5 Things that Should Happen in the Once Upon a Time Series Finale

As the end of the fairy tale series reaches its final chapter there are certain things each of us wish to see in those precious last 42 minutes of screen time. Despite this final season being a divisive one, I think all will agree that during these past 7 years there were stories and characters that captured our hearts and our imaginations in ways that cannot possibly be measured.

Of course there are certain things many would like to see happen that are extremely unlikely: season 7 is some sort of dream or Henry’s authoring gone haywire to explain away the incoherent timeline and plot holes, Belle didn’t really die, and Robin Hood can be brought back to life to be with Regina. The chances of these happening seem very slim, so therefore the following list are things (many of which are connected) that have a greater chance of occurring. Regardless of how the rest of the season goes, a SERIES FINALE should include those from the many seasons of the show, not just a single one. And there are just some things that really should be in the last episode ever to conclude the current stories and most especially to bring the series to a hopeful and satisfying conclusion- a true happily ever after.

5. Earned and Wrapped Up Season 7 Storylines
The crux of this is that characters get what feels deserved and logical. This means that there should be no redemption for Gothel but an ending fitting such a vile villain, Wish Hook’s heart should be cured so he can be with his daughter again, Tiana deserves her own restaurant, Henry, Lucy and Ella are saved and safe, Regina finds some form of happiness, Rumple is reunited with Belle (and Emilie De Ravin returns) even if that means death, and Alice and Robyn and Zelena and her fiancé find happy endings together. However, I also do not think, as I saw suggested, there should be something as special as a SERIES Finale wedding for these couples who are also guest stars. They just don’t warrant such an auspicious event. The only ones who would are already married (Emma and Killian), or we have not seen this season (Robin and Regina). However, while the main focus of the finale will most likely and should be centered on Henry, if we can see the return of Sean Maguire for a wedding between the alternate Robin and Regina, who got engaged in the Season 6 finale, that would be lovely. Lastly, the Guardian should be a character that is logical and worthy- so not a new alternate character like Anastasia, or one who would not exist had the story not been altered like Alice. The only ones that make sense would be Emma and Killian’s child, being the product of True Love twice over, or Henry who was always meant to be Rumple’s “undoing” and has a pure heart. Whether all of these stories are wrapped up in the finale or simply final episodes remains to be seen, but they definitely should be on the roster.

4. Wish Hook goes in search of Wish Emma
As discussed in detail in this article, the one good thing about the Wish Hook character now being from a parallel universe is that it means there should be another Emma out there that exists for him to find, who was displaced when our Emma was brought into that realm by the Evil Queen’s wish. A wish cannot erase a very real person from existence. She’s out there somewhere. All he has to do this find her. For many reasons, which also includes finding that realm’s version of Henry, when all is settled with his daughter the next thing this Hook should do is seek out the woman who is meant to be his romantic partner, to maintain that steadfast theme about True Love and soulmates, no matter the realm, no matter the version of the character, and fulfill that promise of “I Will Always Find You.” It does not matter that a lot of time has passed or that it hasn’t been mentioned yet. It should happen to complete his story and maintain the integrity of the “Captain Hook” character. Whether we actually see him find his Emma is determinant on whether Jennifer Morrison returns and how much time is available. So, if that is limited, precedent would have to be placed on the appearance of the original Emma, and knowing he is seeking her out would be enough. But if there’s time for both, this would be the perfect ending to his storyline and give audiences the delight in seeing that first spark of True Love again, and the beginning of what would be many adventures together.

3. We See Snow and Charming Again
Although Snow and Charming got their happily ever after in the Season 6 finale, moving to a farm in Storybrooke, raising their son, and living a peaceful life surrounded by family, they also should make an appearance in the Series Finale not only because they are truly wonderful characters, but the Charming Family was very much the family that was the heart of the series and I cannot imagine the show concluding without them. The very first scene of the entire series began with their True Love’s kiss. The final episode needs to include them to help maintain symmetry with the Pilot and especially in connection with the final two things that the finale should entail.

2. Henry and his family return to Storybrooke
It is still difficult to reconcile why Henry and Ella remained in the Enchanted Forest for 8 years after Lucy was born. We cannot get that time back and that’s heartbreaking to me. But to help ease that and end things right, Henry, Ella, and Lucy, and Regina as well, need to return to Storybrooke and their family. Storybrooke is HOME. It always has been on Once Upon a Time, and Henry has always been all about family, so a reunion and meeting between him, Ella and Lucy with his grandparents Snow and Charming, and Mother and Stepfather Emma and Killian, as well as his new sibling, is imperative to ending the series in a way that maintains who Henry is as a character and ending it on the right emotional note.

1. We See Emma, Killian and their Child
In the connection with the previous necessity, seeing Emma, Killian and their child in the series finale is also imperative to maintaining a connection to the Pilot and the integrity of who the series centered on, and what the series has always embodied: love, hope and family. After marrying at the ending of Season 6, we saw very little of their happy life together, and only the news that they were expecting a baby was revealed. We have no idea whether the child was a boy or girl, their name, and didn’t see the birth. With the timeline the way that it is, most likely these things would have to be seen in flashback, and perhaps by now they have multiple children, but it’s difficult to know for sure. But we should see at least one scene of the couple with their baby born out of True Love- a happiness that contrasts the utter devastation Emma experienced when she gave birth to and gave up Henry. More than anything, after such a long journey for Emma especially, the series should end with her, and the family she has found and created. The foundation of the series began with her son finding her in Boston and the start of their relationship. It should end with Henry and his wife and child reuniting with his mother and her husband and child, bringing everything full circle, perhaps concluding with her birthday, paralleling the Pilot where she made a wish that she didn’t have to be alone. Whatever the circumstance, the finale moments of Once Upon a Time should be with the characters that started it all, and the ones that became part of this beautiful family in very much the way the exquisitely moving montage in Season 6 finale did. That would be a true and touching happily ever worthy of the last page of this beautiful and poignant storybook.

finale page

Once Upon a Time: Season 6 and Beyond Wishlist

As the start of Season 6 of Once Upon a Time approaches, there are always the inevitable hopes for what we would most like to see for our favorite characters. In Season 5, I made such a list– and some came true. But some still have not happened so those most definitely remain, along with some other new great wishes. Of course there is a healthy dose of Captain Swan wishes here, but there is also a lot from many characters. Here are my greatest wishes for Season 6 and beyond. MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!

1. Emma and Killian Domestic, Quiet, and Happy Moments:
Now that Emma and Killian overcome darkness and even death, have a beautiful house that represents a future together, and are both “safe” in Storybrooke, I would love to see some quiet, romantic moments for the couple. Of course there will be drama and dangers, but in the mix I want to see quieter and happy scenes too. Dinner date nights out or in, strolling down the street holding hands, little or passionate kisses, and most especially moments in their house together whether it’s sharing a meal, a dance, or cuddling on the couch. Overall, I think it’s finally time for them to “go home and see what’s on Netflix.”


(X) (X) (X) (X)

2. Emma and Killian have “coffee”:
Relating to my number one hope, a wish I had from Season 5 was for Emma and Killian to finally consummate their relationship. Although some believe this has already happened, because there has never been a visual or verbal reference while other couples have had similar scenes, I still believe they have yet to take a step. And they certainly deserve it. They’ve endured so much turmoil. As Emma said before reaffirming her love, they have been through so much: “darkness, Hades, and being separated by realms.” And now that they’ve confirmed their love to be true, it’s time they are finally able to express that love physically. As I wrote “You can have a beautiful and sensual scene while still being subtle. I most hope to see them holding each other in their arms with adoring looks in their eyes.” Bonus points if we see Emma wearing one of Killian’s shirts, or maybe his old pirate coat. Here’s hoping for a scene (or multiple scenes) of such beautiful sensuality.

3. The Charmings call Killian “family”:
As I said last season on my wishlist, Snow and David showing support for Emma and Killian’s relationship was a silent way of accepting him into their family, but I hoped they would show this even more so, be more verbal and maybe even bestow a hug upon our dear captain. Many of these wishes definitely came true as Snow defended Emma turning Killian in a Dark One because that’s what their family does – they save people. This family also finds people, and as they followed their daughter into the Underworld to find and save Killian it was clear they consider him a member of their family, especially when he returned from the dead and David greeted him with a hug. However, there is still so much that can be said between them, and we have yet to hear them actually call him “family.” It would also be lovely to see another hug whether it be from David or Snow, but this time in the foreground of the scene.


