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 really hope this is not the end of the Neverland part of the series. I really want flashbacks on Wendy, Hook, Tinkerbell and Pan's life back then and how they all met...or maybe they should just make a Once Upon a Time in Neverland!

@ SingingxPassion

Sorry to say I can't stand with you on that one. I was so sick of Neverland and Pan I wanted to quit the show. Good riddance, as far as this fan is concerned. But on the lighter side we did get Tinkerbell and amending my statement a tiny wee bit, one or two flashbacks would be okay I guess.


Yepppp Captain Swan = True love!!!


it felt like and season finale and it could have beed a series finale too. Emma and henry together was a good ending, but i think neal could have stayed too because he was not part of the curse. he came before them. shows are now going with part a and b like teen wolf. don't kill rumple.


This is a sad episode everyone gave up someone/something they all love for the better good.I feel for the charming fam,rumple and bae and belle and Regina and Henry. They are family unit,they will do whatever to save their own.I'm in the minority here but I'm still hoping that Emma and Neal will find their way back to each other I just believe they are true love!I hope the writers dont mess the characters up!

@ Anon

You're not alone. There are quite a few SwanFire fans out there. We tend to be a quieter and more realistic group of Oncers but we're still out there believing in hope, second chances, and family for Emma & Nealfire. I firmly believe they'll eventually get their happy ending someday. It may take a little time for them to get there but their happy ending is still out there! =)

Drea xoxo
@ Heather

I'm here!!! I feel the hook arc is forced! he already had his OTL with Neil's Mum!! Now back to the episode at hand.
It was very sad!! i did not want rumple to die! he is a main character and necessary.
Glad that pan was his undoing and not Henry! never saw that coming until this episode tbf.
the hook kiss proved that neil is still her OTL so there is no need to debate anymore


I hope the fairytale characters didnt lose their memories. It would be sad to see regina go back to being evil. I am guessing she will be meeting her true love robin hood soon. Wonder wich witch will be on the show: wicked, oz or original?

Spindae 2o
@ Jl

in the preview for the next ep you see Snow saing we are back. so they most likely didn't .


Not sure what to think of the finale, there were things I liked (e.g. Rumpel's sacrifice, everything Emma/Regina, Hook's snarky comments) but also things I didn't like: Why a memory loss again? Seriously, we've been there! And where did the Black Fairy suddenly come from - ok, maybe the "black fairy" is the wicked witch from the promo, then we would have a connection again but still she's there out of the sudden... Question: did those who went back to EF also loose their memories and Hook had to get his back in order to find Emma? Or do they all remember Storybrooke?

@ San

And I forgot: wasn't that quite a small group of inhabitants at the end? I remember seven dwarves, Charming, Snow, Hook, Neal, Belle, Dr Hopper, Granny... but were the fairies there? Or Arielle and Eric? So the ones who weren't there went to the place of suffering Pan planed for everyone?

Spindae 2o

It was a great episode and I'm glad the Neverland story came to an end, at least for now, cause it wasn't well executed in my opinion. First of all Robert C. did such a great job, I loved all scenes including him even the flashback. I honestl thought he would go for his arm, cause we all new he could restore it like he did with Walsh's arm. But the fear, the strength, the love Robert show in this episode was just great.
I expected Emma and Henry to go back to the 'normal' world but not losing their memories and a year passing by. Emma & Regina had some strong lines and the whole goodbye scene was really sad, I honestly felt with Snow when she had to let go of Emma again.
I'm glad the story is headed back to the Enchanted forest and the real thing I wanna see is Snow & Regina be Bff's.

Ronald simkins

Excellent episode. Pity that we lost the actor who played Pan as he is 5 times better than the actor who plays Henry. I will miss Felix - loyal to the end not unlike Jamie Dorman's character. The heart truly is a lonely hunter.

Sixxx 6

Is it just me or did anyone else tear up when Emma and Henry were saying goodbye, especially with Regina. My heart was actually sad when everything disappeared. Will be interested to see what happens next, but to wait until March!!! Oh hell no!


Loved the episode. When tinker bell destroyed the shadow and then the blue fairy spoke I was with tinker bell saying wait shouldn't you be dead. I really thought Gold was going to cut off his hand and was surprised when he didn't. When Gold took the dagger and killed his father while also killing himself I was really shocked I never thought they would kill off Mr. Gold part of me hope they bring him back to life some how. I was surprised we got a 1 year time jump at the end and I wasn't expecting hook to come knocking on Emma's door when he kissed her and she kneed him and closed the door I hoped her memories would come flooding back but they didn't it looks like we'll have to wait till March for that to happen. I hope when the show starts up again they don't drag out Emma getting her memories back. I can't wait till the show to starts to again the next half of the season looks amazing.

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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.