#OnceUponATime 6x17 “Awake” Recap & Review

Clearly, there will be spoilers in this article so let’s just start off by freaking out because EMMA AND KILLIAN ARE BACK TOGETHER YAY. *Calming breaths* ALSO SNOWINGS SLEEPING CURSE IS BROKEN YAY. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, this was BY FAR the best episode of the Season so far. Which is saying something since there are only about 5 episodes left.

6x17 begins with Killian still trapped on Neverland trying to escape the lost boys. He’s rescued by a new character never before seen on #OUAT – Tiger Lily (played by Sara Tomko). She does a fabulous job as Tiger Lily! Just as Hook is thanking her-er, somewhat, for her rescue…she jabs him in the neck with a tranquilizer dart and knocks him out……. what?! Just when I was starting to like you Tiger Lily!!

Back in Storybrooke Regina is telling Emma and David/Charming what we found out last week about Henry, the author, the end of the book, and The Final Battle. This worries David a lot more than it seems to worry Emma as he wants both he and Snow to be there when Emma fights this “Final Battle”. David and Regina talk about this and Regina tells him she may have a fix to their curse, but it could be life threatening. David responds with “It’s not like it’s the first curse we’ve ever woken up from”.

This leads to a flashback of the previous Snowing curses and a new Flashback we’ve never seen before which reveals that Snow and Charming woke up during the curse with the help of a special pixie dust flower. (side note: Charming just waking up from the curse and trying to convince Snow that he’s her true love is the most adorable thing ever and their kiss is EVERYTHING.) They also manage to awaken Rumpelstiltskin who tells them how they’re awake and how they can find their daughter. (Who’s still a child at this point in the curse.) But that if they find her and get her back, she will never become the savior and the curse will never be broken for everyone else in the town. So Snow and Charming ultimately make what’s probably the second most difficult decision of their lives and do what’s better for their people, they decide to go back under the curse and wait another 18 years for Emma to find them! This was a beautiful scene and the acting on Ginny and Josh’s part was stunning! I cried so hard! This was an awesome piece of Snowing’s story to see and I’m super glad they added it!

In Regina’s vault, Zelena and Regina try Regina’s experimental method to cure the sleeping curse snowing is under, but it doesn’t work. It only weakens their hearts and Regina tells them by the end of the day, they’ll both be asleep with no way to wake up.  Which means they can’t be there for Emma when she fights the final battle. *BUM BUM BUM*

But there’s hope for their curse to be broken once again when David discovers Pixie Petals (the same flower that woke him up during the curse) floating around Storybrooke. Zelena tells everyone that there’s one problem with that – these flowers only grow in reaction to the presence of great evil -YIKES. This means whoever Emma’s meant to face in The Final Battle is already here, Which we know!

In Gold’s shop (side note: Would Storybrooke implode if Mr. Gold left his shop? Honestly curious at this point.) The Black Fairy pays her son and his wife a visit and brings along his son! This leads to a very interesting family reunion! Especially when Belle tells Gideon he can always come back to them, The Black Fairy tells her daughter in law that Gideon’s not going anywhere. A very angered Mr. Gold replies that “we’ll see about that” and tries to use what I assume is squid ink on The Black Fairy. Which is when she reveals she has his dagger-yikes!-She tells him she won’t make him do anything, because when the darkness comes, he’ll want to join her, and that they can be the family they were always meant to be. *BUM BUM BUM*

We FINALLY cut back to Neverland where Killian is waking up from the tranquilizer Tiger Lily shot him with. (He asks her if this is about skull rock….hmm….wonder what happened between them there? Unless they’re talking about what happens in the original Peter Pan film where Captain Hook kidnaps Tiger Lily and Peter Pan saves her). She says it’s not about Skull Rock and tells him she can’t let him go until he agrees to do something for her, fortunately, what she needs him to do is a win-win for the both of them! She has a weapon she needs to be delivered to the savior for The Final Battle and he, of course, wants to get home to his savior. The weapon Tiger Lily has is Emma’s only hope of defeating her! The only problem left is how he’s gonna get home!

Back in Storybrooke Snow is running out of time, literally, and they’re spending every second looking for more Pixie Dust flowers. Snow and Emma find a whole field full of them and guess who pops out?


No, I’m just kidding, it’s The Black Fairy. Emma finally finds out who she’s meant to fight in The Final Battle. She explains that she created the Dark Curse and Emma was born to break it. That they’ve been destined to clash since the beginning of time. Snow says that she and Charming won’t let her hurt her daughter, to which The Black Fairy responds that it’s going to be hard to stop her when they’re both asleep from the curse! Uh oh! She then orders Gideon (Who’s heart she still controls) to destroy all of the Pixie Dust Flowers in the field! Crap, now how are they gonna break the curse? The Black Fairy responds that it’s better this way because no mother should have to watch their child die.

