The third season of ABC’s Once Upon a Time was a roller coaster of never-ending drama, excitement, daddy and mommy issues to the extreme, sibling rivalry, and above all, love. Before I officially say goodbye to OUAT until fall, I would just like to point out some valuable lessons I learned – lessons we all learned – from our favorite fairy tale medley. 

1. It’s Important to Know Who You are Before You Try Defeating Evil Villains

Pan liked to mess with people, but his trickery always seemed to have purpose. In order to find Henry on Neverland Island, Pan gives Emma a blank map. Unsure of what to even do with this, he tells her directions will appear, but basically she needs to come to terms with who she is first. “I’m the savior!” Emma says. But not so fast. 45 minutes and a couple of flashbacks later, Emma realizes she’s…a lost girl! BAM. Map activated. 

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2. Sometimes, Our Parents Don’t Want What’s in Our Best Interest

Let’s just say, Rumple’s dad wouldn’t win any Dad of the Year awards. He abandons Rumple as a boy with a few spinsters who teach him how to spin wool. Of course it turns out Rumple’s dad escapes to Neverland, taking on the form of an immortal(ish) child. 

3. It Doesn’t Always Pay to Have a Pure Heart

Oh, Henry. You can be so naive and gullible sometimes. Even though Henry knows Peter Pan is evil, he falls for his trick because Wendy pretends to be sick. Henry, wanting to save her life, gives Peter Pan his heart, which is the key to sustaining his immortality. I don’t know about you, but I wanted to strangle Henry at this point. Your family comes ALL the way over to Neverland to save you, and you just HAVE to give an evil man-boy your heart? Way to go, Henry. Way to go.

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4. When a Fairy Tells You to Go After the Love of Your Life, You Should Do It

If I had a fairy lead me to my soulmate who could totally save my miserable life and make me happy for ever and ever, I would totally go for it! Plus, tattoos are sexy (I’m talking to you, Robin Hood). Regina punks out because she’s going through a phase where she thinks love just makes you weak. Oh, Regina. You stone fox.

5. Don’t Keep Things from Your Significant Other, Duh

Charming tries to keep his impending doom from Snow for a good 2-3 episodes. Maybe even more, I was a little shocked. Charming is usually very good at the whole honesty-is-the-best-policy thing. But yeah, after Charming finds out he’s poisoned with nightshade, he just kind of goes with it, hoping he can figure out how to save himself before his wife/love of his life/best friend finds out. Similarly, Hook kept something pretty freaking important from Emma. The Wicked Witch cursed his lips so that if he kissed Emma, all her powers would disintegrate. If he doesn’t kiss her or tells her the truth, Zelena threatens the life of everyone she loves. Hook can’t bring himself to do anything, so he just kidnaps Henry. Because kidnapping your crush’s kid is totally the wisest answer. 

6. Try Not to Get Pregnant When There is a Super Evil Witch Out and About

I mean, really Snow and Charming? You come back to the Enchanted Forest, learn that another evil witch has taken over, and you decide that’s the right time to have a baby? Didn’t you already learn that babies make important story foils? Granted, the baby-making could have happened before their time-travel back to their old realm, but I kind of doubt it, given the fact that it would have been kind of hard to do that in Neverland. 

7. Jealousy Never Looks Good on Anyone

I’m talking to you, Zelena. It literally does not look good on you.

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8. You Probably Have Magic Inside You, You Just Need Someone to Almost Kill You in Order for It to Come Out

Emma had magic within her all this time. She is, after all, the product of True Love. After coming to terms with her role as Savior and ex-Lost Girl, she does realize she has super powers. But conjuring them? Totally different ball game. Regina helps her, but does so the hard way, of course (AKA almost kill her via precarious bridge) Tough love, right? 

9. Even Pirates Can Change

Hook went through one of the best character transformations, ever (almost as good at Regina and Mr. Gold’s). His love for Emma is painfully obvious, and just…painful. Watching her reject him and then watching him grow distant towards her (when he knew he couldn’t kiss her) just made me want them to be together even more. But guess what? Emma realizes Hook is the one for her after she saves him, and finds out he sold the Jolly Roger. Which is the ultimate love gesture! Also, it was pretty funny to see new Hook punch old Hook in the face because he was getting a little too handsy with Emma. 

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10. Never Mess with Time Travel. Ever. 

First of all, time travel is just sketchy. Second of all, it is extremely hard to time travel and NOT ruin the future because you made one little mistake and altered everything. Emma almost ruined her parents’ meet cute (well she does), so she has to find a way to fix her mistake. She also decides to rescue Maid Marian from her cell, which is courageous and all, but stupid. Technically, Maid Marian is already dead. This leads to Maid Marian being brought back to Storybrooke, and totally pissing off Regina.

What were some of your favorite and most valued lessons you learned from Once Upon a Time this season?

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Gina Vaynshteyn

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV