Well, who would have thought, Zelena got a redemption arc.
She also got some emotional and real moments with her sister, and hey, she saved the day in the end, which I guess just proves that everyone can save the day in this show. There’s no bad guy too bad to be redeemed.
Except the Black Fairy?
I wouldn’t even be sure about that. But, that’s a story for next week. For now, joining me discuss this episode are Fangirlish writers Sarah, Caryn and Charles. So, let’s get into the not so wicked witch, the pancakes and and Mother and Fatherzilla of “Where Bluebirds Fly”
What were your overall thoughts on this episode? Rate the episode on a scale of 1 to 10.
Lizzie: I’d give it a 7.5. It was a strong episode, the Zelena backstory tied to her present circumstances really well, the Black Fairy storyline, though still not quite feeling final-battle worthy, was interesting, and the Captain Swan and Snowing moments were pure gold. Moment of the episode: Snow’s: “We were cursed!” to David when he made a reference to Whale.
Caryn: I’m going to give it a 7. While the Zelena story did provide some additional background to her story, and it turn move along some parts of the Black Fairy plotline, a lot of the episode still felt kind of dragging at places.
Sarah: I’m going to give it a 7.5. I really liked the character growth we saw from Zelena, and deeply loved the entire pancake sequence. Leading into that it was nice to see domestic Charming family wedding planning time scenes and I’m excited to see how that changes to let’s get married in two weeks.
Charles: I’m with Sarah and giving the episode a 7.5. I enjoyed the Captain Swan moment very much and the main story with Zelena was good. Zelena’s one of those characters that needed a episode like this and Rebecca Mader did a heck of a job with it.
The episode focused on Zelena – and her fear that, without her magic, no one could ever love her. Did it ring true to what we know of her character? Do you believe she can truly start over? Did you expect her to give it all up? And, did you enjoy her scenes with Regina?
Lizzie: I think it did ring very true to her character, I think this was her fear from the start and it was smart from the show to go back to the beginning with her in the hopes of giving her character closure and some measure of redemption. I think the writing for her was very uneven – mostly because they tried to parallel her to Regina and so, by doing that, had her do some of the same awful things Regina did and then they deal with those things the same way they dealt with them with Regina, by ignoring them and hoping we’d do the same. But, since we can’t, and we didn’t ….the character never quite ended up as popular as maybe they would have liked, despite the fact that Bex Madder is a wonderful, wonderful actress.
Do I believe Zelena can start over? Yes. This is Once Upon A Time. Anyone can start over. Did I expect her to give it all up? Considering I think it’s very likely we won’t see her next season, this felt like the right bit of closure, even if again, as I said before, it’s really too little to atone for all the writers had her do. That being said, this is the most I’ve ever enjoyed Zelena, so kudos for that.
I truly enjoyed her moments with Regina, too, because they felt real and unfinished and chaotic and yet filled with love in a way that you can only get with family. They clearly have a long road ahead of them, but this makes it feel like they can finally start walking in the same direction, and I’m happy for both of them, happy that Cora didn’t manage to take away everything, happy that they found a way to love each other despite everything-
Caryn: Zelena always felt like a fun and interesting character that the writers never knew how to handle. I don’t how true the notion that without her magic no one could love her, because even with the magic she only really had Hades who was digging what she was cooking, but it did give her a sense of importance that she couldn’t get anywhere else. Her scenes with Regina in the beginning were a bit frustrating because I felt like I’ve seen them before – such as when Zelena teamed up with the Evil Queen. I do hope they can move forward from this and create some form of tentative friendship.
Sarah: Zelena has always been a complicated character for me personally, mostly because I’ve thought the writing for her was inconsistent. Despite that I understood where her fear was from since the moment she became the Wicked Witch her magic was firmly tied into her own view of who she is. When we first met her she was using magic to get what she thought she deserved – unconditional love. Obviously she didn’t go about it the right way, but I think having experienced love of a different kind, being a mother opened to her to despite what she’s feeling or is afraid of, she always has a choice. Today she made that choice to give up her magic, which I’ll admit I didn’t see coming, but I loved that it represented her making a decision to be completely honest about what she was thinking especially towards her sister. Her time with Regina was some of the best scenes I’ve seen from Zelena all season especially when she admitted that Regina was all she has outside of her daughter. That is what I’d been looking for and it may have been a long time coming but I think it was definitely the start to a real beginning for her.
Charles: Zelena has always been one of those characters I can never quite get a grasp on. Most likely due to the writing but it happens on some shows. That being said, I love Zelena in this episode. She made the choice to give up her magic and I truly think she can start over now with Robin. At least she has the chance to. As for her scenes with Regina, those have always been interesting. It would be something I’d love more of if the season wasn’t ending so soon.
Pancakes is the new coffee – aka we got some Captain Swan domestic moments, and an Emma that didn’t seem to be able to stop touching Hook. Is this the Captain Swan you wanted to see all along? What was your favorite CS moment and why?
Lizzie: IT IS. Can I get more of this? Like 40 more minutes an episode? Or, can we get like a Captain Swan Moments webseries? The episodes still go on as planned but we get to follow Captain Swan around as they cook breakfast, go grocery shopping and just do the regular couple things. Raise your hand if you’d watch that. I know I would.
