The End of the Beginning

What an episode. I had hope that everything would turn out ok but I wasn’t sure. It was hope, not certainty and my gut was kinda churning, I didn’t know what kind of firestorm would be happening. However, holding out for a Rumbelle happy ending was right – they got their happy ending or rather a happy beginning.

I typed up notes while I was watching as if it were a regular episode but it’s not really is it? Yes there’s a season seven (and wow do I have all the questions) but this felt very much like an ending. It could very well have been the end of the show and it was finished off well. If they hadn’t got picked up they would have exorcised the scenes with Lucy to remove the teasers for season seven, and that would have been that.

Spoilers for 6.21/6.22 The Final Battle under the cut.

When did Rumple wake up?
Rumple said he prepared for his mother to betray him, which is why he was awake, but was he awake for the whole time? It certainly explains his belief in Belle, I had in my notes that not even the curse could completely suppress true love. “I can’t accept that, she would never do that” – but if he remembered Belle then he’d know she’d never do that. At least Fiona didn’t make Rumple hate Belle, she knew that he had sad memories of Belle but she didn’t take their love away – or perhaps she couldn’t.

I always headcanoned that the shut up library was opposite Gold’s shop in the original cursed!Storybrooke as a torment for Rumple. He wouldn’t know why it pained his heart to see it, because he didn’t remember Belle, but the heart wouldn’t forget love even if magic wiped the mind. So perhaps no matter what Fiona did with the curse, she couldn’t erase Rumple’s love for Belle.

“Fiona’s been more of a mother to me than she ever was” – is exactly what Fiona would want Gideon to believe, because she wanted to be his mother. Also, making Belle abandon them, would build on Rumple’s fears because “everybody leaves” so if he had been under the curse, it would have perhaps been an easier lie to swallow because of that.

“She wanted to see the world” – I like that Rumple never forgot that about Belle. Fiona really did try to make her lies ring true. “She left because you could never be the man she wanted you to be, but you can still be the man your son needs you to be by accepting that and moving on” – I did like the thought that Rumple was cursed, didn’t remember, but still didn’t believe it. No matter what he feared, in his heart he knew the truth. I would have liked that but if Rumple was awake, he was awake.

I did like that the curse happened, it had been in place all of an hour, and Rumple was fighting to find Belle. He was trying to tell Gideon that his mother loved him. What I didn’t like was Rumple saying to Henry “you are on your own” because Henry called upon him with “our family” – “I’m not a customer, I’m your grandson” – and I really wish Rumple had helped him. I know that tie isn’t acknowledged very often, and they only really call on it when they want something, but Henry needed him and I wish Rumple had stood up.

Perhaps Rumple knew he couldn’t. I mean I’ve always headcanoned that Rumple’s gift of foresight was lost either with the Dark Curse – perhaps the price of magic to wake up early, or he lost it when he was reborn from the vault of the Dark One. However, maybe he never lost it, maybe just with magic being different in Storybrooke it was more gut instinct than actual visions. Maybe he knew that he had to let Henry go on his own, that it had to play out the way it did or all would be lost.

Henry is the hero
You know Henry was the one who saved everyone from the Author’s AU, curses never work on him. I guess despite having two parents who were born in the EF, he was born in this land and isn’t as tied to it. So surely the same would be said of baby!Neal but as he’s a baby, he’s not really going to know one way or the other.

I wonder what Henry’s plan was for Emma when he said he was going to find her car keys at Archie’s. He was definitely playing with words and being sneaky like Rumple. Given Henry found the book and then Fiona threw him down the stairs, we’ll never know what he had planned. I’m wondering if maybe he just wanted Fiona to think Emma left town hence taking the bug, but Henry was going to knock her out Jefferson style and stash her at the cabin, or maybe given it didn’t actually happen Henry would enlist Jefferson’s help. If it’s not on screen then Sebastian Stan can show up.

I loved Henry talking to the mirror, and holding his grandfather’s sword. They really went all out with the season one mirroring, with half of the ‘previously on’ hearkening back to the breaking of the first dark curse – the only true dark curse really. There have been two others but those were for transport and didn’t create cursed lives.

“Well of course I do she’s me and remember Henry’s her son too.”
“He’s my son too. He needs at least one of us.”

Henry wasn’t just the glue that held everything together, he was also the catalyst. He saved everyone by getting Emma to believe. It was also because of Henry that the split!Queen was willing to die to save everyone. I really wasn’t expecting the split!Queen to show up, and I have no idea how she got from the wish!realm to the EF, but she was right about the problems they’d left her with. Regina’s murder of Snow and David, and Henry wanting to kill her, would be even worse than everyone running screaming at the sight of her.

