‘Once Upon a Time’ finale review: Did Rumpelstiltskin just [spoiler]?

What do we know now?

It’s been a long time coming, but on Sunday night we took our first major leap forward when it came to “Once Upon a Time” this season.

What happened? It’s rather complicated, but it is fair to say there are several game-changers for the series moving forward.

Emma now understands her role – After trying to rescue Henry from his comatose state, Emma finally realized via the book that everything she had been told all season about fairytales and a curse turned out to be true. However, this didn’t really help her when it came to figuring out how to actually rescue her son.

As much as she wanted to destroy Regina after learning the truth about who she was, she instead had to lean on her for a bit of help in trying to secure the last remaining bit of magic from this world — but in order to obtain it, she had to take on a something (or someone) rather fantastic in the process. Yes, that’s right — Maleficent was back! Kristin Bauer van Straten’s character took on Emma in dragon form, and she had to find a way to take a vial of true love from her belly. (In some great storytelling between worlds, we learned that Charming actually put it there as a part of a deal with Mr. Gold.) Unfortunately, it looks like Bauer’s dragon isn’t going to be around any longer — with one conveniently-lucky throw of a sword, Emma slayed her, and thus continued the journey.

Jefferson has his own plan – After Regina fails to follow through on her deal with him, Sebastian Stan’s character comes up with a rather unique plan of his own to take down the Evil Queen — use her own actions against her.

With that, he took off to the asylum holding Belle, set her free, and then told her to find Mr. Gold and say that Regina was holding her hostage. (Smart.) This story then ended up impacting Emma in a big way, as he tricked her into giving him the love potion while he tied up Regina. What did he use it for? Read on to find out…

Movement for Snow White and Charming – While we did not necessarily see these two get together in Storybrooke during the finale, we did witness true love’s kiss during the fairytale world — and we have a feeling season 2 here be focused on the two trying to get back the kingdom (that is, if we really even see many flashbacks to that world).

All of these stories ultimately set up what was something that we legitimately never saw coming — Henry nearly didn’t make it out of the finale alive. Just when we were starting to think that the show had really made a bold move, they didn’t — but then, they made an even bolder move. In kissing Henry and realizing the full extent of the world around her, Emma ended up breaking the curse.

Thanks to this happening, Snow White and Charming realized who they are finally, had their moment together, and the Evil Queen quickly realized that she is in big trouble. Now that the cat is fully out of the bad, we have no idea where the show is going to go from here. The only thing we do know now is that Rumpelstiltskin (since we can really now call him that) used the love potion to bring magic back into the world. While this is good news for him, it’s also bad news since Regina is now going to have the same exact thing.

Overall, what did you think about this finale — and do you think the stage is set brilliant for one fantastic season 2? If nothing else, hats off to the series for answering some big questions, and also raising the stakes for what could be a stellar story moving forward.

Photo: ABC

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