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Aurora Snow’s Once Upon A Time: Season 3: Ep.11 “Going Home” Review

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“Going Home”

Fairy tales usually end with a “and they lived happily ever after,” instilling a naive hope in the believer. It’s that same hope and faith that springs to life in this episode. Despite the odds and dramatic circumstances that will rip families apart, our characters cling to the hope that in the end happiness will prevail. Though it’s made quite clear that villains do not deserve happy endings, no matter how much they’ve changed. Once a villain, always a villain? That’s a shamefully narrow way of thinking. People really can change, but only when they want to, not when someone else tries to make them. Everyone makes mistakes; the key to changing is learning from them, as two of our “villains” finally figured out.

“Going Home” contained so many shocking surprises it could have easily passed for the series finale, not just the mid-season finale. It’s hard to believe that a beloved main character has sacrificed his life, though how such a loss benefits the show is a mystery. This particular character was one of the show’s main attractions! You’ll have to watch to see who, as I don’t want to spoil the surprise. If he’s truly gone, it will be a devastating loss that will forever change OUAT. I hope for the sake of the show that the writers find a way to resurrect this essential character.

Peter Pan succeeds in recasting the Evil Queen’s spell, but with his own sinister twist. There’s only one way to stop the curse and it comes at the ultimate price. A price both Regina and Rumpelstiltskin end up paying. For once it isn’t the heroes saving the day, but the villains proving they too have good hearts.

Rumpel finally comes face to face with his father, and teaches the wicked old man what it means to love a son. Rumpel manages to prove his love for Neal once and for all. No longer a coward, he faces his fears and accomplishes a feat no one else there can. Peter Pan will never bother anyone again — one would imagine, but this IS Once Upon a Time, and anything can happen.

Regina must once more give up the one she loves the most, Henry. In an endearing scene, Regina says her goodbyes and accepts the new lonely future that awaits her. In order to stop Pan’s evil curse, Regina must break hers too, which will send everyone back to where they’ve come from. Storybrooke will evaporate and its townspeople will be returned to the Enchanted Forrest with the exception of the Savior and Henry. It was a tear jerking moment. Saying goodbye to Storybrooke was almost painful.

Surprisingly benevolent, Regina blesses Emma and Henry with new memories. A year later, in this new timeline, Emma never gave Henry up for adoption, Storybrooke never existed and the two have lived happily ever after. Or at least they would have if Captain Hook hadn’t shown up on Emma’s doorstep a year later with the ominous line about her family being in trouble. Not a big surprise. They had to tie the fairy tale characters back in somehow.

Apparently true love’s kiss fails, since Emma has no recollection of Hook and knees this stranger in the balls before shutting the door in his face. It’s a hilarious scene, yet I feel there is more of the Hook and Emma romance yet to come. First he’ll have to jog her memory or convince her of his sincerity, either will make for an interesting latter half of the season.

Hard to believe we’ll have to wait until March to see how the rest of the season pans out in the Enchanted Forest. Goodbye Storybrooke. You will be missed.

Aurora Snow Says

Episode Rating:

[Rating:4/5]

Available on iTunes

 

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