A Pirate’s Life

Andrew J. West as Henry Mills, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Colin O'Donoghue as Hook Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 2 A Pirate’s Life picture image

Andrew J. West as Henry Mills, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Colin O’Donoghue as Hook

The major development in this episode is that the Hyperion Hook isn’t Storybrooke original OUAT Hook but that wish Hook from last season’s wish realm. As the episode goes when Henry’s is in trouble he calls to Regina, Hook and Emma to help him. While Regina and Hook show up Emma is missing as she now pregnant though that info is saved for a dramatic reveal later but wish-Hook also gets the message and shows up.

Wish-Hook then knocks out Real-Hook to trade places so he can be with Emma and makes himself young with Real-Hook’s blood and with other realm Lady Tremaine’s help. The two SOMEHOW seem to know each other. The magic makes Wish-Hook young and changes his clothes too seems Real-Hook’s style is in his DNA apparently. I do take some annoyance that his clothes changed too.  

Anyway when Emma does show up and tells Henry she’s pregnant Wish-Hook has a change of heart and goes to where he dumped Real-Hook but Wish-Hook gets stab and reveals that he needed Emma because only true love can break the curse  to find Wish-Hook’s daughter. Emma saves him with magic. It’s then decided that Wish-Hook, Henry and Regina will go a-questing  while Real-Hook and Emma return to Storybrooke. So they get their happy ending together but we the audience get a version of Hook for cursed-amnesia fun-times    

 Meanwhile is Seattle, Victoria tries to get Henry out the picture. What does this lady do? Rumple a.k.a Weaver tries to size Hook a.k.a Rogers up by framing Henry which he doesn’t and Henry helps Jacinda sees Lucy in a Ballet recital.  You can tell what the weaker plot-line was.

Here some weird issues with the episode. Wish-Hook says he never had love BUT he had a daughter who was locked up but he snuck into play chess with her. He also says that only true love could break what-ever curse was on his daughter. I guess Wish-Hook didn’t watch seasons 1-3 and that weird retcon episode in season 6 where the whole true-love thing does apply to children. Do the writers just forget these rules? So who is Wish-Hook’s baby momma?  Do the chess pieces that Wish-Hook and his daughter have point to Alice being his daughter since she is a character? And does this mean that Emma has a daughter with Storybrooke Hook and will that get mentioned? And how come Neal wasn’t mentioned when Henry was asking about the Storybrooke people?

This is just weird, Hook is now a new version of Hook but not Hook but is a version of Hook. OUAT is going Rick and Morty now. With its infinite realms with infinite versions of  the characters that are sometimes the same people and sometimes different. Maybe this how the show will now get way with retconning  even though the show right now is a glorified retcon.  Odd part is I’m not mad, confused at what I should label this version of the character as.  

This episode did have some pacing issues. It’s SLOW and the Hyperion plot was boring.   The reveal of Emma being pregnant was dumb reveal to withhold. The whole point to show that Hook isn’t the same Hook, fine good twist that does give a hint to why him and Regina are the ones from Storybrooke affected but the new curse since they went off with Henry.

This was an average episode but it does MOVE things and answer some question while raising more.

Episode 21: The Final Battle Part I

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 21 The Final Battle Part 1 picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma

Okay for the record Henry is 14 which means 4 years of show time have past but then how old is Neal and Robin? Really just forget about time in the show, it’s easier on the brain.

So the final battle is the Never-Ending Story. The Black Fairy has Emma in a version of Storybrooke where she is a mental patient battling belief. As her belief wanes all the Story realms fade away. Emma’s family except for Henry is back in the Enchanted Forest and the EQ has moved into Regina’s castle. Also Aladdin and Jasmine are back. The hat is mention and Hook gets a bean to save Emma. But Emma burns the book at Fiona’s insistent.

Also really show, more amnesia? Or is the curse a type of alt-world or both. I’m confused.

While the idea of the final battle is more of battle of faith does bring the series full circle, what does The Black Fairy get out of it? She just gave into to the fate of a villain to fight good but that is so basic and now she just doing this whole killing the savior’s belief because that’s what she suppose to do. Doesn’t make much sense for the story. It’s more like the writers had this concept for the last part of Once Upon a Time and the villain was just sort whoever. Or they did know that it was the Black Fairy but didn’t really do a great job at that element that makes a good villain, motivation. The Black Fairy always seemed half-baked in her evil plans. Why did she kidnap babies? Why did she want out of her realm? Why does she want to kill the savior? Shrugs to all those questions except the getting out, she wanted to be with Rumple but did she really???

Also did anyone notice that the plot of Untold story characters fizzled out? It went away awhile ago and really all it amounted to was EQ, Jasmine, and Nemo, Wish we could have know Hyde’s plan.

This episode also adds setup for next season with some little girl in “a time of great upheaval.” And the photoshop work on those pictures of Belle were REALLY bad.

Any that was part one, onto part two.

Episode 22: The Final Battle Part 2

Jennifer Morrison as Emma & Jared S. Gilmore as Henry picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma & Jared S. Gilmore as Henry

I will say, this the ending on one point for I guess that book of Once upon a Time. Next season it will focus on a new book with an adult Henry and his daughter, ye old gender swap plot.

So what happened? Well number one we learned that The Black Fairy’s true motivation for killing the savior and I guess the story realms were so that she could break the laws of magic, whatever those are, and have unchecked power. She baits Rumple with bring Baelfire back to life. She also tells him that she still has Gideon heart and that only he can kill Emma. Rumple them kills the Black Fairy thus breaking the curse. Rumple has committed both patricide and matricide. Anyway Rumple tries and do the right thing by getting Gideon’s heart to stop him but alas it doesn’t work.

