“Goodbye” is the hardest word to say on tonight’s Once Upon a Time winter finale! Read our full recap for all the tear-jerking and shocking moments!
Once Upon a Time‘s winter finale felt more like a series finale at moments in tonight’s episode, “Going Home.” The shocks were plenty, the tears were close to falling, and the promotion for next season is, well… Wicked. With the slogan, “Pan Never Fails,” running rampant this season, will it actually be proven true?
The Old Switcheroo: Henry and Pan are still trapped in each other’s bodies, which is not an ideal scenario for those who must trust that Henry is inside Pan’s body. But Pan must be stopped. At the well over looking the town, Pan prepares to cast the curse on Storybrooke and begin rebuilding Neverland. After a life alone, what would lead Felix to believe Pan’s plan would include him in the new Neverland? Pan rips out Felix’s heart, ironically the only heart he ever loved, and fulfills one portion of the curse to unleash on Storybrooke.
Regina informs the group that in order to make any progress against Pan, they need to switch their bodies back and have Henry bring them the scroll. The only way to do such a thing requires the Black Fairy’s wand that is sealed in the convent. As the search party enters, they find a memorial arranged for Mother Superior. Tinker Bell, Hook, David, and Bae are not the only guests paying respects at this time. The Neverland shadow lurks in the rafters cutting the group off from access to the wand. Tinker Bell, empowered to prove Blue wrong, even after death, believes in her magic enough to activate the pixie dust. Now on an equal playing field with the shadow, she captures it using the candle in the coconut.
Rumpel is able to switch the bodies back, taking his father into custody as soon as he does.
Father of the Year: In what appears to be the final face-off, Rumple and Pan sit in Gold’s shop. Pan recognizes the restraints Rumpel was so clever to place on his wrists to strip him of his magic. Pan is always four steps ahead of everyone else, a trait that not even his son can out wit. Since Pan created the cuffs they cannot be used against him, but they will work on Rumpel. Stripped of magic, Rumpel is left useless against the taunting man-child, and left to realize what needs to be done. (Are we rid of Pan, yet?)
As Henry returns with the scroll for Regina, she is unable to hold it for too long without passing out. While out cold, she has a vision of how to save Storybrooke. However, Pan arrives too quickly and takes back the scroll. Even against an entire army, Pan holds the upper hand. Rumpel arrives, after having sent his shadow to retrieve the dagger hidden from him in the first episode of this season. In a rare moment of Rumpel’s story arc, we see a vulnerable, terrified man. He bids farewell to the love of his life, Belle, and informs Bae that despite their past, he loves him. Despite his harsh exterior and rough moments, this chivalry in Rumpel is met with open arms. (And quite a few tears, for we all know what is coming next.)
Rumpel stabs Pan, through which a beam of light removes both characters from Storybrooke. For good? Once Upon a Time fans can hope that at least one of those villains will not suffer an unhappy ending.
Remember the Good Times: In the wake of a tragic departing, Regina must now break some terrible news. The curse on Storybrooke is not capable of being stopped, but there is a way to save everyone. Return to the Enchanted Forest where they all came from.
However, since Henry was not born in the Enchanted Forest, he cannot go back with them. Emma has the ability to stay with Henry outside of the Forest, but the two of them will not remember anything that has happened, including ever meeting anyone from Storybrooke.
Henry begins the goodbyes with a heart wrenching exchange with Regina. He informs Regina that she was not a horrible mother nor is she a villain. Emma, meanwhile, says her goodbyes to Neal who insists that this is not the end of their road together. At the edge of town, Regina casts the spell on Emma and Henry. In place of losing Storybrooke and their enchanted history, Emma and Henry will remember a long happy life together. One in which Emma did not give up Henry.
New York, New York: With Storybrooke a distant, fuzzy memory for everyone, Emma and Henry move on with their lives one year later in New York. As the two prepare for a typical day ahead, a frantic knock on the door displaces their entire morning routine. When Emma opens the door, fans of Once Upon a Time, especially “CaptainHookers” can be heard screaming in joy! Hook arrives, trying desperately to explain that Emma’s family is in danger and they need her help!
But who is this strange man at her door? Pining for her love, even after a year apart… too far? Emma does not recognize him and slams the door in his face and on the mid-season finale.
WHAT AN EPISODE! Besides having one of the best episodes of the series, the promo for Once Upon a Time‘s return in March is equally as exciting!
A familiar witch is skipping down the road in the Enchanted Forest… Let’s hope someone drops a house on her:
Are you excited for the return as much as we are?!
Watch Once Upon a Time season 3, episode 12 “New York City Serenade” on Sunday, March 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC