I am going to come right out and say it: the season 3 finale ‘Snow Drifts’ and ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ are my favorite episodes of Once Upon a Time to date. They had everything I love about this show: Fairy tale characters! Royal balls! True Love! Plot twists! New baddies (?) revealed in the best way possible! I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time…except for that one moment near the end when The Character We All Knew Would Screw Things Up was revealed. I knew from the moment this episode opened with the world’s cutest Outlaw Queen date night that something terrible was going to happen to Robin Hood and it did…just not in the way I expected. Besides, I was so swept up in the magic and spectacle of the whole episode I forgot that feeling of foreboding and everyone knows the second you let your guard down in OUAT that is when things start to go awry.
That is how the beginning of the episode gets you too, ‘Snow Drifts’ starts out so normal and ordinary that I almost forgot it was the season finale. Everyone was at Granny’s (even Katherine (??) and Ruby) to hear the announcement of the Royal Baby name with more secrecy and press than Kate and Will’s. I honestly thought he was just going to be called Leo and that would be the end of it. Then Emma runs towards the giant firenado and things start to go down. Of course Emma and Hook are the one’s to be transported back in time because of Zelena’s curse, but I was okay with that. It was better than the whole town going and everything happening all over again like I thought it would. Oh can we talk about that curse? Apparently that pendant was SUPER flawed because even after Zelena was killed by Rumple her slime/spirit was still able to make moves and enact the curse. Who would put all their their trust in such a faulty piece of jewelry? Seems a little flawed to me. Also, Rumple tells Belle he trusts her completely and then lie proposes to her using a fake dagger. Not cool Dark One. I have a feeling that little lie is going to cost him down the line. It also tainted what otherwise would have been a lovely finale ending wedding. Side note: why was no one but Belle’s dad invited to the wedding? Doesn’t Belle have friends in Storybrooke? Why keep things on the DL? Also, what gives Dr. Hopper the power to marry people?
The whole idea of the finale and sending Emma and Hook back in time was wonderful because we got to see what we have been waiting to see for three whole seasons: Emma as a princess. I didn’t know how much I really needed to see that until this very episode. But more than that it was the story of Emma discovering where she belongs and finally realizing what True Love really looks like in more than one form. Seeing these adorable moments of Snow and Charming’s first meetings made me delighted all over again, but the best part was seeing Emma seeing them and interfering in a very Back to the Future type way. I was honestly worried for a moment when she had the ring that Charming was going to develop the hots for her.
But no, after Emma messes up the way her parents meet (the first time) she spends the rest of the episode scrambling around in Enchanted Forest appropriate clothing trying to make things right including a truly hilarious scene where she has to seduce/distract past Hook and present Hook gets jealous and knocks him out.
Then of course there’s the ball where Emma learns how to waltz perfectly in the shortest amount of time possible before getting herself arrested for helping Snow and insulting Regina. She ends up in the dungeon with a character who mysteriously won’t reveal her name which let’s you know she’s a Character Here Just to Mess Things Up. But Emma being the dim witted hero she is decides to not only save the mystery woman, but also take her back to Storybrooke. I don’t know, with all these people who just show up in Storybrooke and end up being major baddies you think they would learn by now not to trust anyone. But it turns out she is not a major baddie, just Maid Marion. I was under the impression Marion died because she was sick. I guess that was wrong because right after the world’s cutest scene of Regina holding Roland’s hand and kissing Robin outside Granny’s Marion is reintroduced to her husband who promptly forgets Regina exists. This poor woman can’t catch a break, especially seeing as she just got her heart back. It will be interesting to see what happens with this storyline next season, but something also tells me that Marion won’t last very long.
Another favorite scene of mine was Emma telling Rumpelstiltskin the truth behind what happened to Neal. I thought it was one of Jennifer Morrison’s best acted scenes of the season. She manages to pretend to be getting sucked back into the magic CGI portal all while crying and yelling at the Dark One to let Neal die a hero regardless of how much they both love him. Speaking of the dearly departed, we got to see another cute past-Emma-in-glasses and Neal scene on what seemed to be one of their first dates. I miss that Emma and Neal. And in yet another surprise the Charmings name their son not Leo, but Prince Neal which is cute and a little weird all at the same time. (And yes I did get choked up during that scene especially at Rumple’s silent nod in recognition.)
Even with all of those scenes, the best part of the episode had to be the very end when the weird gold container spilled and blue liquid started oozing out. As soon as it started harding into an icy form I started yelling “yessssss” at my computer because I just knew. Seeing the gloves and then the the cape and finally THAT BRAID made me squee with joy because even though Frozen isn’t my favorite film I love how OUAT incorporates new Disney characters into the show. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis sure know what they’re doing. So the big question is will Elsa be next season’s big bad? And will Anna show up? Just please no talking snowmen.
I can’t wait for next season, they left us with just enough cliffhangers while tying up the whole Oz storyline. It looks like Arendell may be next. (If that’s the case be prepared for posts titled with the names of Frozen songs.) Until season 4 starts I’m going to be replaying Elsa’s intro in my head along with that truly giddy making Hook/Emma courtyard kiss. (Sighhhh at the way he touches her chin.)
One last thing: now that Once Upon a Time is over I promise there will be more reviews of varying nature on this blog. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing about the magic, ridiculousness, and camp of one of my favorite fangirl shows.
- Seriously, does Henry ever go to school? What grade should the kid be in now?
- Does Emma really not know how Hook got his hook? Does she know the backstory between Hook and NEAL’S MOM? (Weird.)
- I really thought Emma was going to go with Prince Diana, but Princess Leia is SO. MUCH. BETTER.
- I like how Ruby shows up, does her wolf thing and then disappears for episodes
- Why did they mention the fact that Aurora is no longer a flying monkey. That has to mean something…
- Josh and Ginnifer are going to make such good parents
- Emma: What is he going to do? I have magic, he has one hand! (3.20)
- Hook: One of these days I’m going to stop chasing that woman. (3.21)
- Hook: Any idea how to get back to the future? Emma: Who do I look like, Marty McFly? Hook: Was he some sort of wizard? (3.21)
- Hook: What are you doing? You’re depriving me from a dashing rescue. Emma: Sorry, but the only one that saves me is me. (3.22)