Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After is a musical comedy drama that tells the tale of two lovers who get separated by a spell, for possibly eternity.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
In an alternate reality of the Middle Ages, Princess Soledad and her lover — a fisherman named Diego — are secretly in love and sneak around. Their love is forbidden, but they are inseparable.
Diego, however, gets paranoid of Soledad falling in love with another, as she is the princess and he is a mere fisherman. So, he seeks out the help of the local witch. She grants him a blue dragon and a spell that declares that the two will be in love with each other as long as the dragon lives. The spell would be broken once the two release the dragon into the lake before the pink moon sets.
However, the downside is that the entire town will fail to fall in love if one of them, or the dragon dies. At first, Diego refuses the spell, but the witch designs a special amulet which would offer protection to him. He reluctantly accepts, then heads off to war.
The scene shifts to modern day, where audiences find out that Diego had been killed mysteriously in the war many years ago, regardless of the amulet he was given for protection. The town remains loveless. The people adapted and used this as a marketing trick and an attraction to tourists. The castle of Princess Soledad is now transformed into a lavish hotel.
The town sensationalised the existing spell and featured the blue dragon, which was on its last legs. Maxi, a local man who looks exactly like the portrait of Diego, is extremely popular. Every pink moon, the townspeople hope for the reincarnation of Soledad to appear, and reunite with Diego, now Maxi.
A striking woman, Juana, shows up with her lover and the town gets excited. Maxi’s friend, Goya also appears at the same time. Maxi is head over heels for the beautiful Juana. The feeling is reciprocated by her, regardless of her lover, as he does not prioritise her and repeatedly cheats on her. They are both encouraged by Maxi’s mother and the townspeople to meet and talk.
Maxi and Juana spend time together and bond. They believe that they can break the dreadful spell that curses the town. Goya, on the other hand, steals the dragon and sets out to release it by herself, as she is an environmentalist and does not believe in caging animals.
Juana’s lover, Antonio is revealed to be the antagonist in the past tale and in modern day. He feels the need to take Juana back and takes drastic measures to do so. He is also approached by Simona, who dives into the lake and retrieves the lost amulet from the past.
She hands this to Antonio, who is now armed with a stolen dagger. Antonio ventures out to find Maxi and hopefully kill him.
If you have any doubts about the ending, here’s a full breakdown.
Once Upon a Time… Happily Never After ending explained in detail:
Better luck next time
Maxi and Juana catch up to Goya and manage to convince her to give them the dragon. They ensure her that they are the true reincarnations of Princess Soledad and Diego.
Goya tries to escape, but is finally cornered by everyone. They however, have bigger problems now. Antonio arrives and threatens to kill Maxi.
Before he can succeed, however, Maxi and Juana release the dragon together, into the lake. This, although, ends in a disappointing note as the curse is not broken.
The tale of two times
The audience and the characters are enlightened that Goya is the real reincarnation of Soledad, by Enamora, the modern reincarnation of the witch who gave Diego the spell.
They also learn that in the past, Diego’s amulet was stolen by Froilan, and he is reincarnated as Antonio.
Best friend or lover?
Now at crossroads, the characters ponder on what to do. Maxi and Goya know that they are best friends and do not love each other. They abandon hope and give up. However, Juana reads the legend of the spell again and finds a possible solution.
She suggests that Maxi and Goya need not be in love, they just have to be together. Considering her idea, they all set off to the lake, with the now returned dragon. Maxi and Goya re-release the blue dragon into the lake before Antonio catches up with them yet again.
The spell of the town that lasted centuries is now broken. The characters figure out that the princess and her partner did not have to be in love with each other to break the spell after all, but just be together. This storybookish and quirky musical tale closes off with every character living happily ever after.
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