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.


I loved the finale! Though it was a bit confusing in the end... Does what Rumpelstitskin did have anything to do with Bae? Wasn't him the sole reason Rumpel helped Regina with the curse? I was kind of hoping we would see Bae by the end.
The two things i didn't like:
1)The way Emma ''believed''. I think this scene would have fitted better in the end of the last episode and not right at the beginning of this one.
2)The Rumpelle reunion. They are the most flawless couple ever but i expected their moments together would be a bit more dramatic, more intense. Well... Thank God for season 2.
Ps: Who the f@@ck is Dr Whale?!!!!


Emma believed because she had no other hope of saving her son. We read it as her last grasp at saving him, because she had nothing else. (I'm glad that they didn't try to introduce religion into it all--usually people pray or try to bargain with their god for someone else's life). Belle looked like she had aged quite a bit. It's going to be a LONG summer. There's very little on, for those few months, with the same fantasy vibe as this or Grimm.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Also, I agree I would have liked the happy family reunion (Charming, Snow, Emma and Henry). I hope next season catches up exactly right where we left off.
Frankly I doubt it will be that happy. There are bound to be issues and awkwardness between them all. Emma is their daughter they never saw growing up and they are her parents she never got chance to have. Lots of issues to be worked out.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

and I am not sure why Rumple would WANT to bring magic back if it's going to benefit Regina as well
rumple is older, wiser, stronger and way way more powerful. He does not see Regina as a threat, especially now when he seemingly holds all the cards.
am very curious to find out next season WHY they weren't transported back...
Because no one said that curse breaking would do that? Rumple never said that curse breaking would result in them all returning to their world.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

However, I think that Emma came around kind of quickly...
It was something that was built upon every episode. She went from disbelieving to actively trying to deny the belief as shown in 1x21. Henry's situation was just that final pebble that broke down the entire dam.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Will Regina redeem herself? That smile at the end wasn't a good sign though. That, I'm not sure I understood, because she didn't want the curse to be broken in the first place. Now it is and she seems pleased?! The way I see it, Regina is getting pushed back form her position as main villain into more of smaller villain role as Emma's FOIL. I can clearly see her and Emma having those frienemies moments like in this episode and Regina eventually starting to get better as a person. Regina was happy because that smoke is magic coming back - hence she gets her powers, hence she has a fighting chance instead of having nothing.


Also, do you guys think that Pinocchio will come back now that they brought back magic? That would be nice, I liked him with Emma, they had a history together, him being the one who took care of her as a baby. I wished there was a future for them.


@James F
i agree about Pinocchio turning into wood, that the disease got more aggressive but i think i know why. he was turning slowly before because he was fighting it, he didn't give and kept being honest with Emma, he didn't give up on his mission. then it became fast because he gave up and gave in to the disease. he stopped fighting it.


Also, I agree I would have liked the happy family reunion (Charming, Snow, Emma and Henry). I hope next season catches up exactly right where we left off.

Allison berry barbieri

I love this show! However, I think that Emma came around kind of quickly...the special effects can be awful at times...and I am not sure why Rumple would WANT to bring magic back if it's going to benefit Regina as well (especially after what he learned from Belle). I am very curious to find out next season WHY they weren't transported back...maybe the curse wasn't entirely broken...maybe it's just that Rumple brought magic back? I also thought there was a chance Henry was a goner for real. It would have been so sad but a real twist. I think this season was excellent, I enjoyed the finale (despite my questions), but I think that Season 2 is going to have to start with answering a lot of questions. And I think that they are going to have to tread lightly if the writers want to keep the essence of what made Season 1 so great...

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