Once Upon A Time Season 3 finale recap

Holy crap. Emma broke it. Or should I say, froze it.

In the two-hour finale Snow Drifts/There's No Place Like Home, Emma blunders into Zelena's time tunnel and Hook has to go in to make sure she doesn't do anything stupid like, oh, accidentally prevent her parents from meeting each other. "One day, I'll stop chasing this woman," Hook vows. No you won't, bro.

Once in the past, in the Enchanted Forest, the pair seeks out Rumple Bumple to fix the mistake and send them home. A madcap adventure ensues that includes, among other things, Wench Emma coming onto Past Hook to distract him while Present Hook is jealous of himself.

My heart could barely handle two Hooks on screen. Have mercy!

Emma and Hook help ensure Snow steals the ring that first puts her on Charming's radar, and it involves ball gowns and waltzes and imprisonment in the Queen's castle. Emma, who has been debating leaving Storybrooke and who hasn't felt connected to the fairy tale culture, becomes part of her family's story. She watches her parents fall in love, witnesses the evil that was Regina, and sees what appears to be her mother's execution. All this makes Emma realize how much she loves her parents and that Storybrooke, that geographic anomaly born of magic and rage with its twee loft apartments and lone dining option, is home.

Oh, and she also destroys Regina's happiness.

When I recognized Regina's prisoner in the Enchanted Forest as Marian, Robin Hood's allegedly dead wife, I thought, oh no. No no no. Please don't let Regina have been the cause of her boyfriend's babymomma's death. That's so jacked up.

But the show did me one worse. Our darling Savior brings Marian back to Storybrooke, not knowing she's Mrs. Hood, and a heart-wrenching reunion among Robin, Marian and tiny Roland ensues at Granny's while Regina watches the love of her life forget she's right there because his wife and mother of his child is back from the dead. Who can compete with that?

No. No no no no NO. I will not let this stand. They need to set this right. Robin and Regina belong together. My friend said "I told you so" to me about how they can't allow the Evil Queen to be happy, because she needs to balance out Snow's annoying goodness. But I'm loving good, happy Regina. That scene of her and Robin walking down the street, laughing and holding hands with Roland while I knew a bomb was about to be dropped? Tragic.

Other developments of note before we get to the big ending: Rumple and Bells get married (and Belle's vows are appropriately dorky); Emma and Hook finally get together (the grand heroic gesture was the revelation that he traded his beloved Jolly Roger to return to her); and Snow and Charming name Emma's baby brother after her dead babydaddy (touching, sweet, and also, kinda creepy).

Of course, what everyone is talking about is the big reveal that next season's Big Bad is going to be Elsa the Snow Queen from Frozen, brought to Storybrooke via time tunnel in an urn Emma and Hook didn't realize returned with them. I haven't seen Frozen, I've just heard that song "Let It Go," but now I'm going to have to rent it to prepare for Season 4.

Well played, Disney.

Overall, I liked the finale. Putting Emma right in the middle of the book, in the story she's heard a million times but never felt part of, was brilliant. As much as I love badass Emma with her gun and leather jacket, I thought it was cool to see her be a princess and flirt with the idea that she could be in that life and, had things gone differently, would have had that life. Seeing Hook in the prince role was a fun departure, too. I love that Emma used Princess Leia as her alias — I love nerds of all stripes, and enjoy little references to the showrunners' Star Wars geekdom. Hook under magical disguise having a nice heart to heart with his crush's dad about how her parents don't approve of him was cute. And I'm always, always a fan of an episode with an excuse to use Ruby/Red. And the intense emotional exchange between past Rumplestiltskin and Emma about Neal/Baelfire's fate was beautiful.

I can't believe how much this season covered, from Neverland to Oz, and yet I really worry about this show not moving forward between the Evil Queen vs. the Charmings. I'm guessing the flashback structure will continue, with glimpses into Elsa's realm, but there's no telling what her motivation might be in Storybrooke. To be honest, as bad as the Wicked Witch was, she was nowhere near as terrifying as Peter Pan. Can Elsa step up to the challenge of being a true monster?


  1. "My heart could barely handle two Hooks on screen." I thought precisely the same thing. I loved the finale. I haven't seen Frozen either, and didn't recognize who the girl at the end was supposed to be, so I had to look online after the show to see if people knew who she was. :P

  2. I recognized the outfit from the movie posters. I'm glad no one fell through a portal in the end, like the preview made it seem. I'd like them to stick around Storybrooke. I can't wait to see Emma and Henry's apartment!