Once Upon a Time is heading into the home stretch of episodes with season 6 but the show’s future is still in doubt. With every passing episode, it doesn’t become any clearer whether Once Upon a Time is going to wrap things up by the end of season 6 or keep going into a season 7 or do the long-rumored soft reboot. The uncertainty of Once Upon a Time‘s future is frustrating for fans but regardless of how the plot unfolds, the show should end definitively with season 6.

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Is That All There Is?

One of the main arguments against Once Upon a Time being cancelled in season 6 is that the show doesn’t feel as if it is in the final season. This is true. ABC and the producers of Once Upon a Time season 6 are handling the possible ending of the show in a completely disappointing way. It is better than the rushed and sloppy way that ABC ended Castle last TV season but the mystery behind Once Upon a Time‘s future isn’t that much better. In an era when so many series get proper final seasons and fans are aware that their favorite shows are ending months before the series finale, Once Upon a Time is a letdown. Even if season 6 doesn’t feel like the final season, it is becoming obvious that the show doesn’t have much more places to go. 

In the first half of season 6 it was just the character of Rumple that was stuck in a rut with all the other characters dealing with other (perhaps too many) storylines. Now the inverse has become true. While Rumple is dealing with his son drifting to the dark side in a compelling subplot, everyone else is stuck in a circular pattern. Snow and David are stuck in another sleeping curse. Emma is taking a play out of her parents’ overplayed storybook by being separated from her true love. Zelena has reconciled with Regina for the umpteenth time and Henry is just still around being empathetic to other characters when the plot demands. 

The only character who has had something new happen to her is Regina, as she finally accepted her Evil Queen past and learned to love herself. Sadly, this development can be viewed as a proper end to Regina’s journey for six seasons. It’s not a beginning for Regina but an end. It would be better for every other character to come to a similar end because season 6 is out of ideas and the strain is beginning to show. 

Plug-In and Play(ed Out)

The staleness of Once Upon a Time became obvious after “A Wondrous Place.” The episode didn’t just deal with Emma and Hook’s separation, which is obvious to everyone how it’s going to end after watching Snow and David do the same extreme hide-and-seek routine for years. Once Upon a Time seemingly wrapped up the Aladdin and Jasmine storyline in a nearly identical way to how they’ve wrapped up the stories of other guest stars. 

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Aladdin and Jasmine, who could have brought new life to the series, were in the end no different than the Frozen, Oz or Neverland arcs. There were new characters brought in, they interacted briefly with our characters, impacted their storylines and then got some version of happily ever after. Once Upon a Time has become formulaic with the way it approaches its stories and nothing feels fresh or exciting anymore. It’s all variations on a theme. Jasmine defeating Jafar was no different than Dorothy standing up to Zelena or Elsa reclaiming Arendelle.  

Even with Gideon, who is a completely original character rather than based off a Disney property, it is easy to predict the ending. Emma and gang will be plugged into this struggle between Gideon and the Black Fairy, which has been going on for years, and will be the catalyst that it ends it all. Emma might be the mythical Savior but every story following the same basic formula and Emma being the linchpin of the entire universe is too much. 

Once Upon a Time is starting to become predictable and it is only going to get worse if the show continues. Gideon might have entered the picture like other guest stars but he is being positioned as a dark mirror of Emma. It wouldn’t be that hard for the show to use him to give Emma and everyone else their proper happily ever after. The show needs to try to end on a high note in season 6 rather than keep going artificially.

But what do you think? Is Once Upon a Time out of ideas? Could the show end with season 6? Should the show end with season 6? Would you keep watching the show if it reboots in season 7? 

Once Upon a Time season 6 airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Like our OUAT Facebook page. 

(Image courtesy of ABC)  

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.