We’ve reached the end of season 5 of Once Upon A Time! It was quite a doozy, so let’s begin.
With everyone mourning Robin Hood and Hook returning to life, Emma is afraid that Regina will return to her evil queen ways. Meanwhile, Mr. Gold is using the crystal from Hades to get Pandora’s Box open and wake Belle who is inside. He sucks much of the magic from Storybrooke into the crystal. Henry convinces Violet to go with him to rid the world of magic. He does so by going against his Author rules and uses his power to bring the crystal into his hand. The two run away to New York. Emma and Regina go after him, but Regina is a bit reluctant to have Emma tag along since Swan doesn’t trust Regina will stay good. Mr. Gold decides to go after Henry on his own.
At first Emma and Regina think Henry and Violet are in Boston. It’s there that Regina explains that she is constantly at war with the Evil Queen inside trying to get out. But, she’s chosen to stay good, and knows it’s now wrong to do bad things. It’s also there that they find magic is in the regular world because the crystal is loose there.
Henry and Violet find what Neal, Henry’s actual dad, was trying to find in New York way back when. It’s a dark grail that can steal magic away. But, Mr. Gold finds them first and takes the crystal.
While all this is going on, Storybrooke evacuates most of the citizens through a portal Zelena makes with the Sorcerer’s wand. When magic is destroyed, Storybrooke will cease to exist with everyone there. The magic backfires and transports Zelena, Snow, Charming, and Hook to a different realm than the Enchanted Forest. They are soon captured when they scare a resident mentioning magic to him.
They are put in a cage where a warden threatens them thinking they are working for the Dark One. We eventually find out that the warden is Mr. Hyde and the man they first encounter is Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll had promised to help the group by repairing the wand. Hyde hatches a plan to free himself and take over Storybrooke. Jekyll has made a serum that will finally separate him from Hyde. It succeeds and the group must flee the strong magic monster.
Back in the real world, Gold is about to open the box with the crystal, but the box is whisked away by Hyde using the wand. Hyde knows who’s inside and wants to use it as leverage against Rumple. Henry and rushes in with the dark grail and takes away the crystal’s magic, leaving no way to have this group get to the stranded others.
Gold takes Regina to the Dragon Man, who has magic. He doesn’t have enough power to open a portal, but tells all of them that there’s actually magic everywhere. Henry tells them all to just believe and takes them to a wishing fountain by the library. As they put coins in to make wishes the crystal begins to glow. It’s not enough, so Henry makes a speech to the general public convincing them to make wishes in the fountain.
Meanwhile in the other realm, Jekyll tells the Charming group that the realm their in are untold stories. It’s an amalgam of several stories (it looks like the Musketeers are among these stories). As they are about to be caught by Hyde, coins begin to fall from the sky. It’s the “wishes” from New York, and it’s made a portal appear. The group jumps through and appears in the fountain.
That night, Regina is saddened by still having the Evil Queen in her. Snow has a dose of the serum and tells Regina that they can separate and she has a moment to be rid of the Queen. Regina takes the serum, separates, and takes the heart of the Queen and crushes it. The Evil Queen turns to dust and flies away.
Back in the Untold Story realm, Rumple has jumped through the portal from New York and wants to kill Hyde and take Pandora’s Box, but Hyde makes a deal with Rumple saying he can help bring Belle out of the sleeping curse.
In Storybrooke, the group reunites. We find out Violet’s dad is the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Regina restores magic and makes the crystal disappear. But, Hyde and Rumple have traveled to Storybrooke for Hyde to take it over. He’s brought friends (though we don’t know who they are yet). Over in New York, the Queen’s dust flies through the town and to the Dragon Man. It reforms to the Evil Queen and she rips the Dragon Man’s hear out. She’s back.
From the few episodes before this finale, I had my doubts that this would end well. We lost the big bad of Hades fast. Zelena turning good seemed too sudden and off. Robin being destroyed was very sudden and a great loss. All signs pointed to Regina becoming evil again, but when they were playing with that idea from the beginning of the episode I was thinking another twist would come.
As much as it was predictable to have a serum that separated good and evil in a person, it was a nice way to bring the Evil Queen back. We get the best of both worlds: The very bad Queen and the tough as nails good Regina. Is it a cop out? Maybe, but it makes things more escalated. We know the Queen can’t be destroyed easily. And having Gold fully Dark One, and Hyde even, means that the Queen will have some back up to bring terrible things to Storybrooke.
The character and introduction of Mr. Hyde was terrific! I didn’t think there could be anyone more bad than any of the villains before, but he’s proving me wrong. He has some amazing powers, like absorbing magic. It’ll be interesting to see just exactly who he is and how he knows so much.
One of the most amazing elements of these episodes were the big notions of magic being everywhere and having many realms somewhat open. We know of this Untold Story realm now, but Henry has come across books that are hinting at where the show could go. And I love it! We’ve been dancing around both the issues for too long. It’s time to expand the idea of how other stories play out and come to be! It’s time to make the stakes higher by having magic explode! It makes things very unpredictable. It’s going to make next season great!
So, in the end these last episodes of the season have made up for some mediocre ones earlier. Not that the season was terrible, but it lost some momentum in the second half of the season. These episodes were some roller coaster excitement. It’s also awakened quite a bit of the show, I think. Granted, the second half of the season sorta did that with having Greek mythology enter in, but I think that’s been a bit of a guess from seasons before.
The dynamics between characters were spot on and everyone shined in the finale. Is it because some were missing, like Belle? Perhaps. But, everyone did a great job still.
I didn’t think I’d be anticipating next season, but Once has done it again. I’m going to be eagerly anticipating the next chapter all summer!
- What exactly happened with the crystal?
- Who came with Hyde and Rumple to Storybrooke?
- Is Henry not the Author anymore because he used his powers for his own gain?
- Are Hook and Emma getting married next season? (There was a tease of showing a wedding dress in the window behind them as they kissed at the end of the second episode)
- Will Robin come back because it seems like nobody dies in this show, like the Evil Queen?
- And will he have more lines than he did in all the episodes of this season combined?
- Just how many years is Henry grounded for causing all this trouble?