Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Once Upon a Time and the writers behind the show. They constantly keep me on my toes with each new season — even when I don't like a development. The show's most recent episode, "Last Rites," left me with a lot of feelings that I need to hash out. Warning: major spoilers ahead!
Not only is the episode's plot packed with emotion, but it also features not one, not two, but three deaths. While killing off Hades and King Arthur successfully wraps up the Hercules and Camelot arc from season five, there is one death in particular that left fans, or Hoodies as they're popularly known as, completely devastated — everyone's favorite bandit, Robin Hood.
First, I should give a little background as to why this death was particularly heartbreaking from the get-go. While it has been widely speculated that this season would include a major death, the writers have kept mum about who it would be. However, just a few days before the episode aired, numerous photos from set began to pop up on social media, hinting that it might be Robin Hood's funeral. Though the writers and Sean Maguire, the actor behind Robin Hood, tried their best to keep viewers guessing, fans created the hashtag #SaveRobin in an attempt to keep his character alive.
Even though Robin Hood certainly isn't the first character to get killed off on the show, his exit might be the saddest yet. This season we learned that when characters die, they are actually sent to the Underworld to complete their unfinished business. While other characters like Neal, who also had an emotional death, were able to move on, Robin Hood isn't as fortunate. Hades explains that death by the Olympian crystal means no afterlife at all. After all the heroism his character has shown over the past few seasons, it's pretty bleak that he gets no happy ending.
On the topic of happy endings, I can't help but point out how heartbreaking this death is for Regina. Not only does Robin sacrifice himself to protect her, but just moments before his untimely death, he basically calls her "his future." As a show based on hope, it's understandably very frustrating that the one character who has been adamant on finding her happily ever after constantly experiences loss. Her first love, Daniel? Dead. Her father? Dead. Her mother? Dead. And now, her true love gone forever. As if Regina's sad ending wasn't bad enough, the episode makes the whole ordeal even more bittersweet by reuniting another fan favorite couple, Captain Hook and Emma Swan.
Don't get me wrong, I love Captain Swan just as much as the next person, but I can't help but think how unfair it is that Hook gets a second chance while Robin Hood gets no closure at all — and if the recent promo for the season finale is any indication, it seems like Regina is doomed to a life with no happy endings as the Evil Queen.
RIP, Robin Hood. You will definitely be missed.