At last the curse is broken. The key, the savior, stands triumphant, the Evil Queen vanquished at her feet. All around, the citizens of Storybrooke begin to look around, to recognize, to realize, to remember.
As Emma sinks to the ground, exhausted, Henry comes running to her.
"Emma, Emma! You did it!" he shouts. "The curse is broken; we've won!"
"Henry…" She can't even finish her sentence before Henry throws her arms around her and squeezes.
"Now everyone's going to remember again! You'll finally have your parents," he pauses to blink back tears, "and I'll finally have my family."
Emma hugs him back hard. Across the way, Mary Margaret and David remember and instantly embrace before realizing their daughter is looking at them with expectant eyes.
Their reunion is filled with tears, much like the other reunions occurring around them. Thomas and Ella, Gepetto and Jiminy, Nova and Grumpy… True loves kiss each other, parents hug children, old friends shake hands. Everyone is smiling.
Everyone, except one.
Mr. Gold stands on the sidewalk, grimly observing the jubilation before him.
His curse has failed; it was designed to be easily broken, but it wasn't supposed to end like this. It's too late to change his fate now.
At any moment, Storybrooke will be no more, and everyone will go back. He starts to head towards the woods, but then he sees Snow White. Her hair is already beginning to grow. The changes are already beginning. Gold—no, truly Rumplestiltskin once more—feels his leg begin to heal; he soon won't need the cane.
He surveys the crowd once more when he sees him. Her father, Maurice. The bastard is crying and running towards someone. That bastard…even he has a happy ending.
Rumplestiltskin angrily turns away. His skin is already beginning to glisten with dark power. He walks away, towards his shop; there's something he needs before it's too late.
He doesn't see who Maurice embraces. He doesn't see blue eyes seeking him out. He doesn't see Belle disentangling herself from her father's arms and running after him. He's too focused on getting the cup.
He barely gets his hands on it before Storybrooke breaks. The sky cracks, the ground shakes, and soon everyone is falling, falling down into their world, their true world.
Everyone lands in Snow and Charming's kingdom. Most are a bit confused, slightly dazed, but no one is hurt. It's a happy ending, after all.
Everyone is happy, all except one.
Rumplestiltskin is in his cell, trapped with nothing but a chipped cup filled with his own self-hatred and memories of the last chances for happiness he's had. There's a crack in the cup, and he's afraid if he moves his hands, the cup will split in two. He sits on the floor of his cell and weeps.
The curse is broken. Everyone has a happy ending, but for him, there's nothing happy about this.