Mar 19, 2020
Once Upon a Time: It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN!
It’s the end of this show as we know it, folks. The biggest of Big Bads has finally arrived to battle the Save-iest(?) of Saviors! But first, we’ve got some CGI spiders to mutilate, and a pirating adventure to endure. Also, Henry’s got some gross white goo in his eyes, and that “Evil” Author from last season just really wants Hamilton tickets, dammit!
So, without further adieu, let’s talk about “Mother’s Little Helper”.
Along Came a Spider
Last week we got a CGI Kraken, and this week we got the large furry spider from the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Honestly folks, if a CGI Dumbo doesn’t make an appearance before this series ends, I will be super upset.
But before we get to Ole Spidey, let’s talk about Gideon. He’s in Emma’s house, asking her to help him murder the Black Fairy. Emma’s all, “See, I kinda would have maybe helped you. But then you tried to murder me, and banished my boyfriend on a bluish submarine, where he almost got murdered by a CGI Kraken. And then you threatened to hurt me again, so, ummm… yeah… I’m going to pass. Next time just say ‘please.’ A little politeness goes a long way when you are basically hiring a hitman for your surrogate mother.”
To prove she’s serious about the whole “not helping” thing, Emma throws Gideon against a wall using her lightning fingers and gives him a pretty gnarly nosebleed, which, for all you Gideon haters out there, was actually pretty cathartic to watch.
Emma experiences a change of heart soon after though, when Rumple reminds her that basically every bad thing that ever happened to her throughout this entire series pretty much indirectly stemmed from the Black Fairy. (It much more directly stemmed from Rumple himself, but let’s not get too picky here.) Emma then finds Gideon at the clock tower, and agrees to help him kill Black Fairy, but only if Gideon agrees to give her back the Savior Murdering sword he stole from her, and also un-banish her boyfriend.
The two frenemies shake hands over their newly established detente, and head over to Mickey Mouse’s house, where supposedly Emma’s savior magic can be used to open a portal, so that Emma can get to the Black Fairy and murder her ass. Unfortunately, someone beat the pair to the house… and by “someone” I mean a Big F*&king Gross Spider.
Gideon and Emma try running away from the Big F*&king Gross Spider for a little bit. But then Gideon turns on Emma, pushes her into a giant spider web (which literally appeared out of nowhere… is that how spiders work, because I don’t think spiders work that way, not even Big F*&king Gross Spiders?). Dark One Junior then steals back Emma’s Savior Murdering Sword, and runs off, leaving her to die by suffocation, wrapped up in a spider web like a mummy.
Well, that was kind of rude! Your social networking skills could use a little work, Gideon…
Never Trust a Pirate
Speaking of untrustworthy douchebags, Captain Hook challenges fellow fictional pirate villain Blackbeard to a game of cards, in the hope of winning from him a magic bean he could use to portal back to Emma in Storybrooke. Blackbeard agrees to play, but only if Hook agrees to give him his ship, the Jolly Roger, if he loses. Hook ultimately does lose the card game (but only because Blackbeard cheated).
Ahhh, but there’s a twist. Hook admits to Blackbeard that his ship is back in Storybrooke, and Blackbeard can only get to it by using the magic bean, and taking Hook with him. It’s admittedly a pretty savvy move by a character who isn’t always known for being the sharpest tool in this show’s shed.
Unfortunately, because Gideon’s curse has prevented Hook from properly portaling back to Storybrooke, Hook and Blackbeard end up in, of all places, Neverland, where the pair of pirates are promptly chased and shot at with arrows by a hoard of angry Lost Boys (I use the term Boys loosely, because they all look about 40 years old).
Blackbeard finds canoe near a body of water, and quickly knocks Hook unconscious, so that he can escape Neverland on his own, leaving Hook to do battle with the Lost Boys solo. Of course, Hook could have totally fit in the canoe too, but Blackbeard doesn’t care. Just like in Titanic, Jack could have totally fit on the piece of wood Rose was resting on, but she let him freeze and drown anyway. I never understood that about Titanic. Maybe Rose was an asshole all along, just like Blackbeard, and we just never knew.
