'Once Upon a Time' Finale Recap: The Queen Stands Alone
'Once Upon a Time' Finale Recap: The Queen Stands Alone
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
It began with one little boy with an imagination to excite our childhood hearts and now it will end as that same little boy risks being lost forever. Tonight is the season 1 finale of Once Upon a Time and Emma Swan has a very important decision to make.

Emma is the one person who can save the characters of Storybrooke who have been under The Evil Queen's curse for decades. Henry has done all he can to help her see the truth and as his life hangs on a thin string, his biological mother and adoptive mother will finally come head to head. Who will come out on top? And will Henry survive the night?

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Prince Charming struggles to free himself from his dungeon cell with a rock, but it doesn't work. "I will always find you," he mumbles. Guards retrieve him from the cell to take him to his execution. He fights back, knocking both of them out. Racing through the castle halls, he is saved by The Huntsman, also known as Graham. "Find her," he says as Charming hurries out.

Henry is rushed to the ER with Emma and Dr. Whale arguing over what the cause of his state could be. She hands over the apple turnover, but he is convinced "there is no explanation," as he says. She empties out Henry's backpack and mumbles that it's "like magic." By touching the book, given the frantic state Emma's in over losing her son, she has a flashback of EVERYTHING!!!

Regina walks in, worried over Henry. Emma grabs the mayor by her arm and tosses her into a closet. "It's true, isn't it?" yells Emma. "As long as you are alive, Henry can never be mine!" snaps back Regina. The apple was only supposed to put Emma asleep, but it's unpredictable. Henry could, in fact, die. There is only one other person in town who can help and he goes by the name Rumpelstiltskin.

The Evil Queen inquires of Charming's location to The Huntsman. In anger over his escape, she tosses him against a wall. "He's mine," she whispers, looking at Charming through her crystal ball.

Charming seems to now be running in circles. Rumpelstiltskin soon appears to him. "There's no way out. Well, except for my way," he snickers. He's taken the ring meant for Snow White and laced it with magic. The closer he gets to Snow, the brighter the ring will glow. For the ring, they must work out a deal. Charming wants nothing else to do with deals. A sword fight ensues and Rumpel wins, holding the prince at sword point. He says that they both want the same thing, for he and his true love to be together. Somehow I don't believe that.

Mary Margaret is walking to her car when she runs into David. He begins mouthing off about how things have turned out. Oh, and that Kathryn put a down payment on an apartment in Boston, but he'll stay if given a reason. "I can't," she says and gets in her car.

Charming now stands before Rumpelstiltskin who holds the love potion. He wants Charming to keep the potion safe, "inside the belly of the beast." He adds, "I'm saving it for a rainy day."

Regina and Emma enter Mr. Gold's shop to meet with the man himself. As we all know -- and it took SO LONG for her to figure out -- Emma is the product of true love. Finding the potion which can cure Henry, and the curse, won't be the hard part. The hard part is getting to it. In order to get "inside her," as Mr. Gold has put it, Emma will need her father, Prince Charming's sword. I don't blame the woman for looking back at him with the best of confused looks.

Emma comforts her son while holding the book. "I should have believed you," she whispers, "I'm sorry." She slips the book behind the pillow. As Emma leaves out, Regina comes in. They'll be meeting back up in 10 minutes. "I'm sorry," she tells her son. Jefferson walks over to the opposite side of the bed. They argue over Henry. Jefferson wants his daughter, but Regina is done. Emma was supposed to eat the apple, but she didn't. Tears in her eyes, Regina tells Jefferson she isn't scared because he doesn't have it in him to hurt her.

Emma knocks on August's door, but he can't answer. She walks in to a mostly wooden man, lying on his bed. "You must break the curse," he says. Just as he speaks words of encouragement, August turns to a fully grown puppet in front of her eyes.

Emma and Regina meet up at the post office. With the touch of her hand on a wall, a secret elevator appears. Apparently, whoever resides down below received a sentence in a different form. "Let's get this straight," starts Emma. "The only reason you aren't dead yet is because I need you." I love how confident she is now, even though all this is ridiculously bizarre.

Charming walks up on Maleficent and has her at gunpoint. Unfortunately, she easily waves her hand and knocks him to the ground. "Where is the beast that rules this castle?" he asks. "That would be me," she replies. The lights go out and she presents herself as a great dragon. Charming hides.

(This next scene is done ingeniously. Please do not be confused. Charming and Emma are in the same location, yet their actions are of different times. Charming remains in the old days of fairytale magic while Emma stays in modern day Storybrooke.)

