OUAT – Second Star to the Right (s2e22)

Posted: May 11, 2013 in Once
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Hey reader!  I have it figured out.  I know who “The Home Office” is.  Mysterious island that you cannot leave?  Smokey shadow monster?  Doomsday devices?  It’s obvious; the Home Office for which Tamara and Greg work is the Dharma Institute.  My only question is when someone “turns the donkey wheel” where will Storeybrook go?

This is going to be a short summary and review of the first part of the season finale.  I will hold of a detailed review until the “episode” is complete.  Those who are familiar with my reviews of Fringe for Wayne Henderson’s FRINGEcasting podcast will understand my approach on two-parter episodes. 

First, the writers do seem to be pulling most of the threads together.  Regina and redemption, the reminder Dr. Whale is still around, Belle/Lacey and Rumple’s fate; all were beginning to pull together in some degree.  Of course, the Tamara/Greg thread was the plot element that is serving as the magnet for them all.

The one thread missing at this point is Aurora/Mulan/The Wraith.  I still expect to see this pulled into the story before all is done.  If for no other reason than the theory of Kurt becoming the wraith would neatly pull the Greg storyline into the Enchanted Forest plot.  Having heard the Official Podcast, the rather cryptic manner in which Kitsis and Horowitz note that they did find bones, gives me some hope in this regard.  Admittedly, this could still be considered a bit of a reach.

That said, let’s run down the list of theories, so far, and see how they stand.  Overall, I think they are in pretty good shape, though a few tweaks may be needed based on what we’ve seen so far.

The involvement of the Land Without Color is still hanging in limbo.  We were given a reminder of Dr. Whale, however, in the incident with Mr. Gold.  With so many ways of creating tension in the Rumple/Bae story, bringing the actor for Whale on for such a cameo-level walk on makes no sense unless you’re going to use him for something more.  This was to remind us that the character is still there.  One extension to this theory is that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wendy Darling somehow connected with this Home Office.  There were just too many similarities between the things that Bae told her and what Greg and Tamara were saying.  That said, I still think this is where Dr. Whale will come back in, though I cannot say which side of the story he will be on.  I have a final theory on this that I’ll reveal at the end.

The theories of the use of the beans and the war between Science and Magic both seem to be on track, though there is now one less bean.

I was wrong on one specific, it looks like it won’t be Regina that triggers the “failsafe” diamond.  That said, the way the story unfolded, I am more certain than ever that Regina is going to make a selfless sacrifice; one she expects will cost her life.  Clearly the theme of this season is Redemption.  The writing has taken a direction where I see it hard to reach any other outcome and still be consistent with that theme.

There’s no indication yet where the Rumple and Belle thread is going.  From that perspective, there is no change needed in theory.

We do have another land introduced; Neverland.  Add that to Neal disappearing down the bean portal, and we are definitely going to be doing some realm hopping.  Neverland did catch me as a bit of a surprise.  It is not a very happy place.  What we learn of it does bring to mind a theory from one of my earlier reviews.  I put out the possibility of Neverland and Pleasure Island being the same place.  I also presented the possibility that this is why the main plot needed Pinocchio/August as a boy again.  I think this may be a good time to consider that theory again.

The last theory introduced involved the destruction of Storeybrook.  The town is very much a character in the story not just a setting, so I still think it will be hard for it to be irrevocably destroyed.  I really don’t expect to see an answer to that, or how Regina survives, until season 3.

I started out promising about the Home Office, so let’s end there too, only with a bit more legitimate theorizing.  I think where this story is going has been sitting in front of us in plain sight.  Let me ask two questions.

1. Why should we assume that Wendy’s “London” is in our world?

2. What happens when you take all the magic out of a Land?

If your answers are “We shouldn’t” and “A Land Without Color,” then I think you are on the track to the biggest plot twist we are going to see this season.  One of the things that has always stood out about Fairy Tale Land is the beautiful rich color.  On the opposite side, we see Dr. Whale’s Land Without Color where Science rules supreme.  The only color we saw there had a direct connection to Magic; i.e. Rumplestiltskin.  Remember that Bae left Fairy Tale Land long, long ago.  Before any except Rumple, Hook or Blue were even born.  Dr. Frankenstein’s experiments, by contrast, were not that long ago. It was in our characters’ adult lives; at least those who under the curse.  This would not only tie everything together neatly, but set up season three quite nicely.

I will close mentioning one hope I’ve had about this show that I have mentioned many times and in many places.  It was the hope that the writers would treat each season as a self contained story.  I’m fine with some unanswered questions, but the strength of season one was that it held together on its own.  Hopefully the same will be able to be said of season two.

Very soon the answers to all this will be known.

  1. I think you have hit right on it! I had thought Tamara was possibly from the world without color. Then the theory being talked around this week of Wendy founding the Home Office made more sense. But this allows the blending of both. Plus there was that line by Bae saying this (our world) wasn’t his first stop. If Wendy’s London is not ours, that perfectly aligns. I remember saying before that the Land without color seemed just like ours in the Whale episodes.

    • Raul Ybarra says:

      Thanks, Chris, for the kind words.

      Yes, that was what had the appeal for me; bringing so many of the pieces together.

      I just had another thought. I wonder if that horrible place that Prince Philip was taken to could have been Neverland?

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