Once Upon a Time S06E20: The Song in Your Heart
Musicals are one of the world’s greatest gifts. A Once Upon a Time musical should be a no-brainer right? Disney, fairytales it would fit so well. It’s something the fans, myself included, have been clamoring for since the early days of this show and the creative team finally answered our prayers. Musical episodes are also the hardest episodes to get right, they’re either a hit (Psych, BTVS) or a miss (Grey’s Anatomy). When I heard that my favorite couple would have their wedding in it? Admittedly it was slightly terrified to see how they would do it. But it shouldn’t have been because this episode was without a doubt the best musical episode I’ve seen in my life, and it was definitely one of the best episodes of the series as a whole.
Andrew Chambliss and David H. Goodman wrote the episode while Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, known for the Broadway show First Date, wrote the songs, with Mark Isham of course doing the musical scoring. The songs were breathtaking and uplifting and had just the perfect vibe for the show. This episode highlighted everything fans love about Once Upon a Time and what it’s core value has always been. Good and love will always triumph over the darkness, and it shows us the value of family, not just family of blood but the family you make.
When You Wish Upon a Star
The first scene of the episode is a scene of young Emma, portrayed by McKenna Grace, humming Emma’s theme. She wants to enter a talent show but one of her foster siblings makes her feel bad about it, makes her feel lonely, so she forgets about it. After no one is there to hear her sing. From then we take a trip back in time, back to the days of the pilot as we see in the flashbacks of this episode.
Most of the singing takes place in the flashbacks. Just after their meeting with the Dark One in the pilot, and Snow makes a wish upon a star. She wishes they had something to help Emma defeat the evil and get her a chance at a happy ending then she goes to bed and wakes up in quite the peculiar situation. It’s a very Disney-like situation, a bluebird wakes her up and Snow realizes she is singing. She doesn’t know how it’s happening or why but Ginnifer Goodwin portrays the confusion marvelously and with a wonderful singing voice. Then comes Charming with the dramatic entrance.
Charming’s verse is hilarious as he’s singing about how he’s amazed at how well he sings. And damn does he sound good; Josh Dallas’ theater background comes out full-force in this song. The song is called Powerful Magic and it’s the perfect Disney song about how love is truly the most powerful magic of all. Once they realize they’re singing because of Snow’s wish they’re filled with hope that they can defeat the queen. Because as Snow sings “Love expressed through song is a weapon like the queen has never seen.” And isn’t that the truth? Music is one of the most powerful elements in our world.
Music has the power to transport us to places we’d never been before, music can heal even the most broken of hearts and there’s nothing quite like music to bring people together. Singing in harmony with each other makes people more powerful than they could ever imagine, and this is what Snow and Charming sing about. Their love is the most powerful magic there is and combined with the power of song? Nothing can stop them. For the first time since their wedding, Snow has hope. It must be noted that Dallas and Goodwin’s voices together flow perfectly.
Snow and Charming go looking for someone to take them to the queen’s castle and who exactly do they ask for help well the Captain of the Jolly Roger, of course, Captain Hook. Snowing don’t know if he’s also affected by the wish until they ask him for help and offer to pay for his services. Now, this isn’t the Killian Jones we know and love, this is the revenge-minded pirate we met back in season 2 and he’s not quite happy with their offer. And then starts what is probably the most infectious song in the entire musical “Revenge is Gonna Be Mine”. A tune that definitely has a very Queen vibe to it.
Captain Hook clad in his pirate outfit and that memorable red vest sings a bit of a pirate shanty about his plan to get revenge on a certain crocodile. Colin O’Donoghue is another cast-member with previous musical experience (he used to be in an Irish band called The Enemies) and it clearly shows. Props to O’Donoghue who broke his foot during the first moments of this sequence and kept dancing like a pro for the rest of filming. This song is incredible and it shows us how much Killian Jones has grown since he first graced our scenes.
The song itself has a bit of foreshadowing when he sings “Once I sailed toward a horizon, where I might find happiness waiting” as the song talks both about the past (Milah) and the future (Emma). The turning point for Killian Jones was turning back in the season 2 finale and going to help the Charmings save Henry, and who was on the horizon? Emma Swan herself. The song is an extremely memorable scene and that last run O’Donoghue sings was just incredible. Snow and Charming convince him to take them to Regina’s castle in exchange for the Dark One and he gladly accepts.
There’s a sing-off with the queen where she apparently steals their songs from them putting an end to the wish. Snow and Charming are back in their castle trying to figure out what to do when Blue appears to them. She tells them that no one can take their song from them because it’s in their hearts. Which is true, no matter what people say to us, or how they treat us, they can never take our song. Because as I’d said before music is a part of us, it’s a part of our soul. Blue explains that the wish was never intended to beat Regina but rather to help Emma in the future, for the final battle. Emma must fight alone but she’ll have everyone’s song in her heart, which will make her stronger.