REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S6 Ep19 – The Black Fairy

Once Upon a Time

This week on Once Upon a Time, we explore the origins of the Black Fairy and Emma and Rumple learn even more about how Rumpelstiltskin turned out to be the way he is. Meanwhile, Regina tries to help Zelena adjust to life without magic.

Rumpelstiltskin and his messed up family get a lot of screen time in this episode and though Rumple is one of my favorites and admittedly one of the show’s most fascinating characters, I still felt that we treaded on a lot of familiar territory. So many tired themes were re-examined such as “evil is made, not born” and “parents will do anything to protect their children.” All these concepts get less and less compelling the more Once Upon a Time reiterates them.

Once Upon a TimeI think anyone who has been watching this show for the past six seasons already knows that every character’s origin story (whether hero or villain) is rooted in parental abandonment in one form or another. The Black Fairy used to be a loving mother who wanted only to protect her son, but a prophecy (tricky things, these prophecies) warns that he will die fighting a great evil. So the final battle and the death of the Savior really referred to him facing his mother and not Emma, after all.

Granted, it was an interesting twist that Rumple was originally supposed to be the Savior until his mother used the shears of destiny to change everything. Not that this in any way justifies all the terrible things he has done since then (and continues to do, sadly).

It was great to see more of the fairies, particularly Tiger Lily, as Rumple’s original fairy godmother. Strange that she hadn’t gotten involved in the story and the lives of the other characters, considering her significant role in Rumple’s upbringing, but let’s not over-think anything.

So the Black Fairy was corrupted by her desire for power and though such a trait isn’t necessarily genetic, Rumple followed in her footsteps. Rumple even points out that their family seemed to be doomed to follow the same vicious cycle, clinging to the power of dark magic with the excuse of protecting their loved ones no matter who else got hurt.

Once Upon a Time

Good luck explaining your latest betrayal to them when they find out.

And for a while, Rumple seemed reflective and truly reformed, after all he had gone through in the past seasons. And…then he went back and perpetuated that evil cycle by lying to everyone and siding with the Black Fairy (sigh). Once a Dark One, always a Dark One, it seems. When will the writers let Rumple stop deceiving everyone. The road to redemption gets more and more complicated as time goes by.

On a lighter note, Regina tried to help Zelena get used to living without her magic which led to some fun lines (like how switching on lights manually was barbaric), and an awkward scene with Regina teaching Zelena how to drive. This turned out pretty useful later on, when the latter ran over the Black Fairy in the middle of a decisive duel. I’m glad to see that the sisters’ relationship survived the latest hurdle and that they seem to be getting along a lot better than before.

Since the heroes are too trusting and gullible (seriously, haven’t they learned by now that Rumple isn’t to be trusted?), they stop worrying about impending doom and start preparing for Emma and Hook’s big day.

Check out the preview for next week’s special, musical episode of Once Upon a Time: