Once Upon A Time – The Song in Your Heart
By: Kelly Kearney
It finally happened! “Once Upon a Time,” gave its Disney fans what they’ve been asking for. A musical that would launch any Disneyphile into a never ending, a sing a long and keep them begging for more. This week’s episode The Song in Your Heart centers around Emma, her final battle and the strength her parents instilled in her that she never knew she had.
A Charming sing- a- long…
We begin in a Minnesotan children’s home, where young Emma (Mckenna Grace) is practicing a song for a school talent show. In her room, she quietly hums a tune into her 90’s era tape deck when another orphan (Ari Guzhel) interrupts to crush her future pop star dreams. She calls the young savior ordinary, only Emma Swan isn’t ordinary and nobody knows that better than her mother, Snow White.
Back to the future, where Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) is getting high on wedding fumes and insisting Emma (Jennifer Morrison) [who just found her Season One red leather jacket] wear her old wedding gown. Emma seems thrilled by the offer and Snow couldn’t be more tickled pink that her daughter is getting her happy ending with Killian (Colin O’Donoghue). So much so that it launches us into a flashback of a pregnant and overly worried Snow and Charming (Josh Dallas).
The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) plans to curse the realm and all Snow wants is her baby’s best chance at a happy life. On her royal balcony, she makes a wish for just that and when she wakes in the morning her wish comes true. Snow and her kingdom have been blessed with the language of song. All their words come out in a beautiful melody but how will this sing along stop the Queen? Easy, when two hearts come together in song the power of love can stop even the greatest of evils. Not to mention the fact her evil highness has never faced the happiness that comes from music. She will be unprepared for their melodic onslaught of love.
Speaking of unprepared, no one was prepared to see the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray) again, not after Rumple (Robert Carlyle) claimed he banished her. That’s why Emma, Regina, Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and Snow are stunned beyond belief when the Black Bat poofs herself into the living room to inform them the final battle is still on. The evil woman means business and laughs at the fact our heroes believed Rumple would ever choose them over his mother. After turning Snow’s feathered wedding gown into something fit for a black swan, she drops the bad news. The fight between good and evil will go on unless Emma would like to forfeit her heart to the Black Fairy. Emma scoffs at that idea. She’s definitely not one to walk away from a fight that could mean life or death for her and her loved ones. The Black Fairy tries getting in her head by saying she doesn’t have the strength to win. Emma “arms of steel” Swan doesn’t have the strength? According to the Black Fairy’s vast knowledge of kidnaped orphans, Emma is still that lost and lonely little girl. She goes even further and tells the savior to check out the clock tower and she will see how pointless it is to resist her fate. Pointless might be an understatement because The Black Fairy horded all the dark fairy dust into a gigantic ball of cursed evil and its set to go BOOM at 6pm, right when Emma and Hook say their vows. The magical Mills sisters stay in the tower to try and disable the curse while Emma leaves to go handle the wretched fairy.
The Rockstar Evil Queen….
Nothing says “Rockstar” like a Queen in leather, dripping in sex appeal and dancing like nobody’s watching. The Evil Queen had that in spades when she was bitten by the dreaded “song bug.” Her Highness’ buzz was killed the minute Snow made that wish and now she can’t stop swinging her hips and rocking out. Everyone from her Magic Mirror (Giancarlo Esposito) to Granny (Beverley Elliot) invade her castle walls with their incessant “love will conquer all” songs. The Evil woman can’t take it and she promises (in song) that no amount of love, faith and hope can change her evil plans. She might be busting out in song, but operation “curse the kingdom to Storybrooke” is still a go.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma finds Killian to let him know what’s up with The Black Fairy. He offers his help, but Emma bats that idea down and tells him to meet her at the alter at 6pm. Something about the way the she says this seems to be lacking in Charming hope and maybe this is goodbye not a see you later. Killian calls her on it and she turns to leave but not before a tearful, “I love you.”
Speaking of Hook, Snow and Charming have plans to attack the Evil Queen with their serenades. The only problem is they need a ship. Enter their future son-in-law the Pirate. Hook gladly agrees to take them to the Queen for a hefty price; a chance to kill his arch nemesis the crocodile, who’s being held prisoner under royal guard. After the one-handed wonder sings a song (incredibly, I might add) about how “Revenge is Gonna Be Mine,” the deal is made and royal duo set off to ensure their little girl has her best chance.
