Thursday, September 3, 2015

Once Upon a Time- Episode Analysis (Snow Drifts/There's No Place Like Home)

Well, this was such a fun two-part episode!  This is like a period romance meets Back to the Future, and it is filled to the brim with scenes of Emma and Killian interacting.  To any Captain Swan fan, like myself, this episode is like an early Christmas gift.  So you’ll have to forgive me if I go off on tangents during this analysis.

So everyone in Storbrooke is looking forward to what they believe is the end of all their problems now that Zelena is defeated.  Regina is able to return her heart to her chest, which results in her feelings for Robin to no longer be muted, so they’re free to properly build a relationship with each other.  Even Rumple/Gold seems to have gotten away for what he did to Zelena by magically overriding the security footage at the sheriff station to make it look like he was never there, leaving him free to continue his relationship with Belle as they plan their wedding.  My apologies to the Rumple/Belle fandom out there, but at present, I just see this pairing as a representation of an unhealthy relationship.   While I totally respect the fact that Belle can still love Gold/Rumpelstiltskin regardless of all the crap he’s done, that guy just keeps doing a really good job at proving he doesn’t deserve the multiple chances Belle gives him.  Okay, so he did sacrifice his life to save everyone from Pan at the end of the Neverland Arc.  He gets brownie points for that.  But then, when he comes back to life, the moment he’s released from Zelena’s leash, he immediately relapses back to his me-first mindset,  which is shown with him deceiving Belle with a fake dagger.  I could overlook that if he only did so long enough to avenge his son and then secretly swap out the fake dagger with the real one afterwards.  That would be totally understandable.  But even after he gets his vigilante justice dealt with, he still keeps the real dagger, making his marriage to Belle be founded upon deceit.  Not cool, Rumple.  Not cool.

Meanwhile, Snow and Charming are getting ready for this Storybrooke version of an old Enchanted Forest tradition, in which they’ll publicly reveal the name of their new son during a big celebration.  During the whole Naming Ceremony thing (Oh, hi, Kathryn/Abigail!  Haven’t seen your face in forever), the fact that Emma still plans to return to New York comes out.  Unwilling to discuss the matter, she ducks out of Granny’s Diner, prompting Killian to go after her.  When he catches up to Emma, Killian tries to remind her that she’d be leaving her family behind once again if she tried to return to New York.  But Emma shoots that down by stating she’s never been a part of the Enchanted Forest world, so it’s never felt like home to her.  Problem with that, Emma, is that you WERE part of the book once.  Remember?  There were originally a few pages that covered the events of your birth and how you were destined to break Regina’s curse.  Except you burned those pages back in episode 2.  So, it’s kinda your fault you’re not in the book anymore.   Besides, what does it matter if you were never a part of the stuff that went down in the Enchanted Forest?  No one’s asking you to go live there.  At least, not at the moment.  All they’re asking is that you stay in Storybrooke.  You’d still be living in the world you’re familiar with, even if they’re a bit behind the times in terms of technology.  (They’re still using Betamax?  Guys, I remember VCRS, record players and the Atari system, and I don’t think I’ve ever touched a Betamax tape.)  And you’d have your parents, the ones you’d wanted to find for as long as you could remember.   I’m still a bit confused over what changed, considering how upset she was when she had to leave Storybrooke at the end of ‘Going Home.’  Unless it’s her dueling memories that’s holding her back now, but that should only further prove she belongs in Storybrooke.  With very few exceptions, everyone else in town has two sets of memories as a result of Regina’s original curse.  She’d fit right in.

Anyway, Emma and Killian’s conversation is halted when Emma sees the giant beam of light that has risen up from Zelena’s activated Time Traveling spell.  Emma, deciding she wants to be an idiot, runs off towards the giant light.  Yeah, brilliant move there, Emma.  Just run right towards the weird glowing light beam.  While you’re at it, why don’t you go investigate that creepy noise down in the basement?  Once again, it’s Killian who has to be Emma’s voice of reason, pointing out how stupid it is to try and mess around with Zelena’s Time Portal when Emma’s powers still haven’t returned.  Unfortunately, it’s too late to turn back, as Emma and Killian are both pulled through the portal and wind up back in the Enchanted Forest, during the period of time when Evil Queen Regina was still on the hunt for Snow White.  What I loved the most about this scene was how, when Emma falls through the portal despite his best efforts to maintain his grip on her hand, (who else was strongly reminded of that agonizing moment in the Doctor Who episode ‘Doomsday’?) Killian doesn’t hesitate to follow her through the portal.  For all he knew, they’d wind up in the open ocean with no land or ship in sight, or right smack dab in a cave overrun with ogres.  But he still goes through anyway, because regardless of what’s waiting on the other side, he’s not about to let Emma face it alone.

