Once Upon a Time: “The Final Battle” Review and Thoughts on the Show’s Future

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By: Marianne Paluso (@Marianne_P81)

Once Upon a Time has always been a series that has embodied and expressed timeless themes and universal truths, seen through a fantastical, fairy tale lens. The situations are fantasy, but the feelings felt by the characters and elicited from the audience are real and relatable. The show is nothing if not consistent with its themes of hope, love, and family and use of parallels and full-circle storytelling, and “The Final Battle” was the last chapter of this storybook that has captured our hearts and imaginations for the past six seasons. The show is continuing on but this was very much like a series finale, and is in fact the end of Once Upon a Time as we know it. And with those consistencies come those equally relatable and universal truths of life: change is hard, the future is uncertain, and endings are often bittersweet. But with that sorrow always comes sincere gratitude and joy for something that has enriched our lives profoundly and always will.

A Satisfying Story

Those parallels that Once Upon a Time has always incorporated in clever and powerful ways were in full force in “The Final Battle,” and while it may not have reached the heights of elation and beauty that “The Song in Your Heart” did, this final chapter was still beautiful and more than emotionally satisfying. The dark curse enveloped our characters once again and while Snow, Charming, Killian, Regina, and Zelena were transported back to their fairy tale realms, Emma, Henry, and many others remained in Storybrooke, once again plagued with false memories. The Black Fairy placed herself in the role of Regina from the first season. She is mayor, adoptive mother to Henry, and in control of everything and everyone. Emma is in a sanitarium, believing she has been so for the past two years because she believed Henry’s “delusions.” Gold is running his shop with his son Gideon, thinking Belle has abandoned them, when she’s actually a shut-in suffering from agoraphobia. With direct parallels to season one, once more it’s up to Henry to get Emma to believe because he’s awake and will do anything to save his family. But this is more about breaking the curse. This is what everything has been leading up to – the final battle – and the stakes are exorbitantly higher and the Black Fairy’s villainy even more ruthless and dangerous. She even goes so far as to push Henry down a flight of stairs and convince Emma to burn the storybook and return to Boston. The final battle is not a war; it’s about Emma’s soul, hope, and belief and as it disappears, so too do all the realms of the story and everyone in them. Emma’s family fights to find a way back home and survive, including both halves of Regina trying to find magic, and Killian and David scaling the beanstalk in hopes of finding a magic bean. Of course, Henry is able to get through to Emma and she chooses to believe, saving them all and bringing them back home. And when Rumple kills his mother, the curse breaks, but does not prevent the final showdown between Emma and Gideon as his heart is still not in his control and he was ordered to kill her. Rumple and Belle search for their son’s heart and at long last he makes the right choice and turns away from darkness, but it’s never that easy. He thinks he’s failed, but it was simply one part of the battle. The most crucial belonged to Emma, making the final transformation as the Savior by doing what all Saviors do – giving hope. As her family watches on in horror and then grief at her body motionless on the ground, Henry gives her True Love’s Kiss, saving her life the same way she did at the end of season one. The family embraces in relief and love, while elsewhere Rumple and Belle are reunited with Gideon who is transformed back into a baby. Evil was defeated, hope prevailed, and happy beginnings ended this story book, each of them ready for whatever the future may bring.

Moments to Remember

What truly gave “The Final Battle” much of its beauty, prodigious power, and sense of series finality was that its finest moments were callbacks and parallels to truly iconic occurrences from the series and these characters, as well as being emblematic of how far they’ve all come in their respective journeys. Despite everything, I was glad to see Rumple make the right choice and he and Belle get a second chance. I never expected to see his inner darkness (which was a staple of season five) reappear again, but it was a significant, necessary, and striking way of showcasing the struggle he so obviously faces on a constant and deep level. And to see him overcome that temptation gave the moment, wonderfully portrayed by Robert Carlyle, a most definite sense of relief and hope that it’s never too late to make the right choice. But the moment that really moved me and made me audibly gasp and cry was when he and Belle suddenly heard a baby cry and realized it was Gideon. More than anything, Belle deserves this. She’s always been a mother without a child, and who exuded compassion, warmth, understanding, gentleness, and courage – all the kinds of qualities a good parent possesses. So I was overjoyed that Belle was able to get what she so deserved: a chance to raise her son and a husband who will choose them first.