So Emma and Gideon fight but she sort stops and lets him stab her which I guess works because she doesn’t die and Gideon gets a restart as a baby. This only works because Emma and Rumple did the right thing. I don’t know how this make sense. I guess Rumple was an anti-Emma this whole time and now he doe switching from be somewhat redeemed and being a power-hungry ass-face.

It all wraps up with everyone being super happy and Emma is Jesus. She is in the Jesus position in OUAT’s version of the Last Supper.

And we did get to see David’s dog again? Where has he been this whole time? Seriously show!

Season 6 was an unfocused mess as it has WAY too many plot threads. Oddly the finale made up for it a little as it was a nice throwback to the first season and did have a sense of what made the first season really good.

And then there is the cliffhanger for season 7 with only three of the cast members returning. The Trailer and a promo recently came out and it does seem weird but who knows I won’t lie and say i’m not a little curious. Maybe this series needs a Fresh Start.

 

Episode 19: The Black Fairy

Jaime Murray as Fiona (The Black Fairy) & Sara Tomko as Tiger Lily Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 19 The Black Fairy picture image

Jaime Murray as Fiona (The Black Fairy) & Sara Tomko as Tiger Lily

In theory this could have been a great episode as it goes into Rumple and the Black Fairy’s origins. Unfortunate the fan theory about The Black Fairy being the Hyde to The Blue Fairy’s Jekyll were not true. The Hyde plot exist solely for Regina.

The Black Fairy was just a loving woman named Fiona who is told by Fairy Tiger Lily that Rumple is the or A Savior, who will die by some great evil born in winter of that year. Question, why doesn’t Tiger Lily get a color name? Like Tink was Green. Anyway I could understand this show a little better if Saviors are always or at least sometimes the product of true love but nope just random lottery with too much light magic and a tragic fate. Still doesn’t explain why Emma’s magic went from being True Love based to Savior base. Ho-hum!

Miraculously, Fiona is peasant woman who can read and reads enough Fairy Lore to turn herself into a fairy. Okay, who is else finds it interesting that she a yellow coded fairy and sports a hairstyle very similar to Belle’s hairstyle in the movie. Clever.

Anyway her dark secret is that by trying to make save Rumple she crafts the Dark curse but when Tiger Lily tries to stop Fiona, Fiona tries to kill her turning her into The Black Fairy and the evil destined to kill Rumple. Tiger Lily gives her the shears to cut off her destiny and magic but The Black Fairy cuts Rumple ties to his Savior status and Blue banishes her. Why is that such a dark secret?

There are many issues with this backstory. The biggest is that Rumple says something to effect that dark magic originated with The Black Fairy but that can’t be true. Dark Magic started with Nimue turning into the first Dark One which had to been at least 100 years prior to Rumpe being born. I mean if we go off the timeline Nimue lives 500 years prior to Snow and David’s time. The Timeline is very shaky though. Another problem is the authorship of Dark Curse is all over the place. It seems like Rumple crafted it back when he wanted to follow Baelfire to the Land without Magic. Or did he just modify it? Seem less impactful if he did.

The backstory really didn’t clear up much. If anything is raises more questions like, why did she steal children? Was it an echo of Rumple’s original tale? Because his children kidnapping made no sense. In fact it made such little sense the show offers two maybe reasons. There was the selling of his 2nd born and luring his mother out. How did he even know The Black Fairy was his mother? His father thought she was dead.

Probably the biggest question it raise is what is The Black Fairy’s motivation for killing Emma now? It makes zero sense. Her first plan was to break out her from her realm to get to Rumple. It just seems like something she fixated on with no reason and makes “ The Final Battle” even more contrived.

One more thing that could be considered interesting, Rumple and Aladdin both cut their fate but it still did creep up to them. Aladdin became a Genie to save Agrabah and Rumple died killing his own father to save Storybrooke. Perhaps Saviors never truly get cut from their fate they just lose their light magic. Tragic fates still pending.

However that is not the only issue with the episode. But before we get more into that, anyone notice that the design of the Dragon Egg is straight out of Game of Thrones? Because it was obvious.

Okay the other issue, Rumple lied to Emma’s face and nothing! Why do people trust this guy so readily? Honestly there didn’t need this “superpower” for Emma. I probably would have forgotten about it, if only Emma hadn’t brought it up. You know someone should watch the series all over again and see how many times Emma catches a lie and how many time she doesn’t. That would be interesting infomation. She probably fair better in season 1 but trails off after season 3.

Another issue and this is a nitpick, Regina telling Zelena to flee to New York with Robin and Henry. Why is it always New York. Anywhere in Maine is technically safer as there no magic but they bring up New York all the time. I mean they know Massachusetts exists and Boston hasn’t been mention since like season 4. But for fun let’s say that Storybrooke is somewhere near Cutler, Maine, it’s on the coast much like Storybrooke and judging from a map doesn’t have much nearby, could be wrong. Cutler Maine to New York City is a 9 hour drive. I think this constant escape to New York City is just annoying me. Seriously is because there are two empty apartments? Does Rumple rent the apartment? Prime Manhattan real estate is left unoccupied? That is the really fantasy of Once Upon a Time.

Another bit of fantasy that is another logic issue is that in the previous episode season 6 Episode 18: Where Bluebirds Fly, Emma says that the wedding should be postponed. Now in season 6 episode 19: The Black Fairy, the wedding is next day! What the heck? And Hook asks Henry to be his best man the night before? What the what? Are Emma and Hook eloping? Who does this? They rushed this because I won’t pretend to be an expert but weddings take planning. Maybe in Storybrooke they can expedite things with magic. But a pesto royal wedding that’s pure fluffy fantasy. Can’t really suspend logic for that one

The only highlight of this episode was Zelena hitting The Black Fairy with a car.

