Happy endings are never quite what we expect.
When Regina returned from the Wish Realm with a new version of Robin in tow, it looked like they'd have a second chance at love.
But the two halves of Regina Mills found themselves at an unexpected crossroad on Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 14. And it wasn't the "good" half of Regina on "Page 23."
I have to admit, I'm torn on how things played out.
On the one hand, I'm so proud of Regina for realizing that she didn't hate her dark side any longer. She's struggled with anger and darkness, and revenge for too long.
Watching her let go of that was amazing. But then, she took it a step further, and she "healed" the Evil Queen, too. She realized both halves deserved love.
And she also needed to share the burden of darkness.
I assumed uniting their hearts would somehow make them one person again. But this way is so much better.
They're each carrying the light and the dark. Regina's found happiness with her son, and her extended family. Now the not-so-Evil Queen can attempt the same thanks to Henry.
How great was it when Henry called the Evil Queen, "Mom"? He knew all along that she could be good, too. That's why he helped give her a second chance.
[writing in book] The Evil Queen went to a place where she could get a fresh start.Henry
And this is the part where I don't know how to feel.
I know Regina doesn't need a man to be happy. And the new version of Robin sucked in comparison to the original man she fell in love with.
But the romance lover in me wanted to see these two work it out.
I'm a queen. Not some burlap-loving peasant who sleeps in dirt.Evil Queen
I suppose I can be grateful that some version of Page 23 is still on the table. The Evil Queen is a part of Regina. And she's more suited for this version of Robin.
Who knows? Maybe the Storybrooke version of Regina will find love again, too. Maybe the third time will be a charm.
And maybe next time, Tinkerbell can stick around for more than one scene. It was a lovely surprise to see her, though. Even if it was too brief.
The Evil Queen wasn't the only former villain doubting the possibility of a happy ending.
Killian's struggling with his guilt over killing David's father. While I think this plot is steeped in unnecessary angst, it still manages to break my heart.
Because like Regina, Killian's come so far from his villainous ways. He's a hero. Everyone knows that except him.
Guilt can be as corrosive to the soul as revenge.Captain Nemo
It was nice seeing Captain Nemo again. He popped up at the right time to offer advice to his old friend.
But Killian didn't take it because that would have made things too easy. And I'm not faulting him for that. Life is hard. No one makes the right choices all the time.
Especially people like Killian who don't believe they deserve happiness.
Naturally, Emma stumbled upon the truth rather than Killian confessing.
The part of me that dislikes this storyline wants to be snarky about it, but I'm too busy sobbing over the pain Killian and Emma are suffering.
As I predicted, Emma wasn't mad that he killed her grandfather. She was upset that he didn't tell her sooner. She was hurt that he didn't lean on her. That he didn't trust her with his pain so they could get through it together.
She handed him back the ring.
Killian: I already destroyed my own family once. And that was hard enough. But knowing that I destroyed yours, too. I just---I didn't know how I could live with that.
Emma: You come to me, Hook. And you lean on me. And you trust me. We have to stop hiding things from each other. The man I fell in love with would know that. He would know that we get through things together.
Emma: That is what I agreed to marry. That is what I thought we were together. Until you're ready for that [she takes off the engagement ring]...then we can talk.
Colin O'Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison are magic together. The have been since Emma held a knife to Hook's neck on Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 5.
Whether flirting, declaring their love for one another, or in this case, falling into heartbreak, their scenes never fail to captivate, and hit all of the emotional beats that leave the audience on the edge of our seats.
It hurts to see Emma and Killian hurting because Morrison and O'Donoghue pour everything they've got into these characters.
And that's why my soul is crushed by this separation.
Killian's guilt almost caused him to make an even more terrible decision. He planned to walk away until Snow intervened with her news of the Evil Queen's happy ending.
Snow White's always been the epitome of hope. But what made this moment all the more special was how much she initially resisted Killian's relationship with Emma. Now, she's fully on board, and welcoming him to the family.
And in doing so, she gave him the power he needed to stop wallowing in his guilt, and fight for the woman he loves. He was ready to be the man Emma deserved.
Not that he wasn't already. But he didn't believe he was.
But one more thing had to go wrong because it's too soon for the pirate and the princess to have their happy ending.
Gideon made sure Killian left Storybrooke with Nemo. But why?
We know he wants to kill Emma. Killian may try and stop him, but Gideon has magic. We've seen him immobilize everyone around him. So why does he need Killian out of the way?
Share your thoughts and theories with us below: why do you think Gideon wants Emma on her own?
Did you enjoy "Page 23?" Do you think the right Regina ended up with Robin? Did the Captain Swan angst destroy your heart? Do you think Tinkerbell was underused?
Remember, you can watch Once Upon a Time online anytime!
Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.