Warning: This recap for “The Song in Your Heart” episode of Once Upon a Time contains spoilers.
Storybrooke is alive with the sound of music!
Once Upon a Time embarks on the newly-fashionable trend of making a musical episode, and the fantastical setting makes it work. Back in the Enchanted Forest, before Snow White gives birth to Emma, she wishes on a star for a way to protect her daughter after the Evil Queen’s curse.
Well, her wish comes true — though, as usual on this show, the outcome has a twist. Suddenly, everyone is singing and dancing! But there is a rhyme and reason to it all, and it ties back into Emma’s upcoming final battle against the Black Fairy.
OUAT is filled with wicked witches, sleeping spells, and dark curses, but music is its own kind of magic, too. And it’s pretty darn powerful.
Here’s a rundown of this week’s episode…
Villain of the Week: Evil Queen
In flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest, we see Snow and Prince Charming after the Evil Queen has threatened the realm with the curse. She desperately wishes upon a star to find a way to protect her daughter. The next morning, she and Charming burst into song! They realize it’s the wish come true. “With music in our hearts, we’ll defeat the evil queen,” they harmonize.
The Evil Queen also is afflicted with melodizing. The Mirror notes that this might undo her curse, and she snarl-sings that they can’t match her power, even with this nonsense music stuff. “Love doesn’t stand a chance,” she belts out.
The Charmings need passage to the Evil Queen’s castle and visit a tavern to hire Captain Hook. But he refuses, because all he can do is sing an anthem getting revenge on Rumplestiltskin. Emma and Charming note that he’s in their dungeon, and Hook agrees to make a deal.
Rumplestiltskin, meanwhile, gets a visit from the Evil Queen, who’s worried that the curse won’t go through because of the singing. He tells her to, well, witch up, basically. She has to prove she’s the right witch for this job.
Over in Oz, Zelena spies on them and cackles at the Evil Queen’s possible failure. Finally, Rumple will realize he should’ve chosen her as a student, not her sister. “Wicked always wins,” she croons.
The Charmings arrive at the Evil Queen’s castle and confront her, but they start a dueling duet — Snow and Charming’s love ballad vs. EQ’s dark rock. Then, she captures their song in a box and locks it away. They’ve lost.
She banishes them back to their castle, where the Blue Fairy shows up to console them. She reveals that the music isn’t meant to defeat the Evil Queen… it is meant to protect Emma, just as Snow wished. She takes everyone’s songs and places them into unborn Emma’s heart.
Hero of the Week: Emma
A flashback takes us back to Emma’s childhood, when she wanted to participate in a talent show. She starts making a tape of herself humming, but another foster kid shuts her down, snidely commenting that Emma will always be alone so nobody cares about her song.
In Storybrooke, Emma is preparing for her upcoming wedding by looking at wedding dresses, but none of them are quite right. Snow White has the solution: her own wedding dress! Aww, the mother will get to pass it on to the daughter. Unfortunately, the bonding moment is ruined by the Black Fairy who reminds Emma that their final battle is looming and to check the clocktower for their impending doom.
They race to the clocktower, where they see a vortex of black fairy dust. It will enact a terrible curse over Storybrooke! And it will begin at six o’clock — exactly the time when Emma is supposed to marry Hook.
She goes to see him to tell him that she loves him and Hook realizes she’s saying goodbye. But Emma can’t let him or any of her family help her in this battle.
Rumple, meanwhile, is sticking with his own family and freezes Hook, Regina, and the Charmings to prevent them from doing anything to stop his mother.
Emma finds the Black Fairy in Regina’s office to start the battle now. The Black Fairy just taunts her by bringing in her frozen family and reminding Emma of her lonely childhood. Emma flees in tears to the sheriff’s office, where Henry gives her a pep talk. He reminds her that she is not alone anymore, that she is the Saviour, and that she can do this.
Emma decides the only way to save her family is to give the Black Fairy her heart. But when the BF takes it out of her chest, she can’t crush it — and it burns her hand! Henry races in. He shows Emma a new page from the storybook, depicting Blue placing the songs in Emma’s heart. It’s been inside her this entire time. She begins singing and unfreezing her family, and the Black Fairy retreats.
The wedding is still on! Hook and Emma exchange beautiful vows in front of all their friends and family. Archie pronounces them man and wife, and they hit the dance floor. “You got your happy ending,” Hook says, as he dips her.
“It’s something else: a happy beginning,” Emma replies. And she, Hook, the Charmings, Regina, and the whole town burst into one final rousing number.
But then, the clock strikes six and the curse breaks loose! Hook wonders where the curse will take them this time. Emma says it doesn’t matter. “Wherever we end up, we’re going to win.”
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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