The people of Storybrooke went through the wringer in the Once Upon a Time Season 3 winter finale. First, there was the threat of Pan's curse to deal with — which caused its own set of challenges and drama. From the taking of the Black Fairy's wand to using it to switch Henry and Pan back into their own bodies, those tasks alone could've been enough for one episode of the hit ABC show.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Once Upon a Time "Going Home."
But once Pan and Henry were in their own bodies, there was still a lot more story to tell. Pan took Rumple's power away and then basically tore his son's heart out when he proclaimed that he'd never wanted Rumple since the day he was born. Any man would've been devastated after that, but Rumple fought back and sacrificed himself to save his family and the rest of the people of Storybrooke. Nary was a dry eye found when Rumple took his dagger and stabbed it through his own heart and the heart of his father and ended both their lives.
After barely recovering from that trauma, the people of Storybrooke then had to face Pan's curse. At that point it was Regina's turn to give the ultimate sacrifice to save the town. Her sacrifice wasn't her life though, it was her son. Regina sent Henry and Emma away to live their lives with a new, happy set of memories, while the rest of Storybrooke went back to fairy tale land where they belonged.
In the end, Emma and Henry were living a happy life as mother and son when a knock on the door changed their world forever. Hook arrived with the shocking news that something had happened to Emma's parents. This news probably would have been bad enough if she hadn't already lost her memories and had no idea who her parents were, or who Hook was for that matter.
Going into next year, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Hook's arrival at Emma's door by himself seems to indicate that he came back to the real world on his own. What kind of trouble could there be that would send him back and how did he get there? Also, if Hook is on his own, is the show possibly setting him up as the new hero of the season? At the very least, he's got a massive job ahead of him and whether he turns out to be the big hero, could fans finally get the "Captain Swan" hook-up they've been looking for?
Another question to be asked: Is Rumple really dead? The history of the show suggests that death is relative, so it's very likely that Rumple will return. But if he does, will that mean that his father will return as well? And if he does come back, will he be an old man or Peter Pan again?
These are but just a few of the questions to be answered once the show returns on March 9, 2014.
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