Anyway, I hope you brought along your shell phone, Hook. Because you are going to really need to phone a friend, right about now. Just don’t call Rose from Titanic, if you value your life.
Writer’s Block Can Make You Evil
Speaking of needing friends, Regina finds herself totally at a loss for how to break the sleeping curse that is preventing Snow White and Prince Charming from ever appearing in the same episode together, thus saving the Once production crew a lot of money in actor salaries. So, she decides to give Henry a grocery list of potions that might help her on this front.
Side note: Whatever happened to Henry’s girlfriend? Is she also under a sleeping curse, due to budgetary restrictions? Last season, the show introduced an entire high school of kids from the Land of Untold Stories, and this kid still hasn’t managed to find one other friend under the age of 35, except for said MIA Girlfriend. Is it any wonder he’s slowly turning into a mixture of Norman Bates from Psycho, because of the whole Mother Obsession thing, and Jack from The Shining, because of the whole Writer Turned Crazy Person thing?
Anyway, as Henry is writing the list, his eyes go all milky white, and he starts jotting pages and pages of jibberish into his notebook before passing out. When Henry awakens he has no clue what it was he was writing or why, but it looks suspiciously like “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.”
Assuming that Henry’s sudden prolific, albeit crappy, writing abilities have something to do with his Magic Author Powers (up to this point, the so-called “Author” has only been shown writing one sentence at a time, and even then, only when the plot requires it.), Regina and Henry pay a visit to the “asylum,” where the show stores all Big Bads that managed to make it through their season without being murdered. There, they find Other Author Isaac.
Other Author Isaac is willing to instruct Henry and Regina on the former’s sudden Eye Goo Problem, but only if Regina gets him out of the asylum and into a porsche headed to NYC. Also, Other Author Isaac wants Hamilton tickets, because who doesn’t?
Regina agrees to Isaac’s requests (well, minus the Porsche and the Hamilton) only to learn that (1) Henry’s author powers are taking over his body and could eventually make him evil (thus making my The Shining reference all the more relevant, if I do say so myself); and (2) Emma’s battle with the Black Fairy is coming soon, which means the end of the fairytale book, and, possibly this series.
Not for the “Feint” of Heart
Speaking of the Black Fairy, this week’s flashback sheds some light on her parenting skills, and why they will undoubtedly earn Gideon a lifetime of crappy therapy courtesy Jiminy Cricket. First, we see in live action, the tale earlier hinted at by Gideon, of how the Black Fairy tortured Gideon’s boyfriend Roderick when the two were kids, just to prove that Gideon wasn’t brave or heroic enough to save him.
Twenty-eight years later, the Black Fairy instructs Gideon to hunt down the person who stole her keys, and that person winds up being Boyfriend Roderick all grown up. Roderick begs Gideon to help him sneak into the Black Fairy’s study and use some Magic Eight Ball looking thing to call the Savior and get help to defeat the Black Fairy. But before they can do that, the Black Fairy finds the two guys and punishes them both. She punishes Roderick by turning him into a spider, and squashing him under her shoe. (That’s two too many spiders in this episode, as far as I’m concerned. Bugs are the worst!)
She then punishes Gideon by… taking his heart out of his chest, controlling him, and using him to trick Emma into helping him open the portal to free her from the outer realm and bring her into Storybrooke.
Well, at least now we have an explanation for Gideon’s utter douchebaggery! Then again, maybe Gideon is just a garden variety douchebag like Blackbeard or Rose from Titanic, and the whole evil fairy holding his heart thing is just a distraction from that basic truth. The world may never know…
Back in present day, Rumple saves Emma from permanent mummification and kills the Big F*&king Gross Spider, which is great, because, as I said, bugs are the worst, whether they are giant CGI versions, or normal-sized ones that used to be your childhood boyfriend.
And yet with the Black Fairy in Storybrooke, Gideon under her control, and her son Henry potentially going full-on Evil Author, Emma’s got a lot more to worry about now than a bad case of arachnophobia.
Until next time, Oncers!