Letter from Kate: Mid-Season Finale Reaction

We kept meaning to put this wonderful letter from @mysterykat25 on the show but between Bill’s medical silliness and the relaxed release schedule it got away from us. Enjoy this reaction to the mid-season finale!

Hi Bill & Anne Marie! It’s Kate, aka MysteryKat25.
This episode was incredible! So many heartstrings were pulled for a variety of reasons but even with everything being devastating, I actually left it with a lot of hope. There’s just no way that things stay that sad and depressing and they already started undoing things a bit with the time jump/flash forward.
There were so many great callbacks to things from very early on in the series. Learning about the book, seeing Henry start to put the pieces together…it was beautiful!
Villains – oh the villains. I don’t buy for a second that they can’t have their happy endings. BUT it is important that they thought they were sacrificing that in order to have the deepest impact for their redemption stories.
Peter Pan / Malcolm is EVIL. Now we just need to find out the aftermath of what happened. No body, no death (and sometimes even when there is one…) but glad they got the boys switched back! POOR RUMPLE! That was heartbreaking.
RUMPLE IS NOT DEAD. He may have gotten his redemption and (barely) reconciled with his son and been reunited with Belle, but we haven’t finished the Beauty & the Beast storyline yet! They have to get their happy ending too. Belle crumpling to the ground was very close to the movie and we all know what happens right after that! There is NO WAY that they got rid of Rumple! He’s too central to the show & has lots of loose ends! I refuse to believe otherwise until necessary.
BLUE FAIRY LIVES. Need more backstory. Still too many questions. Also – why is nobody on the show ever surprised when somebody they thought died (and sometimes had a funeral) comes back to life? Nobody seemed shocked at all when they came back and said that she was alive!
Regina snark. LOVE IT. As much as I adore Hook, I loved that Regina mentioned that she remembered the cuffs. It bothers me to no end that a lot of things get swept under the rug but we’ve seen time and time again that even though our rag-tag-team of heroes and villains that are basically family now and can get along sometimes, those little things are still there.
Tink got her wings back! BELIEVE is the theme of the season & it was nice to see. Psst – she ships Hook and Emma! (Anything in the past wouldn’t have mattered if it happened because it wasn’t enough to change Hook to the best version of him or overcome his need for revenge or allow him to move on from Milah. Think Cora and Rumple – yuck.) That said I still enjoyed their chemistry but love that she ships CaptainSwan (I hear a “booo” coming if it hasn’t already). 😛
It was nice to get some Emma/Snow bonding time. I miss their Season 1 friendship!
Curse/Countercurse. Now that the original curse has come full circle with Rumple and Bae reuniting, it makes sense that we’re changing directions a bit now.
It was heartbreaking to see Regina have to give up Henry (and I don’t believe for a second that they’ll never be reunited!) but it was great to see her get her redemption too!
LOTS of character growth for our villains and I loved that she echoed her words at Snow & Charming’s wedding to Emma, but this time “my gift to you” was GOOD memories.
Pretty sure Regina made one of the memories the idea to name him Henry. She’s the one with the connection to the name & it’s a way of knowing he’s out there and happy.
Storybrooke still existed.Everything that happened happened. What Regina did caused it to go back to being a forest so the town is now gone (presumably things were sent back to the Enchanted Forest, like when random things appeared in Storybrooke when the first curse was enacted), and in the minds of Emma and Henry, it’s like it never existed. But it still happened, so everything that happened to everyone there still happened, and only those that are alive now were affected, so no getting back Graham, Cora, or Gus. (Sad but true – but hey a mention for Gus at least?)
ONLY Henry was exempt from the curse. Adam Horowitz clarified that since Cinderella’s daughter was conceived out of our world, she was sent back like everyone else. I presume that counter-acting the original curse, everyone in our world who was from there was sent back and crossing the town line wouldn’t have helped. It basically took magic out of our world along with Storybrooke. Otherwise people like Neal and Hook who weren’t affected by the prior curse would have been able to cross the line and stay with Emma and Henry. The only reason Emma got to stay was because she was written in to the original curse as the Savior so she got to choose and stay with Henry.
Everyone in the Enchanted Forest has their memories! This is exciting because it doesn’t undo the past & all the character growth we’ve had! Since we also time-jumped, even if only a year, we should get some more recent flashbacks too to find out what’s been going on over there.