(X) (X)

4. Henry and Killian bonding:
I have always loved seeing Henry and Killian moments. Captain Cobra scenes are often fun and ever so heartwarming. We’ve gotten some great scenes between them from going to rescue Emma, to Killian sharing stories of Henry’s father; but some of their best moments happened off screen – Killian taking Henry sailing and the two picking out a house in Storybrooke and creating Operation Light Swan. In Season 6 I hope to see more bonding between Emma’s two true loves. Henry was devastated when Killian died but we saw no real reaction to his miraculous return. Let’s hope to see that happiness he surely feels and lots of sweet moments on screen.



And as we heard at San Diego Comic Con, Henry will be giving Killian list of movies to watch. Not only is this heartwarming and sweet but potentially could be hilarious, golden television. What should be on that list? I vote for The Princess Bride, Peter Pan, , Pirates of the Caribbean, Hook, and of course Back to the Future because Killian should finally know who Marty McFly is.


(X) (X)

5. More David and Killian moments:
As we heard from San Diego Comic Con, this is one wish that is going to come true as Josh and Colin told us that the Captain Charming bromance is going to be blossoming and I cannot be happier about that. Whatever is ahead I hope for some fun and meaningful moments. Two of my favorite episodes are “Good Form” and “White Out” and while these two have troubling admitting it, they work well together and do care about the other. I hope we get another hug or more verbal discussions of their growing friendship. It’s definitely an unique relationship. They have both lost brothers but have become brothers in arms. But of course Killian is also dating David’s daughter’s so a discussion about that relationship and perhaps asking for a blessing before proposing would also be a joy to watch.


(X) (X)

6. Captain Swan and Snowing Adventures/Charming Family and more Moments:
While I long for individual adventures for my favorite couples I would also absolutely love Season 6 to have these beautiful pairs working together on adventures, facing villains or enjoying some family time together – dinner at Granny’s or at the loft complete with Snow being the happy, doting mother asking lots of questions and David in overprotective Dad mode.



Much like the end of Season 3 and 5, I would also be great to see lots of family moments, with all the characters together – time to breathe, be together and rejoice, or as is often necessary, to kick ass together because when teamed up they are all a force to be reckoned with. I want to see everyone: Emma, Killian, Henry, Snow and Charming, Regina, Zelena, Belle, Rumple, the Dwarves, Granny and any other members of the Storybrooke community.


(X) (X) (X)

7. Another Captain Swan Adventure:
As I said last season, I love episodes that focus on this couple on a grand scale and we did have a few episodes like this – “Birth” and “Broken Heart,” and to a lesser extent “Swan Song” and “Firebird,” but those were more individually based. Of course they were amazing and beautiful episodes, but thoroughly heart-wrenching. Given that Season 6 is sure to be a bit lighter, I hope we see another adventure for Emma and Killian akin to “Tallahassee”, “Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home” or “Operation Mongoose.” They make quite the team and whether it be in Storybrooke or somehow the Enchanted Forest again, I’d love to see the couple on some fun, fairy tale, romantic, and perhaps even swashbuckling, adventure together.

cs adventure.gifcs-fairy-talecs fairy tale 1.gif

(X) (X) (X)

8. More Snow and Charming Adventures and Romantic moments:
The show’s original True Love couple has had a bit less screen time over the past few seasons (in no small part to Ginnifer Goodwin’s pregnancies and evolution of the story), but they still have had their fair share stories where they face whatever may come their way together. They’re steadfast love and devotion to each other is beautiful and I hope Season 6 we see even more of them back in action and further exploring what the happy ending they are living entails, whether in adventures together like “The New Neverland,” romantic and moving scenes, like “Lady of the Lake,” or realistically working through an argument and coming out the other side united, like in “The Broken Kingdom.”


(X) (X)

9. A Captain Swan scene on the Jolly Roger:
I always say there is never enough of the Jolly Roger. The Ship is such an icon for Hook’s character and the show, so I always love scenes that feature this marvel of the vessel. We’ve seen Emma and Killian on the Jolly Roger a handful of times, the best being their fairy tale adventures in the Season 3 and 4 finales. But in both of those cases Killian did not know Emma, save for present time Killian who punched his past self. And in season 5 we had Emma trying to re-create their first date, but it was a very sad scene. This season I hope to see a happy moment for the couple-maybe a date on the deck of the ship, Killian and Emma at the helm and taking a romantic sail in Storybrooke’s harbor, or some amorous activities in the Captain’s Quarters. Whatever the scenario, I’d love see these two on this beautiful ship again.



10. Captain Swan Engagement or Wedding:
I will admit, I truly thought the end of Season 5 was going to involve Emma and Killian getting engaged, given the literal Hell they went through. However, we got the next best thing – the most blatantly obvious piece of foreshadowing in an already long line of such, with a wedding dress perfectly centered in between the couple before Emma says “I love you.” While I don’t expect a proposal right away, I think it’s clear that wedding bells are on the horizon. The questions are – Will Killian ask David and Snow’s blessing, who will be the best man and maid of honor (my vote goes to David or Henry and Elsa), and of course who will be the one to propose – Killian or Emma?

colin josh.gifcs dress

(X) (X)

11. Time Periods and Characters We’ve Never or Have Rarely Seen:
It’s certain that many things have been seen on abundance on the show: Regina’s feud with Snow and Charming and Rumple’s time as the Dark One to name a few, so it’ll be nice to see something they have yet to or rarely explore. High on that list would be any Emma’s early childhood with the family who gave her last name, Swan. And now that we got the origin of her red leather jacket I would love to know the origin of her flower tattoo. I would also love to explore more of Killian’s childhood and meet his mother, as well as meet David’s father and see his childhood. David is one of the few characters we’ve never seen as a child on the show, and more backstory separate from Snow, for his character deserves to be explored. I also would to see how Killian made the transition from Lieutenant to a pirate– the time between him renaming the Jewel of the Realm to the Jolly Roger to when he first met Milah. His younger self is quite different and that charisma was surely something that developed over time. He mentioned visiting cities where the air smells of spices and women are carried on jeweled chairs. That sounds a lot like Agrabah, does it not? With Aladdin coming it sounds like the perfect opportunity to explore more of this time period. And for that matter what’s the origin of his wardrobe? They always parallel Emma and Killian so it would be amazing to see how Killian chose his long leather coat to parallel Emma choosing hers. I would also like to see a very young Henry in Storybrooke and how he interacted with Regina, meet Rumple’s mother, and see some of Hook’s time in Neverland because Robbie Kay was severely underused during the Underworld Arc.

12. Interesting Character Dynamics:
Of course I have my favorite character dynamics but there are some we have definitely not seen a lot of that I would love to see more of: Rumple and Emma, Killian and Snow, Killian and Belle, David and Henry, and Emma and Belle. I would also love to see the Snow and Emma relationship brought back to significance as well as Emma and Henry perhaps creating a new operation together.

hook snow.gifhook-belleemma snow.gifemma snow1.gif

(X) (X)

13. More of the Rumple/Killian rivalry:
Even though Killian has given up his revenge, as we’ve seen since Season 4 on, there is still no love lost between the characters and it’s always a treat to see these two characters and brilliant actors play off each other. I of course certainly do not want Killian’s heart to be controlled again, but I would love to see them continue to explore how they are very much foils to each other. They have been connected since Killian’s first episode and since the darkness was not destroyed, and Rumple is once again the Dark One, I’d love to see further exploration of what is surely an integral part of the overall story.

hok gold.gif


14. The Evil Queen split does not take the entire season/Regina & Zelena bonding:
While I don’t want to fully judge until I see how it begins to play out, and I think this split will in the end help Regina further learn to take responsibility for her actions and accept that her dark instincts as part of her and not a curse or separate entity, the idea of this taking an entire season does not sound appealing. In fact it could grow very repetitive and tedious early on. The solution is simple – she needs to accept that part of herself and work to overcome it, not destroy as if it never happened or doesn’t exist. That is truly the only way she will ever find peace within herself. Moreover, I really enjoyed seeing that Regina and Zelena were actually close as children, so I hope to see them continue to mend and work of their very complicated relationship.

regina zelena.gif


15. More Familiar Faces Returning:
My season 5 Wishlist included hope for some familiar faces to return and we got some of them – Liam, Cruella, and Peter Pan. This season, we know that we will be seeing Archie, Dr. Whale, and Cinderella and Thomas (a.k.a. Ashley and Sean) again. I would love it if August will pop up again and maybe help Henry with his authoring, Ariel, Tink, or Elsa to reappear for some plucky wisdom and great friendship moments, and Ursula and Blackbeard for some seafaring or pirate adventures. And whether it’s in a flashback, a brief scene or even a reference, I’d love to see Arthur taking care of the Underworld and Lancelot and Guinevere hopefully together ruling Camelot together. Lastly, there’s still so much unfinished left to explore with Merlin, as well as Killian’s Father Brennan Jones and his half-brother Liam II. What happened to him? That story should be re-addressed.


