The citizens of Storybrooke come to accept their past and set forth to claim their happy ending. But as they cling to hope, does all this come with a price?
Many loose ends are tied up in the first half of this episode. Pan reveals the one thing he loves most while showing how truly evil and selfish he can be. The gang reveals how to stop Pan’s new curse. They destroy Pan’s shadow, save the Blue Fairy, help Tink get her wings back, and Henry is rightfully restored to his own body. With all the past plot points wrapped up, the emotional roller coaster ride of this episode begins.
In Gold’s shop, Emma and Snow share a touching moment about the unicorn mobile that used to hang above Emma’s crib. Over the course of the series, Emma has constantly push away people she may love or people who love her. It is over this tiny mobile that Emma finally seems to accept that her mother truly loves her. She bonds with Snow over their shared regrets. Like Snow, Emma regrets not being able to raise her child.
The complete opposite happens when Pan returns to his own body in Rumple’s shop. Here Gold’s father reveals himself to be a true monster. Unlike Regina and Rumple, he has no heartbreaking past that we know of. He wanted to remain young and saw his son, Rumple, merely as an obstacle, something to be cast away. Pan traps Rumple and leaves to destroy the town.
Rumple is faced with a tremendous decision. He knows Pan will destroy everyone and everything he has ever loved. The only way to save them is to make a sacrifice bigger than anything anyone has done before. It is at this moment that Rumple makes the final act of heroism. Being called a coward over and over again, Rumple has spent years fighting to prove he was something more. He sacrifices his own life for the sake of his loved ones. It was his final act of love for Belle and his family; he finally accepted his own fate.
Regina finally accepts her role in the last curse and all the damage it has down to the citizens of Storybrooke. Knowing now that Henry loves her, she also makes a great sacrifice. While her hatred and need for revenge caused the original curse, it is her selfless love for Henry that saves everyone from Pan’s dark curse.
In the final goodbyes, Regina reveals that Emma and Henry will loose all their memories of Storybrooke. But as one last give, Regina casts a spell that will give Emma and Henry the memories of the life they should have led.
But what is in store for the rest of the season? Let’s rely on Snow’s advice:
“And what do you think fairytales are? They are a reminder that things will get better if we just hold on to hope.”
Things are changing in the second half of the season. Storybrooke is gone and Emma and Henry are living a normal life in the city completely unaware of their once adventurous past. As our beloved characters hold on to hope that there is a happy ending, it seems like a new evil villain is about to arrive. Hopefully everyone is prepared for what the Wicked Witch of the West is about to unravel.