1. Rumple is again under the control of a villain. Can he escape this time? Should he? Is his second-born truly fated to belong to Hades?
Teresa: Yikes! Rumple is back in Groundhog Day! I guess I'm not surprised about that. Lol, after two years of this template it's become Certain as the Sun Rising in the East. I'm sure he'll escape and perhaps the cycle will be broken this time because I can't see the writers again dooming a baby and delivering another Rumple regression. There has to be some variation and a light at the end of the tunnel. And is it wrong that I was kinda, "Sucks to be you, Milah", and found her fate amusing? She sure dies a lot at Rumple's hands!
Amy: OY-VEY, Rumple.... sigh. I feel like he truly screwed the pooch on this one. While it would be incredible sad, I wonder if Once would dare go dark enough to make this child a twist on Persephone where it has to spend half the year in the Underworld, half the year in Storybrooke. The ultimate custody agreement if you will! I know that he was desperate...again...but burning the boat for Hades, shoving Milah into the river (she kinda deserved it, let's face it), was probably a bad choice on his end.
Joanne: I liked how Hades first referred to him as a rival. Is Hades threatened by Rumple? Mr. Gold will find a loophole, no doubt. I don't think that he could bear losing another child or facing Belle, if he did. Give him time and he will figure out a solution.
Francesca: Knowing Rumple I know he will escape. He is in fact the Dark One times ten! He is more clever than Hades and will trick him, I hope!
2. We learned more about how responsible Spinner Rumple was for driving Milah away into the arms of Hook. Thoughts on the near-sighted Pre-Dark One Rumple bargaining away an unborn child?
Amy: In the original Rumplestiltskin stories, he was the one making deals in order to get people's babies. I rather LOVE this dark twist that now has him on the other end of that deal. Not the best decision, but as we have seen before, Rumple makes poor choices when he is a desperate soul.
Joanne: What was he thinking?! He gave Milah good cause to leave him. No wonder she was so unhappy with him. I do love the twist of him later dealing the babies himself and going back to The Healer to use a loophole to negate his contract just as he was thinking he was going to have a child with Cora. Everything came full circle for him and punched him in the face.
Francesca: I think that Pre-Dark Rumple had so much love for Bae that he did what he thought was the best way to save his son. I don't think he thought Milah was going to leave him for denying her more children. She was weaker than Rumple and I feel she did not care for or love Bae as much as he. If so, she would have never abandoned her son.
Teresa: Maybe he wasn't worried about the deal because it's likely he and Milah hadn't had conjugal relations since Bae was conceived? In the flashback, before Bae was bitten, Milah came across as being in a "not tonight dear, I have a headache" state of mind. That said, totally near-sighted and dumb on Spinner Rumple's part. Dude should have read Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus. I can see how Hook was quite the appealing alternative. The scene when he and Milah met was smoldering!
3. Did Regina get her magic back once she knew Daniel was ok, or was it because Hades had chosen her to stay? Why would he want her to stay, when he had tried so hard to get ride of her last week?
Joanne: I think Regina's magic is tied to her emotions. She hadn't been able to use her magic because she felt the weight of responsibility for sending so many people to the Underworld. She was worried about the people she had hurt and lost along the way like her father and Daniel. She was briefly able to have Daniel back when he was resurrected by Dr. Frankenstein, but had to release him from life again. I think once she knew that Daniel was ok and had moved on, she was able to start to feel more confident and use magic again. I liked that she was able to heal the horse which to me was a symbol of her love for Daniel.
Hades first wanted them to leave because he didn't want to lose any of the souls he had in the Underworld. He then realized that Regina, Snow and Emma could keep many souls from coming to his world because of their power and unfailing hope.
Francesca: I think Regina got her magic back when she healed the horse. And now she has confidence to use her magic to save them all and go back to Storybrooke.
Teresa: Not entirely sure. Hades (and the writers!) like to make things not always seem what they seem. But it did appear to me that it was the catharsis of seeing Daniel's Happy Ending that triggered the return of Regina's magic. These scenes were simply beautiful. My StableQueen and Season One feels were operating at 100%. Snow helping her find the grave was icing on the cake.
