Once Upon A Time 6×04 “Strange Case” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

It’s a strange case indeed.

Episode Summary: In flashbacks, we’re taken back to the origin of Mr. Hyde and during our journey we come to find that there was a bigger villain than him. In present day Storybrooke, Snow’s first day of teaching doesn’t go as planned, but Jasmine (Karen David) is there to help. Charming deals with Killian and Emma’s move. Rumple imprisons Belle on the Jolly Roger. And the demise of two souls reveals how the Evil Queen could be defeated.

Review | Analysis: “Strange Case” was yet another great example of how well Once Upon A Time writers are able to handle twists. And the truth behind the strangest case of them all is definitely something I was never expecting. Additionally, tonight’s episode once again served as a perfect reminder of the fact that while villains will always believe love is weakness, it is strength. And the belief that it’s a weakness will always lead to a tragic end. In this universe especially, the most important thing that matters is that nothing is cheated. Honesty and perseverance are the key to becoming who we’re meant to, and when we try to take matters into our own heads, we change the frequency in which we’re meant to be on. And as Mr. Hyde points out “you can change the outside, but what’s inside is still there.” To grow fully means to embrace all that we are and choose the paths we know are most honorable.

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Once Upon A Time 6×03 “The Other Shoe” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

We are in this world to right our wrongs, love with all our hearts, and give with all our might.

Episode Summary: When Ashley realizes she has a second chance to save her stepsister Clorinda (Mekenna Melvin), she chooses to do it all on her own, but is later in need of a healing touch. Emma battles with the desire to give Killian his happy ending, but fears and the savior shakes continue to overpower. Snow decides she wants to go back into teaching. Charming searches for the truth about his father’s accident. The Evil Queen teams up with Mr. Hyde while Regina and Dr. Jekyll try to figure out how to control their other halves.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time’s “The Other Shoe” was one of the strongest, thematically moving episodes the series has had in a while. An episode I’d give a solid 9.5 rating, too. It’s the closest we’ve ever gotten to perfection in Once Upon A Time history — every minute of it was rich in storytelling and performances. This show is special. It has been special from the very beginning in the unique way it’s delivered our favorite fairytales with a twist and while a series like this can get redundant quicker than most, Once Upon A Time has managed to keep its magnetism for six years. We are never too old or too young to be reminded of the power of belief — a profound emotion that’s capable of achieving the impossible. “The Other Shoe” served as a beautiful reminder of the fact that it’s never too late for anything.

“The Other Shoe” is unsurprisingly the work of the remarkable wordsmith Jane Espenson — a woman who’s no stranger to writing some of the most incredible episodes of Once Upon A Time. And in “The Other Shoe” Espenson and Jerome Schwartz managed to seamlessly take us back to the magic that made us fall in love with season one while exploring the issues we’re facing today.

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#100DaysofFanFavorites | Day 45

25 Nearest and Dearest 6/25
The Charming Family (Once Upon A Time)

charming-family

There’s no tragedy or heartache on Once Upon A Time as horrific as the fact that Charming and Snow weren’t given the opportunity to watch their little girl grow. And every so often we’re clouded with the thoughts of what if. What could’ve happened if they had raised Emma as they planned? Would they be different today?  Would she still have her walls up? Would she be happier as a princess? Would she still have had Henry? However, despite the unfortunate reality that she was never given the chance to experience a childhood in a loving environment, Emma’s relationship with her parents is one of the most fascinating relationships on television. The Charming Family consisting of Henry and baby Neal as well share incredibly uplifting and beautiful moments together showcasing that it’s never too late to give someone your all. And it’s most definitely never too late to be a family.

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Once Upon A Time 6×01 “The Savior” Recap

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Welcome back to season one. Oh, wait no season six. It’s going to be an incredible ride (like season one).

Episode Summary: Resuming right where we left off in the season five finale, our heroes are disturbed with a dirigible from the Land of Untold Stories, but when they finally capture Mr. Hyde, it turns out he’s actually going to be usual to Emma, leading her on a journey where she learns what her visions mean. Gold wakes up Belle and in her sleeping curse, the two meet their son, Morpheus (Giles Matthey). And while Regina’s made the decision to make proper amends, the Evil Queen has a plot to turn her sister against her.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time’s sixth season premiere has set up a promising arc that’ll focus on the power of our choices beautifully. No person changes overnight — day-by-day human beings grow into better versions of themselves simply by choosing the direction they want to take. And sometimes, the closer they get to progress, the farther back they go, but with persistence, growth can be achieved. Our favorite Storybrooke heroes have continuously found themselves at crossroads and it finally appears as though this season will explore their temptations with great depth. If “The Savior” promised anything, it’s the fact that people are always responsible for the choices they make. And it appears it’s finally time for every character to learn that.

