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You Can’t Run from the Future- Once Upon a Time- Season 6 Premiere -Review (Spoilers)

hqdefaultOnce Upon a Time is back! For those who have no idea what this show is about, a quick summary. Once Upon a Time is about the lives, trials and fights of fairy tale characters. They were brought into our world by a curse from the first season and the show is about how they keep trying to establish a life and fight to keep the life they have intact. This season brings us new characters like Aladdin and Jafar as well as the Count of Monte Cristo. If you have not caught up with the show there will be spoilers ahead for not only the premiere but for the series.

This episode, as most premier episodes do, set up a lot of the pieces for the coming season. Emma got a glimpse of her future and it is not good. Rumple woke up Belle but she still wants nothing to do with him. Regina comes to terms with Robin’s death and what that means for her story going forward. Zelena gets a visit from The Evil Queen and realizes that they may have something in common. And the refugees from The Land of Untold Stories have been welcomed into Storybrooke.

Last season we were introduced to The Land of Untold Stories. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. The idea I had was that it was more of the idea that these were characters who had their own stories but no real land to belong to. They were one and gone stories and not part of a bigger land like Oz or Neverland. Turns out that isn’t quite it.

Regina mentions that The Land of Untold Stories is a land where you can run from your story. I love that idea. The idea that these characters are all people who have run away from their own stories is interesting. They either don’t like the ending or don’t like the way it was going so they leave. Once you leave your story, then what? Can anything happen? Or are you safe and just kind of stuck in a limbo? What happens when you leave that land does your story move forward again? I wonder how this will be used and who we get to meet that has run from their story.

ouatI have a feeling the concept of this land will come into major play with Emma this season. The episode started with Emma having a vision. We see her fighting a cloaked figure. She has the vision and then starts to shake. Emma does the one thing that drives me insane, she doesn’t tell anyone. Hook asks her right out what is wrong and she pushes him away and I wanted to smack her. Keeping this a secret is a horrible idea.

Emma goes off on her own to find out what the vision means. She meets an oracle that tells her that she may not want to know, it a vision of the future. She insists and sees the full thing, it is her death. The oracle tells her that this is her future, she can’t change it. And yet again she keeps it to herself.

This brings up the idea of destiny. In the beginning of the episode Jafar tells Aladdin that Saviors have one fate and that is to die. They give to everyone all the time and in the end it will kill them. Saviors don’t get any other type of endings according to Jafar. This vision seems to say the same for Emma. She is told that she cannot change her future.

The question, of at least this part of the season will be is that true? Is Emma doomed to die by the hands of this masked figure or is she just doomed to die saving others? Most stories will tell you that your fate is your fate, simple as that, no getting around it. Emma is destined to die but when and how may be still up in the air. And that type of destiny is one that we have seen changed before. The question will be when will she tell everyone and let them help her?

The other main aspect of this episode was Rumple waking up Belle. He uses special sand to get into her dream. He tries to manipulate her into falling in love with him again but Belle figures out what he is doing. Their son comes to them in the form of Morpheous and warns Belle not to trust Rumple. She wakes up and refuses to be with him. She is done with his broken promises and not being able to trust him.

The question is what will Rumple do now? He is being told that he is out of options. Belle is done with him. She will not allow him to hurt her or their son. So what will he do? Will he finally walk away and let her go? I doubt that.

What I see Rumple doing is finding a way to manipulate and force Belle to be with him. He is the Dark One again, so he has a vast amount of power. The question becomes, will he be willing to use it on Belle? I hope not but I don’t trust him. Rumple gets what he wants, no matter the consequences so this will most likely not end well.

The other important point was the relationship between Zelena and Regina. We see that these two are not going to end up being cozy sisters right away. There is a lot of work that has to be done between the two of them.

Zelena is not some pillar of good. She has forgiven her sister but she is not on the hero side yet. She is still willing to kill and hurt when she finds it necessary. She ends up telling Regina that she is upset because Regina ripped out the dark side of her, the side that was most like Zelena.

maxresdefaultZelena doesn’t think she has anything in common with her sister anymore. They both have done bad things but as Regina states she is starting a new story. Regina realizes that her past is her past. Some people will never be able to see her differently but she knows that is her past story. She sees her life as a number of tales and that she is now starting a new one.

Zelena is not ready to start new. She is still telling her same story. She doesn’t want to change who she is. She has more in common with The Evil Queen. In the end The Evil Queen pays Zelena a visit. It will be easy for her to get her to work with her. It will be interesting to see Zelena try to figure out what to do. Does she go with her instincts and her past or does she start her own new story and go with Regina? I think we will definitely see the wicked side of Zelena’s character again this season.

Quotes:
“Evil did not make you strong,” Emma – A lot of the time those who are evil are seen as extremely powerful. Most of the time  that is true because they don’t have the conscious  that tells them not to hurt others with their power. There is a barrier that they do not work with. Good can be powerful. Power works for everyone, it is just how you use that power.

“You never hear happy- ever-after written about The Savior,”-Jafar- He tells this to Aladdin. Is this true though? Saviors can have happy-ever-after’s, though their work is never done. Is that why? Because The Savior is never done protecting those around them and a lot of the times that does end in their demise.

“Change the path to the destination but the destination remains the same,”- The Oracle- This is most likely very true. Though the question becomes what is the destination. If the destination is death does it matter how and when? Or can that be change and pushed back over and over again? Yes, sooner or later you will get there but you can take a number of roads that push you around the destination over and over again.

Questions:
What happened to Aladdin?
How did Aladdin become a Savior?
What does Jafar want with Aladdin?
 What stories and characters are in The Land of Untold Stories?
In that land how do you get there? Can you leave? What happens when you do leave?
What is Hyde’s plan?
When will Emma tell everyone about her vision?
When will she let them help her?
How will she circumvent the vision and what she saw?
Does she really have to die in that battle?
Who was that masked person?
What is The Evil Queen’s plan?
How does she want to use Zelena?
Will Zelena realize that she needs to be on Regina’s side or will she fight against her?
What will Rumple do now?
Can he let Belle go?
Will Rumple ever be able to change enough to have a relationship with Belle and their son?
Is their son really Morpheus?
What are they going to do with Mr. Hyde?
Are we going to see Violet and her father again?

