Sunday, May 8, 2016

Once Upon a Time 5.21: "Last Rites"

“Hades is in Storybrooke. So I was hoping…you could tell me how to kill him.”
- Emma

Our heroes may be back in Storybrooke but that doesn’t mean things are going to get back to normal. Hades and Zelena are there, too and he seems to have a plan to take over the town, if not the world. And for some reason, that starts with killing King Arthur. While I was happy to get a glimpse again of Merida (she’s so plucky and funny), I’m kind of over Arthur. He was such a pain in the ass. And now, thanks to Hades, we have to deal with him teaming up with Hook in the Underworld to find a way to stop Hades. Their first stop is Hades’ throne room where Arthur manages to find the missing pages that Liam ripped out. Thanks to some nagging of the Blind Witch and Cruella, the boys figure out where the storybook is so they have a way to get the information needed to Emma in the living world. And then, Hook gets to move on, leaving Arthur to fix the Underworld, the broken kingdom he was meant to fix. I’m not sure that counts as Albion but whatever.

Meanwhile, Regina is trying to talk sense into Zelena (who has stupidly left the baby with Hades) but the formerly Wicked Witch isn’t having any of it. She still maintains that she’s changed Hades with love. For his part, Hades is definitely playing that part well. He convinces her that they have to fight back, even if that means using some seriously dangerous magic (the Olympian crystal which I’m guessing is supposed to be Zeus’ lightning bolt of doom). Oh, and Emma is trying to run off all half-cocked to stop Hades but David suggests his daughter actually grieve for the people she’s lost. Well ok so mostly he’s talking about Hook but I’m not really convinced she ever properly grieved Neal.

Anyway, after Emma interrupts Rumple’s attempt to threaten his father-in-law into waking up Belle (Maurice is totally not down for helping), she gets dragged into doing some research on how to defeat Hades. Eventually, Hook’s message gets through to her and she knows exactly what needs to happen to defeat Hades. In the meantime, Regina and Robin have gone off using the secret tunnels under the town to try and rescue the still unnamed baby. Robin is kind of pissed that Regina was sticking up for Zelena but by the time they get to the secret entrance, he’s changed his tune. He just seems kind of angry and stuff right now, although he does get to have a make out session with his lady love before they slip inside.

While the heroes are doing their thing, Hades is continuing to woo Zelena into believing his pack of lies, all while he puts the pieces of the crystal back together. What she doesn’t know at the time is that said weapon is the only thing that can kill him. Rumple places a call our Lord of Death after Emma reveals that he made the trip, too, and offers protection but Hades refuses. Rumple promise he’ll regret it and boy does he. Emma shows up to try and talk some sense into Zelena while Regina and Robin make a break for the baby. But Hades busts in (he probably knew they were there the whole time) and threatens to kill Regina. Apparently if you’re hit with the magic of the crystal you don’t move on or get stuck in the Underworld, you just dissolve. Predictably, Robin jumps in front of the bolt to save Regina and dies (like we were all expecting he would, given the rumors that he was leaving the show). In the moment Regina is just kind of shell shocked by the whole thing. I suspect in next week’s season finale, she’s going to be reverting to some of her darker ways. Zelena busts in and Regina makes Zelena see sense finally (including Hades admitting he did things but only because he wanted to rule the town as a kingdom). Zelena exclaims that she just wanted to be happy as a family and live together in harmony. But that clearly isn’t enough for Hades and ultimately she stabs Hades in the chest. The baby wails as the sisters hold each other as their lovers lay dead and in dusty piles.

The next day (or later, the timing isn’t entirely clear), Emma says a tearful goodbye before we get an equally tearful funeral for Robin. It was about as long as Neal’s so yay for equality? Anyway, the baby isn’t nameless anymore, as Zelena names her after her fallen father. Also very predictable. And as Emma stands ready to say her goodbyes to Robin, Hook appears. Apparently Zeus rewarded him with another chance at life for helping defeat Hades. And as Captain Swan shippers the world over rejoice, Rumple pulls a shard of the crystal out of Hades’ ashes for some nefarious purpose.

I have to admit I’m getting tired of the writers ruining my ships. First they snuffed out Swan Fire and now they’ve destroyed Outlaw Queen after putting Robin and Regina through such turmoil. Why is that Emma and Hook are the only ones who get a happy ending. I’m excluding Snow and Charming because they are kind of like the default stable couple. I’m still obviously going to stick with the show next season because I want to see where they go with it but I am getting frustrated by the drama they keep throwing in the paths of these characters, primarily Regina. Is it really necessary to keep testing her and pushing her towards breaking and becoming the Evil Queen again? Hasn’t she had enough of that already? Let the woman have some happiness. Isn’t that this show is supposed to be about? Hope and happy endings? Come on fellas, stop breaking my heart!

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