Regina makes with teasing quip about ig Zelena has to flee with Henry and Robin, that it would be Henry raising Zelena but come to think about Zelena might be the best mother. She clearly loves and takes care of Robin all by herself pretty much and she cared for Roland in New York. How much do Snow and David do for Neal? Oh well maybe they just royals and have someone else looking after their baby.

This episode was wasted potential and a mix of poor choices. If they hadn’t done the whole Jekyll and Hyde and EQ plot the Origins of The Black Fairy and Rumple could have been better but still with the origins of the Dark one and Season 1 Rumple, this backstory just clashes with the show’s own mythos.

Episode 20: The Song in Your Heart

Colin O'Donoghue as Hook, Jennifer Morrison as Emma & Raphael Sbarge as Archie Hopper Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 20 The Song in Your Heart picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Hook, Jennifer Morrison as Emma & Raphael Sbarge as Archie Hopper

What? A musical episode? Okay, going to separate this one out a little bit. Going to review it as an regular episode then as a musical.

The opening maintain the wrong continuity that Emma was in Minneapolis young child. Season 4 called it said she was in Boston. So unless there is a past section that corrects this error I’m going to blame a writer.

Anyway young Emma start singing into a tape record and then some other older orphan tells her that because she’s alone no will want to hear her sing. Not sure that makes sense. Loneliness doesn’t equal lack of singing talent.

Turns out in the past Snow and Charming wished for something to help Emma get her happy ending which is a song but Snow and Charming start bursting into song. The spell affects everyone around mainly Regina, Hook and Zelena who is in OZ. Rumple isn’t affect and while the joke about him not singing was obvious it still was cute. Zelena decided to help Regina break the song as weird way of oneupmanship. Snow and Charming feel defeated but The Blue Fairy, who cast the song, tells them the song wasn’t really broken it still in fetus Emma and she will use it against the final boss, who is not Regina.

As Emma plans for wedding later that night, The Black Fairy tells her the curse will drop at 6pm unless Emma gives up her heart. Emma tries but Henry finds the Song part of the story and Emma uses her songstress powers against The Black fairy. After the wedding the curse falls. Doesn’t the Black Fairy dust turn people into bugs? Turns out everyone thinks it will transport them somewhere, a Dark Curse 4.0.

Before discussing the musical aspect of the episode let’s nitpick it more. I have a problem believing Emma took the tape recorder from her group home, kept it, brought it to Storybrooke, never used it again but she rewound it? I mean what? Then again the camcorder from season 4. It’s the same thing.

Hook also tries to nearly kill Rumple with Dreamshade but it doesn’t even remotely work. Season 2 called however and it said that the dreamshade was seconds away from killing Rumple. Remember when his name was fading off the dagger. It was only Snow traded Cora’s life for Rumple that he didn’t die. And Rumple can die remember season 3 when he died? Also Dark Ones die, that is how Rumple became a Dark One in the first place. Show is it asking too much that you remember events that happened?

Oh and The Black fairy reveals her motivations for fighting Emma. It because Good and Evil were destined to fight. Weak! For a show that keeps trying to redeem its villains and heroes do questionable things, this one is so black and white. It’s super contrived.

I don’t care if this show is a fantasy, what kind of bride doesn’t pick out a wedding gown on her big day but literally has three wedding dresses on stand-by? Hook did the same thing. He had a white suit but then wore an all black tux.

I was also really disappoint by Emma’s wedding gown. First off it was a copy of Grace Kelly’s gown and on its own was pretty but didn’t suit Emma’s character at all. Apparently the reason for that was Jennifer Morrison liking Kelly’s dress. Costumers shouldn’t curtail to actors as much. It’s not about the actor it’s about character. The red gown she wore to that Ball in the past end season three suited her better. But then again there was an odd dress code at the wedding. Why were all the men in tuxes but the ladies were not in formal attire. The men were dressed for a formal nighttime wedding but the ladies’ dresses were suited more for an afternoon garden wedding. Why did the show miss a chance to dress up the ladies? Also astroturf as a aisle runner on a roof? Show, are you smoking-crack-crazy?

That brings up to the musical part of the episode. The story really just facilitates the musical segments. They are integrated well and the past doesn’t really retcon other events so that is plus.

Let’s not mince words, the actors are not professional singers, they all got tech help though they don’t sound robotic or super obvious for the most part.

The first song is called “Powerful Magic” and it sung by David and Snow. Snow wishes for a way to give Emma a happy ending and poof they sing all the time. It’s a nice upbeat song. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas’ voice are suited to this song. Overall it was enjoyable

Regina is next. Turns out she doesn’t like this spell. Her song is called “Love Doesn’t Stand a Chance.” Aside from Lana Parrilla chewing the scene this not a good song. It’s kinda all over the place. She is clearly having fun with so I can see people enjoying for that reason and her ruining other people’s song is fun. The song doesn’t seem suited to Lana Parrilla’s voice even though it was written for her. You can just hear her struggling with it even though the auto-tuning

Hook is the next one to get a song. It’s called “Revenge is Gonna be Mine,” you can guess what that is about. Snow and David hire him to take them to Regina. Hook refuses until Snow and David offer Rumple as the payment. So far this is the best one. Colin O’Donoghue has really good voice and it’s a fun jointy song. Who doesn’t like singing dancing pirates in a bar?

