REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 21 – Homecoming

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep21 - Homecoming

The penultimate episode of Once Upon a Time saw the return of old faces as Henry, Regina, Hook, and Rumple fight to save his family from the Dark One.

After the curse was broken last week, the real villain of Once Upon a Time was revealed to be Wish Realm Rumple, who quickly undid Henry’s hard-earned happiness by kidnapping his wife and child. The core characters quickly banded together and traveled to the Wish Realm to try and stop Rumple’s evil scheme.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep21 - HomecomingAlong the way, they met up with some past characters who were probably along for the ride because the show needed a reason for them to say good-bye before the finale. So far, we’ve seen Peter Pan, Cruella De Vil, Ariel, and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Henry and Regina find Wish Rumple in his castle where he has trapped Cinderella and Lucy in a snowglobe to force Henry to give him the Dark One’s dagger since Gold’s plan of destroying it to return to Belle will destroy the dark power for all iterations of the Dark One, apparently. And evil Rumple can’t have that.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep21 - HomecomingGold and Hook start out in Rumple’s old house, facing painful memories of the past. Gold tries to outsmart his evil alter ego and fails. Henry tries to do the same and also fails because it turns out that Wish Rumple has made a deal with Wish Henry who, if you can recall, suffered the trauma of watching Regina murder his grandparents and “kidnap” his mother. He’s out for revenge and is willing to rewrite the story just to get his happy ending. So he effectively writes out the powers of the guardian, much to everyone’s dismay. I didn’t think we would see both young and old Henry in the same space but Once Upon a Time always finds a way for these moments to happen.

Regina is left to face this angrier version of Henry (who had never been her son) while everyone else is poofed away to another location. Lucky for them, Alice senses danger and she asks for Tiana’s help to get some magic and, of course, someone happens to conveniently own a magic realm-hopping bean.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep21 - Homecoming

Image credit: EW

In a hilariously self-aware scene, Henry meets up with the Sorcerer’s Apprentice to try and get the author’s pen. As the apprentice uses magic to verify Henry’s identity, he gets a glimpse of the entire series and remarks in a really meta-moment:

“That is indeed a complicated story…The timelines alone would make one’s head spin.”

Nice one, Once Upon a Time.

Executive producer David Goodman talked about this moment to EW, saying:

“One of the consequences of the show having had such a long run — seven seasons and more than 150 episodes — is that our characters’ lives, and the stories we’ve told with them, have become, well, complicated…

We talk about the show’s timeline in the writers’ room constantly. So as we closed out the series, it seemed like a good opportunity to poke some fun at ourselves and tip our hats to the audience. We’re incredibly thankful that they’ve come along with us for such a wild ride.”

The episode ends on a cliffhanger as Alice and Robin head towards Storybrooke, setting us up for an epic showdown on the Once Upon a Time finale next week.