The GOODBYES! This was brutal. Watching Emma have to say goodbye and then learning that she wouldn’t even remember them was horrendous. Lots of great Snow/Emma moments even though it was tough to watch. Regina/Henry goodbye was wonderful (and I believe they’ll be reunited soon!) but heartbreaking at the same time.
Emma’s “I’m sorry” to Neal said so much to me. She had just stood him up, then he lost his dad, now he was losing his son. It wasn’t an end of the world “I love you”, or an “I wish we had more time”, or anything to let him know that standing him up wasn’t intended, but she does care about him and she knows he’s hurting. It was a sweet moment, and I liked him saying that he would see them again. He HAS to! They’re family no matter what and will always care about one another.
Emma and Hook (sorry Anne Marie! I love my ship!) – I know many will say she wasn’t going to even say goodbye to him, but she was holding it together pretty well until then. It was very reminiscent of the flashback they showed RIGHT BEFORE the goodbye scenes, where, after Henry was born, Emma couldn’t look at him. She couldn’t hold him, she couldn’t bear to see him because she might not be able to let go and she had to for his best chance.
In this case, that meant going with Henry no matter what. Hook stopping her and trying to make her smile (and giving an awesome Captain Swan shoutout in the process) and not asking anything of her was great. We saw the look on his face more than anyone else’s when various people told her she had to leave. His reaction was important and he WAS the one to go get her in NY! He wasn’t asking her to stay because he knew he couldn’t separate her from Henry. He didn’t make any grand declarations or put her on the spot for more even though he feels it and feels their connection. He didn’t even get a HUG like everyone else! That’s twice now he’s watched goodbyes from afar (though this time he at least got to say something). But he made sure she knew that he would think of her everyday and thus that he cared about her. It’s reminiscent of the RumBelle phone call where Rumple was sure it was the end but called Lacey so that she would know how wonderful she was, even though she couldn’t remember that version of herself. Emma knows how much Milah meant to him and how long he focused on that revenge. So when Hook says he’s going to think of her every day (and with that much conviction – Killian emotions always get to me) – he’s going to.
Her response of “Good” was encouraging those thoughts. To keep thinking of her. To remember her (and as it turns out, to remember her enough for the both of them). The music swelled during their scene and it was all about them. Beautiful. She got teary saying goodbye to him,and I saw a lot of wistful looks of what could have been in there. Once she learned that she wouldn’t remember at all and really started crying, she looked to him too. Heartbreaking.
It was a very Han/Leia carbonite moment for me, and I know the writers are huge fans. It was a way for the characters to say their feelings without saying them and falling apart. It was understood through their words and glances (they say SO much with their eyes, and with Hook actions have always spoken louder than words which is what Emma needs – she is so much like Snow!). Her “Good” was like Han’s “I know” – short and to the point, but nonetheless bittersweet. In fact I’m shocked they didn’t have Hook answer the question of “Who are you?” with “Someone who loves you” but I guess in a way they kinda did since he tried to use a True Love’s Kiss to wake her up. (The difference of course, being a memory-loss being involved. So sad!)
Hook’s last words to Emma about not letting a day go by without thinking of her is almost word for word in Charming’s letter to Snow in 7:15 am. The letter which calls her to him, where she then is forced to lie and goes to take the memory potion, causing the same setup that Hook is now faced with. LOVE Snow/Charming & Emma/Hook parallels & there have been tons, but these really stick out. Like mother, like daughter!
When the curse cloud overtakes them, we see Regina with her back to the town line, then Snow and Charming, and Hook. That’s the last Emma sees as she drives away. Man was that brutal.
TIME JUMP! Emma and Henry have been living in NY for a year since their curse was changed. They’ve been happy. Anything before Henry’s birth should have stayed the same but this time she kept him and everything after that is new and happy.
HOOK CAME TO GET HER! How did he get from the Enchanted Forest to NY? What’s going on there right now that they need her help? Will Henry be able to go back too? Therein lies the torturous wait for March 9th.
The hope & joy on Hook’s face about killed me. The failed True Love’s Kiss mirrored Charming and Snow in Heart of Darkness after Snow took the memory potion. Charming’s actions had to win her over & I have no doubt Hook will get to Emma as well. Snow & Charming, and Belle & Rumple have been through this exact same kiss/violent shove off scenario when a memory thing is involved. Kinda hard to love someone you can’t remember!
There were a lot of Pilot moments in this episode and in something called “Going Home” we had Hook arriving at Emma’s door, much like Henry did in the pilot, and trying to get her to believe/remember in order to find her family and save everyone.
