Jack Rowand / ABC

Once Upon A Time Sprinkles Fairy Dust On Rumple's Mommy Issues

A flashback via dream-memory takes us all the way back to Rumple's birth to show how his mom became the Black Fairy, why everyone needs to stop trying to mess with fate, and that evil is usually more fun than good.

Based solely on last week's "next time on..." I was fully expecting to hate this episode. Who cares about the Black Fairy and yet another weepy motivation for evil? (Remember when villains were just evil and it made them more terrifying and they didn't have to be misunderstood? I feel like somehow George Lucas is to blame for this.) But I actually enjoyed it a lot! We got to learn some new fairy lore (the set, CGI or not, for the Sacred Vault was the exact balance of cool and goofy I want from this show), see more of Tiger Lily, and Jaime Murray got to play more than one note. Also, Emma's coat deserves a spin-off.

Yes, Rumple's mom became a fairy to protect him, and she took the whole thing too far and that's what turned her dark, so I guess that's meant to be a little sympathetic, but in the end it turns out she's still just a dick. Whatever good intentions may have motivated her to get the power, once she had it, she liked it, and she was selfish about it. Plus, for the first time in a while (maybe because we've never really been to this part of the timeline before), the arrival of new backstory didn't contradict anything we already knew and all pretty much made sense. Which is not to say I don't have any questions. I have a lot of questions.

The Blue Fairy never thought it might be useful to share any of this at any point in time?

Yeah, so, I don't know, I think if you're destined to become The Savior but then your mom goes all whackadoo and becomes an evil fairy to try to protect you from the prophecy that you'll be killed in the Final Battle, but in so doing creates the very evil that's going to destroy you (herself), then cuts your fate with the Shears of Destiny so the whole thing is (maybe?) moot, but then you grow up and become The Dark One and then you and the fairies who know all of this and kinda sorta caused it to happen by being all "Hi, your son is very important, we're his fairy godmothers!" (like maybe just keep that to yourself) get cursed by the very same dark curse your mom made in her misguided attempt to protect you, and then your mom breaks out of fairy jail and comes to curse town, maybe somewhere along the way the head fairy could have taken you aside and told you any part of this story.

Is there just one "Final Battle" or does each Savior get their own? And do words like "the" and "final" not have any meaning anymore?

I'm pretty sure it's the former, actually, but we know there have been multiple Saviors, so it's a little confusing that Rumple was meant to fight Fiona but now this is Emma's battle, when Aladdin and whoever else has come along in the interim.

How is Savioring supposed to work?

Gold blames his mother for "making [him] a coward" by taking away his destiny to be the Savior, but I'm not really sure what one thing has to do with the other. It occurs to me we've never seen a Savior under normal circumstances. Is it like Jedi or Vampire Slayer training or something?

If your friend went rogue and (a) became a fairy and then (b) made you help her create forbidden magic, at what point would you ask her for specifics about what she was doing?

If you said "when she was up to the last ingredient," you might be Tiger Lily! At which point she realizes that Fiona's spell to save her son from his fate is in fact a curse -- a dark curse (but not the dark curse, which is a subtle distinction but one which frankly means a lot to me and clears up a lot of confusion I've had this season; it's still our dark curse, but there can be other ones out there) -- that will send the child destined to destroy him far away, to a land without magic. Ooooohhhhhh.

Only it won't just do that, it will send every child away, and since fairies are supposed to protect children, Tiger Lily can't have that. They fight, and Fiona takes her heart, which I guess when you're a fairy turns you dark on the spot. They realize the evil born the same winter as Rumple that will destroy the Savior isn't a baby, it's Fiona, and it just happened. Oopsie!

How does this explain Rumple's name?

All of this sort of explains how Rumple's dad became a drunk who resented and abused him. He doesn't get the details of the whole evil fairy banishment thing, just that there was an accident while his beloved wife was trying to protect the still unnamed child who was meant to bring light to their house but...not so much. "I know a perfect name," he says, calling him the German word for "little rattle post." Sure, why not?

When did the Black Fairy and Gideon replace Snow and David?

When the gang revives Mother Superior at Gold's shop, it turns out Snow and David are actually the Black Fairy and Gideon in disguise. When did that happen? I certainly don't care enough to go back to the last episode and check, but it seems awfully convenient.

Who's still publishing the Storybrooke newspaper?

Gold goes all Angry Darth Vader on one of those newspaper vending boxes on the street, which just really made me wonder -- not for the first time -- what the economy of Storybrooke is like. Who's reporting this thing and why are they bothering? What sort of news is in there? Is there a website? Do they know Trump is president?

How do they have Ikea in Storybrooke?

As I've said before, I've given up on trying to make sense of which protection spells are in place where, and there was talk this week of Zelena running away to New York if the Final Battle goes south, so I clearly missed something about them being able to leave town now. But while "I've been sadly defeated by Sniglar, and if those Swedes can best me, when the Final Battle comes, how am I going to protect my daughter?" is a good joke for a magic-less Zelena, where the hell did she get an Ikea crib? The nearest Ikea is in Massachusetts. Yes I looked it up, shut up. (Sniglar is real, though.)

Why did Regina think it was a good idea to teach Zelena to drive stick?

So, Ikea aside, Zelena has to learn how to function without magic, and that includes maybe having to escape Storybrooke with Robin and Henry when the Final Battle comes. She's touched that Regina would trust her with Henry, and Regina says she's actually trusting Henry with her. It's actually pretty cute and I'm glad they seem to truly be done with these two fighting and letting Zelena be mostly okay with her choice last week. What makes no sense is why Regina would teach Zelena to drive using a vintage stick-shift car (other than to make a broomstick joke). The scene doesn't go on for very long, but it's too long. You just had a conversation about how light switches were a difficult adjustment after losing your magic. Find an automatic!

The bit does pay off when Regina and the Black Fairy are about to have an epic showdown on Main Street but instead Zelena runs the Black Fairy over.

Is finding out why you were abandoned really the most terrifying thing that could happen to Rumple?

To be more specific: "No curse, no monster is ever going to be as terrifying as finding out why you were abandoned." Really? Look, I've never been abandoned by a parent, at least not on purpose, and I don't want to offend anyone who has been, but I would think the abandonment itself would be the worst part? Plus, Emma herself found out why her parents shoved her in a magical wardrobe and they had a pretty good reason for it and she's fine. And Henry is...the worst, but not because Emma gave him up and certainly not because he found out why!

Can you keep your bloomers on for one second, Belle?

Belle finds out that Gold was meant to be a Savior and I swear to god they may as well have put in a "sploosh" sound effect. "I always knew there was a good man inside the Beast!" Yeah, until he was three months old and then his mom cut his fate and then he wound up evil. Get a grip!

Why would you meet to discuss your evil plans out in the open?

Now that he knows the whole story, Gold confronts his mother about the "dark, endless wheel" that is their family. He did basically the same thing she did when he became the Dark One to save Balefire, and tried to sever Gideon's fate but was stopped. She claims she did it all for him, but he notes that she could have given up her power and let him be the Savior, not taken his away to keep hers. Then he comes home and tells everyone she's dead, and returns Gideon's heart. But of course she's not dead, or it would have happened on screen, and they later meet on a street somewhere to plot to kill Emma at her wedding, which they needed everyone to feel safe enough to go ahead with. They both just really enjoy being evil, which I totally respect, but maybe do it in private?

How does Killian not have any appropriate friends?

What happened to Smee? Is there a bartender somewhere? Because he asks Henry to be his best man. Henry. Who is the worst. And also the son of the bride. Sure, that's not awkward at all.

Next week: Musical wedding!

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