First Aired April 16th, 2017.
Hook (played by Colin O’Donoghue) is nearly killed by the Lost Boys when Tiger Lily (played by Sara Tomko) saves him but takes him as her prisoner. Meanwhile, Emma (played by Jennifer Morrison) learns about the final battle and everyone prepares to help her win.
Regina (played by Lana Parrilla) thinks she has an antidote to the Sleeping Curse although worries it may be dangerous. Snow White/Mary Margaret (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming/David (played by Josh Dallas) opt to test it so they can both fight with Emma. Unfortunately, the potion is ineffective and has weakened both their hearts: by the end of the day, they will both be asleep forever. Flashbacks during the time of the Dark Curse show Snow and Charming regain their memories from a magical flower. They go to Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (played by Robert Carlyle) for help to find Emma but Gold has no idea where she is. In the present, David learns the flower only grows in the presence of great evil and they can use it to save him and Mary Margaret. Zelena/The Wicked Witch (played by Rebecca Mader) tells them the reason they are growing is the person Emma is meant to face has arrived in Storybrooke. The Black Fairy (played by Jamie Murray) confronts Gold and Belle (played by Emile de Ravin). With Gideon (played by Giles Matthey) in tow, she brags that he belongs to her (neither know she controls his heart).
Hook just can’t catch a break, but as out of place as the Neverland subplot seems, these things usually manage to relate to the main story and at the very least Hook’s journey home can’t be easy. Since these could be the last few episodes of the series, bringing things back to the original Dark Curse of season one has a nostalgic feel. And, from a narrative standpoint, it made sense that at least once or twice in the 28 years of the Dark Curse something had to happen in Storybrooke. And it was a nice change of pace from the usual flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest where the characters problems echoed the ones in the present. That tweak in the storytelling felt fresh because it wasn’t about Snow and Charming fighting for their relationship, it was all about their daughter. My take on this “final battle” being lauded as Emma’s greatest challenge is there are heroes on both sides. For example, Gideon being forced to aid the Black Fairy can cause Belle and Gold to turn on the others if they fight him; the idea being interpersonal relationships make the battle more emotionally complex.
Tiger Lily gives Hook a weapon meant to help Emma defeat the Black Fairy: a piece of a wand used to banish the Black Fairy to her realm once owned by Tiger Lily, an ex-fairy. Tiger Lily distracts the Lost Boys long enough for Hook to summon a shadow to bring him to Storybrooke. But, the Lost Boys stop him and he sends it away with the wand piece. In flashbacks, Regina realizes that Snow and Charming regained their memories, but Snow escapes. However, Gold convinces Snow and Charming to go back under the curse and wait for Emma to break the curse in order for the others to be saved. In the present, Emma and Mary Margaret find a field of the flowers but the Black Fairy destroys them to keep Emma’s parents asleep, but they manage to find one left. The shadow appears with the wand fragment and Hook’s hook and Emma worries he’s in danger. Regina uses the flower to make a potion but Emma uses it to transport to Neverland and rescue Hook. He proposes to Emma again, and she happily accepts but mourns that her parents gave up the chance to save themselves.
Hook’s Neverland story ended up connecting with the main storyline, but it felt forced. He just happened to find the one thing Emma needed to win (which we just heard of) and suddenly found a way home. Emma’s rescue, however, was so rushed and easy it almost took away from the harrowing journey Hook went on to get back to her. The main story of the flashbacks was Snow and Charming realizing they had to focus on what’s best for everyone else at the expense of their own happiness. It was treated as a major revelation but that’s been a prevailing theme for them the entire series. Perhaps it was guilt for almost putting themselves first all those years ago, but almost putting themselves into eternal sleep to save Hook was overkill. But with all the family dynamics in the upcoming battle, it follows that all the narrative themes would revolve around family. They will either be a stronger family because of it or suffer a devastating loss before it’s all over.
Regina comes up with another idea to save Emma’s parents: if everyone shares the curse it might dilute its power enough to save them. Everyone drinks the potion, and it’s enough to free Mary Margaret and David from the curse. Gold confronts the Black Fairy and gloats that while she controls Gideon’s heart she will never have him and they prepare to fight for him. Everyone decided to save Snow and Charming for a change. After decades of it being the other way around, it’s the least they could do. It’s also a safe bet they won’t be taking any long naps for a very long time. The scene with Gold and the Black Fairy was basically a hype scene to set up the big finale, but it worked, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
“This potion clears up the darkness. You and Charming will be able to make us retch with your sweet nothings in no time.”
I wonder what kind of sleep problems the people who drank the potion might have in the future.
“It’s not like it’s the first curse we’ve ever woken up from.”
With Tiger Lily’s introduction, are there any other fairy tale characters we’ve yet to meet before the possible series finale?
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