This is …the end. Or, at least an end. And boy, we’re not sure if we should smile or cry.
Smile because …it was a good end. A satisfying one. One that paid tribute to the message of hope that was inherent to the show.
Cry because …despite the fact that this show continues in some way, for many of us, and for most of these characters, it is the end. And after loving this show for six seasons, well, we’ll admit that hurts.
Joining me for the last Once Upon A Time roundtable of the season are, like always, Sarah and Charles. So, join us as we talk about that “Final Battle” and the happy endings (beginnings).
What were your overall thoughts on this episode? Rate the episode on a scale of 1 to 10.
Lizzie: I’ve been consistently giving this season higher ratings than the rest of the people in this roundtable – not today. I’m going to say 7 and that feels like a gift, and only because the ending was, if not wholly satisfying, at least happy and it fulfilled the promise of this show. Other than that, this was the worst episode in weeks, the Black Fairy thing took way too long and the happiness at the end was way too short.
Sarah: 8. I’m being nice because if it weren’t the season finale I would have rated higher. I actually really enjoyed these episodes a lot, but for a finale it really didn’t hit the bar OUAT had set the last few episodes and that was disappointing. I, of course, wish we’d had more CS & I really don’t understand (or like) how Rumple’s story ended up it was a pretty fun two hours for the rest of the characters.
Charles: 7. I don’t like going that low but the episode (mostly in the first-half of the two-parter) felt flat at times. I did enjoy some characters more than usual in this episode (Henry and Rumple for example). It picked up in the second half but overall it felt like a disappointment especially in comparison to the wedding/musical episode.
The parallels to the Pilot were hard to miss. Do you think the episode did a good job of bringing the story full circle? Are you happy with the end of this journey?
Lizzie: I’m not sure if I can say this episode did, but the show in general, or season 6 in particular, did. I feel like Emma’s journey came full circle last week, probably, and this was just closing the bigger storyline of the town and the ‘happy endings’ in general, and though I would have dedicated less time to the Black Fairy and more time to the closing and what’s next, I’m happy with the end of this journey in that I’m happy the show ended up being what it promised from the beginning – a show about hope and about happy endings and about new beginnings.
Sarah: From here to the Pilot, the parallels were hard to miss only if you watched the episode from under a rock, haha. I really enjoyed them though from the flashback to the pilot in the “Previously on” to Henry & Emma echoing what they said in their first car ride, to Henry waking Emma up with True Love’s Kiss, all of it. The ending montage with the parallels brought the story of the Charmings, and especially Emma to the point I always wanted for them. Peacefully living their lives together, happy and leaving all the painful scars (and crazy villains) in the past where it belongs. The Charmings are doing what they love and raising their son, Emma is happily sheriffing with her husband/deputy Killian, Rumple & Belle with baby Gideon, Zelena & Regina at peace and even the EQ marrying Wish Realm Robin! It was all so wonderful and I will never forget the happiness I felt in that moment so kudos Once Upon a Time.
Charles: Yeah I think it did a really good job of bringing characters and their stories around full circle especially with the Charmings and Emma. The Charmings living their lives how they have always wanted to as a normal loving family with a dog to boot! Emma’s journey has been my favorite throughout the whole series and the finale montage highlighted this. Seeing her go from loner with no bonds to tie her to a single place to getting her happy ending (Beginning)as a mother, a daughter, a friend and the sheriff with her husband/deputy by her side gives you the joy that Emma Swan has found happiness.
Rumple finally made the right decision – and, by doing so, helped secure everyone’s happy ending. What do you think about Rumple’s arc? Do you like the ending he – and Belle and Gideon got? Does it feel earned?
Lizzie: This is a complicated answer. I didn’t like Rumple’s arc one bit, but I think now, at the end, I get what they were going for. They were going for sometimes you don’t deserve love, and to get it anyway, when you know you don’t deserve it, is the greatest grace and the greatest gift you can ever get. That is, in a way, the story of Beauty and the Beast. She saw something in him before there was really much to see and that brought out the goodness that he’d always tried to hide. I get it now, I do.
But that doesn’t mean I love it, or that it feels earned. I understand that they were going for different journeys for him, Regina and Hook, but the journeys that the later two went through compared to Rumple make this whole thing seems like a miscalculation. He just messed up too many times, and he did it in unforgivable ways. Two seasons ago, maybe even one, this would have been much more satisfying than it is now, and I think the writers messed up by taking Rumple so far along the line that I just …didn’t feel like he deserved this.
I’ll end with this, though – I’m happy for the people who always had faith, and who always saw this story. That wasn’t me, but then again, that doesn’t matter. Their story wasn’t for me, and I’m glad that those people who’d been waiting for this for years got their happy ending.
