Once Upon a Time: Swan Song
As a show runner, inevitably, there will come a time in your life when your series is dangling on the precipice of cancellation, your lead actress has just dumped you via Instagram, and seemingly nothing can save it but a miracle, a Hail Mary, and/or a calculated risk that has appeared so much in prime time over these past few years that it’s started to become cliché. You guessed it! Welcome to Once Upon a Time’s Musical Wedding Episode!
So rev up the song in your heart, strap on your dancing shoes, and start doing those vocal exercises, because we’ve got nothing to lose but our dignity!
Hit Me Baby, One More Time!
Once upon a Time, Little Orphan Emma wants to try out for the local talent show, get discovered and become Britney Spears… without the whole shaving her head, bashing in a car with an umbrella, and marrying K-Fed part, of course. She uses a tape recorder as her recording studio, because auto-tuning apps are not yet available to the general public. But then some bully kid shows up and crushes her dreams, as they are wont to do. “You will never become Britney Spears,” taunts the bully. “You’ll just end up the lead on an ABC show that airs between America’s Funniest Home Videos and The Match Game hosted by Alec Baldwin.”
Kids can be so cruel!
More Random Singing Please!
This week’s fairytale flashback involves Snow White making a wish that will give her unborn daughter a the weapon she needs to battle six seasons of increasingly improbable storybook villains. The good news is that Snow’s wish comes true. The bad news is that weapon apparently involves the entire cast of the show breaking out in song at regular intervals throughout the episode.
First up on American Idol: Fairytale Character Edition are Snow and Charming. They sing a song about love being powerful magic that occasionally exerts itself through random acts of singing and dancing. Basically, this song is the one designed to explain the plot of the rest of the episode. My favorite part was the CGI Bird at the beginning. That little chick has some pipes!
The Evil Queen’s up next. Her song about defeating love through an evil curse that sends people to Maine(!), is a bit less PG-rated. There’s rump shaking involved, and twerking, lots and lots of twerking. Miley Cyrus would be impressed… and also very, very frightened.
Emma’s future hubby has to sing too. So, Snow and Prince Charming track him down in a bar, and offer him the right to kill Rumplestilskin, in exchange for a ride on the Jolly Roger to the Evil Queen’s lair… despite the fact that said lair is right across the street from their castle, and seemingly completely land-locked.
Speaking of other realms, apparently, Snow’s “wish” has traveled all the way out to Oz, where the Wicked Witch has concocted a curse to counteract all this damn singing, and prove that she’s better than her sister the Evil Queen at being “BAD”… but not before she gets in a song of her own, of course.
Back in fairytale land, the Evil Queen and Snow and Charming have one final sing-off together, before the Evil Queen uses the Wicked Witch’s curse (which was sent via Fedex?) to stop all the singing, thus rendering Snow’s wish seemingly meaningless.
Enter the Blue Fairy.
“Hey, what gives, Blue? What kind of effed up wish granting was that? How is my singing for five minutes in the second to last episode of the show going to save my daughter from evil,” Snow complains.
“Wait about 30 years, and I’ll show you,” offers Blue cryptically.
“30 years?!!! This show will probably be canceled by then! You are terrible at your job!” Snow gripes.
About 30 Years Later…
Back in Storybrooke in present day, the Black Fairy arrives to tell the gang, (1) surprise Rumple screwed y’all over for the 85,000 time and I’m not actually dead, like you thought, (2) I’ve stored up an entire town’s worth of black farts to stink up your wedding, Emma, unless you give me your heart.
“Oh no! Not a stinky wedding!” Emma exclaims, nervously. “It’s bad enough, I have to get married on the smog-filled roof of a tacky diner! Now, I need to worry about gas too!”
Emma heads to Hook’s to bid him what she believes to be a final goodbye. Meanwhile, the Evil Queen and Wicked Witch manage to freeze time in a gambit to stop the whole smelly fart/ wedding destruction thing from happening, but only succeed in freezing themselves. (Oops!)
Henry randomly finds Little Orphan Emma’s tape recorder, and wonders whether Emma can defeat the Black Fairy by becoming Britney Spears, after all. But a completely defeated Emma “valiantly” decides she’d rather give up her heart than shave her head, break a car window with an umbrella, and marry K-Fed (a wise choice, if you ask me).
Once Emma leaves, Henry finds the Storybook page from earlier in the episode in which the Blue Fairy told Snow White that her singing curse would help Emma in about 30 years. He looks at his watch and gets very excited about this.
When Emma encounters the Black Fairy, the latter taunts her with the images of her not-too-bright frozen friends. So, Emma offers up her heart to rescue them. But, much to the Black Fairy’s surprise, she can’t vanquish Emma’s heart. Why? You guessed it! It’s filled with the songs of all her friends, loved ones… and the Wicked Witch.
So, of course, Emma has to start singing too. Her song is about how all her life she thought she was alone. But she wasn’t, because her loved ones (and the Wicked Witch) inadvertently made a mix tape together and inserted it inside her heart. Emma uses the mix tape to unfreeze the rest of the main cast, and vanquish the Black Fairy… but only temporarily, of course, because we still have one more episode left in the season.
Because wedding’s on the roof of a diner are way less tacky than weddings inside a diner…
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for folks. Hook and Emma get to get married. They choose to do it on the roof of Granny’s diner, because the show is on the verge of cancellation, and doesn’t have the budget to build a new set on such short notice. It’s a sweet wedding, and everyone’s invited, even the seemingly forever forgotten, Baby Neal!
Emma is wearing her mom’s wedding dress. And Hook is looking super dapper in a tux that’s surprisingly NOT made of leather. Jiminy Cricket officiates the wedding, because he apparently got ordained on the same website that gave him his degree in psychiatry. Emma and Hook then exchange their own heartfelt vows. And, because this is a musical episode, they naturally force the entire cast to break into just one more song. This one is about “Happy Beginnings,” and is super fitting to be featured in a show about to get cancelled.
Then, the Black Fairy’s curse comes and engulfs the entire wedding in stinky black farts. (So, when the cast sang “Happy Beginnings,” perhaps, they meant “Smelly Beginnings?”)
But it’s OK, Once fans! Emma now knows she has a mixtape in her heart! And everyone knows that stinky black farts are no match for mixtapes…
…unless, the show ends up being canceled after next week, in which case all bets are off…