Everyone is now aware that the Evil Queen is back in play and everyone’s worried about how to deal with it. Snow and David offer to help Regina because they’ve so much experience fighting and beating the EQ.
Is it me or is this the most passive aggressive thing to say ever? They’re totally rubbing it in.
Like everyone else they’ve decided the source of all evil knowledge is the imprisoned Hyde and they plan to bribe him with Lasagne. Alas he’s already working with EQ who has a much more extensive menu. And can someone please explain to me why this person isn’t under 8 dozen sleeping curses and occasionally being tortured by Snow White speech? Someone really really needs to be paying more attention to him and everyone needs to not keep going to him with all their questions
With Hyde no help, everyone frets over the EQ – and even Zelena is torn. She’s angered by Regina’s almost parental/patronising need to tell Zelena to avoid EQ (after all, cannot Zelena look after herself?) while the EQ continues to try and get her onside pointing out how much more EQ and Zelena has in common than Regina and her. Y’know, Zelena hasn’t come close to filling her redemption arc for her to go all dark side.
It’s time for the return of Ashley – Cinderella – who how has her happy life with Tom and Gus, the human mouse (and this show really doesn’t have enough POC for this to be one of the few roles – a servile animal) and her new baby and all is shiny.
This comes with lots of Cinderella flashbacks which, really, I don’t need to go into because does anyone not know this story? Though I do have to question the political sense of duty that any prince, heir to the throne no less, has if he decides to marry a woman based on one night’s dancing and her peculiar taste in footwear rather than considering the alliances his wedding could bring. In fact, I question, in a feudal context, any prince marrying for love when his marriage is such an asset to this kingdom. There’s one twist – one of the “Evil Stepsisters”, Clarynda isn’t evil and doesn’t want the Prince at all – she’s fallen for the groom. And though she isn’t forced into menial servitude and to wear rags, she is still under the thumb of their mother and her ambitions. Clarynda turns to Cinderella for help – and Cinderella gives her a magic key her mother conveniently decided to leave her which she never used for some reason – this key lets people go to the land of Untold Stories and, effectively, put their story on hold avoiding the fate her mother has defined for her
And that’s the theme of this episode. The land of untold stories isn’t just about people whose story hasn’t been told – but also by people deliberately trying to avoid their ending or trajectory of their story. Making it both a refuge and, in some ways, a prison.
Now those people are in Storybrooke, their stories restarting and for reasons that confuse people, Cinderella decides to go hunt her stepsister with a shotgun.
…y’know, the original fairy tales would be very different books with the addition of shotguns
This shakes Emma, helped by the EQ stirring the pot of her angst. This episode has Emma going again to Archie for therapy and confronting her current fear – why she resents Cinderella and why she has put her relationship with Killian on hold (despite Killian being adorable with small children and awesome with Henry AND being incredibly sexy in black leather. Seriously Emma, how does she even resist?
Emma is dealing with her visions of impending doom and feels that she doesn’t have a future – she can never have the future Ashley/Cinderella has, that she and Killian can never go forwards, it’s all pointless because she is doomed.
The EQ throws in her own injury to vulnerable Emma – when she hears that Ashley has gone off all gun happy, the EQ steps in to stop Emma helping. As Hyde also mentioned in the last episode – the Saviour saves people –over and over andover again. And, as EQ adds, people don’t stay saved. They need saving again and again – until Emma dies or disappears and can’t save them… and they all fall. In effect, by stopping Emma saving Ashely – the first person Emma saved as the Saviour, she’s threatening Emma’s own legacy as the saviour. The people she’s saved will no longer be saved: that’s what this vision now represents to her, no future for her and even the good she’s done being erased.
Or I’ve over thinking things again – but it really his home why these visions are hitting Emma so hard. Not helping that he suspects the person going to stab her in the visions is Regina since she’s conspicuously not at her side in the vision.
Back to Ashley – she’s not going to attack her sister, but protect her because GUILT. Way back in the day she betrayed Clarynda to their mother in an attempt to protect her glass slipper and convince the politically inept prince to marry her. Because of this Clarynda and her mother ended up being trapped in the Land of Untold Stories without Jacob her love interest. Because spite.
Now that the land of Untold stories has arrived it’s Ashely’s chance to save her sister from her stepmother and reunite her with Jacob (who is in Storybrooke because of course he is). After a few misunderstandings, gun fencing and Cinderella being stabbed, Emma arrives. She has healing magic which goes a little awry because of the hand shaky thing but Henry is there offering hope and positivity with minimal wetness and everyone is saved. Except the wicked Stepmother, she gets to pick up litter (community service for attempted murder? Damn Regina I know you’re not EQ any more but that’s a justice system even I find too liberal!). Emma has a new perspective – emboldened by Archie’s words that while she may be uncertain about the future, so is everyone and at least she has plot amour and good ratings to point to another renewal (I’m possibly paraphrasing here).
Alas we need to catch up with the Charmings. David, being a wet fool, has decided to take the very-obvious bait the EQ gave him to try and find out about his dead dad. Because everyone on this show just WALKS into traps the bad guys set for them. Honestly all Hyde/EQ/Rumple need to do is say “hey I have a noose, want to put your head in it?” and just watch the heroes strangle themselves
And Snow White wants to become a school teacher again and worries that this is silly because she’s a princess. Uh, Snow White, you’re a princess without a kingdom so I think becoming a school teacher makes much more sense
Except she thinks her school will have an awesome science department led by Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein…
…ok either Snow White is secretly an evil genius or she really does have access to sine seriously good drugs. She could make Rumple the Headmaster and we could have a school for evil geniuses.
Rumple has not given up sending romantic poetry to Belle now living in Killian’s ship
And the EQ rescues Hyde from prison. See what I mean about terribad security?