Will Blatant Fanservice Be Enough to Make the “Once Upon a Time” Finale Worthwhile?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: ABC)

If you’re still watching “Once Upon a Time”, or if you’re a lapsed viewer who still cares deeply about many of the characters who’ve been written out of the show over the years, the big upcoming series finale is designed with you in mind.

Show co-creator Edward Kitsis has been talking about the plan to end the series, and he seems very pleased with how big of a spectacle this is going to be.

Said Kitsis, in a recent statement:

“We’ll see many familiar faces to the end…

‘Once’ is home to everyone and there’s an open invitation for every actor who has been on the show to come back in the finale, so we’ll see who is available…

“If the question is ‘Will the final two hours remind us of the first six years’, then the answer is ‘Yes’.”

Apparently, this will mean at least one trip to the original show setting of Storybrooke before long, possibly an indication that the showrunners have realized, too late, that moving everything to a Seattle suburb wasn’t as good idea as they’d initially thought.

Aladdin Once Upon a Time
Source: ABC

It sounds as if the end of “Once Upon a Time” is going to lean hard on your existing nostalgia, bringing back familiar characters in the hopes that you’ll be tricked into having a good time despite a lack of original ideas.

In fairness, this is the model that “Once Upon a Time” has been built on since the beginning, as the show has thrown in fairytale characters, Disney heroines, and even the occasional plagiarized character from “The Wizard of Oz”.

Perhaps the show can be forgiven for wanting to revisit happier times when the series was more popular. Certainly, many viewers will get a kick out of the cameos that are on the way, whoever might be able to actually turn up.

Once Upon a Time Elsa
Source: ABC

It remains to be seen whether this big finale for “Once Upon a Time” will actually be an engaging episode in and of itself, but then, considering the fact that the show definitely won’t be coming back, it’s not like ABC really needs to try hooking an audience and keeping them interested in seeing more.

Oh well. At least the final episode of “Once Upon a Time” will be a big spectacle, even if the show isn’t quite as special as it once was.