‘Once Upon a Time’ season 5, episode 20 review: Is Hook really gone for good?

Firebird -Going into Sunday night’s new episode of “Once Upon a Time,” we were very curious as to why this episode above all others was named “Firebird.” This was the name of the operation Henry and company devised to free some inhabitants of the Underworld, and ever since the spring premiere, we’ve seen some of these characters work to free those who were trapped.

Yet, were they going to be able to free themselves? That was at the center of Sunday night’s “Firebird,” especially from the moment that Hades appeared to be on their side once more. However, there was a wrench thrown into plan not long after that when they realized that Hook had perhaps been down there too long, and it may be harder than they first realized to bring him back to Storybrooke. By the end of the episode, it was starting to appear as though it was almost impossible.

When Emma returned from the depths of this world to meet the other heroes (following a heartbreaking goodbye with Hook), there was a new challenge: Hades was actually trying to keep them trapped in the Underworld, after all. Our heroes eventually escaped thanks to a magical team-up, but there’s no word on Hook unfortunately yet. We cannot imagine that he is really gone, but the show is really going to make Emma work for that happily ever after.

This episode also used flashbacks to tell the story of how Emma eventually came to have an interest in being a bail bondsperson, and it was an interesting parallel between watching this woman go and then her seemingly saying goodbye to Hook, someone else who played a critical role in her life.

When it comes to another story, we admit that at first we didn’t get what’s going on with Rumpelstiltskin anymore. Sure, his interests with Pan briefly aligned, but given what this man did to him, we find it slightly out of his character that the two would ever work together. Well, it all made more sense when it turned out that Rumple was really just out to destroy Pan once and for all, and that he did. So long, Robbie Kay. We’ll miss you on the show!

In the end, it’s clear that this episode was pretty devastating for Captain Swan fans; we’re looking now for the light at the end of the tunnel. Episode Grade: B+.

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