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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

You know what’s interesting? The characters with the most flashbacks are Rumplestiltskin and Regina. Snow and Charming have a few separate and together, but on the whole, the two major villains ended up getting the most attention from this show. Maybe it’s because they are acted extremely well, and it got the show fascinated with deconstructing all these famous villains. Outside of Pan and Cruella they’ve ended up having warm gooey centers, which probably doesn’t teach kids the best lesson. If someone’s evil and awful to you, it’s really because they need a hug, okay? Forgiveness and redemption are great arcs, don’t get me wrong, but this is all to say that I’m bored of Regina flashbacks. I get it. She had issues with her mother. She had issues finding true love because she was traumatized. She was filled with darkness and made bad decisions because of it. You’ve sold me. So this felt like more of the same thing. Previously on Once Upon a Time, this show made me doubt watching it past the season by having Zelena really Marian all this time, and now she’s pregnant. I saw red. Emma found childhood friend Lily who is Maleficent’s daughter, and she agreed to bring her to town to meet her mother. Rumple needed to turn Emma’s heart dark in order to use the Author to write the villains a happy ending. Because he’s dying. And not dead yet. Which is a real shame.

This picks up right where the last one ended up. Lily and Emma come back to town with Regina, Robin, and Zelena. Regina puts Zelena into her special prison where she held Belle before and then Sidney too. For a long time with Sidney, which still makes me side eye. I’m not sure that’s the safest place for a pregnant woman, but Regina has zero fucks to give about it. She struggles with her dark side for the upteenth time because she can’t stand that Zelena is having Robin’s kid. No one mentions what a gross violation of Robin this is, since they don’t actually seem to think it is. In the flashback Cora came back from the looking glass, which is ridiculous because we were led to think that Cora and Regina hadn’t seen each other for a very long time when she showed up. They just make this up as they go, I swear. She says she wants to help Regina find true love, and she goes after Robin, but he’s already married to Marian. She meets the Sheriff of Nottingham who she thinks is a better match anyway, and pretends he’s Regina’s true love. She figures out quickly that he’s awful, and that her mother just wants her to have a baby who she can control. So Regina poisons herself so she can’t have children. She does seem to recognize right away that it’s really punishing herself more than her mother. But she ended up happily adopting Henry eventually, so there’s still always adoption, Regina!

once-upon-time_0Lily asks her mother when they’re going to get revenge, and then goes pretty dark on her, saying she’s a disappointment and stomps off. Regina meets with her and takes some of her blood, because she figures Lily’s darkness is basically savior darkness, therefore it can be used by the author. Smart! Disturbing, but smart. Lily turns into a dragon, since she’s in town and probably can tap into her natural magical abilities as Maleficent’s child. Maleficent begs the Charmings to help her get through to her daughter; she doesn’t want revenge, she just wants to work things out with her. Way to cut off Maleficent’s teeth, I’m with Lily on this one. Except of course she didn’t mean it, she was freaked out that her mother was real and a person and not this ideal image she’d pictured in her head. She gets stuck in dragon form and nearly kills Snow, but the mother and daughter manage to reunite. Lily agrees to stay at least a week to get to know Maleficent more and her powers. Emma forgives her parents after talking to Hook, and being concerned Snow could have died due to Lily. That part of Evil Savior story is done at least.

Regina plans on using the author and Lily’s dark blood to write Zelena out of existing. Robin shows up and appeals to her good nature, and in the end she does decide to spare her sister. Yay? Again this is a storyline we’ve seen so many times now. Regina might be tempted to the dark side but decides not to. Plus this is one time when I’m like yes, get rid of Zelena. Ah well. The Author/Isaac has the blood now though so he writes himself into an escape and goes back to Gold. But WHY does he go back to Gold? Conceivably he can do anything he feels like now. He has the blood and his quill, so what does he care about anyone else? He does seem to have some ideas of his own. We’ve already seen that Isaac likes to push stories to make them more interesting, and that seems to be the intention here. Or really he’s just the insert for the authors who get bored and make up things for funsies. From the previews for next episode, it seems like he’ll be turning all heroes into villains and all villains into heroes. Which in theory is a fun idea, but very gimmicky. Still, the season is almost over, and this might be a way for them to go out with a bang. I haven’t decided if I will be staying with this show, so the finale does matter. Good luck to them keeping my interest.

 

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