Back on Neverland Killian and Tiger Lily are preparing to infiltrate Pan’s old camp which is overrun with the worst of the Lost Boys who refused to go back to the real world back in Season 3. Killian asks Tiger Lily how she got this weapon they need to give Emma. She replies that she used to be a fairy…..wow! She admits that she was close to the Black Fairy and that she should’ve stopped her from going down her dark path. When the other fairies banished her Tiger Lily gave up her wins and went to Neverland. She then creates a distraction so Killian can get to a tree that Tiger Lily says has the power to get her weapon to Emma. He uses the trees magic to remove his shadow and gets his shadow to deliver it to Emma.

Back in Storybrooke Snow and Emma are understandably feeling miserable after their encounter with The Black Fairy, but they find hope again when they discover Gideon didn’t destroy all of the Pixie Dust Flowers, there’s one remaining. Regina gets just enough Pixie Dust out of the flower to break the curse, but just before they can break it Killian's shadow arrives with the weapon for Emma. She knows he’s in trouble and is immediately worried about him. Feeling frustrated she exclaims that they don’t even know where he is! Snow White (who’s looking veeery Sleepy at this point -ha see what I did there?) explains that she can use the little bit of Pixie Dust magic they have to find Killian. She also explains that she knows that because they used it before to find her when she was little. She tells her the whole story and about how if they had gone through with getting her back, she would’ve grown up with them and they would’ve been a family. But that she couldn’t do it and damn all of the townspeople to be under the curse forever. It’s a very touching mother-daughter scene. Emma tells her she understands and that she had to do what was right and think of everyone else before herself. Snow tells her that today, she’s putting Emma first and she give her the Pixie Dust magic and tells her to find Killian. Emma tells her she can’t do it but that doesn’t stop Snow. She tells her that they’ve taken so much from her, they won’t take Killian too. Not before the Final Battle and Snow White drifts off to sleep. Now both of the Charming’s are under the sleeping curse and things are looking pretty bleak.

Back to Neverland the Lost Boys have captured Killian and Tiger Lily and are about to sentence them to death when Emma bursts through a portal and saves them, Tiger Lily gets away and Killian goes back through the portal with Emma! Captain Swan has officially been reunited! It’s a beautiful scene! Killian apologizes for not telling her about killing her grandfather and gets on one knee to do something “the right way”. Yep. That’s right. He proposes, Again(ish). Emma accepts of course. Killian tells her he wants to finally face her father and Emma has to explain to him what happened with the sleeping curse. Regina then tells Emma she may have just thought of another way to break the curse (Which is good because there are only 5 minutes left in this episode and with a title like “Awake” I’m pretty sure if they don’t wake up now, they never will.)


 Regina calls the town into The Mayor’s Office and makes a beautiful speech about how Snow and Charming once had a chance to leave this town and have their happy ending. (Of course referring to this episode's flashback sequence). That they chose to stay for the good of everyone in the town, the people that are there. She proposes that if everyone in the town shares The Sleeping Curse they both are under, that they may be able to dilute the power of the curse, which would wake them up. Killian, not skipping a beat, steps forward and takes the first sip, followed by Regina, then Emma, Henry, Leroy, Archie, Gepetto, Granny, Sneezy, and so on until everyone’s had some of the sleeping curses. Eventually, Snowing does wake up from the curse! (Let’s take a minute to enjoy the fact that they FINALLY broke what’s probably the longest sleeping curse they’ve ever been under.) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But their happiness is short-lived when they look around and realize everyone in the room with them who took part of the sleeping curse is curled up on the floor fast asleep! Uh oh! They immediately rush to Emma and Killian, who wake up easily after a moment, along with everyone else! There’s a beautiful scene between Killian and David where David forgives him for killing his father, he tells him that he’s a changed man. They’ve all seen it. As everyone's awakening, there’s a beautiful happy soundtrack playing in the background (Props to Mark Isham and the OUAT orchestra team, y’all always floor me.) Regina makes another beautiful speech to Snow telling her that the plan wouldn’t’ve worked if Snow and Charming hadn’t inspired everyone in that town.  This entire scene is beautiful and tears worthy and so full of magic and hope and everything that OUAT is about. In a Sea of misery and doubt over the looming Final Battle with the Black Fairy, this scene is an island of hope. I can’t say enough good things about this scene or this episode! (Also, Gepanny HUG-squeal!!!)

But we’re not done yet! At the clock tower, Mr. Gold FINALLY comes out of his shop to confront The Black Fairy and asks why she gave him his dagger back. She reiterates that it’s because he’s going to “choose to be a part of this family”. Gold asks if it’s because Gideon’s never chose her. That’s right. He knows she controls his son’s, heart. And he’s clearly not happy about it. When she asks how Gold figured it out he tells her it’s because Gideon spared a Pixie Flower for the Charmings. He resisted her order. He says it’s because Gideon has his mother in him, the one that truly loves him. But that he won’t have to resist anymore because he WILL get his heart back. The Black Fairy very threateningly responds “If you come at me, there may be nothing left of this town when we’re done.” And in true Mr. Gold fashion, he replies that it may be a price he’s willing to pay, and struts away as only he can, not looking back.




When will Emma and Killian get married? What does the end of the book mean for Henry as The Author? What will the Final Battle entail? Will Gideon get his heart back? Tune in next week to find out!!

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