"And Straight On 'Til Morning" featured Storybrooke on the brink of destruction with no easy path available to pull it back.
Let's breakdown the Once Upon a Time season finale, shall we?
First we visited Neverland. When a young Baelfire landed on the Jolly Roger, it didn't take Hook long to realize that he was Rumpelstiltskin's son. Surprisingly, being Mila's son turned out to be equally as important.
Hook felt a connection to Bae. He was the child of the woman he loved and had been abandoned by his father. For a brief moment, Hook was willing to call Bae family. It was when Bae found out the truth and turned on him that Hook decided it wasn't worth the fight. It was far easier and more pragmatic to turn Bae over to the Lost Boys.
I'd like to think that Baelfire's parting words struck a nerve. Hook and Rumpelstiltskin do have a lot in common. They both take their revenge seriously and they both care about themselves before all else.
I have to admit, I think I need to go back and reread Peter Pan. I'm not quite sure what ripping someone's shadow straight from their body really means... but it certainly sounds ominous.
Back in Storybrooke, the Blue Fairy figured out how to restore memories just as everyone was about to die. That seemed a little too convenient a way to get Belle's memory back but I was so tired of Lacey that I won't complain. Especially considering that for a moment I wondered if Gold enjoyed being the Dark One so much that he might prefer to keep Lacey around.
Thankfully, Gold's reunion with Belle was heartfelt, as was this Once Upon a Time quote…
Mr. Gold: I'm sorry. I didn't want to wake you up to die, but I needed you. | permalink
As we watched Storybrooke turn back into the forest it once was I grew more annoyed by Greg and Tamara. All of this talk about the sacredness of the cause they were willing to die for sounded like a bunch of ridiculous rhetoric considering the two of them planned to flee the scene with their lives intact.
I was with Emma in her skepticism over the new plan. No one could predict what might happen when they sent the self destruct mechanism to another realm. Could it still destroy Storybrooke from beyond and leave Henry all alone? Would it decimate whatever world it landed in? The risk was huge.
Mary Margaret and Emma both made valid points for taking the hard path. Mary Margaret killed Cora because it appeared to be the most expedient way to get rid of her. In the end, it changed her forever and sent Regina on the rampage in search of her revenge.
And Emma showed her maternal protective instincts when she said she couldn't allow her son, who had just lost his father to lose yet another parent.
However. I was astounded that Emma hadn't checked that pouch when Hook gave it back to her. That was a rookie mistake and I expected better of her.
Regina was the one character who truly surprised me. She went from planning to kill off everyone close to Henry in order to have him all to herself to being willing to sacrifice herself so that Henry could have his family. That was quite the turnaround.
Regina: I tried to be the person that you wanted me to be and I failed but I won't let you be alone. | permalink
I had suspected that the season finale would come down to Regina and Emma finding a way to work together. What I didn't expect was Greg and Tamara coming back to snatch Henry.
My biggest question of the night was why did David stop Emma from jumping into the portal while it was still open. They all had a matter of seconds where they could have followed Henry but David stopped them. If I were Emma I would have been furious. As she told her mother…
Mary Margaret: Emma, you don't even know where you're going.
Emma: It doesn't matter. I'll track them down in Hell if I have to. | permalink
So headed into next season we have David, Mary Margaret, Emma, Regina, Mr. Gold and Hook all headed to Neverland to save Henry. Why would Peter Pan want the boy? I'm guessing there will be a lot more to learn about Baelfire's back story.
Speaking of Bae, Neal is alive! Thank goodness. But this should be interesting as all of these characters work together (hopefully) to save Henry. Will they try and head to the Enchanted Forest or make their way back to Storybrooke? Will Belle be able to protect Storybrooke or will it be overrun by magical seeking tourists?
As Once Upon a Time season 2 comes to an end we're left with plenty of questions and a whole new realm to explore. Are you ready for season 3?
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.