'Once Upon a Time': Michael Raymond-James returns for 100th episode
'Once Upon a Time' recap: 'Swan Song'
has taken us pretty much everywhere in and out of fairytale lore over the past five years: Storybrooke, the Enchanted Forest, Arendelle, Neverland. Tonight, with a return marking the show’s midseason premiere, as well as its landmark 100th episode,
gave us something old (daddy issues), something new (the Underworld), something borrowed (a potion) and something blue (that classic Hades hair). Before we actually got to the Underworld, however, we had a little moment of nostalgia. Okay, a big moment of nostalgia. Emma wakes up in her yellow bug in the middle of something that looked like a cross between Storybrooke and a carnival, with Neal in the backseat. “It’s really great to see you,” he says because that’s apparently the greeting you give someone when you see them again after they die. Are they in the Underworld? No, they’re in some in-between place because apparently the Underworld is only for people with unfinished business and that doesn’t apply to Neal. After an emotional reunion, Neal does warn her that she shouldn’t go to the Underworld — it won’t end the way she thinks it will.
Emma wakes up right as the crew approaches the REAL Underworld, which looks exactly like Storybrooke. Except, predictably, this Storybrooke is tinted red because, you know…hell. Also, this is kind of like a broken-down version of Storybrooke, complete with a broken clock tower. “I don’t think we’re in Maine anymore,” deadpans Regina, who is probably going to get me through most of this season. Rumple confirms to the group what Neal had told Emma earlier: Everyone here is dead or trapped because they have unfinished business (cue Cruella’s car driving by). What’s worse, the Storybrooke crew knows that half the people are only here because of them. Well, okay, mostly Regina. Either way, that can’t feel very welcoming.
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Snow visits the Underworld version of Granny’s, where she runs into David. I mean James. Right. Totally James, who plants one on her before leaving. (Hey, when in hell…) When the rest of the group shows up, Rumple professes his annoyance at the fact they’re getting nowhere. He elects to take matters into his own hands and visits his shop, which isn’t actually
shop here: It’s Pan’s. (Nice shot of Rumple noticing his old Pan doll right before Pan shows up.) “Aren’t you glad to see your dear old father?” No, he’s really not. But Pan insists that he wants to put the past behind them and that he meant what he said before he died: He wants to start over. Rumple has no time for sympathy, even when Pan threatens him with the fact that his friends might not make it out alive and tries to convince his son to bring him back to the land of the living. Rumple refuses, but Pan does give him a special potion, no strings attached, that lets you communicate with the dead. Rumple’s plan? If they pour it over Hook’s grave, they can find him easily. And this is great news for the group because if they can find him, everyone can leave together and things will be fine! Best-laid plans, amirite?
Regina, meanwhile, is having some growing pains of her own. After being tipped off, Regina visits Cora at her house, and the two reunite in an emotional meeting. Cora’s unfinished business? Her daughter. And that includes trying to get Regina to leave because her friends and family are holding her back. Most people can only leave the Underworld in two ways, both of which don’t seem very appealing. But Cora’s arranged for a boat to take her home safely with Robin and Henry. She gives Regina a taste of what will happen if she stays: Someone will suffer the wrath of the fiery chasm of Mordor, a.k.a. be swallowed up by the flames of the Underworld. The person who will suffer, in particular? Regina’s father.
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