Tag Archives: Once Upon a Time

From “Once Upon a Time” to “Happily Ever After”

I realize I haven’t written a lot about Once Upon a Time lately, but I wanted to go ahead and say something about the series finale. Yes, series finale. After seven wild seasons, the heroes finally got their happily ever afters (in theory, anyway–I didn’t entirely agree with what the writers thought constituted a happy ending). From what I’ve heard, this finale was far better than the one Lost fans got, and I’m truly grateful that Once Upon a Time actually got to have a finale instead of being canceled outright (the ignominious fate of Resurrection, Houdini & Doyle, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and Galavant among others). Yet at the same time, I can’t help but feel that season six had the better “happily ever after” wrap-up.

You see, season six was supposed to be the last season because the writers hadn’t heard if the show was being renewed or not. After hearing that ABC wanted to renew it after all, they didn’t do the smart thing and say, “Sorry, but we’ve already wrapped up the story lines; the show is effectively over.” No, they went scrounging in the bottom of the plot barrel and slapped together the show’s worst season. The plots were recycled; there were some questionable casting decisions (tried to like the new Cinderella but didn’t really feel much of a connection between her and Henry), and remaining story lines were hastily and untidily resolved (we never did get a decent backstory on Facilier, and I really wanted to know how he met Regina in the first place).

It may sound like I’m dumping on the finale, but I’m really not trying to. I guess I was just disappointed at how a show that started out great declined so much. One thing I did admire about tonight’s episode, though, was Rumple’s sacrifice, proving just how far his character has come. It also furthers my suspicions that he was the true Savior all along–we learned in season six that he was supposed to be the Savior, but the Black Fairy used the Golden Shears to change that destiny. Yet it was prophesied that she would meet her doom at the hands of the Savior, and it was Rumple and not Emma who delivered the killing blow. Combining that with the fact that this is the second time we’ve seen Rumple sacrifice himself for everyone else, I’m really starting to believe Rumple was the real Savior all along–kind of like how Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One all along but took a very lengthy detour through Sithdom.

I’ve often pondered the question of how many fans are going to pretend season seven never happened, but I’m not sure of the answer. Towards the end the show began to exhibit some of its old magic. But whether you choose to accept this season or not, I think the important thing is that, like all good stories, it will live in us forever. We will always remember the best of Once Upon a Time.

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Reacting to “Once Upon a Time: Operation Mongoose Parts 1 and 2”: *MASSIVE SPOILERS*

Okay, first things first: if you haven’t watched the Once Upon a Time season 4 finale yet, TURN BACK NOW! It was a massive game-changer, and I don’t want to spoil it for you!


Still here? Okay, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. The two-part finale “Operation Mongoose” saw Isaac fulfill Rumpelstiltskin’s request of writing a new story where the villains could get their happy endings. Titled Heroes and Villains, this new book featured Snow White as a surprisingly effective Evil Queen, Prince Charming as her number-one lackey controlled through his ripped-out heart, Regina as the forest-dwelling object of Snow’s wrath, Rumpelstiltskin as a cheesy knight in shining armor known as the Ogre-Slayer or the Light One (I know, it doesn’t have quite the same ring as the Dark One), and Captain Hook as a bumbling, nerdy deckhand (seriously, he doesn’t know how to fight and drinks goat’s milk instead of rum because he’s allergic to the latter). Basically the heroes and the villains have swapped places and backstories, with the notable exceptions of Robin Hood and Belle. Robin Hood is still stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, and Belle is just as sweet and kind as ever.

Of course, no one remembers the truth of the situation except Emma, whom Snow has locked in a tower to prevent her from undermining her rule. Fortunately for Emma, Henry finds a way to enter Heroes and Villains (after the book was finished, he was left in an abandoned Storybrooke as he had not been born in the Enchanted Forest, so there was no place for him in the story), rescue his birth mother, and convince his adopted mother that he and Emma are telling the truth.

In the end, Henry becomes the new Author and uses his power to undo everything Isaac has written. All’s well, a happy ending is in sight…except for Rumple, whose heart is quickly turning black. The Dark Curse is about to completely consume him; the good in him, the part that Belle loved, is almost gone. Rumple is about to die, and there will be nothing left of him to fight against the Dark One.

