Christopher Falcioni ’16/Emertainment Monthly Staff
Everyone’s favorite dysfunctional fairy-tale family has had quite a ride this season. With the return to Fairy Tale Land that colored the first half of the season, Snow White’s heart darkening, the arrival of Bae and his connection with Emma, the “Evil Queen” Regina’s revelations about herself and what it means to love, and Rumpelstiltskin and Belle’s hard path towards love… again… it has not been an easy awakening after the curse. Take into consideration that our entire core cast have been found to be more related than they thought and we’ve got a recipe for drama of the first order.
Rumpel seems to have had his story wrap up rather neatly in the finale, what with Belle regaining her memories (courtesy of the Blue Fairy’s potion) and falling back in love, but there is still that issue of the prophecy… Remember? Henry will be his undoing? Kind of an issue there. Though Rumpel may have started the episode trying to kill Henry, by the end he’s decided to go off in search of him due to a fuller heart… how much of it travels over to next season without Belle is another story.
Snow and Charming are on a mission now to find Henry and, though things seem quite happily ever after with them now, remember to keep in mind Snow’s “dark heart” problem that’s been emerging. Though she’s assumed to have been cured, one never knows if the darkness might come back. And spending an entire season with a small group including Regina is probably going to include some fighting. Just a little.
Regina, similarly, is on said mission to find Henry, and now after nearly sacrificing her life for good, it seems things have changed for her… but then again, it’s probably true that Regina will use whatever it takes to get Henry back, even if that means some unsavory and wholly evil things to do it. Magic is Regina and Rumpel’s drug, and returning to a land where the rules of magic are currently unknown is going to be rather tempting, don’t you think?
Emma and Neal have FINALLY connected and, perhaps, been in love with each other for the first time in a long while and, in a twist of unfortunate events, Neal was pulled back into a portal (every time!) and he’s stuck with Prince Phillip, Princess Aurora, and Mulan, who undoubtedly have their own missions to tend to which we will likely see in some alternate world flashes. Meanwhile, Emma’s got a son to save and a lover to save, too, all the while dealing with the relatively new casual fact that SHE CAN DO MAGIC. It’s going to be fun to see her finally, perhaps, be a match for Regina’s magic and maybe even Rumple’s, coming into her own as a real main character.
Tamara and Greg, the first with a shady backstory, a false love of Neal, and a strong hatred of magic, and the second with a vendetta against Regina’s murder of his father, were on the verge of destroying Storybrooke in the finale (which clearly didn’t happen) but have apparently found something greater – Henry. Jumping into the portal and going off to Neverland with Henry in tow may seem counterintuitive considering that a majority of the world’s classic fairytale characters, including Pinocchio, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood, live in the town. So what’s so important about Henry?
Our only clue for Henry’s importance, aside from being Emma and Bae’s son, is a picture one of the Lost Boys held in a flashback at the very finale of the season, picturing Henry… which hadn’t even been born yet at the end of the season. Henry’s apparently the one “Peter Pan” wants… and now finally Tamara and Greg are… giving Peter to Henry… or using him in some way…?
So Neverland. We know that Bae’s had an adventure there and that it was quite treacherous. After refusing to be one of the Neverland Pirates, he was given away by Hook – who currently feels bad for doing all of this and is a wind card in terms of next season – and was thrust into the position of Lost Boy (“Lost One”) and, somehow escaped with his life, with details that will likely become clear during next season’s flashbacks. Pan seems to be the bad guy, something that will probably be deeply dissected in the coming season, and we’ve also got Tiger Lilly and the Indian Camp, the Mermaids (can you say Ariel?), the Jungle filled with innumerable hungry jungle creatures, and, of course, Pixie Hollow and Tinker Bell.
With the core cast of characters currently on Hook’s ship to Neverland to find Henry and all of these variables in play, we’ve opened up a bevy of new possibilities for writers to play with, and let’s not forget the slew of characters we’ve got lined up in Storybrooke, the classic Fairy Tale Land that Neal’s in right now, the world of black-and-white featuring Frankenstein and other old monster movies (and maybe Dorothy?), plus Wonderland, which is getting it’s own brand-new summer series of “Once Upon A Time In Wonderland”. There’s a bunch of loose ends, unresolved relationships, and (a personal favorite) that whole storyline about the magic Squid Ink, which suggests Ursula may be coming into the story. Exciting things are happening in the worlds of Once, and I have a feeling that they can only get better.
In the meantime, take a look at this: