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Once Upon A Time Goes From Zero To Hero

With Once Upon A Time borrowing this season's big bad from Hercules, you might have expected the demigod himself to get more than one episode. You'd be wrong. At least he's cute!

  • Previously

    Hook went to the Underworld, where people go when they die with unfinished business (but sometimes they're tortured too because why not?), and from which they can either go on to a better or a worse place. Emma and the gang followed him and figured, as long as they were there, they could help some souls finish their business and move on to the better place.

  • That Happened
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    At Least It's Not Puppy Monkey Baby

    Killian is being kept underground somewhere. It sure looks like Hell, but let's not get into the metaphysics again. He's not being restrained, so he starts to leave, which is when a girl tells him not to try because it's a trap and "he'll hunt you down." Killian says he's already been tortured by Hades, so it can't get any worse. The girl doesn't mean Hades, but won't say who she does mean. Enough of Emma's message got through last week that Killian knows she's in town and he wants to get to her, and he offers to take the girl with him. They're chased by Cerberus, the three-headed hell hound, so Killian runs interference so the girl can escape and find Emma for him.

  • Character Study
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    Twinkules: Zero To Heyyyyyy

    Name: Hercules.
    Age: Early 20s.
    Occupation: Demigod.
    Goal: To complete his twelve labors so that he can join his father on Mount Olympus. He only has one left.
    Sample Dialogue: "I'm Hercules, but you can call me Herc."
  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    Go The Distance...If You Know What I Mean

    In the Purgatorybrooke graveyard, Mary Margaret sees a name that flashes her back to when she was a girl, nominally ruling the Enchanted Forest with Regina at her side. Everyone is terrified of a particularly vicious pack of thieves and comes to the Princess for guidance, but she doesn't know what to do and runs away from the castle. She falls into a trap in the woods and is rescued by Hercules. Yes, that Hercules.

    Snow needs to figure out what to do about the bandits before she goes back, and Herc offers to train her to fight. Really? The sassy feminist bandit Snow White we've been watching for five seasons got that way because a boy was flirting with her? UGH. And while I'm on my feminist high horse, why doesn't Hercules get saddled with a hideous wig to make him look more like the cartoon? Only the women get garbage princess hair? UUUUUUUGGGGGHHH.

    ANYWAY, these two are pretty cute together, and at least we get to objectify him.

  • That Quote
    "It's not every day your wife tells you she was friends with a god."
    - David -
  • Plot Lightning Round

    "Hey, Child Muncher"

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    Having no luck finding Hook in the woods, Regina sends Robin and Henry to the Purgatorybrooke version of her office to see if her detailed maps of the town exist there, too.

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    Regina and Emma find the girl from the prison, who's escaped through the mines and into the woods. She's still being chased, so they teleport her away to the Charmings' apartment.

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    The girl, extremely shell-shocked, explains about Cerberus just as Snow arrives: "Nothing can defeat this monster." Snow thinks something can!

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    The Blind Witch directs the gang to Hercules's Underworld day job at the docks.

  • That Quote
    "Shame. He'd make a great Sunday roast."
    - The Blind Witch, disappointed that Hercules is impossible to fatten up -
  • Meeting Time
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    Oh Fuck, Not This Author Shit Again

    Who called the meeting? Henry did crawl into the mayor's office unbidden (because Cora was apparently too dumb to enchant the giant vent next to the door when she cast her protection spell), but he wasn't expecting to find Cruella waiting for him there.

    What's it about? Cruella knows she's going to "the worse place," so she wants a third option: back to the real world. And she wants Henry's help. He's The Author, remember? Cruella insists that he has more power than the Apprentice led him to believe, including the ability to bring back the dead. She also knows (...somehow?) that the quill isn't just a pen, it's "a magical energy...a living, breathing entity." So in breaking it, Henry killed it, and it's in the Underworld.

    How'd it go? We don't really get to find out, but obviously Henry's not going to feel good about the fact that he killed something rather than just broke a pen, plus Cruella points out that if she's not dead, Emma's not a murderer. My money's on Henry going along with whatever Cruella has planned but not telling anyone because he's an idiot.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    Snow vs. Bandits

    Snow goes after the bandits. She puts on a good show, but drops her arrows when it's time to follow through. Herc steps in and they run off, but Snow is mortified.

