'Once Upon A Time' Season 3 Finale Recap: Emma And Hook Get Together, Elsa of 'Frozen' Arrives In Storybrooke
Once Upon A Time’s 2-hour finale saw Emma and Hook go off on a time-bending adventure into the past with the unexpected consequence of bringing Elsa of Frozen to Storybrooke.
Get ready… pic.twitter.com/kAo7v99yBi
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) May 12, 2014
"Snow Drifts"/"There's No Place Like Home" began with a flashback to a teenage Emma, living at a group home as she longs for a family to call her own and a place to call home. In the present, the entire town has gathered at Granny’s for the announcement of Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Charming’s (Josh Dallas) baby name. In the Enchanted Forest, coronation ceremonies were tradition, something Charming says they missed with Emma. But, before the name can be announced, Emma is forced to reveal that she doesn’t intend to stay in Storybrooke. Instead, she plans on taking Henry (Jared Gilmore) back to New York, where he can be safe from all the magical dangers of the fairytale world. Emma doesn’t want to discuss it and steps out of the restaurant, with Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) hot on her tail. Hoping the story of her parents will help Emma realize that she belongs in Storybrooke, Henry sends Hook with the book of fairytales – it details how Snow and Charming met, and how they defeated the Evil Queen.
Emma And Hook Go Back In Time
Emma and Hook have the beginnings of a heart to heart, and are interrupted when they see Zelena’s magical time-traveling portal is still going strong. Charming and Snow also see this, and head to the sheriff’s station to check on Zelena. Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) tries to convince them that Zelena must have somehow escaped from her cell, gotten to her pendent and gone ahead with her evil plan, but David decides to check the station’s ancient video security system. Thinking quick, Mr. Gold/Rumpel uses his magic to alter the tape and make it look like Zelena used the last of her power to kill herself. With her dead, Regina (Lana Parrilla) explains, the magic contained in her pendant had no tether and was released, going back to its last place of use – the portal.
Emma, against all warnings, decides to investigate the portal herself and ends up getting dragged in. Hook, ever the gentleman, goes in after her and the two are transported to the Enchanted Forrest around the time when Snow and Charming first met, as evidenced by the 'Snow White Wanted' posters planted all over the forest by the Evil Queen.
Hook and Emma steal some clothes to fit in and decide their best chance at getting back to the future is to find Rumpelstiltskin. On their way, they accidentally stumble upon the scene where Snow and Charming originally met. Snow has cut down a tree in an elaborate plan to rob Charming and his bride to be. Unfortunately, Emma accidentally breaks a branch, distracting Snow and causing her to fall out of her tree and miss her opportunity to rob Charming of his mother’s ring. As Hook has already warned, any changes no matter how small to the past could have disastrous consequences to their future. So now, Hook and Emma have two problems: they need magic to return to their present and they need to find a way to get Snow and Charming together again.
Emma Helps Snow And Charming Fall In Love
After convincing Rumpelstiltskin not to kill Hook by revealing to him that he will be reunited with his son if their future is restored, a plan is put into place: Rumpelstiltskin will use his magic to work on reopening the time traveling portal that brought them there and Hook and Emma will play matchmaker.
Emma and Hook decide that they need to trick Snow into stealing Charming’s ring because Charming once said that when he saw his mother’s ring on Snow’s finger, he knew she was his one true love. While Emma distracts a very drunk Hook from the past with a short hook up below deck, our Hook meets with Snow and tells her that he will take her on the Jolly Roger if she steals Charming’s engagement ring for him.
Snow will steal the ring the next night, at the ball celebrating Charming’s engagement. Rumpel helps Emma and Hook secure an invitation and disguises their appearance to ensure the future is not disrupted. Under the aliases of Princess Leia and Prince Charles, the duo shares a dance before the ball is interrupted by the arrival of the Evil Queen. Meanwhile, Snow is caught red handed with the ring by Charming, who swears that, no matter where she goes, he will always find her. Emma helps Snow escape the Evil Queen’s guards and ends up with Charming’s ring in the process, landing her locked up in a cell in the Queen’s castle.
