Once Upon a Time season 6 appears to master time in the winter finale. Find out who stabs Emma in her vision and which character returns!
Time is a fickle thing. Especially so if you are trying to make your stories align in the Once Upon a Time season 6 winter finale. Not only are we timeline hopping through the power of the lamp, but we are learning of new realms. Places where time makes no sense and youth is lost forever because parents in Storybrooke are more interesting with grown children than infants. When’s the last time baby Neal did anything exciting?
The hooded figure fated to kill Emma finally makes his, yes his way into town. Two long lost lovers return, but not for good. So many wishes come true that it’s hard to keep track of the rules of the magic lamp. Let’s dive into the winter finale!
Emma Swan is no longer the Savior, but she awakens in an alternate universe where her parents look age appropriate, Henry still exists, and Neal makes a surprising cameo. Picking flowers and spending her birthday in the comfort and security of her family leaves Emma wanting for nothing.
This peaceful Emma is a bit disconcerting at first. She is picking flowers, wearing a lot of bright colors, and yet she still walks around with strange dreams haunting her existence. Once Upon a Time really hones in on the dream world concept in season 6 and this alternate reality is no different.
Regina deduces that she is the joint master of the lamp (much to Aladdin’s delight). Her first, err second, request is to travel to the land where Emma now exists. Unfortunately, her arrival inspires fear in the kingdom. The dwarves take up arms, the kingdom prepares for war, and Regina returns to her old haunts.
After her banishment from the kingdom, the royal family decides that leaving Rumple to rot in the prison cell is the best solution for their Dark One problem. He still knows more than he lets on, probably for convenience sake. Aware of Emma’s Savior complex and the land of Storybrooke, he convinces Regina to free him in exchange for a magic bean.
This is the least threatening use of Rumple in the history of the series. But I suspect that it is not the last we’ll see of him. Stay tuned. He leaves Regina with one final piece of advice — remind Emma of the threat the Evil Queen holds and lure out the Savior.
She does just that by crashing Henry’s knighting ceremony and challenging the king and queen to a mannequin challenge. Emma weakly decides to take the key of the kingdom to the Evil Queen. Watching Regina walk the line between playing the Evil Queen and working to remind Emma that she is her friend is a master class in acting.
Lana Parilla really goes above and beyond not only in this episode, but in the series as a whole. Some selfish part of me wants the Evil Queen to stick around forever.
When Emma refuses to accept her reality, even after Regina crushes the hearts of Snow and David (don’t worry, nothing is real in the dream world) Henry shows up to try and save the day. Okay, some things are real in the dream world like that sword Henry lunges at Regina with. Emma is able to freeze Henry in time and regain her memory. Phew!
The wasted wish
In order to get things rolling in Storybrooke, David takes initiative. His first stop is to the mayor’s office where he takes over as master of the lamp. However, his wish for the Evil Queen to get what he deserves does not exactly work in the moment. She rambles on about taking control of his family and tearing them apart which leads to one of my favorite Once Upon a Time moments — Hook, David bromance time.
The Evil Queen’s strut through town is cut short by the hooded figure. He turns her into a snake, still bound by Gold’s magical cuff. Meanwhile, Aladdin and Jasmine take their genie show on the road and head to Agrahbah to set their story straight.
Magic beans, magic beans
Distraction is a nasty thing. Especially when your once dead lover comes back to life and distracts you from using a portal back to reality. Well, at least we’ll have Sean Maguire around when Once Upon a Time returns this spring!
But magic beans are not needed for another realm hop. Rumple and Belle reminisce about all the awful times they had together after they find out that their son is missing. Mother Superior was ambushed by the Black Fairy who took Gideon to a land where time moves at an accelerated pace. It’s also, obviously, great for breeding vengeful children.
Gideon confronts his family in Gold’s shop and reveals that he is the person fated to kill Emma Swan.
• Aladdin’s reaction to the Evil Queen’s flirtation justifies his appearance on the show.
• I’m really glad that this alternate reality Emma does not exist!
• What will happen in the spring? Let us know your predictions here!
Once Upon a Time season 6, episode 11 returns in spring 2017.