Once Upon A Time Reveals The Season's True Big Bad

It's not Hamilton jokes or bad child actors, but both are right up there.

Guys, I've been away for a couple of weeks and even though this episode set the stage for the rest of the season, I have so many questions. Let's just get right to them.

Why could the Nemo leave Storybrooke?

Robin and Zelena just had a whole thing about the town still being under a protection spell, and while Regina has apparently spent the time since shmushing her heart together with the Evil Queen's and sending that plot off to Wishworld undoing their past wrongs, the Nemo left before that happened, and was going to leave even before Gideon cursed Killian. If it was that easy, why didn't Zelena just take a boat, or a broomstick?

What's so bad about Emma killing the Black Fairy?

Isn't this actually a perfect solution to this entire problem? Gideon simply asking for Emma's help (okay, yes, along with a little blackmail because of the way he magically banished Killian; that part's not great) makes all the sense in the world. The Black Fairy is evil, Emma's the Savior...isn't this a win-win? Why didn't he just go this route in the first place? And why is she so resistant? (She's right to be, but she doesn't know that yet, and we'll get there.)

Why can't the show always embrace its camp side like this?

The Black Fairy flying through the CGI clouds on her CGI wings carrying baby Gideon in a basket and cackling at an underling while extras mine fairy dust around them. Gideon with a bloody lip growling at Emma about "the depth of depravity" in the Black Fairy's soul. Gold expositing that the Black Fairy is trapped in another realm, "only able to break free long enough to steal other children before it pulls her back in." Giant spider webs from Party City's Halloween aisle. A villain saying after a kill, "This is on you. And my boot." This is all I've ever wanted from this show. Never be schmoopy again. And shut up, Henry.

Why do we have to watch a scene we've already had described to us in great detail?

Remember that really boring story Gideon told three weeks ago about how when he was a kid, the Black Fairy took his friend away to torture him and left his own cell door unlocked to show him that he was a coward, not a hero? Did you think it would be even better to see it performed by terrible child actors? Well, here's your chance!

Are the writers as good at long cons as the Black Fairy?

Gideon doesn't see his friend again until his 28th birthday, when Gideon is raiding Kylo Ren's wardrobe and the friend is leading a mini-revolution in the fairy dust mines and tells Gideon all about how evil the Black Fairy really is, and how the Savior can, well, save them. Gideon is persuaded, and they head off to get a crystal ball from the Black Fairy's vault. But it was all a setup! She was testing Gideon and he failed! She's oh so disappointed in him. But it's also an opportunity: You see, she knows all about the Savior, and killing Emma will send her power through the sword and free the Black Fairy from the realm in which she's imprisoned in (just go with it). So she takes Gideon's heart and sends him to Storybrooke! He's been under her control this whole time! Which makes all of the maddeningly inconsistent things he's done (up to and including summoning a giant spider to kill Emma while she was trying to help him) actually sort of make sense! But was it planned, or was it a mid-season Hail Mary? We'll never know.

If the Black Fairy is the source of all dark magic, what the hell are the Dark Ones?

Yes, we're told this week that the Black Fairy is OUAT's First Evil, creator of the very Dark Curse that Regina used all the way back in Episode One (which...created...Storybrooke? as evil goes...maybe go darker?). True, the Dark One was created through a combination of existing darkness and immortality, but that immortality came from the Holy Grail, and I think whenever you bring Jesus into your mythology you win, just ask Indiana Jones. Anyway, my point is the B.F. doesn't seem all that bad-ass, compared to any number of villains who've appeared on this show (where are you hiding, Maleficent?), and I'm just not buying this skinny drag queen as the root of all evil.

If it was that easy to get the Black Fairy out, why were all of Gideon's plans so complicated?

So Gideon tricks Emma into fighting a giant spider, which is supposed to kill her, which will open the portal and blah blah blah. Doesn't she have to be killed with the sword? Because Gideon runs away and is just holding the sword in an entirely different place.

Anyway, the spider gets Emma wrapped up in its cotton ball webbing (seriously, this is the time you decide to use a practical effect?) and is going to eat her, but Gold rescues her and they kill the spider together. But I guess she was dead enough for the portal to open a bit and the Black Fairy to jump through. Which is fine, I can buy that, but in that case why couldn't Gideon have just conked her on the head or gassed her or something weeks ago?

Who thought it was a good idea to separate Killian from everyone?

At least last week he was with recurring characters. Now he's playing poker with Blackbeard (who, fine, is recurring, but not as easy on the eyes as Aladdin and Jasmine) to win a magic bean to get home. And the bean doesn't work, it sends him to a Pan-less Neverland with a brand new crop of Lost Boys. Yay? This cast is already so sprawling that there are regular characters we don't see for weeks on end, to say nothing of the ones who've vanished with no explanation, or Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas's brilliant sleeping-curse parental-leave plan. Why are we wasting time with Hook's adventures in No One Cares Land?

Henry's not going to shut up, is he?

Regina sends him on an errand to pick up supplies to try to break the Snow/David sleeping curse, and when he tries to make a list, he has some sort of seizure and starts writing nonsense.

Have jokes about Hamilton tickets finally jumped the shark when people from magical realms are making them?

It was straining credulity on Madam Secretary when the Secretary of State offered another diplomat Hamilton tickets, which I'm pretty sure is unethical if not illegal, but now Regina and Henry seek Isaac's help with Henry's trance problem, and Isaac demands his freedom, a car, safe passage to New York, and the still-impossible-to-get (but-not-that-impossible-just-plan-ahead) theatre tickets. He gets all but the last. "No one's magic's that powerful." Or maybe you all live in Storybrooke and don't have televisions or DVDs of Frozen and shouldn't even know what Hamilton IS?

Does this mean this is the last season? Can it mean that?

Isaac tells Regina and Henry that they should follow him to New York if they know what's good for them. He points out that Henry's book only has a few blank pages left. It's the last chapter. What happens then? "The Savior fights the final battle. And trust me, no one wants to be around to see that." Pretty sure they didn't mean it the way I heard it, but they're right!

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