‘Once Upon a Time’ Season 2, Episode 21: Sacrifice

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Once Upon a Time season 2 episode 21 Second Star to the Right Gold Lacey Victor Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 21: Sacrifice

With more than a few loose ends to sort out and only two episodes left on the docket, the logical thing for Once Upon a Time to do in ‘Second Star to the Right’ is moving toward the end goal. And they do. To a point.

But in the same way ‘The Evil Queen’ showed how little Regina (Lana Parrilla) has changed over the years, ‘Second Star’ reveals the same thing about Neal (Michael Raymond-James).

The two time periods explored in this episode are Storybrooke’s present and Neal’s personal past as the runaway son of Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). From the sketchy past previously provided, viewers were led to presume that the young Baelfire – earnestly portrayed by Dylan Schmid –  took the magic bean portal directly to 21st-century Earth.

Here, however, we learn that he took not one, but two detours before finding his way to modern-day Tallahassee and Emma (Jennifer Morrison).

Once Upon a Time season 2 episode 21 Second Star to the Right Wendy Bae Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 21: Sacrifice

As fate would have it, he lands smack dab in the middle of London and after six months of scavenging for food in the streets, makes his way to the house of one Wendy Darling (Freya Tingley), who welcomes him with food and shelter. Everything seems to be the same as the familiar tale, right down to the overprotective dog, Nana, who guards the children in the nursery. This, however, is an example of how strong the writing can be when they want to.

As was so common in the 1st season, the writers take the familiar world of Peter Pan and turn it on its ear. The shadow that visits the nursery in the night is malevolent; plucking children from there homes and flying them to Neverland, where – as the name implies – they can never return.

Fortunately for Wendy, the Shadow is looking for a boy, not a girl, and he brings her back. Rather than allow it to take John (William Ainscough) or Michael (Benjamin Cook), Bae offers himself to the Shadow. Liberating himself just before reaching Neverland’s shores he finds himself aboard the Jolly Rodger and face-to-face with Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue).

Once Upon a Time Episode season 2 episode 21 Second Star to the Right Greg Tamara Regina Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 21: Sacrifice

In Storybrooke’s present, Hook is keeping himself busy with his newfound friends, though he draws the line when it comes to torturing Regina for information on Greg’s (Ethan Embry) father, preferring instead to bide his time and get his revenge on Gold. Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green) has no such reservations. As the episode unfolds, she reveals herself to be totally devoted to the cause of eliminating magic from the world altogether.

Fortunately, Tamara also decides to let her true colors show, sparing Emma and viewers the patronizing looks from Neal, David (Josh Dallas) and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin). It’s all too little, too late for Emma and Neal as once again he finds himself being hurled into the green vortex. Too bad there’s only one episode left in the season, meaning whatever world he ends up in won’t get to be properly explored. And now that Emma’s lost him for a second time, viewers will be stuck listening to saccharine sympathy speeches on top of everything else.

Then there’s the small matter of Greg unearthing his dad’s skull in the woods. And the bad influence Lacey/Belle (Emilie de Ravin) is having on Gold in dealing with the prophesy. Not to mention the enigmatic “home office” and whatever their ultimate plans are. All things considered, hitting that reset button on Storybrooke might not be such a bad thing after all.

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The Once Upon a Time season 2 finale airs Sunday, May 12th, 2013 @8pm on ABC.

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9 Comments

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  1. has it been confirmed for season 3 yet??

  2. As the episode unfolds, she reveals herself to be totally devoted to the cause of eliminating magic from the world altogether.

  3. OUAT is becoming a bad soap opera and Jennifer Morrison a soap actress who overemotes every single time she has an emotional scene.

    • The storyline is still quite brilliantly crafted when it can be (unfortunately at some times it is a little lacking, such as “Selfless, Brave and True” with August/Pinocchio)

  4. to the writer of this article. if you don’t like the show. then don’t review it!

    • That’s the whole point of a review. Have you never heard the concept of bad and good reviews? Anyways I liked the episode although I do think it feels like it took a step forward then another one backward in the same episode.

    • yes indeed.

  5. Did OUAT just Peter Pan into a child abductor?

  6. I found that second star to the right was a mixed episode there were some alright bits in it while others seemed like just they were searching for ideas to fill in air time. It was great to see young Bae again because I always found that Dylan Schmid portrays young Bae with such honesty and he’s a character you can’t help but like however adult Bae is another matter. Neal/Bae hasn’t really changed since we came across him in Tallahassee, his character which was suppose to be the shows saving is not really believable and I find him quite irritating to watch. He doesn’t have the chemistry or the charisma that makes him a likable character.
    Emma’s character this season has been completely ruined by poor script writing, we have seen her go from a strong and confident fighter to nothing more than an emotional and vulnerable princess. If you have been a strong and confident person all your life and then you finding your parents make you an emotional wreck you’d still have your own independence. There were moments when we saw the old Emma in second star but just as she is getting her independent back you go and send her back into an emotional wreck we know she’s a strong character so use her strengths more and not her weaknesses.
    Snow and Charming have become annoying. This season they have been the main focus for the story and while I understand that you are trying to make Mary Margaret out to be this strong and capable fighter it’s not working. It worked in first season but in second season it’s become just unbelieve. They have been too absorbed with their own problems to even listen to what their daughter is trying to tell them. If they had believed Emma when August had first told her about Tamara instead of putting is down to emotions which is what Snow in particular did then this whole situation with Greg and Tamara could have been wrapped up ages ago and Storybrooke wouldn’t be on the verge of being destroyed. Snow and Charming have become nothing more then elitist snobs they are wartime leaders not peacetimes leaders and while I once liked them I find them painful to watch now.
    Finally the introduction of Peter Pan’s shadow was a brilliant twist in this episode it wasn’t expected but I do hope that the writers have only made Peter’s shadow evil and not Peter Pan. I also hope that the character of Peter Pan is Augusts’ spirits reincarnated because I have always had a sneaking suspicion that from the time August left Emma and when he turned up in Tallahassee that he was in Neverland with Neal and that is how he knew that Neal was Bae. We shall see how things turn out in Season 3 if they are given the go ahead for a third season and if they are I hope they do a lot better with Season 3 then they did with Season 2.

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