Sarah: It doesn’t bother me that Rumple gets to live his life with Belle and especially that they get to raise Gideon the way he deserved to be instead of how he first grew up with the Black Fairy. What does bother me is the fact that it honestly felt completed unearned on his end. He’s been historically so selfish and what he pulled with his mother deceiving everyone just was the last straw personally. His struggles with choosing his family over his power hadn’t been interesting in a while because I gave up trying to figure out whether the writers were going to stick him as a villain permanently or actually try to redeem him. They obviously chose to redeem him and while I’m very glad he finally chose Belle & Gideon, I wish the journey had been better or just had less zig zag all over the place.
Charles: I don’t mind Rumple getting his happy ending with Belle and Gideon but the way it got there was just not great. The writers this season flip-flop Rumple’s between good and evil so much it got me all wibbly-wobbly for a bit. Now in this episode, I enjoyed Rumple’s scenes especially with Belle and his final confrontation with his mother. It showed the good man Rumple was and with the love of Belle and his son can be.
Outlaw Queen got a happy ending – of sorts, with the EQ and Robin, presumably getting married and continuing to steal from the rich to give to the poor. Was this ending satisfying? Does in any way make up for what happened to the other Robin?
Lizzie: It doesn’t make up for it, no, but it’s almost better than I would have expected under the circumstances, and I admit it made me very happy, like in some small way the writers were living up to the expectations that they created when they first brought these characters together. Honestly, I almost feel like I’d watch a spin-off of these two – they must be hilarious together.
Sarah: I will admit I did not see the arrow ring proposal coming, but I don’t care how silly it was I loved it. I wish it had been more than just Robin’s voice, but considering I never expected to see him again let alone have a happy ending with the EQ half of Regina I’ll take what I can get. When they brought Robin back briefly in the Wish Realm, and then left him to have a drink with the EQ it was the last thing I expected given how our Robin’s story ended up going last season. It wasn’t what I would have originally wanted, and it doesn’t really make up for what they did, but I still appreciate they tried anyways. In that sense I’m glad that even if it was in a literal alternate universe Robin and EQ Regina found their happy ending.
Charles: The arrow with the proposal and ring was so cheesy but I loved the heck out of it. Would have loved it more if we actually got to see Robin in the finale but it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe Sean McGuire was busy or something but I’d have liked to seen a quick cameo from him. I mean, Aladdin and Jasmine got one! Now does this make up for what happened to the other Robin? Heck no. I hated that and how it affected Regina for so long. But I am glad that in some world ,some form of Regina and Robin are happy together.
Regina – and Zelena’s happy ending was family, not romance. What do you think about where these two end up? Does it feel like a real happy ending? What would you have liked to see from them that we never got a chance to?
Lizzie: I keep thinking about Regina saying that her happy ending wasn’t a man and how that came true in the end. I would have love to see both of them find love, and yet, I know this isn’t the end of the story, I know the future might have a lot in store for them, and that makes me feel better about the fact that they didn’t get everything. I also feel like family – a sister, is a happy ending. I have a sister and we fight often and we don’t always see eye to eye, but I love her and though she’s not all I want in life, she’s a big part of what I need to be happy. So that’s important, and though I don’t really love the journey that took them here, I really do like where they ended up.
Sarah: After all the turmoil these two have been through since we met Zelena in season three, I was truly relieved to see Regina & Zelena find their happy ending as a family. Truthfully I wasn’t really sure we’d see this happen, since I didn’t know if they’d ever reconcile as sisters & family until the tail end of season 4 and especially during season 5. So it was definitely a long time coming, and I’m so glad they got to this place, because after the lives they’ve had they deserve peace & happiness just as much as any of our heroes. Contrary to what some might say and even with my opinion regarding Robin you don’t need romantic love to have a happy ending. They are proof of that and no matter what anyone says I will always believe that. Though if I had one wish it would have that they’d reconciled earlier and we could have seen more of them encouraging and being there for each other like we got in the last few episodes of the season.
Charles: It was lovely to see Regina and Zelena finally get along and slowly becoming real family to one another. These two deserve a happy ending as much as anyone and having this be theirs feels right. A happy ending with true love doesn’t always have to be romantic. It can be the love of a family and that’s what I feel Zelena and Regina have now. The only thing I wish we could have seen is more of Regina and Zelena bonding. I really loved their scenes together.
Captain Swan rode into the metaphorical sunset. Are you happy with the ending they got? What would you have liked to see from them that we didn’t get? What’s your wish for them in the future?
Lizzie: I liked the ending. I think it was fitting, and it was a perfect ending for their story, to have each other, to be a family, to work together, to be partners in every aspect of life. That being said, I think it was too short, and I know we just got the wedding the episode before and that was perfect, but guess what? I’m greedy. I want it all and I want it now and what I wanted was more of these two, especially considering this might be the last chance I get to see them together.
And so, in the end, that’s what I would have liked to see. Everything. Every single second of their life together – and I know that’s impossible, but that’s my honest answer. I’d take a reality-TV style show about their day-to-day issues, I honestly would.
