Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 14 – TV Review
The good news is that Cruella is still around.
The bad news is that it’s an episode mostly about Gold/Rumple, but not about being compelling to watch.
With so many worthwhile dead characters to exploit, did we really need to hear the sob story of Rumple’s slutty wife?
TL;DR Gold uses Milah to help Emma rescue Hook, then betrays her; flashbacks show pointless bullshit between pre-Dark One Rumple and Milah, but then introduce some stupid magical contract that comes back to haunt Gold in the present; Hook is indeed rescued; Regina, Emma, and Snow are chosen by Hades to replace the three souls the gang has saved.
You had a chance to kill David and you didn’t take it, OUaT? You fools.
So it turns out all that mucking about with Hercules and Meg last week was for nothing, as the entrance to Hell is actually in Emma’s house’s basement. Gold calls upon his slutty dead wife, Milah, to help he and Emma gain access (Milah’s Underworld dweller status cloaks them from Hades’ alarm system or something) by dangling the chance of meeting Hook again. Once inside Hell, Emma does rescue Hook from a death trap, while Milah and Gold muse about their dead son, Baelfire. Hades then shows up to wreck the day, and he bargains helping Gold get out of the Underworld with Gold’s pledge to keep the meddlesome, do-gooding Storybrooke gang from leaving. Gold agrees, and must fling Milah into the River of Lost Souls, killing (?) her, to keep her from blowing up his spot. With the rescue mission completed, Regina goes to split Emma’s heart for Hook to use, but she can’t, and they find headstones with Regina, Emma, and Snow’s names on them in the cemetery. Meaning they’re stuck in the Underworld. Meanwhile in Enchanted Forest flashbacks, a young Baelfire is bitten by a snake and Milah harasses pre-Dark One Rumple (the coward, remember) into robbing a healer of a potion. Rumple is too weak to go through with it, and instead promises the healer his second-born child in exchange for the potion, figuring that he and Milah don’t need another kid, right? Milah is unimpressed, and that’s what sent her into Hook’s arms back in the day. And back in the present, Hades reveals he’s now in possession of the second-born child contract, and he also confirms something Gold had feared: Belle is pregnant. Oh, and Regina has a teary at Daniel’s grave, which shows (thanks to a pro tip on reading the headstones from Cruella) that he has moved on to Heaven.
If nothing else, Once Upon a Time always (usually) makes sure to give us a little bit of Regina to keep us going. It’s the only thing worth sticking around for.
Sadly, OUaT manages to fuck up a nearly total Gold/Rumple episode. The return of Milah, while giving that initial “Ooh” moment that any long-gone character return can conjure, is such a needless, pointless wank.
Milah has always been a bitchy, slutty obstacle. So excuse me if I don’t buy her regrets over leaving Baelfire because she hated Rumple.
Especially when not a few moments later we see her flashback self being so despicably self-serving.
Why I hate this episode:
The fact that Gold feels bad about chucking Milah in the River of Lost Souls is even more ridiculous. I mean, first of all, it’s Gold. He hates that bitch. But Gold is now the Super Dark One, which means he should be more evil and callous than ever. Shut up.
The only point of the flashbacks is to introduce the second-born child deal he made with the healer (played by Aaron Douglas). But we have to endure so, so much Rumple and Milah time that I think a bit of clumsy dialogue would have been preferable. Also, Baelfire gets bitten by some random snake outta nowhere and that’s the precipitating factor to a huge, fifth season complication? For fuck’s sake.
Milah’s plan to steal the potion is a decent plan. But it drove me up the fucking wall that she insisted that Rumple be the one to sneak in and kill Aaron to get it. Bitch, you know he’s a bloody wuss. You fucking do it. What happened to sisters doing it for themselves, huh?
The entrance to Hell in Emma’s basement makes everything from last episode unnecessary. Way to make your plot points obsolete in the very next episode, OUaT.
Cruella doesn’t get enough screentime. She only appears this episode to tell Regina how to read the positions of the headstones to determine where that person is. And the Daniel thing, while cute, is quick and meaningless to anything else going on. Next.
Seriously, with David and Henry on the chopping block, Hades chose to kill Emma, Regina, and Snow? I thought you were supposed to be cool, man.
Oh, and Hades’ blackmail of Gold relies on the contract. Hades is completely assured of how binding it is. But contracts aren’t worth anything with nobody to enforce them. Gold just needs to kill Hades or whatever and boom, done. Chuck him into the River of Lost Souls. Hades has a soul, right?
But it’s not all bad:
Greg Germann is a good time as he prances around as the lord of the Underworld. He’s basically a less crocodilian facsimile of classic Dark One Rumple, but we don’t get much of that Rumple, anymore. So it’s welcome.
And he seems utterly amoral. I hope OUaT doesn’t give him a sympathetic backstory so that his inevitable defeat is more enjoyable.
Regina manages to steal the episode with the limited screentime she is afforded. The reason she needs Cruella’s advice on the cemetery (she originally wanted to ask the Blind Witch, but she’s MIA this episode) is because her magic is on the fritz. Otherwise she would have just used magic to find him, right? She gets it back finally near the end of the episode, and it seems that it’s because she’s now an Underworld dweller, so can now use magic down here. Or is it because she’s on a high from finding out Daniel’s gone to Heaven? Does anyone care?
Cruella won’t confirm whether her doe skin garment is Bambi’s mum. But she won’t deny it, either. Divine.
Milah gets exactly what she deserves when Gold sends her into the River of Lost Souls. She’s lucky she didn’t run into Norman Bates. His views on maternal abandonment aren’t as polite.
Gold gets the best line of the episode when approaching Milah in the Underworld, where she works as a Lollipop Lady, and uses her post as an excuse to turn his request to help down:
Milah: “I’m supposed to watch the kids.”
Gold: “Well, they’re dead, anyway.”
Cutting right to the chase.
Oh, and the best scene of the episode is when Gold relishes introducing Milah to Emma as his ex-wife, and Hook’s ex, and Baelfire’s mother. Milah makes the observation that Emma’s fucked both her dashing pirate lover, and her son.