Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 20 – TV Review
Oh my god, you guys. It’s finally happening.
Several seasons beyond when it should have happened, and drowned in plot bullshit, but it’s happening.
TL;DR The musical numbers are largely confined to pointless flashbacks, but damn, OUaT really goes for it; despite some jitters, Emma is empowered to stand up to the Black Fairy in the present; and marries Hook; but they’re unable to stop the Black Fairy from enacting a curse.
Because sticking to your original wedding date and time is more important than saving the world, kiddies.
So we’ll start with the flashbacks, because they are truly incredible. After Queenie’s iconic threat to Snow and Charming, Snow wishes on a star to find a way to keep the unborn Emma safe from harm or something. The star grants her wish, and suddenly everyone in the Enchanted Forest (and beyond, as we’ll see in a moment) is bursting into song. Snow and Charming assume the power of song is what they can use to defeat Queenie, and they book passage with a singing Hook to take her down. Meanwhile, Queenie finds herself also beset by a fabulous Villain Song, and schemes to take on the heroes when they come. Sadly, Zelena, watching from Oz, senses she needs a little help, and in the pursuit of proving herself the more adept student of Rumple, surreptitiously sends Regina a magical gizmo to assist. It works, and the music is removed from the land, and Snow and Charming leave, defeated. Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Emma’s wedding preparations are interrupted by the Black Fairy, who offers Emma the chance to surrender her heart to avoid the carnage of the final battle. She shows off a black fairy dust ticking time bomb, that is set to unleash a new dark curse at the exact same time that Emma and Hook’s wedding is due to take place. Regina and Zelena attempt to find a way to neutralise the curse, but Gold intercepts them, confirming, along with the Black Fairy’s presence, that he was lying about his heroics last episode. She also freezes the gang, minus Emma and Henry, in time, leaving Emma feeling like she has no choice but to give up her heart. But psych, as we learn from Blue Bitch in the flashbacks, the music spell wasn’t meant to defeat Queenie: it was to put music from Emma’s loved ones (does that include Queenie and Zelena?) into Emma’s heart, and this prevents the Black Fairy from crushing it. Emma saves her posse, and the wedding goes as planned. And then the new dark curse envelopes everyone.
And before anyone had time to get blackout drunk at the reception. What a ripoff.
You know, after The Flash and Supergirl’s really lukewarm musical crossover earlier, and considering that hey, this is Once Upon a Time, I didn’t go into this episode with high hopes.
But damn, was I wrong. Ignoring all the obligatory OUaT plot trash, the songs in the flashbacks are an absolute blast.
If this really is the final season, I’m very glad they finally showed what OUaT is capable of.
I genuinely smiled more than once. You got me, ABC.
Why I hate this episode:
It does also make me wish they hadn’t waited until six seasons in and on cancellation’s door to do it. We needed this kind of boost years ago.
And there’s still plenty of OUaT plot trash to go around. The worst of all is, of course, that the music spell also includes an amnesia clause. I guess I should be grateful the show at least attempted to give a reason for why it was never mentioned until now (rather than the usual method of just introducing stuff via flashbacks that would have been handy to know in previous episodes/seasons, but nobody talks about it because the writers hadn’t pulled it out of their arse yet). But I’m not. How lazy.
Speaking of being grateful but not, the return of Queenie, in possibly her most oats-feeling, delicious performance ever, just reminds me of what OUaT gave up when they got rid of her. And it also shows that they want to have their happy ending cake and eat it, too, by dredging her up for a boost. Maybe you shouldn’t have lost her in the first place, hmm?
The fact that Emma is able to resist the Black Fairy due to until-now-unmentioned flashback magic bullshit is nothing new for this show. But it still sucks. Again, lazy.
Belle is oddly excised from the episode. I suspect it’s because Gold has stashed her away for her safety, but it was weird. Why wasn’t anyone bothered that she didn’t show up for the wedding?
The wedding also had zero old character cameos. The dwarves are all there, and Geppetto and Granny and Mother Superior are in attendance. But this was the perfect time for OUaT to just go grab some of their actors, put them in a nice outfit on a chair in front of a screen, and insert them into the wedding. Is Jessy Schram really that busy? Come on, guys. And where’s August?
Why the fuck did they still insist on having the wedding at the same time as the Black Fairy’s curse bomb was set to go off? If you were insistent on surrendering (which I think is what they’re going for, because Emma quips about how no matter what happens, they’ll soldier on blah blah), maybe move it up by an hour or so. Give that open bar a proper workout.
Gold and Rumple don’t get to do any singing. This is played as a joke by Rumple, but it’s disappointing that fucking Hook and Zelena get full songs each, but a more important character like Rumple is left out.
Oh, and not everyone is a great singer, though. Hook and Emma barely struggle through. And, sadly, Queenie/Regina is the least impressive.
But it’s not all bad:
Oh, honey. What Queenie lacks in vocal prowess, she more than makes up for with her dance moves. Holy shit, she is strutting and chest-popping and scowling and feeling herself up all over the place. Yes. Bitch. Werq.
Her villain song is the standout of the episode, despite her voice, because of the dancing. She is magnificent.
There’s actually not a true stinker in the bunch. Zelena’s song had me rolling my eyes at first. Because it’s Zelena. But the lyrics and her hamminess save it. It’s fun, which is something Zelena hasn’t been, like, ever.
Snow and Charming get the first song, and it’s lovey and optimistic as to be expected. But fuck, Josh Dallas can sing. Ginnifer keeps up okay, but I think Charming was attractive to me for once. I’m as shocked as you are.
Emma and Hook’s wedding is as cheesy as you’d expect, but I appreciate that, for the closing number, they broke out the extras and some choreography. And they both looked dashing.
I’m glad that the Black Fairy’s curse was able to be enacted. It’s nice that there wasn’t some kind of bullshit solution to a bullshit problem for once. Our heroes just couldn’t stop it.
And I am not ashamed to admit that I’m genuinely invested in what it’s going to do. Where will it send them? Will Lily and Maleficent be there?
One of the lyrics in Queenie’s villain song is to call Snow a “little bitch.” Finally, some OUaT honesty.
Hook’s song, performed to Snow and Charming, is all about how he doesn’t want their riches (they’re seeking to pay for passage to Queenie’s palace), because all he wants is revenge on the Crocodile. When Hook mentions that the Crocodile is the Dark One, they clue in that he’s actually singing about Rumple, and reveal the reason why Hook can’t find him is because he’s in their dungeon. It was a nice little continuity nod.
Oh, and out of all of Queenie’s divine dance moves, I think my favourite is when she chest-pops her tits while staring at Pinocchio, a child. You do you, girl.