[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's Once Upon a Time midseason finale. Read at your own risk!]
Once Upon a Time will never be the same after Sunday's midseason finale.
In order to save Storybrooke from Peter Pan (Robbie Kay), Rumple (Robert Carlyle) needs the Black Fairy's wand so he can cast a spell that will return Henry (Jared Gilmore) to his real body and enable him to return the curse scroll to the group to be destroyed by Regina (Lana Parrilla). But if Regina destroys the scroll, there will be a heavy price.
Unfortunately, the Shadow also goes after the wand, showing up at Blue's (Keegan Connor Tracy) funeral when our band of heroes arrive. Tink (Rose McIver) gets the pixie dust to work and captures the Shadow, whom she promptly burns in the fire. With the Shadow killed, Blue's own shadow returns to her body and she comes back to life. She welcomes Tink back into the fairy club before handing over the Black Fairy's wand.
Before Rumple does the spell to switch Henry and Pan's bodies, he places the magic-zapping cuff on Pan, which should prevent Pan from doing magic once he awakens in his own body. Of course, that doesn't go quite as planned because Pan was actually the maker of the cuff, and he quickly puts it on Rumple.
Meanwhile, in the past, Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Charming (Josh Dallas) prepare for the Evil Queen to enact the curse, wondering how their daughter will ever be able to save them. We next see Snow as Mary-Margaret in the cursed Storybrooke, where Henry begins to question where he belongs. To offer him hope, Mary-Margaret hands over the famous storybook that suddenly and magically appeared in her closet.
When Henry returns to his body, he gives Regina the scroll, which makes her pass out. Regina wakes up after having a vision of what needs to be done to save the town, but Pan arrives and steals the curse scroll. However, Rumple foils his plan. Rumple tells Bae (Michael Raymond-James) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) that he loves them before stabbing his father with his dagger, causing them to both to disappear in a flash of light, leaving only the scroll behind. It appears that Rumple has also died, but it seems highly unlikely it's the last we've seen of him. Carlyle's villain is one of the best parts of Once and the producers would be fools if they killed him off.
Even with Pan dead, Regina still has to save the town from the curse. In order to do so, Regina must give up Henry and Storybrooke will be destroyed, sending everyone back to where they came from. The only person who will be left behind is Henry, who was born in this realm. Because Emma is the savior, she can stay with Henry and escape the town's destruction. But she will also be separated from her family, who will all be sent back to the Enchanted Forest.
Henry apologizes to Regina, saying he was wrong about his mom not loving him and that all of this wouldn't have happened if he didn't go to find Emma. He tells her that she's not a villain. Meanwhile, Emma bids Neal farewell, but he swears he'll see them again. Before the curse arrives, there's one last twist: Emma and Henry's memories will be erased when the curse washes over the town. Regina's parting gift to Emma is to give them good memories that will essentially change history: Emma will never have given up Henry.
One year later, Emma wakes up at 8:15 a.m. (hehe), and makes breakfast for Henry, with whom she lives in New York. The happy family's morning routine is interrupted by the arrival of Hook, whom she doesn't remember. Hook says he needs her help because her family is in trouble. He kisses her to make her remember, but she slams the door in his face, unable to remember who he is.
What did you think of the Once Upon a Time midseason finale? Were you shocked by Rumple's supposed death? Are you excited about what's next? Were you absolutely surprised and over the moon by the reveal in the promo for the midseason return that Rebecca Mader is playing the Wicked Witch of the West?! Hit the comments!
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, March 9 at 8/7c on ABC.