Warning: Do not read the following article if you have yet to watch tonight's Once Upon a Time finale. Seriously, if you choose to read on and then complain about spoilers in the comments, you are the pizza burn on the roof of the TV world's mouth.
And they all lived happily ever after...
OK, so that's how most stories that start with the phrase "Once Upon a Time" end, but now that Once Upon a Time has officially been picked up for a second season by ABC (Wheeee!), it's safe to say things are just getting started in little ol' Storybrooke!
The breakout series wrapped up its ambitious first season with a jam-packed hour of craziness, magic, love and the highly-anticipated return of a fan favorite. So what did you think of Once's finale, "A Land Without Magic"?
If someone told us way back in October, when Once Upon a Time premiered, that the first season would end with everyone remembering who they really are and magic coming to Storybrooke, we would've said, "Be gone, crazy person! There's no way they're going there that soon." Turns out, we were wrong because that's exactly what Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis did. Yes, magic is back and Madame Mayor Regina (Lana Parrilla) is whack, at least that's what Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and the rest of the Storybrooke gang learned by hour's end. So how'd they get there?
The Savior Steps Up: If all it took was Henry (Jared Gilmore) possibly dying to get Emma to believe in the curse, he probably would have eaten one of his mother's apples about 15 episodes ago! Desperate to save their son, Emma and Regina reluctantly team up to find the only magic that can save him, true love, which they learn from Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) is hidden with Malificent (Kristin Bauer). The only problem? Regina brought her to Storybrooke in a different form: a dragon.
Emma bravely went down to find the magic that was placed with Malificent by her father Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) back in the fairy tale world. And she did so with his sword. (Anyone else get chills when Rumpel gave the weapon to her?) Unfortunately, Mr. Gold had different plans and stole the potion from Henry's two mothers.
True Love Conquers All: Sadly, Emma was too late and a potion short as Henry took a turn for the worse while she was busy fighting a dragon (#biologicalmotherproblems). But just like her father saved Snow White, Emma saved Henry with true love's kiss! And with that kiss, Regina's curse was broken and everyone's memories were restored! Raise your hand if you cried when David (Dallas) and Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) finally remembered who they are—Prince Charming and Snow White—and reunited, with Snow saying, "You found me!" After a season of drama, disappearances, and slight douchebag behavior (Sorry David, but you know we say it out of love), the couple finally got their happy ending, for at least a few moments...
Belle Is Back!: It's no secret that we were huge fans of Emilie De Ravin as Belle, so we were extremely excited to see her currently unnamed Storybrooke counterpart again. We were even more excited when our other favorite guest star, Sebastian Stan as Jefferson/Mad Hatter, was the one to break her out of the mental institution and told her to find Mr. Gold. (Hell hath no fury like Jefferson scorned, Regina!) And yes, we finally got to see Mr. Gold reunited with his beloved Belle.
"You're real, you're alive. Yes, I'll protect you," an emotional Mr. Gold tells her. We totally cried. When her memory was restored, Belle told Rumpel, "I love you." His response? "I love you, too! There'll be time for that, there'll be time for everything." Of course, he had something to do first: bring magic to Storybrooke, saying, "Magic is coming…because magic is power." We're guessing Henry is right that "something bad" is coming from the return of magic after seeing how pleased Regina looked.
Return of the Huntsman: While we would have loved to see Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan) back in Storybrooke (rest in peace, boo!), it was still great to see Dornan's handsome mug back on our TV screens as the Huntsman. Unfortunately, the OUAT showrunners giveth and they taketh away: Graham's handsome replacement August (Eion Bailey) turned completely wooden right in front of Emma's eyes. What does a handsome fellow have to do to stay on this show, Adam and Eddy?!
Overall, we think Once Upon a Time's finale was pretty perfect, striking the perfect balance between emotion and action. As for season two, we can't wait to see what magic Adam and Eddy have up their sleeves.
What did you think of Once Upon a Time's finale? Did you love it as much as we did? What do you think season two will look like? Sound off in the comments!