The second episode of this half of the season saw our characters learning a few things. Snow is no longer Mary Margret. Henry is going to have to grow up quick to prevent Cruella from manipulating him into doing harm to him and his family.
We opened the episode by finding out where Hook is being held. He is in an underground dungeon that is being guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed demon dog. Hook is pretty beaten up but he isn’t going to sit around. He meets a fellow prisoner, Meg. He distracts Cerebus and helps her to escape, giving her a message to give to Emma.
This is an important moment for Hook and Emma’s relationship. Hook was able to see Emma when she used the potion from the last episode. He knows she is here to rescue him. He knows that she is not abandoning him. He tells Meg that he knows she is here for him and will find him because “when you love someone, you know.”
I was worried that after being possessed by the darkness and Emma’s desperate and poor choice, that Hook would harbor some residual feelings of hatred and anger towards Emma. But it does not appear that way here. He is relieved and happy to see her coming to rescue him. He states that he still loves her. While there may still be a few feelings of hurt left that is clouded by his love for her. Which is good because I have a feeling that in order to get out of The Underworld they are going to have to use that love in some manner.
(Also, side note. Throughout these reviews, I will be referring to this new realm as The Underworld and not Hell. I believe they are going for these ideas to mean different things. In mythology, The Underworld was not actually Hell. It was just the place dead people went. It wasn’t a horrible place. I think they are playing with that idea here. While it is not a pleasant place I think the “worse place,” people can go would be comparable to our idea of Hell. I think the “better place,” is different for each person depending on their beliefs and storylines.)
Meg ends up finding Emma and informing her of where Hook is and what is guarding him. The group knows they need someone to help them fight this monster. Snow knows just the person, Hercules.
Hercule and teenager Snow were friends at one point. The friendship came at a time when young Snow was doubting her ability to be a ruler. Bandits were terrorizing her townspeople (turns out they were sent by Regina). She is young and has no idea how to help. She is not a fighter at this point and she does not believe she can help her people.
She runs into Hercules and Hercules teachers her how to use her bow, how to fight and how to get back up when you fail. Hercules was an essential part in creating the Snow White that ruled and lived in the Enchanted Forest.
This flashback led to a very interesting conversation and revelation from Snow. If you have read my other reviews of this show you will know that I have always referred to the fairytale characters by their true fairytales names. I do not refer to Snow as Mary Margaret. I just felt odd using those names and this episode sort of showed me why.
After winning the fight against Cerberus with Hercules and Meg, Snow tells Regina, Charming, and Emma that she no longer wants to be referred to as Mary Margaret. She wants to be called Snow White because that is who she truly is as a person.
When Regina cast the curse it created alternate persona’s for everyone. They got histories and new lives. Mary Margaret is a more timid woman. She gives grand speeches and is more likely to talk than to fight. She is much more passive.
Whereas Snow White is much tougher. She is someone who will fight for those she loves when necessary. She has those inspirational ideas and speeches but knows that talking is not always the solution for problems. Sometimes you have to grab you bow and fight. That is who she truly is on the inside. And that is how I have always seen her character which is why I think I always use the name Snow instead of Mary Margaret.
Everyone has to find their true-selves in order to get out of The Underworld. They have to face their past mistakes and learn from them and find who they truly are. Regina did that in the last episode and now it was Snow White’s turn. No longer should there be a distinction between the two people. She is Snow White and it is time she lived that life again.
A quick few points on Henry. In this episode, Henry met up with Cruella. Cruella tells him that the quill of the author is not just a quill. It is a living breathing energy and when he broke it, it ended up in The Underworld. It has unfinished business, namely writes stories. Cruella tells him that he can take the quill and use it to resurrect her.
Henry is obviously against the idea at first but then Cruella tells him that if he lets her live again then his mother will no longer be a murderer. He will allow her to be pure again. This is all lies.
Henry is young and I understand why the idea appeals to him. But he is going to need to realize something. Just because Cruella is alive again does not mean the past is erased. Emma’s actions still happened. She still chose to kill Cruella in order to protect her son, plain and simple. Using his power as the author to change Cruella’s fate will not change the choice that was made. Erasing that moment of the past will change much more and not in a goodway.
I think at the moment he is just excited about the idea. He wants to help his mother but his parents and family are going to have to teach him an important lesson. The choices in our past do not dictate our choices of the future. Emma made a poor decision once but that is done and over with. There is no changing it and it has created the woman she is now. Henry is going to have to have a growing up moment soon or else he is going to hurt his family.
