Ladies and gentleman (or anyone that takes notice of this) may I have your ears as we have reached the last two episodes of season 6 of Once Upon A Time.
*I’ll do my best*
Yes, I did take about a week due to letting it sink in of how full circle (and yes I do say that quite a lot) of the story of Emma the savior and her fated battled deemed by providence.
I have to say it left me in awe and happy in the overall outcome of what went down. This will be my overall thoughts of the episodes and season.
To begin the episodes were called “The Final Battle” parts one and two given this is it, the accumulation of everything that started when Henry found Emma and brought her to the sleepy port town of Storybrooke where all these adventures and story arcs took place. I mean if you don’t count Neverland, The Enchanted Forest, Oz, The Underworld, Wonderland, Agrabah, etc.
The episode takes place immediately after the sing-song episode where the Fiona’s dark curse engulfs all of storybrooke and everything is changed. Henry is the only one left unscathed as he doesn’t see anyone except sparse people and is shocked that everyone and the town itself has changed to be even more dreary compared to Regina’s dark curse.
Some of the Enchanted forest people like Jiminy is still here but in full curse mode as he’s still a psychiatrist but more solemn and it’s soon brought to light that he still treats Henry as his patient. In this reality Henry, to everyone’s perspective, is still delusional over that everyone is a fairy tale character in his book.
The little author also is surprised that Emma is locked away in a mental wing with Fiona, his great-grandmother, being his adopted mother and not Regina. Henry does his best to tell Emma about the final battle but she doesn’t pay him any heed as she warns him that he needs to grow out of these childish delusions as it was that which put her in there in the first place.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snow, David and Regina with majority of the residents return to the point where Snow and David got married. They know that something is wrong and wonder what happened to Emma and Henry until Zelena and some of her people from Oz enter the castle and soon a lot more from past episodes like Aladdin and Jasmine.
Through exposition it’s revealed that the realms are being erased by an unknown power forcing the residents to flee and the Enchanted forest is one of the last hiding spots. Regina soon figures out that the final battle won’t be just a clash of light and darkness but one of the quarter stones of this show; belief.
The final battle is Emma maintaining and keeping the belief of everything that’s happened and due to her wavering resolve of being under the influence of the curse the entire fairy tale world is being wiped clean and if she stops believing all together, her family and loved ones will be wiped clean from all of existence, including her and even Henry due to their lineage.
In order to try and stop the cleanse and more importantly, get back to his wife, he goes on a mission to get a magical bean to transport him back to Storybrooke which leads him and eventually David to climb the beanstalk to get it.
On the other end Regina and Zelena find out they are in the Evil Queen’s wish realm castle to the other’s surprise where it’s learned that she has reformed (mostly) and is surprised on what’s happening.
In the real world though Mr. Gold is also seems to be affected by the curse as it’s shown that he and Gideon are running the pawn shop but with no Belle as it’s found out she left them. Through the course of the episodes it’s found out that Belle didn’t go see the world or leave them but is still in town but holed up in a house, scared of every little thing.
Soon Henry tries to get the book back from his great granny but is soon stopped by her and she uses magic to knock him down some stairs. She than uses that as a way to tell Emma that all this is happening due to him believing in the stories in the book and that only she can be the one to end it.
Henry is soon in bed with a broken arm and tries to tell Emma what happened but she doesn’t believe him along with Fiona dripping more lies about how the book must be destroyed for his sake.
David and Hook soon go to the castle to retrieve the bean but soon met by a dragon of all things and races off to escape.
Emma soon goes into the incinerator and cast the book inside. The spread of the void soon comes close as she sees a single picture of Hook making her pause.
As the destruction spreads it soon starts to affect the realms as David and Hook soon tumble off the stalk which sends a warning to Snow that something has happened to David due to them sharing a heart.
Hook is eventually found and doesn’t see David anywhere when Snow and Jasmine head off to find the duo. Snow convinces Hook that he needs to get to Emma and leave David to her as Emma is top priority to all this.