Use of Fairy Tales Vs. Mythology in Once Upon a Time

tumblr_static_once-upon-a-timeI love fairy tales for a few reasons. First of all, I love that they have lasted over centuries of storytelling. They are stories that almost everyone knows, in some form or another. They are tales that have created characters that have lasted throughout the ages. They are tales that give us a glimpse into a life long ago while also allowing us to mold them to our present day lives. Many are basic stories that have grown over time. I also love the lessons they tend to leave behind, again lessons that grow as time goes on.

I also adore mythology as well. To me, mythology is very similar to fairytales. They both are stories full of fantastic elements, that take the reader or listener on an epic journey. They are also a great way of understanding what life was like in the distant past. Mythology gives us a glimpse how ancient peoples lived and ran their lives. They are also stories that again, can change and grow with time. Today we envision them in so many different ways. We can recreate them to fit our lives and fit our modern times.

Once Upon a Time is one of my favorite shows because of how they have taken some classic tales and breathed new life into them. They started the series by re-telling some of the classic tales; Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and a number of others. The show started simply. The first season was just establishing the characters and how they all fit together. One of the best parts of this show is that all the tales do fit together in some manner.

Over the course of the show, many of the stories have taken on a life of their own. Snow White, a character I never put much thought into, grew into a character I understand and admire. I know that these are just their reimagining of these stories but they have given me a new way to look at tales that I have always loved. Characters that at times seemed very one dimensional; such as The Evil Queen, have gotten so much depth to them. Regina is not just The Evil Queen, she is a woman who has made wrong choices in her life and is striving to turn her life around. She is the epitome of the struggle between good and evil and how the fight is never over.

I have always admired the way the creators have taken inspiration from the originals of the classics. They don’t base their stories off the Disney versions. They are not afraid to take a character we thought we should always hate and make them grow into a character we love; such as Captain Hook.

I remember when they were going to introduce Elsa and Anna from Frozen to the series how worried I was. I was worried that they were jumping on a bandwagon and were going to lose the intricate story-telling they had used for so long. I was scared it was just going to be a re-telling of the Frozen story, which would have been a major disappointment.

I was pleasantly surprised to see them take elements of the Frozen movie and connect the original story of The Snow Queen into the story. Frozen is inspired by The Snow Queen but makes little reference to the original story. Once Upon a Time actually integrated The Snow Queen herself into the story, along with some great story elements such as the shards of ice entering the eyes and changing the characters. I loved that they were able to take these two stories and created a new one that was intriguing and fun to watch.

Once-Upon-a-Time-5x13-Labor-of-Love-Title-card-with-graves-in-the-UnderworldThey have always a done a great job of re-telling the fairytale stories (there are a few exceptions of them dropping a few story lines but in general they do a great job) which was why I was very excited to see them bring in the concept of The Underworld and Mythology into the show. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by how they did it.

First, I did like how they portrayed The Underworld. In mythology, The Underworld is not Hell. It is much as it was portrayed in the show, an in-between spot. It is a place to take care of any unfinished business and then move on. It is not a horrible place to be. It is more like a purgatory.

The show did a good job at making it clear that it was not Hell. The characters could move on to a “better place,” or a “worse place.” We get to infer for ourselves what that meant. I liked that element.

What disappointed me most about the storyline was the lack of character development for Hades. In mythology, Hades is not a horrible person. When the lots were drawn for the universe Hades got The Underworld. It was not a punishment. He was not angry or being doomed. That is just what he got.

Over time society has vilified Hades because he resided over the land of the dead. We are scared of death and what it means and what comes after. Because of that fear we have made it so that Hades is a scary entity. He is equated with the devil. Our fear of death has created a villain out of him.

In the show, they worked with that idea, which was fine. What I was disappointed about was that we didn’t get to see him grow at all. All of our other villains, we have seen them change over time. We always gotten their backstories and we have gotten to see how they became the villain in the first place. Usually, there is some trauma that has created this person we have before us. We got none of that with Hades.

We never got to see why he was cursed by Zeus. We got a sentence about it, something about Zeus being scared of Hades’s want for power. Which is fine but in this show we are used to getting so much more. We are used to seeing our characters have depth, Hades lacked that.

I was disappointed because there was so much potential with the mythology storylines. We saw Hercules for an episode and we saw Zesus for half a second. That was all. I expected to get much more. With the plethora of material that was available to play with and expand it could have been very interesting to see it all develop and mix with the fairytales.

Now I know they may not have wanted to stray too far from the fairytales and get lost in this new storytelling. The issue is they are running out of fairy tales. They need to be able to move the stories forward without pushing the limits too much. The new “Land of Lost Stories,” may be teetering on the edge. I think they could have done a lot with the mythology and integrating the two together. Mythology is a form of fairytales (at least to me) and I think it could have been very interesting to see how these two forms of storytelling combined with one another.

I still love this show. I am interested to see where they can go from this point. I was just hoping to get a lot more from the mythology storylines than we got. There was potential there that was not realized as I was hoping it would be.

Who is Regina now? – Once Upon a Time (Season 5 finale) (Spoilers)

once-upon-a-time-season-5-finale-evil-queenThis was an interesting finale. It gave us our new villain and characters. It also gave us a new way to deepen an already complex character. Regina battles her dark side but not in the way that I expected. I am actually very happy with the way Regina’s storyline was handled this episode.

The episode opened with Rumple tethering all of Storybrooke’s magic to the Olympian crystal. He needs more power in order to wake up Belle. He isn’t going to waste time trying to convince her father to help him. He knows he needs more power so he essentially tries to steal all of the town’s magic.

