‘Once Upon a Time’ barrels towards its mid-season finale
Sunday, and fans only have one question on their mind: Will Emma and Snow make
it back to Storybrook?
I don’t think that’s really a question. Of course Snow and
Emma will make it back to Storybrook. It wouldn’t be much of a happy ending
I think the real question is, WHEN will Emma and Snow make
it back to Storybrook.
‘Once Upon a Time’ is just as strong in its sophomore season
as it was in its freshman season. Sure, I would have enjoyed more scenes of
weird family bonding – but there’s plenty of time for that.
Emma and Snow bonded as friends during the first season – as
equals. Now, though, Emma realizes this is her mother – a mother she has long
since held a grudge against because she believes she abandoned her.
The side trip back to fantasy land wasn’t about
manufacturing more drama for Charming and Snow – okay, maybe a little – but it
was really about building new bonds between Snow and Emma. Mary Margaret was a
lot different from Snow White. She showed traces of the woman she used to be –
but she didn’t have the strength that Snow White possessed.
In fantasy land, Snow and Emma have had a chance to get to
know each other in a way they wouldn’t have been able to back in the “real”
world. Emma has learned that her mother is strong and capable – and did what
she did to give her the best chance of survival. She didn’t give Emma up
because she wanted to. She gave her up because she had no choice.
And Snow? She has learned that, despite her best intentions,
Emma grew up feeling unloved and unwanted. She’s naturally suspicious of people
– because that’s how she survived. Emma builds barriers because she doesn’t
know any other way to live.
Back in Storybrook, Charming is also learning a few things,
too. He’s learning that he’s going to have to make some hard choices if he
wants to continue to be the leader the denizens of Storybrook believe he is.
I’ve also enjoyed the bonding time between him and Henry.
I think, by the end of Sunday’s episode, Emma and Snow will
either be back in town – or we’ll have a cliffhanger that leaves us wondering
about their fate. I’m leaning towards Snow waking Charming up with true love’s
kiss – but even if that happens in the opening moments when ‘Once Upon a Time’
returns after the holidays, I’m okay with that.
‘Once Upon a Time’ is one of those shows that is about the
journey – just as much as the ending – like ‘Lost’ was. That’s why it’s one of
the few shows on network television that manages to transcend the genre.
The other relationship that’s going to continue to be tested
will be that of Regina and Henry. I think they’re clearly setting up Regina and
Rumplestiltskin to be complex villains – that aren’t entirely bad.
With Cora heading to town – with Hook in tow – we now have a
true evil for the town to unite against. No matter how rotten she is, Regina is
still better than Cora.
Rumplestiltskin is going to have his hands full, too. Hook
is out to destroy him – and be another wheel in the cog for Emma’s heart,
alongside Pinocchio and Henry’s father (who I still think is Baelfire).
What do you think? Have you enjoyed season two as much as