How I Live Now (2013)

How I Live Now

Based on the 2004 young adult novel by Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now is a war story set in a near-future version of England. Starring Saoirse Ronan as teenager Daisy, it tells the story of an American girl sent to live with her English cousins shortly before a major world war breaks out.

What then ensues is anything but a stereotypical film of either the action or romance genre. Instead, this is a poetic film that tells a harrowing and poignant tale of survival. There is romance, there is the feeling of alienation that most teens experience, and there is a lot of violence – albeit the latter is mostly offscreen, with only the aftermath being shown.

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There are lots of bizarre things that take place. Daisy falls in love with her cousin, to start with, and the film doesn’t even blink at that. (Not that I am implying that it should – but most stories would.) Instead, we are to simply accept their romance and relationship and move on to more important matters. Modern audiences of the film, at least according to many reviews, had trouble getting past this plot development – despite all of the horrors of the war that Daisy faces, which are most definitely wrong in the moral sense and terrifying in the visceral sense, it is the fact that Daisy falls in love with her cousin that disgusts them. If anything, this demonstrates that we have been conditioned to place sexual mores above others, much like how nudity strikes the ire of censors moreso than violence. We feel powerless in the face of a war, so we focus on the propriety of a romantic relationship instead. That is something that we think we can control. Really, when people are being killed brutally, who cares who is sleeping with whom in a consensual manner? Extend that question to our world at large, even in peacetime.

Also, continuing in the vein of the bizarre, Daisy’s cousins are very independent and close to nature, almost in a magical sense. In the style of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, Daisy is sent to their farm because she is motherless and ill (in her case, with anorexia), both physically and spiritually, and she is healed by spending time outdoors. Gardening, tending animals, and spending time with her cousins is only part of Daisy’s healing, however. The first half of the film seems like it will be a simple story of a bratty teenage girl from the city being healed by a stay in the countryside and learning more about herself and her family. But the lyrical and quirky coming-of-age story is soon violently interrupted.

Daisy’s aunt disappears and circumstances of the war soon cuts off the children/teenagers from much of the outside world. There is a short in-between time, when there is deprivation and a sense of foreboding mixed with idyllic charm, but reality soon ensues. Soldiers commandeer their farm, the boys and the girls are separated from each other, and they are sent to evacuation centres and work camps a fair distance away.

From there, the film grows increasingly dark as Daisy and her young cousin, nine-year-old Piper, attempt to return to the farm and reunite the family. They fight for survival and make their way through the war-ravaged countryside, not sure where to turn and who to trust. They have to survive roving soldiers, bandits, environmental hazards, and other hostilities. Even finding their home would not be a guarantee of safety, as the community’s entire infrastructure has collapsed.

The film is painfully realistic. The war is both immediate and distant, with the offscreen violence having severe and visible consequences for our characters. There are many enemies and the war exists on multiple fronts. The war-ravaged English countryside could stand in for many countries. Daisy, with all of her insecurities, ideas, hopes, dreams, desires, and dislikes, feels like an average relatable person. We want her to succeed even as we want her to obey rules, since we are lulled into believing that those rules will keep her safe. Above all, we understand that she wants to save her family and that she does not want to die. No matter how one feels about the larger political problems of migration, refugees, immigration, and cultural differences, one can appreciate the desire of individuals to survive and live a normal family life. Daisy breaks rules, but she does not die.

I describe this films as poetic and lyrical because the story focuses on the one character’s journey of healing and discovery; the cinematography reflects the emotions of the character and the changing of the countryside itself; and it is fairly clear from the first few minutes that the motive behind this film is the art and provoking thought much more than it is to entertain. We are meant to feel uneasy. We are meant to reflect on the devastation of war. We may feel that, like Daisy, our lives are worth living no matter what. Daisy is not a lovable heroine, but we are forced to follow her on her journey with little distraction. Hopefully, we can look past the awkwardness and learn some universal and timely truths about ourselves.

Even a whimper of one individual’s life is worth living and is worth fighting for.

