Well, that was…better and worse than I expected. And I mean that in the yes, it was awkward as hell but we survived way. Which, now that I think about it, could be the subtitle for this show. Because the family connections, if nothing else, make Once Upon A Time a combination of poignant/ridiculous/amusing and absurd. It’s a real miracle Archie doesn’t have a full consult, what with all these twisted relationships.
I mean, Emma did meet the mother of her ex-boyfriend (who is the father of her child), who was also the ex-lover of her one true love. So, yes. This show is crazy. “Devil’s Due” was crazy. Both in a good way, and in a bad way. But the good usually outweighs the bad. That’s why we stick with it. We want to believe in the things Once Upon A Time is selling: true love, the possibility of redemption, happily ever after’s. We want that hope that Hades so desperately wants to squash. We live of that hope.
And we’re not the only ones. So do these characters. And as long as they continue to believe, we can follow them on this journey. We kind of have to, at this point. They promised us happily ever after, and we’re still not there. We can’t abandon ship. That’d be bad form.
What am I supposed to say about these two that hasn’t already been said, both by me and many others? Emma Swan and Killian Jones are the type of TV-couple that brings fans, they’re the kind of ship that sticks, long after a show is over and done with. They’re Mulder and Scully, Buffy and Angel. Luke and Lorelai. They’re not a couple, not a ship, but a OTP. And they bring out the FEELS.
That doesn’t mean they’re a perfectly realized couple, no. It doesn’t mean the journey is over. Happily ever after is for when the show is ready to call it quits, and Once Upon A Time still has some story left to be told. The story of how Killian Jones finally gets to the place where he believes he deserves a family and love. The story of how Emma Swan can actually give birth to a child and keep it. The story of how two people can go from separate entities, to a couple, to a family.
“Feel free to go mad,” Hades tells Killian at one point in the episode, and Killian doesn’t listen. You could chalk this up to strength of character, and you’d probably be right, there’s some of that involved, but you could also easily chalk it up to his unwavering faith in the woman he loves. Hades can say whatever he wants, Killian knows Emma is coming, and Killian believes in Emma.
This is not self-serving. Killian has always been Emma’s number one fan. He’s a hero in his own right, but he knows Emma is more than that. Emma’s the savior. Emma is strong. Emma is not only his love, but his reason for hope.
Contrast this to Milah, who was, undoubtedly, a very important person to Killian. He spent over 300 years trying to avenge her, after all. And I’m not saying he didn’t love her, he did. He loved her as much as a damaged man could love a damaged woman. They used each other to hide from the darkness, but neither of them was ever able to truly escape it, because neither of them could be the light. And that’s okay – that doesn’t mean it any less real. But what Emma and Killian have is different because they can be each other’s light. Killian was Emma’s for a long time, and now, it’s her turn to be his. And she’s there. She’s not backing down.
Can you say true love? I can’t. I’m having trouble forming words.
YOU CAN’T CHANGE FOR OTHERS
You might recognize this gif. It’s not a new one, no. It’s old. Way old. Season One old. And yet, this is my foreshadowing about what’s coming for Rumple. You know karma? Well, Rumple has escaped one too many times.
A part of me – the part that still likes fairy-tales, kind of appreciates the symmetry in Rumple failing to achieve his redemption for one child, and yet getting a second chance and actually managing it. The bigger part of me, however, hates this story-line with a passion. That’s the part of me that likes to live in the real world, that deals with facts, that understands that people can’t and shouldn’t change for others, they should do it for themselves.
This is the part of me that wants to shake the writers. They were very clear, when writing Killian’s redemption arc: the only way to truly redeem yourself is to do it for YOU. He couldn’t change FOR Emma, it had to be for him. Same thing with Regina. She couldn’t do it JUST for Henry, she had to want it. And they’ve both had these long, drawn-out arcs to reinforce this lesson, again and again. You make your own choices in life, the good ones and the bad ones, and though the people you love can and should be there for encouragement and or support, they can’t be your reason for everything. You have to want to change.
So, what is this? Another easy way out for Rumple? Because he already had one of those and we all remember how well THAT turned out. It wasn’t that long ago. And not only that, this is just another example of the show putting Rumple’s arc, Rumple’s story, above Belle’s.
Doesn’t this woman deserve better? I mean, I understand she’s a character in a TV show, stuff is going to happen to her – but I would at least like for the stuff that happens to her to mean something, to teach her a lesson. I hate Belle in this role that she plays, which is basically a device to further Rumple’s arc. I hate that she forgives him again and again and he keeps going back. I hate that she doesn’t know. I hate that the writers don’t allow her to be strong.
I hate that she’s having a baby with her lying husband. I hate that she’s probably going to forgive him again, even when he stopped deserving it like two seasons ago. I hate that Belle’s kid is Rumple’s SECOND BORN, and he already signed him/her away because old-him was too much of a coward to use his brain. I hate that new-him is too enamored of his power to really change. I love that this show sells hope, but I hate that it can’t seem to commit to the notion that not everyone deserves a 275th chance. And if there is someone who doesn’t deserve a second chance, the man who cruelly murdered the mother of his child, TWICE, would top that list.
