Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17 Review: Awake

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True love wins again!

After weeks of searching for an end to their sleeping curse, Snow and Charming finally opened their eyes at the same time on Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17 "Awake."

But the Charmings were not the only ones reunited. Emma embraced the family motto and found a way to bring Killian back from Neverland.

Emma and Killian are Getting Married! - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17

And not a moment too soon since Killian was about to be murdered by a group of unhinged Lost Boys.

Neverland's never been a happy place for anyone, but it's hard to believe things got worse on the island after Pan died. We might need to give him a tiny bit of credit for keeping the Lost Boys in line.

Thankfully, Killian ran into an old acquaintance, who happened to have the same endgame he did: helping the Savior defeat the ultimate evil.

Meet Tiger Lily - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17

Was the setup a little too convenient? Yes. But sometimes, that's okay. Especially when we get to meet a new, fun character.

Tiger Lily's an ex-fairy so she knows all about the Black Fairy, and how she was banished in the first place. She also provided Killian with a piece of a wand that could be used to defeat her.

It's a win-win situation. Although, it's a bit of a bummer we met Tiger Lily late in the game. She had a lot of charisma, and a cool backstory. I wouldn't mind seeing her again.

There's no question she'll outsmart the Lost Boys, and live to tell more tales.

Killian: Swan, I know that you face an uncertain future. But there's one thing I want you to be certain of. I will always, always be by your side. So. Emma Swan, what do you say? Will you marry me?
Emma: Yes.

Now, back to the swooning.

The first time Killian proposed to Emma on Once Upon A Time Season 6 Episode 13, there was a cloud over the moment. He was keeping a huge secret, and we knew it would blow up in his face.

This time, everything's out in the open. And this separation only confirmed how much these two love each other. I'm happy he didn't wait one more second to put the ring back on her finger.

And the best part? No long speeches necessary for Killian and Emma to profess their love. The proposal was simple, straight to the point, and a beautiful reminder of how far they've come.

A kiss before a curse - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17

Of course selfless love runs in the family every bit as much as saving each other does.

I'm impressed Once Upon A Time found a new way to present a flashback. We thought we'd seen everything we needed to when it came to how David and Snow lived their separate, cursed lives.

At first, it seemed more like a dream than a flashback when David woke up and remembered everything. But things slowly began to make sense once David and Snow planned to find Emma.

Except they made the mistake of turning to Rumple for help.

David: I will always find you.
Snow: One day, Emma will find us.

Or was it a mistake?

Saving their child, reuniting with her, letting her grow up with her parents seems like the only sensible answer. But Snow and Charming felt responsible for everyone else. They didn't want to be the reason they remained cursed.

The Evil Queen bears the ultimate responsibility, but Snow and David didn't see things that way. They saw people in trouble, and they believed they could help. They knew their daughter would save them someday.

Curse Breaking - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17

It's hard to fault them for their faith. We know Emma's had a rough life, and things would have been so much better for her if Snow and Charming had saved her that day.

But I understand why they made the choice they did. Why they didn't want to doom everyone else. Can you imagine living with that kind of guilt? 

Plus, if they had saved Emma then, Snow wouldn't have been able to help Emma and Killian reunite. Snow made the selfless choice once again.

They're Awake! - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17

And it paid off in one of the most beautiful moments in the show's history.

Regina came up with a solution that would let Storybrooke's residents pay Snow and Charming (and Emma) back for their sacrifice. Sharing the curse might not make sense on paper, but who cares?

Most genre shows end up diluting their magic rules for plot purposes. Sometimes it's frustrating, but it's hard to be mad when the cast delivered the emotion the scene deserved.

It's not like it's the first curse we've ever woken up from.


As always, we can't celebrate too much. There's still the matter of the Black Fairy wanting to kill Emma, and spread chaos as she sees fit.

Considering Emma's now in possession of only a fraction of the wand, I'm not sure how much success Team Hero will have. Good might win in the end, but they'll need more pieces of the puzzle first.

Also, is Rumple right? Is Belle's love the reason Gideon resisted the Black Fairy? I want that to be true. Belle deserves to have something go right for a change.

Mama's Home - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17

I'm also curious as to what the Black Fairy's endgame is with Rumple.

She could have done so much more with his dagger. Does she want to make things right with her son? Or is this another attempt at lulling him into a false sense of security?

Either way, I believe Rumple is smart enough not to trust her. His priority should be doing whatever it takes to get through to his son.

Tell us what you thought of "Awake!"

Did you love the Charmings' reunion? Are you happy Killian got a second shot at proposing to Emma? What do you think the Black Fairy wants?

Remember, you can watch Once Upon a Time online anytime!

Awake Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (171 Votes)

Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 17 Quotes

It's not like it's the first curse we've ever woken up from.


Tiger Lily: Lost Boys have gotten nasty since Pan died.
Killian: Tiger Lily.
Tiger Lily: Didn't expect to ever see you back on this rock.
Killian: Neither did I. This wasn't exactly what you'd called a planned excursion. I suppose thanks are in order for the daring rescue.
Tiger Lily: Right. About that. Who said this was a rescue?