5 Moments Where “Once Upon a Time” Instilled Hope In Us (Season 5, 2016)

Give or take, the popular, modern fairy tale ABC show, Once Upon a Time, was as passionate as I ever was in following and anticipating any TV show. Although the last season wasn’t it’s best, but usually shows hit their peak at season 1 or 2 and if they’re lucky, they can spin the storyline for another season. Usually, by season 4, they start dragging out and start running out of ideas — and by that I really mean they start to have the most unexpected couples pair up with one another. Or even worse, villains just bounce back at being good and evil. Look what happened to Rumpelstiltskin.

Thankfully, Once is always exploring new realms — with the underworld their latest discovery — so there is always someone to pull out from seasonal guest star or recurring star positions and transfer them over to a main role. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be killed off — look what happened to Robin Hood. #shocker

That said, after marathoning the last half season where Emma goes to the underworld to fish for Hook, the show returned for the better. Although I groaned at the sound of the “underworld” at the mid-season finale, after 11 episodes or so, I’d definitely take that over #DarkSwan and interestingly, there were some very unexpected, touching moments!

#1 Hook sacrificed himself to save everyone else.

This was probably the most and only memorable moment from the first half of season 5. I won’t lie, the Dark Swan storyline was my least favorite and the only one that’s worse was the Peter Pan one. I was just falling for #CaptainSwan and was not ready to let him go.

Not that I was in any position to make that decision, but it was a heart-breaking and surreal moment.

#2 Emma pick Hook over her “heart” and that equals true love.

Or at least that’s how Once defines “true love.”

When someone who has a tough upbringing, spent her life running away, unable to trust people, and reverting back to self-preservation with little option, it’s overwhelming to see Dark Swan from just a few episodes ago, let go of her self-preservation instincts and be vulnerable. Not that I know what true love really is, but the fact that she chose her man over her heart (literally), sacrificing your own well-being for someone else is definitely part of the equation of love and that gives us hope.

#3 Regina didn’t revert back to being the “Evil Queen” AGAIN once something bad happened (i.e., after Robin Hood’s death).


“If I want to keep the Evil Queen at bay, I need to open myself to a life of pain and suffering. And if I don’t keep her at bay… we’ll that’s just not an option.” – Regina


Instead of seeking to blame external circumstances and people for Robin’s death (in this case, it will probably be Zelena), she knows that turning dark again is no longer an option — because being a hero is a path she consciously chose. Unlike Mr. Gold who finds contentment, satisfaction, and strength in power and being the Dark One, Regina gives us hope that vulnerability and strength can find it’s intersection. As if that wasn’t enough, in this season, she even became the new savior and hero; when tragedy strikes, she’ll be like, “So you are hiding instead of fighting?”

Her one liners are always on point!

#4 Regina and Zelena finally became the sister each other wanted and are on good terms with each other!

It stroke as surprise when once upon a time (back in the Enchanted Forest), both Regina and Zelena wanted each other as a sister. For me, while I saw this as too convenient as a plot slip-in, I still loved it. Besides Regina, Zelena proves to be the other story arc villain who has a sympathetic and good side and it’s good writing when they know which villains have redemption qualities. Let’s face it, we all love a villain turned hero because it gives us hope and if we are currently on bad terms with someone, that isn’t permanent, but temporary.

Regina lost Robin Hood, but regained Zelena as a sister. In life, you win some and you lose some. #FrozenSisterLove

#5 Cora finally told both of her daughters that she loved them and was finally able to “move on.”

Cora was one of my favorite villains back in Season 2 because we got to see how her selfishness and greediness lead to Regina becoming the “Evil Queen.” In other words, her actions helped us sympathize with Regina. Sometimes, when villains die we like to keep them that way and the fact that the Once producers always tease us that we’ll see them again, it makes us wonder if there are really consequences for villains. Hopefully, the underworld is the last time we see her and that wherever she moves onto, Once doesn’t get renewed enough times to delve into that.

Anyway, if bringing Cora back means finally uniting Regina and Zelena on the same front, that’s forgivable writing. Resentment and bitterness always starts from a source, but it takes the right moment for us to resolve these differences. Be patient.

What do you think?

What are you favorite moments from Once season 5? Why?

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