Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Once Upon A Time 7x21 Review: “Homecoming” (Be Careful What You Wish For) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

Original Airdate: May 11, 2018

After seven years, we have made it to the first part of the Once Upon A Time series finale. Sniffles aside, we are in for one last epic adventure before we know if the characters will get the happy endings they deserve. Thankfully, there was an open invitation to any actor who had been on the show in any capacity to come back for the final episodes, so just about every favorite character will make an appearance in the finale. Before the storybook closes for good on May 18, let’s take a look at what the last story will have in store for us.


In the previous episode, Henry breaks the curse, Alice defeats Gothel, and Wish Rumple randomly shows up to cause trouble and murder Facilier. A lot happened in a very short time and is still unknown to the main cast at the start of the penultimate episode. Even though the Seattle fairytale characters think that Facilier is still in town somewhere waiting to strike, they immediately start a party at the bar to celebrate the curse being broken. Have these people really learned nothing in the seven years we have known them?

After Henry voices some concern to Regina about the whereabouts of Facilier, Regina goes to Facilier’s office to find him. Instead of finding Facilier, Regina stumbles upon Rumple, who has been stashed behind a waterfall. Rumple informs Regina that Wish Rumple has made his way to the real world and is after the Dark One dagger. Finally, there is some real concern on their faces. Henry, Ella, and Lucy return to Ella’s apartment to celebrate their family reunion, but things definitely don’t go as planned when Ella and Lucy suddenly disappear. Of course, Wish Rumple dramatically makes his entrance and tells Henry that he must help him get the Dark One dagger if he ever wants to see his family again.

Well, it’s time to get the band back together! Regina, Rumple, Hook, and Henry join forces for the millionth time this season and determine that they will find a way to get to the Wish Realm to stop Wish Rumple and save Ella and Lucy. Rumple somehow gets a magic mirror that allows them to jump right into the Wish Realm, and I’m still not sure how that really worked. Unfortunately for our heroes, the crack in the mirror splits them up in two groups upon entry in the Wish Realm.


I always found the Wish Realm to be confusing, and I think we are going to be in for a real head-scratcher in the finale. Don’t forget that the Wish Realm allows for different versions of all the characters to appear and cause trouble. When the heroes get to the Wish Realm, Henry and Regina are together and land in some dungeon, while Hook and Rumple are at a version of Rumple’s farm from the Enchanted Forest. Wish Rumple has turned the Wish Realm into a personal hell for Rumple. Henry and Regina run into Peter Pan in a stockade in the dungeon, who tells them that it will be a lot harder to defeat Wish Rumple than they think.

Henry and Regina find their way to Ella and Lucy, only to discover them trapped in a magical snow globe. First, they encounter Cruella de Vil, who engages in an odd sword fight with Henry. Eventually, Henry traps Cruella in a cage, then Wish Rumple shows up to tell them he has placed a lovely unbreakable spell on the snow globe, to force Henry to help him with his grand plan. Meanwhile, Hook actually knows his way around the Wish Realm (did you forget he used to live there?) and brings Rumple to the cave he had lived in. He blows into a conch shell, and Ariel appears out of thin air. Ariel wants to kill Rumple, but Hook convinces her that he isn’t the evil one and that they need her help. She gives them her remaining squid ink, which Rumple brings back to his farm.

Wish Rumple appears to confront Rumple at the farm and is tricked into grabbing the Dark One dagger, which has been coated with the squid ink. With Wish Rumple momentarily immobilized, Rumple gives a great speech about how he must kill this version of himself if he ever wants to dispel the darkness once and for all and find his way back to Belle. Right as Rumple goes to kill Wish Rumple, Regina bursts through the door and ruins everything. The ink wears off, and Wish Rumple is free again to cause havoc.

Henry decides that the only way he can get his family back without giving in to Wish Rumple’s Dark One dagger demand is to find the author pen and write a different future. After getting the pen, he returns to the room where Cruella is trapped and takes the dye out of her hair as ink for the pen. I absolutely loved how Cruella was only concerned with her hair during the sequence and not the fact that she was still trapped in a cage. As soon as Henry gets the pen filled, Wish Rumple poofs in and takes the pen. Surprise! The real plan was to get the author’s pen, not the Dark One dagger.

In walks Wish Realm young Henry, who appeared earlier in the episode, and Wish Rumple announces that he has made a deal with Wish Henry to write the story that Wish Rumple wants. It’s a really odd scene, but it’s wonderful in the sense that two versions of Henry get to meet. Also, what more could we ask for with Jared Gilmore and Andrew J. West in a scene together? Wish Rumple’s first order of business is to have Wish Henry write Alice’s guardian powers away. He then traps Henry, Hook, and Rumple in the snow globe, leaving Regina for Wish Henry to deal with. Wish Henry is a vindictive fellow and wants revenge on Regina for killing the Wish Realm versions of Snow White and Prince Charming.


The Wish Realm plot stops there, and it feels like a rather abrupt ending for the episode. Obviously, the Wish Realm will be back in the finale, but there are a few more orders of business in Seattle to talk about before the story continues. While the Wish Realm stuff occurs, we get a scene that shows Tiana and Naveen together in Seattle. Tiana is having an identity crisis and can’t quite accept her new reality. This is one of the most realistic moments the show has had over its seven year run and really shows once and for all that Once Upon A Time has always had one foot grounded in reality.

Eventually, Alice feels a disturbance in the Force and knows that Henry, Hook, Rumple, and Regina are in trouble in the Wish Realm. Alice and Robin go to Tiana and Naveen for help, and Tiana reclaims her Queen of Seattle status by rounding up the townspeople to find enough magic to get to the Wish Realm. Some random dude in the crowd gives them a magic bean, which Tiana gives to Alice. Tiana and Naveen decide to stay in Seattle to watch over her people and to find their place in this new world.

Alice and Robin board Tiana’s food truck as Tiana gives them the magic bean, and I really thought they were going to drive that truck right into the Wish Realm. It would have been hilarious and led to some great comedy, but they actually use the bean to open a portal to Storybrooke. Their real destination is obviously way better than the other possibility, and immediately put a few tears in my eyes when I saw the “Welcome to Storybrooke” sign.

Going into the finale, we know that the original cast and many favorite supporting characters will be returning. It looks like Alice and Robin will round up the original group and bring them to the Wish Realm to save the day. The unknowns are: how many versions of each character will show up, where will everyone live at the end, will everyone survive, and will there be one big happy ending to end all happy endings? No matter what happens, I have no doubts that it will be a beautiful finale full of classic Once Upon A Time moments and tearful farewells.


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