As everything starts to settle down with Hook returning and soon after the Charmings after a heartfelt exchange of finding one another, the void is almost upon them.
Henry on his part finds out what Emma did and can’t believe it and tries to go to stop Emma from leaving but she does due to that all this began with her and she can’t have him continue to endanger himself.
As she leaves for Boston (unseen) Henry slips in something into her bag. When she returns to her apartment and sees it isn’t the book she burned but one drawn and written by Henry as we the audience see the key moments of how Emma got to this point.
Still being skeptical she returns to Storybrooke.
Henry soon goes to his grandfather as he has a hunch that he isn’t affected which is proven correct as he asks for his help to save their family but Gold declines as he states that Belle is his top priority.
Knowing that he can’t change his mind, Henry asks him for two things he will need; a sword and a magic handheld mirror. Henry soon uses the communication mirror to give his own plan to his family in the other realm that he will do it alone and slay the evil fairy herself.
Regina and evil former Regina are shocked by this as he won’t be able to do anything against her. With time running out and magic beginning to fade due to Emma’s lack of belief and it affecting their world, they head for the center of the castle for sanctuary with the former evil queen declaring she will give them time and urges her good self to use the remaining magic to charge the bean.
In an impressive scene the former evil queen uses her magic to hold back the void before she is inevitably erased.
Back in Storybrooke Fiona is on edge as she found the piece of paper that Henry wrote some episodes back of runes and tries to find out where it leads to. She winds up back in Gold’s shop where Gideon is and it’s soon revealed that she still can control him, to his shock, as she states that she never gave him his heart back and has it locked away.
She gives Gideon one order; to kill Emma.
As Henry is about to go to the mayor’s office Emma stops him to his surprise and even though she doesn’t hold much in the story or remembers she does state that she does “believe” and that is what stops the void from consuming the residents of the enchanted forest,albeit a small rock with some of the main characters and some people on it.
Soon Gold confronts his mother at his shop as she is still looking for the wand that banished her (that’s what the notes that Henry wrote were about) as the two have an honest chat over the circumstances.
Gold didn’t trust his mother for a moment and made himself immune to the curse which doesn’t surprise her. Fiona soon shows her real colors as she tells him that with the wand in hand she could control the very fabric of life and death with the magic just waiting to be born.
In a noble move Gold says the fabled line well known in the series “all magic comes with a price” and uses the wand to vanquish his mother, proving the prophecy true that he and his mother would indeed battle with one of them dying.
With Fiona turned to dust the curse is broken, Emma remembers everything and the residents of the Enchanted forest return to Storybrooke.
I guess that dumb bean wasn’t needed overall…
Gideon soon enters the hall and starts going after Emma as the command still stands. Emma soon is able to escape with some help from Henry as the duo flee to the streets and are happily reunited with their loved ones.
Emma gives the the info of what’s happening and Regina soon realizes the one thing; that Emma can’t kill Gideon or she will darken herself to wipe the light and that if Gideon kills her the light is extinguished anyway.
Soon savior and queen have a moment of reflection of their relationship of the past 6 years as Regina gives her the spiel that there is always a third option and Emma taught her that.
The moment is ruined as Gideon appears. The savior and would be hero soon clash with Emma giving an impressive speech while fending off his sword blows (she was able to get the sword from Henry when they were in the mayor’s office) how she is the savior and brings light to the darkness, etc.
For Rumple’s part he and Belle have a short reunion before trying to find Gideon’s heart which leads them underground. Rumple goes on after Belle twist her ankle and urges him to save Emma and more importantly their son.
He finds the heart but is stopped by his shade, the Dark One as he tries to tempt Gold but he doesn’t waver and gives the command to hav Gideon stop. But there is a lock over the heart and it’s soon apparent that he can’t stop it.
