Once Upon a Time Is Finally Back

I finally have my Sunday night TV back. Once Upon a Time returned last night and didn’t disappoint.

When the mid-season finale ended, everyone, except Henry and Emma, had gone back to the Enchanted Forest. Henry and Emma ended up in New York with no memory of Storybrooke. No one was supposed to be able to return from the Enchanted Forest. Yet, Hook appeared at Emma’s door at the end of that episode, leaving us wondering how he was able to escape the Enchanted Forest.

Last night’s episode flashed back and forth between present day New York and one year ago in the Enchanted Forest. The show opened with Phillip and Aurora about to have a picnic when Regina and company returned. After a brief update from Aurora and Phillip, Snow and Charming decide to return to their kingdom united with Regina. On the way to their castle, Snow convinces Regina to find a way to be happy without Henry. Snow and Regina are then attacked by a flying monkey and are saved by Robin Hood. As they near the castle, Regina discovers that a protective spell has been cast and someone has taken over the castle. Regina isn’t happy and I’m sure will make whoever it is (the Wicked Witch) pay.

In present day New York, Emma is dating some guy who isn’t Hook. Thankfully, Hook interrupts her dinner with said guy to tell her once again that her family is in danger and to give her Neal’s address, knowing she’d check it out. Emma being Emma goes and investigates and finds a camera with Henry’s name on it.  When Emma seeks Hook out in the park, instead of listening to what he has to say, she has him arrested for assault. I have to admit if I were in Emma’s shoes and some strange guy offered me some potion to drink and told me it would give me my memories back, I’d be freaked out too. Luckily, Hook isn’t in jail long and Emma finally agrees to drink the potion and gets all of her memories back before she can accept the other guy’s wedding proposal.

Hook explains to Emma that he got word that there was another curse and that everyone was going to return to Storybrooke. Heartbroken that what she thought was real wasn’t, Emma tells the other guy that she can’t marry him and lucky for her that she made that decision because apparently for eight months she was dating a flying monkey. Ewww! I was completely grossed out.

After getting rid of the monkey, Emma returns to Storybrooke with Hook and Henry and finds her parents. Snow and Charming don’t know what happened. All they know is that the last year has been wiped out and, by the way, Snow is pregnant.

At the end, the Wicked Witch makes her appearance. Who is she? That answer will have to wait for another episode.

We also have to wait to see if Regina and Robin Hood will have their happy ending. Did Robin Hood make it to Storybrooke this time?

Poor Henry doesn’t remember Storybrooke at all. Will he get his memory back?

What secret did Aurora and Phillip keep from Regina and company?

We were left with a lot of questions, but it was an exciting episode.

Note to ABC: Two and half months without Once Upon a Time is too long.

What did you think of Once Upon a Time’s return?

Are Midseason Finales Effective?

Back in the day, television shows ran from September through May. Occasionally, there were reruns, but we watched until the season finale. Now, over the last couple of years, network executives have come up with the idea of the midseason finale, which is meant to keep you hooked until your show returns.

Is this effective? It depends on the show. Here’s my look at some of the midseason finales for shows that I watch.

First up is The Vampire Diaries. In the midseason finale, Stefan saved Elena from Wes’s clutches. However, they didn’t kill him, which makes absolutely no sense to me. Wes was torturing vampires and almost turned Elena into a crazed vampire who would have thirsted for vampire blood. The only plausible reason for keeping Wes alive is so the writers can continue to torture us with the Augustine storyline during the second half of the season.

Damon also went down the self-destructive road again and broke up with Elena because, of course, no one could possibly love Damon. Maybe I would have cared if I could see Damon and Elena together. But it’s obvious Elena belongs with Stefan.

It also appears that we will say goodbye to Katherine in the 100th episode. I don’t believe it. There’s still the traveler’s spell so I believe Katherine will live on in someone else.

Was this midseason finale enough to bring me back in January? If I were a new fan of the show, probably not. I’ll be watching in January simply because I’ve watched the last four seasons.

Reign left us with many questions. At the end, Mary rode off with Sebastian because of Nostradamus’s vision. Was Nostradamus right or did he incorrectly interpret his vision? After all, while he saw that one of Mary’s friends would die, he didn’t see that it was Clarissa who would kill Aylee. Even though he said that Mary would be the death of Francis, could his vision have meant Francis would die if Mary left?

Now that Mary took off with Sebastian, will they end up together? They did kiss and Mary didn’t seem completely opposed to the idea of Sebastian, even though she claims she loves Francis.

