Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 20 – TV Review
Tonight’s the night when the gang finally leaves the Underworld.
But guess who will be forced to stay behind?
Oh, only the one they came there for in the first place.
TL;DR Hook is forced to stay behind in the Underworld; Hades leaves with Zelena and Rapesly, but apparent attempts to keep our heroes trapped are thwarted; Gold has the last laugh on Pan; flashbacks about Emma lead to the earth-shattering moment we’ve all been desperate to see: how she got her jacket.
Still not as desperate for a flashback as Arrow.
So it turns out Hades’ feelings for Zelena are sincere, and she wasn’t gaming him, either, as once Hades acquiesces to Gold’s ransom demand (he abducted her, remember?) and tears up the child contract, he and Zelena share True Love’s Kiss. With Hades’ heart beating once more, he can finally leave the Underworld. And what great timing, because a portal back to Storybrooke is set to open shortly. But Emma is unable to split her heart with Hook like she’d planned, so Hades sends them in the footsteps of Orpheus, who got Ambrosia from a sub-level of the Underworld to rescue his love, Eurydice. Emma and Hook make the journey and prove her True Love for him, but the Ambrosia tree is long dead (cut down by Hades, they suspect), and with time running out, Hook elects to stay. Meanwhile, Henry belatedly realises that the gang hasn’t fulfilled their promise to help the Underworld dwellers move on, so he uses his nebulous Author powers to write storybook pages to illuminate their unfinished business. And then Cruella and the Blind Witch team up to trap them in the Underworld and miss the portal (using a spell provided by Hades, Regina suspects). But Emma, once back from her failed quest, helps Regina break the spell, and they make it in time. Zelena and Hades have already gone through, too, and taken Baby Rapesly with them (Regina convinced Robin to trust her with it. It’s dumb). Meanwhile, Pan offers Hook Pandora’s Box to transport Belle back to Storybrooke in exchange for a heart. So Pan, too, can leave the Underworld. But Gold double crosses him by filling a water balloon with River of Souls water and shoving it into him. And flashbacks to 2009 take us on a boring journey with Emma as she tries to find out about how she came into the world. She forms an alliance with a bounty hunter originally trying to bring her in, but then the bounty hunter dies, Emma finds out she, too, adopted a child out, and Emma buys her iconic jacket from the bounty hunter’s adopted-out daughter.
I’m secretly hoping that the events of the episode don’t turn out to have been orchestrated by Hades, and are just a collection of coincidences.
Because I dread the impending symphony of smugness from our heroes about how Hades isn’t a changed man at all.
Except from Regina. Regina can do whatever she wants.
Why I hate this episode:
I wish she wouldn’t convince her boyfriends to let their rapists take care of their raped-out-of-them babies, though. I could do without that.
Given how offensively hard OUaT’s been trying to sell us on Zelena’s virtues this season, I’m confused that Hades, assuming he did try to trap the gang in the Underworld, could be her True Love. Hades is obviously irredeemable. Which means either Zelena is on the cusp of snapping back to her evil ways, or the governing force of True Love is fucking cruel to make Zelena’s only match be the literal lord of Hell. And I’m not really sure if I care.
I can’t believe that after all this shit in the Underworld, and all the unnecessary baggage that came along with it, that Hook, the reason they came, is the only one who doesn’t get to leave. It’s not tragic. It’s just pointless. They’ve achieved nothing. Who do they think they are? Daenerys?
My wish for Zelena and Pan to duke it out, or at least have some kind of conflict, doesn’t come true. Gold and Pan immediately stage a ransom demand and handover. That’s all.
And then Pan goes out in a puff of shoulder-shrugging when Gold predictably betrays him.
The flashbacks are laborious. And they don’t meaningfully echo anything going on in the present day plots. They really do just show how Emma got her introduction to bounty hunting, and how she got her jacket. Why?
Why did Gold need Pandora’s Box to get Belle through the portal? Just hoist her over your shoulder and get on with it. Or if you’re too delicate, have one of the burly boys like Robin or David help. They may not like you, but they wouldn’t leave Belle. So Gold’s bargain subplot with Pan is superfluous.
I’m still confused as to how Henry’s Author powers work. He’s writing the unfinished businesses while awake this time. So he’s, like, psychic?
Oh, and as they’re under the pump to get to the portal, Henry leaves the storybook full of the unfinished businesses in the library, hoping the townsfolk will find them. Or Cruella and the Blind Witch will find them and destroy them?
But it’s not all bad:
Cruella and the Blind Witch form a fabulously dressed Villainess Duumvirate to succeed Hades as the rulers of the Underworld. Or, at least Cruella wants to rule. The Blind Witch just wanted to get revenge on Regina.
I was genuinely surprised when Zelena and Hades’ kiss actually was one of True Love. You got me, show.
Conversely, Gold tries kissing Belle out of her sleeping curse, but nothing happens. I lol’d.
Gold’s double cross of Pan was inevitable, but putting a sack of River of Souls water into him in place of the heart he’d promised is pretty clever.
Hades says the reason Emma is unable to split her heart and give it to Hook is because Hook’s living world body is too dead and decayed to come back to life that easily. Ew. But a thankful dose of reality.
Oh, and if ruling the Underworld doesn’t work out, Cruella and the Blind Witch should consider opening up a garish coat shop. For drag queens.