For some reason the spell affects OZ so Zelena gets a song. It’s called “Wicked Always Wins.” It’s not the strongest song and the visuals are weak by Rebecca Mader has a nice tone to her voice.

The next song is “Charmings vs Evil Queen” this just a remix of “Powerful Magic” and “Love Doesn’t Stand a Chance.” It’s a battle in song.

The next one is the weaponized song. “Emma’s Theme” is the song that Emma uses to beat The Black Fairy or really just unfreeze her family as they got frozen in time. Jennifer Morrison doesn’t have the strongest of voices. It much softer than you would accept. It could be a case that the song was not all that suited to her voice.

The last song of the episode is “A Happy Beginning.” This is an ensemble piece where all the major characters get a solo. Jennifer Morrison isn’t much of a singer. Oddly Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas were weaker in this song but Lana Parrilla’s voice sounded much better. This song is better with the ensemble singing than with the solo. The “Nah Nah Nah’ part was unnecessary. The song went on a bit but was okay.

So visuals for the song were a little weird. They did make good use of the sets and angles. They also made the dancers make sense as they felt natural in the scene except for Zelena’s song where she just terrorize the munchkins. There was a habit of playing to the camera like an audience which was off-putting. You don’t have to do that with the medium. Make it more of a music video and less stagey.

When I heard there was musical episode I thought it was going to be awful but it was pretty good. The episode’s plot is just an excuse to make it a musical. The plot didn’t however ruin any of the previous plot elements and did advance the story. Was it perfect? No. Was it enjoyable? Yes. I can even forgive the weird style of the wedding and even the Dreamshade/immortal thing. Also did Belle not get an invite?

 

Episode 11: Tougher Than the Rest

Jennifer Morrison as Emma & Lana Parrilla as Regina Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 11 Tougher Than the Rest picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma & Lana Parrilla as Regina

Remember Graham, the huntsman? He remains dead and forgotten, hope 50 Shades of Grey was worth it. At least he got the one mention in season 4.

This episode is the conclusion to the whole wish world where Emma gets Pinocchio to remake the wardrobe and Regina takes Robin back with her. Apparently Robin and Marian never married so Roland was never born and yet Henry exist even though Neal is centuries old. Also it is a joke in OUAT that in alt-world Hooks is the opposite of himself? In the Villain wins world he was a coward and in the wish world he’s fat, maybe more of an alcoholic and incompetent.

Also the show is keeping with its lie that Emma was in Minneapolis when she was younger and not in Boston. Just in case you’re wondering, this episode gives us the backstory on how Emma got her surname. August met her and told her her his take on The Ugly duckling which is about how the duck fought destiny to be a swan. Fighting Destiny was the theme of this episode. We still don’t know the wolf apparition that appeared in season 1 and 4 but at least when know how little Emma got her name. Also how did the ugly ducking know about Swans and the perception that swans are prettier than ducks? By that logic wouldn’t the ugly duckling wish to be an super attractive duck? Oh well it’s August’s viewpoint, so whatever.

Rumple and Belle still go on and on about their son, who was raised by the Black fairy and she wasn’t super nice to him. But we did get his motivation for killing Emma, he wants to kill her because the he can take her power to save the children The Black Fairy kidnaps and torments. Can savior powers be transferred like the Highlander? Why can’t he just ask Emma for help? It it because it’s not dramatic enough!

It wasn’t a bad episode but it was average. It did feel like the show was going into the second half of the season.

I would like to point out the shots of Rumple and Belle at the well were very nice. The positioning of the rope to show their division was nice.

Episode 12: Murder Most Foul

Colin O'Donoghue as Hook & Josh Dallas as David Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 12 Murder Most Foul picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Hook & Josh Dallas as David

David’s personality is in a bit of reversal. Because of his feeling of inadequacy and feeling reasonable for Gideon coming to Storybrooke because of his wish on EQ, he being a dick to Hook. Basically David is in a revenge plot since learning that his father was really murdered and didn’t die in a drunk cart accident. Though oddly Henry a few episodes back was anti-Hook too, what’s up with Emma’s menfolk?

Via August, David learns that King George ordered the death of David’s father, Robert, as Robert was trying to save Prince James who didn’t like being a Prince and ran away to Pleasure Island. I’m still really confused on the deal between David’s parents and the King. Turns out Rumple arranged it for medicine. I thought there was something said in season 1 where they got money for the farm for the trade. Could be wrong but this show has weird continuity errors. I mean Emma’s childhood was in Boston but also in Minnesota but no REAL move is ever mentioned aside from 13 year old Emma saying she ran away buu why is little Emma there in Minneapolis in 1989?

Speaking of weird errors, as it turns out Hook murdered Robert. From a dramatic standpoint that is really good as Hook wants to marry Emma he has the ring and everything BUT from the timeline standpoint this can’t work. Hook was supposedly in Neverland from the time Milah died till right up to the time of the Dark Curse but this episode puts him in Enchanted Forest when David was six years. This mean either Hook didn’t age at all or he went back to Neverland. Maybe it’s a Time Paradox and that is really future Hook or an alt-world Hook or fromer wish-Hook. Sure it’s nice dramatic twist with emo-Hook potential but it comes at the cost of the story’s whole set-up. Then again the show does retcon things a lot for drama and the timeline has long since been throw out, so why do I keep mentioning these weird errors anyway?

Speaking of retconning personalities, Wish-Robin is a weird villain type and Regina isn’t really into him. This side-plot is weird even for this show.

This episode had interesting character dynamics at play but they are slightly waste by the mental leaps the episode forces on the viewers.