Amy: I think she was held back by guilt and sadness. Once she knew her father and Daniel were okay, I believe she re-gained that faith in herself. I think Hades chose the trinity of power there in his tombstone choices. Three generations of powerful women. I think he feels that by removing them from the equation of people who can go back, somehow he will take their hope and therefore their power.
4. Hades revealed his trump card: at any time if he feels he's losing, he can just kill them all. How do you think our Storybrooke residents can escape?
Francesca: They will need Rumple's help to get back, by helping Regina get both Emma and Hook's heart.
Teresa: I believe (most?) Storybrooke residents will escape, but Hades' threat to just kill everyone brought home that, for now, he has the upper hand. I think he's held back killing them all immediately because he's having too much fun messing with them. He's now basically switched roles with Imp Rumple. Like the latter it will probably prove his downfall, but I'm fine with whatever comes because I currently love Hades more than Cruella loves gin. I feel it will continue to be an awesome ride every moment of the way.
Amy: I feel like Hope is going to play into this. Family as well. Those seem to really be the themes at the heart of the stories right now. I think the Hopeful Three (Snow, Emma and Regina) are going to join together and defeat Hades. Grandma, Step-daughter and daughter.... how freaking AWESOME.
Joanne: Hades seems to fear Hope. Can he actually kill them? Is that in his power? He might be able to toss them in the River of Lost Souls or banish them to Tartarus. But he doesnt' seem to like to get his hands dirty himself. He always has someone else doing his dirty work. I think our heroes will be able to join forces to defeat him. Maybe the more souls he loses, the weaker he becomes. I wish that it would be Rumple who would cause his downfall, but more than likely it with be Emma or Regina. Once he is gone, I'm sure that Rumple, Regina or Emma can get them back with magic.
5. Favorite Moment
Francesca: I loved the scene between Rumple and Milah in the boat, and that she really was sorry for not being there for her son and wanting to see him and make amends. This was the most touching scene of this episode!
Teresa: My favorite too. Milah's unfinished business was Bae! Gosh I have missed him and what he means to the characters. I am a bit grumpy that the moment was negated by Rumple dumping his ex in the River of Lost Souls, but the incurable optimist in me is hoping it wasn't quite so final. Just as Dead is not Dead anymore, I think Lost Soul won't be Lost Soul either. Good does always win eventually. I wouldn't be surprised if Milah sees Bae again.
Amy: The nod to the fates eyeball in Disney's Hercules was awesome. The Milah/Emma intro was pretty damn funny too.
Joanne: Gold's introduction of Emma to his ex-wife, Milah. So very AWKWARD!
6. Favorite Quotes
Teresa: So many! If I had to choose, it would be Hades telling Hook to keep all arms and "hand" inside the boat. I laughed so hard it hurt.
Amy: "Like my coat? Its Doe skin. I'm not saying its Bambi's iconic mother...but I'm also not saying its not." - Cruella
Joanne, Francesca: "So you've been with my former lover and my son. - Milah
7. Anything Else?
Amy: I really like all the mythology pieces in this. I also love the nod to Dante's Inferno with the quote above the river stating "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." I absolutely adore the Regina and Snow dynamic. Great to see them together. Finally, The Healer had the Atlantean markings on his face like the Atlantis inhabitants in the Disney movie, which I find interesting and expect to see come up in the future.
Joanne: I really enjoyed seeing three aspects of Rumple in one episode: Spinner Rumple, Dark One, and Mr. Gold. I also enjoyed how they are tying things back to Season One and are still revealing things we don't know about the core characters.
Francesca: I really like seeing how charming Hook was to Milah on their first meeting in the tavern. And how she fell for him! But it just showed how truly weak she was because in the end she left Rumple and her son to be with Hook.
Teresa: As always, I was blown away by the masterful acting by Robert Carlyle. He made me feel every single emotion his character experienced. And a shout-out to Preggo Belle eating pancakes in the crystal ball! Girl loves her food and pregnancy must have the cravings on steroids! Also, I am thrilled that 5b is just nailing it so far, focusing on the strengths of the core cast and characters. It is a delight!