You guys called it: Henry is apple-dead and I hope you're happy! Actually, I am very, very happy about this turn of events. And not because I dislike Henry (the weary whippersnapper has grown on me, it's hard not to feel sympathetic for a 10-year-old dealing with a mother who's as dense as her pants are tight), but because **MAGIC**! And how incredible that the magic apple works, even if you cut it up, sugar it down, bake it in a dough. It also dawned on me last night that Henry is not nearly as jazzed about Emma being his mom as he is about her magically saving his town. Hence his risking both their lives and steering the car into a tree instead of allowing her to raise him in a series of cheap motels, waking up each morning to the hum of an air conditioner and Emma attaching her false lashes in the reflection of a Jim Beam bottle.
This poor kid. How did they get the car out of that ditch? Did they walk back into town? Did Emma make him get out and push?
The episode's amazing "Oh, it's on, we are going into the finale next week, dawg!" ending helped balance its atrocious beginning. Is there anything worse than a dream sequence, especially when it's a super obvious dream sequence? At least we know where the Regina-getting-beheaded moment from the promos came from and that it's not happening any time soon.
And the dream admittedly was a good catalyst for Regina to go hassle Mr. Gold. Which is always a good thing because A) Robert Carlyle, and B) LOVE IT when he and Lana debate magic in their business suits. They're like Wiccan businessmen.
Regina is worried the curse is weakening because her apples are all mealy. We learned that if she kills Emma, the curse is broken, which at least explains why she hasn't bewitched Emma's extensions into choking her out. Mr. Gold was not interested in a deal, so Regina got in touch with the Mad Hatter, who seems to have survived his fall out of a two-story window and into a hat quite well, which, PLOT HOLE. Either hats don't work in this world, so he should be sustaining at least a broken knee, or Emma DID make the hat work, in which case he should be in another dimension. Whatever. Suffice it to say that instead of a text, Regina got in touch with Hatter by being a sinister creepster and putting stuff on his daughter's bike. Then she tried to get him to take her back into a hat (we all know how well that worked out for him last time) by offering to restore his daughter's memory, and our luscious, James Dean-cum-Mad Hatter agreed on the condition that she would restart him and his daughter in the Matrix. What a dumdum.
I hope you get your head cut off for reals this time, because how dare you or anyone else trust Regina? She has yet to fully make good on one promise. And secondly, even if Regina wanted to make good on giving him and Grace a new story, how is she supposed to do that with no magic? She used the last of her magic to retrieve the death apple. I guess we're just supposed to assume "Mad" means "As thick as Emma Swan," which is saying something. (Don't get me wrong—Jennifer Morrison is hot and smart and she makes Emma a million times better than she is on paper. But Emma on paper is THE WORST.)
Meanwhile, bedraggled Emma had presumably marched home from the outskirts of town and Snow White took her to task about not saying goodbye and being a better mom to Henry. Mary-Margs has gotten extra spicy, sass-wise, ever since she spent time in the slammer, but wait until she remembers that she used to be essentially a mass murderer.
So the fairy-tale backstory dealt with how Charming was almost beheaded by his very fashionable faux-father,
Then Regina stepped in looking vaguely like the prince and wearing weird statement makeup and bought Charming for her own explicitly stated purposes.
The deal was struck right before Snow and her dwarfs and a hot werewolf and a little old lady who miiiight only be 37 broke into the castle and KILLED THE SHIT OUT OF SOME GUARDS.
The body count was insane! And those guards weren't necessarily evil, either, they were just doing their jobs, protecting their castle from intruders. I mean, I know Snow White is a badass and everything, but considering she would find out that Charming, whoops, wasn't even at that castle, she looked as murderously insane as Jon Cleese hacking his way through that medieval wedding in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
And don't get me started on this lunacy:
Meanwhile, August is waiting to die, which is kind of hilarious. What with all his skulking around town and book binding, and after one screaming match with Emma in the woods he's like, "Well, that didn't take on the first try. Time to wait for my body to transform into a collection of baseball bats."
Granny's was HOPPING, by the way, I have a feeling a lot of the Yelp reviews are going to be like, "Cute place, food okay, but there was one couple at a table in the middle of the place loudly debating whether or not this one lady who I think was a stripper could have custody of her son. Wish management had moved them to a booth or asked them to leave, hope the boy is okay."
Jiminy has an office, guys, stop screaming about your secret plans at Granny's!
Regina had used the last piece of her magic, her David Bowie ring, to snatch the very same apple she used to curse Snow White, and the Hatter just did not question how she was going to help Grace without magic at all, because DUMB. Then Regina hurried home to bake the apple into a pie for Emma, incapacitating her yet not killing her so the curse could stay in place.
I really liked how the show changed the mythology of the apple, so instead of Snow White being tricked into it, she chose the sleeping curse to save Charming. She and Charming had only been on like, a hike together, once, if memory serves, but I understand them to be totemic of heroic fairy-tale love and I thought it was moving that Snow unquestioningly acted to save him. It was a much better choice than eating unwashed fruit hot out of a hobo's hands like in the Disney tale. Also, did anyone think when Snow bit that apple and Regina like, ghost-bit/made a sexy face—that was wildly sexualized. But maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm secretly a fruit fetishist... or not so secretly, now.
The symmetry of that being the same apple that Henry ate so Emma would save the town, and both he and Snow making incredibly brave sacrifices, is not lost on me. And also Emma's sacrifice—that she's willing to leave town if it means Henry will stop believing in what she thinks is a delusional dream world, her sacrifice has meaning, too... even if it's debatable that she just wants to get back to her life of hooking up with truckers and sleeping in her car. I cannot WAIT until Mary-Margaret realizes Henry is her grandbaby, maybe she'll even adopt him while Emma pulls herself together. You know, assuming Margs can keep her swashbuckling in check when she remembers her bloodthirsty past.
Of course, the first step for all is Henry getting woken up from his turnover-induced coma. How do we think that's going to happen? Let's discuss.
– Is Baelfire going to make an appearance next week (like maybe Emma will have to contact the biological father to see if there's a history of narcolepsy or something)?
– Whose true love will wake Henry with a kiss and do forehead-kisses count I HOPE?
– Is the Mad Hatter a true dunce and why is he still in this dimension?
– Will Mr. Gold spring into action anytime soon (like maybe if he finds out Henry is his GRANDSON by BAELFIRE?!) or is he emotionally checked out ever since August played with his tender heart?
– Was Emma making a sacrifice by offering to leave or was she just running away again?
– WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE FINALE?!?!
– I'm interviewing show creators Kitsis and Horowitz TOMORROW (Tuesday). What should I ask them?
Make an official prediction for how Once Upon a Time's first season will end: Visit our Season Finales Predictions page.