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ONCE WINS OUR HEARTS AGAIN WITH ANOTHER FAIRYTALE WEDDING
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Besides its twisted family tree and its penchant for making villains into fabulous heroes (and sometimes vice versa), if there's one thing Once Upon a Time is known for, its the fairytale relationships. Some are obvious -- like Snow White and Prince Charming -- but the best ones are those we never see coming, like the Ugly Duckling and Captain Hook, Rumplestiltskin and Belle from Beauty and the Beast, or the Evil Queen and Robin Hood. Season Seven followed the latter path when it introduced the love story of Henry Mills, descendant of both Snow White and Rumplestiltskin, and a new take on Cinderella. Over the course of the season, we saw them go from Grand Theft Motorcycle to the parents of an adorable daughter, Lucy, in the New Enchanted Forest, then saw them fall in love a second, equally magical time in the Land Without Magic, but one very important part of their love story was missing: the wedding.

This hole was remedied in the second episode of the show's ninth season, aptly titled "Stroke of Midnight". But the journey there wasn't as smooth as Cinderella's first motorcycle ride (seriously, how did she figure out how to drive it so easily?), as the couple quickly ran into a pretty big argument: whereas Henry plans on inviting half of Storybrooke (which is fair, seeing as most of them are related to him somehow), Ella is hoping for a small-scale, romantic moment for the two of them. It isn't until they get over their respective ideals and listen to each other that Henry comes to understand Ella's logic: without a family of her own to invite, she fears that their wedding, supposed to be about the two of them, will become lost in his family reunion. In the end, they come to a compromise: two weddings! The first, a small, personal ceremony, with Wish Hook and Tiana as best man and maid of honor and Regina (tearfully) officiating, is the one we get to see. Although a beautiful romantic moment for Henry and Ella, it comes with the side effect of Henry's other mother Emma not being there to see her son be wed; however, Regina passes along her congratulations and a personal note she wrote to Henry. Endless tears. And of course, Emma will be present for their second, larger wedding, though we don't see it on-screen (maybe someday).

Their wedding blues are tied in with another squabble in the present day. Feeling overwhelmed by the chaos that is the United Realms and looking for a post-Narnia breather, Jacinda has made plans for their family, including her newly-reunited father, Abel, to go to their old home of Seattle on vacation. But when she springs these plans on Henry, Lucy, and Abel, they quickly shoot them down. This time, Henry and Jacinda are unable to reconcile their differences -- Henry refuses to leave the rest of his family during a rather stressful time, while Jacinda is being crushed under the pressure of the extended Mills family. In the end, the couple tearfully decides a break is in order. Seems this relationship bump will be spread across several episodes. Hopefully the couple can work everything out in the end.

The ninth season of Once Upon a Time premieres September 27th, 2019.

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