It’s about time.
It seems forever since there was a fresh Once Upon A Time. Finally, there is no need to wait. The 100th episode brought a lot of intrigue and plenty of heartbreak as the ‘heroes’ entered the Underworld to begin their quest to save Hook.
In the story of the past we saw more of the destructive relationship that Regina has had with her mother and even filled in a plot hole from way back in season 1.
So let’s begin with the first recap of the newest arc along with quotes, thoughts, and Most Valuable Resident.
Welcome to the Underworld: On their way to the Underworld, Emma passes out. While she is out she goes to a middle world where her first love, Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-
James) greets her and convinces her not to go to the Underworld. There’s a bit of a catch up between the two, but Neal warns her that saving Hook is not all it’ll be cracked up to be. Emma also learns that the Underworld is for those with “unfinished business” and, unfortunately, Neal will not be there to save.
Once awoken, Emma and crew enter the Underworld, which also looks like an upside-down Storybrooke. Everyone separates and runs into some foes from episodes past (it is the 100th episode, after all). Snow sees the Blind Witch from Hansel and Gretal’s story, but is also, surprisingly, greeted by James, David’s brother.
Regina also has a reunion with her mother, Cora. Cora, however, wants Regina to leave the Underworld ASAP with Henry and the “theif,” Robin, by her side. Though Regina tells her mother she can’t leave, Cora says it will come at a cost–to her father, Henry, and shows that not leaving could cost Henry to be sucked up into a painful, fiery mess.
Meanwhile, the newly-instated Dark One, Rumple, visits his shop and comes face-to-face with his own father, Peter Pan. Obviously, Pan is not a fan of not-living and wants Rumple to bring him back with him, but only if one of his “friends” dies and goes in their place. Rumple is not on board (for now?), but Pan does give his son a potion that could allow him to talk to the dead.
With the potion, Emma brings it to Hook’s grave and has a temporary connection with a battered Hook, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t last. Regina also uses the potion to speak to her father for the first time since she ripped his heart out. During the somber reunion, Henry warns Regina of Cora’s deception and tells to stay and help her friends find Hook even if it comes at a cost to himself.
SEE ALSO: 100 Episodes, 100 Moments: Part 14
Henry is then transported to the fiery pit where Cora tries to harm him. However, Regina does her best to convince Cora that she must stay and help everyone, not just Hook. Despite her best efforts, Cora leaves Regina to watch Henry Sr. be taken by the fire, but before it does it stops and Henry is greeted by a Heaven-like sky. Henry realizes that Regina was his ‘unfinished business’ to get her released from Cora’s grip. With that Henry could leave the Underworld. But, before he does, he gets to meet his namesake, Henry, with a sweet (tearful) family reunion and then continues on out of the Underworld.
After, everyone reconvenes in the town center, they determine that they want to help others with their ‘unfinished business’ to help more leave the Underworld. Thus, “Operation Firebird” is created by Henry, but Rumple wants nothing to do with it. As they walk away, Regina notices that the clock tower begins to move forward, mirroring the pilot of the series.
Cora, meanwhile, makes her way under the library and comes face-to-face with Hades, controller of the Underworld, who warns her of the harm that could come to Regina if she stays in the Underworld. With the tick of the clock, another soul has left and as punishment for that and for abandoning Zelena to escape the life of a miller’s daughter, he punishes her to remain that way for eternity. That satisfaction leads to Hades’ hair to light up into the blue flames we remember.
A Very, Merry Unbirthday: On Regina’s birthday many years before, Regina is still out for Snow White’s heart. After almost destructing a village for Snow’s whereabouts, they come face-to-face, but Regina still does not succeed.
Later, Henry Sr. tries to convince Regina to stop the animosity because it will only hurt her in the end. In the worst possible move, Henry ‘magic mirrors’ to Cora who was banished to Wonderland and when his back was turned, Cora made her way back to the Enchanted Forest.
With Cora back, she disguises herself as Henry and meets with Snow to take her heart to give Regina Snow White’s heart as a birthday present. The real Henry arrives and bargains with Cora, but she doesn’t budge. When Cora hands over the heart, Regina watches via Magic Mirror as she attempts to crush Snow’s heart. Luckily, Henry intercepted the heart and switched it with a guard’s rather than Snow’s.
Regina did not take the switch well and, as punishment, traps her father in a heart box. However, Regina also takes her frustration out on Cora and when Regina banishes her back to Wonderland, Cora snatches the box with Henry as well and both of Regina’s parents get stuck in Wonderland.
- What a great way to bring Neal back in, even if just for a second. There was almost a little closure. But, you have to feel bad for poor Henry who went looking for Neal in the Underworld.
- How do the people in the Underworld know what’s going on in real world (i.e. James knowing David and Snow).
- If Regina believes whoever created the Dark Curse created the look of Storybrooke, is it possible Hades created the curse?
- Why can’t Belle just realize Rumple is lying? It’s getting a tad old.
- Cora’s manipulated Regina so many times, it was hard to believe whether her intentions were true for Regina to leave or not.
- I’m totally OK with Robbie Kay returning, but if Pan died as Malcolm, Rumple’s father, wouldn’t Malcolm be living in the Underworld? Technicality or a bigger reason.
- So big question: Who is taking care of Roland, Baby Girl Hood, and Baby Neal while their parents are searching the Underworld? Belle, Granny, Little John?
- Greg Germann was an interesting casting choice as the sinister Hades, but once we saw him in the role, it fit in so well. His story is going to be an interesting one.
“I love you, Emma. I always have, always will.”–Neal
“Tell me or I’ll kill you quickly instead of slowly.”– Regina
Court Jester: “What did you wish for?” Regina: “That you would be amusing. It didn’t come true.”
“If you stay you spread hope”–Henry Sr. to Regina
Most Valuable Resident: Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills) Honestly, Regina’s story was the strongest of the entire episode. We got to see the Evil Queen persona return, but we also saw the vulnerable side of Regina who wanted her mother’s approval, but also wanted to help her friends and, even more so, her father. I mean, how were the tears not flowin’ during every scene with Regina and Henry Sr.?
Review: 4/5 After a long hiatus and a milestone episode, Once Upon A Time hit a lot of great notes in the beginning of the Underworld story. We saw old characters and somber reunions and the episode had a great focus in Regina’s story with her father. Even at the end, there was the intrigue of what Hades wants and how Operation Firebird will affect the characters. I’m excited for what it to come.
Next Week: With the Underworld arc now officially in full swing, next week we move further into the story. We will finally meet the ‘Zero to Hero,’ Hercules as Snow tries to recruit him to help save Hook and face-off against the three-headed guard of the Underworld in, “Labor of Love.”
What did you think of the 100th episode of Once Upon A Time? Did it live up to the hype? What character were you most excited to see again?
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