Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Once Upon a Time 6.18: “Where Bluebirds Fly”

“Why does it matter so much, Zelena? Why do you have to be better than everyone else?”
– Regina

As you might have guessed from the title of this episode, we are back in Oz and focus quite heavily on Zelena. We even see her in three different periods (as a young girl who hasn’t yet Rumple and succumbed to her jealousy of Regina), the Wicked Witch back in Oz before she ended up in Storybrooke and the present. As a young girl, we see her meet a young wood cutter on the yellow brick road. He defends her against some local cruel boys and it seems like she might have a friend who isn’t scared by her magic, especially since she used it for good. But when we meet her again as the Wicked Witch, things have obviously changed. She’s all alone, having kicked out the Wizard (or more accurately turned him into a monkey) until the wood cutter, now an older man comes back looking for help. The Witch of the North has cursed him and he’s turning into a tin man (nice touch there, writers). He needs Zelena’s help to face a horrible monster in the woods that is protecting the crimson heart (the only thing that can save him). She’s reluctant but goes with him to show that she is better than everyone.

That’s kind of a theme with Zelena throughout the episode. She wants to be better than everyone whether its Cora, Regina, Emma or even the Black Fairy. She thinks since she is so strong, she can go up against the Black Fairy on her own and win. Especially since the Black Fairy came after baby Robin. Seriously, what is this woman’s fascination with stealing other people’s babies? Anyway, Zelena’s intention just ruffles Regina’s feathers when she should be looking into the piece of the magic wand. Instead of helping the Charmings (who were having issues trying to plan Emma’s wedding—namely David thought they were rushing it and ultimately Emma agrees), she’s chasing after her big sister into the mines to confront the Fairy and Gideon.

Much like in the past, things don’t go as planned for Zelena. In Oz, she ends up needing the wood cutter’s help to defeat the giant ass lion guarding the heart. But hey, all we’re missing is a scarecrow! They find the heart but instead of just plunking it into the wood cutter’s chest, the item starts draining Zelena’s magic. She accuses him of tricking her but he swears he didn’t know. And he says that when he said she was special for having magic, it was that she used it for good he found special. She doesn’t buy that at all and leaves him to turn into a statue. In the present, she tries to confront the Black Fairy but again her magic gets used against her. This time, the Black Fairy was growing lots and lots of Fairy crystals and she needed Zelena’s unstable dark magic to turn the crystals to her side. She goes on about how Zelena is so desperate to be loved and wanted. I hate to say it, but it was kind of true. I mean Zelena has always been so hungry for attention and affection that she’s acted out quite horribly to people.

Zelena has also learned that the Blue Fairy is currently being hidden in the back of Rumple’s shop and she’s frozen because she doesn’t have her magic. Rumple is trying to find a way to wake her, especially since Blue knew the Black Fairy before Rumple was born and could shed some much-needed light on her intentions and her past. But, he’s still coming up empty handed. Lucky for him, Zelena doesn’t listen to Regina when the latter suggests the former go back to Oz where she can be on top and the best. As Zelena explains, anyone who cared for her in Oz now hates her. I don’t know, maybe she could have saved the wood cutter but I don’t think she ever felt that way about him or him about her. She does get to do some good yelling at Regina about the fact that she sacrificed the man she loved to save her sister’s life and all Regina’s done since is blame Zelena. They really have a complicated relationship and it’s going to get even more twisty when Zelena proposes a drastic measure to knock the Black Fairy off her game. Since the crystals are powered with Zelena’s magic, they are affected by what happens to said magic. And she used one of the crystals she and Regina took to call up a tornado to get the crimson heart. She’s going to sacrifice her magic to deal a blow to the Black Fairy. Regina and Emma are there for moral support and to promise to protect baby Robin if something should go amiss. Luckily, it works as they had intended and the heart drains all of her magic, turning all the other crystals back to light magic. Emma even uses the crystal they had to restart Blue’s heart. So, they are one step closer to getting her awake and getting answers about the Black Fairy. She’s been spying on the heroes so she knows what they’ve done and she is pissed. You can tell she’s scared, even though she tells Gideon she’s not. But she does admit that Blue can reveal here darkest secret, why she gave up her son all those many centuries ago.

I’m not sure we necessarily needed a Zelena-centric episode at this point in the season but it did serve to move the overall plot forward which was good. And we are one step closer to knowing the origin story of the Black Fairy and why Rumple’s family is so monumentally screwed up. If the preview for the next episode is any indication, we may get quit the mother-son epic showdown between the Black Fairy and Rumple if he indeed ends up siding with the Savior and her family. I mean, he’s got no love lost with his mother although something tells me her story may make her a tad bit more sympathetic. After all, we know evil isn’t born, it’s made and he himself was a sympathetic character once upon a time.

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