By Meredith Loftus
Once Upon a Time’s fifth Season has officially wrapped!
The two-hour season finale, “Only You” and “An Untold Story,” rallied our belief in magic while introducing a host of characters whose untold stories will be presented audiences in Season 6.
The people of New York City were given a magical spectacle as Henry opened a portal from a fountain to bring his family back to our realm.
Rumple has gone to an unknown realm in the hope of waking Belle from the sleeping curse, giving the keys of Storybrooke to Mr. Hyde and other characters from a Land of Untold Stories.
Just as Dr. Jekyll separated himself from his evil alter ego, Regina physically removed the Evil Queen from within in her, but now she is out and ready to do some damage.
With these factors in play, we look to what should be a fascinating season of television, starting back this Fall.
Heart of the Truest Believer
This series was founded on a young boy with a heart full of hope and a belief in magic. As this boy grew up, the consequences of magic began to take a toll on him. All magic comes at a price, as the show reminds us. Due to events surrounded by magic, Henry lost his father, Killian Jones on multiple occasions, and a peaceful life in New York that he had with Emma. He has also seen Emma and Regina embrace the darker sides of their magic to cause damage in the lives of others. In the season finale, the culmination of this in addition to Robin Hood’s death and Rumple tethering the Olympian crystal to Storybrooke’s magic finally breaks Henry. The fire has gone out of the heart of the truest believer, and all that remains is anger. As a boy in Season 2, he attempted to destroy magic in Storybrooke. Now as a teenager, he wants real results. Recruiting his girlfriend, the Author goes rogue in New York City and uses the Holy Grail to destroy magic in the Land Without Magic. In that moment, Henry really believes he is doing the right thing for his family: giving all of them the chance to live their lives free of magic and let events unfold naturally.
Of course, it isn’t until after the fact that Henry finds out part of his family is trapped in another realm with no magic to bring them back at that time. He begins to grow remorseful of his actions, fearing he has trapped his grandparents, aunt, and potential stepfather for good. However, hope is not lost, much as this series often reminds us. The Dragon illuminates Henry with the nature of magic in our realm: magic is all around us. The problem is that we blind ourselves by our unwillingness to entertain the possibility of such wonder existing. Dark magic is not needed to remind us how dark and cruel the world can be. We get used to the hate and cynicism, letting it dictate our attitude and behavior towards the human condition. But if we allow ourselves to look up, we may be surprised to see the magic that surrounds us. We just have to be willing to see it.
As Henry softens his heart to magic, he realizes it’s intervening throughout his life, even during the time before Killian showed up at their doorstep. In the ways that magic took away precious people and moments to Henry, magic has brought him a large family who love and support him, a home in Storybrooke, and the responsibility as the Author for all the realms. The light in his heart is sparked once again, and for a brief moment in time, Henry got a group of pedestrians in New York to believe in magic. Through that belief and embracing the magic around him, the portal opens for the rest of his family to reunite with him, Violet, Emma, and Regina. With the reminder of the good that magic can bring, the heart of the truest believer has been revived from its weakened state, now back in full force. Plus, it doesn’t help that his first girlfriend is sticking around town.