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Friday in Review: OUAT and When it's Time To Let Go

Hi everyone! So this Friday's post was supposed to be for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 but that's going to have to wait now cuz... OUAT The Final Battle happened.

Just a head's up: SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SO IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT AND DON'T LIKE SPOILERS THEN DON'T READ THIS.



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So this is kind of like a goodbye to OUAT and my beloved characters and ships while also giving my overall thoughts on the show and the controversial iffy finale.
 

First of all, I have to say that I respect Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (the chief writers and creators of Once Upon A Time) a ton. I have said on multiple occasions to multiple people that I think they are geniuses. They are all the way up there on my list of Writerly Heroes with Julie Plec of TVD. OUAT has never been a straightforward or easy to figure out show. From episode one the writers set you on a roller coaster of past, present, and future storylines mismatching and correlating and interchanging and meshing with one another. You saw characters in the real world dealing with real life stuff that you can relate with and you saw those same characters off on adventures of danger, heroism, villainy, love, and passion in a land of magic and mayhem and mixed up rules, number 1 of those rules being: ALL MAGIC COMES WITH A PRICE DEARIE. ;)


Rumple's catch phrase
From episode one you got to know characters that are beloved to you and from some of your favorite childhood movies such as Snow White, Prince Charming, The Evil Queen, Little Red Riding Hood, the Huntsmen, the Seven Dwarves and everyone in-between. But what makes the writers of OUAT pure geniuses is that they took these characters who know and love and changed them, twisted their stories and often times connected them to one another. Who knew Snow White was good friends with Red Riding Hood, Ariel, and childhood friends with Hercules? Their plotlines were so deep and complex and often a twisting, turning maze that only fans who had changed the show from beginning to end could understand. And the characters? Some of the best characters on TV. So complex, so real, so enchanting, full of hope and redemption and love and hatred and darkness and lightness. Heroes turned out to be villains and villains became heroes, all of them you either love or love to hate (Rumplestilskin anyone?). What I truly love about this show is that even if a villain is dastardly and evil and seeks only to destroy everything around them, OUAT shows you why. Why they are doing what they are doing. Usually it's because they were once the hero who fell. Or had once been the victim of others, whether it be of an abusive family, powerful bullies, and other villains who tricked and taunted them and lured the to the darkness. There isn't a single villain on OUAT that you don't feel bad for just a little bit.

One of the best. Scenes. Ever. *dying laughing*
Cruella de Vil is an excellent example of this. She's just plain evil. I mean who kills puppies and knits scarves and jackets out of their fur?! It's gross. I was interested to see what they were going to do with her because (I haven't seen the Disney 101 Dalmatians in years) in the movie she didn't really get a backstory. She was just the evil, bitter woman who hated puppies. In OUAT she was also pure evil. Out of all the other villains her backstory was the most intriguing. At first you think her step-mother is to blame because you think her step-mother was the one who killed all her husbands and locked her poor step-daughter up. In reality though Cruella was... kind of a psychopath. I'll have to rewatch the episode but I'm pretty sure she was the one who killed several of those husbands and then tried to kill her step-mother and the Author (long story). She hated dogs because her step-mother had two Dalmatians to keep her in check. Honestly you can't help but feel a little weirded out by her but you also kind of feel bad for her because... she's so messed up and has no love in her life.
 
Anyways! By this season -- season 6 -- you've seen every side of all the main characters and some minor ones too and you feel like you know them inside and out. I love OUAT and even in the hard times when plotlines have a few holes and character development is a bit foggy I take a deep breath and trust Horowitz and Kitsis to do right by the show and by the characters. Season 6 was very good. The beginning was awesome. I loved Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the fact that the land of Untold Stories made me go and do my own research on the original stories. If I'm completely honest the beginning of the second half of the season turned me off a little. It was ripe with missed opportunities and iffy storytelling. I actually skipped one of them because I was sick of the same storyline being brought up again and again and again (Regina and her inner battle of light and dark and Rumple and how he always chooses power over love no matter what!). By then the writers get through that rocky, iffy time, brush themselves off, and get back to working their storytelling magic by Mother's Little Helper. The best thing that ever happened to this season was Gideon and The Black Fairy. They really pulled the bad storytelling together and drove the characters in a clear direction. OUAT works best when there is a singular Big Bad with a few antagonists on the side. The musical episode could have been better but I do adore the songs and it was honestly so fun plus CAPTAINSWAN WEDDING!!! SWEETEST VOWS EVER!!