To rescue Emma and retrieve the Ring, Hook, Charming, Snow and Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory) work together to plan an attack at night. Emma, using her extensive outlaw skills and lock-picking ability, is able to free herself and decides to free the nice woman in the cell next to her as well. The woman (Christie Laing), it turns out, was imprisoned for helping Snow evade the Evil Queen, and all she wants to do is return to her family. With executions set for the next day, Emma can’t help herself and takes her along for the ride. Emma and the woman make it safely out of the castle, but Snow, unfortunately, does not. Desperate to take back her kingdom, Snow attempted to defeat Regina using black fairy dust to turn her into a bug that can easily be quashed. Regina stops her with a simple flick of the wrist and puts her to death immediately. Snow burns at the steak as Emma, Hook, Charming and Red look on in horror.
It turns out Snow still had one trick up her sleeve. She managed to use the last of her black fairy dust to turn herself into a ladybug and calls the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) to turn her back. When Snow is returned to her human form, Emma is overjoyed and is a bit sad when Snow doesn’t greet her with equal happiness.
The next morning, Snow and Charming battle the trolls on the bridge, just as they had in their original timeline. For a second, it looks like Emma and Hook will have to help them, as Snow originally defeated the trolls with her black fairy dust, saving Charming in the process, but, Snow manages to defeat the trolls with her wits instead and she and Charming share a sweet exchange, during which Snow playfully tries on Charming’s engagement ring, before parting ways, just as they had before.
With Charming and Snow back on track, Emma and Hook return to Rumpelstiltskin’s castle, now with the saved woman in tow. Hook accurately pointed out that the woman was supposed to be dead, and leaving her to return to her family could be catastrophic – “What if she gets tipsy one night and rides a horse into one of the dwarfs and there’s only six of them?” Emma’s solution is to bring her to the future with them. Rumpel has not managed to open the portal. He has a wand that can recreate any spell, but only those who used the spell can re-do or un-do it, and Emma and Hook are both without magic and therefore cannot use the wand. Instead, Rumpel tells them he plans on locking them up in his magical vault, where only the most dangerous magical items are kept – magical items that even Rumpel himself does not understand – and he will drink a forgetting potion.
Luckily, he sends Emma in the vault with the magic wand, and, after she admits that Snow and Charming are her home and that she belongs in Storybrooke, her magic is restored and she is able to sue the wand to open a portal back to the future. Hook and the woman jump in, but Rumpel appears before Emma can join them and he insists on knowing more about his reunion with his son. Emma is forced to tell him that Neal dies, but that he does forgive him and that he died a hero. She pleads with him to drink the forgetting potion and let Neal have his heroic death. Surprisingly, Rumpel lets Emma go and drinks the potion.
When Hook and Emma return to Granny’s, they tell Charming, Snow and Henry what happened, revealing that Emma is in fact Princess Leia! Snow tells the group that they have decided to give their son the name of a hero: Neal. Rumpel, emotional, disappears with Belle (Emilie de Ravin) to get married – Archie (Raphael Sbarge) officiates. And Emma decides that it’s time to start a romance with Hook and leaves the party to make out with him.
Of course, nothing is without consequence: the woman Emma and Hook rescued and brought back to the present is Marian, Robin Hood’s wife. The two are reunited, ruining Regina’s chance at a happy ending. Emma has inadvertently done exactly what her mother had all those years ago: taken away Regina’s true love. Regina is furious and hurt, but she doesn’t go full on Evil Queen. Instead she simply tells Emma that she better hope Marion is all she brought back with her.
Frozen Is Coming
In the farmhouse where Zelena had set up her magical portal, an urn sits in a pile of dirt and begins to shake. Slowly, bit-by-bit, a woman emerges. She wears a blue dress, has long blond hair and freezes and breaks the urn, which used to hold her prisoner: it’s Elsa, the Ice Queen of Arendelle, from Frozen!
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