Apr 17, 2018
Once Upon a Time: A Black Fairy Tale
This week on Once, Rumple continues his trend of contemplating doing the right thing for about five seconds, before effing up again. (But hey, major points for character consistency!) Also this week, Captain Hook chooses a best man for his wedding. And the Wicked Witch of the West learns to drive… (and by “drive,” I actually mean run people over with her car).
What can I say? It’s the week before the series’ much ballyhooed musical episode, and the showrunners have clearly put all their season’s eggs in that basket. So, let’s get this one out of the way, shall we?
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A Rude Awakening
Rumple uses some stinky dead dragon’s baby breath (Dany Targaryen would most definitely not approve)…
…to finally awaken the still shady as heck Blue Fairy from her plot-convenient coma. Almost instantly, the gang is peppering her with questions about the whereabouts of the other half of the Kill the Black Fairy Wand. But then, sweet, sensitive, Snow White intervenes and… strangles the Blue Fairy?
Just kidding! Apparently, “Snow White” is actually the Black Fairy in disguise. And “Prince Charming” is actually Stepford Gideon. But still, watching Snow White wrap her hands around that self-righteous Blue Fairy’s neck is mighty cathartic and satisfying. Admit it!
Before the whole “attempted murder” thing, the Blue Fairy did manage to reveal that the missing wand half is located in the center of Storybrooke, which means that a good portion of this episode will literally involve a scavenger hunt, a la Blue’s Clues.
Get it, Blue’s Clues, because she’s the Blue Fairy, and there’s that kid show with the dog where they… ahhhh, never mind…
While the rest of the gang play “fetch the stick,” Rumple, Emma and a “kidnapped” Stepford Gideon head to the dream realm, where Rumple will attempt to interrogate his son as to where the Black Fairy has hidden his heart, which she is still using to control his ass. Another Scavenger Hunt item! This episode really is Blue’s Clues…
The Birth of Two Baddies
Once in Dream Land, Gideon admits that he has no clue where the Black Fairy has hidden his heart (which, kind of makes sense, because if he knew where it was hiding, wouldn’t he just take it back?) But, just when this whole Dream Walk thing seems like it’s going to be a total bust, Emma and Gideon get all shrinky on Rumple, and encourage him to use this “Dream Vacation” as an opportunity to find out the real reason the Black Fairy abandoned him as a child.
“How exactly would I go about doing that?” Rumple inquires dubiously.
“Why not try inappropriately fondling that baby blanket randomly sitting on that empty crib in the middle of the forest?” Emma suggests.
And because Rumple is the kind of guy who wakes up comatose fairies with the halitosis of dead dragon babies, he figures, “Why the heck not?”
The fondled baby blanket reveals to Rumple that his mom wasn’t always a Black Fairy. In fact, she wasn’t a fairy at all. She was just some random lady who gave birth to a newborn boy, and then promptly learned from her fairy godmother (Tiger Lily), and her fairy godmother’s boss (the odious Blue Fairy) that her son is destined to be a Savior.
Yup, you heard right. Rumple was supposed to be a Savior… like Emma… and Aladdin, and just about every fourth character on this series.
Of course, as has been beaten into our brains ad nauseum since the beginning of the season, being the Savior means you are destined to die in a battle against the Ultimate Evil. “No way,” exclaims not-yet-Black-Fairy. “My kid is not dying just to save all you losers. Apocalypse, schmockalypse.”
“Well, everyone dies eventually,” argues Tiger Lily. “Let’s not forget that these are the middle ages, and, based on those rags you are wearing, you are poor as sh*t. So, basically the chances of your kid surviving past the age of five would be slim at best, anyway. At least, as the Savior, your kid is guaranteed to reach puberty before he croaks, which in this era is the equivalent of old age.”
“I don’t care!” Not-Yet-Black-Fairy insists. “I’d rather my child die as a toddler from the Black Plague, than die at age 28 to save the lives of folks as obnoxious as the Blue Fairy.”
“Well, that makes total sense,” agrees Tiger Lily. “Blue Fairy is the worst!”
And so, because the prophecy about the Savior apparently states that the person who ultimately kills the “Savior” will be born in the same winter as baby Rumple and bear a crescent moon scar on his or her arm, Tiger Lilly and Not-Yet-Black-Fairy run around fondling the arms of every baby born that winter. And no one finds the fact that they are doing this the least bit creepy.
When all the newborns prove themselves arm-scar free, Not-Yet-Black-Fairy decides to up the ante by turning herself into a fairy herself, so that she can break into the “fairy vault” and perform some kind of dubious spell to save her son. The spell involves like killing all the babies in the world, or something? This, on one hand, seems a wee bit extreme. On the other, like I said, all these kids are basically marked for death anyway for being poor and medieval, so no huge loss?
