him, Jared S. Gilmore) have gotten a lot of flack on Twitter as of late and I’m sure they were lighting up with that revelation… Henry screwing everything up not once, but twice… not just allowing Pan to get to Storybrooke but him keeping everyone from having a completely happy ending.

I thought about taking option b, but knowing these characters, that ain’t happening.

But the saddest part for me (which has me tearing up right now… I actually managed through the entire show without tearing up, which is excellent cuz I’d have enough waterworks to last me a long time on that) was that Emma and Henry wouldn’t remember any of the stuff that happened.
All the great stuff that happened since Emma came to Storybrooke, gone. She won’t remember who her parents are, that she’s the savior and how all the fairytale characters are real… that’s almost as bad as “Dallas” where they found Bobby alive in the shower and the entire “Who Shot JR?” storyline was a dream…

Regina then did something remarkably nice. She couldn’t PRESERVE the memories they were going to lose (dammit, why not?!), but she could give them happy ones.
Another flashback was a repeat of when Emma gave Henry up for adoption the second he was born.
As they’re leaving Storybrooke in that pale yellow VW bug, we revisit that scene a third time, but then she changes her mind and keeps him.

Continuing the cushion the blow (which felt like a technique taken from “Bambi,” how they followed up the death of Bambi’s mom with a super happy scene with birds singing and springtime anew… either way, you’re mentally tricked into feeling good even though deep down, you still don’t), they showed a scene a year after Storybrooke’s implosion of Emma making Henry scrambled eggs and pancakes.

Yes, that was very sweet and part of me is thinking “maybe they should end the series here”…
NOPE!
There’s a knock on the door and I know for a fact it’s a fairytale character, but I was SO happy that it was Hook πŸ˜› Never been happier to see him. Of course he makes a fool of himself, kissing her and having her wanting to call the cops.
But apparently, “your family’s in trouble”. On break until March 9, which wouldn’t be so bad if not for the next villain we’re up against.

:sigh: The Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz… yep, they went there. Yet another cross-over. One Storybrooke character was Victor Frankenstein and he came from a black & white world. They had some Greek myths recently with Pandora’s Box and Medusa.
Considering Disney was the studio that did “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” that isn’t a huge stretch, but I loathe whenever they add new villains because it never goes anywhere pleasant.
There’s another curse out there, not sure if it’s the witch or them talking about what Regina did or Pan or whatever, but for a moment, I thought that maybe they’ll do an “Into the Woods” type curse, leaving Snow White and the Prince unable to have anymore kids, something she revealed recently she wanted.

A few things I hate about the series is that you get used to certain places, people and things, and they change the moment you settle down. I thought Storybrooke was a great place and now we’ll never see it again 😦
And what I’ve gotten to really hate is that every time we advance, I want to go back a few steps to when things were good. Determine where I’d like to the story to stop because I hated how it ended. Quit while you’re ahead sort of thing.
Reminding me a little of an episode of “Friends” where Phoebe finds out about how a lot of movies ended sadly, but when she was a kid, her mom or aunt stopped them at a certain point to keep from exposing her to it.

I know “Less than Zero” isn’t the only time where I’ve taken that stance on something (They should have stopped it here and he wouldn’t have died), but it’s the only other scenario I can think of at the moment.

The thing is I can live some things down and I can comprise a little bit, but “Once Upon a Time” makes it really hard. It’s hard to balance the “I can live this down” with “this sucks” because there’s a fine line.
Emma staying behind was the only solution to keep the show from jumping the shark.
I just don’t think they had to kill off Mr. Gold to do that 😦
And they could have easily ended the series two minutes shy of an hour, but it’s hard for me to turn down Hook. Colin O’Conoughe is such a hottie and I’m excited to see how he manipulates her feelings for him. 😎

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