Monday, May 12, 2014

30 Days of OUAT - Day 17: Favorite Cliffhanger

Day 17 - Favorite Cliffhanger

Once Upon A Time is King of the Cliffhanger. I have a love hate relationship with it because of the cliffhangers. This show gets my creative brain going in overdrive (probably part of the reason why I can't "let go" of Neal's death. There are SO MANY plot/loopholes that could bring him back. So many quotes that suggest that it's a possibility or the thought... and then so many that suggest that nope, he's gone for good. But I can't shut off that creative side of me!)

With Season 3 we got two mini seasons in one. And the mid-season finale (episode 11, "Going Home") was by far the best. It actually felt like a series finale. It was so sad and yet hopeful at the same time. I haven't rewatched season 3 much - just the clips on youtube over and over and over again... (stinkin' Neal... I was not this obsessed with OUAT until he up and died. Thanks a lot MRJ!) I mean, they wrapped up the Neverland arc, saved Henry, Rumple finally releases his cowardess and reconciles with his son professing his love for Belle... it was a great "happy ending moment"... until Peter Pan enacts a reboot of the dark curse and Regina is forced to stop it. But to stop it, she has to let go of the thing she loves most - her son, Henry.

The reset will send all of Storybrooke back to the Enchanted Forest - all fairytale characters must go. Yep, even the two that were not part of the original curse (Emma & Neal)... knowing that that would leave Henry alone, Regina can save Emma from that fate... but there's a catch - they will not remember their family and friends from Storybrooke. They won't remember Neal coming back with them (FOR them). They will have good memories of Henry always being with Emma, but none of the Charmings... or Regina... or... well... Hook. They'll have never known that the odd little town ever existed or that they were once part of it. That it was once home.

After Emma accepts the inevitable, and a round of quickly said goodbyes (with Emma clearly being more upset about saying goodbye to the pirate than to her first love) Emma and Henry get into the yellow bug and drive across the town line with their family and friends watching. As they cross the town and everyone disappears as do the memories, Regina counteracts the curse. A purple haze falls over the town destroying everything in its path - including Henry's book.

The last seconds of the episode the EF is filled with its (formerly) missing characters, and then we see Emma and Henry in their NYC apartment. Happy, healthy, and a whole year has passed. A knock at the door and some weirdo in leather is at the door saying he knows Emma, that he knows she doesn't remember him, but her family is in trouble... and he goes in for a kiss, and she knees him in his misters. And then we had to wait through an insanely long hiatus for the creators to rip our hearts out slowly and crush them throughout the second half of the third season.

The obvious was that there was a way to get back to the land without magic from the EF... but how? And why was it Hook that left the EF to come get Emma?! We got most of our questions answered by the time Season 3b ended last night (great two hour season finale... though there were some major timeline issues... and a lot of plot/loopholes left open for people to get their hopes up for a future resurrection).

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