‘Once Upon A Time’ Roundtable “The Black Fairy”

Rumple betrayed our heroes …again. And yet, that was about the only thing that stayed consistent in this episode. That and Robert Carlyle delivering a masterful performance as, arguably, one of the most complicated characters on this show.

Because backstory on the Black Fairy kind of made us understand Rumple a little bit more. It made us hope, once again, that he could make the right choice. And yet, redemption isn’t easy. It must be fought for – and Rumple has proven time and time again that he’s just not interested.

Joining me discuss this episode are Fangirlish writers Sarah, Caryn and Charles. So, let’s get into the parallels, the choices and the upcoming wedding as we talk  “The Black Fairy.”

What were your overall thoughts on this episode?  Rate the episode on a scale of 1 to 10.

Lizzie: 7.5 is a good number. I enjoyed it more than I have ever enjoyed a Rumple episode, probably. I even found myself rooting for him – and Robert Carlyle delivered another great performance. That being said, it does get frustrating to see him make the same wrong choice again, and again. But hey – this episode had Operation Best Man, Zelena running over the BF with her car and some pretty good parallels, so it still gets a good grade.

Caryn: 7. There were moments that I enjoyed more than the previous episodes such as filling in the final pieces of the Rumple stories, how him and his mother’s lives paralleled each other. The Zelena and Regina moments were adorable too. But most of all I’m glad that they didn’t do a complete 180 on Rumple’s character.

Sarah: 7.5 This wasn’t my favorite episode, but I did like learning about the backstory that connected all the way to the pilot with the Black Fairy. I enjoyed Regina and Zelena being sisters and the driving lessons, but in all honesty I’m never as engaged when an episode is centered around Rumple (nothing on Robert Carlyle though, he was amazing especially in the scenes with Gideon)

Charles: 7. I think that is a fair number. The Black Fairy backstory was interesting. I loved the Zelena/Regina moments but also this almost felt like a filler episode before the big musical wedding episode. It was a good episode if you enjoy Rumple though it still felt like we are taking a breath before these final 3 episodes.

We found out this episode that Rumple could have been a savior were it not for his mother. What do you think about Fiona’s decision and how it parallels to the decisions Rumple has made in the course of the entire show? Does this backstory make you sympathetic to the Black Fairy? To Rumple?

Lizzie: I feel sympathy, yes, I always have, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to support Rumple or to see things from his POV. Yes, he got dealt a shitty hand, but so did many others and they’re not out there becoming villains. Fact is, he chose to be the Dark One, he chose power over love again and again, and though it’s a tad heartbreaking to know that his mom made a choice for him that set him on this path, fact is, Rumple still made his bed and now he gets to lie in it.

Caryn: The apple definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree. It is a sympathetic situation, but the point is that Fiona chose her powers over her son’s future, regardless about how much she wanted to protect him. In the same, as Lizzie said, Rumple made the decision to become the Dark One, when geez there is lots he could have done to save Baelfire, and he is continuing to make decisions that separate him from his family. Choice is the cornerstone word in both the Black Fairy and Rumple, and why they keep sabotaging themselves.

Sarah: It definitely made me feel for Rumple, since his mother’s choice, while out of desperation to save him, set him down his path of being a coward. However, the fact that he was put on the path doesn’t mean it excuses the choices he’s made since then and that’s right along with his mother. Both of them started out seeking power to protect the people they loved and ended up liking it too much to ever walk away from it. Add Rumple’s teaming up with his mother behind everyone backs (big surprise) and any sympathy I had ended there.

Charles: Like mother, like son I suppose. Both have made terrible choices and this might be as good as reason why Rumple is always choosing the wrong way to go. Fiona’s decision was a mother’s choice. A ill-advised one but one I think is understandable from her point of view. What mother would want to fight their son to the death??? Now does it make me sympathetic to her? Not quite though I do feel more for Rumple though. He could have been a true hero but instead he was cursed to a terrible  fate as a baby.


Rumple choose himself, again, and allied with the Black Fairy. What’s your reaction to that? Use gifs.


Caryn: Television GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Sarah:  photo nor surprised_zpsbjsc3h3e.gif



Hook asked Henry to be his best man – and the wedding is on! What are you looking forward to the most? What’s the one thing that you absolutely want to see? Share your expectations for the wedding.

Lizzie: Probably the songs – I’m a sucker for a good musical. But I also want to see Emma being happy, getting the happy ending she was sure she wasn’t going to get. I want to see her say he vows and I want to see them finally be married and I just want to enjoy it for a little bit before all hell breaks loose, which I’m sure it will. I trust the writers when it comes to this, I trust them to deliver the beautiful ending/beginning that Captain Swan deserves.

Caryn: Is it too much that I just want to hear the officiant pronounce them husband and wife? I just want that closure. But I love a good musical episode so I’m keen to hear the songs, and just seeing the characters having fun again, it’s been too long.

Sarah: It’s a tie between the songs and the entire wedding ceremony between Emma and Hook. I’m so excited to see the entire cast break out into song, I’m already addicted to the music (ahem I bought it at 3 am and haven’t stopped since.) The one part I’ve been anticipating is the vows – I cannot wait to see what Emma and Hook say and fully expect to be a puddle on the floor by the end of it. I’ve shipped Captain Swan since they climbed the beanstalk and to now get to see them commit their lives to each other in front of their friends and family is hands down going to be one of the happiest fangirl hours of my life.

Charles: I can safely say that this is the most I’ve looked forward to a OUAT episode since..well when Hook proposed to Emma. Haha! But seriously this is going to be really fun. Hook and Emma’s wedding is going to be really memorable and I am looking forward to all of it. One thing I can wait for is their vows to one another. Hearing Hook and Emma’s declarations of their love to one another will be a beautiful thing to witness. As for my expectations, I expect everything. However, I think I see the wedding going as smooth as it can. I also expect myself to cry a lot as well.


Had Rumple been the savior his destiny would have been to die in the final battle. Do you think, despite everything, that’s still his destiny? How does the final battle end?

Lizzie: Oh, yes, I think he’s done. I think he’s not truly the villain – he never was, and yet he has proven, time and time again, that he’s unable to make the right decision unless the world is literally crumbling, and that seems to be what the finale is going for. So I think Rumple will decide to listen to the good in him, yes, but he’ll decide too late, and by that point, the only way to stop what’s coming will be to sacrifice himself. Everyone else will get a happy ending – except, poor Belle and Gideon, really, but at least they’ll have each other and they can go on knowing that Rumple did the right thing, in the end.

Caryn: I 100% think that Rumple will sacrifice himself to save everyone else, which will give him a touch of redemption. Reports say that the finale will offer closure to some of the characters – and I think that one of them is Rumple, who always wrestled between good and bad, hopefully he can leave behind an ambiguous legacy.

Sarah: The second they revealed Rumple had betrayed everyone to team up with his mother I instantly thought: oh, he’s not going to survive the finale. I don’t think he’s going to go out in a villainous way, mind, but I do believe it’ll come to a point where siding with his mom will ultimately hurt Belle and Gideon. His love for them will win out, even if it’s at the last second and he’ll sacrifice himself to keep them safe. As he said himself – it’s all he’s ever wanted to do, and given his track record of choosing power relentlessly over love and a true happy life I can’t see any other kind of fitting ending for him at this point.

Charles: Rumple’s destiny is looking more and more like he will sacrifice himself for Belle and Gideon. There’s a part of me that thinks he might be conning the Black Fairy to trick her to think he’s on her side. The problem with that is , you just can’t tell with Rumple’s history. I hope that his love for his wife and son overcome the darkness inside of him.

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.

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