This was another fantastic episode of Once Upon a Time. This episode focused on Zelena and the Captain Swan wedding planning. We got treated to adorable Charming family moments and we saw Zelena finally make the right call. This is the third good episode in a row just as we might be reaching the end of the road. No one is quite sure if this is the final season or not but from the way the narrative is going I’m leaning towards yes it’s the end, so I’m going to write it like that. It’s a pity that they couldn’t have the quality of these past three episodes in the entire season (or in season 5B) but we’re going to enjoy it while it lasts.
No Longer Wicked
One of the reasons the fandom, myself included, think we’re nearing the end is that they keep bringing up these catchphrases that were thematic in the earlier seasons. A few episodes back we got Killian in Neverland stating “Captain Hook Always Survives” very reminiscent of the “Peter Pan Never Fails” that was the theme of the Neverland Arc and now we’ve got a callback to the other half of season 3 with Zelena’s “Wicked Always Wins”. It’s nice little callbacks to the earlier years of the show we all love.
Zelena’s always been a complicated character and lets’ face it the writers have never been too sure of what to do with her. Rebecca Mader is definitely one of the best in the show but she has rarely gotten the chance to shine like in this episode. This episode brought Zelena back into the forefront and gave us a lot of truly powerful moments. In the flashbacks, we got to see Zelena’s one friend, first when Zelena was a child and then when she’s in Oz as the Wicked Witch. WE know going in that it’s going to end badly but it was still nice to see Zelena have a true friend. Stanum might have been the only person to ever show young Zelena even a shred of kindness and that hurts my heart for Zelena. She wasn’t a bad person she just kept getting hurt by people until there was no trace of the kind person she was a child. Stanum comes to Oz seeking her help and basically dares her to help him. It was a nice way to finally bring in the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.
Stanum brings up the fact that Zelena just wants someone to care for her, he tells her that her power wasn’t what made her special, what made her special was how she wanted to use her power for good. Of course, Zelena isn’t ready to hear it then and lets him turn into tin instead of giving up her magic, which is what leads us into what she did in present day.
In present day we get Black Fairy visiting and vaguely threatening Zelena and Robin. Of course, this riles up Zelena because do what you want with her but no one touches her daughter. They find out where the Black Fairy is hiding out and despite the words from the rest of the heroes Zelena ignores them and goes after her. Of course, Regina goes after her and starts blaming things on her, it’s ridiculous, to say the least. Regina is always projecting her fears and problems on her sister instead of supporting her and Zelena finally points it out. In a moment when Zelena needed her. Regina pushed her away and blamed everything on her. They encounter the Black Fairy who quickly defeats Regina but Zelena falls into her trap. The Black Fairy channel’s Zelena’s magic to turn all the crystals into Dark Crystals and it seems all is lost.
Was it an obvious trap? Yes but I understand why she fell into it. Zelena has always been desperate for affection, we saw it with Rumple, Hades and her interactions with Regina. Yet she’s never gotten it which has given her a need to prove she is better and more powerful than anyone. It’s understandable. And she was almost going to pull a Mills and run away from the chaos she created but instead she came back. Unlike Regina who rarely cleans up her disasters, Zelena came back and sacrificed her magic to clean up her mess. It was a truly honorable moment. She gave up the thing she thought made her special to help everyone else. Mader portrayed that scene beautifully as she asks Emma and Regina to watch over Robin if anything happens to her. It was that scene that truly proved that Zelena was definitely one of the most powerful characters as she was willing to risk it all to help everyone else.
Wedding Planning and Pancakes
These scenes started out light and as Charming family scenes normally do, they got emotional. But first, let’s talk pancakes. I admit I had to watch a lot of this episode a second time because I missed it as I was stuck on the pancakes. I’ve wanted a scene like that and it definitely did not disappoint. Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue have a gift to be able to make a scene equally sexy and cute. This is an angle the show had definitely been missing, making their characters have domestic cute scenes. Also, the fact that the couple with the most sexual chemistry in the series has not gotten a sex or post-sex scene is completely ridiculous. It was great to see Killian and Emma finally enjoying a much needed late morning. They both mention they’re surprised to be this happy and it both breaks my heart and makes it soar. Because they truly never thought they would be as happy as they are right now. If anyone deserves a happy ending it’s the two of them and I’m delighted that it’s on the way.
I’m pretty sure if Snow hadn’t come in when she did they would have probably had sex right there on the kitchen counter. Of course, it made for a hilariously awkward scene with Snow knowing exactly what she walked in on, Emma looking like she wanted the ground to swallow her and Killian having to excuse himself to have a cold shower. It was reminiscent of the season 2 premiere where Emma and Henry walking in on Snowing. The scene quickly turned from hilarious to heartwarming as Snow pulled out the mother of all wedding binders.
Snow mentions that she’s been putting this together since they broke the first curse. Which of course makes me laugh a lot because you know who met after the first curse broke? Emma and Killian. And we did get a lot of Snow looking at them during most of their early scenes with a peculiar expression on her face. Snow mentions that she missed out on all the other milestones and wants to make the most out of this one and after last week’s phenomenal episode that was especially poignant.
Of course, not everyone agrees with her, especially Charming, and it makes for a hilarious sequence. First, he shoots down Granny’s because Emma is a princess and deserves more than Granny’s for her wedding, oh and Snow went on a date with Whale there back in season 1. Then he shots down the town hall because he feels a draft coming in. One of the hilarious parts about the scenes were how Morrison and O’Donoghue reacted in the background, they were truly portraying the characters in post-engagement bliss. Snow realizes that there’s more to his reluctance and drags him outside so her husband has to admit what’s truly going on. There’s a hilarious comment about worrying if it’s about Hook which is ironic because Charming pretty much accepted Killian before she did. Then he comes clean that it’s not Killian, he just doesn’t want to rush the wedding. Your heart breaks as Josh Dallas states that he wants better for his little girl than what they had. He doesn’t want her special day to be interrupted by some big bad.
It’s a heartbreaking moment where Charming says he wants Emma to have a good wedding day because she deserves it after all she’s gone through. You know he only wants the best for his little girl, and then we see Emma come out and agree with him. They postpone the wedding until everything’s been taken care of. And like Charming says the hope comes from believing that they will survive it. And I know they will because I have faith in this family and their love for each other.
Zelena: I feel weak
Regina: You’ve never looked stronger
Emma Swan: So elopement?
Killian Jones: Aye I’ll bring the rum
Snow White: Oh David if this is about Hook that ship has sailed and there’s a pirate on it
Charming: With everything she’s been through the least we can do is give her a real wedding day.
Emma Swan: We love each other, we want to do this when it’s right, not out of fear, not because we think we might die but because we know it’s the right time.
Emma Swan: I’m just happy it just surprises me sometimes
Killian Jones: I know me too.
Snow White: I have missed a lot of the milestones in your life, Emma, I want to make the absolute most of this one.
Charming: It’s not big enough, Emma is a princess and her wedding is a royal affair
*Did I mention how I loved that throughout this episode Killian and Emma couldn’t take their hands off each other?
*Never give your mother a key to your house, you never know what she might interrupt.
*That last scene between Regina and Zelena was wonderful and I loved that
*Anyone have a sudden craving for pancakes?
*Seeing Belle holding a baby broke my heart, she’s such a good mother and she’s so good with babies, she deserved this
Maii is a 27 year old writer, who can get emotional and protective over certain characters and their stories, also pandas. And don't get her started on A Song of Ice and Fire because you'll never hear the end of it. She graduated in film and has a certificate in Art History so the nerdiness comes out from time to time.