While Once Upon a Time’s “Chosen” closed a quick chapter on the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, its true meaning was showing how far villain-turned-hero Zelena has come since she was brought to Storybrooke all those years ago.
In a weird twist, Hansel and Zelena’s stories crossed paths when Hansel was a young boy kidnapped by the child-eating witch in Oz. Jack revealed to a still tied-up Henry that Zelena is his newest target because she left him and his sister to die at the hands of the other witch as a child.
Jack also cleared the air and told Henry he was tired of being Hansel and changed his name to Jack because it was simple, unlike his past. (Note: from here on out Jack will now be referred to as his birth name Hansel.)
Hansel tells Henry that he has been killing witches because there simply are no good ones, even though both Regina and Zelena want Henry to think so. Because Henry is still a non-believer, he casually plays along with Hansel’s “fantasy,” agreeing with him as he rants about his story. What Henry doesn’t realize is Hansel is telling the truth.
The background between Zelena and Hansel begins when she bursts into the candy witch’s home to tell her to leave Oz. That’s when she finds the two siblings chained up. Before she can save them, she gets knocked out. That is when Hansel and Gretel’s blind father finds Zelena injured in the woods and takes her to his home to help her.
Zelena has a soft spot for him, and once better, she goes back to save Hansel and Gretel. To stop the witch, Zelena takes the witch’s eyesight to save the children and also to give their father something he lost. However, once she gets inside, she sees the siblings are gone.
When she goes back to their father’s house, she finds the children there with him. She is elated because they were able to escape, but she is too late since they already informed their trusting father that Zelena left them there to die to begin with.
Their father becomes angry because Zelena never told him while she was under his care and he didn’t want to listen to her excuses as to why she waited. He turns on her, and that’s when the wicked side of Zelena comes out. As Hansel tries to stab Zelena, she puts fire handcuffs around him and disappears in a cloud of green smoke.
Still peeved from the fire burns around his wrist, Hansel continues his revenge on witches. Hansel leaves Henry in his apartment (who later gets saved by Hook) and kidnaps Zelena’s fiance from Seattle. Hansel is able to lure Zelena out of safety and to the bar’s basement where Hansel has her fiance tied up. Not only that, but Hansel also tries to kill her.
Good thing Zelena still has some tricks up her sleeve. Instead of killing Hansel, which would have been easier, she knocks him out and allows the cops to do what they must with him, ultimately keeping her wicked side dormant.
“Chosen” was a fresh episode because it was nice to finally see one of the main characters in the spotlight again. This final season has been all about the new characters and “Chosen” allowed us to go back and follow Zelena’s story. It was a great episode about how far her character has grown since her days as the Wicked Witch of the West trying to ruin her sister’s life.
This episode also answered many questions about some of the B-characters’ motives. In filler scenes, it was revealed how so many characters were awake, like Hansel, Dr. Facilier, and Prince Naveen. In the final scene, it was revealed that Dr. Facilier is the one waking everyone up for his own gain. While Hansel’s agenda was to kill all witches, Dr. Facilier reveals to Hansel in an interrogation room that Mother Gothel is his endgame, right before he kills Hansel with a voodoo doll.
This final season has been like a storybook. When one chapter ends, with the quick change of a page, a new one begins.