HowILiveNow

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Putting Panem Back Together

The Hunger Games Mockingjay 2 (2015)

At the end of The Hunger Games trilogy, the question is posed as to whether a final televised bloodthirsty Hunger Games contest should be staged; this time, the Capitol’s children would be forced to participate while the Districts watched and the Capitol could get a taste of its own medicine. The question is asked of the seven remaining survivors (I would hardly call them victors) of the previous Hunger Gameses, since they are the only ones who know firsthand what such a competition is like. From this limited pool of seven people, some are vehemently opposed to the idea of holding another contest (even a “contest to end all contests”), while others are out for revenge. (It is further implied that even if the seven had all voted against holding another Hunger Games, the new president would have overruled them anyhow.) Those who are vengeful are more intrigued at the possibility of watching Capitol children kill each other than actually getting revenge.

Rewatching this scene in the last film recently, I was reminded that this type of question is not limited to the world of The Hunger Games. How to approach “righting the wrongs” of history is a common dilemma, both in teaching about events of the past and in attempting to live with the results of said events. Too often, instead of working toward fixing inequalities, societies’ responses have been of vengeance or of flipping existing inequalities. Furthermore, there are attempts to erase uncomfortable pasts, rather than acknowledging what has happened and changing the present.

To return to the story, the concept of the Hunger Games was a bad idea to begin with – no matter who was competing against whom, and no matter the intentions behind them. Likewise, persecution, racism, and systematic injustice are not good ideas, no matter who is involved and their intentions. Sure, they may have positive outcomes for certain peoples lucky to be in a privileged position, but there is no doubt that these are bad ideas. While those accustomed to privilege may see any loss of it as oppression and thus react badly to change in the status quo, if the scales are tipped the other way and they lose their power and privilege entirely, the same actions would indeed be oppression. The Capitol’s children being forced to be slaughtered in the killing game that they had passively watched the Districts’ children participate in is an example of an extreme version of a loss of privilege, but it is not impossible.

It was obviously intended of an example of a loss of privilege being taken too far. After the war ends in Mockingjay, the Capitol citizens have already lost their privileged positions in Panem. Things are back at zero, and the killing needed to stop. Yes, some might not be satisfied and it is arguably true that the Capitol citizens had not suffered as badly or for as long as their counterparts, but murder of children is still morally wrong. Or else, the whole war was pointless.

Current trends in North America are still farm from the extremes of The Hunger Games. We have a system that is unequal on many fronts. There was a lot of killing (intended or not) and oppression in the past. All of the bloodshed in the universe cannot bring any of the dead back to life, let alone cancel he domino effect that one death causes. For every lost soul there are further losses – possible descendants, contributions to society, art, inventions, discoveries… Imagining a world without the slave trade or without the loss of 95% of indigenous North Americans is mind-boggling. And also simply imaginary.

Righting the wrongs of history cannot mean to forget or simply apologise. It also does not mean that there is an easy solution that will please everyone and satisfy all grievances. Simply renaming can bring up a host of problems, let alone addressing inequalities.

What is most difficult about moving forward into the future is that no matter how much we want to fix the past, it is gone, and no matter what has happened, what, who, and where we have now are what we have to work with.

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Loyalties – Part 3

copyright 2016

Click Here for Part 1 & Part 2

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Martha had been feeding Annie on the cabin’s front porch, rocking gently back and forth in the warm spring air. Aunt Julietta and Susan had brought the table outside to join her – Aunt Julietta was kneading dough for bread, while Susan and Becca were preparing to take the men some water and food. The elder woman was singing away to herself softly. The younger woman seemed upset as she gathered the food into the empty flour sack, as though someone had quarrelled with her earlier and she was still smarting about it, but Martha recalled no quarrels. Perhaps she had simply been short-tempered that week. None of them had ever asked her, and later that day, any quarrel had been forgotten completely.

It seemed to Martha that no sooner had Susan headed up into the woods that she heard blood-curdling screams. Aunt Julietta remembered that she had sung three verses of her song. That was long enough for Susan to reach Jim and Campbell – she had given them their pies and was pouring them water to drink. She froze mid-pour, splashing water over Campbell’s outstretched hands. His own yelp of surprise brought her back to her senses and she pulled the pitcher back, hugging it close to her chest.

“What was that, Captain?” she asked, looking around furtively. “Is it an animal?”

“That was no animal!”

“Perhaps it is an animal got the boys?” Campbell suggested gravely, gulping down the water as quickly as he could.

“We’d have heard it,” the Captain reasoned.

“Here, have some water, sir,” Susan whispered nervously. “Then we can go help them.”

