So Henry has grown up.
That’s about the only thing that we learned from “I’ll Be Your Mirror.” That and Rumple’s an asshole, but I’m pretty sure we knew that. This is just like the 290472782372th confirmation.
And yes, there’s also Hook-can-see-right-through-your-deception, Regina and please, God, NO, DON’T GIVE ME MORE GOLDEN QUEEN.
Joining me to discuss this episode, as always, are Sarah, Caryn and our lovely guest for the week, Manu!
What were your overall thoughts on this episode? Rate the episode on a scale of 1 to 10.
Lizzie: I’m gonna say 7.5, as well. I’m tempted to give it an 8, but the Golden Queen has passed the point of creepy and is now just plain uncomfortable to watch. I did enjoy the Emma/Regina “adventure” of sorts, and the awful kind of realization that came to both of them at the end about Henry being all grown up, I really loved Hook seeing right through Regina’s deceit, I was really happy Henry got to do something and I got all weepy at Snowing. So, all in all, not bad.
Caryn: I would give it a 7. There were some beautiful scenes like the Snow/Charming letter writing ones, Henry getting to do something other than be saved, and Zelena getting some of her ownership back. The Rumple and Evil Queen scenes – both together and separately – had me rolling my eyes back into my head though.
Sarah: I would rate this episode a solid 7.5 in my book. It was an adventure of the week episode, which sometimes can be frustrating, but I liked the adventure enough that I didn’t mind and frankly who can beat another magical dragon fight? It got some down points for the Rumple EQ scenes and the depths to which Rumplestiltskin sank to which I didn’t think could get any worse, but it seems he loves to prove me wrong.
Manu: This was not my fave episode at all. I would say it felt like a filler episode, but looking back, all the seasons have some kind of episode like that. At least this one involved the core main characters, so, there was a positive side to it. But honestly, it felt like an unnecessary episode, none of the main plots progressed and almost nothing new was shown. I would give it a 4.
Emma and Regina teamed up this episode, and though, in the end, they achieved nothing, the fact that they can be a team when needed and present an united front to their son and in defense of him is very important. What do you think of their relationship and how’s progressed since the Pilot?
Lizzie: I don’t know that I ever thought we’d be here, with Emma and Regina feeling like equal partners in the adventure of raising Henry. No one’s throwing the he’s my kid/no, he’s mine thing in the other’s face, no one’s undermining the other. They’re …partners. And they also both accept that they’re not the only person that Henry can/will turn to. We’ve seen no protestation from Regina re: Hook’s place in Henry’s life, no undue jealousy at his time with his grandparents, or with the other. It’s all very functional and adult. I’m proud of them.
Regarding Emma and Regina’s friendship – I think they are friends, yes, and I think they care about each other and they want the best for each, not just for Henry, but because they’ve come to appreciate the other. I don’t think they’re BFFs by any stretch of the imagination, I think Regina would confide in Snow before Emma and I think Emma wouldn’t confide in anyone – maybe Hook, but I think that, at this point, they’re family, and family fights for each other either way.
Caryn: Their relationship and the unconventional parenting partnership is one of my favorite things about this show. I like that it isn’t always easy but they actually have equal respect for each other and are making an effort to work together to get the best possible results.
Sarah: These two have frustrated me in the past, but that was more to do with the writing of their friendship than them individually as characters. Certainly they’ve come a long way since the pilot and it’s really nice to see them put away the “he’s my son” argument firmly in the past and accept they are both Henry’s moms. Up until this season their friendship, has been touch and go some moments I’ve truly liked and others not so much. However, when it comes to Henry these two never go wrong and no matter my issues with the writing it’s been nice seeing them build a real friendship, especially since there’s usually a villain running around Storybrooke the heroes have to deal with.
Manu: For the first time in one of those Emma and Regina adventures, Regina didn’t mistreat Emma. That was definitely a good change. I think they learned to accept each other as family, as people that will be connected forever because they share a son. Now, maybe, as this season progresses, we can see more of a genuine friendship beginning between them. Tho in my opinion, Regina and Snow friendship and closeness makes way more sense.
Henry got a chance to save the day, for a change, and in the end, reiterated to the EQ that he’s strong because he’s got a family. What do you think of Henry’s development and what do you expect to see from him going forward?
