When the show first aired six years ago, Once Upon a Time was a different show than it is now. It started as a simple concept: a whole town of cursed fairytale characters who don’t know who they really are. Now, the show’s about to go through a drastic change.
Over the last week, a number of cast members released statements saying that they wouldn’t be returning for the show’s seventh season. Those cast members include Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Jared Gilmore (Henry), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Emilie De Ravin (Belle), and Rebecca Mader (Zelena). Now that the two-hour finale’s finally aired, it’s made way for a new story. By the way, major spoilers to come.
Following last week’s musical episode, the Black Fairy’s curse starts to settle in. This leaves most of the characters back in the Enchanted Forest. And Henry, once again, tries to get Emma to believe again. This time around, Fiona’s (AKA the Black Fairy) the Madame mayor of the town. Emma’s, however, in a mental hospital after believing in Henry’s storybook. Turns out that the hyped-up final battle this season isn’t physical but rather a mental test to see if Emma’s hopeful enough to believe in Henry’s stories.
Meanwhile, everyone sees what’s happening back in Storybrooke via Regina’s magic mirror and they spend most of the episode trying to find a way back to them. How the story unraveled surprised me. I think we all knew there’d be a happy ending, especially considering so many cast members aren’t coming back next season. But Rumple killing his own mother, the Black Fairy, and the quick death and revival of Emma Swan was quite the surprise. With Rumple, he finally decides that the price of having power is no longer worth it. And after years of waiting for him to change, it finally happens. But then, he’s sent towards being the savior he was born to be, as previously revealed earlier this season.
How It All Ends
In the end, the show nicely comes full circle. The story reverts back to its initial story from season one, but now there’s much more at stake. This time, Emma could lose everyone she’s grown to love if she gives in to the lies Fiona fed her. But of course, she succeeds and everyone gets the happy ending or beginning that they deserve. Then, there’s a time jump that goes on to explain what at first seemed like random flashbacks of a man and his daughter in the Enchanted Forest. It turns out Henry’s the father in the future who gives his daughter, Lucy, the book and tells her to protect it as he fights a mysterious creature in a small shack.
The episode ends with how the show first began. Lucy walks through the halls of what is said to be an apartment building in Seattle. Henry then opens the door to Lucy, who tells him that he’s her father, just like when Henry came knocking on Emma’s door in the first scene of the entire series. The number of possibilities of where this show could go from here is endless. But judging from this finale, I think the show can still tell great stories while maintaining the hope this show embodies. Even without the people that made the show what it’s become today. Whether that’ll happen will be up to showrunners, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. So, here’s to hoping.