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Once Upon a Time “Kansas” 

Photo Credit: ABC

A lot of things about Kansas drive me nuts, but there were so many resolutions and interesting turns that I’m willing to forgive a little. All in all, I think they did a good job of explaining the importance of many things, even if they did have to squeeze and contort the story into their metaphorical corset to let the end result make sense.

It was a stroke of brilliance to force Emma lip-to-lip with Hook in order to save his life. Granted, had she thought it through she could have used her magic to revive him just as easily, but it’s nice to see that she’s willing to sacrifice her gifts for him. It also offers hope for their future, as Hook will no doubt feel guilty and try to find a way to bring her magic back and they’ll be forced to work together to do it.

Having Dorothy arrive in Oz for just a few minutes – long enough to meet, offend and melt Zelena, then turn around and leave without blinking an eye – felt very haphazard and unnecessary to me. It almost feels as though they’re trying to convince us that L. Frank Baum got the story mixed up and Dorothy was never meant to be the hero.  I’m also curious to know why the choice was made to make the slippers gold instead of ruby? It doesn’t seem logical to me, unless they will factor into the story again in the future and undergo some sort of magical change. Theoretically that could be possible since the witch of the East was shown as a good witch even though the Munchkins in the original story were pretty clear about her being just as wicked as Zelena.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of the four elements of Oz during the introduction of the witch sisters. It removes the need to refer to the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, and shows that in order to go back in time, Zelena is using the very power of Oz itself. To open her time portal we see her put the items in their respective positions on her compass grid; brains at the North for wisdom, sword at East for courage, heart at South for love, and the babe at West for innocence.

Photo Credit: ABC
Photo Credit: ABC

Speaking of the babe, congratulations to Snow and Charming on the arrival of their bouncing baby boy! I can’t wait to hear what they name him, I’m sure it will point to some important future adventure we can all look forward to.

Although it still seems odd to think of Regina using light magic to save the day, it does allow for a nice resolution between the sisters and offers the hope of redemption for all evil characters. Her lecture to Zelena regarding second chances and the lessons she learned that allowed her to change is quite touching. Without her hatred of Snow she wouldn’t have enacted the curse, but if she had killed Snow she would never have had Henry in her life, and she would never have interacted with, and ultimately been accepted by the good people of Storybrooke. Too bad Zelena couldn’t have learned that lesson from Glinda back in Oz, how much unnecessary suffering could have been avoided.

I’m so glad to see Rumple sneak back to kill Zelena despite everyone’s best efforts to convince him not to do it. Particularly since he did it when she was locked up and helpless with no way to escape him. This show by its very nature needs evil to fight, and it’s nice to know that Rumple is still there to underline any threat with his own unique brand of darkness. The fact that he deceived Belle to do it is an added bonus, knowing that one day he will have to answer to her for it. With all the psychological damage he carries around, Rumple is a valuable character for the deep dimension he brings to the show. I truly hope he never changes, I’d hate to see this tiger lose his teeth.

At the episode’s end we see the magic from Zelena’s pendant reactivate the portal. Assuming this is still a portal back in time, when Emma is sucked into it what sort of paradox will she create? From the looks of the preview she will finally get to spend some quality time in her home realm, I look forward to seeing her try to fit in with her fellow royals.

Regina sees the light

My favorite moment of goodness from this episode is Regina lecturing Rumple on the merits of heroes. Considering the havoc the two of them have wreaked in the past, it’s such fun to see her hold him back with the power of his dagger and remind him that heroes don’t kill. When Zelena asks if she’s a hero now and she responds with “today I am,” it gives me hope that although she’s still striving for goodness, she may not always be as successful as she is this day. Because let’s be honest – the Evil Queen is so much more fun to watch, isn’t she?

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

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