And they lived happily ever after.
Episode Summary: The Black Fairy’s curse hits Storybrooke trapping Killian, Snow, Charming, Regina, Zelena, and co. in the Enchanted Forest while Emma’s in a Psychiatric Hospital and it’s up to Henry to help her believe again. As it turns out, if Emma stops believing that the life she once had is real, it’ll fade from existence. Rumple faces his mother one last time. The families reunite. And they live happily ever after.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time is a special show — for six years it has allowed us to begin our weeks with the faith and belief that no matter how hard things get, there’s always a happy ending in store. And while the “The Final Battle” was anything but a perfect episode, the stories it told were beautiful. Once Upon A Time may not be over for good, but a prodigious chapter has ended — a chapter that’s changed lives. A little bit of happiness in the midst of dark days where television series are uncertain, but where Once Upon A Time was concerned, we always knew it’d end well. It’d end leaving us with a surplus of hope. It’d leave us braver, kinder, better than ever.
That was … strange.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks, with the help of Tinkerbell, Regina’s father tries to bring her to her happiness by helping her find the man with the lion tattoo, but instead, she makes it so the magical arrow points her in the direction of the person she hates most. Upon remembering that she’s the person she hates most, in present day Storybrooke, Regina combines her love with the Evil Queen’s hate, and they send her back to the Wish Realm where she can start over. Emma learns the truth about what Killian did to her grandfather and just as he’s about to come home from running off to find himself, Gideon tramps him in Nemo’s submarine.
Review | Analysis: If we stop trying to figure out Once Upon A Time’s timelines and realms, we won’t be confused right? That’s essentially where I’m at with this episode. While I thoroughly loved the thematic importance of “Page 23”, when things don’t make sense, it’s a little tough to be fully engaged and pleased. But nonetheless, “Page 23” highlighted the importance of self-love beautifully. And thankfully, we no longer have to deal with the Evil Queen anymore.
Once Upon A Time knows how to remind us of the struggles we continuously face in our lives and “Page 23”, much like “Murder Most Foul” did that best by reminding us of the fact that forgiveness and self-love go together. It reminded us of the fact that at the end of the day, love will always win. It’ll always be able to heal even the darkest souls.
“Keep your chin up, there will be happiness again.”
Episode Summary: When our heroes return to Storybrooke, Zelena is hesitant to believe Hades has actually teamed up against them, and after replacing the Olympian Crystal, Hades attempts to use it to kill everyone in order to create a new kingdom with Zelena. Back in the underworld, a newly deceased Arthur teams up with Killian in order to help the heroes defeat Hades. One soul dies, while another returns.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time is a show about hope — a reflection of the real world, only with fairytale characters. And much like in the real world, there are genuinely dark, hopeless times. To be quite honest, when a series like this leaves us in a hopeless state, it isn’t easy to write. And it’s not something that happens often, which is what makes it so jarring and too emotional. Funny thing is, Once Upon A Time is a show that knows how to kill people with closure — especially when it’s a character we’ve grown to truly care for. But perhaps, we’re simply meant to believe that sometimes, there is no closure.
“Last Rites” was simultaneously satisfying and emotionally numbing — two juxtaposing mindsets that feel incredibly wrong together. But that’s life: where there’s childbirth, there’s also death somewhere else. Where there’s happiness, there’s also deep sadness. But on Once Upon A Time though there may not always be hope, True Love is always strength, and where there’s strength, there is always a natural desire to be selfless. True Love is sacrifice.
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.
Lana Parrilla | Once Upon A Time