A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL
Oh, Hades. You out-Rumpled Rumple! I would almost be happy, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s bad news for the characters I actually care about. That being everyone but Rumple, at this point.
This, of course, is probably going to backfire on Hades, but, for the moment, I really don’t care that Rumple has to eat a little humble pie. In fact, I wouldn’t even care if Rumple had to sacrifice himself for his kid – but then again, that’s merely hope, not speculation. Robert Carlyle will be Rumple for as long as he wants to be, and if he weren’t flip-flopping between good and evil I might even appreciate that. But here we go again, Rumple plotting against everyone while pretending to be on their side. Oh, goodie. I hope that Emma and Regina actually fry him when he’s found out this time.
Probably won’t happen either, but a girl can hope, right?
When you talk about unfinished business in this show, you think Milah. As such, I wasn’t surprised to see her make an appearance. I was, surprised, however, at the fact that my estimation of her unfinished business was correct.
It was about Bae. Not about the man she ran away with, not even about the man she ran from, the man who killed her. No, it was about the son she abandoned, and rightly so.
Milah has never been one of my favorite characters. Yes, Rumple was a coward. Yes, she wanted more from life. But he wasn’t as terrible a husband as we want to paint him. He didn’t hit her or disrespect her, and he was honestly trying to be better. He just didn’t know how. He also loved his kid. Say what you want about Rumple, especially in those days, but boy, did he love his kid. And Milah up and left him AND the boy because she wanted adventure. Rumple went on to become the Dark One and put power above his son, yes, but Milah was the first villain in this story. In Neal’s world, his mother left, his father couldn’t put him first. In his world, parents leave.
Emma lived in that world too. And that’s not an excuse, no. Neal had terrible parents, but Emma thought she did too. Many people have terrible parents, and yet go on to become good people. You are responsible for your own choices. Explanation shouldn’t equal excuse.
The flashbacks, which were there to make me understand her better, really served Killian’s character better than they did Milah’s. I’m not saying Rumple was right to sign away his second born, I’m saying he was desperate. He did what he thought he had to do for his kid. She? She used his behavior as an excuse to put herself first. She wanted to go with the handsome young man, see new places, and she didn’t care about her son or her husband. Let it be noticed that Killian backed away when he heard she was married and with a kid. He didn’t seduce poor innocent Milah into abandoning her family – she made a choice. She left her kid.
So, Milah did a lot to make Neal into the man I don’t really appreciate. And that’s on her. Even Rumple calls her out for abandoning her son, and he’s right to do so. His own mistakes are separate from hers, one doesn’t cancel the other out.
But she did something this episode that Rumple has always had a hard time doing – she owned to her mistakes. She admitted them out loud. She tried to make amends. Sadly, the biggest mistake she ever made, Rumple, was still there to rob her of her chance to finally reunite with her son.
Poetic doesn’t even come close to describing the whole taking Snow to check if Daniel is around thing. And, of course Daniel isn’t around. He wouldn’t be. But, it would be OOC for Regina not to check, just as it would be OOC for some part of her not to wish that he was there and she got to see him again. We’re all selfish creatures in grief, and Regina is no exception. The biggest part of her might be happy Daniel is in a better place, but a small part of her would still love one final chance to tell him she loves him.
That she took Snow with her, however, is just as important as the fact that she went. Regina needed closure with Daniel, and in a way, so did Snow. They both needed closure with what happened, with the way things transpired. The only way these two women can be not just friends, but family, is putting the past behind them. Daniel was the thing that tore them apart – and now, in front of his tomb, they can finally begin to recapture what might have had if it weren’t for Cora.
- If I have to listen to Rumple promising to change ONE MORE TIME, I’m going to puke.
- Why are there kids in the Underworld? What unfinished business could they POSSIBLY have?
- Creative beatings, Hades said. *covers eyes* I don’t even want to KNOW.
- How did Milah know who Emma was? Or that Rumple was married?
- The only good thing I can say about the awkwardness that was Emma/Milah/Rumple is that they owned it. No one tried to pretend it wasn’t awkward.
- What exactly were David/Snow/Henry/Robin doing this entire episode? Not cleaning, for they weren’t at the apartment.
- Bravo for not taking this episode as an opportunity to pit two women against each other, Once Upon A Time. Bravo!
- Did I say rival? I meant supplier! Oh, Hades. You’re creepy as hell, pun intended.
- Mrs. Dark One! Somehow I don’t think Belle would appreciate that moniker.
- The Milah thing really becomes unbearable when you realize she went to the tavern with her SON still in bed sick.
- If these people don’t stop with the “my friends” business my FEELS will never be under control. First Snow, then Regina, now Killian.
- Hook never mentions Milah by name, but Robin can apparently READ HIS MIND well enough to mention her to Rumple. Oookay.
- Hades wants to keep all the women, of course, because the women of Once Upon A Time are badasses.
- The promo. THE PROMO!!
NEXT, ON ONCE UPON A TIME
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.