Ok, guys. Real talk: season 4 has been a long and arduous journey. Once Upon a Time developed its new pattern of storytelling where they split the winter and spring seasons in half. Although this makes for some fun new character collaborations, it also results in quite a few very non sequitur plotlines. On Sunday, we wrap the season with another two-part finale. From the promos, it looks like we’ve got a lot to look forward to. So, without further ado, here are five reasons why we should all be really excited for this finale!
This season, Rumple took a walk on the Dark One side. We begin season 4B with a downtrodden, post-banishment Rumplestiltskin living off of Ramen and the force of his own scheming. With the help of his fellow villains (Cruella, Ursula, and later Maleficent), Rumple is able to cross the line back into Storybrooke, wreak some havoc, and attempt to rewrite his story with the help of The Author. But we’ve seen the state of Rumple’s blackened heart. The love he has for Belle is his only chance of salvation, from being taken over completely by darkness. As we will see in the finale, will True Love be enough to save his heart? What will become of his curse? If he is saved, will he still have his magic? These are all questions I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing answered.
Rumple has 99 problems (let’s be honest, he was WAY more than that), and Zelena enslaving him, killing his son, and keeping him locked in a dark root cellar are about 90 of them. Since her introduction into the series in season 3, Zelena has been nothing but bad news. Right when we thought the Wicked Witch was just a painful, repressed memory, she made a comeback. Oh BOY did she make a comeback. And now she’s feasting on an all you can eat buffet of evil for two. Yeah…she’s pregnant. Oh yes, the show runners totally went there. The two-hour season finale has less than 120 minutes to correct this egregious wrong. And this time, she had better not come back or I will be wicked pissed off.
Remember our pure-hearted, noble Snow White and Prince Charming from season one? These wonderful parents who bravely and selflessly sent Emma away from a terrible curse to give their daughter her best fighting chance in life? Well, apparently they went on an extended vacation, because the Snow and Charming we’ve been watching lately are anything but selfless and heroic. We’ve witnessed some terrible parents on this show (see: Cora and Pan), so I wouldn’t say Snow and Charming are the worst, but let’s face it, they kind of suck right now. You would think that these two would know how painful it is to be forcibly separated from your only child, and yet they stole Lily away from Maleficent. And they haven’t exactly helped with Emma’s descent into darkness and borderline murder. Good luck making amends for that level of betrayal, guys. See you in family counseling for season five.
So, we all know that Regina and Rumple are on a mission to rewrite their lives in order to achieve their happy endings. Regina just wants to be with Robin and be able to conceive a child. And Rumple, poor sweet Rumple, just wants a life with Belle and a heart that doesn’t look like it’s been dropped into deep fryer. The promo shows a gallant Rumplestiltskin, riding in, wearing full golden armor on a white steed. Is this his vision of a happy ending, where he gets to play the hero and be with Belle? Or will his happy ending be more realistically in line with his choices in life? Everyone’s new fate depends on The Author’s imagination. Anything could happen.
I saved the best (and most heartbreaking) for last. This couple has always been my primary reason for watching the show. We all have the one OTP: the one we give our hearts, souls, and sanity to. After Once Upon a Time became a swirling vortex of plot and additional characters, Rumbelle, even more so, became my constant in a sea of ever-changing variables. This season has been very traumatizing for us shippers.
The banishment, the incredibly unnecessary love triangle (I mean, really writers?), Rumple’s admission of his wrongdoings, and the look that Belle and Rumple shared when he gently returned her heart to her (yes, he literally held her heart in his hands) have shuffled my emotions faster than me trying to choose a song through my iPodplaylists.
We all know that Rumple’s love for Belle is the only thing saving him from becoming the Dark One forever. When she banished him, it was because of his lies, manipulations, and secret plots throughout their short marriage. This is Rumple’s last chance to prove that his True Love isn’t his power. Belle, as we’ve seen this season, is the key to Rumple’s humanity. Power is his addiction, the crutch he doesn’t think he can live without. For once, Rumple’s power won’t save him. His only hope for survival is the biggest leap of faith in the world: learning to love and be loved in return.