Once Upon a Time season 6 episode 13 gave the spot light to one of our favorite villains as he found a way to keep his son away from the darkness. Elsewhere, an unusual alliance was formed.
Robert Carlyle, you incredible thing. This episode really helped to showcase why Rumple has always been a fan-favorite and why it’s hard not to have a soft spot for him. For one his want to be a good dad to his sons. And two his clear bond with Belle (albeit his loyalty has been questionable at best – GoldenQueen). In addition to all that, the acting that Carlyle does is out of this world and has really turned this character into one of the strongest on the show.
Regardless of his dysfunctional relationships with the women in his life, Rumple has always wanted to be better for his kids. He didn’t have the greatest father growing up, or mother for that matter – he is the son of Peter Pan and the Black Fairy after all – but due to this parentage you can clearly see that he’s trying to be a good dad to Baelfire as he grows up. Being cowardly led him to becoming The Dark One which he eventually used to defeat the first ogre wars and show his kid that yes, he can be brave.
Rumple didn’t have the best example of how to be a parent, but the flashbacks revealed that Baelfire’s distance from Rumple wasn’t innate. This was something that Rumple did himself to protect his son from the darkness. He was already at the mercy of the darkness and didn’t want that for Bae.
Similarily he’s doing whatever he needs to to make sure Gideon doesn’t have to touch the darkness either. Even if that means doing the dirty work for him. Good parents know that they can’t stop their kids from doing what they want to do. However, they can help them to make sure they don’t get hurt nearly as bad. Rumple has always done what he’s done for the sake of his kids.
Throughout all this, Belle has decided to throughout her greater than thou attitude about all the completely fucked up things Rumple does – for the greater good of course – and stand besides him. Having a child surely changes you.
Meanwhile, an uncanny alliance has formed on the otherside of town between doppleganger Robin and a Wicked Witch. Zelena is ready to fry up Robin into a crisp thinking he’s broken into her place to take the baby but he assures her kids are not his thing, definitely not Robin Hood. He needs her help to take down the protection spell around the town to leave. Zelena is all for it ready to hit it out of there with Baby Robyn and Queen Cobra (The Evil Queen) and hit it up in New York City. No matter where you’re from, New York will always be magical.
Regina is upset of course, but she’s ready to help, she’s not going to make him stay. She knows this isn’t the same man she loved, and she realizes that she failed a test to move on when she had the chance. The sisters have a moment of their own right at the end where apologies are spewed and honest vulnerability is laid out. This is what I live for. These little moments without the theatrics, where these actors can do what they do best, act. Feel something, show their characters raw selves. Lana Parrilla and Rebecca Mader have a very special bond that translates beautifully onto the screen. You can feel it when Regina and Zelena are fighting and you can feel it when their being open and honest with one another. They’re sisters. They’re powerful sorceresses and they share pain of loss. It’s beautiful to watch.
Ding, dong, the Queen is back! While the sisters were having a moment, the Queen made her escape. The Queen in snake form to take a bite out of Robin. Literally. Not in the dirty way… yet anyway, the look at the end was questionable. Robin had some serum on his hand that allowed her to transform back into her regal self. Letting yet another alliance form. This one making a little more sense. The Evil Queen was a part of Regina and loved Robin just as much. This version of Robin clearly favors the darkness and will no doubt find a better tour guide in the Queen.
Next week, “Page 23” will let Regina and her doppleganger take center stage. The showdown between these two will play out one final time. Regina has already accepted that letting the Queen out wasn’t the answer, will she take her back? Will this end bad seeing as swords are drawn? Lana Parrilla has stated that the next episode was one that required more creatively than most. She’s proven time and time again her power as an actress, so get ready!
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