Guest Review Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time 3×11 – Going Home

“Happy endings aren’t always what we think they will be.”


Review by Panda
It’s ridiculous that after half a season of hit and miss plots, Once Upon a Time has completely turned the page and shown just how incredible it can be when there’s nothing holding it back.

In one fell swoop, Pan finally bit the dust, Rumple made a tremendous sacrifice, and Regina finally showed us all that her transformation from evil queen to loving and selfless mother was complete. Not to mention that this show will never be the same again.

Starting with the least surprising, Pan’s time to bow out finally arrived, and boy was it good to see him go. But Rumple sacrificing himself for his loved ones was incredibly powerful, and honestly a huge shock. I’ve made no secret of that fact that Once Upon a Time often fails to make any of its twists unpredictable, but this episode had so many I never saw coming that it’s hard to believe it’s still the same show it was a few weeks ago.

Regina made a similar sacrifice, though not as dark as Rumple’s. It must have been unimaginable for her to give Henry up after fighting for him for so long, but she did it anyway, and all to save the people she used to hate more than anything. It’s been a long road for her since season two began, and I think her transformation has finally come full circle. It’ll be interesting to see how she fits back into the Enchanted Forest when the show returns.

It wasn’t just those two major character turnarounds that made this episode, it was how quickly the series has turned the tables, and re-imagined its story completely. Is Storybrooke gone for good? Maybe not, but the fact that those behind the series have taken a huge leap like this makes me excited about Once for the first time in ages.


Whether or not Rumple comes back again, I think the significance of what happened here won’t be lost.

I’m still not taken by Tink, but I enjoyed her finally embracing her inner fairy again.

Mother Superior is back, and I still don’t care.

I hope we never have to see Robbie Kay or his manic eyebrows ever again.

I liked how all the flashbacks touched so many different pasts, and they held a lot of significance for each of the characters involved.

I absolutely loved Emma and Hook’s goodbye. That look said it all.

I wonder what life back in the Enchanted Forest will be like when all the Storybrooke gang go back?

The black fairy sounds like someone I’d like to see showing up someday.

I’m excited for the new villain to arrive on the scene.

He Said, She Said

Rumple: “I’m a villain, and villains don’t get happy endings.”

Mary Margaret: “[Fairytales] are a reminder that our lives will get better, if we just hold on to hope.”

I’m not sure what the back half of the season will bring, but Going Home was such a whirlwind of events that it’s almost made the plodding pace of the past few weeks bearable. That the show could accomplish so much so effortlessly, and still make time for some brilliant character beats along the way, says so much about how great it used to be, and how great it can hopefully be again.

 Panda Rating

Previously posted at PandaTV.


  1. That was seriously the best episode that once upon a time has ever produced wow I cant get over how awesome it was it made me cry now I cant seriously wait till march. I have never been this excited about this show

  2. I didn't like the twist sending them back to Storybrooke at ALL. Frankly, I think this show is ripping off the writers' previous show LOST waaaaay too much. Sending them all back, Emma and Henry forgot everything that happened? Scuse me, but can someone say LOST season 5 finale?

  3. Kass, the context of what happened in that lost finale was completely different, I think comparison between the two would be extremely unfair. People are way to quick to assume that just because it follows a similar structure in terms of how it tells its story, that Once is a direct rip off of Lost. I suppose made even worse by it sconnection via producers and writers.

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