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Once Upon a Time Round Table: "There's No Place Like Home"

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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...

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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.

Jim: Not till the very end. When Regina and Robin walked up, I realized who it had to be. 

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. 

So Content
David and Mary Margaret look so content with their newborn son in their arms on the season finale of Once Upon a Time.

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.

Jim: Not if Regina stays pissed. 

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?


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

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I'm really hoping that they will go the Ice Queen route, and make this 'Elsa' character based on the original rendition of the story, rather than Frozen. HOWEVER, I just read the linked article and it doesn't seem that that's going to be happening. It makes me seem a little uneasy. I feel like maybe this could be the start of the show doing thing purely to please fans/get higher ratings. I hope not.


I really don't get it why people are so focused on 'Frozen' being very recent and Elsa being a good person. I think everyone's forgetting that Frozen takes inspiration from the 'Snow Queen', a classic fairytale, and just because 'Frozen' portrayed the Queen as Elsa doesn't mean OUAT can't portray her in a different way. I mean look at Peter Pan and Rumpelstilstskin, the characters on the show are so different from the classic stories. I really feel the 'Snow Queen' move will payoff and make for some great storytelling by the OUAT writers.


I think that if a more charismatic actor had played Neil than he would have been more popular. I have nothing against Michael Raymond James, but he never seem right for the part.


I honestly doubt that robin knew what/who killed his wife or he would have said something to regina (in the present),he wouldn't have let this go so easily
captain swan: I really liked Hook in season 2,but now he's just emma's pet IMO,he's there(on the show) just to satisfy her needs.don't like them together(besides as friends),don't like the idea of him being henry's stepdad.hope it's just to make some fans happy and that they're not endgame
Frozen:I really hope they don't make her a villain coz elsa sure wasn't
regina: don't make her evil again,pleasee :P
also,excited about the knave,wonder when he'll be arriving...oh this is before ouat wonderland happened right? it's not like they're gonna break anna and himm up just so that he can be in storybrooke,right?

@ fan

Emma and Hook have always been planned, A&E recently confirmed it. They haven't been put together because "some fans" wanted it, but because the writers themselves wanted it. And they ARE endgame - the writers put too much effort and time building them up for them not to be. They also have their very own TL theme, just like Snowing does.

@ fan

He's a devoted man to Emma, and thats what needed. If some ppl cant see that, then all i can see is do you even know what Emma needs in her life and how a man is, its called being devoted! He was always going to go back to Killian due to love, just like love changed him to a pirate and then Hook!

@ Fred

I get that you're fangirling/basking in the excitement of Captain Swan becoming canon, but also understand that not everyone is going to be into it. Let the other side have their say without trying to make it seem as if they're wrong for feeling the way they do. Why is it that when someone dislikes a popular ship, the fandom has to swoop down on them? I remember it was the same when Rumbelle was at its fever pitch & if you'd say you didn't like them together, you were torn to shreds; if you opposed Swan Queen, you were (are) labeled homophobic. Now if we don't like Captain Swan, we just don't get what Emma needs or how devoted Hook is to her. Can't we just not like a ship? I wasn't into Swanfire either because the Neal actor just didn't cut it for me but doesn't Cpt. Guyliner has to be her only other choice. And it doesn't matter if that was the writers' so-called endgame all season, since season 2 or since the show began lol. I'm still allowed to hate it while also being a fan of the show.

@ DunkinDani

You can dislike it, but i dont get the i dont like CS comments like everywhere lol. Its in the show so i dont know enjoy it or live with it and understand why they work, pretty this show is written and build to see how other couples work who are written to be worked. I like all couples in the show due to their development but since Emma is my fave, i like her and Hook due to what he brings to her on the whole as in a guy who totally gets her etc

@ DunkinDani

* I wasn't into Swanfire either because the Neal actor just didn't cut it for me but doesn't MEAN


So glad we have Hook and Emma finally coming together, he is has done everything that a man does in true love, fight for her, choose her, comes back to her, risks his life for her and he would go to the ends of the earth for her.... pretty much what Charming would do for Snow, and also the biggest have faith and belief in Emma. That to be is testament of love, and they already understand each other and accept each other. And i love them to be like Snowing... facing everything together. Love the couples montage with the wedding vows!


I'm probably the only one, but since I wasn't too invested in Outlaw Queen, I'm glad Marion was brought back. I wanted to see more of the story between her and Robin and felt disappointed to find out she was dead. All along it felt to me like Regina was falling for somebody else's man. I know that Marion will unfortunately be killed off or written off in some other way in favor of Regina, but I actually wish it wasn't so and feel for their little boy who will lose his mother again. Wish they'd find another love for Regina. Not a fan of Captain Swan either. Lol. Especially as Neal's body is barely cold in the ground. I sure hope Hook won't really turn out to be her one true, everlasting love. Please. I find it kind of creepy that he was with Neal's mom. Kind of twisted and soap opera-like.

@ Sarah_Lee

Is it even confirmed that Neal is gone for good? Didn't we see his image leave Rumple's body at one point? I believe that door is open so we can see the love triangle spark back up. I agree though seems like Emma didn't truly even morn Neal but it is what it is.

@ Chris Larrondo

I believe the writers said he was gone for good, yes. But IMO there's no way of knowing what will happen in the distant future (if OUAT stays on that long), so I suppose anything is possible, esp. on a show about magic and fairytales. Even if he doesn't end up with Emma, I'd like to see Neal somehow revived for Rumple's sake at some point.

