Once Upon a Time Recap: “The Final Battle”

Season 6 of OUAT has come to an end. Let’s recap, dearies.

Spoilers ahead, dearies.

Part 1

ABC/Jack Rowand

In the first hour of the two-part finale, Henry awakens to a new kind of Storybrooke. Okay, maybe not so new if you’re getting tired of the curse-scenarios, but you get my drift. The Black Fairy’s curse threw Regina, David, Snow, Hook, and Zelena back to the Enchanted Forest, while no one else in Storybrooke seems to remember them. Emma is in a mental hospital, where she believes that she made up basically all of season 1. The Black Fairy—sorry, Fiona—is now the Mayor, and is relishing her newfound power. Belle has no memory of Rumple or their son and has become a recluse. And so on.

Frustrated that he seems to be the only one awake, and determined to make Emma remember, Henry breaks her out of the hospital to take her to the place where she and Hook were married. She gets a flash of memory but is terrified to believe anything she sees or feels. As far as she knows, she has worked hard to get better, to get over her delusions, and just wants to go home to Boston. What Henry doesn’t realize is that as Emma’s belief in fairytales and her true-self fades, the Enchanted Forest and all the other realms are crumbling into nothing. This is the final battle—the battle for the soul of the Savior. Fiona will stop at nothing to see her curse succeed, so she encourages Emma to burn Henry’s storybook. Worried that Fiona will put her back in the asylum if she doesn’t comply, Emma complies.

The Charmings (and Regina and Hook and Zelena—they count, too) take refuge in the castle, where the Evil Queen and Robin have been living since they left the Wish Realm. People from the other realms, such as Jasmine and Aladdin, escaped with nothing but their lives. Hook and David set out to find a magic bean but as they are climbing down the beanstalk, the book is turning to ash in Storybrooke, consuming the realms.

Part 2

Having lost the majority of her faith, Emma drives back to Boston. Upon entering her old apartment, she realizes that Henry drew a new copy of a storybook and left it in her bag. She flips through it, and decides that even though she doesn’t remember that life, she wants to be the person that her son thinks she is. She heads back to Storybrooke, and regains just enough of her belief to save her family back in the Enchanted Forest—at least, for a little while.

Unbeknownst to Rumple (who was totally awake during this whole thing because, hello, Dark One), Fiona still has possession of Gideon’s heart. Realizing that Emma has returned, Fiona commands Gideon to kill the Savior. Rumple confronts his mother, who tries to placate him by promising endless power—once the Savior is either dead or truly a non-believer, Fiona will have the ability to do pretty much anything. She attempts to entice Rumple by saying that she could even bring Baelfire back to life so that they can be a family. Although tempted, Rumple seems to have finally learned his lesson. Reminding dear sweet mummy that all magic comes with a price, he kills her with her own wand.

The curse is broken and Emma regains all her memories. The Charmings are transported back to Storybrooke just in the nick of time and are reunited with Emma and Henry. But unfortunately, the death of the Black Fairy doesn’t stop Gideon from his mission. Emma faces off with him, like she foresaw so many episodes ago, but is hesitant to kill him because that will ensure the darkening of her heart yet again. Ultimately realizing that her role as the Savior is to keep everyone safe from harm, Emma throws down her sword and lets Gideon piece her heart. But don’t worry, she ain’t dead—good old true love’s kiss on Henry’s behalf brings her back to life.

And so begins the ending montage. Gideon is transformed back into a baby, giving Rumple and Belle the chance to raise him together. Henry goes to high school, and Snow continues teaching elementary students. Emma makes Hook her deputy, and they patrol the town together. The inhabitants of the other realms are safe, as their worlds are restored. The family gathers together at Granny’s for a feast to celebrate everything they’ve overcome—together.

But wait, there’s more. Several years later, a little girl whom we’d first seen in Storybrooke named Lucy is traveling by herself in a big city. She goes into an apartment building, finds the right door, and aks for Henry Mills. A grown up Henry answers, and she announces that she’s his daughter, and that his family needs their help. Sound familiar?

Wait, what?

Despite the departure of six (yes, SIX) major cast members, OUAT has been renewed for a seventh season. If you read last week’s post, you know how I feel about that. I’m not optimistic about the future of the show. I wish I were, but I’m not.

I will say this. This finale was the perfect way to end the series. It had a curse (standard fare by now), plenty of feels, weird plot holes, and good old fashioned magic. Love saved the day, and everyone we care about got a happy ending. Or a happy beginning.

And isn’t that enough?

-The Collected Mutineer

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