Once Upon a Time Review: True Love's Kiss

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"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.

A Land Without Magic Scene

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (429 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Didn't it show the clock stuck at 8:15 again...
not stuck. the clock hit 8:15, bringing the season full circle as the whole deal of curse breaking started at 8:15. THis episode had a lot of book-end moments (henry waking up with a kiss just like show started with snow and charming, emma throwing a sword to maleficent just like charming did in pilot, etc). I don't think Regina loves Henry - because she can't. If she did, then she could have kissed Henry and broken the curse, but she didn't even approach him.
For the kiss to work, the love must be mutual. Henry does not feel that way about regina, thus it would NOT work.


I LOVED the season finale! I was surprised and delighted that "true loves kiss" was between a mother and son, because I have a son that I, too, would do anything for because I love him so much. So I could empathize with Emma, and I was also thrilled to see Charming and Snow get back together in both worlds, and to see everyone 'waking up' from the curse. But I was not glad to see what Rumple has unleashed on Storybrooke...it has me wondering what is going to happen to everyone in Season 2, especially those for whom there isn't an established 'fairy tale' like Emma and Henry.
I also agree with the person who posted that they put too much make up on Emma. She is a lovely young woman who doesn't need a lot of make up to look good, really. But I suppose it is their way of making her more like a fairy tale character by making her looks more stereotypical.


Of course Regina can love. But she doesn't have anymore magic in Storybrooke so she thought it wouldn't work, whereas Emma does have magic in her. Likewise, Henry doesn't love Regina back and Emma and Henry's love is mutual. Gold means it to be bad for everyone but him but if magic is coming, Regina will get hers back and not be helpless when they come to kill her.


Didn't it show the clock stuck at 8:15 again...exactly like at the beginning of the season? My take is that Gold accidentally/intentionally restored the curse, that's why Regina is smiling. I say intentionally because his son is still somewhere in this world and if they go back he won't be able to find him.


I really enjoyed this episode. I am happy that Snow and Charming finally got back together. The constant setbacks were getting a bit old.
However I did find myself distracted by Emma's copious eye makeup during Henry's deathbed scene. I kept wondering if it was going to run. Jennifer Morrison is an attractive woman. Does she really need to wear those great big false eyelashes and all that eyeliner? Her character is sort of a tomboy so I would think a lighter touch like Anna Torv in Fringe would be getter.


I don't think Regina loves Henry - because she can't. If she did, then she could have kissed Henry and broken the curse, but she didn't even approach him. The whole reason she has Henry was an attempt to protect her curse. I still don't really get the true love potion in the well thing and why Regina was smiling at that when Gold obviously meant it as something bad? Confusing -

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Some people just keep bringing up that "Emma believed too fast".
Disagree. Emma's belief was gradual. She started the show in disbelief on all of these things and through the show we saw those glimpses of her going "what the hell" at stuff. By the 1x21 she was not disbelieving, she was actively trying to deny it all because of her own personality. Henry's situation forced her to face up to it all because she had no choice of sitting around - because henry, the responsibility she is trying to take, became part of the responsibility she was trying to deny. In a sense that is a parallel to Regina. Regina in a way chose Henry over the curse, working with Emma, etc. Emma, chose Henry over her own peace of mind, accepting the responsibilities she was running away from.


I had to wipe away a tear! (and that never happens!!) Could not believe how good this episode was and I'm sooo excited for what's in store next!


This season is ending with a bang. Once is just one in a list of awesome finales this year. Couple things before going back to hoping this series starts earlier than the regular season:
1) We don't know what happened to August, Kathryn or multiple others just enough to show that the curse is broken throughout Storybrooke. We need stories for seasons to come.
2) Emma believed all of a sudden because she was a MOTHER, willing to do, believe anything to save her kid. She needed to believe so true loves kiss would work.
3)When did it say that everyone is staying in "reality"? All Mr Gold said is that magic is returning, maybe it is returning to FTL and taking everyone with them (what happens to those not in the stories I wonder), maybe they stay encapsulated in a magical realm here (hokey), maybe magic is just belief
4) Regina will always be the villain and Gold will always be out for himself and therefore sometimes doing good and sometimes not so much


GREAT FINALE! Gutsy, too, because the board was wiped clean and an entirely new theme has begun that was telegraphed by Snow & Charming - Taking Back the Kingdom. In Fairyland, the Charmings & Co. are going up against Regina & his father (can never remember his name). In Storybrooke, the Charmings & Co. will be dealing w/Regina & Rumple. Waking people up from the Curse was only the first step in the Final Battle IIRC. Also, now that the Curse has lifted, it would be interesting to see if the characters can go beyond Storybrooke's boundaries. For my personal tastes, this episode was paced perfectly. Henry was dying. Time was of the essence. No time to ask questions & ponder your own existence. Emma's always been great w/action and short on meditation anyway. Maleficent's appearance was a true surprise. Thank you for that, and the dragon showdown! Now, on to the next adventure!

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