This week on Once: a daring rescue goes awry; a reunion between old lovers reminds us just how incestuous this show actually is; Regina gets a new job as a horse whisperer; and a female character’s “secret” pregnancy is revealed by looking at her husband’s balls.
Let’s review, shall we?
“And You Thought Your Mother-in-Law Hated You,” by Emma Swan
Congratulations, cast members of Once, there is now a new way to die on this show that is arguably worse than being turned into a giant purple fart, because you drank some bad water, or tugged too hard on a sword.
According to Hades, there’s this River of Lost Souls, which, if you touch it, turns you into those giant wads of sperm from The Little Mermaid . . .
Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, Death by Eternal Spermdom is way worse than Death by Purple Fart. Because, at least as a purple fart, you get to disappear! I mean, sure, your scent lingers for a few terrible moments, but after that, you’re off the hook. Being an immortal sperm that never gets to fertilize an egg, is like spending an eternity hearing that awful knock-knock joke about the banana, and never getting to the punchline, where it mercifully turns into an orange.
Anyway, Hades is super mad at Hook for refusing to damn three of his friends to an eternity in the Underworld, so he gets back at him, by stringing him up and dangling him precariously over Sperm River!
Elsewhere, things are looking up a bit, because after weeks of searching, Emma has finally figured out where Hades is hiding Hook. All she has to do is hold hands with a dead person, so she can get there, which should be super easy, because almost everyone in the Underworld is dead, giving her plenty of hands to chose from. Of course, Rumpel, being Rumpel decides to choose the hand of his ex-wife Milah, because he’s a masochist.
Milah’s job in the Underworld is that of crossing guard, probably because no one is more qualified to keep small children from getting run over by buses, than the woman who went to a bar to get laid, while her only son was dying of a snake bite . . . (Fortunately, all the kids here are already dead, so, the risk factor is kind of low.)
As it turns out, Milah’s unfinished business is that she feels shitty about what an awful parent she was. So, she agrees to help Rumpel save Hook, if it means possibly being able to earn some good karma points not at all related to parenting.
Once on board with the whole “Holding Hands Plan” (If Henry was in this episode, he’d call it: Operation Ring Around the Rosey), Milah meets for the first time the love of her son’s life, and mother of her only grandchild, Emma, who also happens to be the love of Milah’s ex boyfriend, Captain Hook’s, life.
(It’s too bad Emma never slept with Rumpelstilstkin, because then things could have been REALLY awkward.)
The blonde earns some points with Milah though, by telling her that her son Neal is in Heaven, and if she plays her cards right, she can meet him there, and apologize to him for being The Absolute Worst.
Emma is surprised to learn that the Portal to Hell is actually in the Alt World version of her basement, which is probably why, whenever she does laundry down there, she comes back missing at least one sock. (All uncoupled socks go to Hell. Everyone knows that.)
While Emma rushes into Hell to save Hook from becoming Sperm 4 Life (which would be a great name for a band, I think), Milah and Rumpel wait outside. And that’s where Hades finds them . . .
Quite Possibly, the Real Reason I’m An Only Child . . .
Personal aside: I was an only kid. Don’t feel bad for me, or anything. It meant I always got to bring a friend along on family vacations, and I never had to share my toys. (Sharing is for suckers.)
But still, sometimes I wondered why I never had any brothers or sisters. Occasionally, I’d even ask my parents. “Ask your mother,” said my dad. (It was the exact same response he gave, when I asked him why he had a package of “balloons” in the drawer of his nightstand.)
“It’s because you were so perfect, we didn’t need another baby,” said my mom.
Clearly, that’s not true. I mean, have you read my recaps? I’m kind of a jerk.
Now, thanks to Once, I know the real reason. It’s gotta be the same reason Baelfire/Neal was an only kid . . . my dad must have made a deal with some creepy clown face guy, in order to save my life! It all makes so much sense now.
But enough about me, let’s go back in time to before Rumpelstiltskin hired a fabulous stylist . . .
. . . back, when he was just some schlub, whose kid liked to hang out with deathly poisonous snakes. (When you are an only child, “friends” can be a very broad concept.)
So, the deathly poisonous snake took a little bite out of young Neal / Baelfire, and suddenly, he has 24 hours to live.
(Well, this isn’t a very intriguing backstory, I think to myself. We know Neal / Baelfire is going to live, because he grows up to pork Emma in the back of her yellow Beetle car, so she can give later birth to Henry, while incarcerated, and then proceed to forget about him entirely for ten years. But wait . . . there’s more.)
So, Rumpel and his then wife, Milah, go to a healer to save Neal / Baelfire. And he’s this weirdo, who lives in a tent, and kind of looks like the fat guy from the band, Kiss. “I have a bottle of green goo that can save your son,” explains Fat Guy from Kiss. “But it’s going to cost you a $100.”
