First Aired May 7th, 2017.
In a flashback, Snow White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) wishes for a way to protect her unborn child from the Evil Queen (played by Lana Parrilla). The next day she and Prince Charming (played by Josh Dallas) break into song, which she believes is an expression of the power of love.
In the present, Emma (played by Jennifer Morrison) prepares for her wedding day until the Black Fairy (played by Jamie Murray) appears and they learn Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (played by Robert Carlyle) lied about defeating her. The Black Fairy declares the Final Battle will happen soon and tells them to check the clock tower. There, they find black fairy dust set to curse Storybrooke when Emma’s wedding begins, so, Regina and Zelena/the Wicked Witch (played by Rebecca Mader) work to disable it. Flashbacks show an irate Evil Queen singing because of Snow’s wish; breaking into an elaborate solo and dance routine, the Evil Queen vows to unleash her curse to defeat Snow and Charming. Meanwhile, Snow and Charming seek help from Hook (played by Colin O’Donoghue) to get to the Evil Queen. After a lively song and dance number, he agrees in exchange for Rumpelstiltskin. In the present, Hook incapacitates Gold to keep him from helping the Black Fairy, but is caught by the Black Fairy.
The much-hyped musical episode is finally here, and it had a lot to live up to; big musical numbers are a Disney staple. Overall, it was a great episode, where the musical numbers were not only fun to watch but tied into the storyline and were used as narrative devices that enhanced each character’s story. For example, the Evil Queen’s number was campy and embodied the fierceness that makes her the villain you love to hate. It’s good the Black Fairy revealed herself early on, because an episode devoted to Emma’s wedding planning would have been painfully boring. While the Black Fairy casting a curse does bring the original storyline full circle, it’s repetitive. At the very least, you’d think villains would try a new idea, since every curse before has failed. I was also glad the musical numbers were limited to flashbacks in the beginning, because the effect would have been lost if characters broke into song every few minutes.
Regina and Zelena find a way to freeze the curse but Gold uses the potion to immobilize them. In retaliation, Emma attacks the Black Fairy, but her magic fails and the Black Fairy reveals that Emma is alone once again, so Emma runs. In a flashback, the Wicked Witch, also affected by the spell, sends Regina a way to break it, hoping to prove to Rumple she is better than Regina. The Evil Queen, Snow, and Charming engage in a fight/sing-off, but, using Zelena’s magic, Regina breaks the spell by stealing their singing voices. The Blue Fairy (played by Keegan Connor Tracy) reveals their singing voices were transferred to Emma, so, that when she faces the final battle alone, she will still have them with her, but nobody will remember. In the present, Emma decides to give the Black Fairy her heart and tells Henry (played by Jared Gilmore) that at least he will have the rest of his family to care for him this way. Henry finds a page in a storybook and realizes Emma has the “song in her heart,” but Emma already offered her heart to the Black Fairy. However, she can’t crush Emma’s heart, and when Henry shows her the page, Emma begins to break into song, which frees everyone.
If Once does come to an end this season, Rebecca Mader might have a shot landing the Wicked Witch role in Wicked. And the Evil Queen having a sing-off against Snow and Charming was the kind of thing only this show could pull off. True Love has been the weapon of choice for the side of good for so long that having a new weapon in song was a breath of fresh air. It also let the musical aspect come into play in the present and allowed Emma to have her breakout song. It was a powerful performance of strength, and the annoyed expression on the Black Fairy’s face while she was forced to listen was hilarious. The flashback of Emma as a child greatly summed up her entire arc over the series: alone and afraid. But, realizing she had the “song in her heart” and was never alone gave her the strength to overcome that lifelong fear. This was a very impressive episode given that it could have been lost in the idea of having the cast sing. It set up the two-hour finale, while leaving a landmark episode that will stand out over Once’s tenure.
Enraged, the Black Fairy promises her curse and the Final Battle are still coming. She then flees. Emma and Hook have their wedding and everyone breaks into a group song to celebrate Emma and Hook’s “happy beginning.” But, the clock strikes and the Black Fairy’s curse is unleashed, transporting everyone to an unknown place for the Final Battle. Unfortunately, Emma and Hook’s happy beginning will be on hold until they can survive whatever the Black Fairy has in store. After weeks of waiting, it all comes down to this: the Final Battle between good and evil. The question isn’t who will win, but who will survive and go on to achieve the happy endings these characters spent six seasons searching for.
“Sorry dearie, do you think the Dark One sings? I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty fork.”
Anyone else disappointed we didn’t get a lively song out of Rumple?
“I ruined your parent’s wedding. The least I could do is make sure you get to enjoy yours.”
Perhaps one day the Charming family will have a wedding that isn’t crashed by a villain.
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