 

Episode 9: Changelings

Emilie de Ravin as Belle and Keegan Connor Tracy as The Blue Fairy Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 9 changlings picture image

Emilie de Ravin as Belle and Keegan Connor Tracy as The Blue Fairy

So the Black Fairy is really Rumple’s mother. This family tree gets more complicated all the time especially when you think that Regina is both Henry’s mother and step great-grandmother.  

Basically it seems that Rumple has had a dark origins this whole time and is the reason he hates fairies. Not sure how to feel about this twist especially with the better twist that Aladdin became a Genie! That’s a good twist. I hate how little the show is doing with  the Aladdin plot unless it goes into Emma’s death vison plot or Rumple and Belle. I’ll admit  Rumple and Belle’s dynamic this episode was interesting but they have been having variations of the same conversation since the start  now they just have a baby thrown into the vocabulary.

The scene with Belle giving her son to Blue was emotionally charged but the episode was just alright. Good in parts and dragged in others.  

 

Episode 10: Wish You Were Here

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 10 Wish You Were Here picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma

 

Are you kidding me with this episode? Another alt-timeline? Really show? I have to ask even though it’s a wish, how does Emma and Neal get together to even have Henry and why is he still called Henry? That name was because of Regina! It might be a fake wish reality BUT STILL SHOW! And somehow in this world Rumple could get a bean with ease when in reality he got Regina to cast the dark curse so he could get to his son. On a context level this episode hurts. Plus Robin is back now in the wish world.

In other plots, when Aladdin became the Genie, Jasmine didn’t make her wish to return to Agrabah. For some reason they waited and EQ got the lamp prompting the whole wish world. In other, other plots Belle and Rumple’s son got taken by the Black Fairy and turns out to be the hooded figure who is destined to kill Emma, so that’s how they worked Rumple and Belle’s plot to have more importance.  And EQ is now a Snake and at two masters later, Jasmine has the lamp and made her wish. Still wish Aladdin and Jasmine weren’t side-plot fodder.  

Did not care for this episode, sure it’s another twist that Baby Gideon is one who kills Emma but the wish-world shenanigans literally hurt my head with all the mental leaps it asks of the viewers.  

Also this show has a pattern of having a character telling other characters to meet they at place in one hour. Is that ever enough time?

 

Episode 1: The Savior

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 1 The Savior Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Wow, this episode has no past section, well except for that Aladdin is a has-been savior and Belle’s dream world but no plot based section set in the past. There was no time to have a past section when there is like 30 story plots going on. Regina being pissed at Zelena while mourning Robin, Zelena pissed at Regina for destroying her dark part as well as not thanking her for destory the man she loved to save Regina, Hyde’s secret evil plans, Belle’s baby, the island of Misfit untold story characters, Emma’s future, Aladdin is another savor, what drinks did the Evil Queen make and what does she want, Robin’s soul, Archie trying to find more patients, Granny trying to make ends-meet after Snow volunteers her place as a soup kitchen, Pongo trying to take a walk in peace, Hyde trying to have enough money in his canteen account, Hook’s new haircut, and Henry trying to get in on all the action while Hook and Emma try to get some action. I’m sure I missed something but there is lots and lots of plot this episode. Hopefully they will all reach a nice conclusion since this sort of is the last season since NEXT season seems to be a soft re-boot with most of the cast not returning.

Was this a good episode? It was alright not good but okay. It did get the ball rolling in many, many directions.

Episode 2: A Bitter Draught

Lana Parrilla as Regina Omce Upona A Time Season 6 episode 2 A Bitter Draught picture Image

Lana Parrilla as Regina

No thank you I like fruity beers. A bad Beer Joke! And now the review.

I do not get this land of untold story plotline. There is a magical realm where time stops and stories are halted and the people who live there chose to live there so they didn’t have live those stories and YET they all chose to follow Hyde, who is like their leader for some reason not explained, to Storybrooke to play out the stories they didn’t want played out? Enter characters like the Three Musketeers who are just extras, some Bellydancers, Steampunk people, a cowboy and Edmond Dantes a.k.a The Count of Monte Cristo.

So they changed up Edmond’s story for drama so that instead of Mercedes (his fiancée) marrying Morcerf, Mortcerf kills her and Dantes doesn’t know about Danglar and Villefort’s involvement. And forget about Haydée, she wasn’t mentioned or Albert. They also suggested that Monte Cristo was a place but it wasn’t, it was a rocky spit of land hence the joke of the title but props to them getting that it’s also a sandwich. I’ll admit it I might be harsher with adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo since Gankutsuou is a near flawless adaptation and one of my favorite anime, go watch that but adaptation is an art since so let’s just look this version of the Count for what it is. ((( also that they did Monte Cristo before Hunchback, am I bitter about that? Yes even if they jacked it up I would still love to see what they do with the story and characters.)))

It’s not a terrible re-work of the Count since his deal his how revenge isn’t as sweet as previously thought much like Regina but Edmond’s story is a means to an end since he died as a point from EQ (Evil Queen) to Regina. It just seemed more of a waste since all his actions were because of EQ had his heart. And apparently people can just say when someone has their heart. Well then why didn’t Hook say that to Emma in season 4 when Rumple had his heart? There are no real magic rules anymore. EQ used a magic damping spell and messed up Henry’s phone. What price did she pay for that?

Speaking of nitpicks, the show needs to do a better job styling the double’s hair on Regina. Regina has this flair out layer that is missing on the double when Lana Parrilla is playing the EQ in the stand-off scene. Also how did Regina get to Edmond’s Dantes/Dumas world? Was it the Hat? Realm hoping isn’t an issue since season 3.

