Mid-season finale time! hold on tight folks, cuz we're in for a very spoilerific ride in this review!
First up, let's talk alternative universes. I LOVE alternative universe episodes! It's so fun to see a different twist on characters (and costumes). We've been waiting six seasons to really see what Emma's life would have been like if they'd stayed in the Enchanted Forest and it was SO FUN to see it at long last!
Snow and Charming as old folks was hilarious. Oh man. I feel like I could sense the fun the actors were having the whole time.
Henry as a dashing knight in golden armor was crazy. He's really a young man now! Love that moment when Regina glimpsed him at the knighting ceremony. Adorable. Just too bad the real Henry didn't get to experience it!
Emma "la la la-ing" in the forest and generally being a sheltered flower-princess because she hadn't had to face any hardship ever. I don't know if that's really how she would have turned out, but for the purposes of this being a wish-created bubble universe, it worked (just like we're not going to look too hard at the fact that Neal was still Henry's father, because how did he get there and...yeah. Bubble Universe.)
Rumple's complete self-awareness was great "on behalf of all Rumplestiltskins everywhere..." "I'm off to raze non-existent villages!" Perfection.
To wrap things up on the AU end - ROBIN. Wow. We knew he would be back somehow this season, but I was expecting a flashback. To have him here in the AU, keeping Regina from jumping in the portal... wowza.
The hijinks of the AU contrasted sharply with the realities of the real world. Here, Gold is deathly serious, working to gain Belle's trust to save their son.
And here's where it gets really delicious, folks! Dark Fairy is back and relevant (although we didn't see her, I assume she'll be around for the next half of the season). I definitely thought that it was her behind the dark cloak as soon as we learned she'd kidnapped baby Gideon.
BUT THEN IT GOT BETTER. And I got my other wish! Grown-up Gideon is back! And... good or evil? Not sure. He certainly appears menacing, and is definitely set up to be the person who kills Emma...but... all we have actually seen him do is turn Evil Queen into a snake and cage her up, which is pretty helpful.
Which begs another question - is Gideon here because of the Dark Fairy, OR was the Dark Fairy able to kidnap him in the first place because of David's wish that the Evil Queen get what she deserved (i.e. becoming caged snake).
I don't know, folks. This season may have had the lamest opening, but the mid-season finale was amazing and I can't wait to see what happens next!
P.s. I loved Aladdin's new costume and hope he and Jasmine will be back soon!