Once Upon a Time shares a fair deal with Lost. The creators of Once Upon a Time came from writing jobs on Lost. More than few actors from Lost‘s six-season run have popped up on Once Upon a Time in roles of varying importance. Once Upon a Time also employs a method of storytelling that Lost made famous by having each episode focus on one character and having a flashback of their life resonate thematically with the present-day events. Now it seems like Once Upon a Time will share a little bit more with Lost as the series begins to wind down for its final season, setting up a firm end date so fans can prepare to say goodbye to the show.
Happily Ever After?
According to Deadline, Once Upon a Time is coming to an end, either with the current season 6 or a possible season 7. At the TCAs, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey spoke about Once Upon a Time and its eventual series finale. According to Dungey, things are being worked out by the network and creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis about when the show should end.
“Eddy and Adam came in and talked with me right before the holiday about what some of their potential ideas might be for season 7,” Dungey explained. “There was some interesting stuff, we gave them some feedback, and they are now working and are going to come back and sit with me in a couple of weeks. I think that, having worked on Lost, they have a very good sense of the engagement with fans and wanting to end the story in the right way.”
Depending on what Horowitz and Kitsis decide, Once Upon a Time could end with the current season, season 6. Or another season, possibly a shortened one, could wrap everything up and even set up a spin-off. “Regardless of what we decide to do at the end of this season,” Dungey said, “I think they would put a little bit of a bow here, and then there is a next piece that comes after that, so they are trying to figure out what that is and how that works.”
Time to Close the Book
Personally I’d like to see the show wrap up with a shortened season 7. Whether a spin-off follows or not, and I can think of many characters and lands from the show I would like to see continue, Once Upon a Time needs a satisfying end date. The time has come for the show to end.
In season 6, Once Upon a Time has already begun to repeat itself, especially when it comes to characters like Emma. Emma has gone back and forth on opening up to others and it is about time that the show makes a definitive decision about Emma and her emotional growth. Emma can’t keep deciding to open up to her family only to start to hide things and be “protective” because the show demands it to happen.
The same holds true for other characters like Rumple. Rumple is a constant flip-flopper with his morality. It’s incredible that Rumple’s moral ambiguity has lasted as long as it has, but Once Upon a Time should come to a decision about Rumple as soon as possible. The show needs to tell us if he is a villain or a hero or a villain who wants to be a hero but can’t manage it. The best way to do that is to end the show altogether and provide some closure for everyone. Emma, Rumple and all the other characters don’t need a happy ending but they should have a definitive one.
A shortened season 7 to bring the series to close seems the ideal situation because season 6 doesn’t feel quite like a finale season. Emma might be facing a vision of her death but it’s not enough. The conflict doesn’t feel personal enough. There are too many new characters to feel as if Once Upon a Time is ending once and for all this year. The midseason finale introduced a whole new dream-like world where Emma never became the Savior. If anything, with the amount of new characters and plotines, it is worrying that a potential spin-off could overtake the finale of the show.
I wouldn’t mind a spin-off taking place with some side characters. A spin-off with the newly introduced Aladdin and Jasmine could be excellent. Even some frequent background players like Ariel, Mulan or Ruby could headline their own show. (Actually, please give me a whole spin-off in Oz with Mulan, Ruby and Ruby’s new girlfriend, Dorothy!) But Once Upon a Time should come to an end on its own with the main characters in the forefront. The side characters should stay as side characters until the proper story of Emma and her family wraps up. Once the saga of the Charming family comes to end then it will be fine to explore other stories.
Once Upon a Time shouldn’t rush its ending but they also shouldn’t feel the need to add more to justify a season 7. If season 6 truly is the last season, the next half of the season should be all about the Charming family with just the occasional cameo from fan-favorite characters. Once Upon a Time should not introduce any more characters or storylines, but just keep it to the ones that have already been introduced.
Once Upon a Time should draw to a close in the near future but there should still be enough time to craft a satisfying end. Ideally the storyline of season 6 should wrap up on its own only to set up some smaller (but still monumental) conflict for Emma and her family to bring the series to a close. At the very least, the final villain should be one with a sense of history. Morpheus might be Rumple’s son but he is an entirely new character. The Evil Queen or Rumple himself would be a far more interesting and fitting final villain for the show.
But what do you think? When do you want the show to end? Could there be a satisfying finale at the end of season 6? What kind of spin-off would you like to see happen? Should a spin-off happen at all?
Once Upon a Time season 6 returns in March on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)