(X) (X) (X) (X) (X) (X) (X)


Season 6 and Beyond:
Since we do not know how many more seasons the series will be on, these last wishes are general hopes I have for the show.

We see the moment Killian traded the Jolly Roger to Blackbeard for a magic bean:
This was on last season’s wishlist as well. It was such a meaningful and significant moment for his character and I have ALWAYS wanted to see it play out in screen.

Emma and Killian Start a Family:
Whenever this is meant to happen, I would love to see these two have children of their own. Not only would it be nice to see Henry have a sibling, as well as Emma be able to experience what she never did with her son, but also the thought of Killian holding a baby and being a father is so sweet. It wouldn’t surprise me if they also adopted a few kids given their similar childhoods.



(X) (X)

Robin Hood Returns or is at Peace/Regina Finds Peace:
The charming outlaw was definitely a favorite character of mine so I was very, very sad to see him leave. I will lament what could have been. But of course this is very common on television nowadays, and I’ve lost many a favorite character before. I will accept it if need be, but I would love it if he was able to somehow come back to life. If that’s not meant to be then I hope we hear that contrary to what Hades said, his soul was able to move on and be at peace. And I know many may disagree with me, but if Robin cannot return then I do not want to see Regina given another love interest. At this point it would feel rushed, unsatisfying and even hurtful to those who loved Outlaw Queen. I actually would enjoy instead for Regina to find peace and happiness within herself instead of something or someone external. That would be refreshing and would make a great deal of sense for her character who has battled her inner darkness.

A Holiday Episode:
Whether it be Christmas (which is my number one choice), Thanksgiving, or another holiday I love to see what our characters would do on a special day like that. So far the only holiday we’ve seen is Valentine’s Day. It would be nice to revisit that day, or maybe a spooky Halloween episode, or a crazy and sweet Thanksgiving(which David mentioned would be difficult but certainly funny). But Christmas just holds so many lovely possibilities – the town building snowmen, tree trimming, opening presents, sipping hot cocoa and cinnamon by the fire, and fun with mistletoe. I know it’s unlikely to happen, but it still would be amazing to see on the show.

A Ball or a Dance in Storybrooke:
It’s no secret that I have adored the Royal Balls we’ve seen over the course of the series. They are beautiful and romantic grandeur. We may not revisit the Enchanted Forest or Camelot this season in the present day, but that does not mean Storybrooke cannot hold its very own dance, and I for one would love to see it.

ball-1ball 2.gifball

(X) (X)

We Learn Mr. Gold’s First Name:
I know his real name is Rumpelstiltskin and it may simply be a running joke that we don’t know Gold’s first name, but it would be amazing if that fact that we’ve never learned it means they will be doing their own twist on the original Rumplestiltskin fairy tale. If you don’t know or are unfamiliar with the story, there have already been some elements incorporated in the show – namely in “The Miller’s Daughter” and his ability to spin straw into gold. But there is a part of the story we haven’t seen – a girl must guess Rumpelstiltskin’s real name or give up her child. In one case, going off this meta by hooks-and-feathers (which I agree with) – the placement of Gold in between the nursery crib and Emma and Killian in “Devil’s Due” is deliberate foreshadowing. And it most definitely could be an indicator of a story involving Gold’s name and the future child of Emma and Killian. And I’d love it!



An It’s A Wonderful Life/What if the curse never happened/S1 curse Revisited Scenario: The show has done its fair share of alternate universes, memory loss, and crossover over adventures and when it comes down to it the show really soars when they do. The season 3 and 4 finales were astounding and beautiful, and the memory loss in 5A they created such an amazing air of mystery and made the reveal that Killian was also a Dark One even more surprising. I would love to see an episode where the curse never happened and see how the characters would interact, find each other and eventually set things right. For without the curse would Henry ever exist, would Rumple have found his son, would Regina have found happiness, and would Emma have met Captain Hook? Although many are tired of the memory loss trope, it is one of my favorites aspects of the show. And for Emma and Killian specifically, they hold a unique distinction of not having ever been cursed with memory loss or not knowing each other at the same time. I would love an episode where neither has memories of the other, but as always are drawn to each other and regain their memories in some magical or romantic fashion, perhaps having flashes of these memories along the way. How beautiful and amazing would that be!

Emma Celebrates Her Birthday:
It’s long been a theory of mine that the series will end with Emma celebrating her birthday to parallel the “Pilot,” only this time with her family, friends and, hopefully by then, husband beside her. I don’t just want to see this. I NEED TO SEE THIS!!! It would be such a poignant way of bringing the series and characters full circle. Emma would no longer be a lonely, lost girl, but a woman who is beyond loved and would no longer even need to make a wish. She would have everything she ever wished for.

wishwish 1.gif



Once Upon a Time: Firebird, Last Rites, An Untold Story and more Further Thoughts

A Journey of True Love:
It’s been a long and beautiful journey of True Love for Emma and Killian, and such a remarkable story indeed. Even without proof it was clear that the love they share is special and true. Emma marching into the Underworld to save Killian by sharing her heart with him was enough to prove the depth of her affection. And although it would’ve been a beautiful parallel to what her parents share, True Love is never easy. It never has been for these two and what was really moving was the way in which they proved their love – through selflessness and sacrifice. Moreover, in the end, although it may not seem as such, Emma and Killian’s hearts were still shared – they are entwined and it was both that connection and their love for each other, and what it inspired in each of them, that granted Killian his life back. True Love did save him. One of the most poignant parts of their True Love test was that it was Emma’s love that was in question. It’s interesting how Emma doesn’t question his love for her. At this point it’s beautiful that there’s not even a doubt of it because he’s proved his love for her over and over again; but then the fact that after all they’ve been through he still isn’t sure he’s worthy enough of the “rarest magic of all” is heartrending. But their test is about both of them ultimately. After nothing happens after Emma places her heart on the pedestal and they both look on devastated, that was the moment the test truly began. Emma fell over in pain needing her heart back in her chest while Killian was engulfed in flames in excruciating torment. But he tells her to get her heart and she saves him from the flames instead. The other person’s well-being was more important than whatever they were suffering. True Love encompasses many things but above all it’s about selflessness – loving someone so much that all that matters is their happiness, their life. This is what allowed them to let go of each other – heartbreaking as it was – and ultimately what saved him.

cs tl


Emma and Killian do not physically share a heart but there is a spiritual and inexplicable connection between them that exists on a profound level. It transcends realms and even death. And it’s what makes their farewell promises to each other so significant. Knowing that there is no leaving Underworld and moving on until one’s unfinished business is complete is why Killian was physically unable to move on. He promised Emma she would not be his unfinished business but he knows that Emma and her family are still in danger from Hades. It’s impossible for him to move on until he knows she is safe. For Emma, she can feel that he is still trapped, still in pain and she cannot grieve for him knowing such. This is what makes Killian’s quest so important for it is not only his love for Emma, but what she inspired within him that saved his life. She inspired the heroism that was always embedded in his soul, and he wouldn’t rest until those he loves were safe. That is beautiful. His peace was knowing they were free from danger. He helped get Emma what she needed and could just feel that she had succeeded, his path to heaven opening up that very instant. And when Zeus tells him it’s time to take him where he belongs it was clear where that was. He belongs with Emma and in the end their connection was his salvation. True Love prevailed.


cs happy

cs dress

cs love

(X) (X) (X) (X)

Amazing Parallels:
There were so many lovely and significant parallels in the end of the season with episodes that so often remain key to the story, as well as episodes from this season, namely the “Pilot,” “A Land Without Magic,” “Tallahassee,” “New York City Serenade,” and “Swan Song.” I loved seeing a direct mirror of Emma’s walk across the street to catch the man jumping bail in the “Pilot” to Cleo Fox doing the same thing to Emma.

emma cleo.gifemma cleo 1.gif


It became clear in “Firebird” how much Emma learned from Cleo and that much of her personality was just a mask – her armor was firmly on. It was good for making her brave and confident but it also left her closed off. It’s what makes the Emma we see now such an inspiration. She stronger and braver than she’s ever been for she is not only fierce and confident physically, but emotionally as well, her heart completely open to love, brave enough to love without walls and without condition. The parallels between “Firebird” and “Tallahassee” are also so remarkable – both of the episodes written by Jane Espenson and both revealing key moments in Emma’s past that shaped her life as well as both proving the importance of Killian in her life. The symmetry is so interesting visually and emotionally. They climbed up the beanstalk and descended down into the depths of the Underworld. And in both episodes Emma left Killian behind, the first time because she wasn’t ready to trust her heart, and the last because her heart was filled with True Love.

