If you haven’t seen any of the second half of Once Upon a Time season 3, turn away now. This contains a few spoilers.
First, let me just admit that Hook and Emma have undeniable chemistry. I love them as a potential couple, and this is coming from someone who was firmly in the Neal-Emma camp entering this half of season 3. It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that Emma has two very good choices here, and she has already gotten over the flying monkey. I would have liked to see Christopher Gorham (Walsh) get more of an introduction before he turned into the monkey, though. That would have been an interesting situation to navigate in this half of the season, but there is so much more to talk about here than Emma’s love life.
We shall begin with the premise that no one questions or seems to notice that they have a new visitor in Storybrooke that does not have a history there. Grumpy should have been suspicious of Zelena, even if no one else was. He was one of Snow’s protectors before Charming came along, so he would have been a logical choice for someone who would ask the right questions of any visitors to town. Speaking of Mrs. Charming, she is a stronger, more independent character in the Enchanted Forest than she is in Storybrooke. Snow was kind of a badass, stealing stuff, shooting people, and looking out for herself by carefully judging the character of potential friends or enemies. Mary Margaret is someone who is all sweetness and light, wanting to love and accept everyone. Sometimes it”s hard to believe these two are the same woman. The loss of skepticism will come back to bite her in her future dealings with Zelena.
David / Charming needs to be a bit more aggressive in his Wicked Witch investigation and should have been more assertive with Mary Margaret when expressing doubts about Zelena. I hope they find out her true identity before something horrible happens. One of the only remaining mysteries is Zelena”s endgame. Why did she bring Rumple back? What are her intentions toward David and Mary Margaret? Yes, we are told that she wants Regina to suffer, but wouldn’t that have more to do with Henry than any of those three? Her lost relationship with Henry is hurting the Evil Queen more than anything else Zelena could possibly do to her.
I have been enjoying the first three episodes, but most of the major events have been somewhat predictable. From the first minute we meet Walsh, it was rather obvious that he would turn out to be a bad guy (although the flying monkey thing was a surprise). The existence of Hook and Neal made that necessary – that, and the fact that Emma would have to cut New York ties if her eventual destination was going to be the Enchanted Forest or Storybrooke. I would have liked to have more doubt about that before Emma decided to reject his proposal.
The other event I saw coming was that Zelena and Regina are half-sisters. I can’t explain how I knew that, but somehow I did. It makes sense, though. There is not much difference between an evil queen with magic powers and a wicked witch. The love Regina has for Henry and the self-sacrifice that she has shown in the past redeems her. We have not seen anything like that in Zelena, and instead we see her in all situations looking out for her own interests.
The interaction between Zelena and Rumple fascinates me. They would also make an interesting couple. What powers does she have (other than his dagger) over Rumple? Why does he appear to have lost his mind? What part is Rumple going to play in her revenge against Regina? Does this mean that Rumple is turning back to the dark side (if only under coercion from Zelena)? It might not be a bad idea for the writers to do this, because Gold is a much more interesting character when he is scheming and plotting against an enemy.
More later –
Odds on couples-
Hook / Emma – up
Snow/ Charming – steady
Neil / Emma- down
Regina/ Robin Hood – no idea when or if this will happen