25 Inimitable Men 5/25
David Charming (Once Upon A Time)
A man who’ll fight off knights with his infant daughter in his hands and succeed? There’s nothing he can’t do. It’s very seldom that a character lives up to their name as Once Upon A Time’s David Charming does. But funnily, six seasons have passed and we still don’t know his actual last name — did he never have one in the Enchanted Forest? (Lol. Or did Snow name him perfectly?) There’s not a single character who’s been easier to love from the moment they appeared on-screen, and no it’s definitely not due to Josh Dallas’ undeniable charm and unfairly good looks. In a number of ways, Charming is the heart of the family — grounding everyone to a place of unparalleled serenity through his kindness and courage that effortlessly inspired everyone around him. Charming is, in every sense of the word, the bravest soul in Once Upon A Time history — a bravery that isn’t measured by his undeniable gallantry, but rather his honesty, sincerity, and the immovable compassion within him.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks we’re introduced to the Tin Man and the Lion allowing us to understand that when Zelena had the opportunity to keep a friend safe, she turned it down believing her magic was more important. In present day Storybrooke, when the Black Fairy gets one step ahead of the heroes, Zelena’s sacrifice helps them out.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time has continuously reiterated the fact that strength isn’t power but rather bravery and selflessness. Through its intricate characters and their gorgeous arcs it’s reminded us of the fact that strength is never to be measured by magical abilities or carelessness, but rather love and courage. And “Where Bluebirds Fly” reminded us of this detail through Zelena’s character allowing Rebecca Mader to shine wonderfully.
The hills are alive with the sound of True Love!
Episode Summary: In flashbacks, we learn that Charming woke up long before Emma came into Storybrooke breaking the curse between him and Snow, but the two were forced to give up a life with Emma in order to free everyone from the curse. In present day Storybrooke, while Regina, Zelena, and Emma try to break the sleeping curse, Killian’s trying to get away from angry lost boys. But with the help of a magical flower and Tiger Lily, Killian and Emma reunite then the entire town decides they’ll share the sleeping curse in order to dim the power away from Snow and Charming.
Review | Analysis: At its core, Once Upon A Time is a show about love. It’s a show that reminds us of the fact that when we have people to care for, who care for us, we essentially have everything. And “Awake” was an episode which showcased the series’ specialty at its finest — an episode that awakened something in all of us. We’ve been taught to believe that sometimes, the hardest decisions in life have the greatest outcomes. An ultimate sacrifice is often the source of pure magical, bliss. (For Christians, in the same way that God needed to sacrifice Jesus for us to be freed from our transgressions, Snow and Charming had to leave Emma behind for the rest of Storybrooke. It’s Easter. We can’t not talk about Jesus — especially after an episode like this.)
“Awake” did what Once Upon A Time does best and it reminded its viewers of the fact that happiness can be found even after the darkest days. It reminded its viewers of the fact that hope and love are the most powerful weapons a person can carry. And when there are people filled with endless love to give, there are others willing to do whatever it takes to keep that fire alive within them. And “Awake” was the ultimate showcase the fact that our darkest days are to be met with light. It was the ultimate showcase of the fact that True Love isn’t merely between romantic pairs, but families and friends, too.
25 Nearest and Dearest 6/25
The Charming Family (Once Upon A Time)
There’s no tragedy or heartache on Once Upon A Time as horrific as the fact that Charming and Snow weren’t given the opportunity to watch their little girl grow. And every so often we’re clouded with the thoughts of what if. What could’ve happened if they had raised Emma as they planned? Would they be different today? Would she still have her walls up? Would she be happier as a princess? Would she still have had Henry? However, despite the unfortunate reality that she was never given the chance to experience a childhood in a loving environment, Emma’s relationship with her parents is one of the most fascinating relationships on television. The Charming Family consisting of Henry and baby Neal as well share incredibly uplifting and beautiful moments together showcasing that it’s never too late to give someone your all. And it’s most definitely never too late to be a family.
Snow White is back and all’s well in the world again.
Episode Summary: Bailee Madison reprised her role as young Snow as she became a better warrior due to the help she received from her demigod friend, Hercules (Jonathan Whitesell). In the underworld, Killian helps Megara (Kacey Rohl) escape in order to give Emma a message, but the three headed beast Cerberus goes after them forcing Mary Margaret to retire her Storybrooke alias because in order to win, she needs to channel bandit Snow. Hercules, Snow, and Megara slay the beast and the two dead souls are finally given the chance to go to Olympus. While trying to find a map of Storybrooke in Regina’s office with Robin, Henry comes across Cruella (Victoria Smurfit) who tells him that much like the living souls, the quill he destroyed is in the underworld. The quill also has infinite powers and she wants to be written alive again. And in the end, Hades reveals to Killian that with every soul his friends save, he needs to choose which one of them to stay.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time knows how to write real, complex women who are strong because they’ve been weak — women who find themselves again after losing battles or falling apart. And it’s no wonder so many of us are in love with this series. Who doesn’t adore heroines who’ve not only taught us so much about ourselves, but who’ve inspired us to continue striving towards better? “Labor of Love” showcased the very fact that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but rather it’s taking risks in spite of the overwhelming thoughts that say failure is more probable than success.
