Monday, March 21, 2016

Once Upon a Time 5.14: "Devil's Due"

“It’s quite simple. Can you stand helping me if it means helping him?”
- Rumpelstiltskin

I have to admit I laughed a lot during this episode and boy did it feel good. As I’m sure I’ve expressed previously, I was a little hesitant with this arc given the focus on saving Hook but it is turning into a much more dynamic arc with filling in gaps for characters and providing some meaningful moments between people you wouldn’t expect. This week’s flashback focused on Rumple and Milah before she left to sail the world with Hook. While they bicker if Rumple being useless, Bae gets bitten by a poisonous snake and the magic healer they go to wants 100 gold coins to give them the antidote. Being dirt poor, Milah orders her husband to go back and steal the potion, telling Rumple he needs to be brave. He doesn’t steal it. The haler gives it to him with a price of a deal: the healer gets his second born child. When Milah finds out, she’s really pissed and heads off to the tavern where she meets with a dashing pirate. And we know the rest. Oh, but Rumple also goes back to kill the healer when he is the Dark One, assuming that will void the contract.

As the Charmings clean up the mess in the apartment (thank you three-headed hell dog), Rumple heads to the shop (which Pan has left to him along with some pipes which I laughed a lot), using some magic to we think see Belle again. But things aren’t quite what they seem. Whatever the image of seeing Belle means, it prompts him to offer the others his assistance. He convinces Emma that he can use the aura of a dead person to get them through Hades’ barrier and that dead person just happens to be his ex-wife. And Hook’s ex-girlfriend. And Neal’s mom. She’s working as a crossing guard which Rumple takes great pleasure in point out the irony of, but she agrees to help when he brings up Hook’s predicament. Speaking of, having declined Hades’ order to choose three people to stay, Hades hangs Hook above the river of lost souls and steadily lowers him towards its murky depths.

So the meeting between Emma and Milah is pretty awkward (just as I’d hoped) and I laughed heartily at that, too. The looks they both give Rumple and each other are priceless. But Milah gets them through the barrier and after Emma drops the truth bomb about Neal being in heaven (or wherever happy-land is); Milah agrees to go with them to finish rescuing Hook. Rumple finds a boat that gets them across the river but Milah insists on staying with the boat (when Rumple says he’s staying in the boat, too). So, while Emma goes and manages to get Hook before he falls into the water, Rumple and Milah get to have a kind of sweet moment. Milah’s unfinished business is Bae (obviously). She’s hoping that by doing something generous and helping rescue Hook, that maybe she’ll get to move on and be able to apologize to their son. Rumple insists that their boy will forgive her, having done so for him (and Rumple did far worse arguably). This gives Milah some hope. But that hope will soon be dashed when Hades interrupts the plan. He offers Rumple a deal: get rid of the boat and he’ll get to go home. His friends have to stay put. Rumple destroys the boat and then sends Milah into the river of lost souls, claiming it was Hades’ doing and injuring his hand to make it look real when Hook and Emma come along.

Elsewhere in Underbrooke (as Regina coins it), she pays a visit to Cruella who is now the Mayor. She wants to know how the graveyard works. There are three settings on the head stones: upright means they’re still in town, tipped means they’ve moved on to happy-land and cracked means they’ve gone to the worse place. Regina and Snow go to find Daniel’s grave and are relieved to find him not in town. Regina is a little sad she couldn’t have seen him but she is thrilled he’s moved on. Things look pretty upbeat as everyone gathers together and Regina gets her magic back (by healing a wounded horse). But there’s a problem. She can’t take Emma’s heart to split it. They quickly learn that Hades chose three people to stay when Hook wouldn’t and he’s chosen to the women (and mothers) of the group. That choice kind of annoyed me a little bit. Why all the women? Why take them away from their children?

But that’s not all that’s upsetting for mothers. When Rumple goes back to Hades to get his lift home, we learn that he wasn’t checking in on Belle earlier, he was trying to find Neal (well, specifically his child). He found his child, just not the one he was looking for. Clearly Belle doesn’t know she’s with child yet but I suspect she will. I also am not surprised they wrote Emilie de Ravin’s pregnancy into the show. And Hades gleefully points out that death didn’t void the contract and the contract has been signed over by the healer to Hades. So now Rumple is his bitch for as long as he says and he can cash in on said Rumbelle bun in the oven whenever he wants (although presumably after the wee one is actually born and not just a collection of dividing cells). So it would seem that everyone is kind of in a tough spot right now. Their transport home was destroyed, half the team can’t get out of Hell and Rumple’s unborn child is going to be property of a guy who thinks blue flames are a fashion statement. I can’t wait to see how they worm their way out of this predicament. At the very least I suspect Hook will get the chance to get cleaned up and maybe Regina can heal some of the facial damage from Hades’ beatings.

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