I remember putting that in my review, and also reading others comments saying much the same thing. How can that be the split!Queen’s happy ending when she’s in that kind of mess? However, what Henry wrote was for the split!Queen to go to a place where she could be happy, and I’m guessing it proves that we make our own happiness. Things in the wish!realm sucked but the split!Queen found wish!Robin and then made a new life for herself.

Other random comments
Emma is a good painter, seriously she has artistic talent. Also that asylum is much nicer than Regina’s dungeon. It’s like the hospital got a whole new wing. I wonder if it actually did, and if Storybrooke got reshaped slightly. When the curse broke people would be looking around going ‘that’s new’ or asking where X went and apparently that disappeared. Hopefully nobody lost their home. Although the Charming’s moved, so did Snow’s apartment disappear into the curse void along with the salmon Victorian?

I snorted with laughter when Fiona gave Rumple those shots of Belle in various places. I was begging the screen for there to be one in Hawaii given EdR’s recent comments at a con because that would have been too funny. There wasn’t one but Rumple’s “Thank you this was illuminating” made me wonder if he’d noticed the terrible photoshop.

Part of me is glad that they didn’t come up with yet another form of realm transport, and instead brought back the hat. The other part of me was cringing because while the light show was cool, that was a completely different affect – they always had to jump into the hat before. Also, the hat had rules of transport, same number in as out. Although I suppose if everyone was just entering the EF, then maybe it’s alright, as they were only going one-way. Still I’m surprised the hat can be used more than once simultaneously, it’s obviously got a good memory.

I was surprised about the giants because I thought there was only Tiny left, and that all the other giants were dead. Plus last time I checked Tiny was shrunk, and working with the dwarves in Storybrooke. I’m not entirely sure where the dragon came from, perhaps it was just an echo to the dragon Emma fought in season one.

Regina’s turn of phrase about the Black Fairy having a sense or irony, taking them from Emma’s wedding to her parents was cool. However, David’s statement about it being right before they were cursed was false. It had to be at least nine months before the Dark Curse unless Snow was pregnant when they got married.

Fiona putting the ashes of the book on a dinner plate was hilarious. It kinda reminded me of Barney Thomson actually where they put a body part on a dinner plate. It’s like ‘ta-da’ with the the lid thing.

I’m impressed that Hook and Charming survived the fall because that was a long way down. I kinda figured David wasn’t actually dead because he shares a heart with Snow, and presumably she would feel it. I loved the juxtaposition between the pilot and David waking Snow, and they used the same words “You found me.” “Did you ever doubt that I would” – their love is wonderful. I’m going to miss them.

Also if we ever needed proof that the land without magic actually has magic, it’s in Emma returning to her apartment in Boston. She hasn’t been there in years, but the apartment was still there as she left it – complete with birthday candle on the table. Surely it would have been rented? They had a year in New York in between. Emma had her stuff shipped at the start of season one. That apartment shouldn’t have been vacant for her unless magic made it that way.

Rumple’s Choice and Gideon’s End
With the reveal that Fiona never gave back Gideon’s actual heart, that makes sense as to why Rumple went along with her. Rumple would always do whatever he felt best for his family. He was certainly tempted with “Your magic will really allow us to have it all” because nothing could be more tempting than Bae back from the dead. That’s his son and as Rumple said once “magic can do much but not that. dead is dead” and if the laws of magic were gone, then that wouldn’t be true any longer. I don’t blame him for being tempted but Rumple thankfully has more sense because he knew it wasn’t worth it – “There’s just one problem. All magic comes with a price.”

Rumple might have been tempted but he never faltered. I actually think this is tremendously important to Rumple’s character and why Belle loves him. He said – “It won’t be real” – and that matters. He doesn’t want to force Belle to love him, or to reshape the world to suit himself. If Belle doesn’t make the decision of her own free will, then he doesn’t want it because it would be a lie. Rumple would rather lose everything than force Belle into a false life. He values her independence more, he wants what is best for her – not what is best for himself.

There was a bit of “intentions are meaningless” and Rumple doubted himself – “I won’t betray my family. I will do the right thing. I was destined to become the savior.” – “You may want to do the right thing but as we both know, you can’t always get what you want.” – but ultimately Rumple’s faith was rewarded this time. He made the right call and it said in the book, that because he did the right thing, that’s why the final battle was won.

“I failed you Belle. I failed our family. I made the right choice, it just didn’t work out.” – Belle hugged him. Rumple faced his worst fear and it came true – he failed and he was possibly going to lose another son. Belle had faith in him, she’d told him to save their son, but she didn’t berate him for his failure, she didn’t blame him. They hugged!

