Finale Review: Once Upon A Time

Episode Title: Second Star to the Right/And Straight on ‘Til Morning

Renewal Status: Renewed for season three

Pre-finale Thoughts: This season has been uneven. For every good episode, it seems like we get one mediocre episode. For me, the largest problem has been the large cast. There are a lot of characters that have been introduced this season and as a result, the focus is taken away from the characters we have grown to love. The main cast (Emma, Charming, Snow, Henry, Rumplestiltskin, and Regina) still get a good amount of screen time overall, but characters like Ruby and Belle pop up only sporadically. The second half of the season had a noticeable lack of Ruby, especially after how involved she was with helping Charming with Snow and Emma were in Fairytale Land. I do like some of the new characters, like Anton and Hook, but I haven’t enjoyed the Tamara and Greg storyline and I also wasn’t a fan of the Cora plot.

Season one seemed to have such a distinctive purpose (breaking the curse) and now that they achieved that goal, I think the writers are a little lost. Regina wanted redemption at the beginning of the season and now all she seems to want is revenge. We’ve seen glimpses of what is driving Regina but then they seem to vanish in favor of her being evil. Rumplestiltskin has had similar problems. He finally found his son and they’ve hardly interacted since he almost died. I still enjoy the show but it does feel like it’s missing some of the magic that season one captured so well.

Finale Thoughts: “Second Star to the Right” got a lot closer to recapturing some of the early joys of this show than an episode has in a while. I really loved Bae’s flashbacks and I love the twist on Peter Pan. He was a little boy who wanted a family more than anything and sacrificed himself to protect them, just as he ultimately ended up doing in Storybrooke. He sacrificed himself so that Henry would get to keep one of his parents and not have to feel abandoned like he and Emma did.

I like where the episode left us in terms of plot and potential alliances. I really love that it looks like Charming, Snow, and Emma will be working together with Regina to prevent the destruction of Storybrooke and I think that has a lot of potential to lead to good things in season three.

That being said, I really hate how they got there. Tamara and Greg really served no purpose except to move the story to where it needs to be. They were a threat that came out of nowhere, with a weird religious zeal to destroy magic. Greg has some explanation for why he wants it destroyed but I feel like Tamara’s was lacking. They lacked the depth needed to make them a convincing part of the storyline and so they ended up being nothing more than plot devices. They set up a lot of potential, I just wish it would have been done better.

“And Straight on ‘Til Morning” was another very strong episode. I continued to love Bae’s flashbacks and seeing him meet Hook. I know that Neal said he knew Hook, but I embarrassing never made the connection that Bae was Milah’s son and therefore should be at least a little significant to Hook.

I am very excited about the plot that they have set up for season three. I’m a little concerned about how they will now split time between three worlds plus two different times, but I’ll remain optimistic. I find the Charmings, Rumplestiltskin, Regina, and Hook working together much more interesting than I find them fighting. I’m also excited about the change to see Mulan and Aurora again and happy that Neal is alive. I am a bit confused about why Peter Pan wants Henry and how Tamara and Greg seem to be working for him but that was probably the point.

Hopes for Season Three: I want everyone who is searching for Henry to become a team. They’ll probably always bicker because there’s a lot of history among them but people working together against outside forces is one of my favorite things to watch and I want this alliance to last.

I would still like to see what’s going on in Storybrooke. I’d imagine that Belle and Ruby would be in charge and I very much hope I’m right. I love Belle and Ruby’s friendship and I think they’d do a great job as leaders.

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