It doesn’t take long for everyone to learn what Rumple is up to. They know that Rumple having control of all the magic is not a good thing. They decide that he has to be stopped. The problem here comes when Regina suggests her plan. Emma tries to sideline her. Telling her that she is grieving and thus doesn’t need to come with them. What she is actually afraid of is that Regina is going to revert to being The Evil Queen. Regina is annoyed at Emma’s distrust and storms off.

Now, this scene annoyed me. Last episode Regina tried to sideline Emma because she thought her too emotional over losing Hook and wouldn’t be able to help defeat Hades. Emma was angry that no one trusted her. Now, what does she do? She tries the same thing on Regina. I was upset that after everything that Emma wouldn’t A.) trust Regina and B.) would do what made her so angry before to someone else.

Henry watches the scene and he gets upset. He sees his parents fighting. He sees his mother grieving and he is worried. He needs something to blame for his families misfortune. He needs a way to end all their pain and he thinks the way to do that is by destroying magic.

For a minute, I understood where Henry was coming from. He is upset. He is watching his family fight and watching his mother grieve. It makes sense that he wants to do something about all of it. He needs a scapegoat. Much like Regina did when she was blaming the storybook and the author for her troubles.

But what Henry learns throughout this episode is that magic is not to blame. Magic is a tool for people to use. It is a force. It cannot think for itself. Destroying magic would be like trying to destroy light or darkness. It just doesn’t seem possible.

What happened to Regina was tragic but is not magic’s fault. Magic does not create fate. Magic itself did not kill Robin. Hades did that. Keep the same scenario but take out the magic. Robin would still have jumped in front of Regina. Hades would still have ended up hurting him. Whether it was magic, a knife or a gun, Robin was going to die in that setup. Magic did not kill Robin, it was just the weapon of choice.

Henry learns that magic is everywhere. It comes down how to it is used. Destroying magic would not change anything. Their lives would not be perfect and blissful without magic. They would still fight evils and suffer at times. That is just how life works. At the end, Henry sees that magic is important and necessary.

While they are trying to find Henry, Emma and Regina have a very significant talk. Regina reveals to Emma that she wanted to lash out after Robin’s death. She wanted to hurt Hook for coming back when Robin can’t. But she knew that she could not go down that path. She knew that just tasting that anger and power again would be dangerous. She is scared of The Evil Queen that resides inside of her.

Regina refers to her darker side as The Evil Queen. It is someone she is constantly carrying around with her. She is the memory of all her mistakes and her negative past. The Evil Queen is always there. She is a reminder to Regina of what she did and why she now suffers.

Regina states that she carries her own curse around with her. A curse of knowing good from bad and the consequences. She knows that if she gives into her darker side she will lose those she loves. She could hurt them and that is too much for her to handle. On the other hand doing good, all the time, allows her to constantly suffer. She can’t push that suffering aside. She has to just live with it day in and day out. And that is becoming too much for her to handle.

images-4Regina is given a chance in this episode to extract the Evil Queen from herself and she takes it. She takes a potion from Dr. Jekyll and she separates herself from The Evil Queen. Standing before her is her dark side. It is all the mistakes and evil deeds she has done in her life. Regina wants to destroy her. She hesitates at first while The Evil Queen taunts her, calling her weak. She ends up crushing The Evil Queen’s heart, thinking she has freed herself from that evil side of herself.

What we see at the end of the episode is that The Evil Queen is still alive. My question is can you kill a part of yourself and still live on? Regina forgets that your past is what creates who you are. All our past choices, good and bad, influence where our lives go. We learn from those choices. We make new choices based on the past memories of guilt or sorrow. Without that side who is Regina?

Regina is a complex character because she has these two sides to her. She has her memories and knows what she has done. But does she still have the feelings associated with that side? Does she still have a nagging reminder of what that evil did to those around her? What about her is different now? Something has to be different. She has basically split away a piece of her personality. Regina cannot be the same person without that side of herself.

It will be interesting to see how the show deals with this idea next season. I am also eager to see how the new “lost,” stories are worked in and the new characters we get to meet.

Quotes:
“Fate is cruel,” – Hook – This is what Regina thinks about her life. She believes that fate is punishing her for all her mistakes in her past.

“I am what I am,” – Regina- I love this quote. Regina is good and bad. Regina struggles to do good. Regina will save those she loves by destroying others. I think this is something she will have to remember for the coming season.

“Being separate is what is going to destroy you,” – Mr. Hyde – Can you live separated from a part of yourself? Doesn’t good need the balance of evil to exist? How does that work in a person?

“Magic is everywhere if you are willing to see it,” – Dragon – I just love this idea.

Questions:
Where is Rumple now?
What did Mr. Hyde tell him that made him trade Storybrooke?
How does Mr. Hyde know The Dark One?
How did Violet’s dad get to Camelot?
What new stories will we hear and what new characters will we meet?
What will happen now that The Evil Queen is wandering around?
Can Regina be Regina without the darker side of herself?

True Love is Not Always Enough – Once Upon a Time (5×21) – Review- Spoilers

blog-81b15014-676f-4122-94c7-1726fb3e8c6f_5760x3840In this episode, we got to see the end of Hades and we also learned just what kind of man he was, while this battle yet again destroyed Regina’s happiness. Zelena also had to make a difficult choice between her sister and Hades.

The episode started with everyone arriving back in Storybrooke. It becomes their mission to find and defeat Hades. They all know now that Hades cannot be trusted and he has not changed. They do not have time to let Zelena try to change him. He does not trust them and they do not trust him.

Regina tries to explain to Zelena what happened with Hades but Zelena does not want to hear it. All Zelena can hear is that Regina wants to destroy the man she loves. She sees Regina not trusting her. Zelena is upset that yet again no one is on her side. They are all fighting against her and she cannot deal with that.

