“Uh-oh, it’s magic” is not just a verse from an old Cars song. Those few words also aptly sum up the closing moments of Once Upon a Time‘s season finale, as Mr. Gold né Rumpelstiltskin conjured up a purple smoke that roused sleepy Storybrooke with an infusion of magic — just moments after Emma’s love for Henry broke the queen’s curse and restored the residents’ memories.
And fans of the ABC freshman were not the only ones caught off guard by the game-changing twist.
“There was some talk about the curse being broken, but I didn’t believe it until I read it [in the script], because [series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis] are tricky that way,” Lana Parrilla recently shared with TVLine. “They don’t really tell you much, but I like that about them!”
Upon seeing the final edit of the finale — with CGI’d smoke flowing out of the well and across the land — Parrilla remarked, “It was awesome…. Unreal.” And almost green à la the ominous cloud that crept across fairytale land when the dark curse was first uncorked. “But at the last minute they changed it to purple, which is more symbolic… a better link to something ‘magical.’”
Of course, the very final image viewers were left with as the smoke slinked through Storybrooke was that of Regina née the Evil Queen’s face – curiosity-slash-concern ultimately overridden by a smirk of satisfaction — as she cast her gaze upon what Rumpel (played by Robert Carlyle) had unleashed.
“She seems somewhat conflicted,” the actress explained. “She’s going through this huge loss with her son [Henry, now effectively Emma's ward], and yet now there is hope. If she needs magic to get her son back, then so be it.”
But let’s be clear, if magic is now available to Regina, it’s on the table for everyone – her regular impish foil included.
“I’m curious to see what happens between Rumpelstitskin and the Evil Queen…,” Parrilla mused. “I imagine that whatever it is, it is not going to be pretty!”