Once Upon a Time Review: Keeping the NIghtmares Away

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Who knew that the thought of making it to "Tallahassee" could make someone so happy?

For the first time in her life, Emma Swan thought she would have a real home, made with a person she loved. Instead, she ended up with a broken heart, a prison record and a baby she didn't know what to do with. Emma went from expecting the dream to living a nightmare.

Swan Diving

It was such a shame. Emma and Neal has some nice chemistry as thieves on the run. Of course, with a price on Neal's head, starting a new life in Tallahassee would have been almost impossible.

But it did leave me with some questions. What was in the box that August showed Neal? The book wouldn't have shocked him into submission like that. Why was it necessary to send Emma to prison to make her destiny come true and how did August know that was the path on which he should send her? Could he see the future?

Knowing that this story would end with a prison term for Emma made her happiness as the more painful to watch.

Over in the present day fairy tale world, Emma was on to another adventure: climbing the beanstalk with Hook. 

Emma's first priority was Henry. If she didn't make it back down, she wanted to make sure that Snow made it back to Storybrooke to take care of her grandson.  Certainly a noble instinct, but Snow wasn't about to leave without her daughter, even if she had to climb that beanstalk and fight a giant herself.

The big question for Emma was whether Hook should be trusted. I didn't blame her for distrusting him. First, he's a mercenary pirate, most likely to go with whomever will pay him the most and I'm sure Cora won't make it easy to turn her down.

Second, Emma doesn't trust her own instincts. She was in love with Neal. She trusted him and not only did he leave her, he set her up to go to prison. It's no wonder Emma's heart is so wounded.

Jorge Garcia made quite the giant. He was equal parts ominous and sympathetic. We can only hope he didn't get hungry and make a snack out of Hook.

Leaving Hook behind in the lair of the giant, even for 10 hours, may have made him a dangerous enemy instead of an ally. I can't imagine that won't come back to haunt her some time soon.

Speaking of haunting, that's one scary dream that's going around. That Aurora has it as a side effect of her sleeping sickness is one thing - but Henry having the same dream bodes of something far darker.

So who do you think the scary eyes behind the curtains of fire in the enclosed red room belong to and why are they watching? What further nightmares are about to descend on Once Upon a Time?


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (177 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


So the dream similarity with Aurora and Henry, here's my theory. She and Henry both described the room exactly the same, with one glaring difference. Aurora says in the other corner "he" was staring back at her. Henry says in the other corner "she" was staring back at him. My theory is that they were staring at each other without knowing it, and once they do, they will be able to communicate between the worlds through their dreams. This is reinforced, at least to me, that Snow comforted Aurora and David comforted Henry. Same exact thing happening, just in different worlds.


Red flames? Hell, it's gotta be Melisandre :P


I have a question. Where on earth is cinderella???/


@Diana - If you go back to season 1, I think you'll find that those episodes were the same in tone as this season. The only difference is that the audience was in the thrall of a new experience. OUAT has never been a romantic comedy. It's never been "light." The first 7 episodes alone had Regina murdering her father, Rumple murdering the previous Dark One to assume his identity, Cinderella's story, Jiminy Cricket's story, Charming's story & how he came to impersonate the dead prince, and Sheriff Graham dying at the hands of Regina. I'm surprised people recall last year so differently because this is even before Grumpy's story, Red's story (definitely dark), and Mary Margaret's arrest for murder.


@Cheska - You're trying to figure out Bae's age based on linear time. That won't work because the portal Bae went through could have dropped him off anywhere on Earth at any point in time. He could have ended up in the 1800's, or he might have been dropped off in 2000 at the age of 13, which would make him 25 years old now. The writers can make him any age they want for the purposes of the story.


Everyone is forgetting Neal can't be Bae. If you do the math, from just a ballpark guesstimate, Bae is going to be OLD. He came here, and time kept moving at the same rate in both places. Rumple taught Cora to use magic, who knew for how long, but he says he held Regina when she was a baby. Then you add the time until Snow was grown up and has Emma, THEN you add 28 Curse years on top of that... Bay is probably in his 70's. He has no way of staying young like his father or Cora.


We really enjoyed Once Upon A Time last year. However, this year it seemed to become darker in tone and not as enjoyable. It seems more depressing than entertaining. They should lighten up more in future episodes!


As much as I love the idea of Mr. Gold turning out to be Henry's grandfather, didn't Baelfire represent the epitome of doing the right thing? If anyone could resist temptation (of magic in fairy tale land and stealing stuff in ours) it would be Baelfire. I've seen speculation Neal could be the White Rabbit from Wonderland...makes sense for a finger-twitchy guy who likes clocks/watches? What could August show him that would convince him so fast? Did August know more about Neal than he let on?


I might guess that Neal is Bae. Only Bae would have given into August so quickly especially if what he was shown was the book because he would have realized how important Emma was. A normal man shown magic would still not give up his true love unless hypnotized. I am also guessing August put Emma in jail so she would give up Henry and then he gave Henry to Rumple. August is almost as cruel as Rumple (if this is all trur) and I think Jiminy will have his work cut out for him. Personally, I think the only person Emma has real connection with is Henry her one true love. Men will come and go (LOL). So I think no matter how good Regina becomes she will never be able to make peace with Emma's family. This boy is the one person they truly love.
I like the idea that Arora and Henry are looking at each other. My question is the read room the dimensional portal or is it a prediction of future horrors. If it is a prediction I am guessing it has something to do with Cora, the Red Queen (?).
In the end cudos for the reversal of the traditional storyline. Flashing back on Emma while the fairytale takes place in current time.


Also, has anyone noticed the Wizard of Oz references?Slippers were mentioned in the Frankenstein episode and now poppies. Its only a matter of time til we get an Oz episode.

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