A similar demonstration of villains who have come far individually and with their family was with Regina and Zelena, and by extension (as they are family through marriage and friendship) Snow, Charming, and Emma. Regina and Zelena most certainly have come a long way as sisters and that prevailed in this finale, especially in a small but lovely moment of comfort and what they thought it might have been their final moments. Even more poignant was a profound parallel to one of Regina’s most heroic moments. Regina and the Evil Queen reunited and when the realm was on the brink of destruction, it’s her “evil” half that says she will hold off the magic as long as she can to give others a chance to survive. Something like that may be expected from Regina, but less so from the split Evil Queen. But that is so important because as we see, no one is all dark or light. Regina shared some of her light with her other half, but even with that light, it still takes considerable selflessness and courage to do what she did. It was so reminiscent of when Regina stopped Pan’s curse in season three to save everyone. That included the sacrifice of separating her from Henry. But this was an even a deeper one. She was willing to die for others and ones she had hurt, and it was an amazing parallel but even more powerful instance. It makes the happiness she finds in the end even more so well deserved. A much more understated but equally strong representation of two characters who have evolved, like Regina and Zelena who once couldn’t stand each other, Emma and Regina shared an important and lovely conversation before Emma’s final confrontation with Gideon. Now actual friends, they don’t shy away from the truth about that animosity that once existed between them. I really liked Regina’s pragmatism but also hope in this conversation because it’s a testament to both how much Regina has grown, and also what Emma inspires in everyone. They once hated each other because they saw themselves singularly as a mother to Henry. But Emma found another option – they are both his mother and Regina believes she can find another way again. And Emma does!

It would not be an iconic Snow and Charming story if it did not include them finding each other, paralleling dialogue, a True Love’s Kiss, and a renewed sense of hope and comfort when darkness is threatening everything they hold dear. These attributes have become synonymous with their love story, so it was so touching to see them revisited. And they were executed in such a gorgeous way. After a fall down the beanstalk and Snow tiresomely searching for David, my heart stopped for a moment as she found him unconscious and unresponsive. But it then it soared when True Love’s Kiss proved to be so powerful that it could do more than break a curse – it can bring back life, it seems. It should not surprise us but it was beautiful nonetheless. And from the swelling of their musical theme, to the crosscutting to their kiss in the pilot, we saw not only the power of love, but also the power of beautiful storytelling and all its elements, and the feelings that can elicit. Tears were shed and then smiles shown at their dialogue that paralleled the truly iconic moment that began this entire show: “You found me?” “Did you ever doubt I would?” And then the shift from “the glass coffin gave me pause ” to “the beanstalk that fell on me gave me pause” was simply perfect and sweet. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas brought the same tenderness and purity they always so gorgeously emote in their scenes and it was the absolute perfect way to pay tribute to the couple and remind us what fervent faith can inspire. Even through the darkest of times, they will never give up hope that they will find each other and that darkness will not prevail.