Also gotta love Disney lack of self-awareness when talking about how sequels are more “involved” than the original. It’s funny given their terrible record for Disney sequels as well as recent remakes, which are more misguided.

This episode has like three balls in motion although one is dividing. You have the EQ’s machinations which involves Regina, Zelena and David. There is the untold story characters which might just be episodic stories used to move the main plots forward whatever that turns out to be, and Emma’s issue with being A savior and her death by cloaked figure in the future. Oddly Hyde was absent in this episode. Guess no time when the EQ tricks Edmond Dantes to teach her other-half lesson and how did Regina use Edmond to get her revenge in the past? Like how did she know Villefort and Dangler involvement? Magic? Seems like the Count of Monte Cristo should have been smarter but that’s adaptation for you.

Meh episode but it’s still set-up for the season.

Episode 19: Sisters

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 19 Sisters review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

 

Regina wants to get in the way of Hades and Zelena because Hades is a Villain and the God of Death and therefore cannot be redeemed. Evil Queen, Sure. Dread Pirate Hook Hand, you bet. Snow Queen, sort of. Rumple, jury is still out on that one. But the God of Death is beyond that even though Death is the ultimate equalizer.  

Hades’ plan is now to go to Storybrooke with Zelena and have a life but leave the heros in UnderBrooke so they don’t get in the way so he puts all their names on tombstones for good measure. Regina then enlists Cora to make  Zelena forget Hades. Zelena sees through this but in the end Cora makes them remember an incident from their past a kids where the met and liked each other but Cora made them forget. The sister reconcile and Cora moves on to Olympus. Regina tells Zelena that maybe she can change Hades but before she gets to him, Rumple and Pan kidnap her.

The B plot is about James and David. James’ real motivations for hating David is that David stole his glory. That is so dumb. In the end James take the plunge into the River of Lost Souls. This side plot has yet another case of Emma being lied to and not picking up on it.      

The hero are acting dumb about Hades and Zelena. Maybe if they convinced them that they WON’T get in the way of their happiness, he might let them go home. Hades just seems to care about Zelena right now. Maybe Hades is up to no good but if he is up to some nefarious scheme he hiding with well with all his wooing of Zelena.  

The emotional crux of Regina and Zelena was good towards the end of the episode. The emotions landed well. Having the sisters meet as children was weird as it retconned them and led to a quick reconciliation, guess they had to expedite things. The B plot was dumb, Cruella was the only good part. Hades proposal was cute, asking to make chaos with Zelena. So sweet. This episode was about a B.   

Episode 20: Firebird

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 20 Firebird review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

There is a lot going on in this episode.

Hades goes to the Heros for help to save Zelena from Rumple and Pan. In exchange he offers to take their names off the graves. Hades compiles with Rumple and tears up the contract and frees Zelena. They kiss and presto, True Love’s Kiss awakens Hades’ Frozen heart. Apparently Hades knew it was true love. Hades triggers a portal to open but it will be open for a limited time only and Emma can’t split her heart to give to Hook as he’s been dead too  long. Hades tells them about Orpheus and Eurydice and a rumor that could bring hook back.  Hook and Emma descend into a low level of the Underworld to try and get some ambrosia which will bring Hook back but Hades cut it way long ago, thus tricking the heroes. Hook convinces Emma to let him go and go back without him. It’s a very sad scene, actually.

While that is going on. Henry tries to complete Operation Firebird which was to help people of the Underworld move on using his author powers. Too bad he didn’t think of this idea ages ago instead of whining. Cruella and the Blind-witch halt this by trapping them with a spell of Hades gave them in the library. Hades tricked them again. Meanwhile Rumple tricks Pan by saying he got a living heart but it was that river of lost souls AGAIN. Pan’s plan wouldn’t have worked anyway. Tricked AGAIN.

While all the heros are getting tricked Hades, Zelena and the baby leave. Just some backstory that I missed, Hades can only leave the underworld when true love’s kiss makes his heart beat again. Zeus stopped it for reasons.  His heart “fluttered” when he was with Zelena, so he knows it’s True Love with her. He did have plan to go back into time so he could be the one on Mt Olympus but dropped the plan because he wanted Zelena. If they have kids, they will have red hair and be very snappy dressers.   

The past section deals with Emma getting caught by a bail bonds person and how she got her leather jacket or her armor. The final part of that plot was very emotional.   

So true love is apparently easy to find and hard to keep. The scene with Hook and Emma was very emotional and done well. Hades should have just done nothing. The heroes would have left him alone but he ruined with this scheming. He should have done nothing, unless he really does have some grand master plan that has yet to be hinted at. His plans so far have been go back in time,  keep souls and  be with Zelena.

This episode had some winky meta moments. Like the ticking clock that is the portal out of the underworld is an actual clock. And the bails bond lady telling Emma Phoenix isn’t hell, which is where she pretty much is now. 

This episode was alright. It had some great emotional moments but again Emma didn’t notice a lie. Will we see Hook again? Maybe not  but who knows. Glad to know Cruella got a bit of a happy ending. Cruella is going to run the Underworld now, good for her.

 

Episode 15: The Brother Jones

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 15 The Brothers Jones review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

Meet the brother’s Jones. One is an eyeliner wearing emo and the other is self-righteous to a fault. If you have to guess, you don’t watch the show. Though there are three brothers and two are named Liam so who really knows what Liam number 2 is like.