Lizzie: I feel like a proud mother watching Henry – sort of like Emma and Regina must have felt at the end of the episode. He has grown, and he has taken all the lessons from his family to heart. He did not just the right thing, but the smart thing, and he leaned on the people who love him and let them make him stronger.
I hope this means the show is ready to stop treating him like sort of a prop for Emma and Regina. He deserves his own storylines, and more importantly, to be involved in the other storylines. I want to see more of him and Hook, more of him and Charming, more of him and Snow …just ….I want the little moments, the domestic ones. The ones that make a family.
Caryn: I have to think that they had Henry in the suit (and that dance storyline) so that he would look more grown up in this scene because he did. It worked. Instead of in the past when he wasn’t quite convincing when he stood up to someone, this episode I actually believed him. I thought he could do anything with the power of the family. So kudos to the actor, as well as the wardrobe department.
Sarah: Henry’s had a strange life since the curse broke back in season two and frankly it’s remarkable he’s been able to maintain a normalish one in between the realm traveling. Even taking all that into account, I’ve really loved the writing for him the last few seasons, especially as he’s now firmly in teenage age camp. After everything he’s been through, it was no surprise he could stand up to the EQ without anyone’s help and not because he assumed he could face her alone. But because he knows he has a whole family who will always have his back. He’s never stopped believing in them every step the way, especially when they were doubting themselves.
He’s never stopped demonstrating no matter how old he gets, he’s still the one with the heart of the truest believer. His storyline has slowly become more inclusive, with meeting his lovely girlfriend Violet (who I adore so much), and going from someone who they were always worried about protecting to now being the one who steps up and does the protecting and saving himself. Going forward I’m hoping to see his story continue to grow as another member of the Charming family, as the author, as the heart of the truest believer, but most of all as just Henry Mills.
Manu: I think it was time the writers start treating Henry as a young adult. No more operation names. I liked seeing him upfront in this episode and the Hooks centric one. He is the heart of the show and the one that brings this strange crazy family together.
Hook saw right through fake-Regina, mostly because he knows Emma enough to know that she wouldn’t just leave, not anymore. How do you feel about where Captain Swan is now? And, of all the relationships on TV right now, are they your favorite?
Lizzie: Yes, they are. I’d rate them with Densi (NCISLA) as sort of the standard for what a relationship needs to be, and TV rarely shows. There’s no drama for the sake of drama, there’s total and absolute trust, and there’s this sense that they’re not just there to keep each other company, or to provide support when the other person needs it, they’re there to make each other better. To push each other towards being a better version of themselves.
Because that’s what a true partner does. True love is not just about saying, yes, I love you the way you are, with all your flaws; true love is about saying, I love you, and I will continue to love you regardless, but these flaws? You can do better and I’ll be here to help you and support you every step of the way. And that’s what Emma and Killian do for each other.
Caryn: Of all the canon relationships on TV, yes definitely, Captain Swan is the most healthy. I love that Hook worked out that something was up with Fake!Regina, I was so frustrated with the characters for not working out that it was the Evil Queen. I think Captain Swan is in a great space, they are a team, and they are creating a firm foundation.
Sarah: I love that Hook picked up instantly something was wrong, the Evil Queen is losing her touch if she thinks a simple white lie with a magic voicemail would be enough to stop Emma’s pirate from being suspicious. The fact that Emma and Hook have gotten to the place where he absolutely knows something is wrong because Emma isn’t the person to pick up and leave was one of the most heart warming realizations I’ve had about Captain Swan this season. They’ve worked so hard to get where they are and how much love and dedication they have to each other and their family is nothing short of phenomenal in my book. They’ve been at the top of my OTP list for years, and are hands down one of my all time favorites (and yes current favorite) for so many reasons I wouldn’t have space to fit them all here. In short I will be a Captain Swan fangirl for life and I couldn’t be happier for it.
Manu: CS has been my fave tv relationship for quite a bit now. I think they are in a great place. I love the idea that the writers will create drama within their relationship, not breaking it. But making it work, bringing layers and depth to their feeling for each other. I’m just waiting for more domestic moments and lightness. After so much angst it’s needed.
Snow and Charming’s separation continues – though, at the end, we got a glimmer of hope with the notion that, maybe, they can communicate. Is that wishful thinking? Do you think this storyline can be resolved anytime soon, or is their separation going to be a lengthy one?