Needless to say, Emma is not happy about this unplanned trip to Pre-Curse Enchanted Forest.

Emma: This is exactly the kind of thing that does not happen in New York.
Me: No, Emma.  This is exactly the kind of thing that happens when you run off towards an open Time Portal when you’ve got no means to do anything about it.

While trying to figure out a way to get back to Storybrooke, which includes another wonderful Killian vs. the Modern World moment (‘Marty McWho?’), Emma figures out their best bet is to seek out Dark One Rumpelstiltskin.  After all, he’s the Enchanted Forest’s leading expert in regards to magic.  Of course, during their trek to the Dark One’s castle (after a quick wardrobe change for Emma to ensure she won’t attract unwanted attention due to her modern-day attire, with Killian being 110% in approval of her new guise), Emma accidentally interrupts Past!Snow’s attempt at stealing from Past!Charming’s passing carriage, which results in the two not meeting as they were supposed to.  (On a side note, Past!Abigail comments on how Past!Charming almost gave her a heart attack when he reappeared outside their carriage door.  They know about heart attacks in the Enchanted Forest?)  So now, Emma and Killian have got another problem- finding a way to correct the error and ensure Emma’s parents meet.  Thankfully, they make it to see Rumpelstiltskin without any further incidents.  Well, apart from the issue of how Dark One Rumple still regarded Killian as an enemy he wanted to see dead, but that crisis was averted rather quickly when Emma steps in and warns Dark One Rumpelstiltskin that killing Killian would put an end to his hopes of reuniting with Baelfire someday.  (Incidentally, when Killian calls out to Emma while being magically strangled, I’m wondering what he was trying to say.  My guess was he wanted her to run, just in case Dark One Rumpelstiltskin tried to kill her for simply being in Killian’s company, which he might have done.  After all, we’ve seen him kill for lesser offences.) 

After hearing Emma and Killian’s story, Dark One Rumpelstiltskin agrees to help them return to the future, but is not pleased to hear that they’d interrupted Snow and Charming’s first meeting.   Knowing that his future reunion with Baelfire is on the line, he assists them in locating Past!Snow, who is trying to barter her way out of the Enchanted Forest.  (Is that the same magic orb Jefferson gave him in ‘The Doctor’ flashback?)  But because she didn’t get a chance to steal Past!Charming’s jewels, she doesn’t have the money she needs to achieve her goal.  This knowledge gives Killian an idea.  Remembering that his past self was in the area at this point in time, he and Emma concoct a plan.  While Emma keeps Past!Hook distracted, Killian sneaks aboard the Jolly Roger and arranges a meeting with Past!Snow, telling her that he’ll give her safe passage out of the Enchanted Forest if she can obtain a certain bit of treasure for him- namely the peridot wedding ring that Past!Snow was supposed to steal from Past!Charming.  Killian’s part of the plan goes over without a hitch.  Emma, on the other hand…. Oh boy.

This is where the episode hits one of its high points, in which Emma approaches Past!Hook to keep him out of the way while Killian meets with Past!Snow.  It’s no secret that Past!Hook was always… appreciative of what a woman had to offer, something that’s highlighted by the fact that he practically had a barmaid hanging on each arm during this scene.  And yet, the moment he sees Emma?  Even though she is clearly flaunting it, his eyes never really stray from her face.  That is a huge testament to the draw Emma has for this man.  He is visibly stunned upon seeing her.  So much so that he completely forgets those other woman and immediately moves to a more secluded section of the tavern to share drinks with Emma alone.  And Emma is laying it on thick with the shameless flirting, coyly touching his hook, and at one point, even resting her hand over his leg.  And Past!Hook is simply enthralled with her.  You can see it in his eyes that he wants to know who this woman is; that he probably wouldn’t object to this being more than ‘just two ships passing in the night.’  And his interest only comes that much clearer with every shot of rum that Emma gets him to drink.  (Let it be known high and wide that Captain Hook, the fearsome, treacherous, cutthroat pirate, actually playfully bops Emma on the nose at one point.)  In the end, Past!Hook manages to get Emma to come back to the Jolly Roger (LOL.  Past!Hook’s so drunk, he calls the ship ‘the Rolly Joger’) with him for a ‘nightcap,’  but even then, he’s still showing signs that he could be interested in more.  Something I can’t help but notice- when Emma stumbles as they’re making their way down the docks, Past!Hook just immediately throws the bottle of rum away to help steady her.  While the bottle did seem to be empty anyway, it was the fact that he didn’t even hesitate to toss that bottle into the water.  Like with the moment he’ll one day use rum to disinfect her injured hand, Past!Hook shows he’ll always willingly waste his precious rum for this woman (also providing more weight to his ‘always a gentleman’ claim).