“I don’t sit around and rot.” – Hook – The Underworld has not dampened his fighting spirit. He will not just wait around to be saved. He will do whatever he can to save himself or help Emma save him.
“If I hadn’t failed I never would have figured out how to succeed,” – Hercules – First this is an important lesson for us all to remember. The group will be learning from their past mistakes and will have to use those lessons to get out of the Underworld. They have all failed many times before and there are many tools waiting for them from those moments.
What are Hade’s reasons for having The Underworld look like Storybrooke?
What is the worse place to go to? Hell?
Is the better place different for everyone?
What other lessons will the group be learning?
Will David be asked to be called Charming soon, also shedding his fake curse persona?
Where is Rumple?
Will Hook chose someone to stay?
Will they all eventually be trapped?
Who will Hook chose first if he has to make a choice?
Can Emma save Hook?
What exactly is Hook’s unfinished business?
Will Henry realize Cruella is manipulating him?
When will they all figure out Henry is lying?
Will the quill be an important part of getting them all home?
What other past characters will be meeting?
Once Upon a Time is back and we have officially entered The Underworld. This is not a place of fire and brimstone. It is a place where those who had unfinished business on Earth go. Our group encounters some familiar faces and have to face some mistakes made in the past. On their journey to find Hook they are going to have to help those who they once hurt on Earth.
While this episode set up the idea of Underworld the main part of the story focused on Regina. She meets up with her mother again and it is not the happy reunion that she was anticipating. Her mother tells her that she has to leave The Underworld. When Regina refuses her mother threatens to hurt Regina’s father’s soul. She is doing what she has always done to Regina, manipulating her.
The past part of this episode was from Regina’s evil days. She is still after Snow’s heart. Her father tries to talk her out of her plan, tries to make her see that she is only doing this because of what her mother did to her. She is angry at Snow but who she really hates is her mother. Her father tries to make her see that her actions are being controlled by Cora. Regina refuses to listen.
Not until this trip to The Underworld does Regina begin to see what her father meant. Her mother has always had a strong hold over her. She wants to prove herself worthy to her mother. She wants to show her that she can do anything and does not need Cora. She is given a choice in this episode. She can give into Cora and leave with Henry and Robin Hood or she can stay and help her friends and doom her father.
Emma tries to give Regina an out and tells her to leave but Regina doesn’t go. Her father tells her that she has to stand up to her mother and has to be strong. He does not want her to leave. He wants her to not let her mother control her any longer. She is strong, they both know it. Now she has to prove it. And she does. She apologizes to her father and does not heed Cora’s warning.
I think a lot of this trip to be Underworld will be similar to this. The Underworld houses the past for many of our characters. They are all going to encounter people who they knew and who have unfinished business. They have to help them to pass on or they have to realize that they have to leave the past in the past. This place is going to get inside their heads and try to suck them in. It is going to try to undo a lot of the work so many of them have done.
Regina won one of her battles. She will face more but this one was her biggest fight. She knows that there are plenty of people in this place who she hurt. Now is her chance to help them if she can. The others will have to do the same. They will have to realize that this may be a chance for them to right any wrongs they did. But it can not consume them or they may never be able to leave.
“Never forget who you really are,” – Henry (Regina’s father) – He wants her to not let her past mistakes consume her. She has proven who she is. She has proven that she has a good heart and she has to hold onto that while in this place.
Where is Hook?
Why is he being harmed?
Is he in a different form of Hell?
Why does The Underworld look like Storybrooke? Does that mean something?
What is Hades up to?
Why was Neal warning Emma against going to The Underworld?
Can the group help all those they know to move on?
Will some be beyond help?
Will everyone make it out of The Underworld?
What is Rumple’s plan? How long will he help?
Why doesn’t he want to stay? Will this place have some different effect on him since he is a Dark One?
Can Hook be saved?
What other past characters will we see again?
What would happen if everyone was able to move on? Can that happen?
What other mythology type characters will we meet?
The midseason finale finally brought back our old Emma, the darkness entered someone else and the group is headed to a new destination, Hell. The next half of the season is going to delve into darker depths of the characters.
The episode opened with a flashback to young Hook. We got to learn a little bit more about his family history. Young Hook is scared of the darkness and his father comforts him. He also states that he will be there for him only to break that promise the next morning. This is the moment where we see Hook start to close himself off to the rest of the world.
