Alluding to Mulan’s sexuality — albeit indirectly — was a huge move for ‘Once,’ and a major payoff for its LGBT fans. Well done, ABC.
Once Upon A Time is famous for putting its own spin on classic characters, but its biggest twist came on the Oct. 13 episode when Mulan (Jamie Chung) was essentially revealed to be bisexual — or, at least, it revealed her to be in love with Aurora (Sara Bolger). No official Ellen DeGeneres-style declaration was made, but after a particularly emotional scene between Mulan and Sleeping Beauty, there’s no denying the warrior’s feelings anymore. I applaud the show’s creators, ABC and Disney for the brave move.
Even though Aurora didn’t return Mulan’s affections, this was one step closer to Once Upon A Time showing that ‘true love’ isn’t restricted to male-female pairings. And that’s a very good thing.
Mulan (Almost) Confesses Her Love To Aurora
Here’s a quick recap of what went down:
At the end of the episode, Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) offered Mulan a spot in his band; but before she could accept his offer, she said she had to speak with someone first.
“A loved one?” he asked her, to which she nervously replied, “We shall see.”
Cue this tragic exchange between Mulan and Aurora:
Aurora: How long have you been there? What are you doing?
Mulan: Just finding my courage. … Is Phillip here?
Aurora: No, shall I get him?
Mulan: No, that’s unnecessary. It’s you I wanted to talk to. You see… Why are you smiling at me?
Aurora: I can tell you were bursting with news, but so am I. … Phillip and I are expecting a baby!
Mulan: That’s excellent news.
Aurora: It’s like a dream come true. Please, please, tell me your news.
Mulan: I’m joining Robin Hood’s band.
Aurora: You’re leaving us?
Mulan: I’m afraid so. Goodbye.
The look on Mulan’s tear-streaked face as she left Aurora — and any hope she had of them being together — behind her was absolutely heartbreaking.
Fans Divided Over Mulan’s Sexuality
While a large number of Once Upon A Time fans, myself included, have enjoyed the more-than-friends subtext of Mulan and Aurora’s relationship, it’s certainly not an opinion shared by everyone. I was disheartened to see many comments, both on our recap and on Twitter, in which people criticized the show for “trying to turn” one of its characters gay.
Seriously? Where was this outrage when Once made Rumpelstiltskin the Beast, or when “Red Riding Hood” (Meghan Ory) was also the Big Bad Wolf? I’d argue that Mulan being queer is the most reasonable “change” the show has made to a familiar character, all things considered. Mulan has always been the least heteronormative Disney heroine, making her love for Aurora… really not a surprise at all.
And isn’t unrequited love a major cornerstone of Disney romances? I, for one, am rooting for the ladies to finally be together someday!
HollywoodLifers, are you rooting for Mulan and Aurora? What do you think of ABC’s decision to reveal her sexuality? Watch the scene below, then drop a comment with your thoughts!
WATCH: Mulan’s Sexuality Is Finally Addressed
— Andy Swift