Another beautiful aspect to that love story of Snow and Charming is that it’s echoed in that of their daughter, but in turn given its own epic beauty. There are obstacles for both couples, but they vary and most importantly, the characters of Emma and Killian are given their own unique story with iconic moments, symbolism, a sense of hope, and arguably reaches even greater heights. It’s no surprise that the child of True Love would have her own great story, but as Emma said to Killian in her wedding vows, “Just because you learn that you come from True Love doesn’t mean you believe you will ever find it.” And it’s in battling those demons and tribulations externally and internally, we witnessed two people who are not used to believing in hope and happy endings, who had walls and deep scars, but learned to find that hope again and fall not only in love but found a True Love greater than they ever thought possible. That is just one of the remarkable aspects of their story: two broken souls whose hearts healed by opening up to each other, overcoming physical and internal and emotional obstacles, and coming out the other side stronger. And that’s why bringing back the beanstalk, which is such an iconographic and symbolic aspect for the couple, is so deeply special. Killian telling Charming that he and Emma were not a predestined love story guaranteed a happy ending, and that they had fought for their love and won was so beautiful on so many levels. Not only was Colin O’Donoghue’s delivery of the speech heartfelt and emotive, as was referring to Emma as his wife heart melting, but it was also a recognition of not only how much they have fought for one another, but also that Killian is acknowledging that he finally can see not just that she made him better, but he did the same for her. They make each other want to be the best version of themselves and finally believe they are, loving each other in equal measure. Moreover, giving his speech in the shadow of the beanstalk was such a beautiful inclusion because it’s such an iconic symbol for the couple. Their story began there, bringing everything full circle, and it was their first adventure on that long road towards love. Opening up in ways they rarely did with anyone, there was not only attraction, but also a mutual understanding and compassion between them. But moreover, the beanstalk itself is very much a symbol of the very nature of their love story. They both had walls that reached far into the sky, and it would take a long climb to break them down. And it’s also symbolic of how far they’re willing to go for each other. He will go to the end of the world or time for her; she would travel to the Underworld for him. They would scale endless beanstalks for each other because when you find True Love, you fight for it. There’s no place too far, no beanstalk too high that will ever keep them from fighting for the love they found with each other. Leaving the past and all its scars behind, Killian and Emma will fight for their happy beginning and happy ending for all eternity.

The adventure up the beanstalk was such an exquisite testament to Emma and Killian’s love story, but it was also moving that it involved Charming. Both Emma’s father and Killian’s friend, it was a journey I never knew I needed. Seeing the two men’s trust and respect for each other, and David referring to Killian as a son-in-law was enough to make my heart soar and I love that Killian and David are able to connect as friends and family, now with complete understanding of the importance of not giving up and fighting to get back to the one you love, no matter how great the obstacle. Their moments together in this episode were unbelievably touching in so many poignant ways.

The culmination of “The Final Battle” and the past six seasons is undeniably the journey of our main heroine when Emma Swan, and what was extraordinary was that it was made so beautifully clear once again not only how strong the love and connection is between her and her True Loves – son Henry and now husband Killian – but also how far Emma has come as a person and as the Savior. And Jennifer Morrison brilliantly portrayed each moment. The True Love’s Kiss Henry gives her, much like the one Snow gave Charming, was not only a parallel to season one, and an extremely resonant one, but also an example of love’s great power to overcome anything. To show this with a child/parent relationship is extremely touching. Equally resonant was witnessing Henry try to help Emma remember, talking about her marrying her True Love Captain Hook, calling him family, so confident that their love will shine through, with such sweetness and positivity in his eyes. When she steps foot on the place where they exchanged vows, Emma remembers their wedding, with flashes of memories, and her recognition and familiarity in her expression as the burning storybook flips to a picture of Killian, was such a moving demonstration of how deeply resounding their love is. Even while under the darkest of curses, glimmers of him remained in her heart. That’s extraordinarily powerful. And it was that recognition of Killian in the book that kept her belief, her very soul alive, otherwise all the realms would’ve been destroyed that instant. No curse, no matter how powerful, is as powerful as True Love and Emma and Killian’s shined through in simply stunning ways.

