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The Final Battle
Season 6, Episode 21/22
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Airdate May 14, 2017
Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Steve Pearlman (part 1)
Ralph Hemecker (part 2)
Episode Guide
Previous
The Song in Your Heart
Next
Hyperion Heights
The Final Battle is the twenty-first and twenty-second episode, and the two hour sixth season finale of the American fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time, which aired on May 14, 2017.

In the episode, Henry and Emma work together to defeat the Black Fairy; in The Enchanted Forest, Snow, David, Hook, Regina, Zelena, the Queen, Aladdin, and Jasmine team up to save the worlds from being destroyed.

View the The Final Battle Gallery.

Plot

Opening sequence

The giant beanstalk springs from the ground in the forest. (Part 1)

The Seattle Monorail is seen in the forest. (Part 2)

Event Chronology

The Storybrooke events take place after the current events of "The Song in Your Heart", while the current events in the Enchanted Forest occur after "Mother's Little Helper".

The future events depicted in both Part 1 and Part 2 occurs in a new realm during the events of “The Eighth Witch,” and the events in "Hyperion Heights".

Part 1

In An Enchanted forest

In the woods, a man is seen running away from a beast. He reaches a cabin and sends his daughter Lucy away with the "Once Upon A Time" storybook, telling her to keep it safe as he fights off the creature.

In Storybrooke, the Enchanted Forest and other realms during Fiona’s Curse

It has been hours after Fiona enacted her curse on the entire town that engulfed everyone after the wedding. However, Henry, who is spared, thanks to being the Author and having the Heart of the Truest Believer, wakes up with the Storybook in his hands, and starts searching for his family. After running into Archie, he tells Henry that Emma is at the hospital, where she has been committed to a psychiatric ward for the past two years. While visiting Emma, he learns that with Fiona's Curse, Regina's original curse was never broken, and Emma had stopped believing him. He asks her where Snow, Hook and David are, but the new Curse now has Emma believing that these events never happened, citing that she has made so much progress and can’t go back, then tells Henry to stop telling her about these stories. Suddenly Fiona (who is now the Mayor and Henry's mother) arrives and takes the book from Henry, but before he leaves he whispers in Emma's ear to tell her to resist, as the Final Battle is coming.

At the same time in the Enchanted Forest, Snow, David, Hook and Regina wake up and discover they have returned to the place where the events that lead to the First Curse began. They discover it is a prison for them and is tied to the book. Fiona, who is using this to banish Emma's family forever, tells Emma that she must burn the storybook if she wants to be released from the hospital, but Emma refuses, as she doesn't want to break Henry's heart. Back in the Enchanted Forest, everyone realizes that the Final Battle will begin over Emma's soul and belief. Fiona is trying to get Emma to stop believing so the realm of stories will be consumed by the Darkness and cease to exist. It is later revealed that as each realm is destroyed, the Darkness grows stronger, and so does Fiona, while Light Magic weakens across the remaining cursed realms. When Zelena shows up with the Mad Hatter hat, they transport to a portal of doors, where Zelena's realm (Oz) has disappeared. If Fiona succeeds, she can make Emma destroy all the realms, prompting them to come up with a plan to save Emma. At the same time in Storybrooke, Fiona brings lunch to Gold and asks that he fix her watch, as it appears that she is now the primary support in the wake of Belle's "disappearance."

It appears that Emma is starting to lose her faith, as the realms start to be consumed by the Darkness, forcing everyone and all the survivors from the other realms to take shelter in the Evil Queen's Castle, including Aladdin and Jasmine after Agrabah was consumed. Outside, Hook and David climb the magic beanstalk, in hopes of finding a magic bean that will get everyone back to Storybrooke. At the same time, Henry breaks Emma out of the hospital and takes his mother to the rooftop where she was married, in hopes that she will remember her wedding to Killian. She has glimpses of her memories, but Emma has doubts and tells Henry that she wants to return to Boston, for fear that Fiona will put her back in the psychiatric ward. Henry decides to help her. Meanwhile, Gideon is extremely upset with Belle "deserting" him and now sees Fiona as more of a mother than Belle, and Gold's attempts to console his son don't help either. When Gold searches through his belongings, he also discovers that most of his magic potions had been removed by Fiona's Curse.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina and Zelena try to work on a potion but most of her ingredients have been removed by Fiona's Curse, when The Evil Queen arrives and offers to help. In Storybrooke, hours later, Henry attempts to steal the Storybook back from Fiona but she catches him, and believes that she can use him to control Emma. As Henry escapes, Fiona uses her magic to push him down the stairs.

