Sunday, April 3, 2016

Once Upon a Time 5.16: “Our Decay”

“Only the kiss of True Love can restart my heart and allow me to return, a fully formed man free of this curse. But well, True Love. No one is more hated than the Lord of the Underworld.”
- Hades

When they first announced we’d be going back to Oz, I was a little skeptical. But I have to say I really enjoyed the backstory and character growth it gave us. It filled in some of the blanks on certain character motivations which was much needed. In Oz, Zelena is trying to gather the ingredients she needs to make her time travel spell and she’s starting with the Scarecrow’s brain. But before she can harvest it, a grown up, sword-wielding Dorothy shows up and whisks the little sucker away. Enter Hades. He drops some exposition on Zelena about how he can help her get what she wants by finding the scarecrow. He also knows about her family angst and shares that he, too, has some family drama that a time travel spell would alleviate. He wants to go back and stick it to big brother Zeus. He also admits that he’d be fine having True Love’s kiss and having his heart start again. Ultimately, as he and Zelena track Dorothy, they start to get close. Hades is clearly falling a lot harder and faster than Zelena and she kind of freaks out when he proposes that they be together. She doesn’t trust his motives and I can’t say I blame her. Although, the look on his face when he insists he just wants to love her seemed genuine. She orders him back to the Underworld, saying she never wants to see his face again.

In the present, Hades had Rumple working on a portal so that Hades can summon a living being to the Underworld. He wants it directed at Storybrooke and Zelena’s (still unnamed) baby girl. Unfortunately, Zelena has returned to Storybrooke and she and Belle are fighting over the baby when the portal sweeps them all up and spits them out on the beach. Zelena is injured and Belle takes off with the baby. She runs into Rumple at the library where he gets to drop his own series of truth bombs on her. First, she’s pregnant. Second, yes he’s the Dark One and three he finally admits that his craving power is never going to go away. Belle can’t have the man without the beast because they can’t exist without the other. She refuses to accept his explanation and says she’s not going to trust him. She just wants to get back home so he promises to do that in the hopes that she’ll want to be with him. I’m glad that Rumple finally admitted he had a problem. The fact that he doesn’t want to fix it is kind of an issue but I’m also happy Belle stood up to him and called his bullshit.

Mr. and Mrs. Gold aren’t the only ones having family drama this week. Snow and Charming are starting to realize they are getting too settled in the Underworld. They’re regular customers at the diner (to the point where the Blind Witch knows their orders before they even sit down). This prompts a discussion about missing baby Neal and wishing they could just let him hear their voices. This leads the Blind Witch to tell them about a phantom phone booth (not exactly a phantom toll booth but close) that might allow them to haunt the baby. But it’s unclear whether it will work. Still, they need to take the chance. Luckily, thanks to Henry embracing his Author skills (it apparently just sort of happens and he doesn’t remember it), they get the message to the baby and he hears. Hooray for giving the kid some powers!

Elsewhere, Robin, Regina and Zelena are on the hunt for the baby because Zelena fears Hades wants to use her to enact the curse. After she absconds with the baby and realizing she hurt the little one with her magic, Zelena breaks down sobbing at the farm house. She insists that Robin take the baby and keep her safe because Zelena can’t protect her in the Underworld. I was rather amazed at how emotional Zelena got but I guess she does have the capacity to love in some way. And when she runs into Hades in the street, she’s still strong enough not to give in to his charms. We learn the reason that the Underworld looks like Storybrooke: he wanted to give Zelena everything Regina had. Of course the Underworld is destructive so things are a little decayed but it kind of makes sense. He still loves her and all he wants is to be with her. Screw the time travel spell and sticking it to Zeus. He wants True Love. And he wasn’t trying to hurt the baby. He wanted to get her away from the heroes. Still, Zelena turns down his offer of help, insisting she will get the baby back on her own. But hey, at least Hades was able to give her a parting gift: her birth date tortured out of Cora.

Like I said, I really liked how we got some interesting information on characters this episode. And it honestly doesn’t surprise me that all of the villains on this show are motivated by family and their desire to be loved. I guess that’s really what separates the good from the bad. Even Regina pointed out she only became happy when her enemies became her family and shared their love. I don’t know that Zelena will ever make it into the fold but you never know. I hate to think what will happen if she and Hades do end up together. Then again, maybe they’d balance each other out. I still don’t know how they are going to get back to Storybrooke with the women marked to be stuck in Purgatory. But we still have six or seven more episodes left this season. I’m sure we’ll find out. Ad I have to say I’m a little curious about what will happen next season.

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