    Also, it turns out they were hired by Regina so that the people can see Snow's not a good leader.

    Winner: Bandits; Regina.

  • That Quote
    "Oh how I miss it. The music, the gin, the glamour...the gin."
    - Cruella -
  • On The Menu
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    What's On The Menu?

    Nothing on the show -- I'm just following Cruella's lead and getting a drink to get through the rest of this nonsense.

  • Plot Lightning Round

    "Trust Me, You Should Be Quite Afraid Of Me"

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    Hercules's last labor was to kill Cerberus. Snow reasons that if he can do that now, he can simultaneously complete his unfinished business and help Snow and the gang. Snow notices how young he still is, which means he must have died soon after they parted, but he doesn't want to talk about it.

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    Hercules arrives in the mines (with Emma, Regina and Snow there for moral support) to fight Cerberus, but freaks out and runs off when he sees the beast.

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    Everyone is prepared to fight the dog, but Hades arrives and calls him (them?) off. He reveals that Hercules has faced Cerberus before: in fact, that's how he died. Hades threatens everyone and he is not fucking around. He gives Emma Killian's hook.

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    Back at the apartment, Regina tries to pep talk a defeated Mary Margaret by reminding her that she made it her life's mission to destroy her and failed. Mary Margaret is like, yeah, you did cast that curse and take away my kingdom and my daughter. Regina points out that, even after all that, Snow won, and they're even friends now. "You're right. Mary Margaret can't help. In fact, we don't need her anymore. We need Snow White."

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    Snow reminds Herc of a lesson he taught her about how you have to fail in order to succeed. She asks (while he carries impossibly heavy things on the dock, which is a good bit of business) how Cerberus beat him the first time so they can figure out how to win this time. "I never should have fought him alone," he says, owing to Cerberus's three heads.

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    Back at the apartment -- where Regina, David, and the girl from the prison are waiting -- Cerberus attacks.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    Snow Vs. Bandits, Again

    Snow fights the bandits again and is good this time. Like, really good. The peasants, seeing that they're protected, join her in defending themselves. The bandits flee.

    Snow and Herc make out a little.

    Winner: Snow White; Little Hercules.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    ABC

    Heroes vs. Cerberus

    Cerebus chases the gang to Main Street, where they lose the girl. Snow and Hercules arrive, and the two groups split up to find her. Snow and Herc find her first, but so does Cerberus. They hide in the library, where Snow reveals her genius plan to attack all three heads at once, which means they need the girl's help.

    Herc gives the girl his dagger and he breaks some pipe off the wall for himself. They wait for Cerberus to break down the door, and when it does, they go to town. It's...hard to believe no one ever thought of that before? But it works.

    Winner: Humans; Demigods; battling one's personal demons.

  • Wrap It Up
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    Hercules and the girl make eyes at each other and she introduces herself as Megara. They vaguely remember having met before -- she was running from Cerberus when Hercules hunted him the first time and ran right into him. Cerberus got her right after it got Herc, which explains all the PTSD. That's not how this story goes why did I bother watching this movie during the break?

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    Snow wonders if saving Meg was also part of Hercules's unfinished business. She tells Emma that her old self inspired people and wasn't afraid of taking risks. She doesn't want to be Mary Margaret anymore: she wants to be Snow White again. That's going to make these posts all kinds of confusing, but sure!

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    Henry lies to Robin, telling him he didn't find the maps (that part's probably true) or anything else. Given Henry's age, Robin probably just assumes he was in there so long because he was masturbating.

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    But it's a moo point, because Meg drew the others -- who seem to have forgotten Robin and Henry entirely (jealous!) -- a map to the prison. Everyone says their goodbyes, and Hercules and Megara cross over to the better place. Which, at least in this case, includes Olympus. Aw. (I guess Megara's unfinished business was banging Hercules? Fair enough.)

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    Unfortunately, Killian isn't in the prison, he's in Hades's chamber, and Hades hands him a chisel. Blank gravestones appear, as Hades explains that, for every soul they free, one of Killian's friends will have to stay, and that Killian will decide which one!

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