Of course, apart from a prolonged lip-lock, nothing actually happens between Emma and Past!Hook, since Killian was still on the ship when they arrive, and is very quick to step in when he thinks his drunken past self takes it a bit too far.  (You know you’ve got it bad for a woman when you get jealous of yourself.)  My question is, what exactly was Emma’s plan if Killian had made it off the Jolly Roger before she and Past!Hook got there.   She wouldn’t have actually gone through with the ‘nightcap,’ would she?  Seriously, Emma.  What was the plan?

Regardless, they’ve successfully completed Stage 1 of their plan to ensure Past!Snow and Past!Charming would meet, since Past!Snow is planning to break into King Midis’ castle during the ball celebrating Past!Charming’s engagement to Past!Abigail.   As Emma and Killian take up their positions to watch things from afar, Dark One Rumpelstiltskin pops up again, presenting them with an invitation that would enable them to attend Midis’ ball and make sure Past!Snow successfully steals the ring.  But before they leave, Dark One Rumpelstiltskin, deciding to add ‘Enchanted Forest’s Fashion Police’ to his ever-growing list of aliases, goes and plays Fairy Godmother again (was this before or after he killed Ella’s Fairy Godmother?) and magically places Emma and Killian into ball-appropriate attire, also placing a glamour spell over them to eliminate the possibility that anyone would recognize them in the future.  On a side note, there was a little behind the scenes info that proved Dark One Rumple had a twisted sense of humor.  You couldn’t see it in the actual episode, but the shoes Emma wore to Midis’ ball had little gold crocodiles on them.   (And seeing how this information came from actress Jennifer Morrison’s Twitter post, I’d say the credibility is quite solid.)

Emma and Killian successfully infiltrate King Midis’ ball, despite a moment of awkwardness upon meeting Midis face-to-face.  (You would think a professional pirate and someone who worked as a bail bondsperson would have had the foresight to have their aliases prepared ahead of time.)  And then… I am just dead, because they see the other ball attendees dancing, and Killian, announcing they should blend in, takes Emma’s hand and leads her onto the dance floor.  This whole moment is just… there is nothing about this moment that is not perfect!  First of all, Killian knows how to waltz.  When did he learn how to waltz?  Was this something he was required to know back during his youth, when he still served in the royal navy?  Did he decide to learn after turning to piracy so he could infiltrate royal balls and make off with crown jewels?  I think there’s an interesting story to this, and I wanna hear it!  But apart from that, just look at Emma and Killian as they dance.  This is one of the most romantic moments that have ever happened in this show so far, right down to the fact that they’re both smiling openly at each other.  Seeing those two smiling at this moment is particularly enjoyable, after how their smiles were such a rare occurrence during the whole Wizard of Oz arc.  And they’re just so wrapped up in the moment, and each other, they don’t even notice when Past!Charming walks right by them when he heads off to fetch Past!Abigail’s comfortable shoes.  In a related story, it’s such a relief that that marriage never came to pass.  If their interaction in this scene was any indication, that union would NOT have been a pleasant one- Poor Charming would have been such a henpecked prince.  Thank goodness Abigail eventually got Fredrick back.  (Come to think of it, did they meet again after the original Dark Curse broke at the end of season 1?  It’s never stated on the show, and I didn't see him at the Naming Ceremony thing.)

