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 5: Street Rat

Deniz Akdeniz as Aladdin & Karen David as Princess Jasmine Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 5, Street Rat picture image

Deniz Akdeniz as Aladdin & Karen David as Princess Jasmine

Sigh, this savior business has gotten out of hand. So being “The Savior” in the first season seemed like a cute nickname for Emma to bring back all the happy endings and her “light magic” was the result of being the product of true love which is what fuel her nickname as the Savior. Turns out “The Savior” is now a status with a tragic fate. All Saviors Must Die, All Saviors Must Serve. However, the savior status can be cut with  special scissors.

Didn’t dig the Storybrooke section with EQ and Zelena getting a spa day. Gotta wonder which story the spa workers are from.

The past section on the other hand, savior business aside, was pretty good. Jasmine and Aladdin are likable and the aesthetic of Agrabah was fun. Sure they mixed cultures and the leads have English accents but whatever. Rather would have the story focus on them than moody Emma.   Basically the Aladdin is also a savior and his story feed more into Emma’s story than his or Jasmine’s plot.

 

Episode 6: Dark Waters

Colin O'Donoghue as Hook & Faran Tahir as Nemo Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 6, Dark Waters picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Hook & Faran Tahir as Nemo

A MAN IS NO ONE!?  OMG IT’S A FACELESS MAN! RUN HOOK RUN !!!!!!!!!!! Or Nemo (no one) HA! How droll.

Basically this episode is another episode about how  revenge isn’t all that great yadda yadda yadda.  You have heard it all before, agian and agian and then agian.

There are some issues with this episode. First off, apparently the past section takes place during the Dark Curse BUT BUT BUT didn’t the dark curse freeze the Enchanted Forest? Isn’t that what Cora said to Hook right before it fell in season 2 in another past section? And yet here is Hook now having an adventure with Captain Nemo and his  brother Liam, his other brother. under the sea.

Also when did Henry start hating Hook? His weirdness toward Hook was contrived. Plus if you had a drinking game going where you take a drink anytime someone says “Hope” and “Family” you would have extreme liver cirrhosis  by now. Suppose if you added “Dearie” to the mix you’d be dead.      

And finally and this isn’t so much an issue with this episode BUT more on the season as a whole. What are the stakes anymore? The characters have been told that splitting a heart with one’s true love cheats death so long as it’s done quickly before the soul can leave the body and back in season 5 hell Emma and Hook passed the true love test so what’s the problem with Emma’s fate?  Let fate play out and BOOM heart share.

Otherwise the episode was weak, less revenge and Emma’s visions and more Jasmine and Aladdin. They are the saving grace of this season so far.

This episode did remind me of Song by Sarah Brightman called Captain Nemo.

 

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 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.

 

Episode 7: Nimue

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin

This episode was great. The plot revolved around the origins of the Dark One which out turns out to be a flip side of Merlin. Merlin drank from the Holy Grail and became a do-gooder wizard. He the fell in love with a lady, Nimue, who secretly drank from the grail and gave into to darkness thus creating the Dark one. Giving into darkness is killing and revenge. This show does take a simplic path to evil despite the grey tone to many of the characters.

Also in the episode Merlin’s soul get tethered to Excalibur as he tethered the Nimue’s dark magic to the dagger or other half. The Dagger and Excalibur are also made from the Holy Grail. Merlin made into a sword to cleave his magic and immortality, Nimue is the one that broke it and Emma restored it at the end of the episode despite Merlin’s warning in 1989 not to put the sword togather. Excalibur can destroy either the light or the darkness so probably not too good pending on Emma’s true plan.  This plot is getting more Star Wars all the time.

One minor problem, if the Dark One and dark magic were created 500 years before the events of Snow White, Regina and David and Rumble was the Dark One for 200 years given Hook’s revenge plot. Seem like it should have been more than 500 years.

I have another issue. Last episode, Merlin’s voice mail said that to get rid of the darkness they should find Nimue, the original Dark One. Either it was a clunky line of dialogue to promote mystery of who Nimue is or only a Dark One can destroy the Dark One.  Also Nimue and the Lady of the Lake are separate characters and there is no hint of Morgan le Fey.  Boo.

I do like how this arc doesn’t have a new bad big bad, Arthur hardly counts, he is a douchey mid-boss at best.  All in all the mythos of the Dark One was great. Interesting and decently compelling.