First time they met

Their happily ever after

*Swoon*

Awwww

One of my fave CaptainSwan scenes
 The 2 part season finale was everything I could have ever hoped for. It was epic and it was perfect and it was beautiful. It nodded to the beginning of each character's journeys. Emma ended up back where she started (except being in a mental hospital and knowing Henry) in that she doesn't believe in Henry's fairytale "delusions." Henry is again the only "awake" person in a cursed town and is talked down to for his belief. It was beautiful because in this episode Henry truly rose to hero status. He took that sword and was ready to face the Black Fairy on his own, utilizing his full potential as the truest believer and Author of stories. The whole Black Fairy being the mayor and Henry's mom and wanting Emma gone with a capital G was an excellent nod to how Regina started out as the villain in season 1. It made me smile with nostalgia. Snow and Charming ended up where their true battle started -- at the alter where they first got married in the Enchanted Forest. Everyone was dressed in their old clothes. There was the nod to Hook and Emma's first adventure on the beanstalk. A beautiful scene where Snow kissed Charming awake instead of him kissing her awake in that glass coffin. Henry ended up in a hospital again much like when he ate that cursed apple turnover but this time Emma's kiss didn't save him. Emma left for Boston after burning the storybook (my heart broke at that scene, especially when the page flipped to Hook's picture and something like recognizitian crossed her face) and back to her whole life without believing. All hope is seemingly lost but Henry pulls her back.
 
I thought it was beautiful at the end how Rumple -- the ultimate villain who has annoyed all of us at some point or another with his constant drive for power (don't lie! I know he had to have annoyed you at least once in the entire six seasons!) turned out to be the hero. He killed his own mother, saved everyone, and earned his happy ending. Gideon became a baby again, Rumple undoing everything his mother had done. Gideon now can grow up without being burned by an abusive environment and horrific memories and now can be the handsome hero that Belle and Rumple always wanted him to be. The Charming/Mill's family was restored. The next scenes afterward were utter perfection. Regina was given back her job as mayor of the town. Hook becomes sheriff with Emma. Henry goes off to school with love interest Violet. Regina found her happily ever after not in romantic true love but in the true love of family. Her inner battle of light and darkness has ended and her heart is now full of true love for her sister, her son, her niece, and her friends. Her doppleganger got to have the romantic true love of OutlawQueen with Robin.

Awww happy Regina!!
Essentially it was the perfect, tear jerker ending that I could have hoped for. All of my hurting and burdened heroes have found their happily ever afters and all of my tragic, sometimes bad choice making villains became heroes and found the happily ever afters they never thought they could have. My ships were fulfilled. OutlawQueen, Snowing, RumpBelle, Zelena/Regina sisterly love. I would have been more than happy to except this as the ending of OUAT.
 
But some writers just can't let go. Writers who really should let go and be realistic because as much as I would love to see an older Henry go on adventures and more of Tiger Lily the seventh season isn't going to go well. I'm sorry guys but it's just not. It's going to ruin the show. I know for sure that Jennifer Morrison is leaving of her own free will because her six year contract is up. I don't know about Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas or Jared Gilmore leaving freely or if they were let go. But I did see that Rebecca Mader and Emilie de Ravin was let go. I know Rebecca adored playing Zelena. She wanted to keep going and said it wasn't her choice to leave. I think the writers did themselves a mighty disservice in letting go actors that were willing to stay. How in the heck is Rumple and Gideon supposed to go on some many years later without Belle, Rumple's true love and Gideon's mother? And how in the heck is Hook without Emma? Uhhh they just got married! It's hard enough for an audience to say goodbye to the crowning jewel of all ships on OUAT: Captainswan, but to then release Emilie de Ravin? Rumple without Belle is a hard pill to swallow. And Zelena/Rebecca Mader has a huge following! People won't be happy about her leaving. I'm skeptical of older Henry and I won't believe the actor will do Henry justice until I see it myself. That little clip of him isn't good enough. I didn't see Henry in him. The whole nod to how Henry first met Emma in his daughter finding him was kind of sweet, but... I would have been fine without it. This is the make or break moment OUAT writers! You get the pilot of season 7 wrong and your done.
 
