Once Upon a Time Review: The Unexpected Life

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There were so many twist and turns in Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 11 that it was a bit difficult to keep up.

But in the end it was one hell of a ride that took most of our favorites back to the Fairy Tale world and left two of them out on their own.

Cowering in Fear

Peter Pan continued his reign of indifference and evil as he cast the curse. First off, he had no problem using his most loyal Lost Boy Felix. And by use, I mean ripping his heart from his chest and crumpling it to dust. Sometimes there's just no payoff in being the loyal sidekick. 

As usual Rumpel had a plan, but he needed the Black Fairy's wand to make it happen. which felt like an odd plot twist. Had we ever heard of the Black Fairy before? Unfortunately this seemed like a patched together way to bring the Blue Fairy back to life and allow Tinkerbell to play hero.

Although Tink deserved the title. The more I've seen of her this season the more I like her. I especially liked that way she cut off all of Blue's mourners at the church with her, "yeah, it's a terrible, terrible thing" because there was no time for a recap of the evils of the Black Fairy with Pan's shadow on the loose.

Tinkerbell's spunky and fun and I hope the end of the Neverland story doesn't mean we lose her for good. 

Emma and Snow had several bonding moments as they both regretted having to give up their children for the greater good. Both wished they'd had it to do over again but that wasn't meant to be…or was it?

When Henry and Peter Pan's bodies switched back, Pan once again showed how little he cared for anyone but himself. He rejoiced in making his own son cower and taunted him by trying to make him feel like the village coward once again. 

As Rumpel looked down at the band on his wrist that wouldn't allow him to use magic, I really thought he was going to cut his own hand off to defeat dear old dad. 

Instead, he called for his dagger which I'd all but forgotten about and used it to kill his father, but he had to die in the process.

Poor Belle. I truly felt for her as she fell to the ground. She'd just gotten Rumpel back. Her love made him a better man and they both knew it but this was where that result led. 

When it came time to stop the curse, it all came down to Regina. But there was a price to be paid and they all needed to know what that was.

But Hook appeared to worry that she was hesitating as he asked in this Once Upon a Time quote

Can you stop it or should we all start preparing our souls because mine's going to take some time.


Leave it to Hook to make me laugh during the show's most dramatic moments; that's why I love him. Well, that and his love for Emma.

As Regina explained that the price was that she could never see the person she loved the most ever again, everyone felt the weight of it. And Henry blamed himself for trying to break the original curse in the first place.

Regina: I cast a curse out of vengeance and I'm a villain. You heard Mr. Gold, villain's don't get happy endings.
Henry: You're not a villain. You're my Mom.

Once again, the kid was torn between his two mothers but this time would turn out differently, even if he didn't know it. 

Regina gave Emma and Henry the past they should have had, even if it was only in their minds. They'd remember a past where Emma never gave him up. It may have been a lie but their future together would be the truth.

The one year time jump surprised me. I expected the show to end with that little yellow bug driving away from the Storybrooke that was. 

Instead we see Emma and Henry living a domestic and happy life together, until a strange knock at the door revealed a pirate with a hook. 

I loved that Hook kissed her. He was hoping that true love's kiss would unlock her memories. Unfortunately it doesn't work when it's a one way street. 

But Hook's a determined man and somehow he's found a way back to the real world to save Emma's family from some grave danger. I doubt something as trifling as her lack of memory or love for him will stand in his way.  

As Mary Margaret once told Henry…

Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a powerful thing.

Mary Margaret

Well, I for one choose to believe. And as much as I enjoyed the Once Upon a Time winter finale, I can't wait for it to return this on March 9th.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

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


I have one question I can't seem to answer: Bay (Neal) was not brought to the real world by Regina's curse. He came here through a portal, similar to Emma's. So, ok - he left through a portal and landed back in the enchanted forest. Then he made it to Neverland and then back to Storybrook. SO WHY wasn't he able to go with Emma? Or leave (just not with them). Leave back to NY. That is where they found him, where he would have been if Storybrook was never created. Can anyone answer this question? I know it is just a silly show - but this really bugs me. Bay could have then found Emma and they could have lived happily. OK, that would have seem more like an ending than a mid-season finale. So, besides that being a reason - can someone else explain to me why Bay couldn't leave?


Before I watch this episode I read that the show will return in March ,I said it's ok ,this season was a little bit boring I'll wait ,but after I watched this amazing episode I want March to come right now .It's the best episode in this season , I cried the half of it specially at the end , it wasn't enough for Emma that she had to leave her family forever but also she's gonna forget every thing about them too (sooo heartbreaking) .
I loved what Regeina did with Emma by make her believe that she's never abandoned Henry .
And I really sad that Gold is no longer in this show , I hope he will return in flashback scenes because we can't imagine once upon a time without him .
I loved the last scene between Emma and Hook so much .


