There can be miracles when you believe. And yes, I just sang that at the top of my lungs. I’m a Disney girl, through and through. But hey, it fits.
Belief is a very important thing. In fact, you could even say it’s an essential thing. Snow and Charming have gotten here not only on the strength of their love, but on their strength of their belief in each other. And right now, that belief is being tested. Big time.
It’s kind of refreshing. Not because they’re suffering, no – their suffering is ours, after all, but because that means the original couple of Once Upon A Time is back in the forefront, once again. And, despite what the Evil Queen might think, she hasn’t won.
They’ll find their way back to each other. They always do.
So, let’s talk about the good, the bad and the swoon-worthy in “Heartless”:
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE
Snow and Charming haven’t really been alone since they first met, as evidenced by this week’s flashbacks. “If someone believes in you, you are never alone,” is the catchy phrase of this episode, and once again, it all has to do with hope. Belief.
They believe in each other. They believe in their love. And, of course, they also believe in happy endings, fairies and a whole bunch of other things.
In real life, that belief might seem absurd, but even in this cynical world, we can admit that some things – many things – would be better if we believed. Believed that we could do it. Believed that things are going to get better. Believed that other people are not going to fail us.
On the show, though, this belief has taken these characters so far. It’s made them hold onto each other when things seemed bleak; it’s made them find each other over and over again. It’s led them back to their daughter, helped them become a real family.
And that belief is the reason why this is clearly not the end. They were there for each other since before they knew they were – and this is not the end of Snowing, not by a long shot. This is just another roadblock. All they have to do is find each other again – metaphorically, instead of physically.
THE PRODUCT OF TRUE LOVE
“True love can break any curse, and so can you, because that’s what you’re made of,” Killian says to Emma, and the foreshadowing is so strong that we almost had to take a step back. But the scene continues, and as Killian’s words sink in, Emma stops shaking.
She doesn’t stop shaking just because she believes him about his parents, though that’s part of it. She does believe in her parents. She always believes in the man in front of her, the man saying the right words, the man who’s been by her side even when she’s pushed him away, even when she’s lied.
Just as she’s been at his side when he has done the same thing.
True love is not just being with a person who is good for you – not just Emma loving Killian because he always knows how to cheer her up or because he believes in her, just like it’s not just him loving her because she’s was the first person to believe that he could be more than an evil pirate. True love is about partnership, and partnership is not about always giving the same the other person is giving.
Partnership is doing what you need and not keeping score, because you know the other person would do exactly the same.
That’s where Killian and Emma are right now. She needs his support, he gives it. No questions asked. Last week he need her support, and she gave it.
Before, Snow and Charming were the standard. These days, Captain Swan is, what with the sleeping curse and all. And hey, that’s not a knock on Snowing. I think they, of all people, would really love for their daughter to follow their footsteps in this particular matter.
TO EACH OTHER, AND THEN BACK TO YOU
Which, of course, leads to Emma. The product of true love, as we said before. The baby her parents gave up everything for. The thing they love most in the world – other than each other.
Can she not break the curse? We’ve seen TL kiss from Henry to both his mothers – why not Emma to her parents? You’d think that would be the obvious conclusion, but then again, sometimes this show can get dense. Or, sometimes they expect us to not look at what’s right in front of us.
It won’t happen right away – but I expect the resolution to this sleeping curse storyline (Evil Queen, you need to be more creative, you really do) will be Emma. And in a season that already feels like a pretty nice throwback to season 1, that’ll be the cherry on the top of this sundae.
TOO WEAK TO BE GOOD
Belle was dishing out the truth tea to Rumple tonight, and it’s about the third time this season I’ve felt like the girl deserves standing ovation gif – which, for me, is saying a lot.
She is right – Rumple is, in a way, worse than the Evil Queen. The Evil Queen is just the bad side of Regina, no redemption possible. Rumple is a man with a conscience, a man who can love, and also a man who’s too scared to ever make the right decision. Every time, at every fork in the road, Rumple has gone for easy. He sacrificed himself for everyone, came back, had a chance to start a new life for Belle? He chose power. Belle forgave him, again and again? He chose power.