Zelena tells Hades about how everyone is after them and she suggests just running away. Zelena just wants to be happy with her love and her daughter. That is all that matters to Zelena anymore. This sets up the key difference between Zelena and Hades’s characters.

Zelena would be satisfied with a calm life living in the woods somewhere with just Hades and her daughter. Revenge and taking out their enemies does not matter to her anymore. All that matters is having the two people she cares most about in her life at her side. She no longer wants to hurt Regina or anyone else. Fighting is not on her radar.

Hades is the opposite. Hades will not be happy just living off the grid somewhere. He will not be happy without having everyone under his control. He wanted out of The Underworld in order to rule a greater kingdom. What is important to him is power and control.

Hades and Zelena parallel Rumple and Belle. I do not doubt that both Rumple and Hades love Belle and Zelena. That love is true but that love is not enough. Both Hades and Rumple cannot deal with others being in control of their lives. They cannot let anyone else have power over them. Rumple has to be The Dark One and Hades needs to have the Olympian crystal. With these powers, they are tough to fight and defeat. They believe they are safe because they are the strongest ones around.

While Belle and Zelena want to just live their lives. They do not want to fight. They do not care about power or control. They want to live calmly with their loves and families. In the end, neither can change the men they love. Rumple will always need the power as does Hades.

Zelena was faced with a choice in this episode. She had to choose between her sister and Hades. Hades wanted Zelena to kill Regina in order to eliminate her as a threat. Zelena could not kill her sister. Her sister loves her and does not want to change her anymore. Hades could not live the life that Zelena wanted. He would always want to hurt others and take out Regina. Zelena realized that she could not change this side of him. I think once Belle wakes up she will make the same realization.

There is an issue I had though with this episode and Hades’s character. In all the other storylines the adversary gets an extensive backstory. We see why they became who they were and what caused them to be full of anger and resentment. We got hints at Hades’s story in this second half of the season but nothing extensive which disappointed me. I wanted a flashback to why Zeus cursed Hades.

I wanted to see who Hades was before the curse. I think it would have given me a better way to relate to him. For the Once Upon a Time X Challenge, I am going to write a more extensive post about the use of fairy tales and mythology in this show so I will go into more detail there about the potential that was not realized with Hades character.

images-3In the end, Regina lost Robin in this episode. In the previews for next week, she asks Emma if she is worried that the Evil Queen will come back. I am not sure how I want this to play out.

On one hand the last thing I want is for Regina to backslide. Her character has been written so well. She has the best arc in this series. We understand her so well and all her choices make sense. So having her revert to her old ways out of grief and anger would seem to cheapen her journey. She has dealt with grief before and she should be able to find a way to deal without trying to destroy everyone.

On the other hand, I would not blame her for lashing out. She cannot catch a break and it is getting a bit annoying. There is only so much one person can take. Regina has been through so much and overcome so much. Every time things get close to things being good for her the rug is ripped out from under her feet. I can see her resenting Emma because Emma got Hook back and again not sure I can blame her. I think Regina is strong enough to fight her grief and not fall into that dark place but I would not be surprised if she is angry and resentful for a while.

Quotes:

“Sometimes the truth really hurts,” – Regina- Zelena learned that her love was not enough for Hades. Regina learned that the universe does not want her to be happy.

“Our future is not determined by our past,” – Robin – Robin gave Regina a chance and saw her change. Regina is a new person but her past still haunts her and it may be something she can’t ever fully escape.

“Only way to be safe it be strong,” – Hades- For Hades strength was one of the main things that mattered. Love was not enough. In the end strength was not enough to save him.

Questions:
What will Rumple do with the piece of crystal?
Will Belle’s father really leave her asleep?
Is there another way to wake Belle?
How will Regina handle Robin’s death?
Will Regina come to resent Emma because she got Hook back?
What will the new threat be?
Will Zelena be a deciding factor in Regina not reverting to her old ways?

 

Armor is No Longer Needed – Once Upon a Time Review (5×20) (Spoilers)

520Promo3Almost all of our group made it out of The Underworld on this week’s episode. Hades also left but not without a bit of manipulation. Emma had to make the tough decision to leave Hook behind.

The episode opened with Hades going to our group to ask for help. Rumple and Pan have Zelena and he needs them to help him get her back. They agree but only if Hades allows them to leave The Underworld. He promises to remove their names from the tombstones.

The showdown between Rumple and Pan and Hades and our group is a quick one. Hades rips up the contract for Rumple and Emma keeps Pan from taking Zelena’s heart. It all happened quickly and left me wondering how things were going to fall apart. Rumple got what he wanted. Pan was abandoned, still without a way to get back to the mortal world.

The most important part of that scene was how surprised Zelena was that Hades ripped up the contract without hesitation. He didn’t try to trick or fight Rumple. He ripped it up in front of him and that was it. He tells Zelena that he will do anything for her. He ends up kissing her and it is the kiss of true love. Hades’s heart restarts and he is now able to leave The Underworld.

Hades’s heart has restarted but he has not changed. I thought this moment would be a bit more dramatic. I thought it would involve him feeling again and being overwhelmed by his choices and his emotions. But he isn’t. He is still Hades.

I don’t know if he hasn’t had time to truly go through his new emotions or not or if this is just who he is as a person. Hades tells the group they can now leave but he sets it up so that they almost do not make it. He uses Cruella and the Blind Witch to trap most of the group in the library. He also has cut down the ambrosia tree, the only thing that can get Hook back to the mortal world.

Hades is not a new man. Hades is still selfish. He still only cares those close to him and his own life. He wants to get back to Storybrooke for Zelena. He wants to give her everything he thinks she has lost over her lifetime. Hades is still willing to hurt others to get what he wants.

images-2Zelena still thinks she can change him. She believes he can be a new man. But so far it is looking like that is going to be nothing but a dream. I do believe Hades loves Zelena but I am not sure that is going to be enough to change him. I think it will come down to why he got cursed in the first place. In the end, I would not be surprised if Zelena has to choose between Hades and Regina.

