This Season’s Most Noteworthy Performances

Scene Partners:
Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue

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Once Upon A Time 5×11 “Swan Song” Recap

Oh, we’re off to see the … Hades?!

Episode Summary: In flashbacks we learned that when Regina chose to test Killian, she had him confront his father after he’d abandoned him and Liam. In Storybrooke, we learned that in order for a soul from the underworld to be brought back, someone living must die. And a hero’s sacrifice saves the day, but because our town savior isn’t okay with losing her love, she’s on a journey to the underworld in order to split her heart. Neverland 2.0 here we come.

Review | Analysis: There’s a reason we don’t often theorize here at MGcircles and it’s because this series always ends up blowing us away — even when we know that certain things are coming. That said, this finale may have been one of the most captivating hours on Once Upon A Time history for it served as a prime reminder of what this series ultimately is: hope. And though we’ll have to wait until March 6 of next year to find out what’s happening, we’re confident in the fact that it’ll be beautiful. As per usual, we’re left with a number of questions and a ridiculous amount of plot holes, but nonetheless, we’re pleased, and we’ve got a lot to discuss.

This season finale was a hero’s journey — Killian Jones’ “Swan Song” where he finally conquered the darkness in a way only his true love Emma Swan was able to. “Swan Song” was Killian’s justified fight against the darkness. “Swan Song” was his ultimate win and proof that we are the authors of our own fate. Love is a profound part of everyone’s journey — Killian and Emma are each other’s light, just as they are each other’s person and the anchor who’ll always bring them home.

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Once Upon A Time 5×10 “Broken Heart” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

It’s a dark, dark world out there.

Episode Summary: In Camelot, we see an upset Killian enact the curse through Nimue which then forces Emma to wipe everyone’s memories in order to take care of everything on her own. In Storybrooke Killian takes away Emma’s memories and resumes his revenge while the heroes attempt to figure out his plot.

Review | Analysis: The episode’s left a good majority of viewers puzzled, but in a way, that’s a good thing — a “penultimate” episode is supposed to be a massive conundrum. And while we’re on the edge of our seats as well, we have to believe that this is a series about hope. We have to believe that at the end of the day, true love always wins and darkness can never come close to being as powerful. “Broken Heart” was meant to break viewers. It was meant to make us feel angry and hurt, but thankfully, this isn’t where it ends, and with a climax this intense, we’re bound to see a lovely resolution. Once Upon A Time is a series that’ll always remind us of the importance of families, friends, forgiveness, and love — it’s the series where good always wins. It always comes down to the power of choices and they are what define us. As much as this series is a fantasy, the flawed characters add the realism we all need in order to connect with them, and in this story, even the heroes make mistakes.

If this were any other show, we’d without a doubt be addressing the episode differently, but for five seasons Once Upon A Time has taught us to have hope, and it’s what we’ll choose to do. That said, this review features theories and we normally hate writing without valid context, so please take things with a grain of salt.

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Once Upon A Time 5×03 “Siege Perilous” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Bromances, darkness, and more mysteries.

Episode Summary: In Camelot, Charming and Arthur bond while in Storybrooke Robin and Hook plot a mission of their own. Dark Swan tries to find the hero that’ll pull Excalibur from the stone, but things go south when Hook refuses to give in to the darkness. Gold’s awaken and Arthur is insane.

Review | Analysis: Tonight’s episode was yet another reminder that we stand where we do because of the choices we make. While evil forces have power, at the end of the day so does light, and when we find ourselves lost, the people we love never give up on us. It’s interesting to note however that it appears this is the first time all our heroes have found themselves disagreeing most. And while we still don’t know what betrayal led to Emma embracing the darkness, we can be certain that there will be a rift amongst them depending on which knight they choose to believe.

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Once Upon A Time 5×02 “The Price” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Trees. There will apparently be lots of them this season.