Moments later, Gold asks Fiona to reopen the investigation into Belle’s disappearance. As Fiona tries to talk him out of it, she shows him pictures of Belle enjoying life in other countries, and wants Gold to move on from Belle. Back in the Enchanted Forest, Hook and David began their search for the magic beans and Hook finds one, only to encounter a dragon. The creature chases them down the beanstalk after they take the bean. At the hospital, Henry wakes up and discovers that Fiona is manipulating Emma during their visit. Afterwards, Fiona finally succeeds in convincing Emma to burn the storybook in the furnace as Fiona tells Emma it's the only way to keep Henry safe and to end the delusions. Thanks to Fiona's scheme, most of the realms depicted in the book are consumed by Darkness (at least 17 realms), and the Darkness arrives on the outskirts of the Enchanted Forest, in the form of a massive storm of Dark Magic. However, as the book is burning, the pages flip to a picture of Hook, and Emma stares at his image as the flames consume the page.

Part 2

In Enchanted Forest (in the Future)

Many years in the future, the young girl returns to her home and discovers everything destroyed. However, Tiger Lily shows up and tells her to take the book to her mother, telling her that the fairies foresaw that she will be reunited with her father and to never give up on the lesson the book gives, to never lose hope.

In Storybrooke

Back in Storybrooke, Fiona, convinced that she has succeeded, brings what was left of the book to Henry and gloats that Emma has lost her faith, though Henry refuses to accept this. Emma leaves Storybrooke to return to Boston. When she gets home, she discovers that Henry left her a hand-drawn storybook in order to make her remember their past. Meanwhile, as the realms are starting to collapse, and the Darkness approaches, David and Hook escape the dragon, but while climbing down the beanstalk, they lose their balance and fall. Regina and the Evil Queen discover that the bean had withered and lost its magic, because Fiona's Curse has caused Emma's lack of faith to drain the magic from the realm. Snow finds Hook alright, and she tells him to take the bean to the castle without her. When Snow finds an unconscious David, she kisses him and when he wakes, he tells her that Darkness never wins. As they rush to the castle, the storm of Dark Magic accelerates towards them.

In Storybrooke, Henry goes to the pawnshop and meets with Gold who attempts to feign ignorance of the Curse. However, Henry goes to the back and uncovers Gold's potions, proving that Gold remembers his past. Gold acknowledges Henry's cleverness, but also refuses to help Henry as his primary concern is finding Belle. Henry decides that he should take on Fiona himself, and Gold heals his injuries and allows him to take an enchanted sword, from the shop. Back in the Enchanted Forest, the Darkness has arrived at the castle, the Evil Queen decides to sacrifice herself and use all of her magic to protect the castle, in order to buy enough time for Regina to restore the bean with her magic, while everyone else gathers together in the courtyard. However, Regina fails to restore the bean in time, and the Darkness bursts into the castle, surrounding them, while slowly closing in. They realize that Henry is their only hope, since Regina can't restore the bean before they are all consumed. When Henry arrives at the Mayor's office with the sword, Emma arrives. She tells Henry that while she doesn't remember being who Henry tells her she is, but she does believe that she can be that person with his help. Her renewed belief stops the destruction of the Enchanted Forest just in time to save the others. The Darkness pulls back, revealing that everything in the Enchanted Forest Realm had been consumed, except for a small column of land that the group stands on. At the same time, Gold uses a tracking spell on "Her Handsome Hero" to find Belle, who was hiding from Fiona, and she hides from Gold as well, having been turned into a coward by Fiona's Curse. Gold tells her about Fiona's deception, and vows revenge on Fiona for what she had done to Belle.

Fiona stops by the pawn shop to see Gideon, now that Emma has regained her memories, where it turns out that Fiona had reclaimed Gideon's heart with the Curse. Then, she uses him to recover her own wand, which she uses to decipher the mysterious writings that Henry had scribbled in the page. Fiona then reads the inscriptions, which details the birth of Light and Darkness, their battle throughout the ages waged via their emissaries, the deaths of the previous Saviors and their enemies at each other's hands, and how the Final Battle will begin after the Emma's birth. After Gideon leaves to find Emma, Gold arrives in the shop, but Fiona fails to trick Gold into thinking that she had only come for her watch. When Gold confronts Fiona about her plans, she tells her son that once the Final Battle is over, the Curse will be lifted and they can be a family again. She also tells Gold that after she destroys all Light Magic, she will have so much power that she will be able to break the Laws of Magic at will, and she will even be able to bring back the dead. She tells him that she can bring back his first-born son, Baelfire, for him. She goes on to say that with her new powers, she will be able to make his family love him as the Dark One, so that he can keep his power and be loved at the same time. However, Gold knows that is will come with a steep price and tells her that he refuses to pay the price of magic anymore, and he slips Fiona's wand into his hand. He forces her onto the ground with magic, vowing to make her pay for what she did to Belle and Gideon. Fiona tells Gold that she had deciphered Henry's writing. She learned that Darkness cannot destroy Light, since Darkness isn't strong enough. However, Light can destroy Light. She explains she gave Gideon one final command; to kill Emma, and that even if she dies, Gideon will still be forced to carry out her command. Gold decides to test this and kills Fiona with her own wand, breaking the Dark Curse. This causes Snow, David, Regina, Hook, and Zelena to be transported back to Storybrooke from the Enchanted Forest, while Emma and the other residents of Storybrooke regain their memories. Soon afterward, Belle returns to Gold and comforts him over his actions, while Gideon arrives at the Mayor's Office with the sword Hrunting in his hand. As expected, Gideon confronts Emma, and is ready to face off against her.

