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.
It’s okay not to be okay.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks, we’re taken back to the moment where David and James were separated while in present day Storybrooke, David attempts to uncover the truth behind what really happened to his father. Killian struggles with David’s perception of him, and because he wants to take things with Emma to the next level, he needs her father’s blessing. Regina shows Robin around Storybrooke and after a kiss, she learns that he really isn’t the man she fell in love with.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time has proven many things within the last six years, and one of them is the fact that Jane Espenson and Jerome Schwartz make magic together. “Murder Most Foul” was the perfect demonstration of just how fascinating these characters are, and the strength that’s found through honest, enduring friendships. In spite of the horrific ending, “Murder Most Foul” is an episode that’s bound to leave viewers remembering why they fell in love with the show in the first place.
Once Upon A Time is a series that at its best uses fairytale characters to emphasize on real, human emotions. And in a cathartic way, “Murder Most Foul” showcased the importance of seeking help. It reminded viewers of the fact that there’s no shame in asking for it, and that as human beings, we are always enough just as we are.
There are always scenes I’ll find myself replaying — scenes that either broke me or have somehow fixed me. Scenes that may not be thematic masterpieces but rather little moments that set everything in motion. In this final installment of our 2016 Year-End reviews, you’ll find the scenes that have left the biggest impact on me this year. The scenes that I’ve found myself wanting to talk about over and over and over again. The scenes that I considered the loveliest little gems.
And before we part ways until the new year, be sure to check out the incredible choices Nerdy Girl Notes and TV Examined have been writing about.
“Heartless” | Once Upon A Time
It’s been a quiet week in the TV-verse and a devastating week in the real world. FOX’s Pitch was pretty remarkable reminding us all of what an extraordinary team the San Diego Padres are. And Sunday’s episode of Madam Secretary finally put an end to the stalker situation the McCord family was dealing with. Through it all, thankfully, it was Once Upon A Time’s “Heartless” that’s remained as a captivating life through it all.
One heart, one curse, and perpetual weeping by all fans until this is resolved.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks we’re taken back to a time where Charming and Snow met without ever knowing who the other was. In present day Storybrooke, the Evil Queen finds a new way to torture the couple when she comes accepts that they’re willing to lay down their lives for the sake of the town.
Review | Analysis: Belief has often been an incredibly powerful theme in the world of Once Upon A Time and in “Heartless” it serves as a gorgeous reminder of hope. It’s this very belief which has strengthened our characters to the core reminding viewers that encouragement is a weapon we must all use to brighten up the days of our loved ones. Come what may, the Charming family has always found a way to happiness — no matter how brief it’s been, their adventures have been worthwhile. And with this new challenge arising in their paths, it is bound to make them even stronger. Snow and Charming were once on their own, but today, there’s an army behind them. There’s an army believing with intense faith that they can break the new curse bestowed by the Evil Queen.
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.
Darkness is getting stronger and alliances are being tested.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks we watch Arthur’s obsession with becoming King overrule his rightful thinking while in present day Snow and Charming showcase what it truly means to be in a partnership with your spouse. Killian tries to take Emma’s mind away from the voices inside her head. Sands of Avalon is used for all the wrong reasons. And the Dark Swan’s got a new puppet.
Review | Analysis: Tonight’s episode did a wonderful job of contrasting real love and forced. It reminded viewers of the fact that selfishness ultimately leads to nowhere and once again, our choices dictate whether we are a true hero or not. Real happiness and strength isn’t a kingdom or an object — it’s choosing love above all things. “The Broken Kingdom” reveals that true completion is a status achieved when you’re surrounded by people with unwavering faith in you. The greatest measurement of strength comes from the ability to trust, love, and believe in someone when all else is lost. At the end of the day however, we’ve still got tons of mysteries ahead of us waiting to be solved.
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.