Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 17 – TV Review
At least it’s not as bad as a Zelena episode.
TL;DR Belle tries to do good to help Gaston move on from the Underworld, but ends up hurting him more in the process; Hades engineers it in an effort to curb hope in the Underworld; a dream leads Emma and the gang to find Ruby wolfing around; Hades might legitimately love Zelena.
What else could sending her a moldy flower mean?
So we’re still yet to have that James episode we were teased with, and it’s time for yet another goddamn Belle episode. The flashbacks show how she initially disdained Gaston, then came to find he was actually a cool dude, then came to discover he was actually an evil dude, and then came to be his fiancè in a political marriage for his kingdom’s resources. In the present Underworld, Hades tasks Gaston with killing Gold. Belle gets between them and wants to instead find out what Gaston’s unfinished business is so she can help him move on. She thinks it’s her, but it turns out he’s just as evil down here as he was up there, and all he cares about is killing Gold. At the final showdown between Gold and Gaston (Gold, a magic user, obviously has the upper hand) Belle again gets in the way, but Gaston still tries to kill Gold, so Belle kind of accidentally pushes him into the River of Souls for an eternity of torment. Hades reveals that this was his plan all along, and is satisfied that the flowers recently growing in the Underworld, a symbol of hope, start to die. Meanwhile, Emma has a dream that Snow is killed by a monster arriving from a tornado. She, along with an “I’m only in these scenes for my obligatory line count” Hook, try to hide from it, but they end up finding out that it’s Ruby. And Regina, after hitting a wall (literally) in the gang’s schemes against Hades, petitions Zelena for advice on his weakness. Zelena says Hades’ weakness is her.
I want to remain skeptical of this pairing, but I have to concede that it does make sense for the lord of the Underworld to have a thing for a homicidal rapist.
This episode is purely filler. Belle’s only purpose on this show is to be Gold’s morality pet, and we’ve had that established enough already. And Gaston’s only here for a Disney property name check (like Meg and Hercules).
Zelena’s continued presence doesn’t make me happy, either.
Boo. Next, please.
Why I hate this episode:
Why did Belle think Gaston was worth trying to help in the Underworld? She saw in that magic mirror back in the Enchanted Forest that he’s no good. Fucking delete and block, honey.
To really harp on just how willfully ignorant Belle is of Gaston, in the flashbacks, Belle jumps between Gaston and the young ogre to stop him from shooting. He doesn’t, and shoots, anyway. But Belle evidently forgot this, because she jumps between Gaston and Gold in the middle of battle. Twice. Once, in front of the pawn shop, and Gaston fires on Gold, anyway. And then in the final battle, Belle uses the Dark One dagger to compel Gold to relent, and Gaston tries attacking him, anyway. You’re an idiot, Belle.
Emilie de Ravin does a brave job of not sounding too egotistical when probing Gaston about how his unfinished business is her, but still. What a self-centred brat.
Hades presents Belle with an offer this episode: allow Gaston and Gold to fight to the death, and he’ll tear up the contract on her unborn baby. Umm, didn’t Gold already deliver the portal Hades demanded? Yeah, he didn’t get his hands on Rapesly, but that’s hardly Gold’s fault. That contract should already be gone, baby. Rude.
Belle is of the “it’s okay when I say it’s okay” school of dark magic use, which, thankfully, Gold points out when she asks him to use his dark magic (forbidden by her earlier in the episode) to open Gaston’s locker. Hypocrite.
Did we really need Ruby back again?
Where’s James? And Cruella?
I feel dirty to say it, but Henry isn’t in this episode. We need to see some progress on those Author powers. Just doodling about how Baby Neal heard his parents’ message of love isn’t going to get you closer to defeating Hades, honey.
Oh, and it’s going to take a lot more than OUaT’s given me so far to make Zelena and Hades’ love seem anything close to sincere.
But it’s not all bad:
If Zelena does totally fall for him, then maybe we can kill her off alongside Hades at the end of the season. It’s worth a shot.
Gold carries the episode as best he can. His point last episode about how Belle should know that he’s not a pure, white princess, and that she should be an adult and choose a morally complicated life if it means her happiness, is reinforced. The episode largely concerns Belle’s education on the evils of moral absolution and single-mindedness, and Gold is there to spell it out for her. The message is broken a little bit when Hades reveals everything was designed so that some flowers would die, but nonetheless, she’s experienced the folly of her black and white ways. Let’s hope she can retain it this time.
We got to see Snow die in Emma’s dream. If only it had become a reality.
During her efforts to keep her deadly dream from coming true, Emma realises how stupid it was to bring everyone she loves to the Underworld, and earns herself the episode’s best line: “This is a terrible plan.” Not that Emma’s any stranger to being terrible.
That young ogre is kind of hot.
I appreciated Gaston’s slamming of Belle for making him weak, which caused him to try to reason with Rumple instead of attacking him, which led to his death. He’s got you there, Miss High Horse.
And his incredulity and disgust when she reveals that she actually married Rumple is something we can all relate to.
I enjoyed Hades’ exact words void of the Belle deal. Although Gold and Gaston did fight to the death on the River of Souls, it was Belle who pushed Gaston in, so the deal is kaput. Someone’s gotta keep these do-gooders honest, right?
Oh, and that freak tornado is probably another portal Ruby magically got her hands on, but I’ll hold out hope that someone murdered her.