It was silent for a few moments, save for some splashing as Jim drank. The birds were singing and it was ever as tranquil as it had been earlier.

Then more screaming, this time clearly heard from further up the lot.

“Help! Papa! Campbell! Help! Oy, anyone, help!”

“That’s Davey! I know it!” Susan broke into a run, as least as much as she could run in the woods carrying the sack of food and a half-empty pitcher. The older men easily caught up with her.

“Wait, Susan! We will go through the field. It’ll be quicker!” The Captain pulled her along out of the trees. “And let me help you. It’ll do Davey no good if you fall and hurt yourself.”

He had nearly added “too”, but stopped himself.

Wordlessly, he took the pitcher from her arms, freeing her hands to hold her skirts. Campbell went on ahead, leading them through the newly-cleared field toward where Jamie and Davey had been. Cries for help grew louder and more desperate, and Susan was sure that they were choked with sobs.

When they arrived, Davey was kneeling beside a fallen tree, crying and taking little notice of them. His hair and clothes were muddy and there was blood running down his nose, dripping onto his shirt.

“Davey! What happened? Are you all right?” Susan cried, rushing to his side with a handkerchief. “Let me help you up.”

He looked up at her, his eyes wide and tearful.

“Susan?”

“She’s here, son,” Jim added, catching his breath.

“Papa! Please, it’s Jamie! You have to help him…I can’t…I…”

His gaze turned back to the tree, where Campbell was already cautiously approaching a lifeless body. Jamie’s body, Susan realised in horror.

She had always tried to be a strong woman, accustomed to hard living, but the sight of Jamie crushed under a tree caused her to faint.

When she awoke, Davey was clinging to her and kissing her head. Despite the blood, she felt safe in his arms. Holding her seemed to make him more confident.

“Davey…I’m sorry…I’m all right, don’t mind me.”

“You two sit tight there, tend to each other,” Jim ordered. He and Campbell were examining how to move the tree. Though a Captain who had seen his fair share of death, the colour had gone from his face and he had no expression in his voice. He had been a father to his men, but none of the dead had been his own son.

Susan grabbed her handkerchief from where it had fallen among her skirts and apron, wiping her face and then holding it to Davey.

“Here, hold this on your nose. How’s your head?”

“Thank you, Susan,” he whispered automatically. Then he howled in fresh pain.

“Oh dear, your nose!” Fresh blood poured down his face.

“The tree…we thought it was going to fall the other way…all the others did, the wind isn’t strong enough…we were laughing…”

Susan’s teeth began to chatter and she held him more tightly. He kept one arm around her as he held the handkerchief to his nose with the other. There was nothing more either of them could say.

At the first screams, Martha had nearly dropped Annie. As soon as the baby had finished nursing, she handed her to Becca and ran up the hill through the field, barely taking the time to tie up her dress again.

“Jim? Davey? Jamie? Susan?” she called out.

Her husband ran to meet her halfway across the field, wrapping his arms around her and pushing her away.

“No, Martha! You don’t want to see.”

“What’s happened? What’s wrong?” She could see Susan and Davey huddled on the ground and Campbell beside a tree.

“A tree fell the wrong way. Got the boys.”

“What? No!” Martha shrieked. Jim squeezed her more tightly.

“Davey’s all right – broken nose is all. Wayward branch. Susan is tending to him.”

“But Jamie?”

“The tree fell square on him. He hadn’t a chance…”

Martha wailed and shoved her husband aside, rushing to where her firstborn son lay still. She could not see much of him, but she grabbed his exposed arm and cradled it in her own.

“Hush, Jamie, Mama is here with you. My precious boy!”

His arm was about the same size as he had been as a baby – bigger, even. She remembered holding him fresh in her arms, always her wee babe even as he had become a man.

“He should not have been here! He should have never been here!” That he could have easily had such a thing happen to him on their farm back home occurred to her, but did nothing to console her. “My poor little boy, all alone!”

“He had his brother with him,” Jim reminded her, glancing over at Davey and Susan. They were both in tears, holding each other and still trying to staunch Davey’s bleeding nose.

“No, no, where will he go? He ought to go beside his granddad…”

“Lord have mercy on us all! Martha, dearest, why don’t you and Susan take Davey back to the house? He needs tending to.”

“You take him! I want to stay here with my son. Let me!”

