We’ve made it, Oncers. 100 episodes! Pretty amazing, right? It seems like only yesterday, we started wondering if the Evil Queen’s best vengeance against Snow White was making her get the worst haircut ever, and if Emma would ever invest in a more sensible jacket for those cold Maine winters . . .
This week’s installment of the series, takes us to the Underworld, which actually looks like a slightly less gentrified version of Storybrooke, viewed from one of those weird red camera filters you never use on your iPhone. (Think, Story Broke.)
Regina insists that this has something to do with the connection between the Underworld, and Regina’s initial curse that got all the storybook characters sentenced to a life in Storybrooke, in the first place. But I’m thinking, after 5.5 seasons: (1) the set of Once has started to fall apart a bit; (2) the increasingly bloated cast of the show is demanding fatter paychecks; and (3) the folks at ABC just wanted to save some money on set design . . .
But, of course, ours is not question. Ours is to follow blindly, ignore plot holes and basic common sense, and just go along for the ride. In fact, Rumpel says as much, when he looks into the camera about five minutes into the episode, after one of the characters attempts to make sense of this whole thing, and insists, “Your questions are pointless.”
And it is a fun ride of an episode, not to mention a super horny one! We’ve got characters copping feels and sniffing one another, a threesome involving two twin brothers, and Regina doing something with a pastry that could give that American Pie Guy a real run for his money. Also, we finally meet someone with uglier hair than Snow’s!
So, let’s all go to Hell, shall we?
The (Other) One That Got Away
Don’t you hate that awkward moment, when you are heading to Hell to save your current boyfriend, and your dead ex boyfriend, randomly appears in the backseat of your car, and wants to have “The Talk?” It’s the worst, right? I mean, I don’t know about you, but that sh*t happens to me all the time.
The episode opens with Emma waking up in a deserted amusement park to the scruffy face of her old dead boyfriend, and father of her child, Neal. Emma is understandably feeling a bit guilty about this. “I totally would have followed you into Hell too, if I could,” Emma insists. “I just, ummm . . . needed to get my red leather jacket cleaned that day. I mean, I wore it every day for five and a half years (except for the half a season I was evil and wore black), so it was starting to smell kind of rank.”
Neal, to his credit, takes Emma’s obvious rejection of him in stride. “No worries. You actually couldn’t follow me to Hell, even if you didn’t have pressing laundry issues, because I’m in Heaven, sucka!”
“Hmmm, kind of rethinking my life and partner choices right about now,” admits Emma.
“Speaking of life choices,” continues Neal. “Taking your parents, our kid, and the entire starring cast of your show (except Belle, because nobody ever takes her anywhere) to Hell, just so you can keep getting laid on the regular, is probably not the smartest decision you’ve ever made. You should consider staying home and doing household chores . . . you know, like you did when I died. Much safer.”
“Nah,” responds Emma blithely. “I already washed my jacket. It should be good for at least another five years.”
Emma awakens from her Ex-Boyfriend Nightmare to find herself in the Underworld aka Story Broke. But where’s her sexy boyfriend? The new one, I mean . . . not the boring Went to Heaven One . . .
Jiminey Cricket’s a Perv and Other Things We Learned from This Week’s Flashback
While the Once gang gets adjusted to the inevitable property value drop in their neighborhood, let’s check in on the past, shall we?
It’s the Evil Queen’s birthday. And she’s super pissed, because all she wanted as a present was Snow White’s heart on a platter, and all she got was a whole lot of nada. So, like any rebellious teen who looks roughly 40-years old, the Evil Queen lashes out, by sexually harassing a poor, defenseless blackberry pie.
Evil Queen’s dad thinks Regina should stop obsessing over Snow White, and set some more reasonable goals for herself . . . like, for example, finding an actual boyfriend, so she doesn’t have to keep fornicating with pies. But Evil Queen’s mom, Cora, is totally supportive of the whole thing! To prove it, she actually snatches Snow White’s heart, and puts it in a box for the Evil Queen, so she can crush it. Mom’s are just the best, aren’t they?
To prove to the Evil Queen that this is actually Snow White’s heart, and not, say, a giant red gummy bear made to look like a heart, Cora nanny cam’s Snow White. Excited, the Evil Queen squeezes the heart just a little bit, and nearly squeals with glee when Snow White clutches her chest in pain on the nanny cam that is the Magic Mirror.
But alas, Snow White was only clutching her chest because . . . Jiminey Cricket was surreptitiously fondling Snow’s nipples, with her boyfriend Prince Charming mere inches away?
I hate to say it, but I’m not surprised. You know what they say, once a pervy bug, always a pervy bug . . .
It turns out, Evil Queen’s dad switched out the hearts when Cora wasn’t looking, so the Evil Queen could have a chance to become a “better person” or whatever. This was great news for Snow White, but really shitty news for, the guy whose heart got put in her place. I mean, seriously, what did he ever do to you, Evil Queen’s dad?
The Evil Queen gets back at her dad for ruining her birthday by making him really small, and putting him in a box. This is a huge punishment for anyone, but particularly any man, because . . . you know . . . size does matter. Not to mention the fact that the Evil Queen’s dad is now the perfect size to be a target for the affections of that sexual predator, Jiminey Cricket!
Cora then steals the Evil Queen’s “baby daddy” (see what I did there?), and whisks him away to another universe, proving that the Evil Queen really should have just asked for a car for her birthday like a normal teenager.
Family Reunions and Zombie Boyfriends
Back in the Underworld / Story Broke, everyone is reuniting with their lost not-so-loved ones. At Granny’s, which, in Story Broke, is run by that witch who ate Hansel and Gretel, the diner owner un-apologetically sniffs and fangirls a bit over Snow White (probably because she’s blind, and can’t see that hideous haircut.)
Meanwhile a cooler, hotter, snazzier dressed, version of Prince Charming shoves his tongue down Snow’s throat, thus proving that some things are actually better in Purgatory . . .
When the real Prince Charming returns, Snow says nothing about how awesome it was to play tonsil hockey with his evil twin brother, James. But the look on her face says she’s totally going to be fantasizing about it the next time she’s laying in bed, and Jiminey cricket is making his nightly rounds in her undies.
Elsewhere in town, Regina / the Evil Queen reunites with mom Cora.
Cora tells her daughter that, while Story Broke / the Underworld is a nice to place to vacation and make out with hot boys, Regina and her family really wouldn’t want to live here. Cora is so insistent about this that she arranges for a boat to leave the Underworld later that day, and instructs Regina to hop on it with her loved ones and skedaddle ASAP. When Regina refuses, Cora ups the ante, by threatening to send Regina’s dad, whose also stuck in Story Broke, some place Hellier than Hell, if she doesn’t leave town.
Meanwhile, at the Story Broke version of Rumpel’s Pawn Shop, Rumpel reunites with his dad, Peter Pan, who also wants Rumpel to leave town . . . provided he kills one of his travel companions and takes Pan with him!
As a gesture of “good faith,” Pan offers Rumpel some of that liquor that makes you so drunk that if you drink it at someone’s grave, you think you see them for realizes. It’s a kind of small bottle though . . . like smaller even than the ones they keep in the mini bar at hotels. If I was Rumpel, I would have asked for at least a 40 ouncer . . .
At the grave site, Emma conjures Hook, but finds that the Road to Hell hasn’t been quite as kind to him as it has to Story Broke’s other inhabitants.
Apparently, on the way to Story Broke, Hook made a detour to the Walking Dead set, and moonlighted as a zombie there. So not sexy! If Emma wasn’t rethinking her decision not to choose the Heaven Boyfriend over the Hell One, she sure as heck is now!
Regina does the “getting drunk in front of a grave thing” too, and reconnects with her back-to-normal-sized dad, who tells her that she should stay in Story Broke and help her friends find Zombie Hook, even if it means that Regina’s mom sends him to Hell-Hell, as opposed to the Sort-of-Hell he’s in now.
Regina ultimately decides to listen to her dad, for a change, and confronts Cora to tell her she has no deal. Cora responds by trying to send Regina’s dad to Hell-Hell, but actually ends up sending him to Heaven by mistake. Oops! Apparently, Regina’s dad was stuck in purgatory, because he had “unfinished business” in the sense that he wasn’t sure whether Regina was still an asshole. Now, that Regina’s dad knows Regina is no longer an asshole, he can rest in peace, literally.
This gives Emma and company the brilliant idea that, instead of just saving gross-looking Zombie Hook, they could save all the inhabitants of Story Broke, like Regina saved her dad, simply by proving to those Lost Souls that they are all not assholes, thereby curing all the “unfinished business” in purgatory! (As for the cast members that are actually assholes, well, they will probably just have to fake it, I guess.)
(Personally, I can’t help but wonder if Emma would have come up with this “selfless” plan if Hook looked hotter in Zombie Hologram, but that’s just me . . .)
Henry calls this plan to Get Everyone Out of Hell Free Card, “Operation Firebird,” probably because “Operation Rapping Rhinocerous” was already taken.
In which Hades punishes Cora, by making her wear janky clothes
At the conclusion of the episode, Cora rides up to the top of Story Broke’s library and visits Hades, whose hair is so creepy that it makes Snow White look like she “just stepped out of a salon.”
It turns out that getting Regina to leave Story Broke was Hades idea all along! And he’s super pissed at Cora for getting Regina’s dad shipped to heaven. And so he punishes Cora by . . . giving her a new outfit?
Hades tells Cora that because of her f*&k up, she will have to pass out flowers for all of eternity. But I kind of feel like he can’t really enforce that? I mean, if I were Cora, I’d just leave the library, ditch the flowers, and stop off at the local Ann Taylor in Hell to buy yet another sensible suit to replace the one I just lost. But that’s just me . . .
Anywhoo, that was Once’s 100th episode in a nutshell! Tune in next week to find out which former cast member of the show will get to go to Heaven, because a current cast member has fooled him or her into thinking he or she is no longer an asshole . . .
Cross posted at Happy Nice Time People.Com