Then true loves kiss took the dilemma of Gideon out of everyone’s hands. Gideon said to Emma that he hoped she would be able to save both of them and he thought he was killing her, he didn’t want to but he was controlled. Emma burst with light and I’m thinking that’s her belief. In the end it wasn’t about magic, or swords, it was about belief.

“True belief is believing even if you can’t see”
“Just because you believe in it doesn’t make it true.”
“That’s exactly what makes it true”

Emma believed in light, in hope, in those happy endings she was supposed to bring back. She sort of repeated her mission as the savior as she battled Gideon. Then she made a gesture to prove her faith, same as when Henry ate the apple turnover, it wasn’t a sacrifice play – it was a ‘I believe’ and she knew that everything would be alright. She put down the sword because it wasn’t a fight. It’s like back in the wish!realm when Regina wouldn’t fight Henry and that woke Emma up. Not fighting – acceptance – is more powerful than any weapon.

I’m guessing that this is why nobody suggested the ‘third way’ being somebody else just kill Gideon for Emma. When Regina pulled Emma to one side, I thought that Regina was going to make that offer. Instead she just stated her faith in Emma, that Emma would know what to do when the time came. I mean I didn’t want anyone to kill Gideon but it seemed like the obvious solution. However, just like when Henry said the final battle was for Emma’s belief, it was the same here. It wasn’t about weapons – it was about choices.

I admit I didn’t want Gideon to be de-aged. True loves kiss, the magic of light, took that decision out of everyone’s hands. Whether Gideon wanted it or not, or Rumple and Belle wanted it or not, what’s done is done. To be honest I think that was the best way it could happen. It just happened, there was no choice involved, so nothing to get upset about.

That ending just wow

“A fresh start, a happy ending.”
“No a happy beginning”

I really like that they moved away from the ‘happy ending’ thing because there’s no such thing. An end is an end and this is not the end. What happens next might not be happy all the time, it’s the middle part, and there will be good times and bad, but I hope that ultimately it will be happier than not and the ending really was perfect.

The destroyed realms were restored, and there were signs of life so hopefully all the people that had been in them came back to life. I was kinda worried about that because there were pitiful few survivors. However, given the split!Queen came back to life, I’m guessing everyone else did.

David went back to his roots as a farmer, complete with a dog just like Wilby. Snow returned to teaching. The dwarves changed Regina’s door, which was a really nice friendly gesture – I felt all warm and fuzzy. Regina and Emma dropped Henry off at the school bus, he’s too old for that really but I guess occasionally he doesn’t mind it because they are family, and they are trying to capture all the missed moments. Wish!Robin proposed to the split!Queen via arrow presumably so the actor didn’t have to appear on screen.

There was a real feeling that life is going to go on, with us not watching, and that it’s going to be a good life. If this had been the end of the series, that is really the best image/feeling to end on. They did that with Stargate SG1. The final shot was of SG1 going through the gate, continuing with their missions just without us watching. It had real hope for the future, and this was the same.

I really can’t believe what we got as an ‘ending’ for Rumbelle. There was the hug in the cave, then the forehead touch over the baby. Then we got another dance! With Tale as Old as Time playing!! I was chanting kiss, kiss at the screen and it happened!!! Then they went to family dinner at Granny’s and I have wanted that scene for the past five seasons. One big family and it was so cute with baby!Gideon. It was kinda strange how they were all sitting last supper like on one side of the table, but it made for a nice final picture in the book with – “they all lived happily ever after.” – which for a show like Once Upon a Time is one hell of a perfect final shot.

The Next Chapter
The stuff with Lucy and the older!Henry, and then Lucy and Tiger Lily, I’m really confused about when that took place. Tiger Lily said about Lucy seeing her father again in the future, which makes me think the two flashbacks were in the past/present. Though how Henry did time travelling I don’t know. Also, how Lucy didn’t age between those flashbacks, and then the ‘Seattle – many years later’ point is also a question.

I have so many questions!

“Are you Henry Mills?”
“My names Lucy. I’m your daughter.”
“Your family needs you.”

What happened? Why doesn’t Henry remember his daughter? Who is Lucy’s mother? What happened to everyone? We know that Regina, Hook and Rumple are returning but everyone else is out unless they come back as special guest stars. This has to be 10+ years in the future, perhaps Henry is 28 like Emma was (and I love his apartment was 815), so everyone would be older except for Rumple who is immortal. However, that doesn’t explain Regina or Hook unless there was some kind of curse/land where time moves differently. So I really don’t know.

I hope that it was nothing bad because it was such a happy, hopeful ending that I want them to keep that good life. They deserve a good life. I want everyone to be happy and yes there can be another chapter, but I don’t want it to be because all the happiness was ripped away and everyone is miserable. Just let them be happy for once!