The main part of this episode surrounded Emma and her attempts to save Hook again. They learn that Hook has been dead too long for him and Emma to be able to share a heart. The only way to get Hook out of The Underworld is with ambrosia. They go down to the tree only to find that it has been destroyed. There is no way to save Hook now. (Or so it seems. I refuse to believe Hook is gone for good until he actually crosses over. I will be in full denial even after that most likely).

In the past parts of this episode we see Emma on the run. She gets caught while she is seeking answers about her past. She ends up forming a connection with the bail-bonds woman who catches her, Cleo.

Cleo is the one who teaches Emma that she needs to find some emotional armor for herself. Emma is obsessing about her past. She is desperate for any reason why she was orphaned. She cannot think about anything else and it is destroying her. She makes mistakes that get her in trouble and she is not living any sort of real life for herself. All she can think about is her past.

Cleo teaches her to let the past go. She needs to move on. She needs to become less emotional. She lets her emotions rule her actions too often. This is the point where Emma begins to push away the world. She is done trying to find someone to care about her. She needs to find a way to begin her life and to not let her emotions of anger and sorrow rule her life.

At that point in time that all made sense. She had no purpose in life at that point. All she could think about and do was search for her past. She had no parents and no one on her side. She was lost and she needed to find a way to focus herself on a new life. She could only do that by losing the emotional side of herself.

Now, life is different. Emma has a life. She has parents who love her and who she has forgiven for the past. She has a son she will do anything for. She loves Hook and she now shows the world how she feels. She is no longer hiding. This episode solidified that she has made that transition. She no longer is afraid to get close to someone. She is no longer scared to let others see her vulnerable.

She had to leave Hook behind but I do not think this will completely break her. Hook made her promise not to put her armor back up. He wants her to be able to live her life fully and I think she is on the path to do that. Though knowing this show something horrific will happen and derail all of that.

That horrific event very possibly could be Henry’s death. Someone is dying next episode if the trailer is any indication. Many think Robin Hood, which is possible, but I am leaning towards Henry at the moment. The only reason I am is because he left the Storybook behind. Henry’s defining object is that book. His story always revolves around it, especially now that he is the author. It makes he wonder why he left it. He could have left the pages with the stories of the residents of The Underworld behind without leaving the whole book. I know there are other books in the Apprentice’s house but something seemed ominous about him leaving that book in The Underworld. I don’t know if this show would go that far but we will find out soon enough.

Quotes:
“When will you believe that I’ll do anything for you,” – Hades- This is an important statement to make. He will do ANYTHING and I believe that includes killing others.

“Not Hell and not the devil,” – Zelena- I like that this distinction was made. Maybe now The Underworld can go back to being the in-between place it was meant to be. It is not meant to be a dark place, just a stopping point before moving on permanently.

“You’re holding on too tight,” – Cleo- She tells this to Emma. She wants Emma to understand that all she can see is her past. It is time she saw that there is more to her life.

Questions:
What is Hades’s plan for Storybrooke?
What will Hades’s do when he learns the group escaped?
Will Zelena be forced to choose between Hades and her sister?
Can Hades be changed at all?
What is Hades backstory?
Will we meet Zesus?
Is Hook really stuck in The Underworld?
Who is the funeral for in the promo?
What will happen to Belle while stuck in Pandora’s box?

“You Never Stop Being Connected,” – Once Upon a Time – 5×19 (Review) (Spoilers)

0cbf869252d8413ac12174215e216e2fThis episode saw Regina and Zelena finally resolve their issues and find a way to work together. We also see that stopping Hades might not involve an all out battle. Cora also made amends for all her past mistakes.

The episode opened with Hades taking Zelena on a night time picnic. On the picnic, he explains to her what he is going to give her. He has put all of our group’s names on tombstones, trapping everyone in The Underworld. Once his heart restarts he can leave. He and Zelena can go and have control of the real Storybrooke. He wants to give Zelena everything she ever wanted.

Regina ends up watching the whole exchange and confronts Zelena. She tells her that she has to walk away from Hades, that Hades can not change. Regina is adamant that Hades will always remain a villain. But Zelena refuses to listen. She only sees Regina trying to take something from her yet again. Every time Zelena gets something, someone is taking it from her.

Regina is aware that Zelena is Hades’s weakness. She goes to Cora because she needs her help making Zelena fall out of love with Hades. Cora tells her the only way to accomplish that task is by making Zelena forget all about Hades.

The two of them try a scheme that Zelena sees right through. They all have this all out fight where Zelena and Regina learn what Cora has been hiding from them. When Regina was a child she messed around with Cora’s wand and hurt herself. The only person who could save her was Zelena. Cora brought Zelena in and after waking up Regina they became friends. It was very quick how they took a liking to each other.

Zelena had spent her life thinking that she did not matter. Her father told her that she was a monster and that his magic was unnatural. He hated her and hurt her. While Regina was always lonely, she wanted a friend and companion. When they were brought together they both received what the other was missing. Regina got a sister and friend and Zelena got someone who cared about her.

Cora at that point had no heart and tore the girls apart and took their memories. The next time the girls met they both had gone through a tough life. Both of them were filled with anger and resentment. All they saw in each other was competition. They could not see that connection they had established when they were children.

Cora returns their memories and all the emotions that came with them. Suddenly Regina and Zelena saw something they hadn’t before. They could care about one another. They at one time understood each other. There was this deep connection that was blossoming. They are sisters and that means that they do care for one another.

Cora returned to them what they needed at that moment. Zelena had to see that Regina had her best interests at heart. Regina wasn’t out to always hurt her. She was trying to save her. Regina had to see that Zelena can think for herself. Zelena isn’t dumb and she isn’t blind. She doesn’t trust easily. She would not give Hades her heart without thinking through the decision.

