Emma Doherty ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Everyone knew the character death was coming back when Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (the creators and executive producers) announced it earlier in the season. But even with the time to prepare, the shock of how it happened was pretty heartbreaking.
We lost Neal again, and this time it’s for good. The creators announced that this was a permanent death; no dark or good magic will be able to bring Michael Raymond-James back to the show anytime soon. We’re left to wonder whether this was a creative decision among the writers or if Raymond-James decided he no longer wanted to be a part of the show. Having two other projects he’s involved in seems to back the argument for the latter. This seems like an accurate reason because his death was completely abrupt. Sure it makes sense that the only way to bring Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) back is to give up a life for a life, but it’s hard to see how Neal could so easily be on board with using dark magic.
Back in the Enchanted Forest he and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) were instructed by Lumiere, an interesting added character, to use a key to open a portal that would resurrect Rumple. Despite Belle telling him that she knew it was a bad idea and that he would regret it, he didn’t listen and paid the price greatly. We know he wanted to get back to Henry (Jared Gilmore) more than anything, but with his history with dark magic, how are we to believe that he would overlook all the warning signs and use it anyways.
At least now we know why Rumple appeared to have lost his mind! He and Neal were sharing the same body and were only finally separated when Emma (Jennifer Morrison) used her own magic to try and bring Rumple back. Emma made the ultimate choice to resurrect Rumple after Neal told her that he would be more helpful for her and their family. It was devastating to see Emma watch him die. This brought back memories of season 2 when Regina (Lana Parrilla) made the same decision to end the life of someone she truly loved. The show is always making parallels like this between characters, so it will be interesting to see if it means something.
Speaking of Regina, we finally get a scene with her and Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) in Storybrooke. It’s been said in interviews with Lana Parrilla that Regina and Robin’s relationship will definitely blossom, and in this episode it was easy to see how that is true. The two actors have incredible chemistry, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes for Regina to trust again and open up to somebody. The end scene with her watching Robin with the adorable Roland was very emotional. You could see the conflict in her eyes as she watched the man that has been prophesied to be her soul mate. It was emotional to see her admiring the way he acts with his son, who reminds her of the one thing she wants more than anything: Henry.
Henry, meanwhile, is growing suspicious of Emma, and we’re left to wonder how long it will take before he gets his memories back. It will be devastating to see him realize that his father is really gone. Keep in mind that even though Neal has been involved in the show for the last two seasons, he has barely had the chance to spend any time at all with Henry. Another touching moment in the episode was Hook confessing his affection for Neal, which ended up being his goodbye. We can’t forget that Hook was a big part of Neal’s life when he was a boy, and he cared deeply for him for a long time. It was nice to see him acknowledge this truth and have it be his last words spoken to his old friend.
We now know that Zelena (Rebecca Mader) is after “what she doesn’t have”, according to Rumple, and this could mean she is after Snow and Charming’s baby. This seems very likely, especially if the parallels are true. We know her sister, Regina, was planning on taking the Charming’s first child, and since the baby is a product of true love and having magical abilities, it doesn’t make sense for Zelena not to want him/her. The fact that it took them this long to figure out who the Wicked Witch was is a little concerning, especially due to the fact that she had a giant green gemstone hanging around her neck. What happened to the sly observant Snow White? Or Emma, who used be able to spot a lie immediately? Anyway, the battle between sisters next week is sure to be dramatic, and we get to hear more about Zelena’s back story.
Make sure to watch this Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.
Overall Episode Grade: A-