A Pirate’s Life!! Once Upon a Time S2 finale!!

*WARNING: LOADS OF SPOILERS AHEAD!!*

Bealfire has just been picked up by Captain Hook aboard the Jolly Rodger. Smee is concerned about the boy belonging to Pan. Hook sees Bealfire and asks him about his presence in Neverland. Gold goes to see Henry where attempts to kill him by unraveling the rope of the swing he is on. David, Mary Margaret and Emma arrive where David tells Gold about Bae. Gold is filled with regret for bringing magic to the real world. In the mines under the town, Greg and Tamara use one of the dwarves’ pick axes to activate the onyx taken from Regina that will remove Storybrooke, turning back into the forest it once was. Tremors run through the town. Regina knows that the onyx diamond has been activated. Hook shows up at the apartment and offers his help to find Greg and Tamara. Reluctantly, everyone agrees to work together. While Hook and David goes after the magic-killing duo, Mary Margaret, Emma go with Regina where she may be able to slow down the destruction. At Gold’s shop, Grumpy informs him that the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior has found a solution to Sneezy’s memory loss. He hands Gold a vial intended for Belle.

In Neverland, the Lost Boys board the Jolly Rodger in search of Bae. They leave when they are unable to find him hiding. In the morning, Hook treats Bae as member of the crew. They share their stories about how they were left by their fathers. In Storybrooke, David and Hook find Greg and Tamara in the cannery. They manage to grab one of the magic beans and head back to Granny’s place. However, a new plan is hatched. The portal will be opened to toss the onyx diamond into instead. David, Mary Margaret, Henry and Emma go to Regina and tell her the plan. Emma discovers the bean is missing—taken by Hook.

Bealfire finds out the truth about his mother from Hook when he finds a picture of her in his cabin. Hook tells him about their affair and how his father killed her. Bae wants off the Rodger. Hook hands him over to the Lost Boys.

In Storybrooke, Regina tries to contain the explosive power of the onyx diamond as it reverts the town to its forest roots. Emma joins her and together they stop the destruction and save the town. However their celebration is short lived. Henry is missing—taken by Greg and Tamara. Greg tells him that it was he they were looking for. The Charming family arrives at the docks but they are too late. Greg and Tamara open a portal and leap through with Henry. Desperate, they search for a way to rescue him. Not even Gold, who shows up with Belle in time to learn about Henry, has a solution. Then a solution comes to them. Hook returns to Storybrooke where he offers his services and his ship. With the magic bean’s power, they depart for the last place any of them expected—Neverland. Adult Baelfire is found on a beach by Aurora and Mulan. Young Baelfire is taken to “him” but he is not the boy “he” is looking for. One of them holds up a picture of Henry, proclaiming that Peter Pan gets what he wants.

What an amazing season! I love how they reinvented these classic fairy tale characters with a modern twist that doesn’t take away from how we remember them as children. This season introduced a host of new characters and fleshed out the stories of others, adding more layers to the already well woven tapestry of their lives. At the start of the season when Emma and Mary Margaret/Snow White were sent through a portal opened by the Hatter’s hat, we learned that not all of the Enchanted Forest was affected by the curse. The mother and daughter land in that particular section and meet Aurora/Sleeping Beauty and Mulan. Sarah Bolger portrays the slumbering princess pretty much as the quiet, shy girl from the story. However, she does have an assertive side and will voice her opinion rather than stand in the background. Mulan was played by Jamie Chung who took some of what we know from Disney’s adaption and added elements from the actual legendary tale. She is shown as a strong female warrior who is very sure of herself and will face down any threat.

Regina’s mother was introduced as Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts. Like mother like daughter, Cora is the only person who was wickeder than Regina. She was cold, ruthless and wreaked havoc out of pure spite. She even manipulated her own daughter just to make her queen and give her happiness where she was denied years prior. When she came to Storybrooke in the climax of the Fall finale, she picked up where she left off with manipulating Regina again—this time in order to get Henry back. Her first step towards this goal was to frame her for killing Archibald Hopper. This ruined any chances of Regina redeeming herself. Too bad she never found out how cruel her mother truly is toward her. Short as it was, Cora’s story was told out through a new interpretation of “Rumplestiltskin” with her in the role of the miller’s daughter with the magical ability to spin straw into gold. This also told another portion of Rumplestiltskin’s past after he became the Dark One. Lana Parrilla made evil look good as the Evil Queen. Barbara Hershey made evil look stunning. She was wonderfully wicked as Cora. It’s a shame her character was killed off. I would’ve liked to see more of her as the Queen of Hearts. Hopefully, this gets covered in the third season.

Robin Hood was introduced for an episode. Though he did not get much screen time, he would be an interesting addition to the “Once” cast. His story cannot be left hanging in the air. I want to see him return in the third season. His story will definitely be fleshed out since he is an iconic character like Hook or Rumplestiltskin. What kind of spin will the writers put on the English tale? Maybe we’ll get an explanation about those magic arrows he tries to use to kill Rumplestiltskin.