In the end, Regina tells Zelena to give Hades a chance. I think Regina sees just how many different ways love can save someone. Hades is not immune to the power of love. He has a heart, it just needs to beat again. I think Regina is seeing that together the two of them can save everyone. This is not going to end in some major battle, love looks to be their saving grace once again.

Quotes:

“I thought love was a weakness,” – Cora- Cora had messed up priorities when she was younger. She learned from her mistakes. I hope that Hades doesn’t start thinking along these lines and try to reject Zelena out of fear.

“You never stop being connected,” – Cora- Through everything Zelena and Regina were able to hold onto that sisterly connection. Their care and love for one another may be what saves everyone.

Questions:
What is Rumple’s plan?
What does Pan want and what part is he playing?
What will Hades do when he learns Zelena has been kidnapped?
Will Hades have to work with the group to get Zelena back?
When will Hades and Zelena kiss?
Will we meet Zesus?
Will we learn why Hades was cursed in the first place?
Is Cruella going to take revenge for James’s death?
Can Zelena change Hades?
Will Zelena make it out of this alive?

Power of True Love – Once Upon a Time – 5×18 (Review)

maxresdefaultThis week we saw the lengths that Hades will go to, to convince Zelena to be with him. We also saw Snow find a way home and Belle makes a rash decision in order to save herself and her baby.

This episode centered around Ruby trying to find Dorthy. While Zelena was still in OZ, she encountered Dorthy, Ruby, and Mulan. She kidnapped Toto and the three of them worked to get Toto back. In the process, Dorthy was put under a sleeping spell and Ruby has been searching for her ever since.

Ruby does a tracking spell and ends up in The Underworld. Zelena reveals what she did to Dorthy. The only way to wake up Dorthy is with true love’s kiss. The group initially go looking for Auntie Em. But Hades figures out what they are doing and beats them to her. He tricks her into drinking from the river of souls and basically kills her. He then threatens the rest of the people in The Underworld with the same fate if they help Emma or any of the other group.

We learn that the only reason Hades hurt Auntie Em was for Zelena. He knew that Zelena hated Dorthy and the fact that the people loved her. He knew that one of the things she always desired was for Dorthy to be taken out. Hades has not given up on Zelena. He does this in order to impress her and show her that he will go to great lengths to make her happy. Her happiness is one of the few things that matters to him.

What I found interesting about this aspect was the fact that Hades harbors hope that if he shows Zelena care and give her things she will want to be with him. He loves her. He has this hope that she will choose him.

rubyslippers-178432In this episode, he orders the phone used to talk to live loved ones taken out. The last episode he tricked Belle in order for her to lose hope. He is upset at the amount of hope in The Underworld because to him it should be only a place of decay. But he himself has a bit of this idea. He doesn’t have hope to save anyone but he does harbor a hope that he will get Zelena.

We know that if Hades kisses Zelena, and if it is true love, that his heart will restart. Right now all he can feel is anger, resentment and a desire for revenge. But when his heart is beating again will he be able to feel all other emotions? What will become of The Underworld if he also harbors positive feelings instead of all the negative ones he has built up inside of him?

I think Hades own hope will be his downfall. He is going to do whatever it takes to get Zelena to be his. He loves her and as he has stated before love will make you do crazy things. As I stated in the last review, love for someone will make you choose things you may never have done before.

Zelena decides to try to trust Hades in the end of this episode. But she also wants to do whatever it takes to get her daughter back. Will she betray Hades in order to save her daughter? Or will she realize that by falling in love with him, trusting him and letting him have her heart that she can actually save him? In the end, will loving Hades redeem her and make her see the true power of love? Regina was looking for Hades’s weakness last week, I think Zelena is that weakness. It will be interesting to see how these two work together.

Quotes:
“Fight your instincts and help us,” – Regina- Zelena has a true desire for revenge and to harm those who hurt her. But there is a new part of her that wants to create a good life for her daughter. She may end up having to choose between Hades and her child soon.

“Hard to be a savior when no one wants you to save them,” – Hades- Hades has made sure that the residents of The Underworld do not want to help Emma. He has made them afraid but will that last? Will some realize the risk to be saved is worth it?

“What you get back when you love someone far out weights the risks,” – Snow – Hades is risking a lot by falling in love with Zelena. If his heart restarts, that could fundamentally changed his whole world.

Questions:
Is Storybrooke safe?
Will Snow have to fight for their home alone?
When will Hades notice that Snow is gone?
What will Hades do when he learns Snow is gone?
Will Zelena be upset to find out Dorthy is awake, lose trust in Hades?
Is everyone scared of Emma or will some still work with her?
Where is Pan?
Can the sleeping curse actually save Belle and the baby?
What will the issue be trying to wake up Belle?
Will we see Ruby, Mulan and Dorthy again?
Will Hades’s heart restarting save everyone?
What will become of The Underworld when Hades’s heart restarts?
Will we ever meet Zesus or any other gods?

It is All About Perspective – Once Upon a Time (5×17) (Review)

once-upon-a-time-season-5-episode-17-herThis week Once Upon a Time was all about perspective. Rumple has a very clear idea of what he will and will not do in order to save the ones he loves. Belle learns that sometimes there are certain actions that are justified when the right circumstances call for them. Hades pushes Belle to learn her lesson while also ensuring that hope can not destroy his kingdom.

The episode opened with Belle going to Rumple. She tells him that while she doesn’t completely trust him and is not okay with his decisions, she needs his help. She knows that he will do anything to protect their unborn baby. But she makes it clear to Rumple that they will not save the baby with dark magic. She wants to do things her way. She insists that dark magic has no use but to hurt people. Rumple tells her it is all about perspective.

POV was the over-arching theme of this episode. Rumple tells Belle, “That is the thing with dark and light, it comes down to POV.” He knows that there are some things that require a more harsh hand.