They've already lost a sizable amount of their audience because of this reboot. If they don't play their cards just right they are done for and OUAT will be ruined with one extra season that should never have been made. I'm willing to give Kitsis and Horowitz a little bit of my trust while also having a healthy amount of skepticism.
 
But whether season 7 is good or not this season was an end of an era. Thank you Emma for being a true heroine always seeking the truth and always standing up for the underdogs. She is the ultimate hero, the ultimate Savior, in my opinion. No heroine, hero, or Savior, in any other TV show or book or movie can ever beat Emma. She is the Savior and had a beautiful, magical, tragic story that resulted in finding an unexpected true love not only in Hook but in her son Henry. She fought again and again for Henry from episode 1 and I loved it. I loved her superpower, of being knowing when someone is lying and I loved every bit of her journey as she grew into a strong, powerful, magical, believer. Into a princess, the Savior, the product of true love.

Emma as a fairytale hero

Normal heroic, determined Emma

The Savior who brings back the happy endings
Snow White, and Prince Charming for giving me hope and for the slogan I will always find you.
I will always find you...

Thank you Emilie de Ravin for doing my favorite fairytale character Belle more than just justice. You made her a true heroine and your Belle will always be better than Emma Watson's. She was a hero, a fighter, a reader, a defender, a dreamer who always sees the good in people and is willing to give second, third, and fourth chances which is really rare in such a dark world where people don't have the resilience or perseverance or confidence to keep trying with someone.

Belle was always a true heroine, not just a damsel in distress

You and me both Belle

One of my all time favorite scenes of OUAT
And thank you Zelena for being wonderfully wicked. She was the perfect Wicked Witch. She had a great backstory, a great love story between two villains that made you feel for her and Hades. She was multifaceted and complex and just as important as Regina. Her redemption story was beautiful and I just love her stubbornness, loyalty, perseverance and sassiness. Green and red hair looked good on her and the way she owned that green was sort of awesome. She proved that wicked is better than evil and that wicked always wins again and again. I wasn't expecting to like her, but by the end of season 6 I was cheering for her and her little Robin all the way!

And Henry. I got to watch him grow up from the most adorable little ten year old to a brave, handsome young man. He showed me that it's ok to believe in fairytales, its ok to be a dreamer, and that being and aspiring to be an Author is powerful. Henry is the beating heart of this show and no one can ever replace Jared Gilmore as Henry. To me as a writer I loved that Henry's qualities of as the truest believer and the Author were two of the defining things that made him a hero.

Henry as the truest believer

Henry as the responsible Author

Henry as a knight in shining armor
 
So, whether season 7 hits or misses this will always be the end of the OUAT I have known and loved for six years. The actors were incredible, the writers were incredible, the fanbase is wildly awesome. In my opinion this show was what kicked off fairytale retellings in shows, books, and movies and created an entire few years of just one fairytale retelling after another. So thanks, Once Upon A Time, for starting that awesome trend.
 
*Deep breath*
 
*Ends Rant*
 
 (I may have gone a little overboard with the gifs but it's OUAT. There can never be too many gifs. Ever.
 
There's so much more I can and want to say but this is the core of it. So there ya have it. My feelings and thoughts on OUAT and the finale and what I think lies in store for the show. Hope you all have a great weekend!!
 
What do you think of the OUAT Final Battle? What do you think will happen in season 7 and what did you think of that end scene?? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

 


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