It’s time for another Once Upon A Time recap and review! As the season continues, so does the craziness of the Underworld. Let’s see what happened, shall we?
The main storyline for the flashbacks of the Enchanted Forest involve Belle and Gaston. We see how Belle first agreed to marry the guy. The two meet because of the Ogre War and Belle’s father needing to unite kingdoms. She and Gaston go for a walk and stumble upon an ogre child who has fallen in a trap. They proceed to see if it really means to do harm by finding a mirror that shows people and creatures’ true intentions through glowing eyes in the reflection. Gaston is convinced it doesn’t matter and wants to take the ogre captive to Belle’s father. She keeps convincing him to wait and find the true motive behind the child. She even convinces her father. Belle and dad find Gaston beaten from the ogre escaping his captivity (he was guarding it until Belle’s father could see them). The three catch up to the creature and find that he has been tortured. Gaston tries to kill it, but Belle sees his eyes glowing in the reflection of the mirror. Gaston has been lying and had tortured the ogre and wanted to kill it. The ogre is free to escape. But, within the next few days there is now war on their doorsteps, and Belle agrees to marry Gaston being convinced she has caused the battles to come their way.
The main story revolves around Belle, Gaston, and their beast, Rumple. Belle still isn’t on good terms with Rumple at the beginning of the episode, but realizes she needs his help to save their unborn child. Hades pays a visit to Gaston and gives him arrows laced with the River of Souls’ water. This will harm Rumple greatly. Gaston and Rumple are now hunting each other to defeat one another. Hades tries to make a deal with Belle that if one of the guys tosses the other into the River then he’ll tear up the contract to take her baby. She doesn’t want to be part of it, and wants to find a way to send Gaston to the happy place. She also has Rumple not use dark magic, and wants him to become the one to fulfill a prophecy said by Merlin where there would be one that could use the Dark One power for good. He’s not too convinced of how that will all play out. Gaston almost succeeds in hitting Rumple with an arrow, but Belle stops him and pushes him into the water…though somewhat by accident. Rumple and Belle are somewhat comforted by each other and find that darkness is winning out. Hades shows up, and explains that it doesn’t tear up the contract because either Gaston or Rumple was supposed to toss the other. He grabs a wilted flower, that is due to Belle’s feeling of hopelessness. He sends it to Zelena at the diner. End scene.
The side story involved the main group, as Emma has a dream about finding a way to remove the names from the tombstones. But, something attacks her mother in the dream and seems to kill her. When she wakes it’s time to try to break into Hades’ throne room. Regina and Emma are unsuccessful, but Emma realizes her dream may actually have the spell to use. The dream seems to be coming true as Snow is with her when she tries to break the spell. They hear the thing that is going to attack Snow, but they escape. The group goes in search of it, and find out it’s really Red Riding Hood who has somehow appeared in the Underworld. The end.
For the first time in a few episodes, the main and side story help advance a lot of the plot of the season. Can’t say a whole lot for the flashback. It’s nice to have both sides of the group in Underbrooke advance things along for us. And, there were certainly a lot of twists.
The first twist is having more and more resolution for Belle and Beast. Having that end where Belle tosses Gaston was not something I expected, and I usually see these things coming in Once. I’m glad, in some ways, for the corruption of Belle. Why? Well, though I’m a fan of the character, I’m getting tired of the back and forth between her and Mr. Gold. One of them needed to change or come to grips with their relationship. This turn of events seems to have done both. Will Belle be totally evil now? Probably not, but I think it gives her understanding of Rumple more and the two can now be ok together. After 5 seasons, this resolution needed to happen. And my prediction is that she’ll aid him in schemes of the future.
As far as the side story goes, it was nice that it’s advancing something, but having so many characters still involved in these sort of things make it less impactful than it should be. We’re still dealing with family dynamics that aren’t advancing in any way. Hook and Emma are not resolving things either. It’s getting to be a tired old story. BUT, the sudden appearance of Ruby is quite an interesting thing. The whole “let’s try this” thing of using magic to take off the names is an interesting situation too. Good idea for bringing all of this up, but poor execution in getting it to be bigger than it turned out to be.
Overall, I’m still glad that the twists and turns are taking place while getting many things resolved. It doesn’t quite feel old and tired as other seasons do. But, this is a machine that hits some snags as it gets its handle turned. Or however that metaphor could go. We keep missing main characters and have them inserted into situations that are happening, and it feels forced. We take up too much time with unneeded plot points and aren’t progressing as fast as we’d like. An example is Hades revisiting things with Zelena. We know there’s problems, but we don’t need to explain the last episode again. Move on.
My enjoyment of this half of the fifth season keeps being bittersweet as the Underworld mystery keeps unravelling and is intriguing, but the execution of it all has its problems.
- Yeah, the Red Riding Hood question on all of our minds.
- So, are Belle and Rumple fine?
- Why does Hades want to kill Rumple now?
- Why does Hades want his baby?
- No Robin Hood again. Why did he go into the Underworld in the first place?