‘Once Upon A Time’ Panel: “Labor of Love”

Hello Oncers! It feels nice to get back in the swing of having new episodes, new things to discuss. It also feels nice to have Snow White, the original character we fell in love with, back in our screens. We liked you, Mary Margaret, don’t get us wrong, but we loved Snow. If we had to pick between the two of you, we’re keeping Snow. Thank you very much.

Also, there was Hercules. And Meg! I think I didn’t love this movie enough when I was a kid, but I just re-watched it after this episode, and boy, is this a good movie. And the soundtrack! The soundtrack! In fact, I suggest we all read this panel with “Go The Distance” in the background. It feels appropriate.

Joining me today are Ann, Kayla and Gabby, as we recap the good, the bad and the ugly of “Labor of Love” So, let’s begin!

What did you think of the journey of Young Snow? Did it resonate with you? And what about the elder Snow? Are you happy the show made the distinction between her and Mary Margaret? Did you miss badass Snow?

Ann: I loved how they weaved Hercules into Snow’s journey.  I thought Hercules and Snow were terrific together. They sold me on their story and how Princess Snow became Snow White.  I was so glad Mary Margaret got her groove back- I missed her so much. We haven’t had badass Snow since season 3A and I missed her. Hopefully Adam and Eddy will keep her.

Kayla:  Personally, I loved what I saw with young Snow this week. Snow has always been one of my favorite characters and so to see more of her becoming the strong woman she is has been rewarding. I think it resonates with young women everywhere. It’s a time that we all struggle to find ourselves and discover if we can live up to these expectations we’ve begun to put on ourselves, so in that regard, it resonated with me. Snow’s assertion of herself and really finding who she is outside of being a mother and wife was also very rewarding as a longtime fan. Seeing her embrace her inner warrior goddess was awesome and so much like the Snow I fell in love with. As for the distinction between her and Mary, I think that was so important. She’s already found a way to be both, but this was her choosing which version of herself made her more happy. Being Snow White is who she is at her core and so to me that was important to see her finally accept her truest self. And I missed badass Snow, we haven’t gotten to see her come out to play in a while due to outside circumstance and plot, but the Snow I saw this week is the Snow I want to see every week!

Gabby: I said it on Twitter before, but this is the episode I wanted for the 100th episode. Exploring something so integral to Snow as to how she became an archer and went from princess to bandit was great.  And the fact that it was Hercules who taught her that bravery was even better. I think it resonated with me both as a fan—getting to see as I said where this integral part of a main character came from—but also having been where Snow was. That first scene where she tried to take down the bandits and then her arrows tumble to the ground was incredibly powerful because everyone has been there. That feeling of trying to be brave and then failing as it seems as the times epically.

I most heartily missed badass Snow! I think we—and she—needed that distinction between Snow and Mary Margret. It’s like my mom said a few days ago, Mary Margret was Regina’s fabrication and was made to be everything Snow was not: fearful, cautious and subdued. Plus I think it was fitting that her “Mary Margret to Snow” journey paralleled Hercules because it was in Hercules story—specifically his trip to the underworld—where his human side burns away. So here it was the last of Regina’s original curse fabrication that burned away for Snow.

You made me your friend” Regina said, and that felt both like an ending and a new begging for her relationship with Snow. What do you think of this friendship? After all that’s happened, can Snow and Regina truly be friends?

Ann:   I like Regina but she is not a favorite character. I think Regina gets away with too much i.e. hurtful remarks and just the evilness that she was in the beginning of the story of Once Upon a Time. I do believe that Regina and Snow can be friends. I think they already started on that journey but I wish that Snow would call out Regina more about their past.

Kayla: First of all, I’ve never been Regina’s biggest fan. The begrudging friendship between her and Snow has been rocky to say the least. Their friendship is more believable than say her (Regina) and Emma’s, but it comes from a place of Snow trying to redeem Regina and that is interesting to me. I think that since Regina is making a clear effort to change for the better, that she and Snow can mend their relationship. I think that it’s a friendship driven by that bond that they did have when Snow was young and so that makes me have hope that they can and that they can reach a place of acceptance and forgiveness and become closer.

