Saturday, May 11, 2013

Once Upon a Time 2.21: "Second Star to the Right"

“But Emma, Henry needs you. He can’t lose both of us. Don’t make him grow up like we did.”
“Then don’t let go. I need you. I love you!”
“I love you, too.”
- Neal and Emma

It took me a while to finally blog this episode. Not because I didn’t like the episode but because it took me so long to get over what happened emotionally. Yes, I know it’s just a TV show but I am so deeply connected to these characters that what happened in this episode really hit me hard. I will say that it had a nice arc to it from what we’ve seen previously. We start with Bae falling through the portal and landing in 19th century London. He ends up becoming a street kid, scrounging for food. Six months go by and he slips into a window of a nice home and starts gouging himself on bread when the young lady of the house, Miss Wendy Darling, comes in. But she’s nice to him.

We jump to Storybrooke where it’s 6:00am and Tamara is off to run. She’s apparently training for a marathon. But she turns down Neal’s offer of some horizontal exercise (seriously, the woman is like six kinds of crazy). Anyway, after she leaves, Neal hears some kind of altercation going on downstairs. He manages to intervene before Rumple steps on Whale’s face (for looking at lacey. God forbid!). Neal is not happy to see his father up to his old tricks and tells him to stay the hell away from him and Henry. That’s going to come back bite one of them later, I’m sure.

Meanwhile, the Charmings head to Regina’s office because she’s gone MIA and they want the beans back. But they are no longer in her office. Emma deduces that someone used an override code that morning to break in. The Charmings posit Gold was involved but Emma is still on her Tamara kick. SO they’re going to split up so they have the best chance of finding Regina. Speaking of, Tamara brings Greg the beans she snatched from mayor’s office. They apparently work for something called the Home Office (reminds me of Angel). They’ll be getting instructions soon but Greg still has time to literally subject Regina to electroshock therapy in the hopes of locating Daddy. This dude is seriously disturbed. Perhaps the only saving grace is that Hook refuses to partake of the torture. Though he doesn’t try to stop it either.

We jump back to London where Wendy has been hiding Bae in a crawl space. Her parents find out and her mother insists Bae stay with them. She won’t throw him back on the street or send him to a work house. That night, Wendy and her brothers tell Bae about that shadow that’s been visiting them since about the time he showed up. Bae warns them about the dangers and price of magic and they promise not to go near the shadow again. Unfortunately, Wendy breaks her promise (man Bae has a lot of that going on doesn’t he) and takes off with the shadow. She returns the next morning and tells Bae that the shadow doesn’t let the children leave once they are there. She was allowed to go because he wanted a boy. What, is the shadow Chinese? Seriously. That night, the kids scramble to set up an alarm system and Bae ends up sacrificing himself to save Wendy’s little brother Michael. In a very Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix way, the shadow hauls Bae through nighttime London and off towards Neverland. He manages to get free and falls into the ocean, only to be rescued by none other than Captain Hook. They are going to have a really complicated relationship. I can just tell.

Meanwhile, Emma is all business as she shows up at Neal’s room, demanding to search it. Neal is still skeptical of Tamara’s involvement in any wrongdoing but Emma spots one lie pretty quick. Tamara told Neal she ran in the woods but she’s tracked sand into the room. So they are off to the beach to find answers. Meanwhile, Gold whips a little spell from one of Regina’s and one of Snow’s tears to help find the Evil Queen in payment of that favor he owed Charming. And Lacey now knows magic exists. I do have to say, I miss Belle.

Mary Margaret insists on using the spell to find Regina so she can try to make up for killing Cora. She thinks she owes Regina for it. And oh boy does the spell work. Mary Margaret starts convulsing and gasping as she relives the first part of Regina’s torture. Down on the beach Neal and Emma finally have the heart to heart that we’ve been waiting for. Emma admits that it killed her that he never looked for her and that he found happiness with someone else. But then Neal drops the big bombs. He hates himself for letting August pull him away. Neal wanted to look for Emma but was afraid she’d never forgive him for hurting her so badly. He regrets having left her every single day. It is so clear that he still loves her. He wants that second chance even if he’s not ready to verbalize it yet. Tamara appears to throw them off the trail and then heads aback to torture central where she and Greg deliver the Evil Speech of Evil for the episode. The gist: magic is unholy and must be cleansed from this world and there are people who’ve been doing it for a very long time. I’ve heard theories that maybe she’s a descendant of the Darling family but I’m not sure. Either way, I’ll be quite pleased if someone were to drop a house on the pair of them.

Back at Gold’s shop, he’s showing Lacey all the things he can do (including creating a diamond necklace out of thin air). She wants to be immortal with him so they can be together forever. He explains that immortality doesn’t mean one can’t be killed. And he vaguely explains the prophecy, saying there’s something standing in his way of getting rid of the someone who could be his undoing. Really, Rumple, don’t off your grandson!

After Mary Margaret recovers from being linked to Regina, she manages to recall being strapped down, cold and surrounded by the smell of sardines. Charming relays this to Emma as she and Neal are walking on the docks. She spots the cannery and they take off. Shit is about to hit the fan. And maybe soon, Neal will believe Emma that his fiancée is a lying, cheating hag. They get to the cannery and after a little freak out where they run into Mary Margaret and David, head off to find Tamara and Greg. Tamara (thanks to some security cameras) sees they are closing in and tries to get Greg to go. He’ll leave only once Regina coughs up his dad’s location. She finally tells him she killed him and buried him in the woods. This of course prompts Greg to turn the machine to its highest setting and electrocute Regina. My guess, she’s only mostly dead at this point. Charming shows up and shoots the machine but Greg gets away.

On the main floor, Tamara shows Neal her true colors after knocking Emma out. Neal kind of can’t believe she’d been lying to him for over two years and that she never loved him. But that sort of spurs him to action, too. Until that awful bitch shoots him. Emma comes around just in time to engage in a much needed cat fight. Too bad Tamara had a bean in her pocket and uses it to create a portal and takes off. And then we get the most heartbreaking Emma/Neal scene ever. Neal catches Emma and the portal collapses the floor beneath them. Emma is trying to hold on to Neal but she’ can’t keep them both up. Neal tells her to let go but she begs him not to. She loves him and needs him. It was such an emotional scene that even now, I’m getting weepy writing about it. They finally acknowledge the still love each other and Neal gets sucked into a portal with a GSW to the abdomen. My only hope is he ends up in present day Enchanted Forest and Mulan and Aurora save him. Because there is so much of his story left untold. And he and Emma have to be endgame. I do have one gripe though. If there’s a giant swirly vortex on the ground, you don’t stand there. You haul ass as far from that thing as you can. I get it served a purpose and was a nice reverse of the last time Bae went through a portal. But still, it broke my heart (and Emma’s).

The Blue Fairy manages to save Regina (see I told you she was only mostly dead). Emma shows up, completely distraught and has no idea how to tell Henry that his father is likely dead. And out in the woods Greg and Tamara reconvene. They’re going to use the trigger to blow the town off the map (oh and Greg confirmed that his daddy is dead). So much happened in this episode that I can’t wait for the finale. And as of the writing of this post, Once Upon a Time has been renewed for a 3rd season.

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