Both Gold and Belle set off to search for Gideon's heart. Henry helps Emma escape from Gideon (knocking him out with a fire extinguisher) with Emma placing a protection spell to contain him temporarily. The others realize that Fiona has crafted the perfect trap: If Gideon kills Emma, Light will be destroyed. And if Emma kills Gideon, she will turn dark and Light will still be destroyed. Regina consoles Emma and encourages her to find another way like she always does. Emma attempts to hold off Gideon as Gold finds Gideon's heart. When Gold finds Gideon's heart he is tempted by a manifestation of the Darkness, which takes the form of his Enchanted Forest counterpart, Rumplestiltskin. The Dark One manifestation tells him to let Gideon kill Emma so he can finally have it all: power and love. The manifestation reminds Gold of what Fiona told him, that if Emma dies, his Dark Magic will increase exponentially. After it's all over, he can spend all the time he wants exploring the world with Belle, before spending the next 100 years destroying it. Gold resists the temptation and chooses to do the right thing and tries to use Gideon's heart to stop him from killing Emma. However Fiona's spell keeps him from being able to free Gideon, and instead, Gideon's heart stops beating and dims. The manifestation taunts Gold before disappearing, and Gold heads out to Belle, who consoles him for trying to do the right thing. Back at the intersection, Emma and Gideon fight with Emma acknowledging her role as the Savior to protect those she loves, protect the innocent and to spread light and hope no matter what the cost. Realizing what she must do, Emma throws down her sword and Gideon apologizes and kills her, releasing an enormous blast of light magic, ending the Final Battle and causing Gideon to disappear.

As everyone gathers around Emma's body Henry, using true love's kiss, brings her back to life. Gold and Belle discover to their shock that Gideon is once again a baby with his heart restored into his body. Realizing that this is a new start as a family, Belle tells Gold that this is their happy beginning. Snow then sees the "Once Upon a Time" storybook reappear. Henry looks at the final page of the storybook which suddenly writes itself with the words "When both good and evil did the right thing, faith was restored and the final battle was won." Snow reminds everyone that the story isn’t over. The Enchanted Forest, Neverland, Wonderland, Agrabah, Arendelle, the Land of Oz and all the other realms are restored and their residents obtain their happy beginnings, as does everyone in Storybrooke. Emma and Hook patrol as the town Sheriffs, Henry goes to school, Regina returns to her role as Mayor when dwarfs gave her title "queen" without "evil", David farms with a growing Neal, Zelena spends time with baby Robin, Gold and Belle renew their relationship and raise their son together, Snow White becomes a teacher again and Robin Hood propose to the Evil Queen in Regina's restored palace. They all gather together at Granny's to celebrate their lives together.

In Seattle, Many Years Later

Many "Years Later" in Seattle, Lucy arrives at the man's apartment by train. Lucy tells the man, who is revealed to be an adult Henry, that she is his daughter and that his family needs him, although Henry no longer remembers her.

Production

"The Final Battle" marks the last appearances as regulars of six of the cast: Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared S. Gilmore, Emilie de Ravin, and Rebecca Mader. The episodes' bookends set up new timelines that will continue in the seventh season. However, Gilmore's character, Henry Mills, will be played by Andrew J. West, who along with newcomer Alison Fernandez, became series regulars starting with this episode. Mader would end up with the most season 7 appearances among all departing regulars.

Sean Maguire does not appear in the episode, but is credited, as he lends his voice for a few seconds in a scene with the Evil Queen.

This also marks the series' final Sunday night airing after six seasons, as ABC announced on May 16, 2017 that Once Upon a Time would move to Friday nights starting in the Fall of 2017.


