"A Land Without Magic" showed us the truth behind true love's kiss and it was nothing that I predicted. And it wasn't only the magic that was full of surprises in Storybrooke, as love also popped up where I least expected it.
There were so many dramatic components to the Once Upon a Time season finale that it's difficult to know where to start - but I'll begin with my favorite dynamic duo.
No, it isn't Snow and Charming, it's Emma and Regina. For as much as they loathed one another I loved watching as they were forced to work together. Two such powerful women, compelled to strive together to save their son made for some great TV, especially since they'd rather kill one another.
As was evident in this Once Upon a Time quote, even when Emma was suddenly thrust into a world where a true love potion existed, she never lost her straight to the point approach:
Mr. Gold: I saved some for a rainy day.
Emma: Well it's storming like a bitch. Where is it? | permalink
So, Rumplestiltskin not only used some of his true love potion as a curse fail safe, he hid the rest in the dragon. That was a twist I didn't see coming. It also led to an awesome elevator. Honestly, the steampunk looking contraption was more interesting to me than all of the dragon footage combined.
Emma did two things that seemed downright silly:
- Putting down the sword. Did she really think a few measly bullets could take down a dragon? A grenade launcher maybe, but a handgun. I don't think so. Plus, that was her father's sword. There had to be some significance in using it but perhaps that symbolism alluded her at that moment.
- She threw the egg up to Rumplestiltskin. Hadn't she been in Storybrooke long enough to learn that the two least trust worthy people were Regina and Mr. Gold? I know shoving it inside her leather jacket and climbing out wouldn't have been easy but it seemed like the better choice.
But as we learned with her trust in Sidney, there are times Emma can be naive.
It was wonderful to see some long lost characters come back to visit. The Huntsman (aka Graham) was a sight for sore eyes. Having him and Charming share the screen was simply a lovely dose of fairy tale eye candy that didn't last nearly long enough.
Finally, Regina's treatment of Jefferson came back to haunt her. There are only so many times you can pull the rug out from under someone before they retaliate. Jefferson might not have been able to do the deed himself but he knew who could and he knew the trigger to pull to make it happen.
Which led us to Belle. Who knew it would be so easy to spring her from her hospital prison? I did wish there had been a little more build up to her meeting with Rumplestiltskin. I had hoped he'd be the one to go and find her instead of Belle being sprung on him at such an odd moment.
Admittedly, they had me worried that Henry might actually be killed off. There would have been a twist. But in the end, true love's kiss was the purest of all. I always thought it would have to do with Snow and Charming but I was happy to be wrong. It was a mother's love for her son. When Emma kissed Henry the curse was broken... sort of.
Although everyone remembered their past, no one was transported back to it.
Which did give us the joy of not only watching Charming save Snow in the fairy tale world but also getting to witness David and Mary Margaret realize the truth of their love. The latter happened in the nick of time as I wondered what would happen to David as he attempted to drive out of town.
The saddest moment of the entire episode was when Regina told Henry the following:
No matter what you think, no matter what anyone tells you, I do love you. | permalink
I felt for Regina because, in her own way, I believe that's true. No matter what her motives or methods, she loves Henry.
So with the end of the season most of our heroes have found true love while Regina has lost hers and in perhaps the scariest turn of events, Rumplestiltskin has brought magic to Storybrooke. Unpredictable, powerful, magic. And Regina is smiling. This just can't be good.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.