For the most part, I am perfectly happy to suspend my disbelief while I’m watching Once Upon A Time. It’s fairytale adaptations, I don’t exactly expect it to be 100% accurate all of the time. However what I do expect is for the fundamental basics to be right. They had been doing so well with the twelve labours of Hercules (even having all of Herc’s medals in the right order for the labours he did), and the five rivers in the underworld. And then they ruined it for me with one simple word. Older. Zeus is absolutely one hundred million percent NOT Hades’ older brother. In fact, Hades is the oldest of the brothers, with Poseidon next and Zeus is the youngest out of all of his siblings. If he wasn’t, how could he have been hidden from Kronos in order to save all of his siblings after their father ate them only to come back later and save them. Unless there is a very clever yet-to-be-revealed plot in which is it absolutely essential that Hades is younger than Zeus, I am really not happy. Hades being younger makes his hatred of his brother make even less sense! In myth (for those who may be unaware) it is Hades’ birth right to rule the skies because he is the eldest son. Poseidon would then rules the seas, and Zeus the underworld. Except Zeus and Poseidon trick Hades into becoming Lord of the Underworld which by rights should have been his inheritance. Poseidon has yet to be mentioned but as he actually has what is rightfully his own, it makes sense that Hades doesn’t hate him as much as he hates Zeus, who has actually taken what belongs to Hades.
It doesn’t even make sense for Hades to be lying. Zelena is jealous of her younger sister. So Hades feeling the exact same way about his younger brother actually makes perfect sense in terms of connecting with her. Nothing about Zeus being older than Hades makes sense to be at the moment. So I really hope there is a good plot-based reason for it.
While I’m on the subject of Greek Mythology (I’ll get to the plot of the episode at some point, I swear), one of my favourite lines is Snow’s “We were only supposed to be here for a day and now we’re regulars at the diner in hell.” Which to me raises an interesting point. In myth, a living person cannot consume food from the underworld. If they do they are no longer able to leave. This is how Persephone ends up spending the winter months down there with her husband. So does that mean that none of our heroes can leave the underworld regardless of what else happens, considering they’ve probably all eaten there several times by this point. I’m waiting for the moment Hades turns round like “Yeah you might be able to defeat me but you’re still stuck here forever because you’ve eaten the food. Sucks to be you!”
Okay. So. We discover that while Zelena was trying to collect all the ingredients to her time travel spell, Hades visited her. He offered her his help and she at first rebuked him. Eventually though, they start working together. Hades tells her about how his heart doesn’t beat and only true love’s kiss can break the curse. Okay wait, what? How does that makes sense. He’s a GOD for starters. So is his heart not beating what’s keeping him in the underworld? How is this in any way relevant? But either way he is a literal god. So how does whether his heart beats or not make any difference. And how did Zeus stop his older brother’s heart? (Sorry. Younger brother if we’re going by OUAT not the actual myths.)
Anyway. Hades tells Zelena that they can find the Scarecrow and take his brain by finding Dorothy. They go out to where Dorothy’s house crashed and take her bicycle. Cue cute but kinda clichéd scene of them riding a bike together until they hit a bump in the road, fall off and end up lying beside each other laughing then almost kiss. They get up, continue on their way and Zelena takes the brain from the Scarecrow. But when she turns around, Hades is gone. She returns home and finds him there. He has prepared a dinner for them and tells her that he is in love with her. That he thinks she may well be his true love. They almost kiss but she rebukes him, claiming that he’s only saying this so that he can get his hands on her ingredients to enact her time travel curse for herself. She sends him away and he leaves.
In the present day, Hades forces Gold to make a portal so that he can take Zelena’s baby. But as well as the baby, Zelena herself and Belle also fall through. Gold and Belle are reunited and he tells her the truth about what’s happened to him and that she’s pregnant. She leaves, claiming that she loves the man behind the beast, not the man and the beast. Even though that is pretty much definitely not true.
Belle at this point still has the baby though not for much longer. As Zelena has the bottle of formula milk, she takes her daughter in order to feed her. But at this point her magic which so far has been absent returns slightly and she runs off with the child. She then realises that her crackle of magic actually hurt her baby and returns her to Robin when he asks. We also find out that Robin needs to get to know his daughter before he will give her a name. So the child is just a nameless baby at this point.
Zelena and Hades are reunited on the streets of Underbrooke and he tells her that he is still in love with her. That it is true love and he will always be in love with her. He tells her that her birthday is April 14th, something she didn’t know before now. She had always just known the date that Cora abandoned her. He tells her that he got the information from Cora herself. He goes on to say that he wanted her to have everything she wanted, to have what her sister has and so that is why the underworld looks like Storybrooke, so that Zelena can have her own version and they can be together. Not sure how that works. He also says that he took her baby not for his own version of the time travel spell but because he wanted to keep the young girl safe from the heroes. Zelena decides that she is going to get her baby back on her own, rebuking his affections yet again.
I hope to hell (or the underworld at least) that Hades is telling the truth. As quickly as this relationship seems to have bloomed, I really like Hades and Zelena as a pairing. I spent a lot of this episode squealing “She could be his Persephone!” at my computer (much to the confusion of the rest of my family). And if that was the case, well… both family trees are confusing enough as it is!
This episode has raised a lot of questions but I am really looking forward to finding out some of these answers. Hopefully in the future there will be less reason for me to rant about the failings of the mythology!