When Tiger Lilly tries to stop Rumple’s mommy from ridding the world of babies, Rumple’s mommy rips out Tiger Lilly’s heart. And it is this act of evil causes Rumple’s mommy to morph from “Garden Variety” fairy to “Black Fairy.” (Because performing temporary heart surgery on a recurring cast member is way worse than planning the mass genocide of all the world’s newborns?)
Oh, and P.S. Black Fairy now has a crescent scar on her arm, which means that it is SHE who is destined to murder her own son, as he battles to save the world.
Black Fairy, you have a collect call from “Irony.” Do you accept the charges?
Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, the Wicked Witch is still majorly bummed out that she can no longer make green farts come out of her fingertips, or use those green farts to assemble furniture from IKEA. (Since when did Storybrooke get an IKEA, or any chain store for that matter.)
So, sister Regina tries to cheer the Wicked Witch up by buying her a car (a green one naturally). The erstwhile Evil Quen even offers to teach her sibling how to drive, so the latter can effectively ditch down and head to NYC before the apocalypse arrives. “You can take my adopted kid Henry with you, because there is noooo way that gawky-looking kid’s contract is getting renewed for Season 7,” Regina adds.
So, Regina attempts to teach the Wicked Witch how to drive. But, as it turns out, driving is way harder than broomstick riding, and Zelena kind of sucks at it. Midway into the lesson, Regina gets a call from Snow informing her that the other half of the Murder the Black Fairy wand is probably hidden at Granny’s.
So, Regina cuts the lesson short and books it there, ASAP. At Granny’s, Regina easily locates the wand half behind the juke box. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Black Fairy is there too. Regina and the Black Fairy quickly decide to duke it out in the middle of the street, Wild West style, as people on this show tend to do, whenever they have disagreements.
Just when it seems like Regina is about to lose, the Wicked Witch shows up out of nowhere and RUNS THE BLACK FAIRY OVER WITH HER CAR! And it, is awesome!
In fact, it’s so awesome that I think we need to watch it again…
And again . . .
Black Fairy survives though… unfortunately.
After their vacation in Dreamland, Rumple tells the rest of the gang that (1) (SURPRISE) he’s a Savior too; and (2) it looks like HE, and not Emma, will be tasked with murdering his mommy to save the world.
Rumple meets Black Fairy in the woods to murder her. It is there that she reveals to him the rest of the story. Apparently, the Black Fairy had the opportunity to give up her evil powers to save her son. But, instead, she opted to cut off her SON’S powers, to erase his fate as Savior. As punishment for this, the Blue Fairy banishes the Black Fairy to another realm, and THAT’S why she abandoned Rumple, because the Blue Fairy had a restraining order against her. Not, you know, because she hated Rumple, like he originally thought.
The next time we see Rumple he’s putting the “Black Fairy’s” black heart on the dinner table at Granny’s (super unsanitary), and returning Gideon’s heart to him, so he doesn’t have to be a Stepford kid anymore. Everyone is super proud of Rumple for murdering his mommy and saving the world.
Yup, suuuuure. That’s “exactly” what happened. Rumple learns that the woman he thought despised him actually loved him all along (in her totally psychopathic and effed up way, but still!), and murders her OFFSCREEN, right after she graciously tells him the location of her son’s heart. And the writers, for whatever reason, decide, not to squeeze every possible bit of angst out of this most iconic moment in the history of the series.
“Great!” Emma exclaims. “Now that I no longer have to save the world, I can finally get married to Hook in a tacky venue that my dad will positively hate.”
“Cool,” says Hook. “I’m going to ask your teenage son to be my best man, because I like him, and not at all because I have no male friends my own age… no male friends at all really, except maybe your dad, and I killed his father, so, awk-ward!”
“Sounds good,” answers Emma. Then, we can spend the last three episodes of the season having hot, drama free, sex with one another on camera,” posits Emma.
And if you believe all that, I have a very nice bridge to sell you in Brooklyn…
Annnnd… we are right back where we started… AGAIN.
So, you can imagine my complete lack of surprise when Rumple meets the Black Fairy at night, right smack in the middle of a public street in the last two minutes of the episode. (But no one sees them there, because Plot.) The pair congratulate one another on pulling the wool over the eyes of the most gullible fairytale characters on the planet (most notably the one who claims her “superpower is telling when people are lying.”) Mother and son then plot to murder Savior Emma, once and for all, on her wedding day, because that’s what sh*tty people do. Having logical motivation for one’s actions is for p*ssies.
And that was “The Black Fairy” in a nutshell.
See you next time, Oncers! There will be music! There will be dancing! The second-hand embarrassment you will get from watching alone will be worth the price of admission…