Once Upon a Time season finale recap: Now I'm a Believer

Big, awesome changes are coming to Storybrooke -- thanks to a certain savior and her eleventh-hour dragon battle
Ep. 22 | Aired May 13, 2012

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME And making goofy faces won't save you, Regina.

David Gray/ABC

Regina and Emma are ready to search for that two-timing Mr. Gold when fate throws a heartbreaking wrench into their plans. They get simultaneous calls from the hospital, then trek back to Henry's resting place... only to find that their son has apparently succumbed to his apple-induced injuries.

Both women are crying. Emma slowly approaches her kid's body and brushes his hair away from his forehead. Then she leans down, whispers that she loves him, and kisses him. Looks like she didn't need that Twue Wuv potion after all. Her kiss and her declaration are magic enough to revive Henry -- and send shockwaves throughout Storybrooke. Each one of the town's residents suddenly regains all of their Fairy Land memories. That's right -- Henry is alive, and the curse is officially over! Ding-dong, the false identities are all dead -- which may make it difficult to distinguish between Storybrooke and the fairybacks, should they continue into next season. But who cares -- in any case, Maine just got a whole lot more interesting.

Even though they've all suddenly remembered who Regina really is, the folks in the hospital -- including Dr. Whale, Mother Superior/the Blue Fairy, and Emma -- don't immediately accost the cursed witch. Instead, they let her run back to her mansion, where she buries her face in Henry's pillow and starts crying. It's a little late to be trying for the sympathy vote, Mayor.

Get your hankies out, folks -- next up is the reunion we've been waiting to see since October. David is on his way out of town when he realizes he's not really David. But as soon as it all comes back to him, he turns his truck around and finds Mary Margaret -- er, Snow White. The two recognize each other and come together for a massively romantic, camera-spinning kiss. He found her! She never let go! He had her at "Hello"! It wasn't over; it still isn't over! Swoon.

Gold -- or should I say Rumpelstiltskin? -- leads Belle into the woods. (Sorry that I just got every song from that musical stuck in your head.) There's a brief pause when she remembers who she really is, and that she loves him -- but before they can enjoy a real reunion, Rumpel has Belle press on to the wishing well where August once brought Emma. He reminds us that the well's waters can return that which one has lost. It seems pretty clear that the imp is finally going to do what he came to Earth to do: find Baelfire.

But then Rumpelstiltskin dashes our expectations once again. He drops the love potion into the well. Soon, a giant cloud of purple smoke comes billowing out of it. The smoke monster rolls through the woods and into the town, engulfing each character in turn. As Regina sees it approach, her frown slowly turns into a satisfied smirk. Because she knows what Rump has just done: He's bringing magic to Storybrooke. And why? "Because magic is power," he tells Belle as the monster creeps up the town's clock tower -- and the minute hand moves once more. SCENE.

NEXT: Season 1's last breadcrumbs. Tasty!

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