Gabby: Okay, I might be in the minority here, but I always like the development between Regina and Snow. Like their conversation in season three, I liked this development. It shows how far they’ve come and I appreciate that they’re moving towards a balance. I don’t think they will ever truly be friends in the conventional sense of the word, but I think they can move towards a more familial relationship.

Killian Jones’s redemption arc seems mostly complete. What do you think of Hook’s story? Are you sold on how the writers have progressed his story? What do you hope to see from him in the future?

Ann:  Ha! Ha! Killian Jones is my all time favorite character! I love him!! I love Hook’s story. I didn’t like what the writers did to Hook in Season 4 but I feel the writers are getting into his character for the first time in Season 5. 5A was amazing for Hook and I understood why he became dark so fast. Some people could not understand why he turned dark so fast, but I knew that the darkness consumed him because of his revenge for Gold, Rumple or the Crocodile, whatever you want to call him. In the future- I just hope that Killian can find forgiveness in himself for what he has done as the Dark One and as Captain Hook. I want him to realize that he is the best version of himself and he deserves to have Emma Swan in his life.

Kayla: Good God, I could talk about this man and everything he has suffered and how much of a hero he is forever! Hook’s story has been the ultimate redemption arc in my mind. He has lost everyone he has ever loved and still has managed, even at his darkest to have an inherent goodness and morality that makes him such a hero. And if anyone doubted his status as a hero, the midseason finale left no doubts. THE MAN SACRIFICED HIMSELF FOR THE PEOPLE HE CONSIDERS FAMILY, HOW MUCH MORE HEROIC CAN YOU GET?! I was sold on his redemption arc the moment he came back with the bean at the end of season 2 and helped them off to Neverland. More and more of him simply being a hero will be all I ever want for Killian.

Gabby: Hahaha, this is funny because one of the tags I always use on Tumblr for anything Killian related is “the redemption arc to end all redemption arcs.” This is what a redemption arc should be—he still believes he has to make up for what he’s done and looking back on where’s he come from. And as a Killian Jones fan, yes I am fully sold on how the writers are handling his story. I’m glad that they’ve continued forward despite all the haters. I just hope that they don’t mess with his story any or go way off track.

Emma’s desperation to find Hook was contrasted with his quiet certainty that she would find him. What does the fact that he’s 100% sure she will save him say to you? Did you ever expect that Captain Swan would become this epic of a couple?

Ann: Killian loves Emma! He has always believed in her and that she will not fail at anything she does or puts her mind to. Captain Swan OMG Captain Swan! I was never ever a shipper of characters on a TV show or anything. (Maybe Jamie & Claire from the Outlander books) I just didn’t do it. I loved couples but they didn’t consume my life. I’m still in shock that they are so epic. It may be the actors Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue that make it epic. They are amazing as Killian and Emma.

Kayla: THEY’VE COME SO FAR AND I AM SIMPLY A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION ( Can you tell that I ship these two to the grave and beyond yet?). The fact that Killian is so sure of Emma just speaks to the level of intimacy and love that these two characters have and it simply confirms what the show has been telling us from the beginning, that these two people are supposed to be together and that they are true love. When they climbed that beanstalk back in season 2, I instantly saw a connection that ran deeper than simply the innuendos that he had been throwing her way up until that point. They are both deeply wounded and lost and they have such similar pasts that it was almost inevitable. So in a word, yes I did expect it and I never expected it to be the epic romance that it has become!

Gabby: True love. True love. True love.

No, in all seriousness, having been in love with this show from the beginning I would have expected nothing less of a fairytale show. This is fairytale romance at its highest caliber. To me, it almost their reactions in this episode are yet another parallel of Wesley and Buttercup from the Princess Bride.

Can Henry write them all a happy ending, or is that just too easy? Give me three guesses as to how this season ends.

