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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 17: Monsters In Disguise


This evening we begin back in the Enchanted Forest with Belle and Daddy, who is determined to fix his daughter up with Gaston. Apparently Gaston has been promoted to Prince, and Daddy feels that an alliance with his kingdom could strengthen their northern border against the ogres.

Gaston does his best to convince Belle that he’s nothing like his hyped image (which was bad PR on the part of his buddy, LeFou), and he seems to be a genuine, charming guy. I'm starting to swoon.

Look there he goes! Isn't he dreamy?

Forward now to the Underworld, and Belle shows up at Gold’s shop. She wants Rumple to fight to save their baby and she wants him to do it without dark magic. She reminds him the Merlin once said there'd be someone strong enough to use light magic to yield the power of the dagger, and Rumple replies that dark and light depend on what you want to do. Belle issues an ultimatum: "You want a future with me? You have to do this my way."

She's issuing ultimatums left and right lately, but if you've ever dealt with an addict - honestly, you get to a point where you have to put your foot down and say "you do it this way or f**k off" because nothing short of losing something dear is going to make a difference with them - and sometimes not even then. So yeah, she's giving a lot of ultimatums, but in her position, what else can she do? She's fighting for the man she loves, she's fighting for her child to have a father, she's fighting for her family - and she's fighting something that has a powerful grip on her man. I'm with Belle. Do it her way or rot in hell, Rumple.

Meanwhile, over at the cemetery, Emma tries to remove the names from the gravestones with magic, thinking it will keep Hades from trapping them there. Suddenly the wind whips up and Killian recognizes a bad storm I the offing because he's a sailor. Guess nobody else noticed the giant funnel cloud. They take shelter behind a tombstone but dumbass Snow thinks that there’s something about to attack, sticks her fool head out and gets flattened by whatever beast is out there just as Emma wakes up. It’s all a dream.
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She and Killian head down into the library, where Regina has been chalking runes on the door of the elevator to the depths of hell in the hope of getting it to open. She and Emma magic the crap out of it and the doors part only to reveal a brick wall (and give David and Henry a chance to utter a word of disbelief and therefore have a reason to be in the episode).

Refusing to be stymied, Emma suggests they try taking the names off the gravestones because she saw it in a dream, and of course, Snow wants to come with her. Regina wants to talk to Zelena, hoping to find out what Hades’ weakness is.

Hades, meanwhile, is spying on Zelena and sees a flower growing in the rubble of Main Street.

He heads over to the animal shelter. Wait - animal shelter? What unfinished business could a dog have? He didn't finish licking his balls? And how about cats? Did they not nap enough? Were they unable to knock a beverage off a table before they shuffled off their mortal coil?


Anyway, Gaston is now a shelter worker, dishing up dog food. Hades tips him off that Belle and Rumple are in town, and cheerfully provides Gaston with magical arrows with which to kill Rumple. Things have changed in his domain and he’s hacked off that flowers are now growing due to this sudden infusion of hope. When souls have hope, they move on, and Hades can’t have that.

Back to the Enchanted Forest again as Gaston walks with Belle, feeding her cheesy lines and Belle laughs outright at him. So far I’m liking Gaston. He senses a large wild creature close by and runs off to get it. It turns out it’s a young ogre. Gaston thinks it's been sent as an advanced scout. Belle wants a chance to find out what the ogre is after without hurting him and Gaston agrees to help her, against his better judgement.

She, of course, consults her beloved books. She finds one that tells of a foe glass "Mirror of Souls" that will show you who your enemies are what's really in a person's soul and wants to use it on the ogre. She also shows Gaston a copy of "Her Handsome Hero," a favorite book of hers that describes her perfect guy: Compassionate, smart, and good. Gaston vows to read every word of it - twice.

Oh, you!

Forward to Underbrooke, and Belle is getting pissy about Rumple not finding a way to turn his darkness to light, while Rumple is busy dithering over the varying degrees between dark and light when Gaston fires arrows at Rumple.

He misses, and Rumple poofs them the hell out of there, but not before Belle discovers that Rumple was the one who sent Gaston to hell in the first place. The arrows were forged in the River of Souls – one scratch and Rumple will be stuck down there forever. Rumple says they should get rid of Gaston, but Belle wants to help him because it’ll weaken Hades.

Across town, Emma tries to magic the names off the tombstones, and the storm comes just as it did in her dream. She freaks out, and drags Hook and Snow down to Regina's vault, where she tells them about the beast in her dream, and the fact that it killed her mother.

