Warning: This article contains spoilers for Once Upon A Time‘s season 6 finale, which aired in the US last night (May 14).
Once Upon A Time‘s season six finale has been sold to viewers as an episode that will leave no storyline feeling “incomplete” and also one that may leave us feeling “angry and upset”, so going into the grand two-hour season finale meant that anything could have happened.
Especially since we later found out that the finale would mark the last appearance of four of its main characters in Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming and Jared Gilmore (Henry).
So, the season six finale has a lot of goodbyes to make, an epic battle to fight and a happily ever after to make come true. Here’s a short recap of what went on across the two hours, followed up with some of the best reactions from the Twittersphere.
After a quick prelude that saw a man urge his daughter to protect the Once Upon a Time storybook, as he stays behind to fight a beast, we’re soon back in Storybrooke following Emma and Hook’s big musical wedding, only to find no one actually remembers it happening.
Instead, Emma is in an insane asylum, the Black Fairy, Fiona, is Mayor instead of Regina and she’s the one who’s been taking care of Henry as her own son. Despite this, Henry visits Emma in an attempt to remind her that she’s the Savior and she needs to remember the stories to keep the realms alive as the final battle draws closer.
As Henry’s urging slowly causes Emma’s memory to start returning, Fiona amps up her plan by any means necessary, including pushing Henry down the stairs and telling Emma she’s Henry’s biological mother, right before deciding to try and push her to destroy the storybook – and destroy all the realms with everyone in them.
Meanwhile, Snow, Hook, Charming and Regina find themselves in the Enchanted Forest and it isn’t long before they realised that the final battle is really a battle for Emma’s soul, her belief.
They soon go on their own adventures to try to break the curse, including Regina bringing back people from every realm to her own castle, and Hook and Charming scaling a beanstalk, sharing a tender moment and searching for some magic beans.
In an attempt to ease Henry’s troubles, Emma decides to destroy the storybook and later heads back to Boston, before she finds a second storybook that tells the story of Once Upon A Time, which is in danger of being erased too.
As Henry decides he’s going to fight the Black Fairy alone, sending a message to everyone listening at the Evil Queen’s castle, he’s soon stopped by Emma, who’s returned to help as she’s started to believe in in the stories again, which is just enough belief for the characters to hold onto just a small bit of their worlds.
In all of this Rumple has been playing along with Fiona’s curse, pretending he’s under it with the rest of them, as he tries to find Belle, who’s mysteriously disappeared. When he does find Belle, he realises the Black Fairy has changed her, but Fiona tells Rumple that if he helps her he can have everything, but it comes at such a dark cost that Rumple denies it, and kills her.
But the danger isn’t over yet, as she still has Gideon’s heart, and the final battle comes down to Gideon against Emma, as only light can destroy light and Gideon is fundamentally good. As everyone fights for another solution, Emma and Gideon engage in a long sword battle that ultimately leads to Emma being stabbed and killed – but as everyone gathers to say goodbye, Henry revives her with a kiss on the forehead, a true love’s kiss.
At the same time Belle and Rumple find a baby and realise it is Gideon, as Emma’s sacrifice has given them a fresh start – a “happy beginning” according to Belle.
The episode ended on seeing all the characters live happily ever after in the Enchanted Forest, before an older Henry of the future is approached by young girl telling him she needs his help – she’s his daughter and his family needs him. Here we go again:
Once Upon a Time airs on ABC in the US. Netflix streams the show in the UK.
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