Okay, so the last episode can mostly be summed up with “Rumple don’t do the thing” which seems to be par for the course with OUAT. Let’s hope this episode is even slightly better.
Flashback! The Men In Black have invaded a small village! The aliens are here!
Oh, no it’s Evil!Regina looking for Snow White. Luckily, she’s foiled by Tinkerbell with some advice about love and pixie dust and mercy. Unfortunately, it is impossible to have a serious conversation that includes the words “pixie dust”. Regina doesn’t really ‘get’ the concept of mercy, but she doesn’t kill Tink so… yay?
Back in Storybrooke, the Evil Queen and Robin are having a bickering match, and Robin is not holding up his end well. “I sleep on hay”, indeed. He wants to go to New York, she wants to kill Regina- I can see some fatal cracks in this new relationship already. However, he does agree to help her with a little grave-robbing for fun and murder and… Enchanted scissors? Scissors, even ones with the power to cut fate, are not the most threatening weapon.
Hook is considering running away from his problems, and Captain Nemo turns up to be Wise and Mysterious, and helpfully convinces him to Not Do The Thing. Thanks, Nemo!
The Evil Queen with her Scissors of Doom go to harass Henry and steal his Magic Author Pen. He tries to convince her to go straight, but she gives him a threatening note for Regina instead. Good parenting, right there.
Back in the enchanted forest- Regina’s father has one of her mothers spellbooks! That can help her find and kill Snow White! Good parenting, right there. I see where she gets it from now. Cora may have been pure evil but not sure Henry is super great at doing any better.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Emma is excitedly showing off her engagement ring and during this, Regina and Zelena turn up to give a handy little summary of what is going on with the Evil in the town.
FLASHBACK! – OMG its LIGHT MAGIC! How could he DO this to you, Regina? Maybe it’s revenge for the fact that you are a grown woman who still calls her father ‘Daddy’? But seriously, can we please get over this idea that love cures everything? Like, this is not actually an idea that we should be selling to the teenagers and young women watching this show? CUT IT OUT. At least Regina agrees with me, and is going to do Something Bad with Cupid’s arrow. Yay!
Hook is torturing himself with his own memories- the Tortured Brooding thing is getting old, Dude you may be very pretty when you’re brooding but you do it waaaaay too much. Emma starts yelling, because he’s going to BURN his own MEMORIES, which sounds like a terrible idea- but, oh, not as terrible as giving him back the engagement ring because he’s struggling with something really bad and made the wrong choice! Especially if you consider he was GOING to do the right thing and then you INTERRUPTED HIM by telling him you’d been through his pockets and found the engagement ring!
Hook, as I’m sure we all expected when Nemo showed up, responds to this with the calm, rational decision to… take to the high seas. And Nemo doesn’t even TRY to talk him out of it. Even though Nemo was doing so well at trying to get him to do the right thing.
F L A S H B A C K ! ! – GASP! Regina has taken the arrow that leads you to what you love most and changed it to lead you to what you HATE most! And it’s at her tower! It’s in her closet! Yes, Regina hates her own clothes almost as much as I do! Oh, wait, no, there’s a mirror. What she hates most is herself. Well, I suppose I’d hate myself if I chose those clothes, too.
SHOWDOWN BETWEEN REGINA AND HER EVIL CLONE TIME!
Why does severing fate require Regina to do the YMCA? Why do you have to fight with swords? WHY WOULD YOU USE APPLES AS AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON? Oh no wait yeah, it’s Regina. Apples are kind of her thing.
But, okay, fine, Regina wins. She’s about to crush the Evil Queen’s heart in her hand when, oh no, she sees herself in a mirror! She has a moment of Female Empowerment™ and realises that she Loves Herself, and is going to give some of that Love to the Evil Queen. Haha, enjoy the feelings.
Seriously? That’s it? You hug and now everything’s fine and it’s Family Therapy time? God, it was more interesting when they were trying to kill each other. BriNG BACK THE SWORDS.
Now Regina has to break the good(??) news to her family. It is going down exactly as well as it should, which is to say: not at all. But there’s Swelling Music and Grand Gestures and the Not-So-Evil Queen gets sent somewhere nice and vague by Henry. Which is, shockingly, to Robin. They are both still so bad at flirting, but that’s okay now I guess?
Hook, stop. STOP. GO HOME, HOOK. Hook has a Super Encounter with Snow, but it changes his mind about running away so… Good?
Not so good: when he goes on board the Nautilus to inform Nemo of his change of heart, the sub dives! Nemo didn’t order it, so who- Oh. It’s you. Go away, Gideon.
We close on Emma, sad and cold and lonely, turning off the house lights. Because that’s a far more dramatic scene that Hook being trapped on the Nautilus while Gideon escapes?
In short, it was an okay episode- made a LOT BETTER by the fact that RUMPLE WASN’T IN IT. The Evil Queen has got her second chance and yay they went to “She’s escaped and a massive threat” to “she’s been redeemed and everything’s fine” in less than 45 minutes but at least now they can focus on Gideon and how angry and pouty Emma is going to be now that Hook’s vanished. And hopefully we get some Hook being awesome on the Nautilus so that’ll be fun!