Episode 13: Labor of Love

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Jonathan Whitesell as Hercules Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 13 Labor of Love review picture image

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Jonathan Whitesell as Hercules

We get  Hercules and Megara in the episode however Hercules follows his original myth more and Megara is a seemingly normal girl. Both of them were killed by Cerberus and are in the Underworld. Not sure what Megara’s unfinished business was, the show doesn’t say but her only personality type is afraid of the hellhound and not too filled with hope. Enter Snow who was a childhood friend of Hercules who taught her how to fight and stand up to ruffians. She and Herc have a childhood attraction and a kiss. It was nice to see young Snow again.  

Cruella makes an appearance and asks Henry to find the author’s quill he broke to restore her to life. Apparently the quill is a living entity and it’s in the Underworld too and its whole existence is unfinished business.     

Hercules and Megara do get to move on to a paradise which is Mt.Olympus. It would have been nice if they were recurring characters like Hades.  Why does Hades whisper almost all his lines? It’s distracting. Is he Jimmy Whispers?  It’s curious though that Hades is close to his Disney movie counterpart but Hercules was close to his myth. Though Regina called him “Wonder-Boy,” so there is that.  Megara was a glorified name drop as she doesn’t resemble her Disney counterpart or her myth where she was the daughter of King Creon of Thebes and Hercules’ first wife. Although Hercules didn’t start his labors till after Megara’s death. They did get the first and last of Hercules’ labors correct though according to the myth Hercules strangled the Nemean lion not torched his fur. But they got the fur right.

Doesn’t really matter if they got the myth corrects or not, it’s interesting that something like Brave was literally forced into a narrative and was pretty much a sequel/ prequel like Frozen was but Hercules was done in one episode like Rapunzel.  I wish knew their thought process on picking which Disney movie to work with and how close to make them to the movies. Box-office returns seem to help. Though with Hercules they did both methods with the characters.  Though I hope the show does add a bit of Hades’ myth, like have Persephone in the show.

Speaking of Hades, how does this Underworld work? Do Storybrooke/Enchanted Forest people die often with unfinished business?  A bunch of Dark One get a Real World Visa and Hades doesn’t care but three souls  leave and he goes into vindictive mood? What are souls in Hades’ ambition? In the movie, Hades didn’t care about the souls as he wanted to rule Olympus.

His motivation thus far is keeping the souls put which means there will be more flaming hair and hope speeches.  Or he has some other plan.

Also Snow dropped the identity of Mary Margaret, which should have happened while ago.

This was an  enjoyable episode. Sure Hercules and Megara are relegated to one episode but there was at least and arc with them as they both faced their fear and saved each other. The past section was nice and tied in well to the Underworld plot.  It was a solid episode.

 

Episode 14: Devil’s Due

Greg Germann as Hades Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 14 Devils Due review picture image

Greg Germann as Hades

This is a Rumple focused episode. Rumple finds out that Belle is pregnant and wants to get back to her. He then decides to be helpful in the Hook’s recuse and enlists his ex-wife’s, Milah, for help. Turns out Emma has been with all the men Milah has really loved, Hook and Neal. Kinda of messed up but Milah lets it go and helps Emma save Hook even though she knows Hook loves Emma now. As Emma is recusing Hook, Milah and Rumple are watching the boat, Hades makes a deal with Rumple. Hades will “poof” him home if he destroys the boat. He does but  Hades enacts an old contract that Rumple made with some healer to save Baelfire from a snake bite in exchange for his second born child. Milah was none too happy about that as Rumple sold her future. Hades now owns the contract, so he going to make Rumple work for him. Also Milah got pushed into the River of Lost Souls, she really didn’t deserve that fate.

It is curious that Rumple was always making deal to get babies but then he thought he voided the contract when he killed the healer but deals don’t get voided with death. The legal matters in this show are crazy. It’s an interesting plot development design to give reason for while Rumple was originally after babies in the first two seasons as is in the case with his fairy tale but he thought he had voided it anyway, so why was he after babies?. Bit weird though this development explains what pushed Milah to Hook whom she met in this episode and Rumple’s motivation to work with Hades. Still hate Hades.  

In other plots going on, Regina learns from Cruella about the graves in UnderBrooke. Everyone has one there. If it’s tipped over, the person went to Olympus. If it’s cracked, the went to I guess Hell. Regina finds Daniel’s grave and sees it has been tipped over. Then a weird scene happens, Regina sees a fallen horse and uses her magic to help it up. Apparently this returns her magic to her, didn’t even know it wasn’t working, must not have been paying attention. However before Regina can split Emma’s heart for Hook, Hades traps Regina, Snow and Emma in UnderBrooke by writing their names on tombstones. Hades likes the ladies.

This episode was decent. It’s nice to see Rumple in a pawn position even though he has his Dark powers back. The episode has good pacing, decent character development and moves this arc forward.

Beside the horse scene there is another weird moment. That silent girl behind the diner counter is curious. She has no lines but her styling is suspect. If this show never has Esmeralda or Hunchback, just consider this Esmeralda.