On the plus side, them not noticing Past!Charming stepping out proved to be a good thing, as it ensured that he caught Past!Snow in the act of stealing the ring, which led to him vowing that she ‘can’t hide from me,’  which can only mean that their meeting is ensured.  Except for one small detail- Past!Snow dropped the peridot ring as she tried to escape the castle.  To try and fix the mistake, Emma tries to take the ring to her mother while Killian covers her by facing the guards, one-on-twelve.  (Yeah, I totally believe a novice like Emma could defeat this man in an actual duel.  More importantly, show writers, you need to let this man wield a sword more often.)   Unfortunately, Emma is prevented from getting the ring to Past!Snow when she runs right into Evil Queen Regina (did I mention she was a guest at the ball?) who promptly arrests her for aiding Past!Snow’s escape, much to Killian’s dismay, as he can only watch helplessly as Emma is carried off.  Because you know his first instinct was to charge forward to rescue Emma, but he knew he couldn’t do so because it would either only result in his own capture or it would have gotten Evil Queen Regina angry enough to kill Emma on the spot.  Of course, you know he’s not about to take this sitting down, and it’s a good thing, too.  Because Emma, upon arriving at the Queen’s castle, is promptly thrown into the dungeon’s death row section.

Deciding the best option would be to kill two birds with one stone, Killian ends up tailing Past!Charming as he goes about cornering Past!Snow to demand the peridot ring back.  He informs the pair that Emma has the ring, and the only chance Past!Charming has of getting it back is to help him rescue Emma (who he actually calls ‘my princess,’ with not even a hint of irony.)  Past!Snow agrees to help them infiltrate the Queen’s castle, and the three of them set off.   It's really fascinating to see this scene play out.  Even though the situation has clearly changed, the dialogue between Past!Snow and Past!Charming remain virtually the same as it was in the 'Snow Falls' episode flashback.  Some things really are just meant to be.

As they get ready to execute their escape plan, with Past!Snow slipping off to fetch someone who’d be able to assist them, we get a little heart-to-heart moment with Past!Charming and Killian.  Watching this moment between the show’s two main male leads is particularly enjoyable when you realize Killian is reassuring Past!Charming of the existence of True Love.  Not only is Charming supposed to be the reigning champion of True Love, but he also had a tendency to be downright horrible to Killian (i.e. his treatment of Killian on Neverland prior to being cured of Dreamshade, and how quickly he turned on him at the end of ‘A Curious Thing’).  So nice to see proof that Killian can be a big enough of a man to not bear a grudge.

And that brings me to what he actually says to Past!Charming

Past!Charming: This whole ordeal makes me wonder if there’s even such a thing as true love.
Killian: I once felt as you did, mate. All it took was meeting the right person and everything changed. Past!Charming: Princess Leia? The one we’re rescuing?
Killian: Aye. I’d to go to the end of the world for her. Or time.

Once again, we’re getting Killian declaring that Emma is his True Love in the most romantic way.  And his declaration is made even more touching when he admits he is unsure if Emma feels the same way.  It’s no wonder he feels this way.  Unlike Killian, Emma doesn’t exactly wear her heart on her sleeve, and every time she seems to express her interest in him, she usually backpedals soon afterwards and goes back to pushing him away.  And he hadn’t had the opportunities to witness the subtle hints we saw though the past two seasons.  Killian wasn’t conscious when he was admitted to the hospital after getting hit with Greg Mendell’s car, so he didn’t hear Emma telling the nurse to hide him so Gold/Rumpelstiltskin would have less of a chance to retaliate for Belle losing her memories.  He probably never found out that Gold later used the threat of killing Killian as leverage to get Emma to accompany him to New York when he left to find Neal/Baelfire.   And he wasn’t able to witness Emma’s sheer panic when he nearly drowned in ‘Kansas.’

More importantly, we also get this:

Killian: I’m not so sure her parents approve of me.
Past!Charming: Given the length you’ve gone to save her, they’d be crazy not to.
Killian: Hope you remember that.

Killian WANTS Emma’s parents to approve of him.  He wants them to accept him as part of their daughter’s life.  As if we needed even more proof that Killian’s interest in Emma isn’t just a passing fancy.  I can just picture Killian bringing this conversation up again when he eventually comes to Snow and Charming to announce his intention to propose.