100 episodes. 100 beautiful stories told.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks we learn about the time Cora took Snow White’s heart only to have Henry Mills Sr. return it, which then sends Regina into a fury, and she shrinks her father. In the underworld, we learn that the souls of the departed found each have unfinished business. Cora tells Regina to leave or she’ll send her father to the worst part, but when Henry Mills Sr. convinces Regina to do the right thing by helping her friends, he finds himself finally free to rest peacefully in the best place.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time has always been a series about hope. It’s been there time and time again to remind us the fact that even in the darkest hours, hope is never lost. It’s reminded us that even the vilest of villains could find redemption when they finally choose to make honorable choices. It’s reminded us of the fact that forgiveness is possible. And most importantly, it’s shown us that where there is love, whether platonic or romantic, there’s always hope.
Oh, we’re off to see the … Hades?!
Episode Summary: In flashbacks we learned that when Regina chose to test Killian, she had him confront his father after he’d abandoned him and Liam. In Storybrooke, we learned that in order for a soul from the underworld to be brought back, someone living must die. And a hero’s sacrifice saves the day, but because our town savior isn’t okay with losing her love, she’s on a journey to the underworld in order to split her heart. Neverland 2.0 here we come.
Review | Analysis: There’s a reason we don’t often theorize here at MGcircles and it’s because this series always ends up blowing us away — even when we know that certain things are coming. That said, this finale may have been one of the most captivating hours on Once Upon A Time history for it served as a prime reminder of what this series ultimately is: hope. And though we’ll have to wait until March 6 of next year to find out what’s happening, we’re confident in the fact that it’ll be beautiful. As per usual, we’re left with a number of questions and a ridiculous amount of plot holes, but nonetheless, we’re pleased, and we’ve got a lot to discuss.
This season finale was a hero’s journey — Killian Jones’ “Swan Song” where he finally conquered the darkness in a way only his true love Emma Swan was able to. “Swan Song” was Killian’s justified fight against the darkness. “Swan Song” was his ultimate win and proof that we are the authors of our own fate. Love is a profound part of everyone’s journey — Killian and Emma are each other’s light, just as they are each other’s person and the anchor who’ll always bring them home.
October 11 – 17
“Siege Perilous” | Once Upon A Time
Bromances, darkness, and more mysteries.
Episode Summary: In Camelot, Charming and Arthur bond while in Storybrooke Robin and Hook plot a mission of their own. Dark Swan tries to find the hero that’ll pull Excalibur from the stone, but things go south when Hook refuses to give in to the darkness. Gold’s awaken and Arthur is insane.
Review | Analysis: Tonight’s episode was yet another reminder that we stand where we do because of the choices we make. While evil forces have power, at the end of the day so does light, and when we find ourselves lost, the people we love never give up on us. It’s interesting to note however that it appears this is the first time all our heroes have found themselves disagreeing most. And while we still don’t know what betrayal led to Emma embracing the darkness, we can be certain that there will be a rift amongst them depending on which knight they choose to believe.
25 Love Stories 9/25
Prince Charming and Snow White (Once Upon A Time)
Once Upon A Time’s Snow White and Prince Charming are unsurpassed — the ultimate fairytale couple. Plain and simple. In a world this cruel, we all need a good cheesy couple to love through and through. There’s so much purity and warmth in this couple, it’s nice to see something so wonderful all the time. They’re the embodiment of true love, and with the things they’ve gone through, they’ve proven that they’re unbreakable. Snow and Charming define everlasting; no matter what life throws at these two they’ll find a way to be together – to be one, in sickness, in health, and even after death attempts to part them. They overcame all obstacles and now literally share a heart. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas’ effortless chemistry and love always makes its way onto the screen thus making their scenes most beautiful. Their hearts beat to the same rhythm and it’s now stronger than ever – there’s no connection quite as powerful. The villains on this show should learn their lesson by now. At the end of the day, the purity in their love is the one thing that invokes the most hope in us. When two people who love one another as much as they do create a family, then you best believe it’ll be the strongest in the world – the impossibilities are achievable and day by day, their adoration grows stronger. It’s always gorgeous to watch them take on everything with grace and love – sprinkling their kindness onto the world because the love they found in one another and their children has changed and inspired them in ways nothing in the world could.