Back to Emma and Gideon’s clash Emma soon says that it’s her duty to save and in a bewildering scene tosses her sword aside knowing what she must do. Gideon laments that he wished that there was another way and wishes that she could have saved them both.
Strangely Emma just smiles and soon is impaled by Gideon’s sword. Upon being struck Emma’s body radiates an intense light that spreads. That light soon brings back the realms and even erases Gideon before she falls.
Ultimately that light didn’t vanquish Gideon but brought about a rebirth for him; he returns to being a baby with a happy Belle and Gold. For Emma, Henry kisses her on the forehead and soon is revived due to love’s kiss.
Snow soon gives a speech that the possibility for a happy ending was far and they achieved it but ultimately living the new beginning is something more. The book that was burned returns to it’s original position as the words “When good and Evil both did the right thing, faith was restored. The final battle was won.”
Soon that’s what they all do, live their life. It’s shown that David and Snow get their own house with a dog raising Neal, Emma and Hook are the new sheriff’s of Storybrooke, Regina is still mayor but this time the dwarves giving their own blessing by redoing her door, Henry goes to school with his mom’s watching over him and end with everyone, including Belle, Gold and baby Gideon coming by with everyone beaming.
We soon find out that this too is part of a story with a little girl, that was introduced in the earlier part of the episodes traveling to Seattle. This girl has some link to the stuff that just happened as she had to flee, what appears to be the Enchanted forest due to some unknown evil encroaching on it with her father giving her time to flee and to protect the book.
With help from Tiger Lily who has gotten her wings again (and this is my theory) she brings the little girl to this world where she is traveling to said place that was mentioned. There is a prophecy that the girl will find what she is looking for.
Soon she goes to a hotel and knocks on the door to see a guy there and it’s the same male that was defending his daughter from whatever darkness was approaching but apparently has no memory of it.
It is soon revealed that this male is the grown up Henry Mills and this little girl is his daughter, named Lucy along with not him believing her claims.
Just like Henry when he was younger in the first season his daughter soon states that his family needs him to the adult’s shock and we soon go to black.
And that is more or less what occurred during season six of Once Upon A Time and boy it was something.
What really captured me was how it went about as I thought the battle would be a clash of light and dark magic and not one of belief and ultimately it worked well for what occurred.
Emma did indeed die but she wasn’t fated to stay dead it seems or maybe she changed it by declaring everything she stands for and moving Gideon’s heart to resist for just a moment for him to show his real feelings of not wanting to do this. It took true love’s kiss to save Emma and that came from the love of her son that believed in her from the beginning of the series.
Of course I’m not knocking the other characters as they believe in Emma too. Regina also brought up tidbits from their long adversity to one another from the past seasons to ultimately coming together as best friends and confidants which I never expected.
Once Upon A Time really opened my eyes by throwing these characters we know into new circumstances and showing that just because they can be classified by light and darkness, hope and despair, good and evil that they are the one aspect I never would think; they are human.
They are flawed. They are what circumstances happened to them. Evil isn’t born, it’s made is a quote I can see holds great weight to what occurred with Regina for instance. She was just as innocent in the beginning before circumstances changed her and it was love and friendship to bring her back to the person she once was, albeit not naive and still a chip on her shoulder but really a person that truly needed “saving” from herself.
Same with Hook as he is someone who longed for revenge and even though he tripped on the road to being the man Emma marries and worthy of her he proved his devotion.
It goes to show that yes we can be the best we can be but there is darkness in all our hearts and we can be wrong, petty and let past mistakes cloud our judgement but we are human and it’s choices that make us who we choose to be, not something from an external force beyond comprehension (dark magic in that regard).
Seeing Emma Swan come to this point does my heart good in lots of ways. When she first appeared I liked her but on a superficial level as she was the good guy and she would triumph over Regina’s notorious ass but as I started seeing the layers come off Emma, from her always running away from emotional situations or letting others in, getting over her parent issues due to a destiny bequeathed to her, I saw that she was flawed in those respects.