Ann: I think that Henry can write them all a happy ending but I hope he doesn’t! That IS too easy. As to how season 5 ends- I have no idea what to guess. I don’t know where they are going this season. I just want Emma to finally get her happy ending and hopefully Killian is part of that. I want Robin and Regina’s arc to be developed like they did for Emma and Killian.

Kayla: Henry writing everyone the happy ending doesn’t seem too easy to me. If her were given the power back, then he would absolutely want the people he loves to be happy. These people have gone through more than Oliver Queen went through on Lian Yu for crying out loud! My first guess as to how the season would end is that everyone escapes the underworld, they’re back in Storybrooke, and they are all dealing with something as a direct result of their time in the Underworld and then the season ends with a cliffhanger to be resolved. My personal choice simply lacks a bad thing happening to them. Emma and Killian get either engaged or married, have moved in together after returning from the Underworld, and everyone simply sees the Camelot gang on their merry way and Zelena is gone forever. Third guess

Gabby: That is way too easy. I think Henry is definitely going to get the pen back, but I think instead of a happy ending he might have to write them to another place—ten bucks says Agrabah (especially if they want to focus more on Henry which would fit with a bunch of Aladdin parallels).

Possible ending #1: They escape the Underworld, someone gets left behind (hopefully Rumple) and they go back to Storybrooke to face the new baddie

Possible ending #2: They escape the Underworld only get to a Storybrooke that’s no bueno (possibly taken over by either Zelena or Arthur or both) and Henry has to write them to another realm

Possible ending #3: A CS wedding or proposal, but this is a long shot

It probably won’t come down to that, but if you were Hook, what would be your order, from first to die to last, and why?

Ann:  I don’t think Killian is going to tell Hades who should die and he won’t write any names on those tombstones. <(FYI I wrote this part before the press release) BUT If I were Hook my first would be Gold because DUH. What has he not done to Hook?? Then Robin since they really do not know each other. Then Regina?!? I don’t know but they do not seem to like each other much. Regarding the rest, there is no way Hook would have Charming, Snow, Henry and Emma remain in the Underworld. Nope not gonna happen.

Kayla:  Firstly, I’m assuming we can only pick from the people Hades’ was referring to as having come down with him,so that is where the list itself comes from. My List: Rumple, Regina, Robin, Snow, Charming, Henry, Emma. Well, the explanations are easy at least. Rumple is obviously going to be first on his hit list. 3000 YEARS PEOPLE.Regina has screwed him and Emma over enough in the past to warrant some serious anger and hatred on his part. Robin has always just been a periphery in Killian’s life, but he wouldn’t want to be cruel and simply kill him out of any spite. Now figuring out where to put the rest of the ‘Nevengers’ was pretty difficult as they’re all family and have become such to Killian. Snow and Charming, well he would absolutely never want to hurt Emma via her family dying, and so that’s the only, ONLY reason I placed them as such. Charming has become a good friend to Killian and in a way, so has Snow. The absolute only reason I put Henry in front of Emma is because there is absolutely no way in any conceivable universe where Killian would actually WANT to kill Emma. For that matter, ANY OF THE CHARMINGS! Like I said, they’re family.

Gabby: I have a feeling someone is going to die, whether that’s by Hook’s forced hand or not is up for debate. But here’s my kill list (can I call it that?): (1) Rumple – the Rumple is still an asshole theme is getting old; (2) Regina – because she might need to stew in the underworld a little more to burn off what little remains of her evilness; (3) Robin – I love him, but he’s disposable; (4) The Charmings – If one goes, they both go. The down side of sharing a heart, just saying Emma; (5) Emma – especially if Hades plans to keep Killian there for good. I need my OTP together.

Agree? Disagree? Have your own answers to these questions? Sound off in the comments below!

Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

1 Comment

  1. Great comments! If Hook had to do a kill list (and I think he won’t), I think his order would be Rumple, Regina, Robin (after Regina because of young children), David/Snow (package deal because of the shared heart as pointed out above), Emma, and Henry last, because he knows that is how Emma would want it, and he always goes with her wishes.

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