Henry tried to stop magic... Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde popped into Storybrooke ... and the Evil Queen came out to play in a whole new way on Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 23.
Below, TV Fanatics Allison Nichols, Jim Garner and Christine Laskodi are joined by Teresa from Once Upon a Fan to debate splitting Regina in two, the new Jeckyll and Hyde story arc, and what they hope to see in Once Upon a Time Season 6.
Are you happy that Regina and the Evil Queen are now separate entities or do you prefer having Regina battle her inner demons?
Teresa: Not happy. Part of what makes Regina compelling to me is her redemption arc, overcoming and choosing the best part of herself. I feel this is something of a disservice to that journey. I far prefer her battling and triumphing over her inner demons.
Allison: I completely agree with Teresa. It felt like Regina was taking the easy way out. You can't just separate yourself from all the bad decisions you've made. Those decisions are part of who you are. Also, if you are going to let the Evil Queen out, you should be a lot more prepared. It's like Regina forgot what all she was capable of when she was the Evil Queen.
Jim: I agree with Teresa and Allison. It seems like the writers went "how can we have Regina _and_ The Evil Queen.. I know, split them up!" Talk about a disservice to the fans and the show. Yeeesh! Talk about missing the point of battling inner demons.
Christine: We're all in agreement. I really don't love this twist. I really enjoy that duality of Regina and watching her battle her own inner demons. Separating those aspects of her makes it almost seem too easy, doesn't it?
Was Zelena right to send Roland back to Sherwood Forest?
Teresa: This gutted me. It was my wish after the devastating loss of Robin Hood that good could be gleaned by making them all a family. It was not Zelena's choice to make.
Allison: I mean Zelena didn't really decide to do it. One of Robin's men kind of announced that Robin would want Roland to grow up back in the Sherwood Forest. Zelena was helping so many people get home. Zelena didn't have the right to force Roland to stay either. It was just a horrible situation, and I wish we saw more of a discussion of who was going to be the one to raise Roland now that Robin's gone.
Jim: I didn't get that she made the choice, she just didn't stop it. But Little John was right in that Roland would be safer in Sherwood. Lena said she would see them soon, so I didn't think it would be forever.
Christine: Yeah, I agree with Allison. It was horrible. Zelena didn't really have a right to force anything. But on the other hand, it would have been a bit awkward for Zelena to create this perfect family with Roland. It seems a bit odd.
Rate the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. What are your thoughts on it being the story arc at the start of Once Upon a Time season 6?
Teresa: Out of 10? 7. It was fun and wild, but I'm not sure that the fruit hasn't already been reaped from "their" appearance in this episode. I hope it's a jump-start for the new arc, but not the focus.
Allison: I really don't know. I wasn't super captivated by their story, and like Teresa said, I'm not sure what all they will bring to the story. They've been separated. Now what?
Jim: Seeing Paul Bunyon and other more modern tales makes me excited for seeing where they go with the stories. I will give J/H a 6 overall, it was an interesting twist on the monster and the doctor. Though apparently the realm of lost stories they were in was somebodies way of working in some steampunk designs into the show.
Christine: I LOVE it. I'm a big fan of that story in general, so I'm really excited to see where they take Jekyll and Hyde next season. There's a lot of potential there.
Name one thing you really hope to see next season?
Teresa: I want to see Regina coming to realize that you can't remove the sum of your parts. The Evil Queen is a part of her, and I would like to see her accepting that an easy solution is not the answer to her inner turmoil. I also hope to see an end to the back and forth with Rumbelle. Enough already! It's not only frustrating, but, after four years, boring. There is in my opinion a lovely story waiting to happen with Rumple definitively choosing his wife and child over power, facing his addiction head-on, and going into true "recovery".
Allison: I'm actually going to disagree with Teresa. I like that Rumple has finally owned up to the fact that he likes his power. He likes the darkness. It's who he is, and he won't apologize for it. This version of Rumple is more entertaining to me. I agree that the back and forth with Rumbelle needs to end. I would prefer that the two split up, so Belle can have an interesting storyline that has nothing to do with Rumple.
Jim: I would love to see Killian and Emma get a chance to have some fun along with all the villain defeating hijinks. As Emma said, seems they only get sappy when someone is about to die.
Christine: Like Jim, I want to see Emma and Hook happy for a change, in a real relationship, where the stakes aren't always based on someone's imminent death.
Was there anything in this two-parter that disappointed you?
Teresa: Roland exiting the story. He represented so much to the themes of family and Second Chances. I hope he returns.
Allison: I didn't enjoy Henry's crusade against magic, and then his sudden turnaround where he was telling the people of New York to believe in magic. It was such a quick 180, and it didn't feel genuine to me. Also, I don't know what New York Henry was in, but in the New York I've been to, Henry would have gotten stuff yelled/thrown at him. Once Upon a Time's New York is apparently much nicer.
Jim: I was actually very disappointed that the Evil Queen survived having her heart crushed. In all of the heart-crushing done previously that was for good, but some how OH LOOK the Evil Queen can survive it!
Christine: Yeah, the Henry stuff was a little out of place. It almost felt like it was tacked on.
What was your favorite scene from this Once Upon a Time season 5 finale?
Teresa: The talk between Snow and Regina. I love their dynamic, and I thought it was hilarious and almost poignant that Snow spiked Regina's cocoa.
Allison: I loved Regina opening up to Emma about what it's like for her every day. We got to hear about how The Evil Queen is always there, and we heard why Regina still chooses to be good even though it's only brought her pain. It was such a great moment for Regina.
Jim: I'm with Allison on Regina's talk to Emma about what it is like for her struggling everyday. It reminds me of some of the discussions I had with my mother about her sobriety and her struggle to stay sober.
Christine: I'm with Allison and Jim. I love Regina. That scene was so well done and had such an important message behind it. Lana Parilla nailed it.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.