Once Upon a Time just had its winter finale, and it was surprisingly intense, even if it seemed a bit familiar at times. The Evil Queen threw another wrench into things, Gold and Belle looked to be teaming up again, and Emma got banished AGAIN to another land with her memory wiped.
But when Once is at its best, it can tread the same old ground and still feel new. The Evil Queen gets her hands on the lamp and decides to grant a wish Emma once made, that she never became the Savior. So Emma gets transported back to an alternate Enchanted Forest, where her parents had defeated the Evil Queen, raised her themselves, and even aged naturally in the process. At least this time around, Emma’s ideal world involves having all of her family around her. However, we discover just how important Emma’s conflicts were in shaping who she is. Because being raised in such a perfect, peaceful world means Emma has become…well, kind of a wimpy coward who still calls her parents mommy and daddy.
We’re also reminded of just how creepy the Evil Queen could be when she has men under her power. And with Aladdin forced to serve her as the genie, things get gross quick. People seem to forget that this a woman who coerced Storybrooke’s first Sheriff Graham, aka Jaime Dornan, the guy from Fifty Shades of Grey, to have sex with her before she crushed his heart and killed him. If the genders were reversed, that would’ve been pretty unforgivable, but that’s a subject for another day. Let’s just say Aladdin’s response, “Eew,” pretty much sums up my feelings.
Rumple and Belle have pretty big problems too. Turns out, Belle’s attempt to give her son Gideon his best chance backfired, and he’s ended up in the hands of someone even darker: Rumple’s mother, the Black Fairy. Not only that, Gideon is the figure under the hood who is prophesied to kill Emma. Whoops. Will these two ever stop going? Looks like there may be hope for Rumbelle yet.
Emma might just live a little longer. Regina succeeds in going to her dream world and waking her up, even if things get a little dark. Dark as in Regina killing Emma’s parents. But before they can go back, Regina gets a little distracted by her dead love Robin Hood showing up alive and they become trapped in the alternate world Emma. A world whose rulers Regina has killed, but she might just get her true love back. So…yay?
The most ridiculous occurencces mostly revolved around David. He just attacks the Evil Queen with a sword to try to get the lamp, and it actually works? Well, like they say, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But then he could make a wish to wake up his wife and didn’t because…all wishes have a price. Okay. At least Snow wasn’t given much of a chance to be annoying, but you’d think that could mean Zelena could be in this episode too. She just stopped working with the Evil Queen, so was hoping Once would do something with that.
Seems OUAT is saving that for its midseason premiere, where Emma will finally meet the fate that’s been predicted for her all season, and some of the show’s most beloved ships will gain new life. Here’s hoping Jasmine and Aladdin won’t be gone for too long either.