Regina meanwhile meets with Zelena at Granny’s. Zelena tells her Hades fell in love with her, and as far as she knows, she's his only weakness.

Belle has gone searching for Gaston at the shelter and runs into Hades (who has a new, one-headed dog who I guess never finished adequately bathing his own nads). Hades is willing to make a deal: if Rumple or Gaston throw each other into the river of souls, Hades will let her keep the baby. Belle balks, but Hades assures her that "Love makes you do crazy things."

Rumple shows up and Belle gets him to open Gaston's locker only to find a copy of "Her Handsome Hero," which of course, must mean Gaston's still hung up on her and she is his 'unfinished business.'

Regina hunts down the others in her vault, and she firmly thinks the dream is Emma needing to work out issues. Emma confesses that she feels like a failure because she brought everyone down here “This is a terrible plan and I should have done this alone,” she groans.

Gee...ya think?

"You didn’t force any of us down here," Snow reminds her – we all abandoned and/or endangered our children of our own free will!

Back at the shelter, Gaston tries to kill Rumple but gets a mannequin that Belle set up instead. Gaston confesses that he's not hung up on her. The book is part of his punishment. It reminds him that Belle made him weak. He tried to be a hero and he should have been strong and gone after Rumple. Belle tells him she’s married to Rumple and Gaston reminds her in a scathing exit line that she always did have "a soft spot for monsters".

Flashback to the Enchanted Forest and Gaston has been ambushed by the ogre, which has escaped. Gaston wants to hunt the creature and Belle is still interested in testing it with the mirror. Gaston rides out, promising her the ogre will be fine.

Belle is determined to find the young ogre before the hunting party. Gaston runs it down and fires an arrow which ends up breaking the mirror of souls because Belle has jumped in front of him. It didn't destroy it all, though - a shard shows Belle the evil inside of Gaston - who tortured the young ogre and faked the whole attack. She lets the ogre go and he runs off. He also looks like he was animated by whoever made Grawp in Harry Potter, with similarly bad effect.


Not long after that night, Belle is in the stable brushing her horse. Daddy comes in to say the ogres are coming and he still wants her to marry Gaston in order to save the kingdom. Belle reluctantly agrees to be Gaston's fiancĂ©, even though he’s a horrible guy inside.

Forward to Underbrooke, and Rumple asks Belle what deal Hades tried to make with her. Belle tells him and Rumple reminds her that good old Merlin just might have something with that "controlling the dark dagger with light" stuff.


"I really want to be that man for you, truly," he tells her. "Just, not today." And then he poofs away.

He's force-choking Gaston down at the dock when Belle rushes in with the dagger and commands Rumple not to hurt Gaston. Doesn't he keep that dagger hidden? And under a protection spell? Or is he just leaving it around to slice cheese or something?

Anyway, Rumple drops Gaston as ordered, Gaston tries to fire an arrow, and Belle ends up throwing Gaston into the water to save Rumple. Wait – all water in the Underworld is the River of Lost Souls? Then why spend money on the crappy CGI for the Milah episode?

Belle is sad and sick that she’s thrown Gaston into the water. It turns out it’s all for nothing, since Belle did the deed and that doesn’t meet the terms of the contract Hades offered. Mission accomplished for Hades, though - by pushing her to do something dark, it’s killing the hope that’s growing. Hades scoops up a now-wilted flower and smiles.

Back at Granny’s, a dish shows up for Zelena and inside it is a dead flower. She looks at it and smiles. We're all smiles here when it comes to rotted plant life. Hades really knows how to woo a witch.

Over in the woods outside of Underbrooke, Snow is tracking the mysterious beast while Emma and Regina zap it with magic. It turns out to be a wolf, and a red cloak suddenly appears. Red! What is she doing in the Underworld? We get to find out next week when she shows up with Mulan and our newest ass-kicker, Dorothy.

I'm going to give this one four phoenixes out of five.
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I would have liked to have seen them make Gaston a lot darker and more mysogynistic - he was tepid at best even if he was a prime piece of beefcake. I really did enjoy Rumple and Belle's sniping at each other - he's so deliciously unrepentant now, and she's so fiery and full of snark. I kinda hope they never make up. We need Will Scarlet to reappear and make things really interesting! Come on...don't you want to see him throw Killian a bachelor party? You know you do.

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