Once Upon a Time recap: The End Is the Beginning Is the End

In a gamechanging midseason finale, Once wraps up Peter Pan's plot --then hits the reset button.
Ep. 11 | Aired Dec 15, 2013

THE PEW, THE PROUD Hook, Nealfire, Tink, and Charming are not impressed by this community theater production of Into the Woods.

Jack Rowand/ABC

Remember how season 2's winter finale brought an entire half-season's storyline to a satisfying end by conclusively returning Snow and Emma to Storybrooke? Well, Sunday's episode went about a hundred times farther, effectively tying a pretty white bow on the entire show's storyline -- at least, until that handy "One Year Later" tag (Captain Swan lives!) and a preview promising the imminent introduction of the Wicked Witch of the West. (Just what Once needed: Another villain who's more compelling than any of the show's heroes.)

Seriously, though: As the Charming clan clung together for what could be the last time, and Emma and Henry drove into the horizon while Storybrooke and all of its onetime inhabitants slowly disappeared into that thick magical mist, and we traveled back in time to see Emma give birth to Henry once more -- and, in this reality, decide at the last minute to keep her child -- did anyone else get the sneaking suspicion that they were watching scenes beamed in from Once's series finale? Ending the entire show by sending every fairy tale character back to their home realm while leaving Henry and Emma alone on Earth would have been pretty darn ballsy -- but it also seems like it would have been pretty darn fitting.

Of course, that line of thinking is totally moot because "Going Home" wasn't the end of Once Upon a Time -- it was merely the end of the show's latest chapter, an oft-frustrating string of episodes that wasted too much time running in place and then decided to launch an all-out sprint to the finish. Luckily, that sprint largely worked -- shoehorned-in Tinker Bell redemption plot and all.

As our story begins, Felix and Panry have made it to the Wishing Well with Regina's old curse. And, as many of you predicted, the demon boy has completed the hex by adding in its last essential ingredient: The heart of the one he loves most. Or, in this case, the heart of the one who loves him most. Ta-ta, Felix! Of the characters who died (or "died," as the case may be) in tonight's episode, I think it's safe to say that you'll be mourned the least. Except by members of the Gross Hair Club for Teens.

So Curse #2 is coming -- but lucky for our heroes, its advent is just about as slow as an arrowful of dreamshade. That means there's just enough time for the gang to cook up a new Pan-stopping plan, which naturally involves an all-important magical object that we've never heard of before and likely will never see used again.

NEXT: Just call it this season's enchanted compass

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