After years of searching, Gold has found his son who he left (rather deserted) in the Enchanted Forest. Last season, Baelfire was only shown when he opened a portal to a world without magic but his father was too frightened to go through. Rumplestiltskin has become too accustomed to the power he gained to relinquish it. So he lets his son fall through the portal that drops him in England. Baelfire’s story is told in the last three episodes of this season. He meets the Darling family who allow him to stay in their home. Soon, the magic that he left behind comes to this world. Wendy talks about a shadow that moves on its own and visits her home each night. Baelfire warns her to stay away from it—and with good reason. The shadow intended to take Wendy’s brothers John and Michael but Baelfire offers himself in his place. He is then taken to Neverland. There, he meets Captain Hook after freeing himself from the shadow’s grasp. Also this season, Baelfire is revealed to Neil who dated Emma in her youth. Now, Neil was introduced in an episode last season but he was not revealed to be Baelfire until this season. He met August but it was hinted that they knew each other without revealing their identities. Found in Manhattan by Emma, Gold and Henry, Baelfire/Neil learns that Henry is his son, making Gold/Rumplestiltskin his grandfather. This is an interesting twist thrown into Gold’s life. However, it is anything but a happy reunion. Neil rejects his father for letting fall through the portal back in the Enchanted Forest. For a moment, it seemed their relationship might rekindle after Neil witnesses his father’s change for the better when he calls Belle and listens to his heart felt last words to her when Gold was dying after being poisoned by Hook.

Colin O'Donoghue has done a fabulous job portraying the famed fictional pirate

Of all the characters to be introduced this season, the notorious pirate Captain Hook stood out from the pack. He has interacted with a lot of characters both in Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest. Hook was first introduced soon after Emma and Mary Margaret arrive back in the Enchanted Forest. He helped Emma get a magic bean from a giant only to be left behind by her. Then he helped Cora with the same thing which allowed them to arrive in Storybrooke in the Fall finale. But his biggest influence is with Rumplestiltskin and Baelfire. Hook, known as Killian Jones then, arrives in town where he meets Rumplestiltskin’s wife who quickly becomes infatuated with the pirate. Rumplestiltskin, before he gained his powers, makes a sad effort to recover his wife. She leaves him for the pirate. Jones returns some time later and runs into Rumplestiltskin who now has the powers of the Dark One. Rumplestiltskin bests the captain and is ready to end his life when his wife shows up to defend Jones. Seeing that his wife has joined the pirate, he kills her to cause Jones the same pain he caused him by taking her. As a bonus, he cuts of Jones’ hand to recover the magic bean. This story is told out to Baelfire in Neverland by Hook when the Dark One’s son finds a portrait of his mother in the captain’s cabin. Before this, Hook played father-figure to Baelfire with whom he shares a kinship with as a boy who was also abandoned by his father. He develops a bit of a soft spot for him. This is illustrated when Hook shows Baelfire how to pilot his ship. That soft spot continues when he finds out about Henry being taken and his father Baelfire missing. Hook seemingly sails away with the magic bean only to return to assist in saving Henry by providing transport to the last place he ever expected—Neverland.

Zenescope's take on the classic puts Hook as the hero and Pan as the villain

With all that has happened this season, I am excited for the next season. The Storybrooke gang travel to Neverland. Like I mentioned before, don’t expect to be a place of dreams and imaginings. This Neverland is a foreboding place with danger around every corner. I have a strong feeling that this concept will closely resemble the Zenescope comic take on the classic J. M. Barrie story. In that adaption, Hook is portrayed as the protagonist who rescues the young boys from the ruler of Neverland. Peter Pan is the antagonist who is corrupted by his power and takes boys from their homes and brings them to Neverland where he drains them of their life essence. I don’t see Pan draining young boys of their life but I do see him havning a reason for taking them. Apparently, he has an ulterior motive for wanting them and more specifically Henry. This is likely the plot of next season. I’m more interested in how the mermaids and fairies will be interoperated. Now Tiger Lily and her tribe have to be included as well. They are in Zenescope’s adaption so this is likely. Here’s frightening thought. Now that it seems likely that Greg and Tamara snagged Henry for Pan, wouldn’t it be twisted if Tamara turned out to be Tiger Lily? How insane would that be? M. Night Shamilan, eat your heart out! I’m glad to see Aurora and Mulan return even if it was for the season finale. This sets up for a return to their story in the Enchanted Forest. Baelfire is back home. I wonder how he feels about that (I’m guessing not pleased). But the real kick off is the Jolly Rodger full of “frienemies”. How are these people going to refrain from killing each other? You got Hook who wanted to kill Rumplestiltskin and Regina who wanted to kill Mary Margaret, who killed her mother. Can they play nice and for how long? We’ll have to wait until Once Upon a Time returns for Season 3 this fall.