Oh, Once Upon A Time, just when I think I have you all figured out, you go and pull a Lost on me, and make me realize that you’ve had bigger plans all along. Obviously, I’m referring to what I thought would be a predictable season finale that turned out not to be so easily figured out.
Last week, Henry ate the apple pie that Regina had cooked up for Emma. I think we all saw that coming. I mean, the way it was just laying there, right within his reach. OF COURSE, he would eat it. And of course, it was poisoned by magic and put him into a deep sleep.
We also get the final puzzle piece of the long journey and romance of Prince Charming and Snow White, leading up to the moment where true love’s kiss saved Snow’s life. But before Charming could save Snow, he had to go hide a bottle of true love in a sorceress/dragon, known as Maleficent (True Blood‘s Kristin Bauer van Straten – and I’m now demanding we see more of her next season!).
And that’s what the season finale was about. Not just about the power of true love, but also the danger of that power.
Of course, we don’t know about that until the end, long after Emma has kissed Henry and saved his life with her love for him (yeah, we saw that coming a mile away, didn’t we?), but about how that one action created by love broke the curse.
But wait! Isn’t this show about breaking the curse and setting the denizens of Storybrooke free? How can there be a season 2 if they do all of that in season 1?
But that’s not all true love can do. It can also bring back that most dangerous thing of all: magic. And Mr. Gold, having had Emma retrieve true love from Maleficent (who has been locked away under Storybrooke all along) drops it in a well and magic starts pouring out of a well and into the town.
His last words? “Magic is power.”
And so, we’re set for season 2. The curse was broken and people remembered their former fairy tale lives, but they did not get to go back to their world. I’m sure, at some point, we’ll find out why. Maybe the curse isn’t completely broken (and again, that makes sense). Now people who know how to wield magic (including Regina and Rumpelstiltskin) are going to be able to rule over the denizens of Storybrooke like never before.
For me, this episode was all about Robert Carlyle’s Rumpelstiltsken. In the course of five minutes, I hated him, sympathized with him and then hated him again. And just when we think he’s about to recapture his humanity, he becomes even more monstrous. Carlyle is absolutely brilliant as this very complex character.
More kudos to Lana Parilla, who is so deliciously evil that you hate to think that she really does care for Henry, on some level. And that smile she has at the end of the episode when magic is unleashed upon the town. Oh yes, the evil queen is BACK and she knows it.
My biggest question, though, is what plan has the Mad Hatter cooked up? Why did he send Belle to Mr. Gold? Did he know that Mr. Gold would unleash magic or was he just trying to get Mr. Gold more angry with Regina? I don’t think we can count him out just yet.
And do the people of Storybrooke remember their mundane lives? Will Snow remember what a jerk Charming was as David when he believed her to be the killer of his ex? Will Grumpy and the Blue Fairy be re-united, even though she took vows as a nun in this world? Now that magic has been restored, will Ruby shift into a wolf and start killing people?
The possibilities are endless!
So what do you think next season has in store? And how do you think this show will be sustained into what we hope will be even more seasons?