Rumple is sure and strong in who he is now. He is no longer wavering between if he is dark or light. He is no longer fighting with himself. Rumple has accepted who he is. He is a man who likes power. He is a man who will not let anyone control him. And he is a man who will go to great lengths to save his wife and child. He knows that some situations require dark magic and what is usually defined as dark deeds.

Later in the episode, Belle asks Rumple to use his magic to get into Gaston’s locker. She is looking for a clue to what he unfinished business is so that she can help him. Rumple laughs and tells her that now she is okay with him using his power. She is okay with it when  it will help her. She tells him that it is different, but Rumple once again points out that is is about perspective. To anyone else it is breaking and entering but to Belle it is finding a way to help someone.

It is common to hear people say, “I would never do that,” in response to some action another person takes. We like to think that we have this very high moral ground and nothing will comprise that stance. But that is not necessarily true. Belle stood on this high ground for much of the episode.

The problem is you stand on that high ground until you are standing in that situation. No one has any real idea of what they will do until they are living through a situation. When it comes down to saving your own life or saving the life of a loved one, you are more capable of certain acts than you think. During that moment, your POV says that the act is justified. You had to save someone, so all of sudden harming someone else is not that horrible of a deed. You are saving a child, or wife or brother or sister. Your POV changes very quickly when faced with the situation.

Rumple understand this idea. He knows that when it comes to Belle and his unborn child, he will do whatever is necessary to protect them. He will kill, harm and rob, no questions asked. From his POV it is protecting his family. Belle is feeling the threat to her family but she doesn’t see Rumple’s POV until the end of the episode.

Gaston is out to get rid of Rumple. He wants revenge for him taking his life. While they are fighting, Belle ends up pushing Gaston into the river of souls in order to save Rumple. She makes a split-second decision. She watches him fall and realizes that she could not save him.

ouat5-17Hades set this whole scenario up. Earlier he had made a deal with Belle. That if Rumple or Gaston threw the other into the river of souls than he would rip up his deal with Rumple and the baby would be safe. But it is Belle who pushes Gaston in and thus the deal is void. Belle has this blanket of hopelessness fall over her. She couldn’t save Gaston, she hurt someone and her baby is still in danger.

I think this moment will open Belle’s eyes to her situation. She will have to make some tough decisions soon. She will have to see what Rumple was telling her. That some actions are justified when saving a loved one. I think this was the start of her perspective beginning to change.

Quotes:
“Love make you do crazy things,” – Hades- Belle loves Rumple and their baby. She will see quickly that she is capable of a lot in order to save them.

Questions:
What will Belle do now?
Will she allow Rumple to use his magic to save them?
Will Belle have to choose a side between the group and Rumple?
What is Ruby doing in The Underworld.?
Is Ruby dead?
Or was Ruby sent there somehow by someone?
What happens if too much hope infects The Underworld?
Where are Pan and Cruella?
What will happen if Zelena lets herself fall for Hades?
Will The Underworld change fundamentally if Hades’s hearts beat again?
Is Zelena Hade’s weakness?
Will anyone make it out of The Underworld?

Don’t Be Afraid Of Love – Once Upon a Time – 5×16 (Spoilers)

images-9We learned a few things about the supposed villains of this half of the season. Hades wants love and to have his heart beat again. While Zelena is finding that loving someone requires you to open yourself up and sometimes requires sacrifice. This episode showed us that yet again all these characters truly want is to love and be loved in return.

The episode started with Dorthy stopping Zelena from taking the Scarecrow’s brain, which Zelena needed for the time travel spell. Dorthy tells Zelena that she can never win because, unlike Dorthy, the people will never love her. Zelena can never have the respect that Dorthy has and no one will ever fight for her.

Hades shows up to help Zelena get what she wants and hopefully use the spell himself. We learn that Zesus stopped Hades’s heart and made it so he can’t love or feel joy. All he can feel is anger and the need for revenge. The only way his heart can restart is with a kiss of true love.

It doesn’t take long for Hades to fall in love with Zelena. He tells her that he no longer cares about the spell, he just wants to be with her. Zelena does not believe him. As Dorthy stated, no one can love her and she firmly believes that. She thinks that Hades is manipulating her in order to get the spell and use it for himself. But Hades is adamant that, that is not the truth. He just wants to be with her.

It is not surprising that Zelena is unable to believe him. Zelena was abandoned by her mother. She feels as if no one can ever love her. She has never had anyone on her side or fight for her. So it is natural for her to reject Hades’s advances. She firmly believes that no one can love her. Her heart beats but it is hardened against any true feelings. She can not open herself to anyone because that would leave her vulnerable and that is unacceptable to her.

Zelena sees the world this way until she had her daughter. In this episode, we see the extent of her love for her daughter. She tries to take her from Storybrooke and then runs off with her in order to keep the group from getting her. She has opened her heart to this baby. Her daughter is what matters to her and nothing else.But what Zelena realizes is that sometimes no matter how much you want to protect someone you are not always the best option. She uses her magic to repel the group and in the process hurts her daughter.

Zelena becomes terrified of what she has done and thinks that she can not truly protect her daughter. She makes a tough decision at this point and that is to let Robin, Regina, and the others protect the baby. She is able to see that the best option for her is to not be with her.

Zelena is no longer the cold manipulative person we have seen for so long. She can love. She can care. She is much like Maleficent from last season. Her child is what matters to her now. She will get her back and have the happy life she wants though the lengths she will go to get that end could be disastrous for everyone else.

Hades reveals that he has never given up on Zelena. He loves her, even after all the time that passed. We learn that the reason that The Underworld looks like Storybrooke is because Hades made it for Zelena. He wanted to give her what Regina had.

images-10Zelena refuses Hades advances. She tells him that she does not need him, she can get her daughter and everything she wants herself. Hades acknowledges that she is right. He knows she does not need him. He steps away from her and tells her to come to him when she wants him. This is an important point. Zelena does not need anyone to help her but she needs to give into her wants. She needs to open her arms and heart to Hades and let him love her. She is not unlovable and she needs to learn that before she makes a mistake she can’t go back from.

