Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Once Upon A Time 6x10 Review: “Wish You Were Here” (Under the Hood) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Wish You Were Here”
Original Airdate: December 4, 2016

It only took until the midseason finale to get a good episode of Once Upon A Time, and it’s almost worth the wait. In classic OUAT fashion, the midseason finale delivers with a crazy story and surprising twist that leaves everything up in the air for the second half of the season, which won’t debut until March. After a rather disappointing first nine episodes, we were due a great winter finale, and this one delivers beyond expectations.


The episode starts with a change of scenery when the Evil Queen figures out how to get everything she wants after Emma finds a way to hurt her without harming Regina. The Evil Queen uses newly-minted genie Aladdin to make Emma’s wish of not being the savior come true. The wish sends Emma to the Enchanted Forest, where her memories have been replaced with false ones of growing up in the Enchanted Forest with her family. Interestingly, the Storybrooke reality isn’t changed at all, even though most of the main characters appear in the alternate Enchanted Forest with Emma.

It’s an intriguing plan, but it should have altered the space-time continuum. The fact that the only person affected by this wish in Storybrooke is Emma doesn’t make any sense, but I guess it’s one of those random OUAT concepts that you just have to accept at face value. The best part of this other world is seeing Emma back to a better version of herself. Gone is the mopey version of Emma that has plagued the season thus far. It was so much more pleasant to see Emma not being a total mental wreck.

Regina actually has the best idea of the entire episode when she realizes that she can ask Aladdin for a wish since she and the Evil Queen are the same person, making them co-masters of the lamp. In a very smart move, she wishes to go to the same place that Emma was sent to in order to bring her home. Regina quickly realizes upon arrival to the alternate Enchanted Forest that Emma doesn’t remember her old life and has to concoct a plan to wake her up. Basically, she gets involved with a super creepy version of Rumple, who manages to get weirder with each different reality that we see.


Making a deal with Rumple always comes with a price, even in a fake land. The price of this deal actually sets up a potentially great story arc for the rest of the season. Regina agrees to let Rumple out of the prison cell he’s being kept in, and in exchange, he will give her a magic bean to get back to Storybrooke. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, right after getting the bean and using it to open the portal to Storybrooke, a blast from the past arrives just in time to ruin everything. Regina’s true love, Robin Hood, shows up to disrupt their trip home. Obviously, Regina is distracted by the living, and fake, version of Robin and lets the portal close up. So, Regina and Emma are trapped in the alternate Enchanted Forest and are being challenged by a Robin who doesn’t know them and thinks Regina is the Evil Queen.

Again, what could possibly go wrong? That’s to be answered in the spring, but it appears that the past may be back to haunt them in the alternate world. Even though they both know that the world they are trapped in is fake and everything that happens isn’t real, things are going to get slippery if the boundary between real and not real gets crossed. Regina and Emma are sure to be trapped for a few episodes because Sean Maguire, who plays Robin, signed on for a multi-episode arc. The journey all the characters take in this “wish land” should be interesting to watch play out and to see whether any of it affects Storybrooke.


As with any great episode of OUAT, the best part of the episode is the twist at the end. Up until the last five minutes, everything was good because of the storytelling and the fact that the characters were back to who they should be. Everything was right with the episode and felt like it came from the best of the first few seasons. Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz love to tease big stories and create huge shockers, but this one was truly amazing. Some of the twists can be predicted or at least partially figured out before the big reveal, but it feels like this one was a very well-kept secret.

The twist is even better because it’s a two-parter. First, we find out that Belle and Rumple’s son and the Blue Fairy were ambushed by the Dark Fairy, who happens to be Rumple’s mother. The Dark Fairy stole the baby and brought him to her Dark Realm, which Rumple says is a place that defies all rules of time and reality. Hopefully, we get to see more of this Dark Realm and the Dark Fairy in the second half of the season (and who knows what else could pop up from the darkest place in the universe). Also, this part of the twist could set up the first truly meaningful and permanent story/character arc for Rumple.

The second part of the twist is the reveal of who the hooded figure that kills Emma in her vision is. It turns out that Gideon, Rumple and Belle’s son, is the person fated to kill Emma. Gideon, also known as Morpheus, is all grown up and mysteriously appears to kill the savior. Upon getting to Storybrooke, he uses dark magic to turn the Evil Queen into a cobra and traps her in a cage. The twist has a small third part in that David’s wish of having the Evil Queen get everything that she deserves is one of the reasons why Gideon arrives in Storybrooke, since he traps her. So in a way, it’s actually David’s fault that Emma may die. Mystery solved! There are lots of mysteries that are left unsolved at the end of the episode that should turn into a truly magical second half of the season. The show has really set itself up for a great run, so hopefully it delivers.

I’m truly happy that Once Upon A Time was able to get back on track, but it’s too bad we have to wait at least three months for it to return!


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