Emma Doherty ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The season finale of Once Upon A Time accomplished one thing above all else—destroying the happiness of most of its viewers. The story of Once Upon a Time is now a fairytale in itself, a tale of a once-great show about redemption and family, now reduced to time portals and the omnipresent Disney corporation forcing its merchandising into the program.
The inclusion of Elsa and Disney’s Frozen was one of the most infuriating parts of the episode. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) knows about Disney movies and the like, so wouldn’t she recognize that Elsa has been in the Disney realm for all of six months? The writers are playing it off as her being based on fairytale character The Ice Queen, but that won’t cut it. In the end, we’re faced with another villain to cause more harm than good.
Of course, what would any good story be without a villain? They move the plot along and become sources of drama and material for cliffhangers. That’s great and all, but this show is about revealing the man (or in most cases, the woman) behind the mask and discovering the good behind the evil. It now seems that this concept is lost on the writers, evident in their dropping of Zelena (Rebecca Mader) like she was day-old celebrity gossip and destroying hope of her second chance. Who’s to say Elsa won’t suffer the same fate?
But back to the actual episode and surprisingly small amount of story with any actual value: many fans had been hoping to see the Hook (Colin O’Donoghue)/Emma storyline develop since the beginning of this season, but unfortunately, it fell flat. The overall flirting and hot-cold relationship between Hook and Emma can be described, at best, as uncomfortable and confusing. Last episode, Emma wanted to set Hook’s ship ablaze over his interference in her son’s life. However, the finale ends with her rewarding him with a kiss because he gave up a boat for her. Continuity guys—we need it! If Emma should be showing affection to anyone after her adventure with her past parents, it should be Regina (Lana Parrilla).
The main point of the finale was for Emma to finally realize where she belongs, but couldn’t she have realized that after Henry’s devastation at discovering she’d wanted to leave? Why isn’t it enough that the family she’d been searching for now welcomes her with open arms and endless love?
Emma has been infuriating these last few episodes by constantly saying that she’s going to go away with Henry (Jared Gilmore). After Emma’s rendezvous with Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), one would assume that she would have a little more compassion for Regina. Emma realized where home was when her Mom didn’t know who she was. She finally saw how much these people have cared for her and loved her and the fact that that might not exist any longer tore her down. If anything, this should have reminded Emma what it must have been like for Regina when Henry didn’t remember her. She gave Emma everything she had while Emma continued her threats to take away her son and brought back someone that could take away the happiness she never thought she would have again.
Overall, this finale was two hours of build-up leading ultimately to another extreme heartbreak for Regina. The look of betrayal and heartache on her face when she saw what Emma had done was devastating. It showed that she really did trust Emma and thought that she was one of the few people on her side. This betrayal was hard enough to handle, but the fact that the writers would allow the idea that a man could make her become evil again is just too much. She has not come this far and developed so incredibly to be reduced to her old ways because of one man. Hopefully this will prove that Regina can come full circle and will be stronger with the realization that she can love again. It would be a momentous loss if the writers eliminate all the progress these complex characters have made thus far.
For those of you who are not completely turned off by this finale, Once Upon a Time has been renewed for a fourth season and returns to ABC on October 23 at 8/7c.
Overall Episode Grade: F