If “The Song in Your Heart” was the final transformation of Emma as the symbolic ugly duckling to swan, then “The Final Battle” was undoubtedly her final transformation as the Savior. And it was not surprising that this final battle was an internal one, even though there was still a sword fight. Because as much as Once Upon a Time has had it fair share of action, it’s been the characters and their emotional struggles and journeys that have been the heartbeat of the series. Above all, Emma’s journey has been the central driving force, and the depth and breadth we witnessed in “The Final Battle” were some of the show’s most brilliant scenes. In very beautiful and simple moments, and in a powerful one both visually and emotionally, both showcased that timeless truth: our choices define who we truly are. Henry’s book he quickly illustrated did not bring back her memories or her belief, but rather it inspired it. She didn’t remember the woman Henry wrote about but she wants to be that person. When she says, “I don’t remember all the crazy things, but I believe it,” she is making a choice and an extraordinary one at that. It saves all of her loved ones, and solidifies that her journey as a Savior is not just about a pre-destiny. It’s about her choices and what she makes of them. And it’s what makes her so “battle” significant. Her speech to Gideon about being hope and light, fighting for her loved ones, but unwilling to hurt innocents, was so powerful and gorgeously expressed by Morrison. And the look she gives when she lays down her sword, prepared to make that ultimate sacrifice was simply exquisite – one of resounding acceptance, tears, and a smile because it’s her choice. And in that glorious Savior moment as the light radiates from her very being, we see visually and emotionally in that heroic choice that she is the living embodiment of hope. Their original fairy tale creation, Emma Swan (and Morrison’s beautifully brilliant portrayal) is one of the most heroic, inspiring, and remarkably moving characters of all time and Once Upon a Time‘s crowning glory.

Happy Beginnings

As Emma is revived and the family embraces is in a group hug, my heart swelled and this continued from Snow’s speech about what happiness truly is through the most gorgeously and moving montage in the show’s history. And that speech was such an exquisite way of expressing what the characters have learned and the audience has experienced right along with them. Through Snow’s wisdom, we see that this was merely the end of this storybook. But there are many more to come. Just like Emma and Killian’s wedding, it is not an ending. It’s merely a beginning to a new, beautiful chapter in life. There are no guarantees for us, so if you can find love and happiness, if you can find respect for yourself and from others, you cherish them and live your life every day with the knowledge that those beautiful intangibles can be felt if we never lose hope. These final moments for our heroes – Emma as the Savior and her powerful transformation, the family coming together, and Snow’s wisdom – are what Once Upon a Time is truly about and provides such inspiration for ways we can look at our own lives, something only the greatest stories can do. We are intrepid. We are strong. We persevere. Saying light doesn’t destroy darkness doesn’t lessen its power. No, rather it’s a reflection of reality. There will always be darkness. But light can create more light. It can outshine the darkness so that it is merely a passing shadow because while it may not disappear, it’s much stronger. Love and light are stronger than any darkness. And it’s those glorious truths that help us continue to live with hope in our hearts, taking the hands of those we love. As the song at Emma and Killian’s wedding says, “If we’re facing endless night, take my hand and join the fight. Past the clouds, we’ll find the stars. A happy beginning now is ours.” Happiness is not an ending. Being together is. And my heart was filled to the brim during this montage of happy beginnings. Actually in truth, seeing these glorious moments for all of the characters that have come to be such a part of our lives, my cup runneth over.

In this resplendent and moving montage, all the realms are restored to their glory and I smiled seeing all these wondrous places we’ve explored and a peak at their characters: Sven in Arendelle, the Caterpillar in Wonderland, Aladdin and Jasmine in Agrabah. In Storybrooke, Rumple and Belle are reunited with their baby and now get the chance to raise him. And in a sweet, private moment in his shop, they share a dance to “Beauty and the Beast,” paralleling the other moment of pure happiness and honesty between them: their honeymoon wedding dance. Zelena, who truly only ever wanted love and acceptance, has found both with her sister and her daughter Robin. I was also very happy to see Regina’s two personas get very different happy beginnings, but equally touching and satisfying ones. The former Evil Queen smiles as an arrow with an engagement ring hits her mirror. She’s ready for another adventure with the Wish World’s Robin of Locksley, and I was so happy that part of their soulmate destiny story lived on with them. But for Regina in Storybrooke, her happy beginning didn’t involve a romantic partner, but rather having her family’s love, self-acceptance, and something she perhaps she never thought she would attain: the acceptance and respect from the residents of Storybrooke. Seeing the Dwarves reveal her door that now reads the title “Queen” and bowing to her was incredibly sweet because we know this was not bestowed easily. She earned that respect after working to redeem herself, and that combined with the message that romantic love isn’t needed to feel fulfilled and happy is a very important message. A happy beginning that was equally sweet and heartwarming was for Snow and Charming as we see they have moved to a farm, with David at home with their son Neal and dog Wilby, doing what he’s always loved, while Snow is back to teaching school. Their home is complete with three pairs of matching rain boots and the most adorable welcome mat ever reading “Welcome to the Charmings.” They have a home filled with love, warmth, and happiness because they have each other and are doing what makes them feel fulfilled. David never craved power or a royal court. In his heart he’s still a shepherd, so it’s natural and moving to see him back to farming. It’s what matters to him, as does teaching to Snow. She instilling knowledge, wisdom, and hope into young minds with a smile and a birdsong. They’re happy beginning could not be more beautifully perfect.

The happy beginning for Killian and Emma was equally sweet, lovely, and the perfect representation of what the couple and their story is: a truly modern fairytale. Sitting side by side in the yellow bug, Emma pins a deputy’s badge on Killian as says “happy honeymoon” to her and she radiantly smiles back at him. The new Deputy and Sheriff are on the job, ready for the next adventure. And just as they always have, they will no doubt make quite the team keeping Storybrooke safe. As they happily drive off into the sunset, we see that symbolic fairy tale crescendo moment of lovers riding off on a noble steed towards the sun, and it could not be a more pristinely flawless of ending/beginning to their story. They are a fairy tale with modern sensibilities, with two imperfect people who are equal partners and who will love each other always. Killian once held Emma’s hand, wanting to hear more about her “beginnings,” and now as husband and wife, as Sheriff Swan and Deputy Jones, they’re ready for their new happy beginnings of endless adventures grand and small. A future Emma believed she as the Savior would never get is before them. Hand in hand, knowing they can out run any storm, they will always find the sun, the horizon beckoning them and shimmering in love and beautiful possibilities, and anchoring them in the home they have in each other.

The final display of these happy beginnings was something I always envisioned for the end of the series, and it was just as moving and beautiful as I always imagined. The family has all come together for dinner at Granny’s – heroes and reformed villains alike. Mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons, and daughters who have all overcome so much, who learned to love and forgive and be the best versions of themselves. And it’s all because a woman made a wish that she didn’t have to be alone and her son showed up to bring her home to her family. But that family is now overflowing with members and love. As they sit down in peace and togetherness, we see that this is what Once Upon a Time truly embodies. It’s love. It’s family. It’s hope. This image of a happy family transforms into a picture in the Storybook with the words “they lived happily ever after.” And long as love and hope exist, those happily ever afters will prevail.

What the Future Holds

As Oncers are aware, despite the finality of “The Final Battle,” this was not the series finale. As we see with two scenes that bookended this finale, the story is going to continue with Henry, now grown with a daughter of his own. It’s unsure the order of the scenes, but in one, Henry and his daughter Lucy are in the Enchanted Forest, darkness fast approaching. He stays behind to fight as he instructs her to take the book, which he says may be the realm’s only hope for defeating this evil, and to flee. She returns to find Tiger Lily, who tells her to take the book to her mother and remember what these stories endeavor us to do: never lose hope. Cut to Seattle and we see a scene that mirrors Emma and Henry in the pilot, with Lucy knocking on Henry’s door, who has no memory of her, with her saying his family needs him. And so next season will be focusing on them, along with Killian, Rumple, and Regina. As reported, Morrison is departing as Emma, but will appear in one episode, while Goodwin and Dallas, Emilie De Ravin, Rebecca Mader, and Jared Gilmore will no longer be series regulars. With so many drastic changes, so much of the cast the departing, and with the way the stories reached a natural ending, we must ask why and how can the show go on and what is our incentive to watch? All of the love stories and most of the family connections will not be on screen so how will this be explained? And why would we want to watch when it’s these characters and their relationships that we’ve grown to love and cherish? Of course, that’s not to say there would not be anything of note and appeal. The biggest (and if I’m honest, almost only) incentive for me is seeing more of Killian’s character, especially interacting with a grown-up Henry who is his stepson, and Lucy, who would be his step great-granddaughter. Although it will take getting used to, I must also admit to liking Andrew J. West and Allison Fernandez (adult Henry and Lucy) in the brief scenes we saw them in. But there must be a way to show the audience that the happy endings we just witnessed will be preserved. Moreover, since day one, Once Upon a Time has always centered on Emma’s story and I still believe it should. It seems unfathomable to have a show without Morrison’s incomparable Emma Swan. Likewise to the other characters because they created a unique magic that I truly fell in love with, and like True Love, they can never be replaced. But for now, we must wait to see what the show is like before we can fully judge the continuing stories.