Further conversation is postponed when the help Past!Snow went to find arrives.  Turns out, it’s Past!Red, who ends up using her Wolf Form to help Killian and Past!Charming rescue Emma.  (I am a bit confused why Killian doesn’t lower his sword when he sees it’s Past!Red, since he’s at least somewhat familiar with her back in Storybrooke and knows she’s an old friend of Snow’s.  Unless he was just trying to keep up the charade that he wasn’t from the future.)  With the help of Past!Red, they enter the dungeons to free Emma, only to find that she’s already managed to escape on her own, because Neal apparently taught her how to pick locks (Woop-de-doo.)  Except, Emma is not alone, as she’s decided to help free another prisoner who was slated for execution.  Killian isn’t too keen on this, because, as he points out later, if this woman was supposed to die in the past, then saving her could drastically alter the future.  But they have no time to really discuss the issue now, as Past!Snow is unaccounted for, as she went off on her own to try and use her Dark Fairy Dust on Evil Queen Regina.  But Past!Snow’s plan only ends up with her getting captured, with Evil Queen Regina deciding to immediately burn her at the stake.  And Emma, Killian and their future allies/family members can only watch as Past!Snow is killed, much to Emma’s devastation.  Of course, they find out soon afterwards that Past!Snow survived by using the Dark Fairy Dust on herself at the last moment, which turned her into a ladybug until the Blue Fairy appears out of nowhere to turn Past!Snow back into a human.

This whole sequence is just heart-wrenching on so many levels.  First off, imagine how you would feel if you were forced to watch your own mother’s execution, with you being powerless to do anything to stop it.  So of course, watching Past!Snow getting burned at the stake would be crushing for Emma.  Which is why it’s probably not too surprising that it took Emma a while to figure out the obvious: if Past!Snow really had died, it would mean that Emma would have instantly disappeared, as she would never have been born.  The fact that Emma hadn’t vanished meant that Past!Snow had survived.  But her joy at her future mother being alive ends up being bittersweet, as Past!Snow obviously doesn’t recognize Emma when she embraces her.   In a related story, I cannot see how anyone wouldn’t be able to give Killian huge props with how attuned he is to Emma during this whole sequence of events.  When they believe they are watching Past!Snow die, his first instinct is to reach out and hold Emma, to comfort her and offer to share her pain.  He clearly wishes he could shield her from the anguish she’ll undoubtedly feel upon seeing her mother die.  But since he knows that’s not possible, he simply holds her as protectively as possible.  When they’re recovering from what they just witnessed, prior to figuring out that Past!Snow hadn’t actually died, Killian does his best to console Emma.  He knows he can’t erase her pain, so he tries to shoulder some of it, by freely speaking of his brother, Liam, something he’d previously been reluctant to do.  Here, Killian is willingly opening up an old wound, which probably never really healed to begin with, just to give Emma a bit of his strength to help her overcome her pain.  And when they find out Past!Snow is alive and Emma’s joy at seeing her future mother alive is rewarded with Past!Snow’s obvious inability to recognize her future daughter, Killian does not hesitate to wipe away Emma’s tears, which is a very intimate gesture in itself.

So, after a few bumps in the road, Past!Snow and Past!Charming are back on the paths they were supposed to be on, and the future is secured.  Of course, there is still the matter of the fact that there is a woman walking about who was supposed to have died in the original timeline.  Emma decides on the spot that the only option left is to simply bring her with them when they go back to Storybrooke.  However, when they go back to Dark One Rumplestilskin, he informs them that while the wand (which is either the Black Fairy’s wand or a recycled prop) can reopen the portal that will bring them back to Storybrooke, it will only work if the wand is wielded by a magic-user who went through the portal.  Meaning they’re pretty much stuck, and can do nothing when Dark One Rumpelstiltskin magically teleports them into his secret vault, where he stores all the magical whatnots he’s not willing to deal with.

So, now Emma and Killian are in a real fix, as they can’t open the portal back home, and since Dark One Rumpelstiltskin is about to drink a Forgetting Potion so he’d forget everything he’d learned about his future to ensure nothing would get thrown off, it’s a pretty safe bet that he’s going to forget they’re down there, thereby sentencing them to a slow death by starvation.  Their only hope is if Emma’s magic re-manifests itself, which is a problem as her magic should have returned after Zelena was defeated.  But Emma hasn’t even been able to produce a single magical spark.  However, Killian is not giving up, and he suggests that maybe Emma’s powers HAVE returned, but she just hasn’t been letting them show because she still wants to bury her head in the sand and go back to pretending she’s just an ordinary non-magic New Yorker.  And this is one more reason why I support Captain Swan so strongly.  Killian is someone who would not hesitate to go along with whatever plan Emma comes up with, even if he thinks it’s foolish or risky. (i.e. using the poppy powder on Anton the giant, or, more recently, taking the currently unidentified woman Emma saved from the dungeons with them back to Storybrooke)  However, that doesn’t mean he won’t call her out when he has to.  And this scene is no exception.  He tells her straight out that she needs to stop pretending that she’s not an integral part of Storybrooke and can no longer act like she can just go back to being who she was during the Lost Year.  His words prove to be exactly what Emma needed to hear, as she finally opens up and allows herself to be completely vulnerable.  She admits that she doesn’t want to keep on running and wants to settle down in Storybrooke, stating that the time she’s spent with her future parents when they didn’t know who she was made her realize how much she’d miss them if she left again.  The moment she accepts that she belongs in Storybrooke with her family, her powers finally return, enabling the wand  to instantly activate.  This allows her to open the portal back home, which they take, bringing the woman from the dungeons with them.