A Curious Extra or maybe Esmeralda Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 14 Devils Due review picture image

A Curious Extra, Maybe Esmeralda?

 

Episode 15: The Queen is Dead

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Rena Sofer as Queen Eva Season 2 Episode 15 The Queen is Dead ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Rena Sofer as Queen Eva

We got that three story structure in this episode, so let’s just start with Character’s past. This one centers on young Snow White. Snow White’s mother, Queen Eva is dying and Snow White ventures to find the Blue Fairy. The Blue fairy says the only way to restore the queen’s life is for someone else to die in her place and gives Snow a candle that will switch the lives. Very Game of Thrones. However young Snow can’t bring herself to do it and Snow’s kind mother dies. Turns out that Eva was poisoned by Cora who also disguised herself as the Blue Fairy to test Snow White and to lead Snow on a path of darkness. It also seems like Eva and Cora have a little bit of a history.

In New York, everyone is awkwardly trying to bond and then Hook stabs Rumpelstiltskin with a poison tipped Hook. Rumpelstiltskin  says he will die unless they can make it back to Storybrooke. Neal/Baelfire says that the fastest way is to steal Hook’s boat and says he can captain it. Basically Neall did go to Neverland! Was he Peter Pan? Seems like it? Would make sense though Pan learning to sail a Pirate boat? Seems a little off. Maybe he was rouge lost boy? Don’t know  I asked that question back in episode 4.  Also Emma meets Neal’s fiancee Tamara.

The trouble is back in Storybrooke, Regina and Cora are after Rumpelstiltskin’s dagger. Snow calls Emma asking Rumpelstiltskin to reveal the location of the dagger. He tells them and they find in the clock tower of the library but Cora and Regina show up and threaten one Snow’s former loyal servant Johanna. Snow trades the dagger for Johanna’s life but Cora kills  Johanna anyway. Snow then vows to kill Cora for what she did to both Johanna and her mother as she just learned of Cora’s manipulations and murder of her mom.

First off, there is a huge Star Wars reference. Snow White/Mary Margaret says the classic Leia line to Mother Superior, “Help Me Mother Superior, you’re my only hope.

Generally, I liked this episode. It was good to see a young Snow White be the focus of an episode and yet more character motivations in play.                  

 

Episode 16: The Miller’s Daughter

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Rose McGowan as Cora Season 2 Episode 16 Miller's Daughter ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Rose McGowan as Cora

This has to be one of the strongest episodes yet.  It explores Cora’s backstory and her rise of a Miller’s daughter to royalty and her lust for power.  So in the character’s past, Cora is a Miller’s daughter or more specifically the Miller’s daughter from the Rumpelstiltskin story. She is delivering flour to the King but Princess Eva trips and her and forced to kneel and apologize for doing nothing wrong.

Cora attends a ball for the hand of Prince Henry, who is being whored out for a wealthy alliance. Cora tells the king that she can spin straw into gold. So he locks up in a tower and should she produce gold she can marry Henry. Rumpelstiltskin shows up and offers to spin the straw into gold for her if she gives him her first born. She agrees but on the condition that he teaches her how spin gold instead, he agrees. Their lessons gets a bit sexually charged but she masters the process.

Cora and Henry become engaged but he is fifth in line to be King which doesn’t suit Cora. Her and Rumpelstiltskin are also having an affair. Rumpelstiltskin offers her love and asks her to run off with him. They amend their contract so that she would own him his child and he teaches her how to remove hearts so she can kill the king. She instead removes her heart as “love is weakness” and tells Rumplestiltskin she will not be going with him and any child she have will not be his.    

In Storybrooke, Rumpelstiltskin is dying and Cora seems like she wants the power of the Dark one. Rumpelstiltskin manipulates Snow to use that candle to exchange his life for Cora’s and tells her that the heart is in the vault. Snow manipulates Regina to give Cora’s heart back so that Cora will finally be able to love her.  Right before Cora is about to kill Rumpelstiltskin, Regina restores Cora’s heart thus killing her and saving Rumpelstiltskin.   
Both plot were great, one of exciting and somewhat suspenseful and the other was intriguing. Personally I prefered Cora’s and Rumpelstiltskin’s past. It was great to see what motivated Cora to her icy yet power hungry persona and also it gave the reason behind Rumpelstiltskin and Cora’s relationship which has been  hinted at for a while.   It does beg the question is Rumpelstiltskin Regina’s father?  If Cora was pregnant in that instance, which it vaguely hints at it   would make Regina Baelfire’s half sister and Henry’s aunt. But there is not clear indicator as of yet how much time passed between Rumplestiltskin and Cora’s affair and Regina’s birth and with Cora now dead it could be hard to answer that question if it is indeed true though it’s probably not true. Anyway great episode, one my favorites so far.