If I were in this show I would want to be a Dark One extra       

 

Episode 8; Birth

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 8 Birth review picture image

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

So Emma’s massive Dark One plan was to save Hook because she made him a  Dark One when she tethered his soul after he got a nick by Excalibur and to save him from the darkness she wants to put the collective darkness in Zelena then kill her but before she can do that she needs to evict the baby so she used dark magic and spiked onion rings to expedient the Zelena’s pregnancy.   

Well it’s a twist Hook being a Dark One but doesn’t make much sense since the tethering of one soul SHOULDN’T have created a Dark One. I thought the darkness was born out of a Holy Grail drinker giving into to dark impulses Nimue was a Dark One before Merlin tethered her soul to the dagger. Does beg the question, how did Nimue successful touch and drink from the grail since the dude with Merlin was turned to ash.

And it turns out Dark Ones all get resolidified at the vault expect Rumple since that is where Dark Hook appeared. It’s a continuity error because the writers invented  the vault in season 3,  guess  it’s more Dramatic.

So are we really to believe that when Emma took Hook’s memories he didn’t have an inkling of the darkness? Seems like he should have known something was up in his mind. He does have more of a temper this season but Emma was the Dark one, he has a history of hating the Dark One so his anger made sense but this turn of events seems like overkill.

Also Emma’s motives were out of place of love so it makes her Not quite a villain, she just has darker methods.

Gotta say most of the characters have been really flat this season. Most of their conversations are about how Emma is the Dark One but she isn’t Emma but she is but she isn’t.   

This episode does pull a big twist and the execution was bit all over the place.

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 7 Nimue review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One

 

Episode 3: Siege Perilous

 Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 3 Siege Perilous review picture image

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

I found this episode mostly boring. It centers on David and Arthur going on a quest to get a mushroom so they can chat with Merlin who is a tree. Arthur turns out to be sketchy as he steals the mushroom from David in the flashback and convinces a dude to kill himself in Storybrooke. To be fair, Arthur was sketchy in the legends as he tried to murder his incest baby and killed the May Day babies, so he wasn’t that great. At least Lancelot reappears to tell Snow about Arthur, sometimes you just got to tell these people or they won’t learn who the villain is.

In other events Emma tricks Hook and learn how to wake Rumple up so he can pull excalibur for her from the rock in her cave-like basement. Apparently he is a perfect hero as he is a blank slate. Not really sure how the makes sense. All his karma is wiped away because he not the Dark One? Good thing he cured his heart of darkness from the last season. And hey, where is Lily and Maleficent? Guess the show dropped them too.

Aside from a few action set-pieces and Emma’s crafty new attitude this episode was a bit of a snooze.

Episode 4: The Broken Kingdom

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 4 The Broken Kingdom review picture image

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere

I mostly liked this episode. The exploration of Guinevere and Arthur’s broken relationship was the most compelling aspect of the episode. Guinevere didn’t like Arthur’s obsession with getting excalibur mended at the cost of ignoring his Kingdom and wife. He basically uses a sand that fixes things to brainwash her into being supportive. Arthur is a selfish A-hole.

I more like like the fake-out between David, Snow, Arthur and Lancelot but since Arthur uses that sand it doesn’t amount to anything. Might as well not had the plot at all since it doesn’t seem to further the arc. The only thing it add was getting Lancelot locked-up and apparently Arthur wants to kill Merlin for some reason. Could be as simple as Arthur hates that the sword was broke. Made he thinks Merlin is making fun of his manhood.

Emma and Hook have a date to make her forget the voices in her head. It was visually pretty with the flowers and Emma’s white cape. I really like the cape. Speaking of the costumes I do like Emma’s dark one jacket. Nice nod to the crocodile.

The only part that took place in Storybrooke is Emma using Merida to make Rumple “Brave,” they literally name drop the movie. Though you could have made a drinking game with the number of times they say “Frozen.” Oh and Merida is in Arthur dungeon and she doesn’t like him very much. While I don’t love the character of Merida, I do think the actress, Amy Manson does a good job.

 

 

Episode 3: Rocky Road

Georgina Haig as Elsa and Elizabeth Mitchell as The Snow Queen ABC Once Upon a Time RockyRoad picture image

Georgina Haig as Elsa and Elizabeth Mitchell as The Snow Queen

This episode isn’t exactly bad just boring, dare I say underwhelming. We learn more about this Snow Queen Lady. She apparently knows Emma and Elsa but they have memory lost. Memory loss is such a crutch for this show but at least Rumple makes like a meta joke about it. It makes the memory loss tactic  worse if they are aware that they are doing this plot again for the third time in four seasons.