Now, I’m going to give a minor spoiler warning right now.  If anyone hasn’t seen the entirety of season 4 before reading this post, please skip down to the next paragraph if you want to avoid getting a plot point spoiled.  I’m kind of surprised that the fact that they could bring this woman back with them didn’t raise any red flags with Emma and Killian.  While I obviously don’t know the particulars about Time Travel spells, I seem to remember a certain rule that was tied to portal travel in past episodes.  Something about how if a certain number of people go through a portal, the same number has to come back.  No more, no less.  While I realize that rule might have only applied to Jefferson’s hat (are we ever going to see him again?) I haven’t seen anything to date that would suggest different rules apply to other portals.  For crying out loud, Killian himself once made a trip through Jefferson’s hat when he went to Wonderland and back, so there was no excuse for him not knowing that particular rule.  So, wouldn’t they find it a bit strange that, even though only two people seemed to travel through the portal to the past, three people were able to make the return trip?

So, Emma and Killian manage to make it back to present-day Storybrooke, with one extra passenger (even though Emma nearly missed her chance to return home because Dark One Rumpelstiltskin just had to get confirmation that his son would forgive him before drinking to Forgetting Potion).  Once they make it back, Emma hurries off to Granny’s Diner to announce she now plans to remain in Storybrooke, also finally fully accepting Snow and Charming as her parents.  This is such a huge moment for Emma, the person who had once claimed to still feel like an orphan.  For the first time in her life, she finally is able to feel like she’s found her home, and she is surrounded by her family- her parents, her son and her new little brother, whose name is finally revealed to be Prince Neal.  (I discuss my thoughts on that further down.)  However, you can see in Emma’s face the exact moment she realizes that the seemingly picture-perfect moment isn’t complete.  Because there’s someone who is missing- someone who has never really left her side, but is now noticeably unaccounted for.  Namely Killian, who she soon locates out on the patio outside Granny’s.  When she comes out to join him, they start to discuss their adventure in the past, reassured that everything in the past was now back on track.  Killian confirms this by stating his past self had no memory of encountering Emma at the tavern, stating that if he had, he’d have undoubtedly gone looking for her.  Since he didn’t, it’s proof that he and Emma succeeded in making sure the past played out as it did before.  Emma thanks Killian for everything he’s done, even freely using his real name instead of his alias of Hook.  And you can see in his face that he picked up on that and realized Emma’s walls were completely down at last.  The knowledge of this gave Killian the go-ahead to do the same, finally revealing how he’d been able to escape from the effects of the second Dark Curse and venture from the Enchanted Forest into the Land Without Magic- by obtaining a rare magic bean in a trade, with his ship, the Jolly Roger, being the item he sacrificed to obtain the bean. 

People, that right there is just the ULTIMATE gesture.  For any seafarer, the ship they travel on is their most prized possession.  It’s not simply a large boat to them, it’s their HOME.  And for Killian, the Jolly Roger was his home for centuries.  It was the one constant thing he had in his long life.  What’s more, it was one of the only things he had left from his beloved brother, Liam.  And it held the majority of his memories of Milah and Boy Baelfire.  So for him, the Jolly Roger was also a symbol of his entire past, and the people he once loved.  Not only that, I have serious doubts he was given the chance to pack up his belongings when he gave the Jolly Roger up, particularly when you take into account who he made the trade with.  (The identity of the person in question is revealed in season 4.)  He’s not going to get boxes of his things delivered to his room at Granny’s Bed and Breakfast, or wherever he’s been staying in Storybrooke.  Meaning whatever he couldn’t carry with him when he left the Jolly Roger with magic bean in hand is essentially gone forever.  This man gave up practically EVERYTHING he owned, just for the chance to see Emma again and bring her back home to Storybrooke.  It’s clear that Emma realizes how much of a sacrifice this was for Killian.  And it was all for her, the woman who felt as if she would never matter to anyone, the woman who one said she wasn’t used to others putting her first.  So it would have been a huge disservice to Killian (and the viewers) if she hadn’t responded by kissing him.  And while this kiss wasn’t as heated as the one they shared in Neverland, it was just as passionate, particularly since this time, Emma has completely shed her internal armor and is fully allowing herself to let Killian in.