Episode 17: Hat Trick

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Sebastian Stan as Jefferson ABC's Once Upon a Time, Hat Trick picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Sebastian Stan as Jefferson

Emma and Mr Gold find that Mary Margaret has escaped and Emma needs to find by 8 A.M or they are screwed. While Emma is looking for Mary Margaret, she meets a guy named Jefferson,  who is apparently hurt. Emma takes him back to his house where he gives her some delicious tea but it turns out to be deadly poison.  Actually it’s just a roofie. Emma escapes from her restrainments and finds Mary Margaret in the house and tied up. As Emma and Mary Margaret try to escape Jefferson threaten them  with a gun and makes Emma tie Mary Margaret back up and then demands Emma makes a hat that works. Turns out Jefferson knows about the dual worlds and that he is a fairy tale character and he wants Emma to make a hat because she has magic and the hat will enable him to go home. Emma does make a hat but she knocks him out as she just thinks he is crazy. Mary Margaret, freed by Emma, helps defeat Jefferson who along with his hat is knock-out the window but he vanishes. Also Mary Margaret gets back in time but that wasn’t part of the plan cooked up by Regina and Mr. Gold, who surprise, are working together. Oh Mr.Gold playing both sides.    

In the fairy Tale world Jefferson lives with his daughter, Grace. Grace is also in Storybrooke but is called Paige and has a different family and doesn’t know Jefferson. Jefferson wants to live a peaceful humble  life but that darn Evil Queen wants him to take her to Wonderland via his magic hat. Jefferson at first says no but wants a better life for his daughter so he agrees. Before they enter Wonderland Jefferson tells the Queen that the same number of people who enter must leave together, rule of the hat. They enter Wonderland so the Evil Queen can take something that the Queen of Hearts stole. They get it back and it turns out it’s her father, Henry. Since it’s now three people the Queen makes it so Jefferson can’t leave. Jefferson gets captured by the Queen of Hearts and she takes his head, it’s what she does. He is fine  though and is told that he will have to make another hat to get out of wonderland which drives him mad. Mad Hatter, it’s not subtle.

  

Again, what happened to Emma’s lie detection? Jefferson was faking his injury which is a lie. Can she only spot when people say lies and not fakers? It’s just irritating. Also I love that his name is Jefferson, nice little reference to Jefferson Airplanes. I had a good laugh at that one. I do like that Jefferson is half mad for knowing the truth. I did like this episode. The Storybrooke parts were better than the fairytale plot.

Episode 18: The Stable Boy

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Noah Bean as Daniel ABC's Once Upon a Time, The Stable Boy picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Noah Bean as Daniel

Mary Margaret asking Regina what she ever did to make her hate her so much is like what Esmeralda said to Frollo when she was in jail for murder. I’m sure it was unintentional but it made me chuckle.  So this episode reveals why Regina hates Snow White a.k.a Mary Margaret. Regina in the Fairy Tale world was in love with a stable boy named Daniel, but her Mother, Cora, wants Regina to aim higher in status. One day Regina saves a little girl from a runaway horse. The girl is Snow White and her father asks Regina to marry him which her mother says agrees. Regina asks Daniel to  marry her and Snow sees them kissing. Regina begs Snow not to say anything as her mother wouldn’t understand. Snow does tell Cora since she wants Regina to be happy and have a relationship with her mother. Cora then takes Daniel’s heart and crushes into dust. Regina finds out Snow told her mother and that her mother was behind the whole thing of Snow’s Horse going wild so Regina could get the attention of the King.

Apparently this whole murder/missing person plot was all Mr. Gold’s doing really just to get Mary Margaret out of Storybrooke since the curse can’t left them leave so she will die I guess. Emma talks to August about approaching the case differently which causes Emma to return to the place where the heart was found. They find a shard from the shovel the was used to bury the heart. Emma breaks into Regina’s garage and indeed the shard matches her shovel. However Sidney planted a bug in Emma’s office so Regina is able to switch out the shovel before Emma can lawfully confirm the match. Also Regina confesses to Mary Margaret that she knows she didn’t kill Kathryn. The episode ends with it being revealed to Emma, August and Ruby that Kathryn is alive.   

First off, I’m not shocked. This why I have been trying to watch and episode and then write the posts instead of binging watching a bunch then writing. I will admit between episodes  7-13 I was binge watching it, which is more fun since this show is REALLY watchable but I did ask back in episode 16 if Kathryn was really dead. Full disclosure I did watch/wrote my assessment of  episode 16  Heart of Darkness the day before I watched/wrote this one, so it was fresh in my head.

I did really enjoy this episode, Barbara Hershey is like the perfect casting for Regina ambitious mother. Bailee Madison, young Snow, matched Ginnifer Goodwin’s inflections perfectly, easily one of the better child actor in the show.  I don’t know how I feel about the reason for Regina’s evilness  and her bitterness towards Snow. I mean tragic love is it? That is only reason really for her cruelty? She isn’t mad at her mother?  Snow was well intentioned and a child. I did like the episode but does seem too simplistic even for a fairy tale.   

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White, ABC's Once Upon a Time, The Stable Boy picture image

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White