Captain Swan is going to be the next epic fairytale love story. It has soo much potential since season 2, when Hook character debuted. So it would be a shame for the writers if they didn't take the opportunity.


what a tearful episode... it was all about sacrifice...something you could only understand if you have had to make the same sacrifices that all our favourite characters had to make...and yes happy endings are not what we expect it to be...lets hold onto hope as snow told henry to do...


So i guess that with storybrooke gone it doesnt mean that it was never there...it just disapeared and because if that it all makes sense with baelfire being henrys father and i mean hook remembered her so it just has to mean that it was only the memorys of emma and henry that faded away! Storybrooke existed and i aso think that hook and emma are going to get tigether because that amnesiacurse to be undone is not possible wth a true love kiss¡¡¡ as we could see from belle and rumple!! What gonna we dont know and i cant wait for march 9 !!



Sharda uma subramanian

I am glad that they are off the island. Watching them wear leather and walk in humidity weather, I kept thinking they must be chafing.
I almost gave up on them and I am glad I did not. This episode was good. It was nice to finally see everyone working well together and that Regina was selfless this time. I was mad that Peter Pan came back again and tried once again to stop everyone. Silly boy, the whole town has a card up their sleeve. I dare anyone to say that Rumpel is still a coward. What he did was brave, knowing the consequences and seeing Belle just crumple had me teary eyed.
Why do we have to wait until March to see what happens and now the Wicked Witch will be coming. This has been a really good season so far but I could have done without Medusa...


Rumpel can't be gone - He's my favorite character!

Alyssa lucker rawls

Ok here's my 2 cents on the mid-season finale and what's in store for everyone: Rumple = not dead, but no powers and he has returned to Enchanted Forest with everyone else. The seer told him the boy would be his undoing, well maybe the BOY was PAN, not Henry. His undoing most likely meant he would lose his powers. I seem to remember from the episode when he got the powers that the Dark One can't kill himself either, and isn't that what he technically did? Or did he, the dagger didn't go in deep enough...And I think that with whatever evil they're going to face in the Enchanted Forest, there will be a quest to FIND and RETURN Rumple's powers to him to help everyone, especially since they're going to need...
Emma/Henry= Will somehow get their memories back and go to Enchanted Forest
Neal = I think he's depressed and hiding out with Mulan and the Merry Men and Robin Hood, but he's Emma's one true love
Hook = Will end up with Tinkerbell
Regina = is not going to be on the wrong side of things the next half, she'll be a good guy
Black Fairy = Wicked Witch of the West

@ Alyssa Lucker Rawls

Funny that during the episode where it was revealed that Pan was Rumple's father, I told my sister that I felt the Seer's prediction was really meaning Pan and NOT Henry like everyone (including us!) thought! The Wicked Witch as the Black Fairy is a good thought...can't wait to see if you're right!

@ Alyssa Lucker Rawls

How do u know this please tell me i need to know


I'm so confused. Can anyone explain to me why Rumpel had to die in order to kill Pan?

@ leahhh

I'm a little confused with the details, but you only stop being the Dark One if someone kills you with that special dagger that has the Dark One's name on it. By killing Pan with that Dagger, Rumpel gave his powers to Pan (who probably wouldn't die then? IDK), so he just killed both Pan and himself at the same time, thus ending the curse of the Dark One. Probably they're both still alive though, but I think it's possible there'll be no more Dark One, they'll just be regular folks without magic or something of the sort.

@ Maria

I remembered something about the dagger. When the dagger was first introduced, before he became the dark one, it was stated that the dagger COULD NOT be used on anyone else, like a regular dagger. By doing so, you will kill yourself along with your foe. If anyone can correct me, please do so. I am still putting together all the facts and so forth for this show. I LOVE THIS SHOW. What a twist. Does this satisfy the wonder of why Rumpel died along with Pan?

Sharda uma subramanian
@ leahhh

Rumpel met the seer who told him that the boy would be his undoing. Rumpel thought she meant Henry but she was referring to his father who was Peter Pan, Rumpel knew the only way to stop Peter Pan would be killing himself and his father at the same time. Father and son dying together. But this is Once Upon a Time, and not everyone dies. Rumpel will be back

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Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

Blue Fairy: Have faith.
Snow: That's easy to say when you have magic wings and a wand.

Felix: Outwitting the Evil Queen in less than a day. That's impressive.
Peter Pan: She loves the boy. That makes her weak.