As I stated in my last review Hook has some major trust issues. His father, who he was very close to, sold him, his brother and mother into servitude. Someone he trusted above all other turned their back on him and betrayed him. His father never looked back. Hook realizes that he can’t count on anyone at this point. And we know that this keeps happening to him. His reaction to Emma’s betrayal last episode makes even more sense now.
After the flashback, we see that the Dark Ones are invading Storybook. They seek out each member of our group and pass through them. The Dark Ones can’t stay in the mortal world without finding a replacement for their soul in Hell. So they mark each member of our group in order to get them to be their replacements.
It was interesting to see everyone’s reaction to this fate. Snow, who usually has so much hope, is intent on spending time with her family before they will have to go to Hell. She doesn’t fight, she is almost resigned to their fate. Rumple is also resigned. He sees no solution and no way to fight the Dark Ones. Everyone thinks that the Dark Ones can’t be fought. Rumple sends Belle away to save her. Everyone is ready to die, but Emma is not ready to let that happen.
Emma knows one solution to their problem. She can use Excalibur to take in all The Dark Ones and the darkness and then kill herself in order to banish that darkness. She is willing to do that in order to save her family. We see in this moment that the darkness never took full ahold of her. She will do anything to save the ones she loves.
It was interesting in this episode to see how the darkness affected three different characters. They were all affected in very different ways.
Emma used the power in order to protect the people she loves. All she wants is for them to be safe and whole. She isn’t concerned about being the most powerful. She doesn’t care about the feeling the power gives her. She is very willing to give up the power when she knows her family is safe. Emma has not had many people to love her for most of her life. Now that she has these people she will do anything to keep them. She let the darkness influence her only when she was desperate to save someone she loved. Emma is willing to let go of that power when she has to.
Hook let the darkness bring out the anger and vengeance in him. As stated before Hook harbors a lot of ill feelings for some people from his past. He has been betrayed and hurt by many and the darkness lets him concentrate on that feeling and that feeling only. He again doesn’t want the power for the powers sake. He wants to use it in order to get vengeance for those who wronged him.
At the end, Hook is strong enough to turn away and let the power go. He sacrifices himself in order to save the group. He knows the man he wants to be and that is not one that is ruled by anger and power. He finds what is important and lets that take control of his actions.
Rumple, on the other hand, can’t seem to do that. At the end of the episode, we learn that Rumple was able to take Excalibur and make himself the Dark One again. ( I am not sure how I feel about the explanation of how this took place and how quickly it happened, but we will see how it plays out). Rumple can not walk away from the power. No matter what happens he always goes back to that one thing.
He has a pure heart. He has Belle. And yet he again is letting the darkness inside of him. He is a man obsessed with power and that is all he cares about. It is almost like that need for power is ingrained in his genes. He cannot be any other type of man. I do not see him every being able to truly redeem himself. Belle will see what he has done and I hope that she leaves him once and for all; because this has all gone too far now.
The next place the series is heading is into Hell. I knew as soon as Hook died that Emma was not going to handle that well. She wasn’t going to just let that be what happens. Emma decides to head to Hell in order to bring Hook back to her.
I am very interested to see where this will take the group in the next half of the season. The previews showed that a lot of the villains and people they have defeated are going to come back. They are heading into a very dark place and I think many of them will be confronting some darker parts of themselves. Maybe this will allow Rumple to see what he has truly done to himself.
“We’re all braver than we think if we look deep enough,” – Hook’s father- Hooks finds his brave side when he needs it most. He is able to push past the anger and disappointment to do what has to be done to save everyone. Sacrificing yourself to save the ones you love is one of the bravest things anyone can do.
“Power is only as good as the one who wields it,” – Rumple – Power is all that Rumple understands. He believes it is essential to be able to live the life he wants to live. He can’t see a way around life without power. He seems to think the he is the only one that can use it and use it right.
“I will always find you,” – Emma- These are the words Snow and Charming always say to each other. They have always found their way back to each other and now it is time for Hook and Emma to do the same.
Can Emma and Hook share a heart?
Will there be any residual feelings between them if they do reconnect? Who will they encounter in Hell? How will those encounters affect them? Will the Hell trip help Rumple see how far he has fallen?
When will Belle give up on Rumple?
Can Rumple ever be redeemed?
Will Hell change Hook? Or anyone else?
When will we see Zelena again?
Where is Arthur?
Will he come back?