Recap/Review of Once Upon A Time 5.13 "Labor of Love" - Spoilers!
You know, I had every intention of letting this review series fade away. But then Season 5B happened and... well... I can't let this go to waste.
When last we left Our Intrepid Heroes - Emma did a Kind Of Bad Thing by making Hook into another Dark One, Hook's inherent Darkness resurrected all the Dark Ones from the Beginning Of Time And Beyond. Emma decided to be Self-Sacrificing because her Darkness wasn't all That Bad. But Hook is Better Than All Your Faves and took one for the team because Nimue is a Bad Bad Bitch (but in a delightfully evil way that I shall miss very much indeed). Hook dies in the most heartbreaking terrible way possible. Rumplestiltskin continues to be Very Punchable and reverts to being the Dark One. Belle remains oblivious to Everything In The Entire World. King Arthur is an Ass Of The Highest Degree and I'm glad he kind of dropped off there at The End.
And I abuse my Capitalization Privileges. My blog, my house, my rules.
Anyway, #OnceTurns100 saw a return of Queen Bitch Cora (whoo-freaking-hoo) and the Hansel and Gretel witch and Cruella's car and... that's about it. Oh, and Neal showed up to give Emma a pep talk, because we ALL wanted to see Nealfire again (bleah - at least he wasn't there that long). But Regina's dad FINALLY got some much-needed character development beyond just being the sad little man that gets caught between two snippy witches.
You go, Sir Henry. You go, my fine fellow.
I had more thoughts on "Souls of the Departed," which you can listen to on the Five(ish) Fangirls Podcast, Episode 85 right here.
Which brings us to "Labor of Love." The Hercules episode of this story arc. Because this is Once Upon A Time and it's their take on Greek Mythlogy/Disney's Hercules - so it follows that we only have one episode with the hero of that movie. But the villain from that story gets the spotlight.
Oh - and it's also a "Snow White Gets Her Name Back" thing. Which... ehhhh... was that entirely necessary? I never felt like Snow White=/=Mary Margaret. I just thought it was a dumb way to differentiate when they were in Storybrooke, versus yet-another-pre-curse flashback scene. I mean, the show kept separating Charming and David, Ruby and Red, Archie and Dr. Hopper, Mr. Gold and Rumplestiltskin. Belle, Robin Hood, and Hook never really got alternate curse names. And, of course, Emma and Henry are just themselves.
Man, Snow - if it meant so much to you, maybe you should have said something before now.
Anyway - forget tiny!Snow learning to shoot straight because we have to shoehorn our Featured Fairy Tale Character Of The Week into the past somehow (though I did enjoy mean-stepmom-Queen Regina being a World Class Beast to tiny!Snow. It's not that I don't like Snow White - it's just that too much of her brings out my snarky side. I don't call her Princess Rainbow Sparklepoo for nothing). I wanna talk about IMPORTANT THINGS.
Like Cruella's little chat with Henry. First off - PRAISE BE Cruella is back! I was annoyed that we had been promised the return of Cruella, but all we got last episode was her car being driven by an on-set stunt dude and Victoria Smurfit was nowhere to be seen. But THERE SHE IS - in all her wonderful two-tone glory, sniping at the nearest mortal being. Which happens to be young Henry, the Author himself.
And funny I bring up that Author business - since Cruella wants to rejoin the land of the living (and with the Underworld being the hellhole - pardon the pun) that it is, and she wants the Author to do it. Except, Author!Henry broke the quill in two and nobody should have that much power (even though Walt Disney seemed to wield it just fine without any terrible consequences. We even got an awesome theme park out of the deal). Except the quill isn't actually dead - Henry can find its magic in the Underworld and do his Authorly Duties, like he was meant to. Oh, and bring Cruella back to life so she can go on being delightfully horrible and soaked in gin and 1920s music (look, I really want Cruella and Zelena to be evil witch buddies, because I think that would be lovely). Cruella appeals to Henry's better nature of wanting his Emma-mom to not be a murderer and have her hero-heart as pure as the driven snow.
Except... we dealt with all that Dark!Emma stuff last story-arc and even Dark!Emma wasn't all that bad. It turned out to be all an act because Emma likes to go all Lone Wanderer and keep the people she loves in the dark so she can fix things that went Horribly Wrong. Also - OUAT!Excalibur is a pain in the ass. Gimme Cal from The Librarians any day.
My point is - whatever "darkness" Emma has because she killed Cruella is negligible at best. Don't forget - Emma was trying to save Henry because Cruella was threatening to kill him. It was a dumb plot point that was supposed to somehow make Snow White look like she had a speck of evilness is her. Which, we have thoroughly proven is laughable (even when she was Evil Queen!Snow in the alternate reality - it was a complete joke).
Anyway - Cruella is back. I am happy.
Next order of business - Isn't Hades kind of a... letdown? I mean, the guy doesn't even have the fabulous costuming to help his underwhelming evilness (what - did they cut Eduardo's budget or something?) Good grief - for all the guy's tough talk and threatening Cora and Killian and everybody else... I'm still placing my bet on Captain Hook kicking his ass Nine Ways to Sunday. Even without his hook and even bruised and bloodied.
And that's another thing - why in the name of Poseidon's left nut is Hades so fixated on torturing Killian Jones?? It's like Darth Vader's strange obsession with chasing the Millennium Falcon in Empire Strikes Back. Sure, Killian was a/the Dark One and he destroyed all the Dark Ones (with the exception of everyone's favorite little trickster shithead) and that might stick in Hades's craw a little bit - but out of all the people at his disposal in the Underworld that he could mercilessly torture, why Killian? Did Killian's mouth get him into trouble yet again? Did he insult Hades's mother as he was falling into the Underworld and Hades took it personally? Is that why he's forcing Killian to choose who of Team Storybrooke stays in the Underworld?
(First choice is easy. Rumple's got a suite in Hell with his name already engraved.)
Although I do love this little tidbit from the synopsis for next week's episode (slight spoilers - but did we really expect Killian to do anything else?) -
“Hook refuses to choose which three of his friends will have to remain in the Underworld.“HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Suck on THAT, you deranged ginger twit in a cheap suit!
(In fact, that's what I'm calling Hades from now on - The Deranged Ginger Twit in a Cheap Suit. High Lord Weenie of the Underworld is also acceptable. Seriously - I'm just not feeling the evil-villain-ness of this guy. You may feel differently, but I just don't get it).
Basically, eff Hades and the horse he rode in on.