The other important moment of this episode happened between Rumple and Belle. Belle ends up in The Underworld and runs into Rumple. She learns she is pregnant, the deal Rumple made about their unborn child and that he is The Dark One again.

Belle is understandably angry with Rumple but Rumple isn’t upset by her anger. He is resolute and sure of himself. Rumple tells Belle that this is the man he is now. He will not change. Belle wants to see two separate people, the beast, and the man. What Rumple reveals is that he is both the beast and the man. That is all there is to him. He needs Belle to understand that.

Rumple is not going to change, we know who he is now. He has accepted the man he is and that is all there is to it. He still loves Belle and will love their child. But he needs power in his life, he needs that control that comes with power. That is the man Rumple is. He has finally figured that out.

Belle now has to decide if she can live with that. She can’t change him. She needs to accept the beast and the man or she needs to walk away for good.

Quotes:
“If you want me to be a different man, I’m sorry, this is who I am,” – Rumple- This sums it up well. This is Rumple, for better or worse, and Belle has to come to terms with that.

“Thing about true love, it endures and can’t be broken,” – Hades- We have seen his countless times in this series. Hades learned this and learned that he can love and it might be the way our group is saved from The Underworld.

Questions:
What is Zelena’s plan now?
Has Hades’s plans changed at all?
If Zelena accepts Hades will he let everyone go and forget his anger?
What else is Hades up to?
Will we meet Zesus?
Will we learn why he stopped Hades’s heart?
Will Zelena get some way of having custody of her daughter?
Will Zelena’s daughter continue to change her?
Will love change The Undeworld, change it into some kind of neutral purgatory?
Will Belle leave Rumple for good?
How will the group fight Hades?
What will Henry write next?
Can the quill come back with Henry?

How does magic work exactly in this place?

“She made me who I am.” – Once Upon a Time (5×14) (Spoilers)

8403921_once-upon-a-time-season-5-episode-14-devils_821cce0_mThe one thing Rumple hates more than anything is someone controlling and manipulating him. He wants to be able to make his own decisions and not be beholden to anyone. In this episode, we learn more about how he became that man. By the end of the episode he is no longer in control, yet again.

The  past portions of the episode were the important parts. Mila, Rumple, and Bae are in the woods. Rumple is playing with Bae and not helping Mila. Mila is annoyed with him. She tells him he is not good for much. Rumple is a timid man at this point. He will do whatever his wife wants from him. He doesn’t do conflict. He is a calm man who just wants a simple life with his wife and child.

Bae gets bitten by a snake and it is slowly killing him. A healer has the antidote but it will cost them gold they do not have. As they leave Mila tells Rumple that he will get them the antidote. She wants him to kill the healer.

It becomes apparent quickly that Mila is the one who controls Rumple. She is the reason that he now resents anyone controlling him. She is not happy with the man he has become. She has a very vivid image of the man she wants to be her husband. She wants a man who is strong and in control. She wants someone who will fight and is not afraid of hurting others if it protects those he loves. The moment he returned from the ogre war having hurt himself to get out of it, she stopped respecting him as a man.

This moment is kind of the last straw for them. While Rumple is off attempting to get the antidote, Mila meets Hook. He is everything that Rumple is not. He is assertive and handsome and a bit dangerous. He travels all around the world and doesn’t sit at home doing nothing. And Mila is instantly attracted to him.

When Rumple returns with the antidote and Mila learns what he did to get it she is done with him. She not only hates the idea that he sold off their potential child but he also did not step up like she wanted. Rumple is proud of himself at this moment. Proud that he did not become a monster, as he put it. He tells Mila that he realized that if he killed to save his son his son would grow up with a monster as a father.

What is interesting about this whole plot line is that what if Mila hadn’t treated him so negatively about this choice? I understood her anger at him selling their unborn child, that was unacceptable. But what if she had tried to understand the man that he was at this point. What if she had sat down and realized that all Rumple ever wanted was to be with his family. He loved them with all his heart but she made him believe that he was not worthy of that love.

sneakfeatureThis is where Rumple began to fall. He saw that he was not the man she wanted and began to think he was not an adequate man. He began to think that he needed something to make him someone people wanted and trusted. He got the Dark One powers and he realized what it felt like to be in control of his life. It was a reviving feeling for him.

No longer did anyone get to tell him he was not worthy and not a good man. Mila was gone and couldn’t make him feel less of a husband and father. He didn’t get picked on. He got to do whatever he wanted. People feared him. People were forced to respect him. He finally had what he never had before, control.

All through the series, we have seen Rumple’s fight with this idea. He can’t give up the Dark One power because that would require him giving up control of his life. He couldn’t give Belle the real dagger because then he would not be in control of his actions. Rumple was that man once and he will do anything to do not back to him.

He makes poor choices in this episode because Hades makes a deal with him. But despite dooming his companions he is yet again under someone’s thumb. Hades can cash in on the deal anytime and Rumple would lose. It seems that no matter what Rumple does he loses.

Quotes:
“She made me who I am,” – Rumple- Here he is referring to Mila. Mila made him feel like he was not good enough. She was the one who made him reconsider who he was as a man. If she had accepted Rumple as he was much of this would not have happened.

Questions:
When will Belle find out she is pregnant?
What else will Rumple have to do for Hades?
What is Hades end game?
What happens now that Snow, Regina and Emma have headstones?
Are they alive? Dead? Half-dead?
Can Henry get them out with the quill somehow?
Is there a way to get Hook out of The Underworld?
Will another child change Rumple in a positive way?
Will there be after effects for Hook from his imprisonment?
Will Hades try to get Hook back?
Why exactly wasn’t Regina’s magic not working?
What does it mean now that her magic is working?
When will the group find out about Henry working with Cruella?
What is Pan’s plan?

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