… Happily Ever After.
If a series finale doesn’t end as beautifully as this one then it completely ruins the entire show. A special acknowledgment to writers and executive producers, Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis along with Jane Espenson, and Zack Estrin, for doing their characters and story justice with such an outstanding finale.
The episode opens up with Jafar and Amara completing the task to reverse the laws of magic – making someone fall in love, changing the past, and bringing someone back from the dead. He compels Anastasia to believe she’s in love with him and poor Will watches them kiss (and awkwardly if I may add). The Sultan tries to stop him from doing any more damage than he’s already done, and Jafar magically makes him accept him as a son. As the Sultan expresses wanting Jafar as a son – in a trance of course – Jafar kills him by making him feel the same thing he felt when he was being drowned. It’s really such a shame that his heart’s turned so cruel, even the one thing he wanted most couldn’t inspire him to leave his villainous ways.
Cyrus, Alice, and Amara head over to the Rabbit’s house in order to heal Cyrus’ wound and plot to take down Jafar for good. The appearance of the magic carpet was subtly excellent, and these are the kinds of moments that make this series superlative. Alice sets off on her own to gather an army while Jafar does the same. She’s then caught and taken to the castle while Anastasia guards her and Will in their traps.
Later they must return the water Cyrus and his brothers stole to the Well of Wonders in order to reverse the genie curse. This is evidently where the Nyx or as I like to call her “ring girl deux” reappears. Amara chooses to die in order to give her sons the freedom they’ve deserved, but Jafar kills her before she can surrender to the Nyx. A+ appearance on Alice popping up through the ground to save the day. During a final confrontation, Alice tricks Jafar into stealing the water which leads to the Nyx confining him to the life of a genie. The brilliance in this plan is without a doubt noteworthy. Anastasia is finally brought back and she and Will later attend Alice and Cyrus’ wedding in England. The series concludes with Alice reading her daughter a story of her adventures in Wonderland, and the Rabbit is seen watching the happy family have a tea party.
After the introduction of a new villain in the Once Upon A Time series, I always contemplate who’s the worst, and frankly, at this point, I’m not even sure anymore. However, I enjoyed the fact that the writers left the possibility of Jafar ever returning again open because it’s almost as though his story isn’t over yet. Maybe someday he’ll make an appearance to serve as a genie to someone. Naveen Andrews played Jafar incredibly, and while I loathed how evil he was, I found myself continuously impressed with the way Andrews brought him to life. This is primarily another reason it’d be nice to have Jafar back on the small screen because while he’s a detestable character, it takes a phenomenally skilled actor to make the role enjoyable to watch.
There were quite a few scenes in this episode that had me “aww” out loud and almost on the verge of happy tears. Yes, I’m definitely a hopeless romantic and an enormous fan of cheesy heartfelt moments. When Will was trying to convince Anastasia that her love for Jafar wasn’t real, he made a beautiful speech about the kind that is: “It’s messy. It means arguing and making up and laughing and crying and struggling, and sometimes, it doesn’t seem worth it, but it is. And, in the end, when you’re in love, no matter what happens, you forgive each other.”
It’s been wonderful to watch their relationship unfold because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from a series like Once Upon A Time, it’s that true love is unconditional. Will and Anastasia have been through many heartaches and betrayals, but in the end, their love has always brought them back to one another. Their love has allowed their best qualities to shine through when they’ve been needed the most. Even though he was trapped, Will did everything in his ability to reach for her in order to attempt true love’s kiss and bring her back.
Emma Rigby’s a gifted actress, and it’s the most fun to watch Anastasia when she’s happiest. There’s such a darling innocence to her when she’s smiling and these are moments where the real Anastasia, the girl who believed in love more than anything excels through. Even the way she approaches Alice to say hi and loosen the trap was exceptionally sweet – her thrill of being alive and in Will’s presence was easily felt by the audience. The hopeless romantic in me particularly favored their moment at the wedding when the rabbit said “not even death could do you apart” and the camera pans to Will and Anastasia’s loving expressions. There was such simplistic beauty at the moment they got closer because it was evident the other’s company and presence means the absolute world to them.
After everything they’ve been through, it was spectacular to watch Cyrus and Alice get married in her childhood home. And what made the wedding even better than it could’ve been was the fact that she was finally at peace with her father. It was superb to have the Rabbit marry them off as it seems most appropriate and adorable. As a strong and extraordinary couple, their happy ending was much deserved.
Peter Gadiot and Sophie Lowe played the scenes with such exquisite sincerity that they had me grinning from ear to ear. However, the goodbyes with Will and Anastasia are what brought the waterworks. There are a few things that make a television series great, and one of them is undoubtedly a spectacular friendship that always proves to be genuine and everlasting. From the very first episode, it’s been a hysterically superb adventure to watch the friendship between Alice and Will grow. The chemistry between Sophie Lowe and Michael Socha has been divine thus making all their scenes together great to watch.
All in all, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland was a beautiful adventure. The final episode made it clear how valuable love, family, and friendships are. It was once more emphasized that despite anything that’s occurring if those three things are in one’s life then it’s a pretty great one as they are with fill people with hope. Though the effects of Wonderland weren’t always a favorite of mine, the place and series will still be missed. I’d personally love to go back someday, and hopefully see each of these characters make appearances on the original show.
If every show had happy endings like this, I’d be a thrilled TV fanatic. What’d you think of the final episode?