I expect to be on a similar journey to early Season 1 but have it wrapped up MUCH quicker so expect a lot of Hook/Henry parallels for winning Emma over and getting her to believe and go save everyone. They’re pretty close so far already. 
And we all know Henry is definitely her True Love!
When Hook gets ..injured…he says “I was hoping you felt the same,” much like his earlier “I was hoping it meant something” etc. etc. Snow keeps saying that true love or a happy ending starts with Hope and that’s something that Hook and Emma definitely have together. His language has always indicated that, but it’s a nice callback.
Hook has somehow already managed to get from the Enchanted Forest to the Land Without Magic in 1 year when it took Rumple hundreds + a curse, so we’re already fast-tracking things a bunch. Hoping it doesn’t get drawn out too far though! I want them reunited with everyone sometime soon! If anybody can break through to Emma and get her to believe, it’s either Henry or Hook so right now: Hook. Looking forward to some bonding time for him and Henry too though! Can’t wait to find out what happened over that 1 year and how he got to NY and found her! (I’m hoping pixie dust is involved but not shown until Emma has actually made her choice. But that’s just me.) 😉
For those who hate me right now becuase I ship CaptainSwan I apologize! But I think Snow’s point in this episode was extremely important. “Your happy ending may not be what you expect but that is what will make it so special.”
Many characters on the show thought their happy ending meant this that or the other and that’s changed. Just because it’s surprising and different doesn’t mean it’s bad. If it’s their genuine HAPPY ending and they’re with their TRUE love then in the end it doesn’t matter, right? 
This is why I have hope for everyone even after such a devastating episode! They all deserve love and they should be with who’s right for them, whoever that is, even it doesn’t seem like they’ll find it or doesn’t end up being the one they thought it would be.
Belief in 2nd chances at love has been important this season. We’ve been introduced to the idea second chances courtesy of Tink who, as a fairy, it’s partly her job to help people find love & their happy endings. Thanks to her we know to expect OutlawQueen (Regina & Robin Hood) which I hope we get soon and look forward to seeing! We’ve watched Hook move on from his first love Milah (to the point where he genuinely thinks a True Love’s Kiss will work with Emma – not knowing of course about the pesky memory thing that blocks it), and if Emma does wind up with Hook, then I have faith that Neal will find someone too (or vice versa, but he’s already shown he could move on once, and Hook is very much in love with Emma and focused on her. It took him centuries to get over Milah!)
Who knows? With the time jump, perhaps he’s already started moving on. After all, she stood him up and the goodbye seemed friendly and sweet because they’re family no matter what, but it didn’t come across as romantic and she made no effort to clarify her feelings after standing him up (which was supposed to signal a NO).
Just think – if Milah and Rumple were supposed to end up together and raise Bae, we wouldn’t have any show. More importantly – no Rumple & Belle. Milah wasn’t right for Rumple. Neither was Cora, but Belle? Belle is PERFECT for him. He thought his happy ending was his lovely little family way back in what we saw in Manhattan, but it turned into wonderful things he never could have imagined. Thank goodness we didn’t have to watch THAT love story play out in real time! Way too painful! RumBelle is perfect and I refuse to believe Rumple is gone. He vanished, but as he said of Bae this episode in the flashback, he is lost but not dead. He’s out there, I can feel it!
SO MANY QUESTIONS! All in all I think it wrapped up the brilliant mini-season beautifully and the next set should be just as exciting!
I just want to give every character a hug right now. 🙁 
Sorry this was so long but there was a lot more than I realized that happened! Love the podcast! I’ve been listening for ages and can’t wait to hear more from you over the break! Love listening and I am, as ever, still #CaptainSwan & #TeamBillMeeks –you are still on our team, right Bill?? Don’t lose faith in our ship!!! There aren’t many  podcasts that equally represent the ships!
By the way, the song they used at the end was the same song as in Broken where we saw Neal get the “broken” postcard featuring Greetings from Storybrooke! 
This is significant because it was playing when Neal chose not to go look for Emma, and it was playing again when Hook actually found her. Love the symmetry almost as much as starting Season 2 with the man who didn’t come back and ending it with the one who did. Beautiful.
By the way, did anyone else notice that the number of Emma’s apartment was 311? Are they trying to get cute or what? 
Love the podcast. Don’t disappear for the hiatus! 
Kate

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