Once Upon a Time: Last Rites

“I hope we never again have a day like today.”

In order to tie up the many loose ends this season has left dangling to get things in place for the following finale, ‘Last Rites’ took a few liberties to make it happen. Those liberties ranged from confusing to downright silly, but the episode did pack enough of a punch to justify at least some of its flimsy means.

As has been tradition for the past two years, the penultimate episode wrapped up the second major arc of the season in time to dive into something different for the big finale. In this case, the Underworld arc draws to a close, and while I’m glad to see the end of Hades and that awful orange filter, it did feel a little rushed in parts.

The set-up of Zelena’s choice between her family and Hades paid off here, with Zelena making the right choice and killing Hades to protect everyone else after he threatens to destroy Storybrooke. It’s a powerful moment for her, even though her romance with Hades was a tad contrived. Though she was poorly utilised during the Camelot arc, she really stepped into the game this time around, and I appreciate how much she’s grown over the past few weeks. I’m hopeful that she’ll continue to not just grow herself, but to develop a bond with Regina after all that she’s been through, if only to honour her mother’s final wish.

It’s a shame Regina is once again being tested. Has she not been through enough heartache, now she’s got to have Robin’s death thrown in her face? I’m not all that peeved about Robin himself dying; he’s pretty dull and I saw his demise coming a mile off. I just really like the idea of Regina finding some bit of happiness after everything that’s happened. What this means for her transformation into fully fledged hero I don’t know, but let’s just pray she doesn’t take a U-turn back into her old ways.

Another predictable moment: Hook’s return to the real world. Who genuinely believed that he would stay put after everything? I’m glad he’s back with Emma, though I’m even happier that she realised how bad her decision-making has been since that first step onto the boat into the Underworld. She risked everyone’s lives and brought Hades into the real world. I think given the heartbreak she’s endured since she escaped in the previous episode has been enough punishment, though.

Something not so predictable, but extremely silly: Arthur’s random return. It’s great to see that his story is one that hasn’t fallen victim to the same curse that, to name a few, Will Scarlett, Nova the fairy and Cinderella all suffered from. His story got some bit of closure, at least. I just wish that it was closure that made sense. He fell into line behind Hook a little too easily, following him around and even risking himself to help. There’s no reason to believe he would turn things around that quickly. It is fitting that he would take up Hades’ mantle and take control of the Underworld, if only because of his one track mind. I wonder how Cruella will take the news of his decision to take control.


What was Hades’ plan when he killed Arthur? Was there a reason behind it that I missed?

How Charmed were those flipping storybook pages?

What is Rumple up to? Will the Olympian Crystal play a role going forward?

He Said, She Said

Cruella: “As appealing as this stubble sandwich is, I'm pretty certain lying to you won't get me what I want.”

Zelena: “You told me that was enough for you, but... now I realize... nothing ever will be!”

‘Last Rites’ contained some really big moments for the series, and those moments would have had a lot more depth if it hadn’t been for the lazy story machinations that were utilised to get us to this point. Zelena’s big moment aside, the rest of what transpired here didn’t feel earned, or all that impactful. To be fair, I don’t think there was much that could be done to salvage the Underworld arc. At least now it’s finished and we can see what new adventure is in store for us before Once’s fifth season draws to a close.

3 out of 5 crystals

Originally posted at PandaTV.

1 comment:

Marianna said...

I'm annoyed that Regina lost her second true love. I'm even more annoyed that Robin was so underutilized this season, basically being relegated to serve as Regina's boyfriend and nothing more, only to be killed off like fodder when he is actually a really interesting character. He had the potential to fill the void that Red left, and instead he was always in the background and then died.

"What was Hades’ plan when he killed Arthur? Was there a reason behind it that I missed?" I think he thought Arthur would cause trouble for the heroes in the underworld and be a distraction. That's the only rationale I could come up with.