Emma appears as the elevator stops. She walks out to a dark cave, creeping around. Spooked, she turns and backs into a wall. Strangely enough, this wall has green eyes. The dragon rises to its feet and roars, paralyzing Emma in pure fright. Maleficent breathes fire, searching for Charming in the dark wings of the castle. He eyes the potion in his hand and yells, "Come on!" while running off. Emma gets frustrated with the sword and drops it. She runs across a fine ledge and hides. Charming tricks the dragon and jumps on top of the beast who then swallows the potion's capsule. Charming escapes, jumping from the castle window and into the ocean. He may have been safe, yet Emma finds that the dragon has survived a fall. She appears once again to the scared woman.

MM is reading the story of Snow White to Henry. She tears up at the end of the story and begins apologizing for not believing in him. Just then, he flatlines and Dr. Whale rushes in to find out what has gone wrong. A man walks into a personnel only part of the hospital and hands over a coffee to the nurse. She soon falls asleep. The man turns to show his face. It's Jefferson. He makes his way to Belle's holding room and frees her, telling her to find Mr. Gold.

Charming swims to shore and finds Rumpelstiltskin, who hands over the ring. Before he leaves, his tattered clothing is turned to the wardrobe of a prince.

Emma finally gets the nerve to run for the sword. She gets the dragon's attention and throws the sword into the belly of the beast. As the dragon disintegrates, the capsule appears in the ashes.

Charming takes to his horse, the glowing ring on his pinky finger. Snow falls as the dwarfs stand around her glass coffin. "You're too late," whispers Doc. They all move away, giving him time to say goodbye. The coffin cover is removed, Charming delivers the infamous kiss and a SWOOSH of magic sweeps over the land. "You found me," she says. Walking along the beach, she asks how he found her. He presents the ring and gets down on one knee, asking her to marry him. She replies, "What do you think?" And they kiss happily before planning to take back the kingdom.

David sets his luggage in the bed of his truck and looks up at the clock tower before pulling off. Emma holds the potion's capsule as the elevator stops midway. Mr. Gold appears and tells her to just "toss it up." Why she does it ... we may never know. She climbs up and finds Regina strapped to a chair. "He manipulated all of us," yells Regina. Emma receives a phone call from the hospital.

The two rush to the hospital, meeting Dr. Whale who says, "We did everything we could." Henry still lies in his hospital bed as Emma walks over to see him one last time. Regina is paralyzed at the window, looking in. Neither one can do anything but stare.They have to bring Henry back to life, right? Right?!

Mr. Gold sets the love potion capsule out on his desk and opens it with a key. There it is, the glowing magic. Quickly, he hides it again. "Excuse me, are you Mr. Gold?" asks a woman's voice. Mr. Gold turns to see Belle. He walks over as she explains that Regina kept her and that she was told that Mr. Gold would protect her. "I'm sorry," she continues in a confused state," do I know you?" He says no, but she soon will.

Regina breaks down and cries. Emma does the same, but makes her way towards her sleeping son. With the words, "I love you," she kisses his forehead. Thankfully, he springs awake. True love's kiss causes another SWOOSH across the land and all the characters are awakened from their forgetful slumber.

As it hits David, he looks at the "Leaving Storybrooke" sign. The next thing you know, he's calling across the street to MM. "Snow!" he yells. They meet up with one another in the middle of an intersection, in front of the clock tower. "You found me," she whispers. "Did you ever doubt it?" he replies. Well, I sure did with how wishy washy he's been for half the season. I digress.

Mother Superior turns to Regina and warns that Her Majesty may want to run and hide now. With the warning, Regina walks over to Henry and urges him to believe that she does love him no matter what anyone says or does from this point on.

Mr. Gold and Belle, who now remembers his true identity and her love for him, make their way through the woods and up to a wishing well. He says that the stream beneath has the power to return to you what you have lost. Rumpelstiltskin drops the entirety of what was left of the love potion into the well and a purple mist ascends into the air and over the land.

Back at the hospital, Emma wonders why if the town remembers then why have they all not taken their original forms? Henry has no clue. Come on, he almost died. Give the kid a break. A nearby nurse drops her instruments, staring out of the window. Emma and Henry walk over. "What is that?" asks Emma. "I don't know," Henry replies. The purple mist is rolling over the town!

Belle has just as many questions for Rumpel. Magic is returning to the land. "And magic is power," he grins. The clouds rolls through town. Regina, who has been in Henry's room, looks out his window and grins wickedly, obviously knowing exactly what this means for her.

Last, but not least, the clock tower is shown. The night that Emma entered Storybrooke, time stopped. Now, as the hand moves, the billowing purple clouds encompass the face of time.

30 Best Quotes from the Finale

Oh my goodness, what a season! Thankfully, there will definitely be a season 2. Now that the entire town remembers their origins and magic has been restored, the sky is the limit! Thank you all for joining me for the first season of Once Upon a Time. I do hope to see you for the second coming of characters and overlapping story lines.

Quiz: How much do you remember from season 1?

Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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