Once Upon a Time season finale recap: Journey to the Past

Time travel, true love, blah blah blah -- all we really want to talk about is that chilly parting shot
Ep. 21 | Aired May 11, 2014

Katie Yu/ABC

Wormholes work sort of like portal-portals; they'll take a traveler where and whenever that traveler was thinking of. And because Snow and Charming were dreamily recalling their first meeting when Emma went through the looking glass -- so to speak -- the savior and the pirate find themselves in the Enchanted Forest right before the lovers are due to first set eyes on each other. Before that happens, though, they watch Past Regina -- still very much in her Evil Queen Goth Sex Goddess mode -- terrorize a village, selecting one poor townsperson to die for the crime of not informing on the bandit Snow White. Though Emma wants to help out the poor woman -- who should already look familiar to viewers with a good memory -- Hook cautions her against it, saying that meddling could cause catastrophic changes in the future.

Then it's time for a scene we should all remember from this show's third episode ever, "Snow Falls." Snow cuts down a tree in order to stop Charming's carriage in his tracks; the carriage pauses, and Snow freezes, poised to leap down and steal the ring he's planning to give to his future bride, princess Abigail. (Why did a Greek king give his daughter a Hebrew name? That's a question for the Kitsis and Horowitz of the past, who can't answer because they're too busy planning an awesome Neverland arc.)

Except, oops -- at the exact wrong time, Emma snaps a branch, which distracts Snow and keeps her from committing her planned ambush. Meaning that Snow and Charming don't, in fact, meet... and that Emma's existence, and the salvation of the entire Enchanted Forest, is now in jeopardy. Somebody cue up "Johnny B. Goode."

Only one person -- so to speak -- can help Emma and Hook repair the damage Ms. Swan has accidentally done: Rumpelstiltskin, who appears and nearly murders the pirate with The Force before Emma uses her future knowledge to stay his anger. Specifically: She lets slip that unless Rump helps them, he'll have no hope of ever reuniting with his son. You can tell that Emma feels a little bad about leaving out how that reunion ultimately ends up... but whatever, it does the trick. Hook and Emma determine that to get the timeline back on track, they need to get Snow to steal Charming's ring; in the meantime, Rumpel will work on making a portal to the future, using a wand that has the ability to recreate any spell that's been cast before. (Sorry, Black Fairy's wand -- I suppose I was wrong about you. Please don't turn me into a bug.)

After convincing Snow to nab the ring -- a process that involves distracting cleavage and two Hooks, which I imagine is a dream some of you have had -- Emma and the Captain head the only place they logically can: the Enchantment Under the Sea dance that King Midas is throwing that very night. Please listen to this while reading the following section.

NEXT: The power... of loooove!

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