Additionally, after contemplation and with what we know about what season seven will entail, I found hope and developed theories about what may happen. I am thinking of season seven like a sequel, an epilogue, a coda. Besides the characters present, we know that there will be a new town, with a new curse, and with new personas for our characters. So it very much sounds like a season one redux. I must admit that I’ve always wanted to see what Killian’s cursed persona would be like. I’m also curious what Regina and Rumple’s would be. It is interesting that not only are they the three former villains, but are also those we never saw with cursed personas in season one. Rumple did, but only until the end of the pilot. With Lucy’s insistence that Henry’s family needs him and talk to protect the storybook, perhaps their happy endings that we saw in this finale are such a threat that these characters have been cursed and ripped away from each other. It’s not enough to take away their memories, but to physically remove them from those who are part of their happiness – Killian from Emma and the Charmings, Regina from Zelena and the Charmings, and Rumple from Belle and Gideon. Their one remaining link is Henry and that will most likely be their saving grace. It doesn’t make up for the absence of the departed characters but it would explain it and give the story a hope and motivation I could enjoy – to reunite the family and restore everyone’s happiness. Although it’s up to the writers to do as they see fit, not writing “by request” and rightly so, at the same time, I humbly ask/hope that we not see two things. I don’t believe they would ever do this, but it bears stating that it would be incomprehensible to see Emma dying, or if she’s alive, to see Killian paired with, or cursed – brief or not – to another woman à la David and Kathryn in season one. The former would not only be anti-climatic coming off this season, but also be too heartbreaking to fathom and go against very nature of the show and what it epitomizes. Emma and Killian deserve to live a long and happy life and grow old together. And the latter would be cruel to watch because cursed or not, not everything should be paralleled and it’s not the same as Snow and David. We had just met those characters and their story was slowly unfolding. Contrastingly, we’ve seen Emma and Killian’s story developed for five years now, culminating with their wedding. To see him with anyone else would be rubbing salt in a very open wound of those who would be missing our leading lady. The same can be said for Rumple. Seeing him with anyone other than Belle at this point would feel wrong. The only feasible new love interest would be for Regina. I don’t think it’s necessary or something I’d wish for, but if he hopefully was as wonderful as Robin, who knows. But you know what would be lovely? If in the one episode Morrison is slated to appear, we see some of Emma and Killian’s early happy beginnings – them enjoying their honeymoon, them having children, and their pure and blissful times together before whatever the curse that happens is cast. Furthermore, while there’s hope but no guarantee that Morrison may appear in more, regardless, there is a way to keep Emma present that could be very resonant. Killian could have memory flashes the same way Emma did of their wedding. There is five years of footage at their fingertips that could be employed. Moreover, a great deal of material can be filmed at the time of that episode that could be shown throughout the season periodically. In doing this, Emma would remain present in the story, and it would be moving to see Killian have memories come back to him, feel connections to things he may not understand, or feel like a part of him is missing. The same can be said for Regina and Rumple. Imagine Killian seeing a red leather jacket, a flash of blonde hair, or yellow bug and being inexplicably moved and drawn to them. Imagine Rumple chipping a teacup and feeling somehow that this is a good thing. Imagine Regina watching Snow White or The Wizard of Oz. And while the focus is said to be on Henry and the new unknown characters (one of which I truly hope will be one of Emma and Killian’s children), that doesn’t necessarily mean the story can’t shift. It would not be the first time. Just this past season, the Land of Untold Stories was completely forgotten. And if this ends up being the final season (with a move to Friday night, that may very well happen), I hope it’s decided and announced ahead of time so fans will be prepared, and that all the departed characters can come back for at the very least the real series finale, Emma and the Charmings especially. The writers once said the last happy ending what ultimately Emma’s. When this beautiful show truly reaches its final chapter, I hope they revisit the beauty we saw in “The Final Battle” with the new characters and the characters we know and love, and that we close that book with peace and everlasting happiness.

