Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 21 – TV Review
I thought that this was going to be a trademark OUaT double episode finale, so let me just start by saying how grateful I am that it wasn’t.
Nobody deserves to sit through two hours of OUaT.
TL;DR With Wish Realm Rumple on the loose, Regina, Gold, Henry and Fook journey to the Wish Realm to stop him and save an abducted Lucy and Cinderella; this is, of course, all part of Wish Realm Rumple’s plan, which is to actually manipulate Henry into finding the Author’s pen; which he then hands over to Wish Realm Henry, who has an understandable bone to pick with Regina; Tiana gets a worthless subplot about adjusting to her two lives’ worth of memories; Alice and Robin saddle up as the cavalry to help our heroes, and stop off at Storybrooke to pick up some more party members.
Magic beans apparently have two uses in them, now?
So it’s party time in Hyperion Heights as everyone is un-cursed. Tiana has some middling worries about who she’s supposed to be, but otherwise it’s a good time. Until Wish Realm Rumple whisks Lucy and Cinderella away to the Wish Realm, and demands Henry get him Gold’s Dark One dagger to save them (apparently if Gold gives it to the Guardian, whoever the fuck that is, it will also drain Wrumple of his power, too). Henry takes Regina, Fook, and Gold along with him on the rescue mission, determined to find a way around the dagger deal, but things become dire when Wrumple puts a ticking clock on things by locking Lucy and Cinderella in a freeze-to-death snow globe. Cool. Fook and Gold try to enact a plan to use some squid ink procured from Ariel (friends with Fook in the Wish Realm) to freeze Wrumple and murder him, but the plan is foiled, and Wrumple reveals he doesn’t even want the dagger: he wants Henry. Meanwhile, Henry grows frustrated and sets out to use his Author powers to save the day. He convinces the Wish Realm’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice to give him the pen, and extracts the ink he’ll need from Cruella’s hair, whom they had earlier battled in Wrumple’s castle. But just as Henry is about to use it, Wrumple shows up with his own ally: Wish Ream Henry (still in teen form). He’s made a deal with Wrumple to use his Author powers in exchange for a chance to get revenge on Regina for killing his grandparents and stealing his mother (he’s not wrong). Whenry writes the Guardian’s powers out of existence, and Regina is left at his mercy after Wrumple whooshes the others away (into the snow globe, I think). Meanwhile in Hyperion Heights, Alice gets a bad feeling, so she and Robin petition Tiana to rally the people to find a way to realm hop. The citizens come up with a magic bean, and the girls are on their way to save the day. But first, they make a pit stop in Storybrooke. Oh, and there’s a weird flashback at the beginning of the episode of our teen Henry getting friend-zoned by Another Realm’s Sleeping Beauty, and Wrumple popping up to make him an offer. Henry refuses, obviously, but I expect this will come back around in the finale.
The only enemy our heroes couldn’t defeat was arbitrary appearances by alternate universe copycat characters. It was right in front of us all along!
I think what most bothered me about this episode was how much Season 7 bullshit was still in it. I thought the hilariously rushed wrap-up from last episode meant that we’d get two solid episodes with our legacy characters to close out the series.
But we’re still having to sit through existential crises with Tiana and Naveen? And rousing speeches to a bunch of citizens we literally don’t know?
Just get to Storybrooke. We don’t have time to waste. Because we’ve already wasted twenty episodes’ worth this season.
Why I hate this episode:
The fact that the Wish Realm is what the finale comes down to is also a horrendous insult. This partial reboot Hyperion Heights/Another Realm stuff was only barely tolerable. But now the final conflict of seven seasons of Once Upon a Time is because of the Wish Realm that came out of fucking nowhere in Season 6 basically only as an excuse to get Robin back? Jesus. At least the Dark Fairy, as pathetically realised as she turned out to be, had the mystique of being mentioned a few times in the early seasons.
Are we ever going to find out who the Guardian is? I mean, come on.
Pan’s cameo is pretty disappointing. He has one scene when Henry and Regina first arrive in Wrumple’s castle where he just warns them, while restrained in some stocks, that Wrumple is a bad guy. Yeah, duh.
Ariel’s cameo is similarly blah. She just gives Fook some squid ink and fucks off.
And the worst part about these cameos is that they aren’t actually cameos of the characters we know. They’re the Wish Realm counterparts who we’ve never met before. I can’t understand why OUaT decided to play things so carefully with the literal series finale. Just have our characters find some bullshit excuse to go to the actual Enchanted Forest to get cameos from actual characters. You don’t have to preserve it for anything else.
Do we care about Tiana’s identity woes?
Oh, and as a final insult to the fact that we never got any explanation for what happened to Maleficent and Lily, this episode begins with Henry attempting to save what appears to be Sleeping Beauty from a dragon, only for a prince to waltz in and do it. Is there any chance of Maleficent appearing in the finale? I mean, she was there at the beginning. It only makes sense.
But it’s not all bad:
On the other hand, it’d only be the Wish Realm version of her, so it wouldn’t count, anyway. Maybe it’s better that she did get left behind after Season 4, with a decent subplot to her name before everything really went to hell in the subsequent three seasons.
As rubbish as the cameos were, OUaT knows how to wring that little bit of brand recognition sensory response out of you. I never cared much for Ariel, but I liked that she showed up holding her father’s trident, which I assume means she is queen, now. And Pan was one of the better villains of the show, owing to the fact that he was a repugnant, irredeemable monster. Cute.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice doesn’t do much, but the callback to one of the more intriguing mysteries in the show was nice.
Cruella gets the most cameo time, and she uses it well. Top marks go to her shifting from threatening Regina and Henry to openly flirting with Henry pretty sexually. How could he say no?
Henry also makes a fantastic continuity callback when he comes back to her (they threw her in a cage after defeating her) in need of some magic ink (but not squid ink. Confusing) for his Author pen. He saps it out of her hair, which I myself had forgotten was dyed black because of the ink. Well done, Henry.
Still on the nostalgia train, I will admit that when the episode concluded with Alice and Robin driving into Storybrooke, I felt a tingle. You got me, show.
I’ll give Gold some points with his rationale about changing his mind to hand over the dagger to Wrumple. He figures that when he’s tried to give it to someone good before, he’s pulled back because he doesn’t want to curse them with it. So why no give it someone purely evil? I know, right?
In a moment of desperation, Henry also considers this option in a bid to save his family, because he proclaims their happy ending is more deserving than Gold’s. Again, it’s fair.
Evil Whenry is giving me sassy bitch realness. I wonder how he intends to exact his revenge on Regina?
Oh, and as grateful as I am that OUaT is finally almost over, I’ve realised that this is the second last time we’ll ever see Regina. And that’s worth mourning.
Tags: alice, Another Realm, Apprentice, ariel, author, cinderella, Cruella, Enchanted Forest, Fook, gold, henry, Hyperion Heights, i just hate everything, ijusthateeverything, ink, lucy, naveen, Once Upon a Time, ouat, pan, pen, portal, regina, robin, rumple, snow globe, squid ink, Tiana, Whenry, Wish Realm, Wrumple
About ijusthateeverythingSincerity is death.
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