- “I thought my story came to an end a long time ago, and then new people came into my life, people who gave me a second chance. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next, or for everyone. I refuse to believe there won’t be more adventures, more love, more family. And yes, there will be more loss, because that’s just a part of life. And in the end, we can get past it all… with hope.”
- ―Regina's coronation speech
"Leaving Storybrooke" is the twenty-second episode of the seventh season of ABC's Once Upon a Time and the one hundredth and fifty-fifth episode of the series overall. This episode is the series finale. It aired on May 18, 2018. It was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and directed by Ralph Hemecker.
Wish Rumple's evil plan is revealed and Regina realizes the only hope to stop him is by turning Wish Henry from his path for vengeance. Meanwhile, Tilly and Margot try to get help in Storybrooke. With his hope of ever being reunited with Belle fading, Weaver struggles to find a way to defeat his evil alter ego; and when Rogers' life is threatened, he is faced with the ultimate sacrifice.
Alice and Robin arrive in Stoyrbooke, finding Granny, Archie, and three of the dwarfs. They explain another Dark Curse brought everyone back in time to Seattle, but it was recently broken; Henry's wife and daughter are in trouble. Robin tells them to find David and Snow, so they can mount a rescue mission. However, they are not believed and met with hostility; they promptly flee and hide. Alice is puzzled as Robin told her that Storybrooke was all "apple pies and hugs". Robin apologizes, guessing that the residents consider anyone from outside the town to be a potential villain (thanks to Greg, Tamara, the Snow Queen, the Queens of Darkness, King Arthur, Mr. Hyde, etc). However, they soon see Regina's car pulling up and go to greet her, as she will believe them if they tell her Henry is in danger. However, it turns out Zelena is driving it with a 5-year-old Robin as passenger, the 25 year-old Robin quickly explains the situation to her mother, telling her to get the magic bean she's been saving.
In the Wish Realm, Sir Henry has been convinced by Wish Rumple into using his darkness to trap all the heroes in story books with unhappy endings; this way no-one will be able to stop him from sowing chaos and darkness throughout the realms. Regina keeps attempting to make Sir Henry see that he's making the wrong decisions, but his anger towards him killing his grandparents and taking away his mother blind him; even though his Emma was never real. In the meantime, Alice and Robin arrive in the Wish Realm with Zelena and rescue Henry, Ella, Lucy, Weaver, and Hook from the snow globe. Robin and Hook make a distraction to let Henry and Alice sneak in to free Regina. As Hook's heart is getting worse, Robin asks for his blessing to marry Alice. He happily gives his blessing, being told he's going to live to walk his daughter down the aisle. "I'm not going to argue with my future daughter-in-law" Hook laughs. Henry is confronted by black guards, but two knock the others out and reveal themselves as Snow and David. With everyone together, they learn Wish Rumple wants to trap all heroes in books with unhappy endings; once they get sucked in, there's no way back out, Author powers or not.
The heroes confront Rumple in his library, and he opens portals to the books by tapping Sir Henry's festering rage; everyone holds onto the table the books are on for dear life. As Alice loses her grip, Hook grabs his daughter's hand to keep her out of eternal misery; despite her selfless pleas to let go, Hook endures his heart becoming fatally poisoned. Regina, in the meantime, is facing Sir Henry to try getting through his anger. She offers no resistance, telling him that she came to show him that there's a family who can help him heal just like they helped her. Sir Henry finally lets go of his anger, closing the portals.
Weaver, having found a bottle of magic Rumple hid in his spinning wheel, reveals he intended to rip out Rumple's heart to destroy him. However, upon seeing Hook dying, Weaver pulls out his own heart and gives it to Hook, dying in his place. As doing this purified the Darkness, Rumple crumbles into ash. Regina arrives shortly afterwards, tearfully bidding Weaver farewell and thanks him for his final lesson in how even the darkest heart can be redeemed.
Weaver finds himself in the afterlife, where Belle is waiting for him by the well they married at. Reunited, Belle tells her beloved that she knew he would find his way home. Some time later, Regina tells the Henrys that she plans to use the Dark Curse as a blueprint for something wonderful; rather than crushing the heart of who she loves, she will use small pieces of her loves ones' hearts to unite all the realms of story with Storybrooke, to prevent anyone from ever being apart again.
Some time after the curse has been cast, Storybrooke is now joined with the Enchanted Forest, Arendelle, Agrabah, the Wish Realm, the Land of Untold Stories, Oz, New Enchanted Forest, Neverland, Cameloet, DunBroch, New Wonderland, and Victorian England. Regina is being driven by Zelena to the Charming's castle, passing a dragon Maleficent on the way. Regina reveals she found Lilly's father, who turned out to be Zorro. They arrive in the audience chamber, where Snow reveals that all citizens of the United Realms have chosen her to rule them as the Good Queen. Regina accepts the honor, giving a speech about how everyone's stories will continue & how they can still live on with hope.
The camera pulls away from the castle, showing the iconic places of Storybrooke, before pulling past the "Leaving Storybrooke' sign, signifying the end of Once Upon a Time.
Special Guest Starring
- This is the only episode of the season, not to feature Hyperion Heights.