Subtext Recap: Once Upon a Time 2.22 – And Straight on ‘Til Morning

– OR –

If Emma and Regina Aren’t Endgame, I Don’t Know What the Once Staff is Writing

– OR –

I Ship These Ladies So Hard, Packing Peanuts Fear Me

Well, it’s the end of another season of Once Upon a Time, and, once again, the season finale saw the forces of good and evil coming together to fight the good fight.

Let’s save Henry!

Let’s save Storybrooke!

Let’s save anything! (so long as it means we spend an entire episode together and look at each other in anger and surprise and sadness and wonder and joy)

Seriously, for a couple of people who supposedly despise each other, Emma and Regina spend an inordinate amount of time looking into each other’s eyes feeling things.

So, in the finale, the subtext kicked off early when Emma returns with Mommy and Daddy Charming and the littlest Charming-Mills, and Henry rushes into Regina’s arms and calls her “Mom” and it’s like “aww” until the room shakes them apart, and they get the reminder that everyone in the room, sans Henry, is about to take the last portal to the Neverland in the sky.

Upon the discovery that he will live, Henry realizes he’ll be alone, and Emma blows up at Regina – with good reason – but Henry jumps in to remind Emma that, while she thought she was punting long and was waitin’ to tackle a bitch, it was really an onside kick and they are all on the same team.

So, then there’s a plan and Hook enters and gets a comical nose-punch, and it’s decided that Regina will slow down the trigger so that everyone in Storybrooke can escape to the Enchanted Forest before Storybrooke is no more.

Then, Emma utters the opening line to subtext-fest 2013.

“I’ll take Regina to slow down the diamond…”

And naughty shippers hear only “I’ll take Regina” and giggle at the fact that Emma totally said that right in front of her parents.

Fast-forward through the start of the last of Lana Parrilla’s emotional heavy-lifting for the season, and Emma and Regina are alone together in the mine. Around a glowing blue diamond. Which, we pleasantly discover, makes for some serious mood lighting.

At this point, Regina tells Emma how she’s about to go dead so everyone else can escape and Henry won’t be alone.

And Emma could have said “Sounds good.”

Emma could have said “Justice served.”

Emma could have said “Ding dong, the witch is dead.”

But what Emma said was –

“You’re not coming with us, are you?”

Who’s this us, Emma? All those people who hate Regina? Or you and Henry? Don’t worry, you don’t need to answer. We know.

And if we hadn’t known already, we most certainly would have when your usual go-to Henry factor failed to convince Regina not to throw herself on her proverbial grenade, and you were all “Regina, please…” with that look, and Regina looked at you with that other look, pleading with you to let her die as the woman you fell in love with and not the one you discovered her to be.

But there was saving that needed to be done, and you were both thinking of your son, and so you thought you could walk away, but you couldn’t, could you, Emma? And you turned back and you had something to say and you just looked at her with that other look that was all awe and pain at the same time, thinking “Damn, that mood lighting is sexy against my woman’s hair.”

Back from the mine, Emma tells Henry that Regina is going to die, and Emma is amazed to discover that the town isn’t utterly against her trying to save both Storybrooke and Regina, which, despite all protests, Emma so obviously wants to do since she swings instantly from adamance on one side of the debate to adamance on the other. And when asked why she’s so passionate?

“Because the kid just lost his father today. I’m not letting him lose a mother too.”

I’m not saying it’s my ideal outcome, but there is some serious polymonogamy potential in that sentence right there. And I would certainly prefer that to some of the other possible outcomes. You know what I’m sayin’?

So, back into the mine the Charmings go, little Charming-Mills taking the lead. And Henry calls Regina a hero and there’s no time to “awww” because they’ve come to be the heroic Charmings they are and save Regina and the town from destruction. For some reason, though, neither the bounty hunter, who doesn’t trust anyone, nor Charming, who doesn’t trust Hook, thought to check the little pouch, so everyone but the viewing audience is surprised when there is no bean with which to make a portal.

Meanwhile, Hook is riding off on his ship and Storybrooke is being destroyed by plants, which apparently come from the same pissed-off species portrayed in The Happening.

In the mine, Regina says she can’t contain the trigger much longer, and there’s a Charming family moment <— heh, see how that worked — and some much appreciated love for Regina, before Regina admits she’s not strong enough to break the anti-curse of the curse.

Then, Emma turns from Mommy and Daddy Charming, walks up to her beloved and turns a dream-ship canon with a single line –

“You may not be strong enough. But maybe we are.”

Come. The fuck. On.

So, Emma and Regina combine their magic in a orgiastic display so homoerotic, they may as well have had a rainbow form between them. And Regina smiles, ’cause she can feel that shit. Then, there is an explosion of ecstasy so powerful, they both get knocked out for a few seconds.

And when they come to again?

Emma announces “We did it!”

And Regina purrs “Yes, we did.”

And naughty shippers smirk, ‘Yeah, you did. You saved an entire town with your combustible magical/sexual chemistry.’

Then, Charming says Henry’s right about a lot of things and Emma agrees with the sentiment. So, let’s review a few things Henry has been right about over the first two seasons –

My mom is the evil queen.

My mom is the child of Charming and Snow White.

I should bring my mom to Storybrooke near my other mom.

Mom, you have to protect mom.

Mom, you have to save mom.

Mom, I think you should invite mom to the party.

No mom, mom didn’t do it.

Moms, we have to work together.

Moms, we’re family.

Unfortunately, Henry gets nabbed from the mine before he can revel in his rightness, and the season ends as his moms sail off on a ship together to rescue him.

Due to the fact that Regina was such a perfect everything in this episode and the subtext was at an eleven, I’ll even forgive them the moment of Henry being the sense in the room at the beginning, and Archie’s “Yes we will. Because it’s the right thing to do,” which is, frankly, one of the most annoying carried-through devices in the show.

And where were all the dissenters who wanted Regina dead in the first episode of the season? Oh, conveniently not in the diner? As in the perfect citizens of Storybrooke were going to leave them behind?

As alternatively-titled, if Emma and Regina aren’t end game, I don’t know what the Once staff is writing. Of course, for most of the season, I’m not sure the Once staff has known what the Once staff has been writing.

But if this – True love is the most powerful magic of all – is truly canon, then so is this –

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