Once Upon A Time S5E20 – Firebird Review

This week’s Once felt like the season finale, but we’ve got some ways to go before that happens.  Let’s look at how this episode shaped up.

Flashback Story

Let’s start with this storyline.  It’s way back in 2009 or something.  Emma wants to find her parents who gave her up on the side of the road.  Or so she thinks.  But, she’s wanted by the law and is caught.  She keeps evading the bounty hunter, but the hunter agrees to help her if Emma goes back to Phoenix to stand trial…or something.  They break into a county records office, evade the police, but the hunter has some glass sticking out of her abdomen.  The hunter dies, but not before explaining she gave a daughter up too.  And she tells Emma to get some “armor” meaning to let things go and not let other things bother her.  Then Emma meets the daughter in 2010 and buys a jacket from her that stands for the “armor.”

Underbrooke Story

Once-Upon-a-Time-Episode-5-20-Firebird-once-upon-a-time-39539114-3000-2000Rumple and Pan have kidnapped Zelena.  Hades asks for the Charming family for help.  They agree if Hades lets them go back to Storybrooke.  He does and Emma stops Pan from taking Zelena’s heart after Hades rips up the contract he has with Rumple.  Emma has to make her heart split in two and give half to Hook to make him able to return to Storybrooke, but his body has been decomposing.  Or that’s what I gather.  Hades seems to want to help more because Zelena kissed him and made his heart beat again.  Now that he’s no longer bound to the Underworld, a portal will open for a short time.  Before they all go, Hades explains that Emma and Hook have to travel deep into the Underworld for ambrosia, but there’s a test.  The test turns out to be about true love and the two pass.  But, they find out that Hades lied and tricked them to keep them away from the portal.  The tree with ambrosia was cut down years ago.  And, further trickery happens when the blind witch is able to trap the heroes in the diner with a spell.  But, she’s not that powerful, so Hades is behind it.  It seems he still wants to just have him and Zelena start a family.

Rumple had to still fulfill his deal with Papa Pan and gets Robin’s heart to have Pan return to the living.  Pan also gives Rumple Pandora’s Box to get Belle back to Storybrooke.  Their kiss didn’t break the sleeping curse she’s under.  But, Rumple tricks his dad by giving him not Robin’s heart.  Instead it’s something that has water from the river of souls, and Pan is disintegrated.

The heart clincher for the episode is that Hook decides to stay in the Underworld and makes Emma move on, because there’s no other way for him to return.  After a very hard goodbye, she and the others go through the portal.  Oh, and Henry leaves the book he’s been writing behind so people can move on.


This was a very exciting episode that I keep thinking felt like a finale.  It’s hard to believe there are like 3 more episodes after this.  Even though there was excitement and all, it’s still not one of the best episodes.

First, the good.

Zelena and Hades are fine as a couple.  I believe Zelena’s turn for good, but I wasn’t believing Hades’ sudden turn.  And that paid off.  Well done, Once.  It was nice to see that not all villains turn.  I mean, look at Rumple.  They played off the twist well in the episode.  If it weren’t for the predictability of everything else the twist wouldn’t hit as well.

The constant quests of the episode, like Hook and Emma going to get ambrosia was a great plot.  It carried the episode.  The family involvement worked, well that they got trapped.  It went well.

The thing that made the episode weak was the flashback.  It just didn’t add anything.  I don’t think we care that much about how Emma got her jacket.  The whole armor thing was weak oncebecause Emma had the problem even before and after the hunter.  It didn’t make a lot of sense.  And who in the world is this bounty hunter?  Why does she matter?  I know, I know.  She may show her face again in the show, but for now it felt out of place.  So much of the story and idea of the Emma putting walls up as armor is half baked.

The other big problem with the episode is the bye between Emma and Hook.  I wanted to feel something.  I tried.  It didn’t happen.  I don’t know if it’s because we say bye to Hook like every season, or there isn’t enough chemistry between them in the first place, but either way it was not as emotional as they tried to make it.  But, hat tip to Morrison and O’Donoghue.  They still did a great scene.  I don’t think it was their fault for it not working.  I know it’s not them individually because the first episode of this arc made me feel something for Emma and Neal.  That was a great good bye.  This one, not so much.  And, THERE ARE STILL 3 EPISODES IN THE SEASON.  We’re not done with Hook.  Just sayin’.


Is Hook really gone?  (No.  I’m going to answer this for myself)

What is up with the bounty hunter?

Why was Hades’ heart stopped in the first place?

Is Zelena really good?

Will Robin stop being whiny and have more lines in the last few episodes?

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