Cora found redemption, David faced off with twin brother James, and Zelena got blindsided by Rumplestiltskin and Peter Pan on Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 19.
Our TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Christine Laskodi and Allison Nichols are joined by Teresa from Once Upon a Fan to debate Peter Pan’s return, if Hades can be redeemed, whether or not Cora’s unfinished business was satisfying after “Sisters.”
Are you happy to see Peter Pan back in play?
Jim: BLEH!!! I can't stand the Peter Pan character... Of all of the characters we've had Pan is the one that bugs me the most.. I don't know if its the way the actor portrays him or if the actor just bugs me... either way, nope, not happy to see him.
Christine: Nope. I can't stand Peter Pan. I was most disappointed that he was back with the Underworld.
Allison: Not at all. I'd been enjoying a Pan-less Once Upon a Time. He's worn out his welcome. Go away, Pan.
Teresa: I guess I'm the dissenting view on this one. I think Pan is a very compelling character and Robbie Kay is magnificent. If they are adding villains to the mix and redeeming others, I'm all for him as the Big Bad.
Can Hades be redeemed by love?
Jim: Sure, why not? Redeem Hades, make Pan the lord of hell and everyone can go back to Storybrook happy and care free and solve two problems with one fix!
Christine: I think if we've learned anything from Once Upon a Time, it's that anyone CAN be redeemed, it's a matter of whether or not they truly WANT to be redeemed. Regina WANTED to be redeemed by others. It seems that Rumple doesn't totally WANT to be. Hades is still a mystery to me on that though, because I don't totally know what his motives are yet.
Allison: Anyone can be redeemed by love. You have to have hope. I love how Christine put it - you have to want to be redeemed. Honestly, the only one who can redeem Hades is himself because he has to want it.
Teresa: He can. I suppose. But personally I am not comfortable with the idea that a man needs love to be redeemed. When the writers go this route with Belle, I don't like it one bit. It really isn't healthy. People redeem themselves by their own free-will.
Did Cora’s redemption storyline ring true to you?
Jim: I thought her "turn around" at the end was a bit abrupt, but that aside, Barbara Hershey did and amazing job with the emotions at the end. Her final talk about having each other made me miss my mom all over gain.
Christine: I've always loved Cora (I know others don't share that love!), so for me, watching this story was all kinds of emotional, especially with the new and improved Zelena around. It makes perfect sense that Cora's unfinished business would involve her daughters and uniting them. Now that we know what their bond was like before Cora separated them, it seems like that's something they'll work to rebuild.
Allison: I thought so. She came to the conclusion about what her unfinished business was all on her own. I am glad no one else was trying to that; that it wasn't the Scooby gang or Regina trying to help Cora move on. Cora did it all by herself. Like Christine said, it makes sense that Cora's unfinished business would be her daughters. I loved the storyline.
Teresa: Yes, especially when one considers the magnificent moment of realization Cora made before her death in "The Miller's Daughter": Regina would have been enough. She has her heart now and that heart led her to the "light". I had been disappointed with her regression in "Souls of the Departed". This set it right and she truly has Happily Ever After.
From 1 (awful) to 10 (fantastic), rate the James/David story.
Jim: Where does "meh" rank... 2? 1.5? Seriously, the entire thing reeked of "we have to wrap up this James/David thing where ever we can wedge it in." Was the weakest "show down" I've ever seen. Weeks of nothing, and then "oh hey since you're crossing the street..." I knew James was going into the bay the moment they showed them at the bay.
Christine: Is zero an option? Can I choose zero? It was so obvious and not entertaining at all, especially with such a tight A story happening. Part of me wanted to just fast-forward all of the David/James stuff altogether. And then I was disappointed that I actually sat through it.
Allison: I'm with Christine. ZERO. It felt like an afterthought. James and David could have had a very interesting storyline, but they weren't given the time to. Everything felt rushed, and, of course, it ended with James going into the River of Lost Souls.
Teresa: 3.5? I was disappointed because it seemed like an epic showdown had been foreshadowed, and then ... poof ... James is pushed into the River of Lost Souls. Great potential wasted.
What was the most disappointing moment in “Sisters”?
Jim: I have to go with "evil twin replaces good twin and nobody notices" trope that they used for Emma to not realize that James wasn't David. I know adult identical twins, and while they looks almost alike, there are sooooo many tiny differences, I can always tell who is who even before they say anything. At least Snow realized after a kiss it was James, Emma kept staring for a good two or three minutes.
Christine: Yeah, I'm agreeing with Jim on this. The very idea that Emma wouldn't know James wasn't her dad is mind boggling, not just from a father/daughter standpoint. She's a detective, an investigator! She should know better personally AND professionally. If it was that obvious to the audience, it should have been MORE than obvious to Emma. There must have been ten better ways to do that story than the one the writers went with.
Allison: I just really didn't like the James/David storyline and how it was treated. I agree with Jim and Christine that Emma should have known that James wasn't David, especially since James did a terrible job impersonating his brother.
Teresa: Like many online, I was thinking, "Isn't Emma supposed to have a lie-detection superpower?" Looks like it's still rusty. This was for sure the most disappointing moment for me.
What was your favorite quote or scene from this episode?
Jim: I loved the goodbye scene where Cora said goodbye to her daughters. As mentioned above, it made me miss my own mother and I'm pretty sure I was crying right along with Cora, Regina, and Lena (I like the shorter name for "good her").
Christine: Cora uniting the sisters and saying goodbye. Hands down. So. Many. Tears.
Allison: To give a funny moment, I loved when Cora snuffed out Zelena and Regina's magic. The look on their faces was hilarious. I also loved the moment when everything clicked into place for Cora. She realized what she needed to fix.
Teresa: The scene with Zelena and Young Regina playing dress-up, and their goodbye to Cora. I thought these moments were simply beautiful and illustrated what Once is when at its best: focus put on family and hope.
Check back on Sunday for our review of Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 20, and if you can’t wait for more magic, you can watch Once Upon a Time online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.