First Aired April 9th, 2017.
The Black Fairy (played by Jamie Murray) brings an infant Gideon to her realm where she forces children to work as slaves in her mines. In the present, Gideon (played by Giles Matthey) forces Emma (played by Jennifer Morrison) to help him kill the Black Fairy in exchange for bringing Hook (played by Colin O’Donoghue) home.
Emma goes to Belle (played by Emilie de Ravin) and Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (played by Robert Carlyle) for help. Gold reveals the Black Fairy is his mother and they beg Emma to help Gideon in an effort to bring him to the side of good and prevent the Black Fairy from doing more harm. Flashbacks show a young Gideon reading a book given to him by Belle; as punishment, the Black Fairy tortures another child and goads a frightened Gideon to stop her, but he doesn’t. Years later, as an adult, Gideon has grown into a seemingly loyal soldier for his “mother,” the Black Fairy. She orders him to find the child who stole the key to her vault and make them pay. In the present, Regina (played by Lana Parrilla) attempts to break the sleeping curse but is distracted when Henry (played by Jared Gilmore) goes into a trance and uses his Author powers. Emma agrees to help Gideon, but, first, demands the spell to get Hook back and the magical sword he used to try to kill her. They attempt to use a spell to return Hook but the Black Fairy sends a monstrous spider through the portal which attacks them.
The clear intent of this episode was to humanize Gideon by revealing the depths of the Black Fairy’s cruelty. Gold tries to brand her the worst villain they have ever faced and while she’s obviously not great with children, the Black Fairy doesn’t seem any worse than previous villains. He is embracing darkness but for the right cause of saving the countless children enslaved and killed by her. Interestingly, Emma and Gideon have a lot in common: she became the Dark One for the greater good in season five, and they were both separated from their parents the day they were born for decades. It was strange that the episode never mentioned all these similarities at least in passing. Meanwhile, Henry is having the opposite of writer’s block with his powers going awry in what already is shaping up to be a boring side story. Hopefully, they will at least connect this with the main story between Emma and Gideon so it makes sense to throw Henry back into the spotlight.
In the past, Gideon learns the child who stole the key was the same boy he was too afraid to save from the Black Fairy. Gideon apologizes and learns the dust mined by the children helped create the original Dark Curse and agrees to help stop her. In the present, Gideon acknowledges trying to kill Emma for her powers rather than asking for help was a mistake. But then he traps Emma in the spider’s web; he brought it to kill Emma because he wasn’t strong enough. Gold saves Emma which stops Gideon from using the sword to open a portal to the Black Fairy’s realm, she then tells Gold that Gideon is too far gone. Regina and Henry visit the previous Author, Isaac (played by Patrick Fischler), for answers about Henry’s powers. Isaac claims Henry’s Author powers are taking over and demands freedom in exchange for his help. More flashbacks show the Black Fairy was aware of Gideon’s plan and was testing his loyalty; Gideon stands up to her and she turns the boy into a bug and kills him. The Black Fairy takes Gideon’s heart and forces him to travel to Storybrooke to kill Emma and use the sword combined with her powers to free her from that realm.
Henry’s powers are taking over; he could do anything from endanger the town to write a best-selling novel. At this point, it’s clear the writers will milk this failed Author storyline as it’s the only reason Henry even appears in episodes anymore. Gideon went from a villain with no hope of redemption to a hero controlled by the real villain: the Black Fairy. It was slightly disappointing to find out Gideon was never truly evil, because it made his character more complex. Gideon resolving to kill Emma after watching his friend die at the hands of the Black Fairy could have been a major turning point. The fact that he was not responsible for his actions does set up a happy ending for Gideon, Belle, and Gold. There have been rumors the series may not be renewed past this season. If that’s the case, it would figure Gold and Belle would have the chance to help Gideon. For a show that deals with (mostly) happy endings, watching Belle and Gold have to go against their child to save their friends would be a sour note to end the series.
The Black Fairy reveals herself to Gideon, having slipped through the portal just before it closed. Isaac is given a car to leave Storybrooke and gives Henry and Regina the story book which is nearing its final chapter. He reveals that chapter will be where the Savior will fight the final battle and warns them to get far away. Henry’s powers are going haywire because the “story” is almost done, so his inner Author is attempting to start another? Putting this Author nonsense aside, it doesn’t bode well for the rumors that Once may not be renewed for another season. But, since this season is going to end the main storyline of the show, there will at least be a sense of closure.
“I’m done with nice. Your son has a death wish. Which if he messes with me one more time, I’m happy to fulfill.”
In a small side story, Hook ends up in Neverland after a run in with Blackbeard. It felt so awkwardly lumped into the episode but I figured it should at least be mentioned.
“How about I drive a sports car of your choice over your miserable little head until it squeezes like a pumpkin?”
How do you feel about the possibility of Once Upon a Time ending after this season? Is there still more story to tell or is it better to end the series before it runs for too long?
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