Once Upon a Time: Princes Familiar

It’s season finale time all over the television landscape, and the cliffhangers are piling up. Believe it or not, one of the finale entries I’ve been looking forward to most is Once Upon a Time. I’m still amazed a fantasy show about fairytale characters not only made it through a whole season, but is also ABC’s highest-rated drama. It’s a well-deserved honor, too, since Once has delivered compelling drama, complex characters and magical intrigue on a consistent basis from week to week. Any show that can make me weepy over Grumpy’s broken heart has to have some sort of talent and craft behind it.
In “A Land Without Magic,” the whole season has really been leading to this moment. Will Emma believe all the fairytale nonsense and break the curse that plagues the residents of Storybrooke? Or will they take the Lost route and drag it out over a few seasons first? As an avowed pessimist, I figured it would be 2-3 years before Emma started giving true love kisses to anybody. But as many a wicked witch will tell you, “A poisoned apple is a great timesaver.” In last week’s episode, little Henry took one for the team and took a bite of Regina’s Famous Poisoned Apple Turnovers. (She might want to consider changing that name, at least before the next Storybrooke Elementrary PTA Bake Sale.)
With Henry on the ropes, it doesn’t take Emma long to become a true believer. I think she’d believe anything, as long as it also meant she could throw Regina around for a while. Regina clearly spends too much time destroying everyone’s lives and not enough time watching TV. Otherwise, she would have known there was about a 99.9% chance that Henry would eat that apple. Come on, Regina! Get your head in the game. And that’s one of the things I love about this show, actually. As annoying as Regina is, I kind of dig her. I probably sympathize with her more than Snow White and the other noble heroes, though they’re all good, too, in their own ways. I just know a little something about Regina’s pain. Like when your every plan, from true love to world domination, is always getting undermined by a bunch of do-gooders. It’s enough to send you off into a turnover-poisoning rage.
Because this is Storybrooke, and every magic spell has its quirky consequences, Emma and Regina must work together to retrieve Mr. Gold’s vial of true love mojo from the belly of Pam from True Blood. I seriously wish she were on every week, but Disney’s probably saving Maleficent for that Angelina Jolie movie.  
Meanwhle, Mary Margaret is reading to Henry just as he flatlines, and a twice-betrayed Jefferson is releasing Belle from her pysch ward cell in order to inspire Mr. Gold to unleash hell on Regina. Go, Jefferson! I really hope he’s gay. It’s kind of weird there are no gay characters on this show, considering the unusually high quotient of princes and fairies they have running around town. Like Heart said, “In a wood full of princes…at least 10% of them are friends of Dorothy.”
Mr. Gold, of course, double crosses Emma and Regina and takes the vial for himself. I’m wondering how he overpowered Regina and tied her up, though. If Regina can fight off Emma, she can fight off Gold. Maybe he had a gun. Or maybe Regina just likes getting tied up. (Ms. Regina, if you’re nasty.)
All hope seems lost; Henry is dead; and Regina reconsiders entering her apple turnovers in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Emma figures she’ll go back to being the hottest bail bondswoman in Boston, and gives Henry a kiss goodbye. Lo and behold! She breaks the curse! At the same moment, Gold uses the vial to unleash a purple cloud of magic in our world. Somewhere, a gay prince or fairie just yelled, “It’s more of an amethyst cloud!”
Will Regina get her powers back? Will Emma have an awkward reunion with the parents she’s always arresting? Will anyone make “morning wood” jokes about Pinnochio? We’ll be waiting until fall for the answers.
In the meantime, if you haven’t been watching the show, or if you missed some episodes, I highly reccomend jumping in and giving it a chance. Host a Once Upon a Time marathon and invite your friends. I’ll bring the apple pie.

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