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Once Upon a Time, season 3 episode 16 “It’s Not Easy Being Green”

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No, this episode does not include Kermit, though that would be an interesting twist. Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time begins with a little back story about Zelena. A green tornado dropped her as a baby in Oz, where a couple picks her up. The woman is kind and motherly and instantly wants to take her in. But, as she is holding her, a tree above them breaks and the baby’s hand lifts and the tree stops. As she moves her hand to the right, the broken tree harmlessly falls to the right. The husband is disconcerted and doesn’t want any part of this baby because of her powers. The woman says it’s nonsense, that she’s just a baby, and she needs help. They call her Zelena and say they have to stick to the yellow brick road to make it to the Emerald City by dawn. “Follow the yellow brick road!”

Then we go to Neal’s funeral. Oh my. Why do they torture me like this? Not even five minutes into the episode and I am already crying. And they drug the funeral scene out, with each person putting a shovelful of dirt on the coffin. With each one, I am screaming, “NO!” And with each thump of dirt hitting the coffin, Rumpel feels it and that makes me cry even more. He couldn’t even attend his son’s funeral, locked in Zelena’s cellar. When Emma paused with her shovelful of dirt, I kept hoping that someone would stop it and find a way to bring Neal back! Rumpel, Regina, Emma–someone with powers to do something to stop this. But, no. Nothing is done for Neal and I am broken-hearted.

Zelena asks Rumpel if Neal was worth it. Worth the time he spent figuring out how to get to this world, worth grooming Regina to perform magic to cast the curse, and worth the 28 years he waited for it to be broken just to be with his son, only to lose him. And Rumpel replies, “Every bit of it. He was family. Something you know nothing about.”

We go back to Zelena with her adopted father. She is shaving him and accidentally cuts him. That unleashes a tirade from him, especially when she magically produces a cloth to soak up the blood. He tells her that she isn’t really his daughter and that he can finally say what he thinks, now that her mother is dead. He tells her that she is wicked. By all appearances, it doesn’t seem that she was wicked, he just doesn’t like her magic and is afraid of her not being able to control it. By his angry revelations, he sets off a series of events that cause her to become wicked. She leaves to go see the Wizard of Oz, to get him to help her find a family that wants her. Little does she know….

Back at Granny’s Diner, there is apparently a wake going on. Hook offers to take Henry and talk to him about his father. Emma said that every time she tells Henry he was a hero, she feels like he thinks she is just telling him stories to make him feel better. Since Hook and Baelfire were friends and Hook taught Bae/Neal everything about sailing when he was a boy, he thought that talking to Henry about him would help. I groaned. One of my arguments against the whole “Captain Swan” phenomenon was that Hook is not a proper father figure for Henry. So, here he is being all fatherly. Great job, writers. It’s convenient too, that Hook took off with Henry, so that Henry won’t be there when the wicked witch comes into the diner. That whole thing would have been tough to explain.

Something I have noticed for the past several episodes (and I don’t know how long this has been going on) is that Regina is always wearing something blue. It may be a blue scarf or blue fur or a blue jacket or some sort of blue in her outfit, but always blue. Prior seasons, her color was red. I am suspecting that this change reflects the change in her. When she was the evil queen, she wore red. Now that she is good, she is wearing blue. I read an article that noted the change in Emma’s clothing. In the first couple of seasons, she wore pants and leather jackets. Now, she is wearing skirts and frilly things. The article suggested that Regina’s spell on them may have caused this. The outfits are Regina/evil queen-esque and that Henry is wearing more red and this may be a part of Regina still with them, even when they didn’t remember anything. I don’t know, but it is interesting to see the change in clothing style.

Tink tries to push Regina once she sees Robin Hood’s tattoo and realizes that he is the one intended for Regina. However, Regina gets crabby when Tinkerbell points out that being open to love would have made things different. Then Zelena walks in. Emma lunges for her, but is pulled back by Snow and Zelena says that anyone who interferes will have to deal with the Dark One. Is it just me or is she totally pathetic that she can’t do this on her own? She has to hide behind the Dark One and use Rumpel because she can’t do this by herself. She has a big bark, but not enough bite. Charming places a hand protectively over Snow’s belly and Zelena says she isn’t here for their baby…at least not today. Which still begs the question, what does she want with their baby? Zelena reveals that she is Regina’s sister. No one remembers that fact since their memories are gone. She says that the sad day is her gift to her sister so she will dig into her past and find out the truth. Then she says to meet her on Main Street at sundown to be destroyed. And she wants everyone there as an audience.

Hook takes Henry out on a boat to talk about his dad. Meanwhile, everyone at Granny’s Diner is discussing the latest development. Regina has a couple of funny zingers during this conversation and leaves to try to figure this out.

Zelena arrives at the Wizard and she asks him to find out what happened to her family. He warns her that it won’t be easy, but he shows her that she was abandoned by her mother Cora because she couldn’t give her what she wanted, the ability to become royalty. He shows her Regina, the sister who could give her mother what she wanted because she became queen. That part doesn’t make much sense to me. Why did Cora need Regina to become queen? Didn’t Cora marry a king and become queen herself? And wasn’t she the queen of hearts in Wonderland? She was already royal–she didn’t need Regina. And shouldn’t Regina have been an heir to her own throne, whether she married Snow’s father or not? But, I digress. The Wizard also shows her Rumpel, a powerful wizard that is helping Regina learn to use her powers. Zelena is jealous because he should be helping her. The Wizard gives Zelena some magic slippers to take her to see Rumpel when she clicks her heels together three times. He asks her to bring him something of Rumpel’s in exchange. He also warns her about envy. Zelena ends up in Regina’s room, looking at her things. Rumpel sees her perform the magic he was trying to teach Regina and only seeing part of her, he thought it was Regina and is surprised when it isn’t. She tells him she is Cora’s other daughter and he yanks some of her hair out and does a sort of magical DNA test, I guess.

Regina looks through Cora’s stuff and finds a letter that proves to her that Zelena is her sister, but she won’t show it to Snow or Emma. She storms off.

The rest of the group is sealing off Main Street and trying to decide how to help and if they should. They can’t interfere or Zelena will use Rumpel. But, they can’t let Regina do this alone. They want to get the dagger from Zelena, but know that it’s useless. Belle thinks she can get through to Rumpel and that the power of their love will overcome the dagger’s power.

Regina is reading her letter in the woods when Robin Hood happens along, patroling the woods in case of a flying monkey army attack. He picks her pocket where she stuffed the letter and she lets him read it. It’s a letter, presumably from Rumpel to Cora, saying that he had finally gotten his hands on her firstborn and that she was the most powerful sorceress he’d ever encountered, even more powerful than Cora. Regina said she had seen that letter many times before and always assumed it had been about her, but now she knows it was about Zelena. And she knows that she can’t defeat her because if Rumpel believes she is more powerful than Regina, then it must be true, since he taught them both.

Rumpel tells Zelena (in the past in the Enchanted Forest) that he has a curse he has been working on for a long time that only Cora’s daughter can cast (why?) and that’s why he has been teaching Regina. Zelena wants him to use her instead so Rumpel teaches her how to harness her anger to use her magic. But, to think of a happy moment to reign the magic in. Rumpel tells her what he uses, a memory of eating meat pies when he was an orphan. Zelena says that her moment will be when Rumpel agreed to train her, when she ceased to feel unwanted.

Emma, Tink, and Charming say that the farmhouse is clear, so Belle opens the cellar and runs down to Rumpel. He begs her to leave because he is afraid of what Zelena might make him do to her and says it is pointless anyway when she has the dagger. Belle reaches for him and asks him to try. I’m puzzled as to why she refuses to step into the cell, but leans WAY out on one foot to reach for him. He grabs her hand and comes to her, but then yells “run” when Zelena comes out of the shadows. Rumpel follows her out and tells the group that Zelena sent a message: that she will face Regina without interference or the next time, he will kill them.

Another token scene of Hook with Henry, talking about his dad and how he is more like his dad than he knows.

And we get a scene of Zelena getting dressed up for her showdown.

Back in time, Zelena has made a meat pie for Rumpel but he says he can’t stay because he has an appointment to train Regina. This enrages Zelena because she can’t believe he is still wasting his time on Regina when he has her. He tells her she might want to take her father’s advice about putting on a good face no matter how you feel on the inside because her insides are starting to show. She has a green spot on her neck from envy.