“Firebird” also parallels “A Land Without Magic” in striking ways. In both episodes Emma goes down the elevator in the library to retrieve something to save one of her true loves – Henry with the golden egg, Killian with the ambrosia. Also both times, what Emma sought is not what eventually saved them, it was the true love that did – a True Love’s kiss with Henry and her True Love with Killian that was selfless enough to let each other go and then help him on his quest that granted him his life back.

The parallel between their True Love moment and Killian’s sacrifice in “Swan Song” is also significant. In both moments we see one of them in horrible pain but technically not able to die. In “Swan Song” Emma as the Dark One is immortal but she can still feel pain and when Nimue chokes her, Killian wakes up from the darkness and comes back to the light, unwilling to watch the woman he loves in pain. “Firebird” is very much the same. Killian is dead but seeing him being engulfed in a sea of flames was too much for Emma to bear, so she chooses him over her beating heart. They always choose each other. How could anyone doubt the depth of their affection?


Lastly the parallels we’ve seem to Once Upon a Time in Wonderland this season have been significant most especially the ones between Alice and Cyrus and Emma and Killian, from dialogue to the emotional similarities to their love stories. Both couples share a spiritual connection, their hearts entwined, always emphasizing that when you love someone you don’t need proof, you can just sense what they feel. Just like Alice never stops fighting for Cyrus, determined to save his life, so too does Killian and Emma who fight for each other. And although in the end they come together in very different ways, both journeys are built on an unbreakable bond and unfailing faith in each other. It’s also quite interesting that the wedding dress we’ve see in the window and Storybrooke is no longer the same one but now the one Alice wore on her wedding day. Look at the all of these amazing parallels:

Their hearts are entwined, sharing a spiritual connection.

cylice heart

cs heart.gif

(X) (X)

Cyrus and Killian both want their true loves to let them go, but Alice and Emma are determined to save them.

lettercyclice find

cs lose.gif

cs find.gif

(X) (X) (X)

When you truly love someone you can just feel what they are feeling and sense when they are near. 

cyclice proofcylice proof1cyclice proof1

cs know

cs know1

(X) (X) (X) (X)

Tearful, intense moments where one lay dying and the other begs them not to leave.

cylice crycyclice cry1

cs stay

cs stay1.gifcs stay2.gif

(X) (X) (X)

They can feel each other’s pain and just know and can sense what that they have done.

cyclice paincylice pain 1

cs pain

cs know 6cs know 7

(X) (X) (X)

Alice and Emma risked everything, traveling realms to save Cyrus and Killian, and both men are eternally grateful.

 cylice risk cylice risk1

cs save

(X) (X)

Beautiful, Joyous Reunions

cylice reuinion.gifcylice reuinion1

cs reunion

cs kiss3

(X) (X)

Choices and People Saved:
We are products of our choices. That is an indisputable truth. Moreover, the dialogue employed on Once Upon a Time more often than not is deliberate and is reiterated in emotional, thematic, and plot levels. In my review for the premiere for 5B I wrote:



Although some people were saved and some were lost that premise still rang true until the very end and like the endless tapestry of stories that Once Upon a Time is, each and every choice matters. If you take one thing away it changes the course of the story. It’s interesting how in season two Cora told Killian about Emma “You chose her.”At the time Cora considered it a betrayal. We don’t know how things may have been different if he hadn’t made that first choice. But that choice was the first step in what led them to fall in love and they were all now in the Underworld because of it.  And it helped Cora not only able to bring her daughters back together, but helped her find peace with herself and forgiveness from and between her girls. And in the end isn’t it poignant that Killian chooses to forgive Arthur and go on a quest with him that ends up restoring hope in a place that had been desolate for countless souls for years. Arthur found his broken kingdom to restore, so hopefully those souls will no longer be trapped and able to sort through their unfinished business without a vile villain lording over them. And all because of the true love of two very extraordinary heroes.

Beautiful Kisses:
The kisses Emma and Killian shared in the last episodes of season 5 were all so different but each exquisitely moving and beautiful moments for their characters made that way by the real and raw performances of Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue. Seeing Killian truly cry for the first time was moving on its own but the moment he took Emma’s hand and kissed it – a moment that that was unscripted – was what made the scene even more stirring. Killian has always been one to hold it together and be strong for Emma. But this goodbye was different. We know how hard it was for Emma but it was also just as hard for him. He had hoped that the life he wanted to share with Emma was going to come true. But here their hope was gone, so saying goodbye was even more devastating. They don’t want to let go but they do – they just want to hold on as long as they can to each other. So he takes her hand and kisses it to show her that loving her was his great honor and grasps it for as long as he can, the looks on their faces ones of devastation and desperation. We’ve never seen that expression or such tears before from him, nor a kiss like this. And it was all made so moving by their extraordinary acting.

hand kiss

hand kiss1

cs hands

cs hands1

cs hands2

(X) (X)

The kiss that they shared when he miraculously returned is not only one of the most beautiful moments of the series but also one of the most beautifully performed. And I just loved their expressions, signs of affection and the way they try to make sense out of this miracle. They’re incredulous looks were matched in the way they approach each other. Killian can’t quite believe it whilst Emma runs into his arms so overcome with emotion. And the moment when they kiss is so beautiful. When he grabs her tighter, it’s like he couldn’t quite believe she was really there until she was in his arms and once he realizes that he’s going to hold on as tightly as possible.

cs reunion

cs kiss2

(X) (X)

Emma’s amazed, overwhelmed expression here is also as moving as can be as he tries to explain what must’ve happened and she is just watching him with such love and incredible gratitude and that he is there. She still can’t quite believe it and cannot help but kiss him again.

cs reunion1

cs reunion2


Her sweet cheek kisses and their smiles are also as pure as ever. After so much pain and heartache they were able to share a moment of unencumbered joy, before they hold each other looking onto their fallen friend, expressing the way we will cling tighter to those we love in times of tragedy and in times of overwhelming emotion and love. They are grateful but their expressions quickly turn to ones of sadness. No more smiles, just solemn sorrow. So perfectly performed and deeply felt.



cs sad

(X) (X) (X)

Equally profound and perfectly performed was the way Killian and Emma kissed after an “I Love You” that was in a moment of normalcy and it was such a special moment for their characters. As I said in my review:



What is lovely to know is that for as many passionate and heartfelt kisses as they’ve shared he has never picked her up in such an ardent, romantic way. One might think that such a kiss wouldn’t come after a simple “I Love You” but Killian knows how much of a brave step this was for. And consider this: if they kiss like this after an “I love you,” can you imagine the affection they will show each other when they finally express that love physically, as well as ask to share their lives together in marriage. Those will surely be incredible moments of beauty to behold.

lift kiss.gif

lift kiss1

lift kiss2.gif


Little Moments:
Sometimes it’s the small things that touch us so much – those little moments that make an already special scene even more so. These were the ones that moved me from the end of 5B.

– Gentle, Profound Affection:
The way they hold each other, the tears, the touches of her face, the way they cradles each other’s heads. It’s so beautiful, intimate and affecting. No one can compare to the beautiful authenticity these two bring to their shared moments.

cs tears 2

cs cheek

cs tears

cs tears1

cs kiss

(X) (X) (X) (X)

As if kissing her hand wasn’t poignant enough, the way Killian holds Emma’s hand as she slowly ascends, caressing her fingers so tenderly, it’s such a small but meaningful gesture. Their hands entwined has always been a significant part of their story, but what I love in this moment was that whether it was conscious or not, he’s stroking her ring finger. Although we know now that their future can still be bright, at this moment it’s as if he’s telling her he would’ve married her and no matter what their bond will never be broken.

cs hand.gif

cs hand1


– Holding His Hook:
It warms my heart every time Emma holds Killian’s hook. It’s such a sweet and loving way of showing she accepts every part of him and for viewers with similarities I can only imagine how lovely it is to see such a positive depiction.



