I never did say anything about what I thought about the finale of Once Upon a Time. I suspect that anyone who’s not waiting for Netflix or the DVDs who’s planning to watch it has seen it by now, so there will be spoilers ahead.
For the most part, the wrap-up of the plot for the current season was okay. It was nice to see the original characters again, and there were some nice moments. It might have helped if the whole season had been coherent. It mostly reminded me of a story told by a kindergartener, jumping around randomly as they think of something new that’s entirely unrelated to anything that had happened before. You could cut out huge chunks of the season without affecting the plot because they ended up being utterly irrelevant to the plot. That makes me wonder if there was some mid-season course correction as they realized that either some of the things weren’t working or that viewers were responding very negatively. I was actually kind of okay with the resolution for Rumpelstiltskin (though I think his “redemption” was missing a few steps). It seemed fitting.
But then we got to the series wrap-up, which sprang out of nowhere and made absolutely zero sense on any level.
Seriously, they decided it was a good idea to merge all the various story worlds and put them into that one little town in Maine that was created by the original curse (multiple worlds, in one little town, in Maine, which isn’t that big a state?), and then supposedly all these worlds elected Regina, the former Evil Queen (who has yet to actually apologize or show remorse for committing mass murder) the literal Queen of the Universe, with all the people she spent decades tormenting bowing to her.
Even the worst Mary Sue fanfic writer would be ashamed to publicly post something like that about their self insert character. We’ve managed to top Rose getting her very own human version of the Doctor.
Not to mention, it would seriously mess with the timeline, since the season 7 characters were about 26 years into the future before being sent back in time with the curse. But now all the worlds are smushed together, so will the “present” versions of those characters still go and do the same things, so that the curse will be cast and they’ll end up back in time? What happens if that curse doesn’t get cast, so that the events that led to those characters being where they were and that led to combining the worlds never happen?
Not that the timeline of the season worked at all. We had some characters aging enough that they were played by different actors, but then there were other characters still played by the same actors, even though nearly 30 years had passed — and without any kind of aging makeup, and with those characters being treated like they were still the same age. This in a show in which for the first six seasons it was a plot point that a daughter and her parents were the same age because they’d been frozen in time while she grew up, so it was hard to tell in season seven if this was supposed to be a plot point or if they were just being sloppy.
There was so much potential in this series. They had a brilliant premise and a mostly great cast, and they occasionally created wonderful moments. But the overall direction of the series was just so very bad that this finale was fitting. I keep wanting to rewrite it all, fixing the flaws. I hope most of the cast members find good new roles and land on their feet. I’m still trying to find a way I can file off the serial numbers and create something that looks original enough to pass but that allows me to rewrite it and fix it. I have an idea, and we’ll see if I can pull it off.