Episode Summary: In Camelot, our heroes go to a ball where one of their lives is in severe danger due to Regina’s lie of being the savior. Although Emma succeeds in saving Robin, darkness creeps up in her. In Storybrooke, Emma tries to get Regina to take responsibility for her actions and in the end we learn that with the help of everyone, she could defeat the fury.

Review | Analysis: Tonight’s episode has left us with a lot of mixed feelings. There were some beautifully magical moments we’ll be gushing over for a very long time but there were also moments that made watching very difficult. Additionally you all may have noticed that our style has changed, but due to the fact that Camelot memories need to be discussed in depth, we’re temporarily going to be using the same method we use for our other reviews.

And most importantly as you all have heard by now, the Once Upon A Time fandom has lost a very beloved member because of an awful illness. Adriane was a kind and wonderful soul who’d always support our reviews and used her time on the internet to continuously spread love. We’re dedicating this review to her — just as this episode was for her. #WatchForAdri. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this devastating time of need. Her absence is deeply felt. She would’ve loved the moments between Captain Swan (Killian and Emma) and Swan Believer (Emma and Henry) so much. Bonus: let’s talk about Emma Swan’s hair. 

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Once Upon A Time 5×01 “The Dark Swan” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Here we go again with glitches in our memories, new places, and the fight to make sure good always win. In other words: the recipe which makes Once Upon A Time extraordinary.

Due to the fact that the episode wasn’t shown in its usual flashback/present day form, we’ll just dive straight into covering matters we feel are most important. First things first, we’d be lying if we said we were excited for Emma Swan to turn dark, in fact, what we’re most excited for is Jennifer Morrison’s inimitable performances. We like savior/sheriff Emma a lot — she’s our favorite. However, even though we aren’t exactly a fan of what’s going on, count on these impeccable groups of writers to make sure we’re intrigued from beginning to end. “The Dark Swan” was a solid, excellent premiere that’s left us on the edge of our seats for the rest of the season.

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Once Upon A Time 4×21-22 “Operation Mongoose” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

And just like that Once Upon A Time reminds us of the fact that Emma Swan is one of the greatest fictional characters in history – “Operation Mongoose” Parts I and II were a solid two hours of fantastic television. Between the gorgeous costumes, exceptional performances, and nerve wrecking storylines, it’s been an epic ride leading us into a torturous three month long hiatus.

Episode Summary: Isaac rewrites everyone’s stories into a best selling novel called Heroes and Villains. However, the stories in the book will only ever become a permanent reality if things aren’t made right before the loud tolling of bells at sunset. Because Henry wasn’t born in the Enchanted Forest, he remains in Storybrooke with his memories and finds the author (by driving?! What!). At this point he traps them both into the book and when convincing Regina that she’s his mother doesn’t work, he seeks Hook’s help in order to find Emma. Snow and Charming are an evil duo. Regina’s a miserable bandit with Robin as her competition engaged to be married to Zelena. And Rumplestilskin is the noblest knight of them all. A heroic sacrifice from Regina allows new author Henry to use her blood as ink and all’s restored back to normal. The only problem is, in the world of Once Upon A Time, happiness is short lived, and as Rumplestilskin dies, the dark one needs another soul to consume to which Emma boldly sacrifices herself for everyone else.

Review | Analysis: It’s pretty evident by now for frequent readers that we’ve changed our style for this particular episode. Since there’s so much to discuss in both worlds, we’re writing our Once Upon A Time reviews the same way we do for other series. Tonight’s episode delivered incredibly shocking and inimitably heartfelt moments that’ll be talked about for a while. Cliffhangers are never fun but in the world of Once Upon A Time, we know that the heroes always win. And as much as we’ve been dreading what occurred, we’ve got a great amount of hope in us that it’s going to be fantastic. For the first time since the series aired, we aren’t being introduced to new characters and we’re looking forward to getting to know the ones we have now. Without further ado, let’s get to discussing shall we?

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