This episode fills in the gap between Liam and Hook getting sold into servitude as boys and joining the navy. Ah, the Navy, where you can sail the seven the seas and put your mind at ease. Turns out the lads nearly had enough money to get out but Hook gambled it away and Liam couldn’t leave him. So as the their captain was leading the ship into a storm from some sapphire, Liam and Hook lead a mutiny and as Liam is plotting a course GUESS WHO TURNS UP WITH A DEAL. Hint not Rumple, though he does like deals. Nope it’s Hades and he wants souls. So in return for leading a lot of guys to their death by horrible drowning, Liam gets to live as well as Hook PLUS the stupid sapphire which will pretty much grant them anything they want from the King. But Liam is too moral of a person, nah he takes the deal and him and Hook join the Navy.

In UnderBrook, lots of plots are going on. Liam doesn’t like Emma because of the whole Dark One thing and being selfish about not letting Hook move on. Hook is mopey because he thinks he shouldn’t be saved. Henry wants to be a Hero. Cruella wants David who is pretending to be his twin brother James. And Hades wants pages of the Storybook destroyed because he has a past with Zelena. Well of course he does because how else is Zelena going to factor into the plot. You think Regina sending her to Oz last season was the end of her? Actually I have no idea where this thing is going.  

How did Hook know the sailor’s unfinished business? Tell me show. He just assumes that a bunch of people have the SAME unfinished business. What if one of them regrets not being a dentist to make his mother proud after a deathbed promise when he was eight? Bit of a leap you took there  Hook with their salvation. But whatever they were just extras, existing solely for Liam and Hook’s story.  And how did Liam get “saved?” He was going to put his brother before himself and that was his business? Is this business things part of being a good person or do you solve your issue and the you get to move on to Zeus?  Does a horrible person in life get to move if they figure out their business? Wasn’t there some judgment talk? Or is hell for those who didn’t solve their problem but think they did?  I feel I’m going insane asking all these questions, the show doesn’t know it’s just a nicer ending to have Liam and the sailors move on so that Hook can feel good about wanting to be saved and have a life with Emma. I mean that is what the people want!

Not the best episode. It does moves things along but it’s boring. Aside from Cruella  who is just too delightful.    

 

Episode 16: Our Decay

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 16 Our Decay review picture image

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

They missed a chance to do the “I’ll get you and your little dog too”  line. This episode focuses on Zelena and Hades and their special connection. To fair it’s that special connection is standard for this show; it’s True Love. Hades and Zelena actually do have a connection as they are both bitter about their siblings getting more from life than them. Hades got the Underworld while Zeus got Olympus, Zelena was abandon and Regina was kept and made Queen. They actually feel like a natural couple. Expect Zelena rejected him in the past because she thought he was after the time-travel spell and currently she thinks Hades is after her baby for the same spell when he had Rumple bring the baby to the Underworld and Belle and Zelena get inadvertently pulled through the portal. Not sure how she  got from OZ back to Storybrooke but the show glossed over it so we will too. Hades claims he was trying to get Zelena’s baby away from the heroes.

Let’s just touch on ort “heroes” for a bit. Apparently in their book it’s ok to leave your infants  to save friends in hell if you think they died in vain. Maybe one of the Charmings should have stayed with their third season plot point, or infant son.  But Robin thinks being noble is more important than his baby or his small motherless son. And he going to hide the small baby in the forest of hell instead of the nice apartment Robins is also super annoying with regard to Zelena and the baby, maybe if he was trying to cut her off the baby she woudn’t act out.  Siding with the villains on this one. Though Hades could be lying as his reasons for getting the baby, don’t really think he is. Think he is in love with Zelena.  She’s the reason why he created the Underworld in Storybrooke’s image, because she wanted to cast the Dark Curse.      

Oddly there is a neat little tie into the Hades’ myth that makes him and Zelena makes sense as a couple. When Zelena joined the sister witches of OZ she represented the West which stood for innocences. Persephone also represented innocence. Also Zelena was born on April 15th, which is tax day and is in the Spring.  So Zelena is Persephone. I wonder if this was intentional by the writers or a happy accident.

Then there are other characters. We have Henry going all teeanger because his parents can understand his artistic methods. Apparently he black out when he writes. Henry’s plans is to record the stories to get the missing pieces about Hades so they can beat him.  Snow White and David haunt their baby via  a Haunting Booth, which is a payphone. There is a fine line between being clever and dumb. This seems to taking that step over the line.

Then there is Rumple. Rumple tells Belle about the contract, her condition and his Dark one status. Rumple’s character arc this whole time  isn’t one of redemption of anti-hero but accepting the man and the beast. So he can be slightly nicer and loving but not a hero. Rumple doesn’t want to change he wants love and power. I guess he is being honest…?

This episode was pretty good. Somehow Hades and Zelena are super compelling but they need to stop with the flaming hair. It’s just uncanny valley. Can also have done without super self-righteous Robin and the Haunting Booth.

 

Episode 11: Swan Song

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook with Caroline Ford as Nimue & Dark Ones Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 11 Swan Song review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook with Caroline Ford as Nimue & Dark Ones

Must be fun to be extra playing a Dark One. I swear though one of the Dark One’s capes has the same fabric they used with Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. What is a group of Dark Ones called? A Gaggle? A Constitution? An Unpleasantness ? A Murder? A Darkness?

Still not sure how the Dark Ones are really coming back other than they are a Vista from Hell or the Underworld and need the souls of the living for the exchange. Does seem like there were more Dark Ones than Storybrooke sacrificial lambs.