Trivia

Part 1

  • When we first cut to Emma in the hospital, she is painting a swan (her namesake).
  • The object/animal/person in this episode is a growing Beanstalk.
  • Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook) broke his foot in the previous episode. When he's standing at the bottom of the beanstalk in this episode, you can see his left foot is larger, due to the cast.
  • Where Hook and David are talking near the beanstalk, the camera pans out and you can see a black cast on Colin O'Donoghue (Hook)'s foot from when he broke it in the previous episode shooting.
  • The scene where Emma does pull-ups on the tipped metal frame of her bed in the mental hospital is a clear reference to a scene in Terminator 2 where Sarah Connor does the same thing. And just like in Sarah Connor's case, Emma's "delusions" are not actually delusions.

Part 2

  • The object/animal/person in this episode is the Seattle Center Monorail.
  • Emma is locked away because no one else believes in the danger she has fought. She is doing pull ups on an overturned bed frame. That is lifted straight from Sarah Conner in 'Terminator 2' and even the staging of the shot is identical.
  • The scene where everyone comes together at Granny's for a meal takes on the appearance of the painting "The Last Supper" with Emma centered as the Saviour.
  • In the final scene, Lucy knocks on Henry's apartment door...#815. This is a reference to Flight 815 from LOST which OUAT's producers were involved with.
  • The final sequence with the older Henry Mills takes inspiration and even borrows some lines from the pilot with Emma Swan and a young Henry Mills.
  • During the scene where Belle and Rumple are dancing the background music is the Beauty and the Beast theme
  • The following original stars are NOT returning for Season 7 (although guest appearances were hinted for some): Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow), Josh Dallas (David), Jared Gilmore (Henry), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), and Rebecca Mader (Zelena).
  • It is revealed that Andrew J. West is an older Henry Mills and Alison Fernandez is playing his daughter, setting up for a new adventure after Jennifer Morrison's (Emma Swan) departure from the series.
Episodes
Season 1
PilotThe Thing You Love MostSnow FallsThe Price of GoldThat Still Small VoiceThe ShepherdThe Heart Is a Lonely HunterDesperate SoulsTrue North7:15 A.M.Fruit of the Poisonous TreeSkin DeepWhat Happened to FrederickDreamyRed-HandedHeart of DarknessHat TrickThe Stable BoyThe ReturnThe StrangerAn Apple Red as BloodA Land Without Magic
Season 2
BrokenWe Are BothLady of the LakeThe CrocodileThe DoctorTallahasseeChild of the MoonInto the DeepQueen of HeartsThe Cricket GameThe OutsiderIn the Name of the BrotherTinyManhattanThe Queen Is DeadThe Miller's DaughterWelcome to StorybrookeSelfless, Brave and TrueLaceyThe Evil QueenSecond Star to the RightAnd Straight On 'til Morning
Season 3
The Heart of the Truest BelieverLost GirlQuite a Common FairyNasty HabitsGood FormAriel (Episode)Dark HollowThink Lovely ThoughtsSave HenryThe New NeverlandGoing HomeNew York City SerenadeWitch HuntThe TowerQuiet MindsIt's Not Easy Being GreenThe Jolly RogerBleeding ThroughA Curious ThingKansasSnow DriftsThere's No Place Like Home
Season 4
A Tale of Two SistersWhite OutRocky RoadThe ApprenticeBreaking GlassFamily BusinessThe Snow QueenSmash the MirrorFallShattered SightHeroes and VillainsDarkness on the Edge of TownUnforgivenEnter the DragonPoor Unfortunate SoulBest Laid PlansHeart of GoldSympathy for the De VilLilyMotherOperation Mongoose
Season 5
The Dark SwanThe PriceSiege PerilousThe Broken KingdomDreamcatcherThe Bear and the BowNimueBirthThe Bear KingBroken HeartSwan SongSouls of the DepartedLabor of LoveDevil's DueThe Brothers JonesOur DecayHer Handsome HeroRuby SlippersSistersFirebirdLast RitesOnly YouAn Untold Story
Season 6
The SaviorA Bitter DraughtThe Other ShoeStrange CaseStreet RatsDark WatersHeartlessI'll Be Your MirrorChangelingsWish You Were HereTougher Than the RestMurder Most FoulIll-Boding PatternsPage 23A Wondrous PlaceMother's Little HelperAwakeWhere Bluebirds FlyThe Black FairyThe Song in Your HeartThe Final Battle
Season 7
Hyperion HeightsA Pirate's LifeThe Garden of Forking PathsBeautyGreenbacksWake Up CallEloise GardenerPretty in BlueOne Little TearThe Eighth WitchSecret GardenA Taste of the HeightsKnightfallThe Girl in the TowerSisterhoodBreadcrumbsChosenThe GuardianFlower ChildIs This Henry Mills?HomecomingLeaving Storybrooke
Wonderland
Down the Rabbit HoleTrust MeForget Me NotThe SerpentHeart of StoneWho's AliceBad BloodHomeNothing to FearDirty Little SecretsHeart of the MatterTo Catch a ThiefAnd They Lived...
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