– A Hug Between Brothers:
It has been a long time coming but seeing David hug Killian made me cry. These two men sure have come a long way – from unlikely allies to friends to family. Killian may be family now because of Emma but he also has become like a brother to David, so the fact that both men lost their brothers again in the Underworld is not lost on me. And seeing David reach out to him, after being so reluctant to trust him for so long is incredibly touching. I would’ve liked a longer, more prominent scene and some dialogue but there’s always next season. For now we have this hug to smile about.

cc hug


– A Last Kiss:
In what may be their final have a happy moment together (the incurable optimist in me still believes he perhaps can come back), Robin kisses Regina sweetly, gently rubbing his nose against hers. These little gestures of affection are not only sweet but showcase of realness that is truly lovely. And what I love is that it’s a gesture we’ve seen before. The morning after the first time they made love he does the same thing. In both scenes, they hold onto this moment of intimacy with a gentleness that is so beautiful.




– A Charming Reunion:
David is a favorite character of for a myriad of reasons, one of which is that he is such an affectionate, caring father. We’ve not had many moments with him and his son, but when he takes his baby boy in his arms when he returns from the Underworld smiling and holding him with such adoration I was touched. And see him embracing his wife with the baby between them was so heartwarming. Is that not the picture of true love in all its forms? And perhaps it made him even more grateful because he saw his daughter had to leave her True Love behind for what they thought was forever. Of course now Snow and Charming will no doubt be delighted their daughter can have a happy ending with the man she truly loves. And I long to see before the series ends a similar moment between Emma and Killian with a child of their own.



(X) (X)

Unanswered questions:
As is often the case they will always be questions that remain unanswered each season. Many I can let go of and forgive but because the finale didn’t resolve everything from season 5 but instead introduced what is essentially next season’s story, there are some significant things that went by the waste side that I still wonder about.

– Was the dark curse Killian cast broken? It must have been because they were able to leave town without befalling the same fate as Dopey. So when was it broken? When Killian sacrificed himself? Because he was the one who cast it did his death undo it?

-Did Guinevere ever get cured of her Sands of Avalon curse? Was she back to herself once Arthur died? I certainly hope so and that when all of the Camelot folks left she was back to herself and would be able to be reunited with Lancelot.

-Why did Merlin have a dark curse brewing before Killian arrived and why did he say Nimue was the only one who could help them to defeat the Dark One? This is perhaps the most glaring unanswered question. There’s so much significance to Merlin’s character and still so much mystery around him, so I hope we’ve not seen the last of him.

An Homage to Snow White?:
It recently occurred to me that the fountain in New York that they all threw pennies into, making wishes might be a loose homage to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, specifically the very first wish Henry made. He knew his mom was lonely so wished their family could be complete. And Hook arrived only a few days later. Let’s look at the lyrics to the song “I’m Wishing” Snow White sings at a wishing well:

I’m wishing (I’m wishing)
For the one I love
To find me (to find me)

Henry’s wish came true. The one that Emma loves, the one that loves Emma, found her, and their family became complete. It wouldn’t be the first time water was used as a magical entity. There is a wishing well in Storybrooke connected with the mystical Lake Nostos, the very water that made Emma’s existence possible. There are connections everywhere it seems.





What’s Ahead in Season 6:
Right now it’s unclear what exactly to expect next season. We know the Evil Queen has returned now separated from Regina, but clearly cannot be destroyed because you must learn to live with all you have done no matter how bad it is. Hopefully Regina will learn that. Jekyll and Hyde will also being in Storybrooke, but to what point and purpose I’m not sure. As interesting as these are I do hope there are other big focuses because after a few episodes it may be bit dreary and even repetitive to the 4B storyline. Moreover, Emma is still the main character and every arc has ultimately come back around to her story, so I hope for that to continue. There has not been much talk of what to expect except the possibility of seeing Ruby and Dorothy as well as Maleficent and Lily again. Ruby and Dorothy are cute and sweet, but when it comes to side characters returning they should be compelling if they are to garner screen time, and have a significant connection to the main story. Their episode along with Merida’s in 5A were nice and enjoyable stories out of context but had very little connection to what was going on with the main characters. At this point in the series, I have grown leery and tired of screen time taken away from the main characters. Much like Ariel and Eric, Aurora and Philip, or Cinderella and Thomas, Ruby and Dorothy represent a sweet true love story, but for me if any of these couples are seen again there needs to be a significant link to the main story arc. And honestly I care more about our mains. We shall see what transpires with them. They could be included in a good way. Unlike the new couple whom I like, I cannot say the same for Maleficent and Lily. Well, I actually do like Maleficent, though she was my personal least favorite of the Queens of Darkness. In contrast I could watch Cruella all day long. But Lily on the other hand, similar to the Bae/Neal, I enjoyed the younger persona, but found their older self to be a grating, annoying and very unlikable characterization. Do we really need to know who Lily’s father is? Does a story with her sound compelling and engaging? I know some may disagree, but for me at this point it’s a no.

However, I always try to take a positive attitude and not prejudge a story arc until I’ve seen it. Sure there are characters I would rather see return like August, Merlin or Elsa (and they may some day) but we do not dictate the story. We must watch and enjoy what we get. And they have done a beautiful job every year so far. I also thought of ways in which all the things we may see could actually be great, tying into with some scenes with Emma that may ending up being foreshadowing. With the return of the Evil Queen I would love the idea of Emma and Killian being placed in the same position that Snow and Charming were in since the “Pilot,” their love and happiness threatened by the queen. I recently re-watched the episode from Season 4 “Shattered Sight” and wonder if it was a little peak into what we may expect. And I honestly loved that episode. The way Regina reacted against Emma, Snow and David may very be what we will see with the Evil Queen in Season 6. The line Emma said to provoke her so they could get their ribbons off was interesting too: “I wanted you to see me and Hook together- to see the happiness you could never have.” Could that now be foreshadowing of how they will be targeted for having happiness she cannot have? That could be a great story!

Moreover, there have been a few scenes that may be foreshadowing that Emma may fall under a sleeping curse: when Emma says she will “sleep for weeks” once Hades is defeated and in 5×23 when Regina pricks Emma’s finger for a tracking spell and Regina asked her why she was hesitant: ” Worried I might make you taken an eternal nap on a bus bench?” If Maleficent does indeed return I could not think of a more amazing thing than to finally see a scene like the iconic hypnotization of Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. In fact, when Maleficent was said to return in 4B I had theorized we might see that with Emma. Alas we did not, but we did see Emma and Killian under a sleeping spell. Might we see a sleeping curse for Emma now? If anyone could pull off this scene in an eerie and compelling way it would be Jennifer. And I for one would love, love, love to see it. And now that she and Killian have been confirmed as True love wouldn’t that be a beautiful parallel to Snow and David’s True Love’s kiss in the show’s very first scene. And remember what happened after that scene- a wedding.

Wedding Foreshadowing:
Once Upon a Time has done its fair share of foreshadowing, some subtle and some quite obvious. In relation to Emma and Killian there has been hints since the very beginning of wedding foreshadowing This season especially the visual and verbal cues have been more and more prevalent so much so that I thought the end of the season would end with a proposal. Although that didn’t happen, instead we got perhaps the final hint of wedding foreshadowing with a dress seen in between the couple, something that has been developing for a while now along with the many other hints and clues. Some may not agree that this last one was done on purpose but I still believe it was it was a final clue that lets the audience know a wedding is on the horizon. My mother, who is a good representative of a general audience member noticed it instantly- and loved it of course. Let’s explore all of the possible foreshadowing and clues we’ve seen so far:

2×6 “Tallahasse”
Killian is down on one knee, offering his hand to Emma.

2x6 hands

3×14 “The Tower”
Killian asks Emma if she was considering marrying Walsh, something she does not discuss with anyone else besides Henry.



3×21 “Snow Drifts”
Past Captain Hook carries Emma bridal style onto the Jolly Roger.

Emma is down on her knees and holds up a wedding ring to Killian.

3x21 ring

3×22 “There’s No Place Like Home”
Emma tries her mother’s wedding ring on her ring finger- the ring that “true love follows wherever it goes.”



(X) (X)

4×4 “The Apprentice”

During their first date, Emma mentions that Walsh set the bar high by proposing on the date Killian had seen her go on.



