Title The Song in Your Heart
Two-Sentence Summary When the Black Fairy challenges Emma on her wedding day and brings her back to a time when she felt alone, flashbacks reveal that her mother’s wish to help her find her happy ending gave her a song that she’s always carried with her, which helps her understand that she’s never truly been alone. After facing the Black Fairy, Emma is finally able to marry Killian—right before a new curse descends on Storybrooke.
Favorite Line “They say that a captain’s heart belongs to his ship, but with this ring, it now belongs to you.” (Killian)
My Thoughts Greetings, fellow Oncers! I’m coming to you from my hotel room at Walt Disney World’s lovely Contemporary Resort, where I’m enjoying a much-needed dose of magic this week. Typically, I try to avoid writing of any sort on my vacations since I do so much writing when I’m home, but I couldn’t leave the NGN Family without a place to talk about this episode. And after hearing the news of Jennifer Morrison’s departure from Once Upon a Time this morning, I also knew I couldn’t leave you without a space to talk about what she has meant to you, what Emma Swan has meant to you, and what you think is going to happen to the show without her should it be picked up for a seventh season.
I know that I am going to miss both Emma Swan as a character and Jennifer Morrison as an actor on my favorite television show more than I ever imagined before learning the news today. Writing about Emma’s journey completely changed me as a writer and as a woman, and meeting Morrison remains one of the highlights of my life as a fangirl. While I’m incredibly sad to lose this character (and am really hoping the show just ends instead of trying to go on without her), I’m so thankful for what Emma brought into my life—including most of you reading this. NGN became what it is today because of how much fun I’ve had writing about Emma’s journey and how much I’ve loved connecting with all of you about it.
A few members of the NGN Family have reached out to me today about writing a letter to Emma for The Fan Mail Project, and I wanted to let all of you know that you can definitely do so. I haven’t started putting together that part of the book yet, so please don’t shy away from writing something about this character if she’s meant something to you over the years. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org whenever inspiration strikes you. And if you already wrote to Emma but want to edit your letter, you can always do that, too. (Lord knows I’m going to be adding so much more to mine!)
But enough talk of endings…Let’s talk happy beginnings instead! Since I have to be up early to catch a flight on Soarin’ Around the World at EPCOT, I’ll leave most of the analysis up to you this week, but here are some discussion topics to get you started:
- Is anyone else still recovering from the perfection that was Josh Dallas in this episode? He was definitely my episode MVP, and I haven’t stopped singing “Powerful Magic” all day. Both he and Ginnifer Goodwin channeled their inner Disney royalty in this episode, and I loved every minute of it.
- My favorite thing about this episode in general was how much fun everyone seemed to have doing it. It’s like you could feel the enthusiasm of the cast leaping through the screen, and it was contagious. An episode like this is only as good as its cast, and this was just another reminder that the Once Upon a Time cast is one of TV’s best ensembles.
- The sing-off between the Charmings and Regina was everything that makes this show special: It was cheesy and ridiculous, but somehow it worked—and that’s all because of the energy of the actors. I just about died laughing at the look on Regina’s face when they started singing at her.
- I really loved that this episode dealt with Emma’s relationship with both of her True Loves—Henry and Killian. I didn’t expect it to have so much Emma/Henry interaction, so I was pleasantly surprised. One of my biggest complaints in recent reasons has been the lack of scenes between those two characters, whose relationship was once the center of the whole show, so it was nice to finally give that relationship time in the spotlight again—with Henry encouraging Emma and believing in her just as he always had. She found her strength and her song because of her son, and he found the way to help her because of his book—the same book that gave him the hope to find her in the first place.
- The choice to use the same melody for “Emma’s Theme” that’s been underscoring her scenes for years was genius. Morrison sounded like a true princess singing it, but what gave it the emotional power it needed was the fact that it was a melody that was as familiar to us as it was to her. It was the song that’s lived in her all her life, and the best way to get the audience to believe that was to use a melody that’s been associated with Emma for as long as we’ve known the character.
- Emma and Killian’s wedding was everything I could have asked for as a fan—from both of her parents walking her down the aisle to Killian’s awestruck face throughout the entire ceremony. No one plays sincere adoration like Colin O’Donoghue.
- I’m a sucker for a set of personal wedding vows on TV shows, and these were so wonderfully personal. I loved Killian talking about a heart full of love being precious treasure because I’ve always thought of him as seeing Emma and their love as the most precious treasure he’s ever found. And Emma saying that being a product of True Love doesn’t mean you believe it will happen for you made me cry. That’s her entire journey in a nutshell—a journey of belief. And now she believes she’s worthy of the love her parents have. She believes she can be happy, loved, and supported—and so much of that belief comes from Killian and the steadfast devotion he has always shown her. Both of these characters have come so far as individuals and as partners, and those vows were the perfect summation of that journey.
- “A Happy Beginning” belongs in a Disney World parade. If I’m ever having a bad day, I know that will be a song that will always cheer me up.
- Will anything ever be better than seeing Emma Swan so happy that she had to twirl around in her wedding dress and throw herself into her husband’s arms so he could lift her off the ground as they sang to each other about the hope that their story is just starting? The idea that the woman who made a birthday wish that she wouldn’t have to be alone had a joyous wedding surrounded by family and friends is currently making me very emotional.
- Emma’s belief that she and her loved ones will defeat whatever curse the Black Fairy throws at her shows how far she’s come from the days when she didn’t even believe in curses—let alone in her ability to break them. She believes now—in her own strength and in the fact that she doesn’t have to be alone to be strong. And that strength—rooted in love and hope—will be what helps her defeat the Black Fairy and truly start her happy beginning.
I know I didn’t get a chance to touch on everything about this excellent episode (which I think will go down as one of my favorites of the series when all is said and done), but if you’re looking for excellent analysis until I get back to my normal posts next week, I highly recommend the reviews of this episode written at MGcircles, ScreenSpy, and Fangirlish by some of my favorite fangirls!