Once Upon a Time Review: Keeping the NIghtmares Away

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

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

Swan Diving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (177 Votes)

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


Neal Cassady was the guy that Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road based on their adventures driving around. America so I am guessing its a made up name which is what I thought when he first said it. But then again it could just be a writers in joke.


I think Neal is BOTH Bae and the White Rabbit! If he is the white rabbit and is connected with Mad Hatter, it explains what was in his apartment that referenced the connection and it could explain him staying young (jumping portals with Mad Hatter, maybe?). Even though Bae left to another portal because he wanted him and his father to be safe from magic, he also grew up and during that time and might have had bad influences change his rational thinking? He is is Fathers son afterall. Maybe when he got the postcard, he was actually back to being a good boy? Maybe what August showed him snapped him back to who he really is? I'm hoping this is true! I want Bae to be Henrys Father and I think if you add the white rabbit connection it will explain him still being young and it would explain why he was so convinced when he saw what was in Augusts briefcase!


I think why this year seems darker is because we don't always have the characters we like. Like this week we barely saw Charming, Henry and Ruby and Regina, Rumplestiltskin and and Belle were missing. Some dynamics have changed, Henry and Emma are appart, as are Snow and Charming... Like some of you guys I don't like the current fairytale land and I'm not crazy aout the new characters, partly because I want to see storylines with the old characters. Like Ruby, Archie, the blue fairy, Cinderella, King George. I would also love to see some loved ones reunite like Grumpy and Nova (Astrid), Kathryn and Frederick (the school teacher), August (Pinocchio) and his father... I'm afraid they introduced too many new characters too fast.


Truly love this show and this was a good episode that revealed alot about Emmas past in a story that I loved. My favorite episodes tend to be the ones with all the main characters (Emma,Snow, Henry, Charming, Regina, and Gold) so even though this episode didn't have that I enjoyed it due to Hook and the new questions it presents. What was in the box,how did August send that Postcard considering the last time we saw him he was all wood, and what is up with the nightmares? It's gonna be a fun road to find out.


i think this was the saddest episode of OUAT. i felt so bad for emma. but sit;;, i got mad at her when she left hook with the giant. i like their chemistry


@Enkeli - Assuming Rumple knew the exact date Bae arrives through time, why would he chose to go there *after* Bae arrives and not *before.* He could just have easily figured out Bae's arrival date - 29 years so he allows himself enough time to ensure he is right there when Bae comes through, and he could continue to guide his son to adulthood without any time lost.


I had a lot of the same questions as the reviewer about this episode, though I did enjoy it, especially the part where Emma talked to the giant about how all humans are not the same. I was also glad to see that Mary Margaret/Snow was not about to go anywhere without her daughter! Good for you!
Though it is becomming darker, I still enjoy the complex stories in OUAT.
I think the actors are top notch.


@Enkeli 14 + 28 = 42 and neal really did not look 42 and even if he was, a 31 year old going out with a 17 is really weird (in the 11 years ago bit where emma stole the car)


Wow guys, come on with the math: 14 + 28 = 42 If Rumple could pick the time and everything, Bae would have to be 42 right now (at least). And...I mean...he did seem older than Emma, definitely not 19. So he could still be Bae. But I think that might be too contrived at this point. I also think Bae would remember everything about his previous life and I have a hard time imagining him like that. I don't know, though. I could be wrong.


People, some comments: It was not some random event that made Bae fast-forward into the future: When Rumple created the curse HE chose the land and the time; so the curse took them to the time when Bae was sent there. So he should be 14 (more or less) + 28 = 32. Rumple said he buried the dagger as soon as he became aware of the curse, so he had it at the time. Then August only had a drawing of the dagger. If the dagger was on the box it would only make sense if: a- Neal is Bae, b- August took the trouble of taking the dagger to Rumple before Emma arrived in town, c- he made (or had someone make) a drawing of the dagger in case he "magically" forgot what it looked like, and d- he thought having a dagger in a box made a whole lot of sense and/or the box came with the package. Oh, and: where the hell would Pinocchio get such a valuable/protected dagger?

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