Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 11 – TV Review
Major character death?
Entire setting destroyed?
Every character except the lead is gone?
Are we sure this is only a mid-season finale?
TL;DR Gold dies while taking out Pan; Storybrooke is destroyed, and everyone except Emma and Henry return to the Enchanted Forest (supposedly); Tinkerbell gets her wings (and almost, Hook’s dick).
Just get it in, already. God.
The Storybrooke plot picks up with Penry’s (Pan inside Henry’s body) whole “let’s use the curse to turn Storybrooke into a new Neverland” situation. Regina is the only one who can destroy the curse scroll, which would negate Penry’s new adaptation of the curse. To get the scroll, Gold uses some fairy magic (courtesy of a resurrected Mother Superior) to swap Pan and Henry back into their correct bodies. Pan doesn’t take his thwarting lightly, though, and before he can massacre all the good guys, Gold eliminates Pan and Himself, apparently killing both of them. Regina also reveals that tearing up the curse scroll will erase Storybrooke from existence, sending the native Enchanted Forest dwellers back home and obliterating Emma and Henry’s memories of the town and its inhabitants. Regina implants Emma and Henry with memories of them having lived together their whole lives, and they leave just as Storybrooke vanishes. Flashbacks include Snow being worried about whether the wardrobe will work; Henry feeling lonely in Storybrooke until Mary Margaret gives him the fairy tale collection; Hook and Tink getting frisky during their first meeting in Neverland; Rumple pining for his lost son; and Emma giving up Henry when he’s born.
That last one gets an update thanks to Regina’s mind fucking.
I must say, a few coarse, ashen tears were shed while watching Regina and the gang leaving Storybrooke behind. Once Upon a Time is the show I’ve given the most attention to over these past 18 months (I’ve reviewed every episode), so it’s special to me.
Though I don’t believe that Storybrooke will actually be gone with any permanence. ABC may have that Disney money, but they can’t just throw out all their sets and locations midway through season 3 just because.
Lost might have done it.
Why I hate this episode:
Tinkerbell and Hook just won’t fucking kiss, even with the very heavy ship teasing Once Upon a Time is doing. Tinkerbell says she won’t go there because she knows he’s in love with Emma. Well, Emma’s gone now, bitch. Go get that handicapable cock.
Except they’re really not apart. The end of the episode has Hook turning up on Emma and Henry’s doorstep a year later saying something terrible has happened and they need her help. She slams the door in his face because yo, she doesn’t remember him. I’m annoyed by this both because the show can’t commit to anything for more than 2 minutes, and because the episode ends so blandly (Henry asks who was at the door, Emma says it was some random nobody, they go back to eating breakfast). If I wanted to see Emma and Henry eating breakfast, I’d kill myself now, because that’s insane and I have no interest in living like that.
Hook also fails at kissing Emma goodbye just before Storybrooke disappears. The only time he does kiss her is when he sexually assaults the amnesiac Emma at her doorstep (trying to jog her memory). He is the king of shit timing.
Shadow’s defeat is pretty pathetic. They just trap him in the coconut again, then throw it in a small flame and it burns up. Done and dusted, no more Shadow. I expected more.
Speaking of pathetic, Mother Superior’s “death” is overturned with little fanfare. Shadow’s demise means she’s alive again, and she’s just like “Hey, I’m alive again.” I expected more.
The episode teases us with the prospect of Gold cutting his arm off so he can stop Pan (Gold puts a magic-nullifying bracelet on Pan, Pan flips it onto Gold, Gold considers hacking his arm off so he can use magic), but he doesn’t. I didn’t expect that, but I would have liked it.
Unless I’ve forgotten something important about how the Dark One’s dagger works, why did Gold have to stab himself through Pan in order to kill Pan? Why didn’t Rumple just stab Pan in the neck or something?
I kinda wanted Pan to kill at least Baelfire. And Henry.
Oh, and Gold and his father’s (Pan reverts to his original form) faces are awkwardly close together during the stabbing scene. If this was HBO, they probably would have kissed. It was uncomfortable.
But it’s not all bad:
Pan doesn’t end his run quietly. He rips out Felix’s heart and crushes it into dust as the final component of his curse. Ruthless. Then he relishes flipping the anti-magic bracelet onto Gold, and promises to kill his son and grandson. He uses his magic to freeze the entire team of good guys, and almost gets the job done, too.
I doubt his and Gold’s “deaths” will be lasting. They just vanish in a flash of light. Unless I see you bisected and your guts pouring out, I’m not gonna take a major character’s death as final.
Regina, surprisingly, gets to dominate this episode. Gold says as the curse was hers, she is the only one who can tear it up and save everybody. So does that make her… the saviour?
Henry, hopefully once and for all, puts his doubts about her parentage to rest with the episode’s second best line: “You’re not a villain; you’re my mum.” Yes she is.
And he sums things up impressively with the episode’s best line as he and Regina are parting ways, supposedly forever:
Henry: “This isn’t fair. It’s all my fault.”
Regina: “What do you mean?”
Henry: “If I had never gone to get Emma; if I just lived under the curse with you, none of this would have ever happened. I thought I was alone. I thought you didn’t love me. But I was wrong.”
Life-ruiningly wrong, honey. At least he knows it.
My favourite tidbit from the episode is the hurriedly told tale of The Black Fairy, who Blue Bitch exiled some time ago. She kept her wand, however, which is what Gold uses to switch Pan and Henry back into their correct bodies. I look forward to meeting her. She sounds divine.
Blue Bitch gives Tinkerbell her wings back after she defeats Shadow. Tinkerbell uses the pixie dust to fly up and fight Shadow, so she really does believe in herself again.
Her scene in the Neverland flashback with Hook is steamy. She threatens him with a knife, then they drink rum together and flirt/D&M. That’s the equivalent of having bareback anal sex in PG-ish, ABC show land.
Pan is defiantly unrepentant about his villainy. He makes a half-hearted attempt to appease Gold when he’s got the dagger in his back, but I know that he was rotten to the end.
He says having a child crippled his life and he regretted it always. I lol’d.
Belle’s grief at Gold’s death was appropriately upsetting.
Oh, and that farewell scene is some heartstring-tugging (mine are old and frayed) shit. Overcast shooting day and all.