The plan of the Dark One does seem odd. Why would a Dark One want more Dark Ones around? Just to “snuff out the light?” And then what? Dark Ones are going to terrorize Storybrooke and compete for whose the Darkest? Doesn’t matter because Hook comes to his senses and sacrifices himself to put out the Darkness except he doesn’t because Rumple pulled out a double-cross and used the sword as conduit to be the Dark One again. Only this time he has all the powers of the Dark Ones. But wasn’t that the point, all Dark Ones are connected to the other Dark Ones. Didn’t the repeatedly say the pervious Dark Ones are inside the mind of the Dark One? Or do the Dark Ones communicate even though they are in the Underwood? It doesn’t make much sense and the murkiness of the explanations and the revelation doesn’t help, point is Rumple once again lost his redemptive arc and went with power. This show is a cock tease with Rumple’s character development.

Then there is Hook who in the past section meets his father who abandoned him and his brother and sold them. Then Hook’s dad was put under a sleep curse, met a girl while asleep, fell in love, got that kiss, married her and had another son. I guess this lady who died before we could meet her, I bet her name was named Adelaide and loved vegetables. Comment if you get that reference.

Anyway Hook meeting his dad was a test by Regina so Hook could kill Cora and go to Land without Magic to get his revenge on Rumple. He was going to spare his dad but killed him after he learned his new son is named Liam. So if he had a girl it would have been different? Actually Hook is mad about the abandonment and figures he hasn’t changed. Funny, that Hook never bonded with Emma about being orphans. Did anyway in this show NOT have a tragic childhood?

Hook’s redemption felt really rushed. So the drama of his sacrifice didn’t have enough impact.

Anyway it’s off to the Underworld with everyone to save Hook. Also we see that Nonchalant Duck again. That Duck and that Dove from season three should get more screentime.

 

Episode 12: Souls of the Departed

The Heroes in the Underworld Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 12-Souls of the Departed review picture image

The Heroes in the Underworld

Hey this is the 100th episode! And Welcome to Season 5 Arc 2 a.k.a Hell of Color-Correction. The Underworld looks like a dilapidated StoryBrooke with an ultra red tone.

So far this is the arc of dead character cameos as we see the Blind Witch from Season 1, Cruella drove by, Peter Pan, James and Henry(Regina’s dad) and Cora. Also Neal, who isn’t in the Underworld. Who knows who else will see again? Do the creepy marionettes that were Geppetto’s parents count as a cameo?

This episode focuses mainly on Regina’s parents Henry and Cora. Cora has set-up some plan to get Regina out of the Underworld but Henry begs her to stay to bring hope and help her friends. Cora tries to sent Henry to I guess even worse Hell but in the end he is set to Paradise, not sure what it is but it seems nice. Henry going to his reward was a nice emotional scene.

The backstory did answer a weird element from season 1, how Henry got trapped in Wonderland. Nice to get an answer, wondered if anyway was wondering how that happen.

A new character we meet is Hades. Not a fan. He looks like an asshole and whispers nearly all his lines. Maybe he will get better. Curious about the other character from Hercules. Like is the girl giving Hades a pedicure Megara? Could make sense.

Not a bad episode, had good moments with Henry and Regina but it’s the arc opener so there isn’t much going on yet aside from meeting Hades, the Crew’s quest to save Hook and help the Underworld people move on. I hate the Hades Blue Flame effect.

 

Episode 9: The Bear King

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 9 The Bear King review picture image

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan

Well more Brave but also the return of Ruby and Mulan so that is a good get. Most this episode was okay. There was no Storybrooke or the main crew so the show is prolonging the mystery of what happens now that Hook is a Dark One.

Arthur is the one who killed Merida’s dad and took his helm that the witch lady wants back or she’ll turn Merida’s people into Bears. The show’s treatment of Brave is so on the nose. Anyway Arthus wants the helm because it can make people follow the wear into battle. Arthurs’ motivates for this plot are really dumb. He convinced a guy to commit suicide for Camelot, he REALLY doesn’t need the helm.

Merida was a little more likable in this episode. Less combative more open. Her interactions with her mother and Mulan were good too.

Mulan is the one who taught Merida to fight and helped in the operation “find the helm.” Ruby went back to the Enchanted Forest to find her pack but the witch enchanted her and now Mulan and her are all of a quest to find her pack. Got say a few episodes of them on adventures sounds better than either Camelot or Brave.

Episode 10: Broken Heart

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 10-Broken Heart review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Welcome to Dark Curse Number 3 in five seasons. Hook becomes a Dark One and in just seconds reverts to Evil Hook and has a grand plan. This Grand Plan of his which is more than just revenge on Rumple is to bring back all the Dark Ones so they are not just aspects in his and Emma’s mind but in the flesh. The show makes it seem like they were in the underworld but also part of the Dark One so it’s confusing.

The twist of Hook crushing Merlin’s heart to enact the curse because Nimue loved Merlin was good but again are the Dark Ones in the Underworld or a part of the Dark One(s) psyche? It seems like it shouldn’t be both but it is I guess.

All this is pretty dumb if you think about it. How could Hook not have known he was a Dark One? Does a memory wipe just cancel out the darkness? Why didn’t Emma just make herself forget she was ever a Dark One in the first place then? Then no one who have remembered anything and they just could have lived until they relived they couldn’t die. Can someone using the dagger just order the darkness to go away?

Then there was Rumple being the key to opening the way to the underworld. Rumple and Belle are also off again. They are so back and forth so many times that you can’t root for them anymore. Henry and Emma teaming up. Basically Emma had to learn had to work in a team again to earn back Henry’s trust. And Zelena gets to hold her baby under Regina and Robin’s strict supervision.

Honestly this wasn’t a bad episode there is just too much confusion and weirdness to this plot to help it now. Also why was Merida, a ruling Queen, just riding through Camelot? I know they needed to explain why she was in Storybrooke but the whole of the Brave subplot and Merida has been really forced into the narrative. Frozen at least was the plot in season 4.