Home Is Where Your Heart Is

 Once Upon a Time, Season Three Finale

Network television got really good this year. I don't know if it's the plethora of paranormal shows, scripted shows making a comeback after a decade of reality crap shows, or if I just wasn't watching the right things before. At any rate, for the first time in a long time there were several shows this year that I never missed.

So it was with excitement and a little trepidation that I approached May, a month chock-full of season finales. I was hopeful that producers and writers would end their seasons on satisfying notes, yet I was worried that they might crash and burn, as we've seen all too many times before. Amazingly, none of the shows I am currently in love with disappointed. The Mindy Project did a quirky salute to romantic comedy movies, giving fans what we've been wanting all year. Modern Family had a fantastic wedding in a style only they could do. Yes, I cried. I always cry at weddings. The Originals kicked ass, leaving us on a dark yet determined note that's sure to have explosive consequences come fall.

But my favorite finale, possibly the best finale I've seen in a very long time, was Once Upon A Time. At present count I've watched it four times since it aired, I've scoured tumblr looking for, and sighing over reactions, interpretations and GIFs. It was simply glorious. A perfect season finale, clearly made by people who know that their job is to entertain and have no problem giving viewers what they want. No surprises for shock value, no screwing with characters just to see them squirm. Just journey to resolution.

Follow me through the jump and I'll tell you all about why I loved these episodes, complete with quotes, GIFs and reactions. But click carefully! Spoilers will be abundant!

"You keep running. What are you looking for?"
The two-hour season three finale of Once Upon a Time opens with Storybrooke celebrating the defeat of the Wicked Witch and the birth of their new prince. But Zelena's magic is untethered after her death, causing her time travel spell to be cast. Emma is still planning to take Henry back to New York when she and Hook are sucked back in time through Zelena's portal. As Emma explains to Hook, she doesn't really feel like part of Storybrooke, having been alone for most of her life.

"Your discomfort is a cross I'm willing to bear."

Upon arrival in the Enchanted Forest, sometime in the past, Hook insists on finding Emma some appropriate attire, which they discover on someone's clothesline. Emma is less than impressed with the binding corset, but Hook seems delighted. (I love his flirty banter like crazy!)

As with any great story shenanigans ensue, prompted by Emma inadvertently keeping her parents from meeting one another, while trying to find Rumpelstiltskin to help send them home.  While Rumple looks for a way to send them home, Emma and Hook must find a way to ensure that Snow and Charming meet. In that process Captain Swan meet up with Captain Hook to offer Snow passage on the Jolly Roger. Emma's job is to distract the "old" Hook while "new" Hook sends Snow to steal Charming's ring. Hook's jealousy of himself is a particular delight.

Once Snow is sent on her mission to meet Prince Charming steal Charming's ring, Emma and Hook meet up with Rumple again where they get an update on his progress in finding a way to send them home. After he scolds them for their time-traveling carelessness, Rumple orders them to ensure that Snow and Charming meet, and sends them to the ball that is happening just then. This whole sequence was especially delightful to me, leaving me grinning like a fool the entire time. Every single time I've watched it. Princess Emma, masquerading as Princess Leia, is pure perfection, from her stunning crimson gown to her glorious waltz with her Prince Killian, masquerading as Prince Charles. Let me just leave you with a few images of this magnificent scene.

When Hook and Emma scramble to ensure that Snow has stolen the ring and escaped, Emma is arrested for helping Snow. While in prison Emma learns that she, and all of the prisoners, are to be executed the following day, so she knows she needs to find a way out! Meanwhile, Charming finds Snow and demands his ring back, when Hook shows up to tell them that Snow doesn't have it, "Leia" does. So the three of them band together to save Emma, each of them for their own reasons. One particular delight of this adventure is Charles Hook confiding in Charming that he'd do anything for Emma, but he's not sure her family approves of him:
Charming: Given the lengths you've gone to to save her, they'd be crazy not to approve.
Hook: I hope you remember that.

Emma being the self-sufficient bad-ass that she is, busts out of prison (taking her condemned cell-mate with her) just as her crew busts in to save her, giving us another awesome exchange:

As the gang regroups Emma and Hook realize that Emma's cellmate died in the original timeline so she can't be allowed to go back to her family. Emma tries to explain that she must go with them to the future when she begins to protest. Emma saves everyone some time by knocking her out, to which we are rewarded with more delightful Hook:

"Not everyone gets a chance to watch their parents fall in love."
Meanwhile Snow takes off again with the ring, Charming chases after her, and Hook and Emma chase after both of them. Snow and Charming defeat the trolls on the bridge, just as they did in the original timeline, setting everything back to rights. Emma is understandably emotional, shedding a few happy tears, and Hook notices.
After a bit of a tussle with Rumple, Emma admits that she missed her parents and that Storybrooke is her home, that everything she's been searching for her whole life is there. This revelation frees Emma's mental block against her magic, giving them the key to get back home. Once there, and after a teary reunion with the Charmings (who didn't even know Emma had been gone!) Emma has a chat with Hook to thank him for helping her, during which he reveals how he found her in New York.

This leads to the moment each of us Captain Swan shippers have been waiting for. Emma finally realizes how much he loves her, lets herself feel that love, and admits to herself her feelings for Killian that she's been denying. And it.is.glorious! She truly, clearly sees him for the very first time. I'm sure there is much angst still in store for Captain Swan, but I am just going to bask in this. It's been a long time coming.

I LOVE the way they look at each other here! The smiles! Perfection.

I've glossed over some of the events, because there's no way to write about every thing that happened, without rewriting the script. I'm not thrilled that Mr. Gold is lying to everyone about what happened to Zelena, and that will come back and bite him in the ass. His wedding to Belle was simply lovely, though, and I am so happy for them. My heart aches for Regina; that woman cannot catch a break, and I'm not actually looking forward to that particular storyline playing out. I'm hoping that Marian and Robin's relationship will turn out like David and Kathryn's did, paving the way for Regina's HEA with her true love.

 If you're a fan of the show, if you are a Captain Swan fan, you will have adored this episode. If you aren't you should catch up, because this episode perfectly illustrates why this show is wonderful.

Are you a Oncer, Saucy Reader? Did you love the Season Three Finale? Or, do you still need to catch up? Are you as Captain Swan crazy as I am or, would you rather see Emma with someone else? Share your thoughts below!

 ***All GIFs and images from http://captainswan.tumblr.com/


  1. Was definitely the best episode, yet!

  2. Thanks for writing this. I just love how Hook tangles his fingers in Emma's hair. So damn sexy.

    We're going to have to part ways on Outlaw Queen though. While I want Regina to get her own HEA, I don't think she should have this one. Not after finding out that she was the one who killed Marian in the original timeline. I'm hoping the arm tatoo is something that other men have (sort of how members of the same military unit might get the same tatoo) and her real soul mate is yet to be revealed.


    1. I'm leaning toward thinking that Marian wasn't actually executed in the original timeline. They just assumed that she was. That said, I'm okay with it being someone else. I just really want Regina to have an HEA, after all of the progress she's made.

  3. I haven't watched this series yet, but if you enjoy 30 minute comedies you NEED to watch PlayingHouse. It's on USA and there are about 8 episodes out now. I watched them for the first time last weekend and I'm already on my 3rd re-watch.


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