Last night's Once Upon A Time seemingly tied up all the loose strings, UNTIL THIS HAPPENED! Spoilers ahead.
So basically this is the second-to-last episode of a massive, two-hour finale, which you would not know going into this episode, because this delightful faux-finale does what I didn't think was possible: it tied up the wildly ridiculous Wicked Witch of the West plot line quite nicely (almost). And it did it in a fairly logical and interesting manner. Even though I kind of saw all the big Oz reveals coming, they were still earned for what they were.
I can't say I'm particularly attached to a table of newly introduced witches whose entire role is to sit at a table and say "we're sisters," but it worked. The Wicked Witch flashback did everything it needed to do: it introduced Dorothy, the Wizard and the Witches' lynchpin that the future characters would need to pull (smarts and logical thinking not being one of their strong suits).
Zelena now has all the ingredients she needs to make her time traveling potion a reality. First the heart (which she took from Regina), then the courage (which she stole fighting Charming) and now a gold brain, which she made made by waving her hand around some of Rump's gold straw and boom—a very convenient brain that we could have spent time getting on one of the 1,000 throwaway episodes from this season. But we didn't.
Meanwhile, Snow goes into labor and whammo, Zelena's innocence is birthed. And just like that, Zelena shows up and snatches the babe. It's brutal. Meanwhile, Charming (because he has all the good ideas) sends Hook on a mission to stop Zelena with Emma. Because that's who you should send, the one person who can cripple your powers. And that's exactly what happens: Zelena drowns him, thus forcing her to "kiss" him in CPR. It was clever, but also exasperatingly stupid to witness because OF COURSE THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN YOU DUM-DUMS.
So now Emma is sans light magic, but that doesn't matter, because Regina realizes that she no longer has to confine herself to the black-and-white, good-and-bad norms of this series. She decides to be good, and whammo, light magic. Terrible time travel spell is stopped. The baby is returned, and everyone is happy, especially Emma, who decides right there that she's moving back to New York. Poor Hook.
This will probably also creep out Henry, because he spent the earlier part of this episode looking through the classifieds to help his mom find a new apartment—which is a totally normal thing that normal kids do. I'll be honest, if I met the character Henry in real life, I would probably call the cops on him, because you know that kid has, like, a shoe box just STUFFED with dead birds under his bed. He is a weird kid, and I do not like it.
So everything seems to be A-OK
But here comes trouble:
First up, that was a badass death scene. Very Oz-like and unexpected. Second, I'm glad Rumpelstiltskin hasn't become some housebroken puppy, because where is the fun in that? And finally, normally I would be wailing, "Oh no, not the reboot button," but with the way the series is angling for this to be a two-hour finale it could, I repeat could, work out. From the looks of the previews, it seems like Hook and Emma are the only folks who retained their memories. And it also looks like they're at a ball, so I'm down for a little bit of that nonsense, especially if they fix everything and wind up riding Pete's Dragon back into Storybrooke in the final scene. After spending too much time in the dark jungle set of Neverland, I prefer my fairy tales in Maine.
Well done, everyone. Can't wait for the finale.