“Sir, I can take Davey home,” Susan piped up. “We will be careful.”

For the rest of the afternoon, Martha had stayed at the edge of the woods, cradling Jamie’s arm as Jim and Campbell moved the tree aside. No matter how ghastly his body, she had remained. This was her son, and she would be the last to leave him.

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Orphan Black – Season 4 (2016)

orphan black season 4

For a fourth year in a row, Orphan Black has presented a thrilling, action-packed, entertaining, and thought-provoking season. While only ten episodes, it makes up for the lack of time with a lot of story, character, and drama – with more than a few laughs. It demonstrates that a show can take itself seriously without losing its sense of humour.

Orphan Black is hard science fiction, which has led to a part of its appeal. It does not depend on space travel, future dystopias, or an amazing technological leap. In fact, it relies heavily on existing and near-existing technologies. The science behind the show is quite sound, if a bit farther along than current technological capabilities. (It also relies on the premise that cloning technology in 1983 was adequate to produce viable humans.) Again, this does stretch the imagination, but it is based on theories already presented to academia. The corporations in the show are not beyond believable – they are large conglomerates just as many companies are today, with their hands in multiple pots and working on many different projects and factions at once.

This season, we are introduced to the age-old war between research and profit, as interpreted by the various companies responsible for the cloning technology. Furthermore, we see that while some see the clones as subhumans to be destroyed and others view them as entirely independent human beings (namely themselves), there are those who love them as interesting human property, but would let them die for the sake of the scientific experiment.

Orphan Black is good at exploring multi-faceted characters who are morally ambiguous, depending on one’s point of view. None of the characters are purely evil, even though they commit evil acts – they are all driven by what they deem to be the greater good. The scientists want to perfect humanity. The companies want to make a profit while helping customers. The main characters want to survive.

Tatiana Maslany plays yet more characters in this season, bringing the various Leda clones to life to such an extent that even the actors sometimes forgot that she was playing them all.  Each woman is a distinct individual, although similar in some ways (as one would expect). One thing that I did not like this year was that a couple of the clone sisters were primarily kept as comic relief and away from serious storylines, while the main characters (namely Sarah and Cosima) were overly heaped with drama – no room for lightheartedness. Unfortunately, it had the side effect of making these characters less likeable, as the comedic scenes were more enjoyable. However, it did make for good storytelling.

Next year is going to be the final season, and I can’t wait to see how they wrap it up!

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Out of the Frying Pan…

divided kingdom mapI will admit that I am definitely not the most qualified person to pontificate about the Brexit. Canada, while still having close ties to Europe and the United Kingdom in particular, has an ocean and a century-and-a-half of history between it and the old imperial motherland. I barely paid any attention until this week, not really wanting to contemplate the thought of the EU (or the UK, for that matter) disintegrating. It is one of those thoughts that sounds appealing and interesting in a “giving the middle finger to authority” sort of way, but a bad thing to do in practice. Clearly, from seeing the reaction of some British voters on Friday, they regretted their impulsive actions.  Or, at least, they are shocked that their friends are crying.

I have also never been to the UK or mainland Europe, and I am often quite annoyed at regulations, being told what to do, and being talked down to. Merely from following the news for the past 20 years (since I really paid no attention as a child), I have on many occasions thought that sticking it to the government would be a good idea. Of course the EU is frustrating. Who wants the Germans running Europe? (But if you don’t want to be run by Germans, why leave?) But the European Union is a marvelous achievement, considering the continent’s history. By creating the institution – which needs reforming, granted – the various European governments acknowledged that they needed to stop being plucky little provincials if they wanted to avoid further catastrophic war and stand up to their enemies and negotiating partners. Because really, without the EU, that is exactly what Europe is: a collection of little competing countries, some larger and wealthier than others.

But I do think that I still have a say in this matter.

I am a European union – namely, my ethnic identity as an ethnic Canadian is based on three centuries of various western Europeans having children together in the New World under the British Crown. The idea that we can live together in peace and prosperity is not to be feared – it is vital to survival. And I am proud of all my backgrounds, including English, and it pains me to watch my beloved St. George get dragged through the mud. More importantly, I can sit back and watch from the comfort of my western Canadian living room (although this has ruined my weekend…), but millions of British and European citizens cannot. Many lives are ruined and severely altered, while the “Leave” vote was primarily cast by those whose lives are already not doing too well economically, or those that are nearly over.