Basically Snow Queen is Elsa’s aunt who was also trapped in the urn. The whole past section of the episode involves Hans looking for the urn to trap Elsa so he can rule Arendelle. Kristoff and Elsa try to beat Hans to the punch and instead of trapping Elsa out comes the Snow Queen.

Ok, I have a nitpick. Why does Han want to rule Arendelle? It seemed like in the movie Hans just wanted to rule any place he could and Arendelle had an unwed heir and unwed Queen, seems like an ideal situation, so it makes sense. Now he just wants to conquer it for no real reason. Is Arendelle wealthy is some way? Like Ice? Trading? Precious Metals? Minerals? Reindeer? What is it show? Or is Hans butt-hurt that he didn’t get his way? It’s so contrived. One line would have given him some motivation.     

In Storybrooke the Snow Queen is causing deadly shenanigans so that Elsa will be blame so that everyone in town will hate her. Really? That is your plan? Are you a child? She puts a freezing spell on Marian. Robin tries to break it with true love’s kiss but it fails since we all know that Regina is his true love. Hey Idiots! Get Roland to do it. True love’s kiss has worked two times out three from the parent-child bond and both times it was Henry with his moms. Ok, now I have massive confusion, shouldn’t true love be like between two people in a two way street situation?  Henry has two true loves? Or is one way? Henry is Regina’s and Emma’s true love even though that doesn’t seem right. The point is they blame the ice  for blocking the lips or the skin as foreheads work too but they didn’t think of using Roland, instead Regina removes Marian’s heart to keep it from getting frosty.

B plot is Snow White is the mayor and she puts a bird on the wall of the office, which Regina hates, and Snow is super clingy with Neal. You know in other culture Mothers constantly carry their children, so this plot was dumb aside from put a bird on it part.       

What else to say? Oh! Emma mentions her “super power” again.  Writers please stop with the BS of Emma saying she has a super power because it’s more like Emma has an instinct sometimes but only when the plot says she can so either have it or don’t. Or at least make her not so damn confident about it.   

A positive I had was Elsa’s up-do was pretty. Like it was really pretty, A+ on her hair style. However I got to say in Frozen the CG work really enhanced the ice but not here, OUAT doesn’t do the computer generated stuff that well, at all.  And where is Olaf? Elsa mentions making a living Snowman but she could have been referring to Marshmellow? I demand Olaf so I regret demanding Olaf!

For all my complaints and nitpicks this was unassuming episode. It did move the plot forward but the plot points seemed hindered by the writing.

Episode 4: The Apprentice

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

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

They went and did it again! They made Hook a patsy for the villain using blackmail. This time Hook coforcesives Rumple to give back his hand by threatening to tell Belle about the fake dagger. Rumple restores Hook’s hand for his big date with Emma but Rumple plants the idea that the hand holds Hook’s villain mojo and reattaching it will make Hook revert to his old ways of being a villain. So when Hook starts acting out he thinks it’s the hand ask Rumple to remove it. Rumple then makes Hook help him trap the sorcerer’s apprentice in the hat  so Rumple can charge up  the hat with magic, sure okay that makes sense. Then  Rumple frames Hook by magical altering a videotape  to make it look like  that he did it all, it’s so quaint that they still use video tapes. And turns out Rumple lied to Hook about the hand. So Hook is dumb because pre-hook, he was just arrogant  pirate who had love. His villain persona happen AFTER Rumple killed Milah, so if Hook had thought about it he wouldn’t have fallen prey to Rumple. Also Hook did you not learn from last season which in the scheme of things was a few days ago, tell Emma the truth and then you don’t have to a pawn in this. Geez.  

Also I’m sick of Rumple’s yo-yoing between of good and villain. It’s like all the character development you had in the past three seasons is gone. Rumple was an interesting character when he was trickster to achieve his goals but now he is tedious.  

I guess that means we should bring out the past section. Anna meets Rumple. And if you recall last episode Rumple says that he didn’t know of Anna right to Emma’s face, where is your superpower now? Anyway Rumple makes a deal with her to have her  give some old guy who may or may not eat children a suspicious vial. This guys is the sorcerer’s apprentice. Anna can’t bring herself to poison him so she doesn’t do it. Turns out it was trick and Anna had the antidote to poison that Rumple gave him and sorcerer’s apprentice turns in a mouse al la Mickey Mouse. You see Rumple needs Anna to break an enchanted on a box that has the sorcerer’s hat so he be free of the dagger’s control. The hat also can stripe a person of magic which is why Anna’s parent were looking for it. In the end, Rumple does get what he wants from Anna, but Anna gets the dagger and she orders him to give her the box, turn the apprentice back to a man and send her back home. Rumple has to comply but he is not happy.