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Once Upon A Time 5×22 “Only You” and 5×23 “An Untold Story” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Episode Summary: Gold uses the Olympian Crystal to save Belle and tethers all of Storybrooke’s magic to it, but when Henry runs off to New York in order to destroy magic, Gold, Regina, and Emma must change course in order to stop him. After they send the Camelot folks back home, Snow, Charming, Killian, and Zelena are taken through the portal to the Land of Untold Stories.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time from the very beginning has emphasized the importance of choice. There’s great power in all of us and it is the ability to decide where we go once we’ve been hurt. While it’s never easy to choose the hard path, it’s almost always the right one, and this show’s rightfully presented us with both the difficulties and the ramifications. It’s also reminded us of the importance of forgiveness. Essentially, life and art are one in the same — nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy, but in the long run, it’s always the best choice. “Only You” and “An Untold Story” dealt with choices and the power of hope beautifully reminding us all of why we fell in love with this show.

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Once Upon A Time 5×18 “Ruby Slippers” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

A little courage could do wonders.

Episode Summary: Flashbacks to a specific time none of us really know reveal Dorothy’s first meeting with Ruby and Mulan. And when Dorothy escapes to find Zelena, she’s put under a sleeping curse forcing Ruby to use the slippers in order to get revenge. When she ends up in the underworld and tells the heroes what she’s there for, they set out on a quest to find Aunt Em — who’ll be able to give Dorothy true love’s kiss. However, when Hades interferes, Snow comes to the realization that Ruby should be the one doing it, and a sweet conversation gives Ruby the courage she needs. When Mayor Cruella tears down the haunting phone booth, Snow and Charming decide one of them must go back home to their baby. And still having the power to etch names on the tombstones, Killian replaces Snow’s with Charming in order for her to go back to Storybrooke.

Review | Analysis: It’s fair to say that a great number of us made the assumption that Once Upon A Time’s LGBT pairing would be between Ruby and Mulan. And while it’s still wonderful to see representation on our screens, if we’re being honest, we’re a bit heartbroken — primarily for Mulan. However despite our sadness, “Ruby Slippers” was an episode filled with beautiful moments. And at the end of the day, if we can somehow see Mulan’s happy ending, we’d be satisfied.

Before we get into our review, we need to take a moment to remind our readers that it’s okay to have opposing opinions. It’s okay if you “ship” the couple, and it’s okay if you wanted Mulan/Ruby instead. It’s okay to be upset and it’s okay to be happy. No matter what you may be feeling, your feelings are justified.

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Once Upon A Time 5×17 “Her Handsome Hero” Recap

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Once again, do not make the deals with the devil, kids — there’s always a trick with him.

Episode Summary: Flashbacks reveal Belle and Gaston’s first meeting followed by an adventure that showcased what a powerful team they could’ve been if their story evolved further. However, when they’re reunited in the underworld, Gaston reveals she was a weakness and his quest to kill Rumple is the unfinished business he’s doomed with. And unfortunately, when Rumple’s involved, souls don’t move forward to eternal bliss, instead, they decay in the “River of Lost Souls”. In an attempt to stop the men from destroying each other, Belle accidentally pushes Gaston into the river, but despite the fact that a soul departed in Hades’ preferred way, because it wasn’t Rumple’s doing, he will not allow Belle to keep the child. Emma believes her dreams are visions leading to Snow’s death, but what the heroes come to find is the fact that a beloved friend has found her way into the underworld — now whether dead or alive, (hopefully the latter) next week’s episode is bound to be extraordinary with Red and Mulan.

Review | Analysis: From an early age, fairy tales were meant to paint gorgeous pictures of the significant lessons, except sometimes, instead of dragons and witches, the demons are internal battles. Once Upon A Time and this arc especially, emphasize the vitality of hope in a masterful way. It’s been scientifically proven that positivity and laugher can play an enormous role on a person’s physical health. In the same way, negativity can do the exact opposite. “Her Handsome Hero” touched on perspectives inspiring us to once again be certain of the fact that though a hero’s life isn’t always easy, it’s not only always worth it, but it strengthens hope and ensures happiness in beautiful ways.

