The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains spoilers from the season finale of Once Upon a Time.
Wasn’t it Huey Lewis who once sang of the power of love? But more on that in a minute.
The first season finale of ABC’s Once Upon a Time — and make no mistake, there will be a Season 2 — was everything the pages of TVLine told you it would be. “Crazy-bananas” (to quote cast member Josh Dallas, who certainly is no Pinocchio). “Severely intense,” as exec producer Eddy Kitsis put it. And yes, it left you, in its final 60 seconds, thinking, “Holy, holy, holy s–t.”
The plotting of the episode was thrilling, tight and danced around no loopholes, addressing the elephant in the room — Henry’s grave state, how he got there and how might he be saved — and then introducing something a lot bigger than an elephant, in another room.
From the top….
Emma and Regina arrive at the hospital frantic over Henry’s fate, yet Dr. Whale is at a loss to treat the boy knowing not what felled him. And it is while rummaging through Henry’s book bag — and laying hands on the his storybook — that Emma, already ever-so-slightly suspecting that magic is afoot, “flashes” and becomes a believer.
Cue throw-down in the storage closet with Mayor Mills aka the Evil Queen! Magically delicious.
Once that tussle is out of the way and Regina cops to her true identity, the two ladies — sharing an agenda — visit Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin to see if he has access to any magic that could save Henry. As it would turn out, Rumple while back in fairytale land socked something away “for a rainy day”: a flask of “true love” potion, which he encased in a jeweled egg and charged Charming with placing inside the belly of the beast — aka Maleficent’s monstrous alter ego.
Thing is, Maleficent, when the Queen laid down the dark curse, was transported to Storybrooke in that form, and now dwells way, way, way below ground. Emma is the only one who can fetch the egg, and she is lowered via elevator to the cave, where she at first unloads her pistol into the dragon, to no avail. (Had to try, right?) She then decides to make use of the sword provided by Rumplestiltskin — one that belonged to Charming — and hurls it through the air and smack dab into the beast’s soft spot. Biff-bam-kablooey, the critter is defeated, its egg-cellent stash revealed.
Alas, Emma then gets a bit daft and, when the ‘vator stalls near the top of the shaft, lobs the egg to Rumplestiltskin — who promptly flits away with it, having bound and gagged Regina above. But before the ladies can chase the imp, they get pinged by the hospital. Henry didn’t make it. He’s passed on. He’s no more. Dead parrot and all that. However….
In bidding her boy goodbye, Emma plants a kiss on his forehead, and just as with Charming and Snow way back when in a realm far, far away, Henry is revived by true love. Not only that, everyone in Storybrooke realizes their true identities, cuing up a glorious, open-the-tear ducts reunion between Mary Margaret’s Snow and David’s Prince Charming. All is good!
‘Cept something bad is coming….
You see, Jefferson aka Mad Hatter, desperate to be reunited with his daughter, infiltrated the hospital ward where Regina/the Evil Queen keeps her most valuable captives. He found Belle and sent her to Mr. Gold with the message that Regina had locked her away. Rumple was gobsmacked to be reunited with his love, who alas had no recollection of their fairytale romance, but promised that he would protect her, as asked. And to that end, he took the “true love” vial, pinched from Emma, and brought it to the well that August (now back to 100-percent wood, sad) first showed us a few weeks back. And by dropping the flask into the waters below — waters that have the power to restore that which has been lost — Rumple conjured up a cotton candy-like smoke that crept along and then enveloped Storybrooke.
Magic is coming to the Maine burg, Rumple told his visibly worried love, and with magic comes power — something Regina, heretofore sobbing in Henry’s bedroom, seemed to appreciate as she gazed out the window and smirked.
Once fans, what did you think of the Season 1 finale? Quite edge-of-your-seat, crazy-romantic and then haunting, no? What do you think Season 2 will entail, with magic in play in quaint Storybrooke? And are you excited to follow the Snow/Charming story back in fairytale land, as they aim to take back the kingdom, together?