ONCE UPON A TIME Review: The Show Gives “Last Rites” to 3 Big Characters
By Meredith Loftus
In the penultimate episode of Once Upon A Time we said goodbye to two villains, one beloved hero, and the Underworld arc.
Hades met his end when he decided that it was not enough to just have Zelena’s love but power as well, so Zelena stabbed him with the Olympian crystal.
Hades killed Arthur, but the corrupt Camelot king found a new kingdom to restore in the Underworld.
Together, Killian and Arthur found the key to defeating Hades, and Zeus, king of the Olympians, rewarded Killian by taking him back to where he belongs: with his Swan.
Belle remains under the sleeping curse, and Rumple collects some of the Olympian crystal. The season comes to a close next week, but not before we say goodbye to the noblest outlaw in all the realms: Robin Hood.
An Outlaw’s Obituary
Robin Hood joined the Storybrooke heroes in Season 3 when the Wicked Witch of the West brought him and his Merry Men to our realm. Since his introduction in the Enchanted Forest, the family man has stolen the hearts of audiences and was given the heart of a reformed evil queen. Things got complicated when Zelena, disguised as his dead wife Marian, came back to wreak havoc into Regina’s life, by separating Robin from Regina in New York City and later becoming his baby mama. Despite the trials and complications, including a trip to alternate universe of the Enchanted Forest, Robin’s love for Regina stayed true.
This season, Robin traveled to various realms with the other heroes and survived, danced with his love at a ball in Camelot, was saved from a Fury attempting to take his soul to the Underworld, and became the father of a baby girl with whom he shares custody with Zelena. He has struggled between his personal disdain for Zelena and his duty to do right by his daughter. In the past several episodes, his anguish at being deceived time and time again by Zelena is very apparent as he has had to hand his daughter over to a woman he can never fully trust. In the tunnels on his mission to rescue his daughter, his frustrations come out to Regina, who has been trying to rationalize Zelena’s actions. To a father in fight-or-flight mode, no excuse will justify the means. He just wants to get his daughter back.
Before he and Regina go into her office to save his daughter, Regina once again apologizes and this time Robin, with a level-head, agrees that Zelena deserves a second chance. His and Regina’s stories are enough evidence to support that people can change. Their futures are not written in their pasts. A big reason for that change is love. Love has the power to change and grow us into the best version of ourselves. Regina has become a hero in her own right because of the love she has from Henry and Robin. Robin continues to be the best man he can be for his children and for Regina. Together, full of love and total support, they go into battle.
True love is sacrifice. It’s a statement that has been said and put into action more than a few times on this fantasy show. In this particular episode, Hades threatens Regina’s life with the Olympian crystal. This crystal does not just have the power to kill; it has the power to completely end anyone, which means no afterlife. The stakes are high and the threat is real. Without hesitation, Robin offers his life in exchange for Regina’s. The words do not sway the God of the Underworld, so true love is put into action as a physical sacrifice, Robin shielding Regina from the crystal’s power. Robin gives up his entire existence to protect the woman he loves most and knows that his children will be safe while she is around. Hades would not get the pleasure of being the last thing he sees. Robin turns and looks into Regina’s eyes, full of love, and disappears before her.
If this really is the end, then rest in peace, Robin Hood. You died in the most heroic of ways, trading yourself for the one you love most. It was a pleasure to watch your story, and we will miss your lighthearted humor and heart of gold.