Now, this was before the time of Obamacare. So it’s not like Rumpel had mandatory health insurance, and could simply ask for a less expensive, generic, version of the green goo, that was covered under his plan, cost way less, but had way worse side effects. Rumpel also didn’t have $100. And that’s when Milah decided that Rumpel should kill the Fat Guy from Kiss, and steal his green goo.
While Rumpel is busy attempting to off the guy who fittingly brought us the song “Heaven’s on Fire,” Milah is at the local bar getting shitfaced, because, “Feminism?”
While at the bar, Milah meets Captain Hook, and wants to hit that so hard, which is totally understandable, because, well, look at him . . .
. . . but kind of makes me wonder where her dying kid is during all of this.
Rumpel ends up chickening out, and doesn’t kill the Fat Guy from Kiss. But the Fat Guy takes pity on him, and gives him the green goo, in exchange for the promise of his second born child. Why? I don’t know! But the weird guys with the face paint in these fairytales always seem to be wanting to get their mitts on other people’s kids.
Rumpel comes home, cures Neal / Baelfire with the green goo, and excitedly tells Milah the good news. Milah, however, is super bummed out that she doesn’t get to hide a dead body, which has always been on her personal bucket list. Also, she’s mad that she can’t have another baby to leave dying in a hut, while she goes off to get wasted and bone sexy pirates . . .
Later on, once Rumpel has hired his stylist, and becomes the fabulously evil guy we know and love, he kills the Fat Guy from Kiss, and then heads off to Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day. (See what I did there?)
All Dogs Go to Heaven, But Horses? Meh!
Regina and Snow White don’t have much to do during this episode, so they decide to seek out Regina’s ex-boyfriend, who briefly became Frankenstein’s monster. Cruella, who is apparently the new Mayor of the Underworld, now that Regina’s mom is its new florist, offers to help, because she doesn’t have much to do during this episode either. She explains to Regina that if ex boyfriend Daniel’s gravestone is tipped over, it means he’s in Heaven, but if it’s cracked, it means he’s in Hell.
Regina finds the gravestone, and is thrilled to see it turned over. (Mostly, because she has a new lover now, and running into an ex, who may or may not be a murderous monster, would be super awkward.) Regina is so happy, in fact, that when she sees an injured horse, she uses the magic she thought she had lost to cure it! (This was undoubtedly the writers’ way of making up for all the animal cruelty and doggy murder in last week’s episode . . .)
No word on what the horse’s unfinished business was, but I like to think it was because he came in second in the Kentucky Derby, and is super disappointed with his performance . . . Horses can be really Type A about those kind of things.
Just Keep Swimming. Just Keep Swimming . . .
Back in Hell, Hades cuts a deal with Rumpel. All he has to do is kill Milah and destroy a boat that is the cast’s ticket out of the Underworld, and he can return to Storybrook to be with Belle. So, Rumpel betrays his friends (AGAIN), and turns his ex-wife into Giant Sperm, which, if nothing else, is a really great way to get closure on a bad relationship.
On the bright side, if Milah just keeps swimming, there’s a really good chance she can Find Nemo.
In Grave Danger
With Hook now safely by her side, Emma decides to get on with the plan to split her heart into two, so Hook can take half of it, and use it to return from the dead. But when a newly re-magicked Regina tries to remove Emma’s heart, it won’t budge. Why?
It turns out that Emma is technically dead now too. See, when Hook refused to choose for Hades three souls to banish to the Underworld, Hades chose for him. And the winners are: Emma, Regina and Snow White.
This might be a good time for Snow White to decide she’s drippy Mary Margaret again. It could be her Get Out of Hell Free Card, just saying.
Hit Me With a Baby One More Time
Rumpel returns to Hades eager for the latter to make good on his part of the bargain to send Rumpel home. But Hades has other plans, plans that involve Rumpel’s balls. You see, early in the episode, Rumpel used one of his balls to spy on Belle, but broke it in the process. Now, at the end of the episode, Hades uses another of Rumpel’s balls to spy on Belle again, this time revealing she’s pregnant!
(This is super good news for the actress who plays Belle, who also happens to be pregnant. This means the character doesn’t have to spend nine months hiding behind tables and “carrying heavy boxes” to hide her increasingly growing baby bump.)
But here’s the clincher. The Fat Guy from Kiss is in the Underworld, and Hades has bought out the contract he made with Rumpel for his second born. This means that Rumpel has to do Hades bidding, or else Belle’s baby will have to get really used to wearing the color red, and eating his or her baby food with a pitchfork . . .
Until next time, Oncers!
Cross-posted on Happy Nice Time People.