Once Upon a Time “A Land Without Magic” Review

It’s the end of Once Upon a Time‘s freshmen season and like any show’s season finale it must be effective, evocative and engaging in a way that makes people shout “I have to wait four more months for the next episode?”  So did it do that?  Read on to find out.

Official description from ABC:

Emma and Regina work together to save Henry’s life; Prince Charming tries to escape from the Evil Queen and reunite with Snow White.

The basic premise for the show is that the Evil Queen cast a curse that sent all the story book characters we think we know to a land without magic (our world).  In order to break this curse Snow White and Prince Charming sent their baby daughter (Emma) through in a protective shell.  Emma grew up in our world with no memory of where she came from.

To further complicate matters she also had a son, Henry, that she put up for adoption.  When Emma reached her 28th birthday, Henry (now a little boy) found her and brought her into a web of intrigue centered around his stepmother Regina and a town full of story book characters called Storybrooke.  Only a handful of the characters in the town remember who they were, Regina (the Evil Queen), Mr. Gold (Rumpelstiltskin) Jefferson (the Mad Hatter) and August (Pinocchio).  Everyone else is oblivious.

Leading into the finale Emma decided to leave Stroybrooke so that she and Regina would stop fighting over her son.  As a parting gift she was given a poisoned apple turnover.  She didn’t eat it.  Her son did.  He did it to try and make his mom believe in what was happening around her.  But as a result he fell into a death like state as Emma finally believed everything he had said about this town.

Because of that everything came to a head in this episode.  The writers didn’t try and hold back the story as character arcs moved forward, and the show shook up the formula it had followed all season long.  It had everything you could want in a season finale and more.  It had dragons, true love, heroic acts and devious betrayals all culminating in a cliffhanger that would make any watcher eager for the next season.

This finale was simply the show at its best, bring on season 2!