4×5 “Breaking Glass” Killian holds up a mood ring from Emma’s box of childhood mementos.


4×13 “Unforgiven”
The vows to see the best in each other sound a bit like wedding vows. This one may be a stretch but is still lovely.




5×2 “The Price”
The ball at Camelot looks as if it’s a wedding from Snow helping Emma prepare, to her beautiful white lace dress, to the way she walks toward Killian as he looks at her much like a groom looks onto a bride. The dance they share looks like a wedding!

emma snowemma snow1emma snow2.gif

wedding cswedding dance

(X) (X) (X)

5×4 “The Broken Kingdom”
Killian and Emma “ride off into the sunset” on a horse, sharing a romantic love affirmation moment during sunrise in a field of hundreds of pink Middlemist flowers with Emma adorned in a lovely white dress and cloak with a long train.



cs kiss 1

cs kiss 2

(X) (X)

5×7 “Nimue”
Killian gives Emma a ring saying he’s not proposing, but giving her a symbol of protection and love.





(X) (X) (X)

5×10 “Broken Heart”

Merida talks about taking an arrow to Emma’s knee, an allusion to a wedding and Emma marches down an aisle slowing in the field of Middlemist flowers.


When it comes to the wedding dress, I knew we had seen it before, so I decided to go back through every episode (and I mean EVERY episode) to see when it first showed up. And what I found was pretty amazing. At the very least, what has been in this window of the shop “Modern Fashions” since Season 2 has always been tied to Emma, but I would argue it’s been there since Season 1, perhaps not intentional at first, but since season 4 it has undoubtedly been so.

In Season 1, you see a Pink dress in the window. No, it’s not Emma’s dress she wore on her date, but it does have that feel. We see this in a few episodes throughout Season 1.

1x1 dress

1x2 dress

1x12 dress

In Season 2, the first and truly only time you see the window with any kind of partiality is in 2×10 “The Cricket Game.” The dress is gone, replaced by a sign, as if the store is in transition, (Kind of like Emma). Interesting enough this is the episode right after Killian arrives in Storybrooke.

2x10 window sign

In Season 3, we see the sign remains and we can now see what it says: Coming Soon: One Stop Cobbling. It’s a sign with a shoe. This is striking to me for many reasons. Not only that these scenes are all scenes with Emma in 3×10 “The New Neverland,” 3×12 “New York City Serenade,” and 3×19 “A Curious Thing,” but also that two of these also included Killian.

3x10 winddow sign

3x12 window sign

Additionally, shoes are associated with weddings with the tradition of throwing shoes and rice at weddings (Remember that line in Sinatra song The Tender Trap– “the folks are throwing shoes and rice”), as well as tying shoes and cans to couple’s car along with a “Just Married” sign.

From Season 4 onward, I have no doubt that what is in this window is connected to Emma. It is pretty remarkable actually. With the exception of the first clear view of the dress and one very important moment, we only see this window in scenes that feature at least one of either Emma or Killian. There are a few instances of groups shots, but we never see a scene with the window in a scene that does not feature either Emma or Killian. That is pretty significant, in my opinion.

The wedding dress first appears in 4×1 “A Tale of Two Sisters.” There is a blurry view of it in the group shot at the beginning but it was not clear what it was yet. The first clear view is a scene where Elsa walks down the street- a transition to her remembering Anna trying on her wedding dress.

4x1 dress
Some may argue that makes the dress connected to Elsa, but in truth it is meant to be related to Emma. Emma and Elsa form a friendship and sisterly bond much like she and Anna. Moreover, every time we see it after that scene it’s with Emma or the man she is destined to marry- Killian. It’s no coincidence that after Emma and Killian shared their first real kiss in 3×22 “There’s No Place Like Home” and are about to embark on a relationship, the sign goes away and the wedding dress is put into the window.

The next time we see the dress is the first confirmation that the dress in this window (wedding or otherwise) has a undeniable connection to Emma. AND IT IS MIND BLOWING!!! In 4×2 “White Out,” as the power goes out we see a shot of the window, the light still on and the wedding dress clearly seen. What is amazing is what is in front of the window. It is a bench with the year 1983 on it. WELL 1983 IS THE YEAR EMMA SWAN WAS BORN! As we know, the show began in 2011 and that Emma turned 28 in the “Pilot,” making her birthday October 23, 1983.

4x2 wedding dress bench

The next episode with the dress is as significant as can be. In 4×3 “Rocky Road” Killian walks right by the shop and quite importantly, Emma admits that she can’t lose Killian and he assures her the he is a survivor. From that moment Emma’s walls were minimal and the two continued to fall deeper in love. The dress is seen in between the couple right before her admission “I Can’t Lose You Too.”

4x3 dress1

4x3 dress

In 4×10 “Shattered Sight” it is prominently seen behind Emma, and Killian briefly walks by it.

4x10 dress

4x10 dress1

In 4×13 “Unforgiven” we see it behind Emma and Killian as they walk hand in hand to Granny’s This is the last time we see the window in season 4.

4x13 dress1

In Season 5, the dress is seen in two significant scenes at the beginning and end of the season. In between, what we see solidifies that the dress in this shop window is meant to be connected to Emma.

In 5×2 “The Price” we see the wedding dress in a scene with Dark Swan Emma as she looks on at her loved ones in Granny’s. It’s a powerful image that represents her isolation, her dark present and her bright future. The contrast and dark and light is significant.

5x2 dress

And then comes something amazing. The next time we see the window is in 5×11 “Swan Song.” The wedding dress has disappeared and replaced with another dress- Emma’s black fitted dress she wore in 5×2. This was most likely a signification that the Dark Swan was able to “die” and indeed in this episode Savior Emma returns.

5x12 ds dress

What is mind blowing again is that in the Underworld her dress remains in that window.

5x12 ds dress 1

5x12 ds dress 2

5x19 ds dress

(X) (X)

The underworld is meant to have an equivalent to everything in Storybrooke, so if Emma’s dress is in the window in the Underworld then whatever is in the shop in Storybrooke is meant to be hers as well.

Finally, we when arrive back in Storybrooke and the window is seen again, the last and perhaps final and most significant scene occurs. A wedding dress is back in the window to Modern Fashions in 5×23 “An Untold Story.” What’s interesting is that is different dress than the one that we’d seen before- the one Alice wore on her wedding day.

alice dress

alice dress 1

alice wedding dress1


Perhaps there is no significance to that, but I do think it’s significant that the season was bookended by two very different scenes with the dress: one where Emma is alone at night- the darkness still within her and Killian, and then with the two of them during the day, free from the darkness and ready for a bright future together.

5x23 dress

In this moment Emma tells Killian she loves him for the first time simply because she wants to. The placement of the gown is also important as the dress is in clear and beautiful view, perfectly centered between them – the first time that has ever happened. This is the final exquisite sign that this wedding dress in meant for her. It always has been.

We don’t know when, but a wedding is surely on the horizon for Emma and Killian. The signs are there. They have proven their True Love. And when they finally have their happy day it will undoubtedly be as beautiful as anything we’ve ever seen.

cs kiss1


Once Upon a Time: “Our Decay ” Further Thoughts

This episode was a real treat and pleasant surprise. I covered most everything in my Nerd Machine review, but there were some things I wanted to further discuss because they warmed my heart, gave me hope, and set the wheels in my brain turning for the rest of this arc to make Operation Firebird successful.

A Beautiful Reading:



Hearing Emma read a page from the Storybook about her parents singing a lullaby to her little brother was one of my favorite scenes the show has ever done. It was so pure, heartwarming and lovely and Jennifer Morison has the ability to convey so much warmth with her soothing voice.

Watch the lovely scene over again

But another reason why this scene struck me so deeply was because it gave me hope that this is a moment that is foreshadowing something I have longed predicted and wished for. For a long time I have had two moments in my head that would happen at the end of the series. One of these would be Emma blowing out a candle on her birthday, mirroring the “Pilot” and bringing everything full circle. Only this time she will not be alone but surrounded by family and friends. But the other scene I have imagined is one where Emma is reading the Storybook to her and Killian’s baby, with him sitting beside her or watching from afar, smiling with love and wonderment. Hearing Emma read this moment, especially given that it was about parents and their child, gives me tremendous hope that a scene like this may actually materialize in the series finale. And if it does, I will be exceptionally moved, happy an probably cry for days.

Want to hear further proof that Jennifer can narrate in an engaging and melodic way. Just listen to her narration on this amazing special “The Secrets of Storybrooke” which aired before the premiere of season 4B, which is just plain fantastic in its own right.