A stroll down Memory lane…
In the present, Killian ignores Emma and decides to help her the only way he knows how; by poisoning that traitor Rumple with a dart dipped in nightshade. While Rumple overcame the effects of the poison post-Neverland, it can still knock him out giving Killian a chance at getting his final and deadly revenge. Unfortunately, just like Killian is trying to protect his family so is The Black Fairy and she poofs to her son’s side, much to the dismay of the pirate.
At the station, Emma’s going through a box of old photos trying to gather the strength to face her final battle. Henry tries reminding her she’s stronger than she thinks, but Emma seems to be struggling with her faith. Always observant, Henry (Jared Gilmore) notices the old tape deck amongst her keepsakes and asks what it is. Emma blows him off like the tape is no biggie and hugs him goodbye as she prepares for her fight.
With Emma losing hope and an ominous ball of cursed evil hanging over the town’s head, the Mills sisters get to work. Zelena wonders if Regina cast the first curse, she must have some clue in stopping the one this time. Time is the operative word and Regina realizes the key to stopping this curse is isolating the time stopping mechanism.
That’s when we flashback to the Evil Queen visiting an imprisoned Rumple, who seems immune to Snow’s singing wish. The angry witch has come for help to extinguish the song that could be her undoing. Instead, the Dark One wonders if he chose the right witch to cast his curse. The Queen has no idea her wicked sister is watching this whole thing unfold and singing about replacing her sister as the wielder of Rumple’s curse.
The Battle Begins…
No matter how hard he tries Rumple never changes. That is why it’s not surprising when he shows up to steal Regina and Zelena’s potion to stop the curse. The curse must go on and Emma is walking into a possible trap! With no potion or any way to stop The Black Fairy, Emma runs into the awful woman at Regina’s office. The savior’s ready to kick this final battle into gear and The Black Fairy couldn’t be more pleased. Instantly, Emma’s entire family (sans Henry) are magically sent to the office and frozen in place. Pushing the savior’s buttons even more, The Black Fairy insists Emma can’t do this alone and she should just end this now, by handing over her heart. The horrible woman even took the savior’s magic to keep Emma at a major disadvantage. Needing time to regroup the savior runs and finds Henry who, like a true Charming, is always up for a hope speech. Emma tells him her fear of being alone goes all the way back to that tape he asked about. It reminded her of how alone she always felt and how she always ran from trouble. Henry reminds her that she’s changed and has a family who loves her. This makes Emma choose to sacrifice herself for the sake of her loved ones so Henry doesn’t have to grow up alone. Maybe the final chapter was always meant to be the savior’s end.
Cut to the Enchanted Forest where the Charmings are having a sing off with the Evil Queen. As it turns out the true love’s song puts a kink in the Queens magic, regardless of how much she tries to deny its powers. The music vanquishes every fireball thrown at Snow and Charming until the Evil Queen whips out a magical green box and traps not only the Charming’s song, but the entire Kingdom’s as well. Does this mean love isn’t the strongest magic of all? Not exactly. We find out later from Blue (Keegan Connor Tracy) that this musical wish wasn’t meant for them, it was meant for Emma to use in the future. Blue explains that the music is trapped, but not gone and thanks to Snow’s wish for a happy ending Emma will get hers someday. When she faces the final battle, she won’t be alone. All the voices of the people who love her will be inside her heart. Blue casts a spell to make sure everyone forgets the song wish and hopes when the time is right, Emma will know what to do with them. Luckily, that’s exactly what happens when Emma offers up her heart and The Black Fairy can’t crush it. Henry bursts in with the reminder that she’s always had the strength inside her, which ignites the songs in her heart, letting Emma know that love is more powerful than darkness. She sings her heart out and slowly her magic comes back, waking her family to the melody. Emma, with the assist of Henry, puts her heart back in her chest and The Black Fairy flies away to fight another day.
I now pronounce you…
The episode ends like every other fairytale that was ever written, with the Princess marrying her Pirate. Ok, maybe not like every fairytale, but close. Emma Swan finds her happy ending in Killian Jones and the two exchange vows in front of their friends and family. The wedding goes off without hitch, until The Black Fairy ruins the day by releasing the dark curse on the town. Where will this curse take them and will our heroes be separated? Find out next week in the 2-hour season finale of “Once Upon a Time.”