If you listened carefully on Sunday night, you would’ve heard the sounds of viewers throwing their TV remotes at their screens or the resounding “click” as they turned off their televisions in anger. What has caused the latest national outcry? Naturally it’s two women sharing a kiss in the last episode of Once Upon a Time.
For a quick recap, the Swan crew finds Ruby in the Underworld who found herself there while tracking Zelena in order to find her missing friend Dorothy. Flashbacks reveal that Ruby and Mulan found themselves in Oz while tracking Ruby’s werewolf pack where they meet Dorothy. Zelena captures Toto and so Mulan, Ruby, and dorothy begin their quest to save him. After Ruby and dorothy share some cute moments, they are attacked by flying monkeys and Ruby transforms into her wolf form to save Dorothy. Ruby worries what Dorothy will think of her and confides with Mulan over her conflicted feelings. Mulan encourages her to be honest with Dorothy but when Ruby goes to see her, Dorothy is gone.
Back in the Underworld, it is revealed that Zelena subjected Dorothy to the sleeping curse when she tried to confront Zelena by herself. Ruby is distraught since the only thing that can break the curse is True Love’s Kiss and as far as Ruby knows, Dorothy has nobody that close to her except Aunt Em, who is conveniently in the Underworld. But all hope is lost when Hades liquified the soul of Aunt Em as a way to send a message to the heroes. Now Ruby feels like all hope is lost for her friend until Snow White suggests that Ruby give Dorothy True Love’s Kiss. Regina convinces Zelena to hand over her Silver Slippers so Ruby and Snow can go back to Oz and save Dorothy. Ruby clicks her heels three times and teleports to Dorothy’s side. In classic Disney fashion, Ruby leans over Dorothy and delivers True Love’s Kiss which awakens her. Dorothy tells Ruby the reason she left on her own was because she was afraid of losing her to the Wicked Witch but all is right with the world since Ruby came back for her. They share a passionate kiss and so blossoms the first same sex romance in Once Upon a Time.
There has been mixed reactions to this episode. The obvious one being the slower viewers who suddenly realized this wasn’t a family show after rape, murder, adultery, and hearts being ripped out were featured heavily but two women kissing is blasphemy. The other complaint was that this romance was rushed and their complaint is valid. Before this, Dorothy was as minor a character as one can be, only making one appearance prior while Ruby was more or less a series regular so there’s fears that this relationship will be placed in the background and only serve as an honorary LGBT stamp on the show to draw ratings. Mulan and Ruby have had more screentime together and more adventures so many viewers feel they should be paired together, especially after the heartbreak Mulan suffered for not being able to be with either Prince Phillip or Aurora so she deserves her happy ending but maybe the producers have a Mulan and Aurora ship waiting to set sail in the long run. A counter-argument to this is that most Disney romances happen the day after the prince and princess meet and sometimes people click on the first date. Especially if that first date involves life risking adventure. The actresses did a great job portraying the relationship since you can tell just by looking at their eyes what they were thinking, their hesitance to be closer to each other, and wondering if the other will reciprocate.
My thoughts for this episode is that it’s very important for any young viewers to see that same sex romance in media is becoming normal and it weeds out the intolerant viewers so kudos to the producers for that. On the other hand, they hinted at a same sex romance over a year ago and the signs pointed to Mulan so the whole Dorothy and Ruby romance was unexpected. All in all, it may have been an attempt at pandering or using us to get ratings but the actresses put the time and effort to give us loving moments that would even melt my ice cold heart and it’s a step in the right direction for future LGBTQ representation.
Now the more important question is when is my personal heartthrob Merlin coming back?