Here’s where things get crazy–the Sorcerer’s Apprentice attempts to save Rumple’s life by sucking the darkness out of his heart and trapping it inside the Sorcerer’s Hat, effectively shearing Rumple of his power–long story short, he is no longer the Dark One. But the darkness is too powerful for the hat to contain, and it breaks free and seeks out a new host.

At first it targets the Apprentice, but Emma uses her magic to drive it off. It then seeps out into the night and targets Regina as a suitable candidate, but Emma refuses to watch Regina become evil again after her struggle to regain her goodness. Instead, Emma offers herself to the darkness as its new host.

As the darkness eventually fades, Emma is nowhere to be seen…but the Dark One’s dagger is lying in the road, and a new name is engraved upon the blade: Emma Swan.

So that was the big cliffhanger for season 4–Rumpelstiltskin is no longer the Dark One; Emma now possesses that power. Oh, and apparently the Sorcerer is Merlin; he’s the one who bound the darkness to the dagger in the first place so there was a way of controlling it, and our heroes have to find him because he’s the only one who can drive the darkness from Emma and destroy it completely (never mind that we know from season 1’s “Skin Deep” that True Love’s Kiss is powerful enough to break even the Dark One’s power). Season 5 should certainly be interesting!

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Reacting to the “Once Upon a Time” Winter Finale *Obviously Spoilers*

Not sure how coherent this is going to be, but here goes:

I’m glad to see the Frozen storyline is finally over. Although the OUaT versions of Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff did grow on me, I was skeptical of introducing such a recent release into the pantheon of established classics. Also, I wasn’t completely sold on Ingrid’s motive for casting the Spell of Shattered Sight in the first place. Yes, I know love is an important role in the show, but it would be nice to have a variation on motives for Evil Schemes of Evilness once in awhile!

Fortunately, Rumpelstiltskin is never short on motives–even though his plans cost him dearly this time. It was fascinating to see him revert to his villainous tendencies despite the knowledge that this couldn’t end well…and it didn’t. I knew things would not be pretty when Belle found out he’d been lying the entire time, but that scene was completely unexpected (if you’ve seen the episode, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t, I’m not about to spoil it).

I’m not particularly anxious about the March premiere mainly because I already know Rumple will find his way back, but I’m definitely intrigued with this whole Author scenario. More and more I’m beginning to suspect that the Sorcerer and the Author are one and the same. And maybe–just maybe–we’ll get a halfway decent explanation for how and why Ursula is in New York City…or how and why Maleficent is back when Emma killed her in season 1.

And as an afterthought…I was way too amused when Belle used the phrase “my turn to talk”. Because I am geeky like that.

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Hope for “Once Upon a Time”?

The last season of Once Upon a Time had me very, very skeptical about the quality of the writing. To me, the Neverland and Oz plots seemed like half-baked debacles, and I cringed when they revealed that Frozen would be a key player in season 4. But you know what? They actually started out okay. The plot doesn’t seem forced or unnatural; the characters aren’t annoying, and it actually grabs your attention. I will be very happy if the quality of the writing only goes up from here.

I will also say that I like how Regina hasn’t gone all berserk yet. After the character development they gave her, I was really afraid they were going to undo it. But Regina is showing some restraint, which is a good thing. Here’s hoping she won’t give in to her dark plan and will fully become the good woman Henry believes she can be.

As a final note, the whole author subplot promises to be extremely interesting. It was my understanding that Pinocchio wrote the book or had some involvement in it. Are they going to suggest he got the stories elsewhere? Or am I off-base, and Pinocchio didn’t have anything to do with the book? It’s been so long since they covered that storyline I can’t remember.

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Reacting to the “Once Upon a Time” Season 3 Finale *Spoilers*

Last night’s season finale for Once Upon a Time was probably the best finale of the three seasons it’s been on TV. The two-hour episode felt more like a made-for-TV movie, and it had a less complicated plot than most nights (that or Doctor Who has made me immune to complicated plots).

To recap: Zelena’s death last week triggered the opening of the time portal she planned to use to rewrite the past and claim the evil life of luxury she believed should have been hers. Good news: the fact that she’s dead means that she can’t do this anymore–the portal’s open, but she’s dead, so all evil schemes are now rendered moot. Bad news: Emma accidentally falls down the portal and inadvertently interrupts her parents’ first meeting. It’s okay; I mean, it’s not as though the Savior of the Enchanted Forest needs to be born. At least Captain Hook is on hand to provide pirate-y assistance, and they even manage to finagle a bit of help from past-Rumpelstiltskin, whose curiosity is piqued when they tell him that the dark curse he is currently planning will help him reunite with his son in the future.

As exciting as the episode itself was, the ending was practically perfect. It really felt more like a series finale than a season finale with all the loose ends they tied up–Snow White and Prince Charming’s new son is safe in his parents’ arms; Emma finally accepts that Storybrooke is her home and opens herself up to a relationship with Hook; Regina lowers her defenses and allows herself to take a second chance on love with Robin Hood and his son Roland, and Rumpelstiltskin and Belle finally get married!

If it were up to me, the episode would have ended there. Unfortunately, it did. Why, oh, why must the writers keep crushing Regina’s heart and dreams? She made such progress towards redeeming herself this season–WHY ARE YOU GOING TO UNDO ALL THAT WONDERFUL PROGRESS!!?? And as for the sneak peek of season 4’s villain–I don’t know what to think. On the one hand, I think it could be interesting. On the other, I think it’s a little soon to be bringing in characters from Frozen. The good news is that I have until September to make up my mind.

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Sherlock Lives…Rumpelstiltskin, Not so Much

After viewing a promotional poster for the Once Upon a Time spring premiere that featured Rumpelstiltskin, I had the greatest of hopes that he would miraculously appear in the Enchanted Forest in the new episode. I looked forward to it with great anticipation…but no Dark One. Granted, it’s still early, so he could still return–here’s hoping Belle and Bae can make that detour to Rumpel’s old castle tout suite–but I had hoped for more concrete proof that he was still around.

As for everything else–why, oh, why couldn’t they have chosen a different villain; why did they have to include the Wicked Witch of the West? For that matter, why couldn’t they have stayed in the Enchanted Forest? Storybrooke overstayed its welcome–for me, anyway–and a change of scenery would be welcome so long as it didn’t turn into the dragged-out Neverland storyline last year.

Despite my complaints, I did enjoy the show’s return tonight. Finding out precisely how Storybrooke returned to Maine and how Captain Hook was able to locate Emma (and where he got the memory potion) should prove to be quite exciting.

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“Once Upon a Time”: The Aftermath of “Going Home”

It has come to my attention after that rather depressing mid-season finale of Once Upon a Time that some people are confused by the effects of undoing the curse. Does it mean the previous two seasons never happened? Does it mean Sheriff Graham/Cora/Maleficient/anyone else who died in the last two seasons is still alive? Does it mean we’ll find the Mad Hatter again–or that Cinderella will finally reappear? (Seriously, she was only in two episodes in the first season before falling off the face of Storybrooke. Where on Earth did she go?)

Before we get to these questions, however, let us take a moment to pause in silence and mourn the passing of the Dark One.

RIP, Rumpelstiltskin. You were one of the best characters on the show, and I hope they find a way to resurrect you in March.

Now as for the aftermath of undoing the curse–the most widespread misconception has been that the curse itself never happened because Emma and Henry have no memories of it, but that is not strictly true. From the fairytale characters’ point of view, the curse was very real; if you watch the promo for the spring premiere, you can see where Snow White observes, “We’re back.” So the curse did happen, but Storybrooke itself was wiped from Maine when they all went home–it hadn’t existed before the curse, so it would no longer exist with the curse undone. That part of Maine was restored to its original state, leaving Emma and Henry unable to remember Storybrooke because from our world’s point of view, it had never existed in the first place.

But just because Maine was restored to its previous state does not mean the same is true for the Enchanted Forest, so don’t expect to see any dearly departed favorites make a return.

If it’s still confusing, just chalk it up to wibbly wobbly, timey wimey. It can be extremely useful and applicable in non-Doctor Who situations.

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