This was a fantastic episode of Once Upon A Time. Fantastic. What has this series been doing with this season? Can we have Jane Espenson write ALL OF THE EPISODES for the rest of the season please? And in other news, I am now officially dead inside.
As I live and breathe, I cannot believe that Once made an episode that carved out a little chunk of heart for all of us shippers. And not just any shippers, but the fans that knew they were cheering for something that will probably never happen. The Mulan/Sleeping Beauty shippers. But they did. And wow. Just wow. Sure this episode led to nothing but heartbreak, but just the fact that we were that much closer to getting two Princesses IN LOVE. That means a lot. A lot, a lot. So what happened?
Mulan finally comes to terms with a secret love she had been harboring for a long time. After meeting Robin Hood (more on that later) she realizes that she needs to start living her life, and runs off to tell the one she loved of her many feelings. Oh the feelings! But alas, it's not meant to be — because just as Mulan is about to confess, Aurora drops the bomb that she's carrying that Prince What's-his-face's baby DAMMMMMMMMITTT.
I howled. Absolutely howled. I howled because I wanted this SO BAD. And I also wailed because the way this was handled was so smart. Mulan never really tells Aurora "I love you," therefore leaving some fans who aren't keyed into this electric chemistry in the dark. Or people who would be pissed about two lesbian princesses — they can't really get mad because nothing was said. [Sidenote: fuck those people]. This was purely for the fans, that have been rooting for this. It changes NOTHING. Is there a possibility that the show did this to put the Mulan and Aurora shippers to bed? Possibly, but I would argue that unspoken love will only burn that much hotter in the various Photoshops and gifs on Tumblr.
And you know what? Who knows what will happen in the future? Prince Entirely Forgettable could die of fairytale consumption, leaving Mulan and Aurora to raise the baby themselves. This show gave us so much, without giving up anything. But more importantly, Once Upon A Time is actually paying attention to the fans. This is the most "penned for the fans" episode of television I've ever seen. They could have just shoved their fingers in their ears and screamed *la la la la princesses aren't in love with other princesses* but at least this was addressed, somewhat. Would it have been better if they rode off into the sunset together? Yes. Will that happen? We don't know. Probably not, but maybe not. We got this far...
In other news, Regina ruined another person's life not because she wanted to, or because of revenge or because her headdress was too tight — but because she's a big, giant coward. Finally! A background character reveal that makes sense. I don't need a rock to roll into someone's path to get them to go the other way, sometimes we just do shit because we are weak little babies. And Regina, as fabulous and powerful as she is, is terrified of putting herself out there. She wants to hold all the cards, all the time. So of course, young Regina is going to just say "F that" and walk away from her new true love, who just so happens to be the very attractive Robin Hood.
Perhaps the cherry on top of this amazing episode is Tinkerbell (whom I liked very much) and the final lesson she throws at Regina. "Did you ever go back and find him the man with the lion tattoo? [No.] Unreal, do you know how selfish that is? Because you didn't just ruin your life, you ruined his." BAM. Awesome. This fairy, who was robbed of her wings trying to help this lost soul, is not totally disillusioned — instead, she's still spouting out the white hot knowledge burns. I really hope we get to have Tink around for a few more episodes, she's fantastic.