Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 18 – TV Review

OUaT Where Bluebirds Fly Zelena angry face

At least it isn’t a Belle episode. Or a David episode. Right?

Yes, it’s a Zelena episode.

And a “magic does what we say it does” episode.

And a confirmation that the Black Fairy will have some tragic backstory episode.

And a wedding planning for Hook and Emma episode.

But still no Maleficent or Lily. Hmm.

TL;DR Zelena tries to do something good for the wrong reasons and plays into the Black Fairy’s scheme; but an undeserved heroic sacrifice (sadly, not a fatal one) makes up for it; Emma and Hook take time to plan their wedding before David, of all people, reminds them this isn’t the fucking time for that; flashbacks show Zelena’s pointless, doomed friendship with the Tin Man; the Black Fairy worries that her deepest secret will be discovered.

Is it the Botox? Because we already know.

So apparently it’s time to check in with Zelena and give her a focus episode. Sadly, she has no character left to develop, so OUaT rehashes her old obsession with being the best (she wants to prove she’s better than Regina; mummy issues; blah blah), and she sets out to defeat the Black Fairy all by herself. Regina’s pleas to stop are futile, and when Zelena does unleash her CGI green magic beam at the Black Fairy, it predictably does nothing. Except for when the Black Fairy deflects it into a cave of light magic crystals (they’re in the mines. Remember those?), and they all turn dark and now the Black Fairy has lots of magic or whatever. Meanwhile in flashbacks to Oz, a tweenaged Zelena befriends a guy. Fast forward to her reign as Wicked Witch, and he comes begging for her help to stop his body from tin-ifying, as he’s been cursed by the Wicked Witch of the North (I’d look up who that is, but I just don’t care). They search for a just-heard-about-it magical artifact called the Crimson Heart, but it turns out to be a device that siphons magic to operate. Zelena accuses the guy of setting her up and allows him to turn into a tin statue as punishment. Back in the present in Storybrooke, Zelena figures the dark crystals could be reverted if she were to give up her magic, as they’re linked to her, and she uses the Crimson Heart. Her magic is gone, and the crystals are restored. Which is good, because Emma uses one to start the healing process for Mother Superior. The Black Fairy closes the episode by wringing her hands over the possibility that her deep, dark secret will be revealed. Elsewhere, Henry tries to use his Author powers to write Emma’s victorious future, but it doesn’t work. And the Charming family, oddly, spends their episode looking at wedding venues. David bitches at Snow indistinctly until finally exploding over the fact that they shouldn’t be wedding planning while the Original Evil is down in the mines plotting to nuke the town. Emma agrees.

As do I.

I mean, as far as Zelena episodes go, this one isn’t offensive. It’s just tired and superfluous and unambitious.

Which is perfectly reflective of present day OUaT. So it fits.


Why I hate this episode:

Why did the Black Fairy, the strongest dark magic user in all of creation, and with a not-too-shabby minion magician at her disposal, need Zelena to infect the crystals? Oh, OUaT does do us a solid by addressing it. But the answer is “excuse excuse Zelena’s magic is unstable and therefore excuse.” Fuck the fuck off. The Black Fairy should have just done it herself. Zelena just needed an episode. But God, why?

But without magic, Zelena is officially useless. She evidently has no character development left, as her “I’m the best” plot is old hat. What, do we have to now suffer a magic-less Zelena doing domestic dullery with her rape baby? No, thanks.

Zelena has a whinge at Regina about how Regina never showed Zelena any sympathy over Hades’ death. Because she loved Hades. I’m pretty sure it was made clear that he was using her, right? And he was literally the Devil. Didn’t anybody tell her?

The wedding planning subplot with Emma and the gang is almost funny with how inappropriate it is. Almost.

And there was a weird bit of subtle foreshadowing where David gave a lingering look to the symbols in Henry’s writings. I figured his unusually agitated mood would have something to do with that, but it didn’t. I suppose it’s my fault for believing OUaT could be subtle about anything.

David’s actual reasoning for raining on the wedding planning parade is because he doesn’t want Emma’s wedding to be spoiled by the Black Fairy, they way that theirs was ruined by Queenie. Yep. Because a wedding faux pas is a higher priority than the fucking apocalypse.

The Tin Man suggests to flashback Zelena that friends are better than a time travel spell. I disagree.

Oh, and Zelena almost uses a dark crystal to transport herself back to Oz. But she decides not to go because there’s nobody in Oz who cares about her. Cunt, we don’t care about you, either. Go!


But it’s not all bad:

Zelena only ever pops up to do something with her magic. So without her magic, maybe that means there will be no more Zelena episodes?

I also relished her laughable failure of an attempt to kill the Black Fairy.

David’s Real Housewife-level bitching about the wedding venues gave me life. His eventual rationale was stupid as hell, but given how stupid David usually is, this one wasn’t as embarrassing. And, like, seeing how interdimensional travel is so easy these days, maybe a wedding in the Enchanted Forest isn’t such a bad idea?

Henry shows David that he’s tried writing that Emma defeats the Black Fairy and saves the day, but the words vanish from the page whenever he does. A noble effort, Henry.

Oh, and while I am dreading the Black Fairy’s impending Freudian excuse, I am interested in seeing the Blue Fairy’s backstory in more detail. She’s always been a kind of nebulous presence in Once Upon a Time, so let’s get some deets.

OUaT Where Bluebirds Fly Black Fairy well secret

Poor, poor Mulan.

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

5 responses to “Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 18 – TV Review”

  1. SlayerNina Fansub (@slayernina) says :

    Please, the reveal should be something in the line of “Lily’s father is also Rumple’s father” LOL

    Also, big LOL about how they called Grandma’s place “crap”

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