The Queen successfully got Mary out of the picture for now. The Queen will definitely be up to no good during the second half of the season as she sets her sights on getting rid of Kenna. She failed at poisoning Kenna during the midseason finale. What will the Queen do next?

Was this enough to bring me back in January? Yes. I’ve been hooked on Mary and Francis’s love story from the beginning. They keep me coming back week after week. I can’t wait to see if they get back together during the second half of the season.

Now we get to my favorite midseason finales.

Arrow ended with Barry Allen being turned into The Flash. We also saw that Oliver’s friend from the island, Slade, is still alive and is Season 2’s villain. As if that wasn’t exciting enough for one episode, Roy Harper was injected with the serum that either kills its subjects or makes them super strong. It appears Roy will be super strong, setting him up as Oliver’s sidekick. Additionally, Oliver got his mask.

What does this mean for the second half of the season? I think it’s a great set up. Oliver will face his friend in what I’m sure will be an epic fight. Barry Allen’s role is left open. Will The Flash have a role in Arrow or have we seen the last of him?

Of course, we can’t forget that Malcolm Merlyn is alive. Oliver believes he’s dead. Will Oliver find out the truth or will that be the showdown for Season 3?

Was this enough to make me eager for Arrow’s return in January? Most definitely. This is how midseason finales should be done. I’m excited for Arrow’s return.

Once Upon a Time had me hooked from the beginning with Pan’s evil plan to unleash the curse over Storybrooke again. How could they stop the curse? Well, in the first five minutes of this show, Pan’s shadow was destroyed, Tinkerbell’s wings were restored, and the Blue Fairy came back from the dead. Then they had to return Henry to his body, which Rumpelstiltskin took care of in hopes of killing his father, Peter Pan. Only, Rumpelstiltskin discovered that to kill Peter Pan, he would have to sacrifice his own life, which he did in the most shocking moment of the show. I was glad to see Pan go because I was over Pan a few episodes ago, but I was sad to see Rumpelstiltskin go.

Finally, to save everyone from the curse, Regina had to say goodbye to Henry. That was Regina’s price to pay. The curse required everyone to go back to where they came from, except Emma who had to stay behind to take care of Henry because he was born in the real world and couldn’t go back with everyone else. Because of the curse, Storybrooke was destroyed and Emma’s memories were wiped clean. Regina gave Emma fake memories so that Emma and Henry would believe that they had always been together.

In one last surprise, the show jumped ahead one year with Emma and Henry living in New York. Hook showed up at their door and told Emma that her family was in danger. Emma didn’t remember him and thought he was just some crazy guy. How did Hook get back to the real world? I hope that’s answered when the show returns because, according to Regina, no one would be able to return.

Will I be watching when Once Upon a Time returns in March? Yes. Again, this is a great example of how a midseason finale should be done. There were surprises along the way and a great set up for the second half of the season.

So do I like midseason finales? Yes. I think they can be exciting if done well. It beats going through the entire season with intermittent reruns until you get to the exciting episodes in May.

What was your favorite midseason final?

Captain Hook: The Bad Boy You Can’t Help But Love

Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) left his mark on Storybrooke and the fans of Once Upon a Time last season. Introduced as a minor character, Hook was supposed to make occasional appearances, but his role grew with his fan base.

Why is Captain Hook so popular? He’s attractive, of course, but he’s also the bad boy women can’t help but love. Hook wavers between hero and villain often. He always looks out for himself and no one can truly trust him, but just when he seems irredeemable, he surprises everyone by doing something kind. For example, he saved Baelfire and offered to take him under his wing while protecting Baelfire from Peter Pan. Of course, in true villain fashion, he later turned Baelfire over to Peter Pan and the Lost Boys when it suited his needs.

At the end of Season 2, we saw Hook return to Storybrooke with the last magical bean and join Snow White and company on their quest to save Henry from Peter Pan. This quest means he had to join forces with Rumplestiltskin who he has tried to destroy for cutting off his hand and killing his one love, Rumplestiltskin’s wife, Milah. Has anyone forgotten that Hook shot Belle?

As they sailed for Neverland, I couldn’t help but wonder if Hook has his own agenda. After all, we are talking about a man who partnered with Cora so he could get his revenge on Rumplestilstskin. Does Hook have unfinished business with Peter Pan? Is Hook planning to get his revenge on Rumplestiltskin in Neverland? Or is Hook going to be Season 3’s hero and will we see sparks fly between him and Emma?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the writers have planned for Hook. What would you like to see happen to Hook on this season of Once Upon a Time?