A day early, but I'm finally back in the rewatch sort of! Before I go into what I hate about this episode...
It still bothers me that Tiger Lily was in Neverland the whole time and was never mentioned. Apparently she knew Hook but he never thought to find her in 3A? She's just so random. Her kidnapping Hook just makes her "edgy" for no reason. How the heck did she knew about the Black Fairy being in Storybrooke?
Lana Parrilla actually did a decent job of channeling Mayor Mills in the flashbacks. She still has the slightly restrained bitchiness down. It's always nice to see Cursed!Storybrooke again.
Just going to say it - the flowers are dumb. Charming waking up from the Curse because of a random flower is dumb. Snow getting her memories back because of a True Love Handshake is dumb. This whole scenario is contrived as hell. You go back to S1, and you see how difficult it was for people to get their memories back. How hard Henry was trying to get John Doe and Mary Margaret to remember. But I guess all he needed a magic flower that apparently can grow in a Land Without Magic? It cheapens the Curse, imo.
All that being said, it's cool to see Snow and Charming reacting to Storybrooke with their memories intact. It's always been fun on this show to play with cursed personalities and fish out of water situations. Granted this episode doesn't explore it too much, but it would've been cool to see an AU where S1 played out differently. It's funny to watch Snow explain the curse to David and how she's been Mary Margaret for years. Although, I don't know she could've remembered "every terrible minute" of the curse when in S1, everyone clearly had foggy memories of it.
How the heck did the Evil Queen neglect to mention that she baked in a failsafe? Not to give her flack, but I don't see the point in redeeming the Evil Queen and getting information from her about the sleeping curse when it adds up to nothing. Again, the heroes do a good thing for someone and get nothing out of it. The information on the curse was meant to be proof that she wanted to change and wouldn't hurt anyone.
Again, if Pixie Petals bloom where there's great evil, why didn't Regina or Rumple wake up in a whole bed of them every morning? LOL.
"I practically invented Dark Magic", "I created the Dark Curse..." Yeah, those are both total retcons. The writers were trying to make more like a final villain with ties to the origins of the show, but it's really inaccurate. She doesn't fit the "ultimate Big Bad" title at all.
How did the Black Fairy know that Snow and Charming would both be asleep by the end of the day? These villains are sure omniscient when the writers want them to be.
It's cool they hid out in Zelena's farmhouse, but how did that exist before the Second Curse? Nobody lived there and it was abandoned.
Rumple's prophecy bullshit strikes again. He's totally fine with delaying his reuniting with Bae by hundreds of years in order to keep his magic and do everything on his terms. Now he's claiming if Snow and Charming go find Emma, the Curse will never be broken and she won't fulfill her destiny. So which is it? Are events inevitable when they're prophesied, or can they be cancelled because of a person's actions? Rumple was doing whatever the hell he wanted to get to Bae, so why is he now worried (like everyone else) that if Emma finds a loving home, she won't break the Curse? He said himself in this episode that he had no idea where Emma was or how she'd come to Storybrooke to break the Curse. So how does he know that interfering will prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled?
Also, in the very next scene, Emma says she has to fight in the Final Battle because it's her destiny and that there's "nothing [Snow] can do to change it". Her destiny to break the Curse was modifiable, but her destiny to fight in the Final Battle wasn't?
Did the fairies not have any Pixie Dust?
I don't get the logic behind choosing the town over Emma. It's not even under the pretense that Regina will start killing people if Snow or Charming leaves. The show essentially says if they go to be with Emma, the Curse will never break and everyone will be trapped forever. It's laughable when Snow says Regina is "right" because she's a hero who will never left someone suffer to get what she wants. Isn't that exactly what she's doing by leaving Emma alone? This is framed as a trolley problem.
I still can't get it out of my head that if someone just killed Regina in her sleep, the Curse would be broken. But because "heroes don't kill", people were subject to decades of being cursed or worse. These characters are so manipulated by the needs of the plot it's not even funny.
Charming's reaction to seeing Young Emma was heartbreaking. It's crazy to me how stone-cold Snow was in the same scene, like she didn't care and only wanted to service the "greater good". She cried a lot when she had to say goodbye to Charming but hardly winced at Emma. Of course, when Emma learned of what happened, she didn't react at all and there were no hard feelings.
If Pixie Dust can be used to open a portal to someone your love, couldn't someone like Rumple use it? Couldn't they've used it in 3A to find Henry?
I totally forgot Hook proposed to Emma a second time. Sure her parents are asleep eternally and Hook almost died two seconds ago, but let's stop and have a romantic moment. I don't know. The tension in the episode and the sense of urgency clashed with what Hook was trying to do. She didn't really have the freedom to say no.
You're telling me Mayor Mills just let the incident slide and forgot about it?
It's awfully convenient the whole town agreed to drink the Sleeping Curse. What about their families? This is the same Curse the Evil Queen made so that whoever kissed the victim would be given the same Sleeping Curse. "Sure, let's drink poison being handed to us by a former mass murdering psychopath who killed our loved ones. What could go wrong?" I don't think these characters have any sense of self-preservation.
Regina: "You gave up your family for them."
Snow: "And got a bigger one in return."
The needs of the many outweigh the few, I guess? I have so many questions about this show's morality.
Somehow Rumple knew Gideon spared one of the flowers?
And at the end, we get a classic "Rumple stands around talking to the Big Bad in private and almost speaks in code in order to tease the upcoming conflict".