And now, he chose the Evil Queen – though not in a romantic manner. He chose what she could give him, which was the shears, because, once again, he wants to rob another person in his life of free will. His son still hasn’t been born, but the vision that he saw in the first episode is enough for him. He doesn’t want to work on being the kind of man his son can love, no. He wants to ensure his son can’t hate him.
When Belle calls him weak, she’s never been more right about him. That’s always been his biggest fault. The coward who chose power that one time, all those years ago, over his family, is still choosing everything but the people who love him. And, if he hasn’t learned the lesson in all this time, what’s to say he can?
Belle has already lost hope of reconciliation between the two of them, but a part of her clearly still hopes Rumple can be the man his son needs him to be. And that’s Belle – it rings true to her character. Me, however? I’m just about done with Rumple. Even if he decided he was going to be good now, I just wouldn’t believe him. Why would I? I’ve been burned before. So has Belle.
Either way – that would probably be a better storyline than what we’ve got going on for Rumple right now. There comes a point where, no matter how good the actor is, if you keep feeding him the same thing over and over, he becomes boring. I don’t expect Rumple to choose good – ever. Perhaps, if they’d thrown me some curveballs along the way, I’d still be interested in his journey, but as it stands, I don’t even need to watch.
I already know how this story ends.
Once Upon A Time has never been shy with the Snowing/Captain Swan parallels, but this episode, they went out of their way to put the show what true love means and why both these couples share it.
As you wish, Charming says. Later on in the story – though we saw it earlier, Hook will say the same thing to Emma. And just as Snow and Charming have gotten here because of their belief of each other, its Hook’s belief in her, and his words that make Emma’s shaking stop in this episode.
Snow and Charming are somewhat incapacitated as a TL standard, right now, what with one of them having to be asleep at all times. So it’s clearly time for Emma and Hook to step into the mantle of established, dependable couple.
Just – if they are going to be our standard (and, in a way, they already are) – can we get some more domestic scenes together? I still want to know who’s cooking breakfast. And how the closets look. I really, really do.
THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE SENSE, A LIST
Close, but no cigar.
- The Evil Queen’s ‘dream’ visit. If this is a power she possesses, how come she hasn’t used it till now? Would have been awfully useful when Henry ran away, or when he and Emma were living in NY.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE
- Hey, Evil Queen? Snow White was 10. She told on you. Big deal. At this point you have to let it go.
- Why did everyone look so surprised to hear the Evil Queen was working with Gold? It’s not like Gold’s a model citizen.
- Blue is still shady AF. I’m never gonna change my tune.
- DON’T TAKE DRINKS FROM STRANGERS, DAVID. DON’T TAKE DRINKS FROM STRANGERS.
- The wardrobe department is killing it this season. I spent half the time I was supposed to be worrying about people going – wow, I really like that shirt/pants.
- Hook and Emma’s reactions – particularly Hook – to the possibility of Evil Queen/Rumple are pretty much what every viewer is feeling.
- “You kiss me with that mouth” is absolutely something we’ve all said to our SO after they eat something that we find nasty.
- What is it with Rumple these days? Is it the haircut that just instantly makes him attractive?
- Please tell me that you’re going for Regina being jealous of the Evil Queen, NOT Rumple. Please. I beg of you.
- The Evil Queen knows her poetry – she quoted Dylan Thomas.
- At first I thought – what a lousy curse. The EQ should know better. I swear, I even tweeted – if she wanted revenge she had to kill David. And then, the twist. Well done, Evil Queen. Well done. It’s sort of poetic, even. Kudos to you.
- Why do guys always go for the it means nothing excuse? Like that helps, somehow? What did he expect Belle to say: Oh, I’m glad it means nothing. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. I forgive you! No. Just no.
NEXT, ON ONCE UPON A TIME
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.