REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep7 – Heartless

This episode of Once Upon a Time tackles frustratingly familiar territory. In her endless quest for vengeance, the Evil Queen gives Snow White an ultimatum: surrender her heart (and David’s) to the Queen or everyone in Storybrooke will suffer. It’s like we’re all the way back in Season 1 again, but I guess that was always the risk of bringing back the villainess who made that era so iconic. The Queen is all fury and chaos, unable to move on from the slights that are ancient history. And, as fabulous as Lana Parrilla’s performance is, this whole thing is getting tiresome.

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep7 – HeartlessWe have to endure another flashback celebrating the True Love between Snow and Charming, and somehow the writers find another random moment for them to have made a connection even before they met “officially.” It’s not like fiddling with timelines is new to Once Upon a Time, so we tend to just accept whatever is presented to us. It’s just easier that way. 

So there was once a time when Snow was still a bandit on the run and Charming was still a poor shepherd, that the latter rescued the former from a bounty hunter and as a reward, Snow gave David enough money to save his farm.

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep7 – HeartlessBack in Storybrooke, the power couple tries to find a magic sapling (which was conveniently never mentioned by anyone until now, even if it would have been able to solve some of the problems from previous seasons) which grew from True Love (because, of course it did) that could possibly entrap the Evil Queen. They find the magical object but are immediately thwarted by the Evil Queen.

Meanwhile, in an unexpectedly touching scene, Hook gives Emma a pep talk and reminds her of who she is and how strong she should be to face the trials ahead. There’s a slight parallel with Snow’s bandit storyline, where she loses confidence in herself but is reminded that she will never be alone for as long as someone believes in her.

At one point, when Snow says something about her True Love with Charming, the latter remarks: “As if we needed reminding.”

Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep7 – HeartlessAnd I feel the same way. As if any of us needed reminding about the power of True Love between the Charmings. It’s been played out time and time again on the show and really, we don’t need any more of it. But alas, this is our fate, and the Evil Queen inflicts yet another twisted curse on them both. Now, there’s a sleeping curse on their heart so that while one is awake, the other has to be in the curse. They can never be together! (Until they find the way to break this new curse, sometime in the mid-season finale, I’m guessing.) So that’s the dilemma the entire episode led up to, and sadly, there’s no sign of Aladdin or Jasmine. I miss them.

And can the whole Rumple-Evil Queen subplot just disappear, please. It’s unnerving and uncomfortable to watch. And it’s wrong on so many levels (especially considering Rumple’s connection to Cora.) Zelena’s jealousy doesn’t help and Belle’s suffering really does not need to be augmented.

There was a pretty good scene with Belle telling Rumple off about being too weak to be good. Honestly, Rumple’s backtracked so much even after the progress he made in previous seasons. Once Upon a Time is going to have to work extra hard to make his redemption arc possible at this point.