@ Sarah_Lee

I dont understand this notion of Neal is barely cold in the ground,. Him and Emma were NOT together, or in anything
Hook loves Emma deeply and devoted to her, thats love, to me that is what matters in this show, not who he had ties with centuries ago lol, when this show has done much worse with i dont know killing ppl or crushing hearts, and this is a pretty twisted family tree, so i dont see the big point in who he was with before.

@ Fred

No, but hadn't she confessed her love for Neal just last season? She loved him even after being apart for 10 yrs. Then he dies and she falls for Hook because he's done nice things for her. *eyeroll* Should've ended with "Thank you, appreciate it, guess I'll give you a chance by getting to know you better." In my POV it doesn't really matter how long ago Hook was with Neal's mom, that was still his mom and Hook at one point was almost like a stepdad or father figure, at least for a while.

@ Sarah_Lee

Do you call saving her life and her son's life, not to mention selling his ship for her "Nice things?" Remember Hook lived a pirate's life. And this show is all about transformation for the people that you love. Neal did not have far to go as far as transformation. Hook had and still has miles to go. I knew when Hook and Emma went up the beanstalk they were endgame. Otherwise the storyline would have been Neal saving Emma over and over again.

@ Sarah_Lee

@Rufio This is a discussion forum and we can all express our opinions. If CS hadn't happened, I'm sure those fans would be expressing their disappointment too. I'll let it go when others stop giving me something to reply to, thank you. :) As for the popularity contest, I seriously doubt the writers would've put Emma with Hook if there'd been great opposition to it from the fans. They might've had the idea in their heads, but they were also free to nix it at any time.

@ Sarah_Lee

on all Neal discussions. They're just not true loves. Let it go let it goooo

@ Sarah_Lee

This isnt a popularity contest, the writers just confirmed Hook and Emma were the plan from the very beginning. The interview is somewhere on this site, it was released before the finale.

@ Sarah_Lee

The buildup you speak of was actually more like a test for the audience and seeing who was more popular with fans, Hook or Neal. Hook fans were more vocal so that's who the show went with. I don't believe that's necessarily how it was meant to be all along. If Hook hadn't been a hit, he probably would've continued for a while longer as comic relief (which is what he really was for most of season 2) before being written off. And Renee, I already know that, but I didn't really see Emma as only loving Neal as a friend. That's not what I got from it. What's done is done but that doesn't mean I have to like this Captain Swan thing. Who knows, maybe someday Hook will go the way of Graham and Neal, especially if he continues trying to be her hero. LOL.

@ Sarah_Lee

Thats not what the context is showing at all. There has been a build up to Emma and Hook, and it was meant to happen as it did, that was what the whole of season 3. She loved Neal but she wasnt in love with, she never wanted him in any way then in her life and esp in Henry as his dad. Neal and Emma never shared moments that enchaned their build up coz there wasnt one, It was always Emma and her issues due to what happened... and then Emma/Hook moments!

@ Sarah_Lee

You can love someone but not be in love with them.


The whole finale was one big mess, but Captain Swan just outright ruined the whole thing. It's disgusting.

@ Mary

You seem be pretty much everywhere with this comment as usual lol!!!! Dont like it, dont watch! Simple. Guess what, i hope to god you know that it Hook and Emma direction, always had been from a narrative standpoint!

@ Fred

Yeah she's on every article about ouat. Anyway, if I remember right she likes Neal so just a reminder that he's gone and that you should let it go. And Hook and Emma were perfect if you just took off your shipping goggles for a second


I thought Rumpelstiltskin and Belles' wedding was beautiful!! This is a couple that continues to overcome any challenge. I love them because, unlike Snow and David, they've always had faith in and trusted each other when times were bad. In terms of the reveal at the end, I hope the writers will succeed where Disney failed and actually do something resembling The Snow Queen.

@ Donna Medici

The vows were amazing and I love how they showed the other couples with it. I think I read an interview saying it would be based more on Elsa not the Snow Queen


I'm psyched for Elsa if she's going to be a new take on an established character. I'm intrigued if she's going to be a mentioned but, as of yet, unseen character. I'm dreading that it'll be a direct lift from Frozen with all-new actors; there's more than enough established characters and relationships to work within already. Fortunately, the writing team is brilliant at interpretation/reinvention. I was apprehensive last year when they announced the spin-off and it ended up taking over my life so, I'm taking a lesson from that and trusting that they'll find a way to stay true to the spirit of Frozen while giving us a new and interesting take on it.


I think Emma did the right thing as human being to get the woman out, who basically was in jail coz she refused to tell on Snow, her mother, and also its good thing atleast it changes the past for Regina, that she wasnt going to be the cause of Marian's death. Regina has choices, i hope she can be adult about them... instead making some silly ones as she did before...sorry to say. I still baffled at the name Neal... for me i find they are giving him the name HERO too much, but im ok as along as Emma is ok with it and she is! Emma and Hook are IT, they have found each other and been through other obstacles to reach this far and for Emma to finally see the man before her, after she found her home, parent and family... he is her last missing piece, which we saw at the end. But Hook is a fighter and he is devoted to her, and i would love them to be the new Snowing coz due to the parallels and the fact that they these two are balanced with each other, and their together and devotion will keep them together. She's his whole world! Rumbelle wedding, all i can say i liked the couple montage of the vows Fave scenes, so many of them - this finale was fantastic! Jen was fab, and as was Colin! I loves Drunk Hook

@ Fred

Agree with all of this. I also dont get why the baby was Neal. I dont remember him having huge part in Snow and Charming 's life? But I dont care. Awesome finale!