There is other stuff happening in this episode , like Henry and Regina mission to change the book, Emma and Hook’s date, David and Snow being weird parents to their adult daughter, Elsa looking through public records for Anna, and the Snow Queen stalking Emma.

There just so many plot going on in here and yet it’s mostly still just set-up for the season.
Though apparently Henry is OK with letting Marian be curse so Regina can have a happy ending. Henry is thinking like a villain. Has his character deteriorated? Apparently a former villain can get away with like that in his mind but not a hero because he went to pieces when Snow White did questionable things or when Emma bent the truth.  I did like the date but I’m a fan of Lady and the Tramp. Hook looked good in normal clothing. Personally I was getting bored with his costume. Emma’s dress seemed a little out of character like it was too girly for her. Will Elsa get a costume change?

Episode 21: Snow Drifts

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC's Once Upon a Time, Snow Drifts picture image

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

In this episode is all about Emma and Hook’s adventures back in time, where they steal clothes, meet Rumple,  go to a ball and mess up Snow and David’s meeting resulting in them never falling in love so Emma will never have been born, oops. Basically they are told that messing with the past will have consequence but it doesn’t really.  Hook even punches himself because “in time” Hook is kissing Emma and  Hook is jealous of himself. It is weird and somehow endearing. Good thing there is no time paradox or something in this show. I bet Hook and Hook could have a drink and nothing would have happen aside from Hook calling himself handsome, as he does.   

The worse thing about this episode is seeing Abigail’s hideous dress again. The costumes in this show are growing on me BUT that dress is a TRAVESTY, it’s horrible and I hate it. It’s good so see Abigail and Kathryn mention, people disappear a lot in Storybrooke.  Like she she and the gym teacher ever get together after the curse? 

Also we got a BIG Star Wars reference, when entering the ball Emma calls herself Princess Leia, wonderful. Hook is Prince Charles.      

Mostly I liked this episode, Emma and Hook were fun but Time Traveling isn’t a story line I like  also I don’t really like redoing David and Snow’s meeting, but all the whole an ok episode. Emma is still annoying about the whole New York thing.

 

Episode 22:  There’s No Place Like Home

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David with Baby Neal ABC's Once Upon a Time There’s no Place Like Home picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David with Baby Neal

This episode was a little bit of a trial because I can’t take it seriously when they talk about Princess Leia, Emma isn’t Leia. It might have easier to take if they just referenced to her as Leia but they used Princess. It just made me giggle too much every time they said it which diminished the impact of this episode.    

Ok, so what is the finale of season 3 about? It wraps up both Emma and Hook’s past adventures which was operation “fix Snow and David’s meeting and get her in that ring so they can fall in love,” I’m not good at code name formation.  It also wraps up Emma’s wanting to return to New York because she relieves she misses her parents and to her home is the place that when you leave  it you just miss it. So Emma got a little more character development which we saw her somewhat working towards all season with the help of Hook and her family.  Also the baby’s name gets revealed, it’s Neal.

There is a lot of plot elements that get sort of wrapped up but more elements to set up the next season. For instance in the past Emma saves a random do-gooder lady from execution. As a means to make sure the lady doesn’t mess up the past, Emma brings her to the future. This lady turns up to be Marian, Robin Hood’s dead wife, which throws a major wrench into Regina’s love life. Let’s just say Regina isn’t too happy with Emma. Emma learns how Hook got to her in New York, as he sold the Jolly Roger for a bean. That pretty much sells Emma on a romance with Hook, the ship lives because he sold his ship. Rumple and Belle get married and I’m sure it’s smooth sailing for them, I mean what can go wrong…? Knowing Rumple, everything because drama.    

Let’s see anything else that will be relevant next season? Do, do, do, do, think think, think. Oh yeah, friggin Elsa gets transported from the past via a gold urn thing and she seems PISSED, with her trail of ice. Elsa is the Groke!   
All in all is was a good season finale. It  is a little underwhelming that their trip back in time didn’t have a little more consequence aside from an extra story in the book  but shrugs.