The breakfast moment was my favorite, by far, but I liked their complicity throughout this whole episode, and I liked how they literally could not stop touching each other. It’s the honeymoon phase, even before the wedding, and I want it to last forever. I want to see it on screen.
Caryn: My favourite Captain Swan moment was definitely the breakfast scene, I felt almost starved for cute, romantic CS scenes that I grabbed it both hands. I’ve been wishing for a sex scene for ages and if that’s the closest we’ll get, I’m okay with that. MORE OF THIS please.
Sarah: This is the Captain Swan I wasn’t sure I’d get to see again, so in a word YES! It was lovely to see them just being so happy to be around each other, in their home making breakfast….and other more delicious activities until Snow barged in. I’ll be honest this is my favorite Captain Swan scene to date. It had all the little things I was hoping to see all season and beyond that just letting them have this quiet moment to bask in their happiness was at least two seasons earned. Can we have more of this please?
Charles: Yes this is exactly what Captain Swan should be. Cute, flirty, sexy. Even in the scenes that focused on Snow/Charming, they were doing the little things I love seeing couples do. It was great. It’s what you want your OTP to be . Though Hook getting Snow-Blocked had to hurt for him a little.
Once Upon A Time killed/failed to deliver a happy ending to yet another POC. How do you feel about this ? Use gifs.
Snow and David were excited about the wedding – and yet, took vastly different approaches to wedding planning. Can you see where Charming is coming from? Do you agree more with Snow? Why do you think the subject brought on so many emotions for both of them?
Lizzie: I get them, I do. They’re parents, and they’ve missed so many of Emma’s big moments and Charming just wants to offer his baby not just a wedding, but a happily ever after. But he can’t control that – and I agree with Snow, Captain Swan needs to grab onto that happiness while they can and hold onto it, because sometimes that’s the thing that gets you through the bad times. Despite agreeing with Snow, though, I understand both of them and that’s why I love this storyline so much, because to some people it might seem absurd that the parents have as much, and even more opinions than the daughter, but it’s not absurd to me. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect. It’s love.
Caryn: I see where they both are coming from, although I do think they need to put the wishes of Emma above both of their reservations. But personally I agree with Snow, in that they should get married and have as many happy moments together as they can in case they do not survive – unless one of them think they going to change their mind. They can always have a bigger wedding after the final battle. But please please don’t get married at Granny’s, I’m so tired of Granny’s.
Sarah: Charming, as much as I wholeheartedly understand why he wants a different wedding day for Emma than he and Snow had, it’s very much from the perspective of a parent always wanting better for their child scenario. It’s relatable, and honest, but I come down more on Snow’s side of things in terms of not waiting until after the Final Battle to have the wedding. In her opinion hope is what they need to give the people and that’s true, I just think it doesn’t have to be done with her daughter getting married to her True Love. Emma & Hook deserve to get married exactly when Emma said they would “when it’s right.” That being said I completely understand why her parents would have such struggles with it given Emma is facing down a similar situation they went through and ended up with them cursed having lost her for 28 years. It’s no wonder it affects them so deeply, but I have faith they’ll all come together in the end to support Emma and Hook’s nuptials whenever it takes place. *cough May 7th cough*
Charles: I could see where both were coming from though I agree that Emma and Hook should have a personal wedding. Something nice and quiet for them. Also, man does Granny’s get a lot of crap sometimes hahaha. As for why so much emotion, it’s simple I think. You are planning to have your daughter get married. Their only daughter. It’s the parent mindset of wanting everything perfect for your child.
The Black Fairy has a secret – and considering that she’s already as Evil as they come, it might be something that paints her on a favorable light. Speculate on why you think she gave up Rumple and where she goes next now that Zelena has foiled her plan.
Lizzie: I’m thinking it’ll be something good – which just bothers me. I want an evil character who is just evil because that character enjoys being evil. Is that too much to ask? She probably gave him up because she thought it was the best for him or whatever and then she became what she is because of her regrets or something like that. I haven’t even seen it yet and I already hate it.
As for what her plan is – what Zelena did isn’t going to stop her. If I were her I’d go after Regina next. It’s clear going after Emma directly won’t work, so the smart play is to separate her from her family – and I’d take out the most powerful of them, Regina, first.
Caryn: It was probably something like, she knew she was going to be banished to another land so she gave him up so he wouldn’t be forced to face the same fate as her. Or someone threatened to take him away from her. It has to be something that can redeem her, it’s always something that can redeem the villain.
Sarah: As evil as the Black Fairy is, and she clearly enjoys evil, it doesn’t surprise me if her giving up her son was rooted in a more human emotion given she clearly faced something she doesn’t want to come to light. Whatever the details might come down to, I have a feeling she gave him up for a reason that either has to do with power, or to keep him safe or possibly both. I could be wrong, but I’m very interested to find out on Sunday. The heroes setting back her plan might have frustrated her, but if this is the most evil force they’ve ever encountered there’s no doubt she’ll have a plan B and that’s terrifying in of itself.
Charles: Honestly I’m not sure what the Black Fairy’s next move will be. I think it will be mind games on Emma– possibly involving her family. As for why she gave up Rumple, guessing that power and darkness might have something to do with it.
React to this episode in one gif:
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Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.