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Once Upon A Time 5×14 “Devil’s Due” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Don’t make deals. Don’t ever make deals. Don’t make deals with Rumplestiltskin. Don’t make deals with Hades. Don’t make deals with Cruella. Just don’t make deals okay?

Episode Summary: When a rare snake in flashbacks threatens Bae’s life, Milah and Rumple seek a man who can magically help him, but they cannot afford his asking price. Milah asks Rumple to kill him in order to steal the elixir, but instead, his naiveté inspires another decision instead: their second born child will be given away. We also see Milah and Killian’s first meeting after he defended her from a drunken man at the tavern. In Underbrooke, Regina is given the opportunity to see that Daniel has moved on to a better place. Rumple seeks Milah’s help in order to get him and Emma into Hades’ lair where Killian’s held. Milah and Rumple discuss how her unfinished business in Bae, but instead of giving her the opportunity to reunite and move forward with their son, Rumple takes a deal with Hades, sends her into “the river of lost souls”, burns their ride home, and lies to the heroes. Killian and Emma reunite, but because Killian would not choose souls to stay behind, Hades took matters into his own hand trapping Emma, Regina, and Snow. In the end, it turns out Belle is pregnant and when the child is born Rumple must give him/her to the man he once killed in order to get out of the contract.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time at its core is a series about redemption and this arc especially is focused on the importance of doing good, honorable deeds in order to help others. “Devil’s Due” was perhaps one of the darkest episodes Once Upon A Time has done because it focused primarily on just how far man is willing to go in order to seek what he desires. Surely we weren’t the only ones hoping the episode would have ended with Milah being given the opportunity to move on, but something tells us this isn’t the end of her story. What this episode has fundamentally done is revealed the truth behind a villain’s agenda — it’s never black and white. It is complicated, it is messy, it is heartbreaking, and it is disgusting. However, it has once again reminded us of what clearly distinguishes heroes and villains. While tonight’s episode did not leave us hopeful like the past two have done, it has beautifully revealed that teamwork is truly the key to success.

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Once Upon A Time 5×13 “Labor of Love” Recap

Spoilers Ahead 

Snow White is back and all’s well in the world again.

Episode Summary: Bailee Madison reprised her role as young Snow as she became a better warrior due to the help she received from her demigod friend, Hercules (Jonathan Whitesell). In the underworld, Killian helps Megara (Kacey Rohl) escape in order to give Emma a message, but the three headed beast Cerberus goes after them forcing Mary Margaret to retire her Storybrooke alias because in order to win, she needs to channel bandit Snow. Hercules, Snow, and Megara slay the beast and the two dead souls are finally given the chance to go to Olympus. While trying to find a map of Storybrooke in Regina’s office with Robin, Henry comes across Cruella (Victoria Smurfit) who tells him that much like the living souls, the quill he destroyed is in the underworld. The quill also has infinite powers and she wants to be written alive again. And in the end, Hades reveals to Killian that with every soul his friends save, he needs to choose which one of them to stay.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time knows how to write real, complex women who are strong because they’ve been weak — women who find themselves again after losing battles or falling apart. And it’s no wonder so many of us are in love with this series. Who doesn’t adore heroines who’ve not only taught us so much about ourselves, but who’ve inspired us to continue striving towards better? “Labor of Love” showcased the very fact that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but rather it’s taking risks in spite of the overwhelming thoughts that say failure is more probable than success.

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Once Upon A Time 5×12 “Souls of the Departed” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

100 episodes. 100 beautiful stories told.

Episode Summary: In flashbacks we learn about the time Cora took Snow White’s heart only to have Henry Mills Sr. return it, which then sends Regina into a fury, and she shrinks her father. In the underworld, we learn that the souls of the departed found each have unfinished business. Cora tells Regina to leave or she’ll send her father to the worst part, but when Henry Mills Sr. convinces Regina to do the right thing by helping her friends, he finds himself finally free to rest peacefully in the best place.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time has always been a series about hope. It’s been there time and time again to remind us the fact that even in the darkest hours, hope is never lost. It’s reminded us that even the vilest of villains could find redemption when they finally choose to make honorable choices. It’s reminded us of the fact that forgiveness is possible. And most importantly, it’s shown us that where there is love, whether platonic or romantic, there’s always hope.

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