Really, 51% is too close for a major change. Shouldn’t 60% be a better threshold?

What is more, simply because a lot of people are rightly fed up but expressing it wrongly, the entire United Kingdom is threatened, not to mention the whole of Ireland. Scotland is right to reconsider leaving, since their situation is akin to being strongly encouraged to stay in a marriage for security only for your spouse to up and quit their job. Children born to peaceful Northern Ireland were only old enough to vote in this referendum if they were born in early 1998 – the year the peace agreement was signed. The loss of EU funds toward the continuing peace process, as well as calls to keep the border open and even bringing unification back on the table, will only destabilize Ireland as a whole.

Best case scenario? Scotland gets its independence, Ireland reunites (yes, I can dream), and both are able to be a part of a reformed and more democratic European Union.

And England will be back to its sixteenth-century influence – a backwater nation at the edge of Europe, left out of world affairs.

Like a grown child watching its parents get divorced, Canadians simply sit on the sidelines, but will be affected not just in future, but in our very identity. We agree with both sides on different points.  We are frustrated with bureaucracy, but we believe in something greater than ourselves.

And it isn’t hockey.

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The Magical Breakfast Question

001.cIn my post introducing family stories, I wrote the following: “It is often impossible to know for certain even what year a person was born (a hard fact), let alone what they ate for breakfast, and even less likely to know what they actually liked to eat for breakfast.”

This is perhaps a strange question. What does breakfast have to do with anything? Some might point out that in the past, there was less variety in food and thus people ate what they could find and afford. Which is true – that is why it is easy to speculate. If I were to make an educated guess as to what my ancestors ate for breakfast, porridge is the first thing that comes to mind.  Eggs, milk, bread, potatoes, berries…these are all likely possibilities. But is like trying to guess their names based on the popular names in the years and regions in which they lived.

If anything, I have discovered in my research that while there are many Johns and Marys in my family tree, there are also a lot more obscure name choices in it too. (Melanchthon? Rehumah? Tryphosa?)

Back to food – it doesn’t follow that just because someone usually ate something for breakfast that they also liked that food for breakfast. They may have survived on porridge, but all that really says is that they could access and afford porridge on a daily basis. The bigger question is how they would answer this question: If you could wake up and have someone prepare you anything you wanted for breakfast – no matter what the ingredients, time of year, amount of skill required, or dietary restriction you may have (this is a magical breakfast) – what would it be?

How anyone answers this question shows a lot about their personality and imagination. Our ancestors, of course, had both. While they certainly did not have the wide access to global knowledge that we currently do, nor as much choice or accessibility of different foods, they could still dream about what they would have for their magical breakfast.

For sure, some of them would have said “porridge” or “fresh, warm bread with butter” or “eggs and bacon” – practical, heartfelt, and sticking to what they know is tasty but not too rich. Or perhaps they would list an alcoholic beverage.

Some of them might have said “my grandmother’s cornmeal cake” – something they had never had since childhood, or had never had just quite the same, and was associated with childhood memories.

Some might have gone in a strange direction – wild game meat of a rarely-hunted animal, or an odd mix of flavours or items that they would really like to try. Adventurous, impractical, and curious.

Then there are those whose answers would be luxurious – rich creams, cheeses, pastries, sweets, meats, eggs, etc.  Tasty, ostentatious, and celebratory.

Of course, most of my ancestors did not leave any written records that could answer this question. It is very hard to speculate how each of them would answer. For that matter, I still don’t know how I would. It would vary depending on my mood and life-circumstances – as, I’m sure, it would vary for my ancestors as well.

But it is this type of question, moreso than statistical information, that brings the past to life. That is why historical fiction, where characters are created out of whole cloth, is so attractive. The drawback to learning about our ancestors is that beyond a few generations, it is extremely difficult to know what they liked for breakfast. I briefly got to know some of my great-grandparents as a child (although not well enough to know their breakfast preferences) and had I been a bit older or a bit more astute, I might have learned about their great-grandparents from them (my great-great-great-great-grandparents, although only if my great-grandparents were old enough and astute enough to get to know them).