Meanwhile, on Main Street, Regina hasn’t shown up, but Zelena and Rumpel appear. Zelena says Regina has five minutes or she will let the Dark One “off his leash.” Still sad and pathetic. Emma steps up to fight in Regina’s place, but Zelena makes Rumpel throw her back. Regina walks up just then, wearing red! Her old color! Symbolic of her accepting her role as the evil queen that she needs to be at this moment? Regina slaps Zelena and busts her mouth open.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Zelena walks into Regina’s room in the castle and sees Regina sitting there brushing her hair. She takes a razor and stabs Regina in the neck. But, it isn’t Regina, it’s Rumpel and this was a test. Zelena couldn’t control her jealousy. And the curse requires that the caster give up what they love most and Rumpel says for Zelena, that is him and she can’t give him up. So, he is going to go with Regina. Zelena is infuriated and turns even more green. She said that she can find another way to give him what he wants. He says that unless she can take him to a land without magic, it’s not possible. She says she could have taken him with the slippers. But, Zelena says it’s too late, he already chose Regina. Rumpel tries to reason with her, then tries to kill her for them. She disappears, but not before saying he would see her again someday and he will choose her.

Zelena does some crybaby whining about her jealousy. Regina destroys a traffic signal. Then Zelena tosses her on one of the dwarf’s car (he says, “My Miata!”). Regina tries to use a fireball, but Zelena extinguishes it and grabs her by the throat and says that everything Rumpel taught Regina, he also taught her, so she can’t beat her. Then she throws Regina through the clock tower. Zelena says that she doesn’t want to kill Regina, she wants to destroy her and to do that she needs her heart, so she tries to reach in Regina’s chest, but Regina said she learned never to bring her heart to a “witch fight”. Zelena screams another tirade and then takes off on her broomstick. Regina tells Charming, Snow, and Emma that taking Charming’s courage and wanting her heart are ingredients. They wonder what kind of curse she could be working on since they are back in Storybrooke and have no memory–what more can she do to them?

Regina had Robin Hood guard her heart and asks him keep it a while longer. He asks if she is really going to trust something so valuable to a thief and she says, “you can’t steal something that has been given to you.” Aw! She smiles as she agrees to have a drink with him.

Hook brings Henry back and says that he needs to know more about his father and that she can’t just take him back to New York when this is over and pretend none of this exists. Emma ignores him and goes inside.

Meanwhile, in the cellar, Rumpel tells Zelena if he had it to do all over again, he would still choose Regina. Zelena says they ARE doing it all over again and that she isn’t casting a curse, but a second chance.

Zelena returns to the Wizard and asks for him to send her back in time to change her past, when her mother abandoned her. The Wizard says he can’t. She rips down the curtain and we find that the Wizard is Walsh. He says he doesn’t have magic but he collects things that do have magic, which is why he wanted something of Rumpel’s. He tells her that there is no magic powerful enough to go back in time and change the past. She says he is no good to her, but needs someone that will do as asked, like a trained circus animal and she turns him into a flying monkey. As Zelena turns all green, she says when she is done, Regina will have never been born.

The preview doesn’t tell us much. It looks like it is mostly about Captain Hook, which will make all the Hook fans happy. The voiceover says “so many women in so little time could spell the end for this swashbuckler.” We see Ariel saying, “you’re going to pay for what you’ve done.” And apparently he has crossed Zelena.

So, the question is… Is Zelena going to find a way to go back in time and change the past or is she going to create a new beginning with Snow and Charming’s baby? It could be that her interest in the baby is so that she can do what her mother didn’t do. Or maybe the baby is just another ingredient that she needs. I shudder to think what would happen if she found out that Henry is Regina’s “son.” Where’s Dr. Hopper? Zelena needs some serious mental help to deal with her abandonment issues, her jealousy, and her anger managament. Ok, so here’s what I think. I think that Zelena will somehow succeed in going back in time. Maybe she won’t change anything, or maybe she will. That could kill at least half a season with the characters trying to figure out how to fix what she’s done. But, what I like is that if she were able to go back in time, then Neal wouldn’t be dead! Lots of details to work out, though. If she goes back in time to when she was a baby, none of the characters, except for Rumpel would be alive at that time. So, how would they stop her? Or, would we have dual realities where they have to figure it out before their reality changes/disappears? And why did she send them back to Storybrooke and with no memories? Couldn’t she have done all this in the Enchanted Forest? One downside is that if she goes back, we get Cora back. Ugh. Any thoughts on this episode or what’s coming next? Share in the comments below!

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