Secrets of Storybrooke

A Loving Father:


I love Robin Hood’s character. His true heart, sense of honor, and fierce bravery are some of the qualities I love most. But another is that we’ve always seen him be such a loving and protective father. I have wanted to see more of character in this arc but sadly his screen time has not been what I hoped for. But in this episode at least we got to see further examples of his beautiful characteristics. Robin is right. Setting a good example- helping friends and being heroic- is important. It can give his children something to look up to and learn by. The best moments in this episode were him holding his baby girl. Wasn’t the scene where he and Regina lovingly look at her, she commenting that the baby has Robin’s eyes enough to make your heart soar. And As I said in my Nerd Machine review:

“I could not help but be choked up when his daughter was back in his protective arms as he cradles and kisses her saying, “Daddy’s got you.” If your heart did not melt in that moment then perhaps it’s made of stone, for this thief has certainly stolen mine.”



(X) (X)

Snow and Charming’s Lullaby:



(X) (X)

When the scene came and Snow suggested that they sing a lullaby to their son as they try to contact him from the Underworld, who else wanted to hear it? What song did they sing? A musical episode may be too much to hope for, but given the musical talent of so many cast members, hearing them sing a lullaby is certainly plausible. What song do you imagine they sung to baby Neal? These are some of my favorite lullabies.

“All Through the Night” (Road to Avonlea)- Cedric Smith

“Baby Mine” (Dumbo) – Allison Kraus

“Hushabye Mountain” (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)- Dick Van Dyke

Babies, Babies, Babies:

There is certainly a baby boom in Storybrooke and this episode reminded us of such as babies were the topic of just about every aspect of the episode: Snow and Charming’s boy, Robin and Zelena’s girl, and Rumple and Belle’s unborn child.


baby neal.gif


I do find it interesting that, as fellow blogger Shira pointed out on her site tough-lass, Killian was looking at Robin’s baby, and we still have the scene from the previous episode to remember and ruminate on. There was a specific direction for Killian to look at the nursery in the script, and it cannot simply be for fun that Emma and Killian’s house is filled with children’s toys. This is not merely a reflection of Emma’s lost childhood. That is part of it. But I refuse to believe it is that alone. Everything has a purpose on this show. Emma and Killian are surrounded by examples of what their future can look like: children to hold, love, and comfort and sing off to sleep. I would love to hear them discuss this in some form on screen because it would be lovely. But if they don’t we know this is not for nothing. These are deliberate, visual cues. Emma and Killian will have a family and a happily ever after someday. I just know it.




Diner Prices:

I was amused that everything in the diner is the exact same price: $10.95. I am not sure what the significance of that number is but it’s hilarious that no matter what you order you must pay the same steep price. I mean 11 bucks for a piece of dry wheat toast. This is Hell!!


Hades’s Torture:

Now that we have learned the backstory for Hades and Zelena, and that he loves her, we know what Hades was so angry at Cora and served her such harsh punishment. He did it undoubtedly in defense of Zelena for abandoning her. And we know that he tortured her to learn when Zelena’s birthday was. And yet we still don’t know why he was so brutally torturing Killian. There has to be more of an explanation and we need to know.

Light Magic, True Love, and Rebirth: (Slight Spoilers Ahead)

I was speaking with some friends the other day about the fact that Emma’s magic has been working perfectly in the Underworld and yet Regina and Zelena’s has not. I think the reason why is simple. Emma is the Savior and has LIGHT Magic- the lightest of anyone. And Light magic is too strong to be subdued, contained or stopped in the Underworld. Light magic is also a great weakness to Hades. I believe this will all be connected with how Killian is resurrected because what is the greatest source of light magic- True Love. When you share True Love’s Kiss that is the most powerful magic of all. It restores life and brings light to the darkness.

tlk snowing.gif

tlk emma

Adam and Eddy said Emma’s role as the Savior is just beginning and her presence in the Underworld is a sign of such not only in rescuing the man she loves, but bringing life to a place that had none. As Hades said, “The Underworld is a place for destruction. Despite my best intentions, things don’t grow here. They decay.” But when looking at a still for the next episode “Her Handsome Hero”  Hades finds that a flower had miraculously grown. How is this possible?


I believe Emma’s presence more than anything is a contributing factor. She represents hope and light. And Nature in itself is a miraculous thing. It can sprout in places that seem impossible. A single flower can grow through cement. It’s quite beautiful that the writers are continuing the symbolic use of flowers to represent love, hope and rebirth. Those scenes in 5A in the field of Middllemist flowers were more than just visually beautiful. They were each representation of something. The first two especially were significant. The first was about hope renewed and love reaffirmed. The second was about love lost and then reborn as Emma restored Killian’s life by turning him a Dark One. As tragically different as the second scene was in essentials, it’s beauty and symbolism remained the same. These scene were all connected and the continued use of growth in the Underworld proves that when it comes to Emma (and Killian) love will endure and hope is never lost.

cs flowers1cs flowers

Moreover, it important to combine these symbolic elements with other crucial aspects of this arc: the name of the mission to save Killian, and the moment he and Liam shared before Liam was able to move onto a better place.




A firebird is like a phoenix- a mystical bird hat rises from the ashes and is reborn after death. Coincidentally there is an upcoming episode entitled “Firebird,” that will center around Emma’s character and we suspect her time in, importantly Phoenix. Moreover, the moment between brothers was  I beelive a moment of true love. Liam’s sacrifice allowed Heaven to open up to him and his crewman and the look on Hades’ face says it all. He was completely shocked. A moment of true love, a moment of light magic, are clear foreshadows to the way in which Killian’s life will be restored. His rebirth will be because of true love. But what is important to remember is that beyond saving Killian’s life, more souls may be saved as well. So many have already been.. If indeed a pulse of true love sweeps over the Underworld, it will bathe this place of darkness with light. What will happen as a result of that? Emma is the savior after all. Will she be Killian’s savior? She already has been in so many ways. But is there more to the power of her light magic, power that will stem from True Love? We shall see, but whatever may come, it sure to be filled with great beauty and meaning.

Think about the times Emma arrived in Storybrooke bringing life to a town that was asleep, her yellow bug and red leather jacket representing the color that the town was devoid of, it’s residents living a gray monotonous existence.


But Emma brought color to their lives- she brought hope and life. And now I suspect she is doing the very same thing in the Underworld. Only this time she is filled with a love so great, in a heart she is willing to share. That is not only shows tremendous growth but is very powerful. If the Savior has a moment true love that is sure to be more powerful than anyone could possibly imagine.

 (X) (X)  (X) (X)  (X) (X)

Captain Swan & More Further Thoughts on “Devil’s Due” and Beyond

This first edition of “Further Thoughts” for 5B is a little bit different as it will be an amalgam of many things. First off, there are some things that I didn’t have the proper space to discuss in my Nerd Machine review. Second, there were a few sections from that review I wanted to elaborate on with visual references. Third, which is something different, I’m speculating and theorizing on a few things. Lastly, before this half of the season began, ABC released some truly beautiful videos that I wanted to relive. Spoilers/speculation ahead so be fair warned.

-Emma and Killian’s House looks like Emma’s Nursery: 

When I first watched the episode, I thought the fact that part of Emma’s nursery was in her and Killian’s house in the Underworld was really intriguing. At first I thought it was merely a reflection of Emma’s lost childhood. She never got to experience what her parents had planned for her so her nursery’s purpose was never fulfilled and has unfinished business. And while I still believe that is part of it, when I saw the episode stills and script tease for “The Brothers Jones,” it was confirmed in my mind that this nursery has multiple meanings.


cs script


This house was a representation of Emma and Killian’s future, so when he died that future and all its possibilities – including a family – perished as well. Whether it is something they discuss on screen in this upcoming episode or not, there is a specific point in the script to have Killian look at the nursery. In fact, the house is filled with child’s toys surrounding them in the living room and the kitchen. They are surrounded by representations of the family they could have. Perhaps this even means the family they are meant to have and will one day when his life is restored, because a life filled with love, and the product of that love, could very well be Killian’s unfinished business. This house and that future is theirs.

-True Love is Always Felt:

One of the most beautiful things Once Upon a Time has always emphasized is that true love is felt across barriers and realms. That love you feel can manifest in physical ways as if your heart and souls are truly connected. I spoke about this in my review.

