Once Upon a Time: We Could All Use a Little Bit of Magic
What if the only thing keeping two people apart was a curse? An evil spell that did not keep them from loving one another, but kept them from being able to get their acts together? A magic that did not make them forget each other, but themselves? You cannot love, truly and deeply to the hilt of it, if you do not know yourself. You’d bring nothing to the table but hope and illusion. Love built on that is love built on a frozen river. It may be beautiful for a time, until the world thaws and the foundation is swallowed by the current.
Love, though, is the most powerful magic of all. Think of all the people you’ve loved, wrong or right. Think of all the heated looks, the captured memories, the soft kisses and stolen glances. Think of all the feelings, like your skin is the only thing keeping you from going everywhere at once. It’s a warm, rushing, dizzying feeling – like Christmas morning and the flu rolled all into one.
A single kiss can break the curse, bringing the world to right – even in the moment the world seems so very wrong. In the season finale of Once Upon a Time (A Land Without Magic), Emma finally believes (“I just talked to the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin about a quest to find magic.” The delivery on this line was priceless.). Her eyes finally open. And Emma? She’s pissed and she’s mighty. She kicks a dragon’s ass (poor Malificent!), rescuing an egg with a special potion in it (true love, bottled by Rumplestiltkin – who, holy crap, was amazingly played by Robert Carlyle. I can’t get over how talented that man is, dearie). Except, Mr. Gold takes the egg for himself, and it’s not a bottled magic that saves Henry or the people of Storybrooke. It’s Emma. Because Emma leans down and kisses Henry, waking him up – waking everyone up.
And things in Storybrooke are very, very interesting. Because everybody, suddenly, remember who they are. Charming finds Snow – and calls her Snow. But the most interesting twist (to me) is Jackson. The Hatter is frakkin’ pissed. The Queen double-crossed him TWICE; once, in Fairytale Land and once in Storybrooke. He just wants a life with his daughter. So, he does the only thing he can for vengeance: he releases Belle, the woman who loves Rumplestiltskin. And more importantly, perhaps, HE loves HER. Love might be the only thing that could ever keep him human. Or human-ish. We’ll have to see how that plays out next season, of course. But the look on his face when he sees Belle? And then when the curse is broken, and she remembers who he is? It’s so beautiful that it moves beyond words.
This finale left the audience with a lot of questions – wonderful questions, to be sure. What happened to August, who’d turned to wood? Why didn’t everyone travel back to Fairytale Land? And why did Rumplestiltskin put the love potion in the well, which spread true love through the town like the curse had spread? Do all the magical creatures have magic, again?
I do know one thing: I’d hate to be Regina, who was so beautifully portrayed by Lana Parrilla. So many perfectly conveyed emotions. I ended up feeling sorry for her, which I didn’t think was possible. But there’s a moment in the hospital, after Henry’s alright, where she tells him that she loves him. And it was so honest and raw – it broke my heart. But, as I said, I’d hate to be Regina. Because she was the one responsible for keeping Belle away from Rumplestiltskin. She lied to him, as well, about what happened to Belle in Fairytale Land. She took away the one bright thing that could render him human, again. That is a very, very dangerous thing. I am looking forward to his vengeance. But more than that, I’d like to see the gold spinner in love. Really, truly in love. Just for a little bit.
If Once Upon a Time is any indication, there are few things we should always believe in: love can change everything, the people who love us truly will always find us, and true love IS the most powerful magic there is, even in a world where Muggles reign supreme. For one hour a week, I’ve had the opportunity to believe in fairytales, again. I’ve met Prince Charming, Red Riding Hood, and a dwarf named Grumpy (formerly, Dreamy). It’s been a thing of wonder, full of the most perfect madness. There’s still more of the story yet to be told (thank the Blue Fairy for a second season!), but the one thing that doesn’t change? That’s love. And my dears? You’ve got mine. Thanks for the cast and crew for a fabulous season. You all have my thanks and appreciation.