WOW. Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 22 featured love, heartbreak and chilly new visitor to Storybrooke.
Below, TV Fanatics Carla Day, Michelle Calbert, and Robin Harry, Jim Garner, and Christine Orlando are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to debate happy endings, Prince Neal and the addition of Frozen to the mix...
Had you guessed who Emma was bringing back through the portal?
Carla: No. That reveal was the biggest disappointment of the finale. Haven't we already seen the brokenhearted Regina before? I hope the writers have an amazing twist on this that doesn't make Regina the evil, bad person again. She's much more interesting when she's likable. She barely had any time with Robin. Sad.
Gareth: Yeah. I recognized the actress from when she appeared in season two. I had this impending sense of doom all through the final hour. I was literally bracing myself for Regina’s heartbreak. It was still devastating when it happened though.
Michelle: Not at all. What a deliciously evil thing for the writers to do. Give Regina happiness and then have Emma take it away. Like mother like daughter, as Regina would say.
Robin: I thought she looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. It wasn't till right before the reveal that I figured it out. I said some bad words.
Christine: Not until they made it back to Storybrooke. When I saw Robin, Roland, and Regina looking like the perfect, happy family I knew it was about to get blown to hell. As much as I appreciate the symmetry of history repeating itself, I hate it for Regina.
What will Regina do now that Robin's first wife is alive?
Carla: I hope that it's not history repeating itself with her treating Emma like she did Snow after losing Daniel. We've seen that. She can be heartbroken, angry, but not vindictive if they want to keep my interest.
Gareth: I don’t think Marion will be around for long. Haven’t they learnt anything from Final Destination? You don’t cheat death. I think course correction may come into play. If she was meant to die, Marion will die.
Michelle: Go back to her Evil Queen ways and find a way to maybe send Marian back or change time or anything that will get her Robin back.
Robin: I hope that Robin realizes that he had come to terms with Marian's death and stays with Regina. I'll be really disappointed if she got any reason to devolve to the old Regina - there's nothing worse than a botched redemption story.
Jim: I hope she can find happiness. It seems like she she's always a bridesmaid and never the bride.
Christine: I've loved Regina's story of redemption. I hope it continues despite the obstacles and I hope that the writers have some plan to bring Robin and Regina back together.
What do you think of the name Prince Neal?
Carla: Love it. It's an honor he deserves, but it also provides a positive connection between Rumple and the Charming family. Neal may not have joined the Charming family officially, but he will always be Henry's father and remembered by them.Next time he wants to act against them, he'll have to keep his son's namesake in mind.
Gareth: I liked it. It was a really nice way of honoring Neal. As Carla said, it also provides another positive connection between Rumple and the Charming family.
Michelle: Perfect! I can't believe I didn't think of that option myself.
Robin: I like it. I still think Neal's death wasn't quite as heroic as they all make it out to be, but I agree with the others in that it was a nice way to honour him, and to keep the families connected.
Jim: I like it, seems to fit.
Christine: Personally I think Prince Baelfire would have been cooler, but I can work with Prince Neal.
Do you think Hook and Emma will get a happy ending?
Carla: I'd love to see that, but it's not going to happen right away. When the series ends, maybe they'll be happy if they are still together. This show only seems to allow Charming and Snow to have a happy ending, while everyone else around them struggles in their romantic relationships.
Gareth: I do think Emma will end up with Hook now, however they will be throwing road blocks at them at every opportunity next season, it is the nature of relationships on a drama series like this. Enjoy the moment Captain Swan shippers, it might not last long.
Michelle: Yes, I do. Or at least as happy as anyone on this series ever gets. I think they will become a couple but their lives will be fraught with drama and challenges, much like Emma's parents.
Robin: I think they'll be the new Snow and Charming. Hook's incredible, unwavering dedication to Emma is just beyond understanding; I have a hard time believing anything will keep him apart from her. If she reciprocates even half of that, they'll get through anything that's thrown at them.
Christine: They'd better! That make-out session was a long time coming and I hope we get that and a whole lot more next season. I want Hook and Emma to rank right up there with Snow and Charming.
Were you happy with Rumple and Belle's wedding in the woods?
Carla: It was sweet and lovely. If it was a marriage made in honesty, I would have said it was the perfect wedding for them. Their vows were touching and fitting. It's just too bad that Rumple continues to lie to her.
Gareth: It was a nice scene but the poignant vows felt a bit sour for the audience. We know it is only a matter of time before Belle discovers the truth about Rumple’s involvement in Zelena’s death. That secret is going to come back and bite him at some point next season.
Michelle: Personally I found it a bit odd and creepy. I really can't put a finger on why, though. Perhaps it was Rumple's underlying lie or the moonlight or Belle's choice of wedding ensemble. Something just didn't sit right with me for some reason.
Robin: I'm with everyone else - the wedding was tainted by the knowledge of Rumpel's deception. The fallout from Rumpel's lie will devastate Belle, and it was hard to ignore that.
Jim: The vows were outstanding!
Christine: It felt kind of thrown together. I expected there to be more buildup to their big day, even if we know it's all going to blow up in Rumpel's face.
That looked like Princess Elsa from Frozen arriving in Storybrooke. Have you seen the movie? What do you think of this latest twist going into Once Upon a Time Season 4?
Carla: I've seen the movie, but I never saw Elsa as a villain. She had an unfortunate affliction which caused turmoil and she left to protect them. I'm not sure I like the idea of her showing up as a villain like Zelena or Pan. Her introduction also seems like pandering for a new audience. I wish they went in a different direction.
Gareth: I am honestly quite worried about it. Opinion seems to be very polarizing with fans right now on this. I can understand why they have gone down this route with Frozen being so successful, however it is such a new movie that is so fresh in people’s minds. I have concerns that any dramatic changes of the characters from that movie will bring quite a big backlash. I have seen a lot of negativity already. It has the potential to be amazing but it could also jump the shark.
Michelle: I have to admit that I have not seen the movie (ducks rotten fruit being thrown at her head) so I feel like I can't really speculate about what this will mean for next season. I am definitely intrigued though.
Robin: I haven't seen it yet, but it was hard to avoid spoilers so I know all about it. I'm on the fence. It feels like Disney's trying to execute the same integration of TV/film that they're doing in the Marvel universe, but I'm not convinced it will work here because OUAT relies on reinterpretation of stories, not integration. Frozen seems too new to reinterpret. Besides, part of the charm of OUAT is their twists on stories that we find nostalgic...there's no nostalgia with Frozen.
JIm: I liked Frozen, but seriously... we are down to farming last summer's movie for villains?
Christine: I seem to be in the minority but I love it and based on what the show's executive producers had to say, I don't believe she'll be a villain but she will be complex. I'm a big fan of the movie and I can't wait to see where those characters can go in the Storybrooke universe. Besides, Frozen is riding a huge wave of popularity. Why shouldn't the show capitalize on it?
What was your favorite scene?
Carla: I loved when Emma hugged Snow and she didn't reciprocate her daughter's love. That was a pivotal moment in Emma's enlightenment and appreciation of her family and an affirmation of her love for them.
Gareth: I really enjoyed Emma’s interaction with Rumple. The look on her face when she met him for the first time was priceless. They also did a great job of merging scenes from the past episodes together.
Michelle: Emma finally realizing what Hook meant to her and the two of them commencing with the making-out we've all been waiting for for a long time.
Robin: Charming and "Prince Charles" chatting by the fireside. Emma and Hook may have put the circumstances back in place for Snow and Charming to meet, but it was Hook that planted the seed that allowed Charming to fall in love with Snow. I loved how Hook inadvertently got Charming's blessing, and his beautiful confession that he would go to the ends of the earth and time for Emma.
Jim: I really liked Emma figuring out Storybrooke was home and the wand working for her.
Christine: Emma finally realizing all that Hook has done for her and the true extent of his feelings. It made their kiss quite the payoff.
Your turn, TV Fanatics. Are you happy that Elsa from Frozen is coming to Storybrooke?