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Once Upon a Time “Her Handsome Hero” 

Hope makes flowers grow in the Underworld. Who knew? Naturally, Hades doesn’t like things that grow, so we can expect bad things to happen to our heroes.

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand
Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

Emma wakes from a dream to realize that she knows how to remove their names from the gravestones, and if their names are gone they will be free to leave. There’s a problem with this plan, of course; it comes complete with a cyclone-riding monster. But she’s willing to try it anyway, and the monster arrives as expected. As it turns out, the monster is actually a wolf, and that wolf is actually Red. Thank goodness Snow White had spent enough time with Red back in the Enchanted Forest to recognize her and stop the gang from hurting her. Also, thank goodness that the wolf drags that red cloak along behind her everywhere she goes. Not sure how that works exactly, perhaps there’s a magic pocket somewhere under all that fur. Nevertheless, we can expect to hear some rollicking tales on what Red has been up to since she left with Mulan. No doubt the cyclone-system of travel means she arrived via Oz, so her arrival must tie in with Zelena somehow.

It’s amazing to see Zelena and Regina have a sisterly moment. I never thought I’d see the day they could sit at the same table, let alone actually speak to one another without blood being spilled. Too bad Regina had to spoil it. Zelena seems to have genuine feelings for Hades, and he for her. But her abandonment issues are getting in the way, and as long as she worries that he will love her and leave her, there is no hope for the two. As someone who has dealt with very similar issues, it seems clear that Regina has a unique insight into this problem that may be the key to solving it. So are we about to see an end to Zelena’s rampages? To Hades’ manipulations? Will the two get together and will birds suddenly appear every time they are near? Unlikely. I suspect that Hades and Zelena together could become an unstoppable force. Dangerous for everyone, to be sure. The good thing is that if they do work out their issues, chances are high that Hades’ heart will start ticking again and the happy couple will be off to Olympus to become the thorn in Zeus’s side instead. One can always hope, right?

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand
Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

Gaston makes his appearance this week to get his revenge on Rumple. Although Gaston and Belle had a good thing going back in the Enchanted Forest, Rumple had to come along and spoil it all. Gaston had gone to all the work to enflame a war with the ogres, arrange a marriage with Belle, and would soon become the most powerful man in the known world. Then Rumple had to come along and ruin it by snatching Belle and sending Gaston to the Underworld. Now that she sees him down there, Belle would prefer to help Gaston rather than destroy him. Naturally, things don’t go as planned. If Gaston was a good man who had been wronged, there might be a chance of saving him. But we’re shown early on that he isn’t such a good man. Not only does he torture a young ogre in the flashbacks, when he’s talking with Hades in the animal shelter and getting those extra-ouchy arrows, we can clearly see that he is a man who leaves the toilet seat up. Not the mark of a hero, clearly. So he is destined to be punished, and Hades has offered a deal to Belle; let Gaston and Rumple have their face-off, and he’ll release his claim on her baby. Naturally, Rumple is happy to hear this. He can easily win that fight, as long as Gaston doesn’t shoot him in the back of course. Gaston doesn’t have a chance against the magic of the Dark One. So Rumple handles it as we all knew he would, but Belle manages to repeat her history and get in the way, very likely starting another war in the process. She stops Rumple from tossing Gaston into the sea, but doesn’t stop to think that maybe she should have taken away those arrows first. With Gaston about to shoot him and Rumple helpless to do anything about it, Belle reacts and shoves him into the water. Game over for Gaston. Again. Poor guy can’t catch a break. To add insult to injury, Hades points out that Belle broke the terms of the deal by doing the deed herself, so her baby is still owed, the contract stands.

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand
Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

In this ongoing battle of hope versus Hades, I can’t help but notice that the big man doesn’t do his own dirty work. Is he having his minions do the work as a show of strength, or is he actually unable to do things himself? It’s an interesting question. He tried to make Hook chisel the names on the gravestones. When Hook wouldn’t the names ended up there anyway, but we didn’t actually see Hades do it. He had to get Rumple to destroy that boat back on the River of Lost Souls, and he had to get Gaston to try and kill Rumple. It looks as though Hades must work as an influencer to villainy, but not as an actual villain himself. I look forward to seeing how this plays out as the season moves on.

Moment of Goodness: Love Conquers All

I hate to say it, but the one moment that stands out above the rest this week is when Zelena receives the gift from her not-so-secret admirer. Hades saw the flaw in his world, and he handled it. Now he presents the evidence to Zelena in the form of a dead flower of hopelessness. Any normal woman would be offended by dead flowers, but not Zelena. She knows what it means, and she likes it. Those two were made for each other.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

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