Last night’s season 3 finale of Once Upon a Time hit me harder than anything on the show since its first season. Despite religiously watching the show, I’ve never written about it, but after last night I felt that I had to, as I had a much stronger emotional reaction than I could have expected, particularly in its last minute reveal that sets the stage for season 4. I want to use this moment to take a look back at the series thus far, and perhaps discover why this new development hit me so hard. Needless to say, there will be spoilers for the show thus far, although I’ll give another, specific spoiler warning for last night’s episode when I get to that point.
Once Upon a Time In Wonderland was an intriguing concept. Where most TV spinoffs usually feel forced, like an attempt to simply cash in on the success of the parent show, Wonderland at least had potential. The world of Once Upon a Time is so vast, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the many worlds and realms that have been seen and mentioned on the show, that it seemed like the perfect setup for a spinoff. We’d gotten a few glimpses at Wonderland, either dealing with Jefferson/the Mad Hatter or Cora/the Queen of Hearts, but the potential was there just waiting to be tapped. Unfortunately, the end result didn’t exactly live up to that potential, but it was still an experiment worth trying and provided us with some memorable characters.