Which is going to contradict what I’m going to say now, which is that …I wish them peace. I wish them quiet days with few problems and lots of pancakes and a family if that’s what they wish for. I want them to get the happily ever after of fairy tales. And that’s why I’d rather think that their story ends here, so I can preserve that.
Sarah: Captain Swan literally driving off as happily married couple Sheriff and Deputy couldn’t have been a better ending for them in that montage. Emma and Killian have come a long way since they first climbed that beanstalk, and between that callback and their just smiles when they were sitting in the car (and yes Hook totally said happy honeymoon.) That being said I wish we had gotten to see them interact more in the finale (even if attack kisses made me melt onto the floor, yes Emma kiss your hubby go get that honeymoon!)
Overall it would have been nice to see more scenes like the Pancake scene, not just for kisses but the quiet moments in their home, enjoying being around each other and the happiness it brings that neither of them ever expected to have. My wish for them is to have a long and happy life together, whether that included having kids even if it didn’t happen I would have liked to see them at least bring up the topic. More than anything though, I just wish for them to have time to enjoy the happy beginning they fought so hard for without any villains interrupting for at least ten years. God Speed Emma Swan & Killian Jones, you’ve found your happy ending go enjoy it!
Charles: I liked the ending they got with Married Sheriff Emma and Deputy Hook. The scene in the car was very cute especially Emma’s smile at Hook receiving the badge. As for what I would have liked to have seen from them , I’d have love more of the quiet, domestic moments. Show them being a married couple. The little things. That would have been nice to have witnessed.
As for the future, I hope they have a long time together. I have no clue about if they should have kids or not. But I would have loved seeing them discuss it. They’re thoughts and them talking to Henry about it. Sad we won’t get to see that.
Snow and Charming got the chance to finally be together, raise a family, go back to normal. Is this the happy ending you wanted for them? Where do you see them in 10 years?
Lizzie: This was literally all I wanted for them. All I wanted. They barely got a chance to be a couple and to love each other without a war or a curse or an Evil Queen coming for them, and then they never got the chance to be parents, to experience all the firsts, and now they get to do that with Baby Charming, and they also get to live close to Emma and see her experience her happy beginning. It’s perfect and I kind of hope in 10 years they are still in the same place, doing what they love and spending time with their family – all of it. And I hope it’s bigger by then, one way or another.
Sarah: The Charmings raising their family in their own home and having a normal routine free of villains interrupting them was perfect for them. It’s everything I wanted the second I fell in love with these two in season one. They’ve been through curses, separations, their family being torn apart and so much pain and they’ve earned a life of peace and quiet with their loved ones. In ten years, I’m hoping having fun being together and raising a kid who I have faith will be every bit as awesome as every other member of the Charming family. Maybe a little mischief once in awhile to break things up, but truly just happiness enjoy it you two.
Charles: The Charmings getting to be a normal family is all I ever wanted for them. Having a kid, a dog and being able to live life in peace. David and Mary doing the things they love (Planting/teaching). This felt right to me. As for what will become of them in 10 years? Well raising a kid that’s about to become a teenager? I only wish them the best of luck, hahaha.
Let’s talk Henry – what did you think about that final twist? How do you think he went from the Henry we know to that man? Are you even interested in finding out?
Lizzie: I think I saw it coming a mile away, and yet I tried to convince myself it couldn’t be. I would have preferred some sort of complete reboot that didn’t, by definition, have to jeopardize the happy endings we got. Because – that’s the only thing that can explain the Henry we saw in those final two minutes – something happening to his mother, to his family. And I don’t want that. This episode might not have been my favorite of the show, but it was a satisfying ending, and that’s why I’m wary about what’s coming. Do I even want to watch it and suffer for 22 more episodes when I already reached the “And they lived happily ever after” montage? I think the answer is no.
Sarah: I will admit out of everything I speculated about that twist was nowhere near my radar so nice job on still being able to truly surprise me after six seasons. That being said, I honestly have no idea how Henry went from being a happy young teen surrounded by his family to someone in his late 20s if I had to guess having literally forgotten his daughter and living on the other side of the country in Seattle. I imagine that’s the story they plan to tell on how he got there and getting to know Lucy (who is adorable I will say) but unless they manage to make this truly stand apart from how we started in the pilot I’m not sure I’ll keep watching to find out. I won’t judge just yet as I am curious enough to see how it all comes together, but right now all I’m happy for is the Once Upon a Time Henry I know got a happy ending (beginning) right along with the rest of his family in Storybrooke.
Charles: It was a little clever having that twist but overall it doesn’t interest me very much. I figure something bad happened to Henry and his family for him to have given up in believing. To be honest, I don’t know if I want to know what that was. I’m happy with the the last moment before this of the whole Charming family around the big table at Granny’s. That’s how I’d like to remember Henry Mills, not as some bitter adult who has lost the belief in magic. This fellow we meet at the apartment is someone I don’t have any interest in following back to Storybrooke.
Describe this episode with one gif:
Agree? Disagree? Will you be watching next season? Share with us in the comments below!