Lizzie: With these two there’s no wishful thinking. Something’s gonna happen that’s going to wake them up, and I don’t think it’ll have anything to do with Emma, Regina and their magic. It’s going to have something to do with their love for each other, and their baby, or Emma. Money’s still on Emma, since she’s actually an adult who can make the conscious decision to TRY true love’s kiss on her parents. I don’t think this is going to be a season-long thing, but I can see the show dragging it out at least till mid-season break, because ….well, we gotta suffer during the hiatus, right?
Caryn: I bet that baby is going to kiss both of them and break the curse. I’m surprised no one has tried that with Emma, Henry or the baby. The storyline will probably be resolved just before the mid season finale. I don’t think that the Evil Queen will be that easy to defeat, or I hope so.
Sarah: Wishful thinking would be hard to go for on any other show, but not Once Upon a Time. Snow and Charming have had a lot of obstacles thrown their way over the years and while I firmly believe they’ll find a way to communicate not just through technology (I’ve never been more thankful for smart-phones) my feeling is this separation might be going on for a few episodes at least. This was the kind of twist that I didn’t see coming and honestly will have a lot more meaning if it isn’t just wrapped up quickly as much as I hate to see one of my favorite couples on OUAT struggling to keep going through these frankly terrible circumstances. I know they’ll find a way to break this curse and be together again (and I’ll be squealing loudly when that happens), but I’m enjoying this story too much (yes I like angst sue me) for it to end too early.
Manu: It’s good to have hope and the writers just don’t show us something so it won’t have any implications later. So I’m pretty sure that will play out somehow. But with so many storylines happening it might take more time than we wanted to have that fixed. One thing about this sleeping curse that is still bugging me, why Emma can’t kiss them and break the curse with TLK?
Rumplestiltskin has seemingly gone way past the point of no return by essentially placing a tracker on Belle. Never mind Rumbelle (though, by all means, rant about that if you need to) is there any hope for Rumple? Or is this the end of the line for this villain who never quite managed to be a hero?
Lizzie: My belief that there’s no hope for Rumple ties into my belief that there’s no hope for Rumbelle. I know the writers like to spout the line of this being a show about hope, and it is, but at this point it would just be an insult to the viewers – and to Belle, to even consider getting them back together. I don’t think redemption is truly about atoning for your sins – some sins can never truly be atoned for – I think redemption is about WANTING to atone for your sins. Rumple doesn’t want to, though, and if Belle and/or his sons haven’t pushed towards wanting that for himself, six seasons in, it’s just too late to believe he could. Rumple’s a villain, plain and simple, and he’ll probably end this show like all villains do – badly.
Caryn: Here’s the thing, I don’t think that all villains should be reformed – Peter Pan, Cruella etc all worked well but Rumple has run his course, and frankly at this point he does not deserve to become a hero, and it will destroy his character even more. I haven’t fully believed that Regina paid penance for all her crimes, Rumple has barely even started and his list is longer. What he did to Belle is inexcusable, there is no love there – only possession and pride. Belle deserves better, the viewers of the show deserve better. The tribe has spoken – Rumple’s torch needs to be extinguished.
Sarah: Personally, unless A&E can pull some magical Rumple’s been living in a dream world story-line out of their hat, no I don’t have any hope for Rumple at all. He’s had so many chances to change his ways and let go of his power crutch, but it’s just never managed to happen. Six seasons in I’ve let go of the idea that it will and accept that the OUAT writers like him far too much as a villain to ever really redeem him. That nail only become more firmly hammered into his coffin after how he’s treated Belle since she’s standing her ground to protect their son from his attempts to control his life even before he’s born. My idea of a happy ending for Belle is to get to live in peace with her son, and that Rumple at this point, gets what he deserves.
Manu: I think A&E might have some twists we don’t expect regarding Rumple and RB. I honestly think they will surprise me because I personally can’t see a way to fix that relationship. I can only see a sacrifice to help Rumple’s redemption. At this point, in this season, I get the feeling Rumple fully embraced who he really is, the evil and power addicted villain.
Agree? Disagree? Want to participate in one of these round-tables in the future? Share with us in the comments below!
Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.