First off, let's talk about something that bugged me. Aurora briefly appeared, with Grumpy making the comment that if she'd been cursed any longer, she'd have given birth to a monkey baby.
Um. Aurora has been pregnant longer than Snow. HOW THE HECK did Snow give birth before her?
But speaking of babies... SO happy to see the Charmings so happy together. And I am thrilled that they named the baby Neal. Some fans thought it was weird, but for those of us who loved Neal, it's a very touching homage. (and one I predicted last week.)
We did get to see Neal again, in a brief but poignant scene. While I was very upset that they killed him off, I have to admit I'm impressed with how well they have used his death and paid respect to his character via flashback and how others speak of him. Pretty special.
But Snow Drifts, of course, is essentially an Emma/Hook episode and for the first time I found myself really accepting them as a couple. The "Back to the Future" homage in their time travel adventure was pretty fun, and I thought overall the time portal curse was very well handled. It could have come across as an overdone trope, but its importance for Emma's character arc as well as the Hook/Emma relationship arc was nicely woven.
It was pretty funny to have two Hooks running around and see Hook punching himself. HAHA.
And then we got the mysterious woman who protected Snow. Guys, I didn't guess who she was. Fail. I believe we saw her face last season in a shot or two, but have no idea if they brought back the same actress or not. All I know is that I had no idea who she was until the reveal.
BTW, I didn't grab a screencapture of Ruby, but it was GREAT to see her back, especially rocking it out as a werewolf!
Hook's earring bugs me in this kiss scene, but even I have to admit it was pretty touching that he gave up his ship to find Emma.
Y'all know I'm a firm Rumbelle fan. This wedding has been a long time coming and it was 95% perfect. At first I was a bit thrown that it was so small (they promised us SPLASHY!) but of course with Neal so recently passed and everything going on, it made sense that they would just want to get married. I loved that Belle's father was included, and that they held the ceremony by Neal's grave. Alas, no great wedding dress (more on that here) but for a last minute wedding Belle still managed to pull together a chic ensemble.
What about the non-perfect 5%? Well that of course is Rumple's secret, which overshadowed an otherwise heartbreakingly beautiful wedding. I was certain he was going to break down at the last minute and admit his lie. Still, I'm glad he didn't - it'll make for great drama next season and it's high time they got properly married anyhow. Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Gold!
Then cut to another adorable sweet scene. Seeing Regina so happy with Robin and Roland was just a moment of overwhelming "awwww".
But, this being OUAT, happiness can't last for long. Because in one moment that made me gasp and throw my hands to my face, Robin recognizes Emma's kidnap victim.
BAM it's Maid Marian.
Robin/Marian is my lifelong ship. Literally I have loved them since I first saw the Disney animated film at age... 3 or something. I have a dedicated collection of Robin Hood books, and am more critical of Robin Hood adaptations than just about anything else.
I'd been upset earlier in the show that there was no Marian. Then Regina/Robin began to happen and I found myself falling in love with the pairing. Marian's legacy was respected in Robin's care of Roland. It was well done.
But now Marian is back! And I don't know what to feel. My husband asked me "who do you want to see Robin with?" and I have no good answer. To have Marian alive and want Robin with anyone other than her would be a betrayal of my whole lifelong ship. On the other hand, Regina and Robin were perfect and Regina was finally - finally - happy.
Will this turn Regina evil again? Or show us just how far she has come? She almost - but not quite - threatened Emma, and honestly compared to the Regina of Season 1 or 2, her words to Emma were downright restrained. So it'll be VERY interesting to see how she copes with this twist in season 4.
As for what we can expect in Season 4...
The showrunners had told us awhile back that they wanted Elsa and Anna in Season 4. However there wasn't confirmation of this, certainly no casting information, and no clue that Elsa might be the Season 4 big bad. And then we got a crazy epic reveal scene that sets Elsa up as at the very least a lady with a big grudge against Rumplestiltskin.
How Anna and any other characters from Frozen will fit in remains to be seen. I was thinking last night that it would be pretty awesome if Kristen Bell could play Anna, as she visually looks like the character (rare in voice casts) and is potentially free enough to take on the role. THEN this morning I found out that the showrunners have the same idea! Who knows if it'll work, but it'd be awesome.
I know some anti-Frozen peeps are a bit turned off (and Frozen has been almost too huge in popular culture lately) but I think there is good potential for a slightly darker, more mature interpretation in the hands of OUAT and hope people will give the show a chance to show an awesome twist.