Jack Rowand / ABC

Henry Is All Grown Up And Turning Once Upon A Time Into An Annoying John Hughes Movie

This week had a lot of Afterschool Special-itis, honestly.

Be careful what you wish for! Regina has already gotten the message over and over again that you really can't excise your rotten other half, but this week she learns that setting the Evil Queen loose could cost her what she values most -- her kid. It also costs us, in that we have to watch an episode in which Henry has his Sixteen Candles experience, which should be cuter and more heartwarming than it is, except we don't care that much and just watched his moms almost get eaten by dragons. Tossing in the '80s teen genre might be a bridge too far, really.

Once Upon A Time-ish Element Present?
F-ed Up Fairy Tales Sure, the Sleeping Beauty curse was tough on Snow and Charming, but really, it's the perfect relationship.


They made little romantic gestures like love notes and flower bouquets for the other to find when he or she wakes up, so it's really the best part of marriage without fighting over who gets the bathroom first, who has to drive, and why someone didn't replace the toilet paper.

Good vs. Evil, But Which Is Which? So, Rumple is torturing Belle for her own safety (good, maybe?) but he's getting it on with the Evil Queen (bad) because he wants her to kill Zelena (very bad). The Evil Queen also wants her son to correct his posture (good) and kill people (bad). Also, everyone came together for a Very Special Lesson about the importance of family, so that was tidy.
Family Feud The Evil Queen wants Henry to find his inner Henry the VIII, while Regina and Emma want him to be nice. Henry, for his part, wants to live in a John Hughes movie with Violet, which is tiresome but the least offensive thing you can expect from a teenager, really.
True Love's Blah Blah Blah Even the Evil Queen can't entirely stuff down her love for her kid, so there's a lot of pep-talking and picking of ties and semi-normal mom behavior right up until the point she tries to get him to crush the Dragon's heart, which is a pretty epic mom fail. Also, Snow and Charming are so cute being unconscious together! Aww!
All Magic Comes With A Price Gold's reaction to realizing Zelena has hooked up a spell that gives him a heart attack whenever he tries to hurt her seems a little outsized, as he could just, oh, not hurt her instead of asking the Evil Queen to kill her sister. Anyway, pretty sure that won't end well, either.
Shut up, Henry There was a lot of Afterschool Special nonsense surrounding whether or not Violet liked Henry, and whether his moms were going to drive him insane with their meddling, and a cute, balloon-happy meeting at the diner which was probably not half as fun as the formal.
This Show Has A Deep, Rich History Whenever I think they couldn't possibly find another heart to crush like a handful of neon grapes, the Evil Queen always digs up a fresh one.
...As Long As It's Convenient This episode was more convenient than a 7-Eleven, really. Let's banish Emma and Regina to a mirror world, toss in the Dragon, and make sure it's an opportunity for Henry to show he's learned about the importance of compassion and good parenting!
O, Canada!< There were no aboots, just vaguely British accents classing up the joint.
Wig Cop On Patrol No one looked outrageously awful this week, so I'll give this one a pass.
Drag Queen Realness Yas, Queen!
Green Screen Fakeness While I did enjoy the mirror world, watching poor Regina and Emma run around like cross-eyed chickens as they talked to the post-transition Dragon was a little hard to watch.
It's A Small World After All When Henry says, "Nice try, but you can't Darth Vader me," we are reminded how crazy-big the Disney universe really is. Empire strikes back, indeed.
10 / 12
Final Score
Once Upon A Time
Sixteen Candles
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