She held on to grudges and yes her common sense could be questionable at times (due to plot or the writers) there was still something about Emma that I couldn’t shake and even though I have some friends that treat her as the Sakura Haruno of the show as she wasn’t as interesting or good as ones like Regina, Gold or Zelena, she had that “thing” for me that I truly liked.
Hope. Empathy. Light.
She held those qualities for me and not in ways I expected since she was independent, a fast thinker and pragmatic with situations that proved to be fresh air due to these fairy tales coming into a world without magic and think that happy endings happen after defeating some big bad.
Emma as a character might have grown less slowly compared to some others but her qualifications as a savior and learning, growing is still what made me stick by her journey as the savior but more importantly as a hero.
She does not kill needlessly, she gives light and hope to an otherwise dire situation and that is what saved everything in the end. Hope and light working with despair and darkness (latter being Gold and in a way Gideon) as a unification of putting karmic destiny back into balance due to being torn asunder by the black fairy’s selfish deeds for her lust of power.
It doesn’t matter if a character is dislike due to what other people say (I was that way with Regina and now Gold) but how you feel for them. I mean sure, getting worked up over fictional characters COULD be childish but it really is isn’t.
Stories offer out an escape and even helpful advice when things in life get upsetting. It doesn’t make it bad, it actually is a good thing as it can bring about new wisdom by learning through these characters and Emma was that way for me.
These are my own feelings being added on to her but I truly did enjoy Emma Swan characterization through these past six years and this is where the tone changes.
The way I’m talking makes it as if she’s dead and she’s not but this is where Emma’s story as the savior does come to an end. Jennifer Morrison has indeed left the show now and it is going to be heading off into a new direction with the grown up Henry and his daughter taken the leads of the show since there seems to be a new curse on the loose and a time skip.
Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore, Rebecca Mader and Emilie de Ravin have also left due to their own terms or character arcs being finished and nothing for them this time around. Though that doesn’t mean we won’t see them in cameo’s or what not but it is still sad given we’ve grown to love or tolerate these characters for years and will miss the ones portraying them.
*Will all be missed*
Andrew J. West will be taken on the role of the adult Henry Mills for season 7 where we will see him from the gawky kid that got kidnapped to a man dealing with possibly erased memories of what happened and him being a father to Lucy, played by Alison Fernandez.
I was never expecting 6 seasons to be taken place in a book read by Henry’s daughter which is bewildering but fascinating at the same time.
There have been reports throughout the week that Once Upon A Time will be moving to Fridays at 8 this fall for the new season which will be a transition and worrisome since Friday’s are known for killing tv shows but Inhumans will be coming at 9 pm this fall too so there is hope along with I think the fandom will stick around to see this new story of a “reboot” of this.
Next that there is a new curse and that Lana Parrilla, Colin O’Donoghue and Robert Carlyle will still remain reprising their roles as Regina, Hook and Rumple under a new curse and identities.
Possibility of seeing Neal, Gideon and Robin as teenagers or adults is pretty high to continue on the legacy of their parents and see how they are and even reference where they are so that’s always a good thing.
No matter what the future holds for the story Once Upon A Time is one of my favorite shows which I love the reimagined characters, even though the show has some plot holes and some stuff could have ended in different ways in my head canon, this is overall a wonderful (yeah I’m a guy and saying “wonderful”, I should get a beer to bypass the sappy feels) show and will be anticipating this new season with hope and cautious optimism.
I have really enjoyed doing these reviews/rambles for one of my favorite shows and though my thoughts went into overdrive trying to get them in order on (digital) paper I at least hope I was able to keep this interesting even though I went all fan boy on whoever is reading.
I will not stop writing these kinds of reviews for shows and best believe when it comes back in the fall I’ll be there.
The story might end but there is always a new beginning just waiting and the continuing of the dream will always continue to the next…
*Forever and always a hero and the true savior*