The ONCE midseason finale did not disappoint. The massive ice wall surrounding Storybrooke finally came down revealing a terrible secret, while the rest of the episode gave us a healthy portion of past flashbacks, heartbreaks and impending doom leaving us optimistic for future events (taking place in March… breathe everyone).
The biggest component of this episode was the result of Mr Gold’s evil plan, supported by flashbacks featuring Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin as Rumplestiltskin and Belle. After a trip to Camelot, Rumple had possession of a magical gauntlet which would reveal someone’s greatest weakness, which was usually also the thing they loved most. Unfortunately in the present day Belle discovered the gauntlet again and learnt the truth: he loved his power more than he could ever love her. And in reaction she used the Dark One’s dagger to banish him from Storybrooke, as a lingering spell from the Snow Queen meant that when anyone left town they could never return.
And finally the joy and sudden subsequent heartbreak of the Regina and Robin (Sean Maguire) love story. Marion was saved from the Snow Queen’s curse and agreed to step aside to allow Regina and Robin to continue, cue laughter, tears and applause. Only for the curse to suddenly return leaving the one remaining option as her leaving Storybrooke where the magic would no longer affect her. And Robin had to go with her leaving Regina even more heartbroken than before. However with four other villains with a strong desire to regain their happy endings, I wouldn’t call end game just yet. Especially with the confirmation that the Sorcerer is the author of The Storybook and that his house is currently in Storybrooke. Hold onto your hats everyone – things are about to change.