“When you truly love someone, no distance or obstacle can ever sever that bond. There’s a profound connection between souls that can be felt in inexplicable ways. Killian knew that it was truly Emma who’d come for him because when you love someone you just know, and when they approach where Killian is being held, Emma clutches his ring, and a feeling of certainty comes over her. He is close. She can feel it.” – Expert from my review at The Nerd Machine 

cs love felt

cs love felt1.gif

snow feelsnow feel1

(X) (X)

What I love is that this not only further establishes Emma and Killian’s love as being one that is so deep that it just fell on a spiritual level, but also that it parallels them, once again, to the show’s other epic love story – that of her parents Snow and Charming. When Snow ate the poison apple Charming could feel it. This is the parallel I dreamed of seeing because it’s poignant and beautiful and I’m so happy that Emma has found someone to share such a similar and profound connection with.

-Beautiful Symbolism:

I discussed in my review the exquisite symbolism of Emma rescuing Killian from falling into the River of Lost Souls. They were two people who were indeed lonely, lost souls until love brought light back into their lives. And Emma is definitely the light in Killian’s life. I am just astounded at this visual of the light of appearing on his face, combined with that look of love and adoration. Bravo to director Alrick Riley and director of photography Stephen Jackson for visually capturing such a beautifully significant, symbolic moment.

“But what was so stunning was the first look he gives her was one of relief, joy, and amazement. As she cradles his face that is bathed in darkness, suddenly the light appears on the single eye he can gaze upon her with. Light, and love, had returned to him, because Emma is the light in his life.”- Expert from my review at The Nerd Machine 

cs light


-Part of the Charming Family:

One of the things I’ve wanted to see this season was Snow and David acknowledge and call Killian family. While that is still verbally yet to happen, much of what they are saying and doing shows that they do consider him family, and someone that will help with open arms. From David always staying on track with their mission of saving him, to Snow calling him a friend, it has been so wonderful to see this development. But the moment in “Devil’s Due” when they arrive to see him safe, David a beaming smile on his face, and Snow calling him by his name, showing sweet, genuine concern for his physical state like a mother, was so lovely and heartwarming. Now if only we could see one or both of them give their future son-in-law a hug!

charming family concerm1.gif

charming family concerm.gif

(X) (X)

-Regina and Snow Come Full Circle:

Something I did not have space to discuss in my review what a lovely moments between Regina and Snow where we truly see them come full circle in their relationship. The show began because Regina could not forgive Snow for Daniel’s death. But now so much has changed and I thought it was touching that it was the two of them that found Daniel’s grave together, happy to see that he’d moved on. The two of them are in a better place with each other so it’s fitting that Daniel is too. While at first the scene where Regina helped an ailing  horse seemed random, I realized it was about bringing these characters full circle. Not only that Regina could show mercy and aid the animal she loves dearly and brought her so much joy when she was younger, but also to mirror where Snow and Regina first began, because when they first met Regina saved Snow on a runaway horse. We know things did not go well after this, but they’ve come back around and they are back to that sincere affection they felt when they first met.

-Cruella is Fabulous, Darling:

I don’t have much to say except that I love, love, love Victoria Smurift’s depiction of Cruella. From her voice, dry wit, and demeanor she is absolutely fabulous. And I laughed for days at this image.



-What’s Next for The Jones Brothers and Emma:

While I try not to speculate too much, when a highly anticipated episode is approaching I cannot help it and “The Brothers Jones” is sure to be a spectacular one. If you are curious about how I see things playing out look no further than anything written by qqueenofhades and hooks-and-feathers as I pretty much agree with their theories. But I also want to express my own thoughts and excitement, and build upon what they said. Let’s first look at the sneak peek for the episode.

jones brothers 2.gif

jones brother 3


It seems as if Liam looks uncomfortable at his brother’s praise of him and while I could play out in many ways, I suspect Emma’s lie detector is going off and she can sense that something is off. I do not believe Liam’s is a bad person, nor do I think he is wrong to be protective of his brother. I also feel for Emma because she knows how much Killian loves his brother. And therein lies the drama – drama that I believe will be resolved in moving ways. Besides Emma, there is no one Killian admires and loves it as much as Liam. He always says he is a far better man than he is. But like anyone, Liam is not perfect. He is a good but flawed man just like his younger brother.

jones brothers4.gifjones brothers5

(X) (X)

In “Good Form” Liam says he should’ve listened to Killian. He was stubborn and suffered because of it. Perhaps Liam’s unfinished business is to listen to his brother, truly, and see that he is happy. This is something Killian has to learn as well. That his brother can be someone to admire but not because he’s this perfect being incapable of making a mistake, but because he can overcome them. And if there is a moment where Killian must make a choice between moving on brother or staying with Emma, as I suspect there will be, I will surely lose it. And Killian should not be thought of any less of for it. He has lived a long life, suffered so much pain and loss, and now has been mercilessly tortured. He’s broken. He’s tired. Considering moving on, even for a moment, doesn’t mean he loves Emma any less. He was ready to die when his wound from Excalibur opened. He was just happy knowing Emma would have a future.  And he would never abandon her unless he felt she would be okay and happy. But this all has to be his choice. She has to give him the choice and be willing to let him go. Because deep down we know neither really wants to do that. They want to hold onto each other. What’s important is that it has to be their individual choices to do so. I just hope Liam moves on, reconciles any hard feelings with Emma, and Killian can see his brother at peace.

-Is Hades Threatened by Emma and Killian’s Love?

I wondered why Hades has been torturing Killian so severely even before our heroes arrived, and why he seems so hell-bent on punishing them, beyond the fact that they brought hope to the Underworld. I have a feeling that the true love between Emma and Killian is a great threat to Hades. Adam and Eddy hinted that Killian is a special soul to Hades, and we’ve seen how powerful Emma’s expressed true love can be when her True Love’s Kiss with Henry broke the curse in season one. Can you imagine how powerful the romantic true love for Emma could be? She is the Savior and I’ve always believed that Killian’s character was meant for great things. It’s why the characters were written as such an epic love story. True love is the most powerful magic of all and I truly believe that Emma and Killian’s love is meant to vanquish darkness.

-Go The Distance:

I love the movie Hercules especially the song “Go the Distance.” When I heard they were to do and Underworld arc I was so delighted. But when I really looked at the lyrics to the song, I was so amazed how much they could be related to Emma and Killian’s characters and relationship. Tell me this does not feel so reminiscent of them.

I have often dreamed of a far off place
Where a hero’s welcome would be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer when they see my face
And a voice keeps saying, this is where I’m meant to be I’ll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile, will be worth my while
When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong
Down an unknown road to embrace my fate
Though that road may wander, it will lead me to you
And a thousand years would be worth the wait
It might take a lifetime but somehow I’ll see it throughAnd I won’t look back, I can go the distance
And I’ll stay on track, no, I won’t accept defeat
It’s an uphill slope but I won’t lose hope
‘Til I go the distance, and my journey is complete

But to look beyond the glory is the hardest part
For a hero’s strength is measured by his heart

Like a shooting star, I will go the distance
I will search the world, I will face its harms
I don’t care how far, I can go the distance
‘Til I find my hero’s welcome, waiting in your arms

I will search the world, I will face its harms
‘Til I find my hero’s welcome, waiting in your arms

And in “Devil’s Due” they are both heroes in back in each other’s arms.

cs rescue.gif
I also wonder how often we are going to apply this quote to this arc?
crazy love hercules
-Reliving Beauty:

During the night of the 100th episode celebration, ABC released this truly breathtaking video that relives the 100 heroes, villains, lands, adventure, and love in the first 100 episodes. Watching it I was brought to tears and left in awe. It’s videos like this that really demonstrate how remarkable Once Upon a Time really is. It’s a special show and it has changed my life.

“100 Episodes of Once upon a Time”

This next video highlighted the beautiful and epic love story between Emma and Killian and I once again was brought to tears as their most significant moments (and many of my favorite ones) are highlighted to showcase the depth, brevity, and specialness of their love story. What is touching was what was said about their story “They are each other’s happy ending. Their love has lasted through it all…until now.” And then it asks “Will there love survive?” On a show like Once Upon a Time you do not pose a question like this unless the answer is yes. Of course their love can survive. True love after all can survive any distance or obstacle put in its path. Not even death can stop true love. The question is not if, but how. How will Emma and Killian’s love overcome this? The story is not yet complete, but this next chapter of my favorite fairy tale will no doubt prove that love can conquer all.

“Once Upon a Love Story: Emma & Hook”