Culture of Pop

Review: ‘Once Upon a Time’ S5 E17

960If you think about it nothing REALLY happens mid season on Once Upon a Time. The last few episodes before the season (or half-season) finale is where shit really goes down, and the episodes leading up to it usually comprise of flashbacks and talk of defeating the bad guy. I’m not complaining. After five seasons, I’m well aware that this is how Once Upon a Time works.

This week it was Belle and Gaston who got the flashback treatment. This is where my complaining comes in.

Usually the mention of Gaston has me mentally singing, “no one drinks like Gaston, no one fucks like Gaston…” but Once Upon a Time managed to take even the fun out of this. Hades and Gaston are in my top five most awesome Disney villains, and yet both of them have been turned into lovesick wusses on Once Upon a Time.

The cheese that’s come out of their mouths in the past two weeks is worse than some of the crap that’s come from Snow and David. Plus, they’re the heroes of a fairy tale love story so stuff like that is to be expected with them. Gaston, on the other hand, is not supposed to smile to himself when he thinks of Belle.

In the end it turns out that Gaston is actually an awful person (shocker). While it was interesting to finally see Gaston reveal his true nature to Belle – without apology, which was admittedly much more to character – I felt that my mental image of the vain lady killer that Disney created was already shattered.

In the Underworld a much less mushy version of Gaston awaits (thank God). He’s vowed to get revenge on Rumplestiltskin for killing him – does turning someone into a rose now constitute murder? I don’t know. Meanwhile, Belle has vowed to use her compassion to prove to Rumple that people can change by saving Gaston.

Belle has always been a bit naïve, but it seems that this season she’s just gotten worse. Luckily, Rumple isn’t having any of her shit, and tells her how much of a hypocrite she’s being when she says it’s ok to use magic if it’s to help her. Rumple has a point, who is she to judge where the line is? Sometimes on Once Upon a Time the end justifies the means; for example, throwing your ex fiancé into the River of Lost Souls to save your husband…

In other Underbrook-y news Emma is starting to feel guilty for bringing her whole family to the Underworld only to get trapped there. At which point she brings up a very valid argument: why DID she bring Henry with her? But instead of listening to her guilt and staying away from the cemetery where she has a vision of her mom dying, she recreates the dream. Luckily for us the monster from her dream ends up being Red Riding Hood, unluckily for her it appears that she’s dead – you know, being in the Underworld and all.

The Once Upon a Time gang is still looking for a way to get out of the Underworld, which Red might be able to help with if she’s actually stuck there like them. So far they seem to think that the only way to get out is to defeat Hades. Which brings me to an issue I’ve had since they decided that’s the end game for this season.

How do you defeat a God? You can’t exactly kill him, because he’ll just end up in the Underworld; plus, God is usually synonymous with immortal… Belle thinks the way to defeat Hades is to save everyone (another huge feat in itself) and it seems that Hades feels that hope will be what defeats him. But then that brings me to: what happens when you defeat Hades? Does the Underworld cease to exist? Do they get a new King of the Underworld? I need answers, people!

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