Once Upon A Time 5×21 “Last Rites” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

“Keep your chin up, there will be happiness again.”

Episode Summary: When our heroes return to Storybrooke, Zelena is hesitant to believe Hades has actually teamed up against them, and after replacing the Olympian Crystal, Hades attempts to use it to kill everyone in order to create a new kingdom with Zelena. Back in the underworld, a newly deceased Arthur teams up with Killian in order to help the heroes defeat Hades. One soul dies, while another returns.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time is a show about hope — a reflection of the real world, only with fairytale characters. And much like in the real world, there are genuinely dark, hopeless times. To be quite honest, when a series like this leaves us in a hopeless state, it isn’t easy to write. And it’s not something that happens often, which is what makes it so jarring and too emotional. Funny thing is, Once Upon A Time is a show that knows how to kill people with closure — especially when it’s a character we’ve grown to truly care for. But perhaps, we’re simply meant to believe that sometimes, there is no closure.

“Last Rites” was simultaneously satisfying and emotionally numbing — two juxtaposing mindsets that feel incredibly wrong together. But that’s life: where there’s childbirth, there’s also death somewhere else. Where there’s happiness, there’s also deep sadness. But on Once Upon A Time though there may not always be hope, True Love is always strength, and where there’s strength, there is always a natural desire to be selfless. True Love is sacrifice.

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