ONCE UPON A TIME Recap: The One Where True Love Didn’t Work

once upon a time

What is it with these shows and tearing my heart out? No pun intended, I promise.

Last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME did a fine job of breaking my heart and messing with my emotions. I admit that I have been more than a little bored with this Underworld storyline for a few episodes now, but last night we finally had an episode that caught my attention. Emma and Hook being on the forefront of it all helped a lot, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this heartbreaking. Why is nothing ever easy for these two? They just can’t seem to catch a break. Just let them have their happy ending, for God’s sake!

“Firebird” picked up pretty much right where we left off last week. Regina is filling the heroes in on what happened between her and Zelena and how the Wicked Witch is now a good person and she loves Hades and all that good stuff. Hook is skeptical, but Regina is pretty set on it. That was a pretty fast change of heart, if you ask me. One moment she couldn’t stand her sister and now they’re BFFs? I don’t buy it. Also, watching Zelena being a good sister and hugging Regina is just plain weird. These two hated each other’s guts not even two episodes ago. No one changes their mind about anyone this fast.

Anyway, Hades approaches the heroes about Zelena’s abduction and asks for their help. Everyone is suspicious, obviously, but he offers Emma a deal they can’t refuse: he will take everyone’s names from the tombstones, so they can all go home. All she has to do is help him get Zelena back. Emma agrees and that part goes pretty smoothly. Hades and Zelena are reunited, they kiss, it’s true love and all that good stuff.

And then, the real problem presents itself. Regina takes Emma’s heart, splits it in half and everyone is so happy and hopeful. Except that when Emma tries to put half of her heart in Killian’s chest, it doesn’t work. Hades helpfully explains that Killian has been dead for too long at this point, so there’s nothing they can do. That was the first punch in the stomach in this episode.

Emma refuses to believe that this is it, asks if there is no other way. Hades, once again so helpful, tells them the story of Orpheus and Eurydice and how he was able to bring her back from the Underworld by offering an Ambrosia to his lover. Hades warns them that they have to pass a test to see if their love is worthy of the Ambrosia tree, but Emma and Killian have no doubts that they have to try.

So off they go to the depths of hell. Once they get off the elevator, they find a scale, so Emma puts her heart on it and immediately everything goes south. She starts feeling sick and flames suddenly engulf Killian’s body. It looks like a hopeless situation, but Emma pushes through it and knocks him over, effectively saving him and proving to whoever was testing them that their love is true.

But when they get to where the Ambrosia tree is supposed to be, they realize it’s been a set up from the beggining. The tree has been cut and this is it. This was their last chance of bringing him back to life. What happened next had me crying like a baby because their goodbye was just so, so incredibly sad and heartbreaking. Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue really brought their A game to this scene because my heart was in pieces. The chemistry these two share is nothing short of amazing and they had me bawling when they kissed through the elevator bars, and then when he was reaching for hand… you guys, the feels. I can’t take it.

In the end they all went through the portal, including Hades and Zelena – and Rumplestiltskin, after double crossing his father and shoving a fake heart filled with water from the river of souls into his chest. That was particularly cruel and Pan is now officially very, very dead.

I don’t know where they are going to go from here, but I know one thing: they have to find a way to bring Killian back. They didn’t dedicate half a season to saving him, only to have him stay in the Underworld for all eternity. So please, TV Gods, please bring him back and let him and Emma be happy for a little while. I’m not asking for much, am I?

A new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME airs on May 8 at 8/7C on ABC.

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