Sunday night's season finale of Once Upon a Time proved to be quite the heart-stopper, with Storybrooke's residents finally realizing who they are just as a mysterious and ominous-looking purple cloud blanketed the picturesque town.
The episode, A Land Without Magic, features little Henry, the catalyst for the entire story, who is lying still in a hospital after having taken a bite of the poisoned apple pastry Regina (really the Evil Queen) intended for Emma. The doctors are at a loss for how to help him -- because as it was magic that sickened him, only magic can cure him. Which, of course, they don't know. And magic is in very short supply in the area.
Only Regina knows what to do, and Emma goes with her in search of this true love potion -- which is protected in the belly of a dragon, being kept deep beneath the ground. The dragon is none other than the evil Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty fame. Emma manages to retrieve the potion, but Mr. Gold (who is really Rumpelstiltskin) shows up, easily tricks it from her, and takes it for his own nefarious purposes, and the two women find themselves up a creek without the true love paddle.
Or are they?
They go back to the hospital, where Henry's condition has worsened. At this point, it is quite obvious (to the viewers) that there is only one solution -- and when Emma tells her unconscious biological son that she loves him and kisses him on the forehead, she breaks the curse. Henry wakes up and everyone gets out of their spell-imposed stupor and remembers who they are. Prince Charming and Snow White finally find each other and have their much-awaited reunion amid cries of Snow! and Charming! The jig is up.
The Evil Queen makes a run for it, but not before telling Henry that she really does love him. We later see a despondent-looking Regina in Henry's bedroom at their home.
There's one problem, though. Mr. Gold can't let go of his lust for power, even after he's been reunited with his sweetheart, the much younger Belle, played by Emilie de Ravin. He drops the true love potion in a well, causing a purple cloud to blanket the town. We see Regina look out at it and give a sinister smile, and suddenly we don't feel so bad for her anymore. We don't know what this purple cloud means, but if Regina's smiling, it can't be good.
The show's second season premiere date is yet to be determined, but fans can rest assured that it will happen. Once Upon a Time was given the green light last week, so there are more whimsical and sinister times to come.