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The Final Battle (OUAT s6 finale. Spoilers)

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Sunday, May 14th, saw the end of an era when Once Upon A Time aired its two-hour season 6 finale. Though the show has been renewed for a 7th season, many actors will not be returning. So far, it has been confirmed that Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming/David Nolan), Jared S. Gilmore (Henry Mills), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), and Rebecca Mader (Zelena/Wicked Witch) will not be returning for season 7 as main cast members. Actors Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills/Evil Queen), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin), and Colin O’Donoghue (Killian Jones/Captain Hook) will be staying on as series regulars.

The finale centers around Emma fulfilling the prophecy that, as the Savior, she must fight the final battle against the Black Fairy and ultimately die protecting Storybrooke. In an effort to destroy Emma’s belief, the Black Fairy casts a curse just at the end of the musical episode that completely rewrites Storybrooke’s history. The fairy tales that Henry believes in never existed, Emma’s in a mental hospital, the Black Fairy is the mayor of the town and Henry’s adoptive mother, and Mr. Gold and Gideon live in the pawn shop, supposedly having been left by Belle years before.

When it comes to the other characters, they have all been sent back to the Enchanted Forest, and it–along with countless other realms–is threatened. Regina meets her evil counterpart while Hook and Charming aim to find a bean to make it back to Storybrooke. Their efforts are futile when the Black Fairy convinces Emma to burn the Once Upon A Time storybook, despite Henry’s best efforts to get his mother to believe again.

Though Emma moves to Boston, she ultimately returns when she realizes that even though she doesn’t remember anything, she believes Henry. It is also revealed that the Black Fairy staged Belle’s disappearance, and the latter is actually living in a house in town. In an effort to keep her family together, the Black Fairy tries to convince Mr. Gold that they can have happiness, even without Belle, and goes as far as suggesting that she can bring his son, Baelfire, back from the dead. Though it appears, Mr. Gold is tempted by her offer, he ends up killing the Black Fairy, causing her curse to shatter. This results in everyone remembering and returning to Storybrooke.

Even with the Black Fairy gone, the troubles are not over yet. It turns out that the Black Fairy still had Gideon’s heart after all, and before her death, she orders him to kill Emma. Emma faces off against Gideon, while Mr. Gold and Belle try to find his heart. Though he is visited by an image of his Dark Oneself, Mr. Gold orders Gideon to step back, but the spell on his heart is too strong, and his son ends up stabbing Emma. Emma releases a barrage of light magic and appears to die, but Henry parallels Emma’s actions in season 1 and uses True Love’s Kiss to bring her back to life. Mr. Gold and Belle find that their son has been returned to infancy and they realize that they can have a happy beginning. In the end, everyone is gathered at Granny’s in celebration at the end of the battle.

Many years later, a young girl–who is seen in the Enchanted Forest at the beginning of the episode, holding the Once Upon A Time book–knocks on a door in Seattle. Paralleling the pilot episode, the girl addresses the now older Henry Mills and claims to be his daughter, telling him that his family needs him.

With season 7 underway, fans can only wonder what new stories are in store. Who is this young girl? Who is her mother? Which will other characters join Henry in his journey? Though it is unknown when the show will return, it can be assumed that fans will start to receive the answers to these questions this coming fall.

 

Nicole Hakim