Eternal Magic

Whatever the future of the series holds, for now the show that we’ve known and loved has ended. It will continue on but be quite different. But one thing is for certain – the past six seasons of Once Upon a Time will forever remain a glorious peak of resplendent and remarkable storytelling, with enthralling adventure, moving stories, and above all, resonant and captivating characters. Whether as an audience member you are closing this chapter or continuing on, there is undoubtedly sorrow and bittersweet feelings residing in your heart. For so many, Once Upon a Time has become such a special part of their lives. It has touched our hearts, inspired our imaginations, and entered our very souls in immeasurable ways. With this end – at least for now – it’s very natural to feel sadness but also joy for everything the show has given us. We may cry, and quite a bit. But in the illustrious words of Tolkien, “I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” Our tears remind us of art’s ability to enrich our lives in truly profound ways. For me personally, Once Upon a Time has given me so much more than just a pleasant television watching experience, and that’s one of the reasons I take such pride and am so happy to write about the series for Nerd HQ. For as we nerds know, whatever it is we are “nerdy” or passionate about, you can find others who share that passion who do not scorn or regard you with derision for expressing that love. No, here at Nerd HQ, we celebrate that passion and love. I have loved Once Upon a Time since day one, but that love grew and grew with each passing season, and in season three, I began writing these reviews and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity. Just like I am endlessly thankful for Once Upon a Time. It gave me more confidence and helped me grow as a writer, it brought me wonderful friends, and I feel like I’m a better person having been part of the show in this small way. That gratitude is eternal, as I imagine it is for so many who feel privileged to have watched a show that is so much more than a fantasy series about fairy tale characters. Once Upon a Time and its characters created a glorious kind of eternal magic that will never fade away, but rather endure long after we’ve reached the final page, living in our hearts happily ever after.

Favorite Lines:
Killian: Granted, it was hardly love at first, but things changed. We changed. We made each other better, all right? Emma and I were never a predestined love story, guaranteed a happy ending. We fought for our love and we won.

Emma: No one needs to save me. I’m the Savior! I’m fighting for the people I love. Ultimately, I am a hero. I am hope. I am light! And light cannot destroy darkness, it can only create more light. I will not kill innocents. I will do what all Saviors must. I will give hope! No matter what the cost.

Snow: Now we get to see what’s next. Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a powerful thing, but living with that kind of belief – that’s the most powerful thing of all. That’s hope. Now we get to keep going on. We get to keep doing what we love, with the people we love. An ending isn’t happiness. Being together is.

Emma: I found the book you left. I was about to take another job then I thought about this woman you wrote about who was a hero with a family, and a Savior who never ran from a battle. I’m not sure that it’s me, but it’s who I want to be.

Henry: This isn’t just some rooftop. This is where you married your True Love yesterday.
Emma: My True Love? Sorry, kid. That’s not the way the world works.
Henry: It does and it did for you. You married Captain Hook right here.
Emma: Captain Hook? Who officiated, Tinkerbell?
Henry: No, Jiminy Cricket.

Killian: She’s your daughter, but she’s my wife. No arguments. It has to be me.
Charming: Okay, you’re right
Killian: I am? So, you’re going to trust all of our fates to a pirate?
Charming: No, I’m going to trust my son-in-law.

Charming: You found me?
Snow: Did you ever doubt I would?
Charming: Truthfully, the beanstalk that fell on me gave me pause.

Charming: Darkness never wins. It just fools you into thinking it does.

Henry: True belief is believing even if you can’t see.


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