1. The Evil Queen lashes out at Storybrooke after discovering a weapon that can defeat her. She gains possession of Aladdin's lamp, granting Emma's wish of never becoming the Savior. What did you think of Emma's alternate reality in the Wish World?
Joanne: The Wish World was very interesting. It obviously didn't follow the regular Enchanted Forest timeline. Baelfire apparently never left for Fictional England and Neverland, yet still met Emma somehow so that they could have Henry. It was fun to see Snow and Charming as aging grandparents. My question is where was Hook in Emma's Wish World? Did he never go to Neverland, as well? Did he age?
Sam: Wish World is pretty interesting. It feels like a dream world constructed from Emma's subconscious. I don't expect for everything or everyone in Wish World to make sense and that's okay with me.
Teresa: It was a little too sacharine sweet to be real. While fun to see, it was just wrong, so wrong. These characters are who they are because of the Dark Curse. On the other hand, Regina stirred things up by the end and made it awesome! I also like how Regina was able to "wake" Emma by showing her love for Henry.
2. Regina uses a magic lamp loophole to follow Emma into the Wish World to save Emma, and meets with resistance from the residents. What effect did the residents' reaction to Regina have on her?
Sam: I think the bigger questions is what effect will Emma and Regina have on the residents of Wish World? Regina killed Wish Snow and Wish Charming and it was okay because "they weren't real". But how real is this world now? Is it okay to go around killing people just because they aren't real to your point of view? They were very real to Wish Henry who is running around with a very real-looking sword.
Teresa: I enjoyed seeing her get a view of how the others saw her. Her reaction to Snow and Charming's statue was priceless.
Joanne: Regina was a little surprised by the reaction of the residents of the Wish World. Most of the residents of Storybrooke have accepted her and her new path on life, but the WW residents haven't had the benefit of seeing her turn over a new leaf. It was kind of fun to see her try and be evil to provoke Emma into becoming the Savior.
3. Regina makes a deal with Wish Rumple to gain a magic bean. After saving Emma, Regina used the magic to open a portal back to Storybrooke but was surprised by an unexpected person. What are your views on Robin Hood's return?
Sam: It was so much fun to see Crazy Rumple again, even if he was just Wish Rumple. Nice to see him keep his side of the bargain and bring them the magic bean. Then Wish Robin shows up. Now, here is my question again: How real are the Wish World residents? Can someone from Wish World go to Storybrooke? Will Regina have to say "Goodbye" to Robin again? While this may bring Regina some sort of closure, I don't see how Wish Robin can be her Happy Ending.
Joanne: I love that Robin is back in the hood, or, at least, a version of Robin is back. I realize that WW Robin doesn't know Regina, but I hope that they can start fresh. I don't know if Robin 2.0 can survive a journey to Storybrooke, but I hope that they can all make it back there together. At the very least, Regina can get some closure on her relationship with Robin.
Teresa: Crazy Caged Rumple forever! As for Robin Hood....well....Halleluia!!! Having him die was a huge mistake and his return IMHO is a rare aknowledgement of that. I was thrilled to see him again on my screen, and I can't wait to see more OutlawQueen even if it is fan-ficish. We know it's for many fans a wish-fulfulment and that is not a bad thing. It sparked a bit of happy joy back into an otherwise rather gloomy season. I'm also thrilled for the actor. We know Real Robin is not coming back to life, and it's a different Robin we're seeing, but I don't care! He's back! That's all that matters to me.
4. Rumple uses blood magic to try and find his newborn son, Gideon, only to discover he is not in this world. He convinces Belle that there is a problem, and they contact the Blue Fairy only to find out that the Black Fairy, Rumple’s mother, kidnapped baby Gideon. How did you feel about the beginnings of the Rumbelle reunion?
Joanne: It's a start. I think Belle realized that she has been overreacting. She knows that Rumple would never intentionally hurt her. True, some of his choices have been questionable because of his addiction to magic, but I think he is realizing how much his family means to him. At least they've started to communicate with each other.
Teresa: I am happy for it. Rumbelle fans have had enough discouragement and darkness. It's time for the Dawn. The fact that Belle aknowledged finally that she has also done things to Rumple showed some depth. He was absolutely horrible, yes, but she also engaged first by using psychological violence. I wish she hadn't and he hadn't. I think that Once having gone too far with the darkness--and they did go too far, even beyond my worst expectations--may make it very difficult to resolve. But then, inconvenient events in previous episodes being conveniently forgotten on Once has been known to happen. I'm all in favor of the story with Rumbelle, and especially GQ, from 6x04 until 6x09 being something that just didn't happen. The joy from Rumple's poetry recital to his son is to me the anchor of his fatherhood and the Gold family. My head canon is, oops, Gideon got kidnapped another way. That keeps me from the depression 6a provided. Now, Belle and Rumple working together is something we haven't seen in years. This is welcome and if the writers keep it up, I believe it will be far more entertaining than the soap-opera of the last three years.
Sam: Well, it was nice to see Belle take some of the blame and not put it all on Rumple. I absolutely believe that she sent Baby Gideon away with the best intentions just like Snow and Emma did with their newborns. What I don't understand is why Belle can't seem to accept that she and Gideon have giant targets on their backs because of their relationship to Rumple. He has centuries worth of enemies, many of them very powerful. I have never understood why she can't understand that. Anyway, it's good to see them pulling together again. We'll just have to see how long it lasts this time.
5. David wished for the Evil Queen to get what she deserved, and Gideon turned her into a cobra. Is that what she deserved, or did David waste a wish? What will happen to her next?
Joanne: Yes, she got what she deserved, but I don't think her trials are over yet. Her being turned into a cobra makes me think that Jafar will use her for his new magic staff. His former magic staff in Wonderland was taken from him. I also noticed that she is still wearing the magic gold GPS bracelet that Gold clamped onto her wrist when he was threatening her after she sped up Belle's pregnancy. Gold is not done with her yet. As for David wasting a wish, I don't think he did. The Evil Queen got what she deserved and Regina, who, by magic loophole, is the same person, got what she deserved. Robin was returned to her. David's wish cursed one and blessed the other.
Teresa: I'm with Joanne completely on this one. Perfectly said. But boy do I want that b&*%$ to get what's coming to her. On the other hand, I also want her back into Regina because the Evil Queen is a part of her and it was Regina's greatest triumph when she overcame that.
Sam: I think the Evil Queen deserved to lose her freedom and power. But I still think, as I have said every week of Season 6, that the only way for the Evil Queen to be defeated is for Regina to re-absorb her and control her from within.
6. The dark hooded-man of Emma’s vision, Gideon, appears confronting Rumple and Belle. Why has adult Gideon returned to Storybrooke and how will the Golds deal with this dark turn?
Teresa: I think he's come back on some nefarious mission for which the Black Fairy conditioned him. Likely she has been at war with the fairies for a long time, and now she has her greatest weapon againt them: the Dark One's Son. I think Gideon will take advantage of Gold's love to make him vulnerable, and then try to kill him with the dagger. How will Belle and Rumple react? With a mix of horror, but also of love. He is their son. I can see them moving Heaven and Earth to save him. Belle declared that she would never stop fighting for Rumple in Season 2. I can see them both doing that for Gideon.
Sam: Well, if he has been raised by the Black Fairy, he probably has a very dark perception of Rumple, Emma and the Charmings. I'm interested in learning his source of power and curious to learn why he is after Emma. I can only imagine the conflict that will pop up as Emma and the Charmings work to defeat Gideon, and the Golds try to stop him and protect him at the same time.
Joanne: I was not expecting Gideon at all. I thought for sure it was the Evil Queen or Black Fairy, or even Jafar. Wow! What will Rumple and Belle do? I realize that Gideon had the potential for darkness because his father is the Dark One, but I thought he would turn out alright with Belle's good influence. I'm hoping that her love will turn Gideon around. The Golds being confronted with an adult child runs paralell to the Charmings' situation with being the same age as their daughter, Emma. I don't know why Gideon would be after Emma.
7. Favorite Quote?
Joanne: David: How do you share a home with someone and not know their secrets?
Hook: Because we don't stand around and talk about what happens when a bloody genie appears, mate!
Teresa: Belle to Rumple: What have we done to each other? What have we done to our son?
Wish Rumple: On behalf of all Rumplestiltskins everywhere, I'm here to make good on my word....Off to raze some fake villages.
8. Favorite Scene?
Joanne, Teresa: I love the scene with Belle and Rumple finally talking out their differences.
Sam: I loved the dungeon cell scene between Regina and Crazy Wish World Rumple!
9. Anthing else?
Joanne: I'm looking forward to seeing Agrabah and Jafar in March. I've been patiently waiting for Oded Fehr and haven't seen much of him.
Teresa: I think that the second half of the season has magnificent potential.
Sam: The Winter Finale left me wanting more! I still care about these characters and I want to see what happens next.