Unfortunately, a lot of these answers are gone, speculations aside. There are other stories to find, of course. What I really want to do with asking these questions is not get the answers, but rather to help remind myself that my ancestors were real people. They were not robots – they had hopes, dreams, desires, hobbies, vices, favourites, secrets, senses of humour, senses of curiosity, and imaginations. The dash between their birth and death dates was full of joy, heartbreak, fun, and hard work.  Their relationships were complicated. They had family and friends. Some of them travelled halfway across the world for a better life of peace and prosperity. Some of them were born, lived, and died on the same homestead. A lot of them married the boy or girl next-door, even if they were of different cultural or linguistic or (gasp!) religious backgrounds. For every ancestor, there were siblings and cousins who died in childhood or had no children of their own, whose stories were even more likely to be forgotten.

But all of them would have had an idea of what they would want for their magical breakfast.

cherry-garcia-icecream cinnamonbun pie&icecreamtea4

 

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Where Will We Go From Here?

season5titleONCE UPON A TIME
Season 5, Episodes 22 & 23 (Only You & An Untold Story)

As has become customary these last few years on Once Upon A Time, the season finale was a two-episode story that, while connected to the storyline of the season, was fairly self-contained and was intent on setting up next season. The conflict of the preceding 9 episodes having been resolved in Last Rites, the central question of Only You and An Untold Story was “where will we go from here?” What will happen next?

On one hand, I am glad that the Underworld story arc is over and the Camelot characters have returned to their respective realms. One might say that the latter was wrapped up rather abruptly, but at least it was dealt with. On the other hand, these two episodes shifted the focus to yet another villain and storyline. Now there is a whole summer to get one’s expectations up.

5-22bEven moreso than last year, Henry got to step up as the hero of the finale. While he starts out as an antihero bent on destroying magic (since it has caused nothing but misery for his family), he also does an about-face and resolves to fix it. There is something to be said about the fact that the “truest believer” wants no more to do with magic – not only does he think that this is the easiest solution to help his family, but he also wants to have a “normal” life of a teenager. Let’s face it, it is hard to focus on dating when you’re constantly realm-hopping and having to explain your weird family to everyone, or else getting left out because everyone still thinks you’re a child.

In this episode, Henry proves that he is definitely no longer a child, but he is not yet a grown man. He is capable of taking action and has the decency and wherewithal to fix the consequences of said action – which is more than a lot of adults; but he is still impressionable and prone to the whims of others. He is more mature than his great-grandfather Peter Pan ever was, but he is not beyond villainy.

As his love interest and sidekick, Violet is an intriguing character in her own right. I hope that she reappears next season so that we can learn more about her. In previous episodes, she was more of an object – someone for Henry to swoon over and Emma to manipulate. In this episode, we finally learn more about her past, more about what motivates her, and get hints of her personality. We still mostly see Henry’s perspective, namely that she is foremost his love interest, but he is seeing more sides of her and thus so are the viewers. While they might not be destined to be together forever, I would enjoy seeing them go on more adventures together in the near future.

5-22Equally important to the finale was the relationship between Emma and Regina, who embark on a quest to find Henry, keep him from destroying magic,  and keep Rumplestiltskin away from him. While on this journey, they get a chance to catch up about their emotional journeys from the past episode. Emma got her man back, but Regina’s didn’t make it. Rather than be horribly jealous and petty (although there is a part of her that would like to be that way), Regina acknowledges that she needs to keep on the good path. Mainly for herself, but also because Robin would want her to.

This comes to fruition at the end of the finale, when Regina is given the chance to empty herself of her Evil Queen persona and destroy her. Unfortunately, likely because Regina is still alive, her Evil Queen is not quite dead…and out of her control. Oops! This will be interesting!

5-23Further complicating matters? Rumplestilskin makes a deal with Hyde (of Jekyll & Hyde fame) to give him the keys to Storybrooke in exchange for something that could help him rescue Belle. So while the heroes have saved the day once more, Hyde and his minions have arrived to take over the town, and the Evil Queen is incorporeal and on the loose. Thus we have an interesting set-up for next year! Hopefully the writers can weave a good story and not a spiky mess.

On a happy note, Hook and Emma are back together, both alive and well! Also, Regina and Zelena have made peace, Henry and Violet are an item, magic has been restored, and everyone has made it back to Storybrooke intact.

Naturally, we await the fall and picking up the adventure again. For now, lasagna at Granny’s!

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