The gang are still questing for Killian in the Underworld – where he and a woman are being held prisoner and guarded by Cerberus (Hades’s big three headed doggy). Killian nobly sacrifices himself to said pooch so the lady can run off and fetch help – so it’s confirmed that Killian is back on team good guy
So, how do you bring down Cerberus? Well, anyone up on their Greek Mythology knows that capturing Cerberus (albeit temporarily) was Hercules’s 12th labour – and we have Hercules
Yes, he’s in the underworld and he’s a childhood friend of Mary Margaret (I know it’s contrived, but I really like the all-legends mash up of Once Upon a Time) this comes with a montage of how he trained Mary Margaret to fight when she was young Snow White and gave her the confidence to keep trying and keep fighting
Far more awesomely, this is repeated in the present by Regina when Mary Margaret has a despair moment. Because Regina does absolutely everything awesomely, even acknowledging how Mary Margaret eventually won in the war against her. I liked that Regina showed respect for Mary Margaret without the eternal self-flagellation she has had to endure in past season.
This is all part of Mary Margaret’s character arc in which she decides she doesn’t WANT to be Mary Margaret any more. She wants to be Snow White, the hero she once was
And can I say this gives me so much hope? I mean, anyone reading my recaps knows that there are intestinal parasites I find more appealing than the Charmings – but if you look back on some of my earliest recaps it wasn’t always like this. Early days Snow White was considerably less soggy. May ths be a return back to those days! Especially when she openly says all she’s offering are sioggy messages about hope (ok, I added the “soggy” but still, that’s my complaint for a while now – all the Charmings do is offer insipid feel-good sound bites). I am clinging to this
Anyway this restoring Snow White to who she used to be is also a parallel for Hercules who is in the underworld and all dead because he tried to fight Cerberus… and failed. And now he’s afraid to try again. This comes with a life lesson about trying again and realising that to fight Cerberus you need 3 people – 1 for each head. That’s Hercules, Snow White (yes, I’m calling her that in hope) and the woman Killian rescued – Megara. Between the three of them they vanquish the poor doggy and we learn Megara was a woman Hercules failed to save and was eaten by Cerberus
This means Hercules and Megara have now finished their unfinished business and can move on. Hades is Not Pleased. He makes that clear in confrontation with the gang where he basically tells them all how not please he is. His new plan is that for every soul the gang rescues from hi realm, one of them will have to stay. Chosen by Killian.
Side plot time!
Henry is investigating he Mayor’s office looking for maps at the urging of Regina with Robin hanging around and there he finds… Cruella. Cruella wants out of this world. Unfortunately there are two ways out – a better place and a much worse place. Prizes for guessing which way Cruella is heading? Cruella has no illusions so she wants option 3 – return to the real world which has all the wonderful gin and glamour and gin and parties and gin. Lots of gin. But how to do this? Why with the power of the Author of course, who can pretty much write anything and change reality
That Author is Henry of course. And though he destroyed the pen, it’s apparently a living creature so can be found in the Underworld. Why would he help Cruella? Well, we know how much Emma angsted over having killed Cruella – if Henry can change that, maybe Emma can duck out of that moral quandary (I’m not sure on that, to be honest. I mean, does resurrection remove the act of murder? Though given the blatant defence around the killing of Cruella, I think angsting over murder is dubious as well).