Rumplestiltskin got played.
This was the main takeaway from tonight’s ONCE UPON A TIME. The Dark One has finally found his match and, when he thought he was going to get a “get out of jail” free card, Hades stabbed him in the back, announced that Belle is pregnant and blackmailed him into working for him. If the dude wasn’t so evil, I’d say this was a pretty brilliant plan.
He got played so hard. It could’ve been almost beautiful, if it the repercussions weren’t so tragic.
But let’s talk about the flashbacks first. I admit that for about 90% of the episode, I still wasn’t sure what the point of watching Coward!Rumple again really was. So we found out how Mila met Killian and what were the circumstances that, ultimately, made her leave Rumple and her son behind; but it wasn’t until Hades revealed that Belle was pregnant and that the healer’s contract had been signed over to him – so he could cash in on that second born child deal at any time – that things really made sense.
So now, well… Hades basically owns Rumple, because in his own twisted way, he does love Belle and he will do anything to protect his unborn child, so not to fail them as he failed his first family.
And that brings us to present time in the Underworld. Poor Killian is still being tortured by Hades, especially after he refused to pick three of his friends to remain in the Underworld. Hades decided to hang him with chains over the River of Lost Souls, in which should you fall in, you’d be lost forever. And head-on-fire guy did that to snuff out any hope Killian might still have, which could have been pretty effective had Emma not gotten there in time.
Before that, however, Rumple managed to put together a crystal ball in order to check on Belle. It wasn’t clear if he knew then that she was pregnant or not, but it doesn’t change much either way. The thing is, he is more than eager to get home, so he volunteers to help Emma go down to Hades’ prison and rescue Hook. In order to do that, he recruits Mila’s help, and that turned out to be both tragic and entertaining. The scene where she first meets Emma was probably one of the funniest, most awkward moments of the series and it had me laughing out loud.
But she does help them get into Hades’ territory and Rumple leads them on a boat ride through the River of Lost Souls. They get to the other side safely and, while Emma is off rescuing Killian, Mila decides to stay behind and keep an eye on Rumple. And that proved to be her demise – Hades showed up, made a deal with Rumplestiltskin and the Dark One threw her into the River of Lost Souls, so she wouldn’t be able to tell anyone that she had seen Hades talking to him. It was so completely tragic, especially because all she wanted to do was see Baelfire again and she was this close to moving on.
Emma did eventually rescue Killian and, I have to admit, I was thinking this was way too easy. There was no way they were going to go back to Storybrooke already and it turns out that I was right. When Killian failed to pick three of his friends to remain in the Underworld, Hades did it for him. So when Regina tries to take Emma’s heart – so they can split it in two and give half of her heart to Killian – something blocks her and they soon find out why.
The chosen ones to stay behind are Emma, Regina and Snow White. And a thought has just ocurred to me. What if the reason that Regina’s magic returned is because Hades has trapped her in the Underworld?
A new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME will air on March 27 at 8/7C on ABC.