Once upon a time, a bunch of amnesia-stricken fairy-tale characters were trapped in a podunk town called Storybrooke. All they needed was a savior to break the curse, and they'd all live happily ever after. So what the heck happened last night?

In "A Land Without Magic," Once Upon a Time's much-hyped Season 1 finale, Emma Swan finally did what she was born to do — she broke the queen's evil curse, and all it took was true (maternal) love's kiss. Who knew?!

Ever since Sheriff Goldilocks and her matching VW bug rolled into Storybrooke, all we ever wanted was for her to accept her role as heroine, defeat Regina, and send her parents, Charming and Snow, back into each other's loving arms. So why did it feel so rushed and uneventful?

After weeks and weeks of dramatic build to an epic Regina/Emma showdown, all we got was a screaming match in the janitor's closet, a CGI dragon, and a kiss on the forehead. Maybe we're just cynical, but the whole "love conquers all" thing seems like a quick cop-out — breaking the curse shouldn't have been that easy, especially for someone who only started believing in magic like, 5 minutes ago. Unless, of course, the curse wasn't actually broken ...

Either way, the upside is that the door was left wide open for a whole new chapter in Henry's book.

After Mr. Gold got his hands on the itty bit of true love potion left (way to go, Emma), he dumped it down the wishing well, engulfing the town in a cloud of purple smoke instead of bringing back his son. Poor Baelfire! With magic now in Storybrooke, there's no chance for a happy homecoming any time soon.

As for Regina and Rumple, will these power-hungry heathens use their newfound magic to dominate the "real world" and the fairyland world? Only time will tell ... 

 

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