Once Upon A Time Review: “Firebird” Reaches The Emotional Climax

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time is now on the home stretch. With an emotional hour, they’ve set the tone for their final few episodes, with stakes appearing to be at an all-time high. I apologize, by the way, that I couldn’t get this review in sooner. The ne’er-do-wells at my local ABC affiliate decided that continuous weather coverage was a good idea. Like they couldn’t have just preempted the commercials?

This week on Once Upon A Time: Hades rips up Rumplestiltskin’s contract to get Zelena back. Affected by true love’s kiss, Hades gives Emma and the others a clue about saving Hook, and takes their name off the grave stones. Emma and Hook race for the cure (see what I did there?) and their love is tested. In the flashbacks, Emma is caught for her crimes by a private investigator, who turns out to be a helpful friend. Rumplestiltskin faces off against his father. Henry helps people with their unfinished business.

Obviously, there was quite a bit of action in this week’s episode. Everything started to come together as the Underworld story (mostly) concluded. Emma and Hook clearly have unfinished business, and the story will continue, but now everyone (save Hook) is topside. I have to admit, I approached this episode with a cynical attitude. I was sure that they were going to find a way to bring Hook with them, and cheat death, just because he’s a main character and not because it made sense to the story. I was ready for him to join them in their fight against Hades in Storybrooke. But, it seems my expectations were exceeded. Hook stayed behind, and it turned into an incredibly powerful, emotional moment. Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue had probably their best scene together in the series so far, and the unsatisfying conclusion to the “Save Hook” journey made the whole season that much more compelling.

Now if the rumors are true, someone isn’t going to make it out of this season, and smart money’s on Hook. But it can’t possibly be that simple, can it? Of course, just the fact that the stakes are high enough to lose a main character is great. This show has a huge cast, and it really needs to thin out a bit and focus more on the characters that it has. But, I have no clue who will be the one to go at the end? Anyone have any guesses?

I appreciated what they were trying to do with the flashbacks in “Firebird”, but I really don’t think they were necessary. I would like to have spent more time with Rumple, Peter Pan, and Robin Hood than find out how Emma got her “armor”. It was a good story, but felt truly out of place in an episode with the stakes so high.

Once Upon A Time has its faults, that’s for sure. “Firebird”, however, was the show at its (near) best. There were great performances, a story that gripped and didn’t pander, and a few plot twists to keep the fire burning until the end of the season. Honestly, based on my expectations, I was going to beat up this episode a little bit in my review and I just couldn’t. It exceeded all of them.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the episode? Let us know in the comments!

Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 20 Review: "Firebird"


Hook and Emma race against the literal clock to try and find a way out for everyone, in this week’s gripping Once Upon A Time.

User Review
5 (1 vote)

Add Comment

What We’ve Learned So Far from The Curse of Oak Island’s Season 7
Alex Trebek Gets Emotional with this Final Jeopardy Answer
Whatever Happened to Vinnie DiMartino from American Chopper?
This is Us to Introduce New Character Fans Have Wanted for a While
Sonic The Hedgehog Trailer Boasts New Sonic Redesign
Jon Bernthal to Return as The Punisher in Eventual MCU Movie
Darth Vader: A Star Wars Story Fan Trailer is Simply Epic
Theory Speculates that Harry Potter and Voldemort are Related
Jeremy Vine
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Jeremy Vine
Vanessa Carlton Broadway
Whatever Happened to Vanessa Carlton?
Dave Filoni
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Dave Filoni
Paul Adelstein
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Paul Adelstein
The Top Five Darkest Versions Of Your Favorite Superheroes
Kite Man
In Case You Want to Know who Kite Man Is
Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles
The Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles Will Be Teaming Up
Venom Hulk
The Venom Hulk has Arrived and It’s As Awesome as It Sounds
Super Anime
Check Out Mario & Luigi: Super Anime Brothers
Black Fox
What We Know about the Black Fox Anime Feature Film So Far
Golden Kamuy
Why You Should Be Watching Golden Kamuy
The Quintessential Quintuplets
Why You Should be Watching The Quintessential Quintuplets
What if Mario and Sonic Swiped Sidekicks?
Need for Speed
Real Life Recreation of a Need for Speed Game
Baby Crocodiles Sound Exactly Like The Arcade Game Galaga
Why They Should Make “The Revenant” Into a Video Game