This article contains major spoilers for the Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After Season 1 ending. You can read our spoiler-free review by clicking these words.
Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After is built, mostly, around a single question – who is the reincarnated princess from the show’s fairytale framing device? There are other things going on, obviously, but this essential matter is what powers all six episodes, and all the show’s ideas about love and destiny are ultimately bundled up in the answer. Let’s go through it.
So, the general idea is this. In a fantastical prelude, two loves named Soledad and Diego are tragically separated by circumstance – Soledad is a princess and Diego is merely a fisherman, so their relationship is forbidden, and when Diego conspires with a witch, some unpleasant events mean that the inhabitants of the town are forever cursed to never fall in love with one another.
I say “forever”. As it turns out there are some conditions. If Diego and Soledad (or their reincarnated versions) can reunite and release a blue dragon into the lake during a pink moon, then the curse will be lifted. As you can see, though, that’s a pretty specific set of circumstances, which explains why it hasn’t happened across several generations.
Of course, this show picks up during the latest opportunity to lift the curse and centers on the staff and patrons of La Soledad Hotel, which uses the legend of the blue dragon as a money-spinning gimmick for tourists. However, Maxi believes himself to be the reincarnated Diego, and one of the hotel’s guests, Juana, is a dead ringer for Soledad. Shortly after these two meet, it seems very much like they fall in love.
Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After Season 1 ending
Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After divides its time between the present-day and fairytale flashbacks, so we can see what happened to Diego and Soledad – he was killed at war; she died alone – and how the curse has persisted through to Maxi and Juana, whom we are expected to believe are the chosen two. But since it seems so likely that these two are the reincarnated princess and her love, that means they’re not. In that case, who is?
As it happens, Maxi’s best friend Goya is the reincarnation of Soledad, which presents a bit of a problem since Maxi and Goya aren’t in love. They love each other, of course, but as friends, and according to all the fairytales, platonic love isn’t exactly the kind being described. But that’s the point. The eventual “twist” of the show is that Maxi and Goya are able to break the curse by loving one another as friends and honoring the love that Diego and Soledad shared. It’s a nice twist to the formula that flips the usual script a little – even though the eventual pairing was highly predictable – and makes for a happy ending.
You can stream Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After Season 1 ending? Let us know in the comments.