Once Upon a Time wastes no time as it starts out this week; the writers are clearly ready to get the winter finale up and going and an uneasy feeling sets in our stomach as the episode gets out of the gate.
The episode focuses mostly on the goings on in Storybrooke, with flashbacks concerning each of the main characters. With every flashback, the writers toy with the audience’s expectations, piquing our curiosity and building unease. There is a clear sense of dread throughout; something bad is coming, and before the end, we find out what.
Two of the many highlights of the episode are none other than Robert Carlyle and Lana Parrilla. They have been the main villains and evildoers since day one. Both of them, however, accept their fates in this episode and roll with it. Carlyle and Parrilla have always been able to play both the vulnerable side of Rumplestiltskin and Regina, as well as the evil, wicked side. Tonight’s episode is no different. They step up in the roles they were given and their performances could not have been more spot on and believable.
Another exciting moment is the end of the Peter Pan arc. When the season first began, it was interesting and different to be in Neverland and we were curious about this new Peter Pan that the writers had crafted. That being said, the Neverland arc took a few wrong turns along the way and the end of the storyline comes not a moment too soon. The only loss will be the departure of Robbie Kay. While Peter Pan did begin to wear and tear on our nerves, Kay was exceptional in the role. He proved that even at his young age, he can still play with big boys.
The writers are not afraid to pull out every trick they can possibly muster with the winter finale. They deserve huge props for not only making it enjoyable but nail-bitingly exciting as well. It’s no wonder that magic always seems to return to Storybrooke when Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz take the lead as writers. They not only create magical episodes, they craft ones that we will be talking about for several days after.
Once Upon a Time knows how to craft wonderful cliffhanger endings, and this week’s winter finale is no exception. Questions are presented both right and left such as; Are there any loop holes to the curse? Will Emma and Henry be reunited with their families? What happens when they get back to the Enchanted Forest? And how exactly is Hook in New York and not the Enchanted Forest?
“Going Home” is by far the best episode to date of season three. It captures the intensity and suspense that season one is known for but it also manages to put a lot of heart and emotion in as well. Season three so far has been an up and down roller coaster for us. The show will get a good momentum going only to have it shut down in the next episode. Hopefully in the second half of season three, the writers can keep up the excitement that this episode brings. Now we just have to wait a couple months to we find out.