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Once Upon a Time Review: Emma's True Curse

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Has there ever been a woman more unlucky in love than Emma Swan?  "Second Star to the Right" brought Once Upon a Time's pair of star crossed lovers together just to tear them apart once again.

But before we get to that, let's visit the fairy tale past first.  

Strapped Down

When Baelfire fell through that portal without his father he landed in 19th century London, England as a starving orphan. I suppose he found that more desirable than having the Dark One for a father. Knowing that your father can literally crush your friend's like a bug can be a little hard to live with.

Things weren't going too badly for young Bae. Being taken in by the Darlings looked like a pretty nice life, but it wasn't meant to last. 

Apparently magic followed Bae wherever he went which quickly landed him in the waters outside of Neverland. But when he escaped from the shadow's grasp to fall into the sea, wasn't that reneging on the deal he made?  Wouldn't the shadow be able to go back and snatch one of the little Darlings?  

At least now we know how Neal and Hook know one another. Hook saved him from the sea. Does that mean he became a crew member on the Jolly Roger? 

Back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold was relishing letting his evil side show with Lacey. Did anyone else wonder why she was so interested in immortality?  She'd obviously already expected that he used magic.  Was she only hanging around to see what magical goodies she could acquire as the Dark One's mistress?  

I don't trust Lacey's motivations when it comes to anything, and specifically when it comes to her relationship with Mr. Gold. If she turns on him, the question may become whether Gold will view her as Lacey or remember that his true love Belle may still live beneath that trampy exterior.

Meanwhile Regina was being tortured by Greg. If anyone could laugh in the face of pain and suffering it's Regina. Believing she's about to die, she told Greg she killed his father decades ago and buried him at their campsite.  In true Regina fashion, she just wanted to see the look on his face when she said the words. 

But was Regina telling the truth? Was that really his body buried in the woods or was it yet another trick from the Evil Queen?

Mary Margaret was still trying to heal her blackened heart by saving Regina. As Mr. Gold said, never underestimate a guilty conscience.

The climax of the episode was all about Emma and Neal and I'm still reeling. 

At first I was afraid that Tamara's interruption on the beach would be the end of their conversation but as we found out in this interview with actor Michael Raymond-James who portrays Neal, they finally talked about their past.  And Emma got to hear some of what she'd been longing to in this Once Upon a Time quote...

Neal: There hasn't been a day that's gone by that I don't regret having left you. | permalink

Neal was completely blindsided when confronted with the truth about Tamara. He never saw it coming, but really how could he.  What sane person would think that every moment of their relationship was a lie?

For a moment I hoped that Emma and Neal would walk out of the cannery together, hand and hand but I was being naive. As they literally hung on to one another for dear life, they finally confessed that they still loved one another.

And then in a completely selfless act, Neal let go and fell through the portal to who knows where.  He wouldn't allow their son to grow up an orphan and relieve the suffering of his parents. 

Poor Emma got her happy ending for all of about 10 seconds. When it comes to love, the woman is truly cursed.

With next week's Once Upon a Time season 2 finale looming, will we ever know Neal's fate and is there any hope that Storybrooke will survive? 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (103 Votes)

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

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I was also bugged that Peter and Tink weren't shown, and that the shadow was made evil. But I guess some things have to be changed. Love the attention to details on the show, though - they even showed Nana with a pot on her head.

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I agree with every one, Tamara MUST die. Neal must live. Not sure that I want to see Emma and Neal together, kinda like Emma and Hook. What I'm really surprised about is that no one is commenting on the Disney World commercial with Regina!!! It was completely fantastic. I Loved it. I've always thought that they should tie the two together. It was absolutely perfect.

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Did anyone else notice that the shadow looked suspiciously like a Heartless? (Kingdom Hearts for those who don't know)

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THAT TAMARA CHICK HAS TO GO........SHE'S A TOTAL BITCH. THE ACTRESS WHO PLAYS TAMARA I LIKE HER AS SASHA ON THE WALKING DEAD. TAKE HER OUT OF STORYBROOKE AND SEND HER BACK TO THE ZOMBIE WORLD WHERE SHE ACTUALLY BELONGS. AS FOR EMMA AND NEAL THAT WAS A SAD BUT TOUCHING SCENE BUT I DON'T THINK NEAL IS DEAD........... HE MIGHT FIND HIS WAY BACK TO EMMA AND HENRY.

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Has there ever been a woman more unlucky in love than Emma Swan? Yes, actually, and coincidentally she's on the same show. Goes by the name of Regina Mills, also known as the evil queen. lol

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The Tamara, Greg "Home Office" conversation got me thinking who do they work for? The show runners have said that we will NEVER see a Star Wars crossover- but they never said anything about not seeing a Marvel Universe crossover. I think it would be cool if the "Home Office" was SHIELD. Look ever since the incedent with Thor, Loki and the Detroyer in New Mexico- SHIELD has been on guard against aliens and magic- this is just a continuation of that theme. I not saying I want to see the heli-carrier land in Storybrooke's harbor- but a little nood and wink to another Disney property would bee cool.

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I'm disappointed we didn't get to meet Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. Hopefully next episode.

Chrys

I loved the episode, even though if there was one fairytale character i was looking forward to, that was Peter Pan. I had this perfect, little fantasy in my head of a Peter/Wendy reunion in Storybrooke. Well...we might still get to see Peter Pan...Bael obviously stayed young for a long, long time so at some point he must have left Hook's crew and become a Lost Boy. Or the leader of Lost Boys...therefore Peter Pan himslef.
Anyway...what's worrying me the most is that with Bael gone Gold won't be a hesitant to harm Henry. Can Belle come back like...right now? Because he really, really needs her. And i don't feel that Lacey's falling for Gold...not even for his dark side.She doesn't feel like Bad Girl Lacey to me...more like Sociopath with manic tendencies Lacey.
Neal is...better...be alive! I'll guess fairytale land...maybe Mulan's there to give him a hand?

Danielle50

I loved Snow and Regina this episode. In next week episode they is going to stop Tamara and Greg as a family but I wonder would it be Emma or Snow that goes back to save Regina just in time. I knew that Peter Pan would come off as evil since Captain Hook is a anti-hero. I do not think that science could have pick up on that fail proof curse so that was stupid. I agree that Charming was useless but I never liked him and this episode was kind of refreshing without Henry. I also did not really like the Lacey/Gold story last night. Now with Neal gone and August a child then the only love interest left for Emma is Hook.

Spindae 2o

Fantastic episode!
-Wendy and the Boys! Little Bae/Neal was perfect. The boy really pulled it of. He and Wendy played it perfectly! The shadow instead of P.Pan was a nice touch.
-Mr Gold. Torn between Bae and Lacey it's nice. Lacey is the one who turns him into the man who needs to be for Bae and it's a really nice game.
-Connecting Regina and Snow was a great Idea. Regina vs Greg and Tamara was a great face-off. And come on could Charming be any more useless!
-Tamara and Greg the whole thing it is a bit to selfdestructable. I get more or less Greg's motives, but Tamara why girl, maybe we find out in S3!?
-Emma and Neal. They have chemistry. But it isn't the chemistry that made me love them in Tallaheese. It's a bit to adult. I did felt sorry for Emma. Deeply. -So THE BIG QUESTION IS WHERE WILL THIS TAKE US!? WHERE DID NEAL GO!? WILL WE RETURN BACK IN TIME TO THE ENCHANTED FOREST AND MEET YOUNG CORA, WITH ROSE STARRING? OR WILL IT BE A COMPLETELY NEW LAND?