As if that romantic moment wasn’t enough for us, they then show us the wedding of Mr. Gold and Belle, which appears to be a rather small affair, as the only people present are Belle’s father, Mr. French/Maurice and Archie/Jiminy, who is the one officiating the ceremony.  (Since when is Dr. Hopper ordained?)  I will admit this scene plays out quite well, and it’s particularly moving that their wedding vows are accented by glimpses of the other three main romantic couples in the show.  However, the moment is kinda spoiled by the visual reminder that Gold has lied to Belle and has let her believe the dagger he gave her was the genuine article.  So, we’ve essentially got a marriage that has been founded on a lie, and a pretty significant one at that.  That makes it kinda hard to really appreciate it as much as we should.

And then there’s Snow and Charming’s decision to name their baby son Neal.  I’m sorry, but that’s just stupid!  Why are they naming their son after the man who put their daughter through such inexcusable pain?  Do they know how badly Neal’s betrayal hurt Emma?  Have they even ASKED her the full story of what he did to her?  I don’t think they did.  It just seems so insensitive on their part, even if Emma had forgiven him for his transgressions.  Apart from that, what exactly did Neal do that deemed him worthy of having a namesake?  Yes, he chose to let himself die to free his father’s mind of the side-effects of their merging, but that wasn’t what I would call a heroic act, especially since the merging thing wouldn’t have even been an issue if he hadn’t gone and tried to resurrect his father in the first place.  I think the main reason why them naming the baby after Neal irritates me so much is because there was someone else they could have named the young prince after.  Graham for instance.  Yeah, you remember Graham?  Because no one else in Storybrooke seems to, particularly since his death was virtually swept under the rug.  During his time as the Huntsman, Graham had been an invaluable part of Snow and Charming’s story.  Not only had he chosen to spare Snow White despite Evil Queen Regina’s orders, but he also helped Charming escape from the Queens’ Castle so he could save Snow from the Sleeping Curse.  Have those two completely forgotten how indebted they were to him?  For me, it all comes down to this.  Graham ultimately died because he chose to defy Evil Queen Regina in Pre-Curse Enchanted Forest and then stood up to her during season 1 when he tried to sever her hold on him.  Neal ultimately died because he chose to mess around with the Dark Arts for his own personal gain and completely ignored Belle’s misgivings in the process.  The way I see it, Graham was more of a hero than Neal ever was.  And yet, the only one who seems to make any effort to honor Graham’s memory is Emma, by keeping his bootlace tied around her wrist AND keeping his old jacket hanging up at the sheriff station.  When is Graham going to get the recognition he deserves?

So, those two grievances aside, everything seems to be ending on a high note, right?  But there’s still the matter of the mystery woman Emma and Killian brought back from the past.  Emma decides to introduce her to Regina, in order to help alleviate the woman’s fears of the former Evil Queen, thinking that if they met, the mystery woman would see Regina had changed.  But, before the introduction could even really start, Robin happens to see the mystery woman’s face and recognizes her as Maid Marian.  Well, crap.  Nothing puts a damper on a relationship like a dead wife showing up, alive and well.  (On the plus side, I do give the show writers brownie points for this.  Finally, a love triangle that actually makes sense.)  Needless to say, Regina is not pleased with this development, and Emma is right back in Mayor Mills’ doghouse.  And of course, Regina just HAD to say that there better not have been something else Emma brought back.  Which is, of course, as bad as saying ‘it can’t get any worse.’  Because the urn that Killian went and picked up in Dark One Rumpelstiltskin’s forbidden vault had also made it through the portal, and as the episode ends, the urn opens, releasing the person inside.  While the person’s face is not revealed this episode, her attire, and the fact that she can magically produce ice, leaves us with little doubt who has just arrived in Storybrooke….

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