Episode Summary: In flashbacks, we learn that Beowulf actually existed during the Ogre Wars and Rumplestilskin killed him. Oh, but he didn’t do it out of a free will, Baelfire commanded him to. (The kid who presumably hated magic.) Robin teams up with Zelena in order to leave Storybrooke, and Regina comes to the realization that she should’ve never split herself from the Evil Queen. Rumple darkens his soul for Gideon. Emma finds the ring, and Killian pops the question with a giant secret hanging over their head.
Review | Analysis: Every once in a while it’s safe to expect that we’ll come across an episode in our favorite show that’ll make us angry cry. And “Ill-Boding Patterns” was that episode for me — if I weren’t reviewing the show, I might’ve skipped it to save myself from witnessing the hottest mess in Once Upon A Time history. Perhaps, the most unfortunate aspect is the fact that the episode was set up to tell a riveting story, and it could have succeeded if it chose to respect its characters a little bit. It could’ve succeeded if the easy route wasn’t taken. Now while “Ill-Boding Patterns” is probably my least favorite episode to date, it wasn’t without great moments and it finally addressed something I’d been hoping for.
The series has often done a remarkable job with father/son relationships, but the character assassination that took place with Bae was an unpleasant blow. Neal may not have been a favorite character, but Bae’s courage as a boy fervently against magic is something I’ve always appreciated. And to state that he changed his mind after everything they’ve been through made very little sense. I suppose it’s possible for him to momentarily want it due to the way Beowulf mocked Rumple, but because this isn’t the first time it’s happened, it doesn’t add up.
Now although the flashbacks took me off course for a bit, I surprisingly appreciated Rumple’s screen time with Gideon. And Giles Matthey broke my heart when he spoke of how much he regretted standing back as the Black Fairy tortured another soul in front of him as a means of turning his heart evil. There is so much of Belle in him that I desperately wish she was standing by him at that moment, too. There’s so much of Belle in him that there’s hope he could make the right choice. Rumple has fallen to temptation too many times to have hope at this point, but because we can be certain he’ll do everything in his power to make sure another son’s life isn’t tarnished by darkness, this storyline’s becoming something I’m fascinated by. I want him to succeed in order to once and for all prove that he could change, but I also really enjoy the work Robert Carlyle does as a villain. Do you see my struggle?
“Ill-Broding Patterns” could’ve taken a different route to show us how characters learn from their pasts, but instead it did the exact opposite with Killian. And that’s essentially the part that’s frustrating me because I’m tired of having to watch the same dramatic plot over and over again. I genuinely do wonder if writers are under the impression that fans will somehow stop watching if heavens forbid things are calm for a moment. Is that a thing that goes on in a writer’s room? Do they think we’ll abandon ship if they don’t give us thrilling drama every second? Because it’s the exact opposite, and a proposal of all moments, deserved peace. This isn’t Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End, okay? (That actually made more sense and I loved that proposal to bits.) But the former is especially true for two people who’ve been through more than any human deserves in their lives.
To be honest my dear readers, it’s not easy writing about this because, for the first time in a long time, I’m disappointed in the show in a way I’ve never been. Generally, I could look at the positive side of things, but this isn’t an instance where I can do that. Unfortunately, I’m not Chris Traeger. And right now, I literally feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest and stomped on. I’m also easily impressed. And that’s kind of the thing that’s upsetting me. When it comes to proposals, I’m always a WRECK. I even cried during Ellie and Awesome’s proposal in Chuck and we don’t even hear any dialogue. That’s how easily you can tug on my heartstrings with a proposal.
I wasn’t expecting a grand, romantic proposal in the Jolly Roger lit up with candles and a nice dinner set up under the moon. (That would’ve been adorable though.) I wasn’t expecting anything. The only thing I was hoping for is that at this moment when two lost souls finally choose to embark on a gorgeous journey towards forever, as Emma states, there’d be no secrets, no walls, no lies — just them. That’s literally it. I didn’t sign up for our hero to drunkenly proposes while keeping an enormous secret concerning his future wife’s father. If I just stare at “gifs” of them without knowing Killian’s secret, I’d be a sobbing wreck because MY FAVORITE TV COUPLE IS ENGAGED! But I can’t do that because I know what’s overshadowing that moment. And the only way I can see myself resorting to a puddle of happy tears that leads to pages of happy analysis is through a second proposal after the truth’s revealed.
Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison are too good as scene partners not to give them gorgeous material and sincere words to work with. They’d even tell the most beautiful story in silence. They’ve got such an innate, immaculate grasp on these characters that they’d be able to showcase immense adoration in the smallest, briefest of moments. And they did that, but the secret, plainly, simply ruined it. It’s even more upsetting because Killian discussed it with Archie which proved just how much he’s changed. It’s unfair to the character. It’s unfair to the couple. To bring the episode full circle, he should’ve told the truth before proposing. I understand that TV shows are meant to keep us engaged until the next episode, but they could do so without such cliffhangers. After a while, they become more cliché than happy endings.
What caught me by surprise this week and ended up being my favorite moment in the entire episode was Regina declaring that she and the Evil Queen are one. I’ve been waiting for that moment since the split at the end of season five, and I’m thrilled beyond words that she finally understands they’re one. Contrary to what the Evil Queen believes, they aren’t doppelgangers, they’re one. And with Regina accepting that, I’m excited to see the final battle with the Evil Queen next week. I’m also excited to see what’ll happen to Robin because I love the way Regina’s handling things so far.
- Zelena’s hair and makeup are always on point!
- I was so impressed with Giles Matthey this week and I’m looking forward to seeing him do a lot more as the season progresses and he learns how to defeat the Black Fairy without harming Emma, himself, or anyone else.
- It broke my heart to see Regina’s scenes with Robin this week, but I was so glad to see that they weren’t handled with anger or frustration but rather with patience and kindness.
- The scene with the Evil Queen attacking Robin as a snake made me cringe so hard because they’re the scariest animals to me.
- Jennifer Morrison’s performance as Emma tried to help Killian say what he wanted to say was such an adorable display of how far Emma’s come in her journey. There truly are no walls for her, but pure elation even in the face of the darkest moments in her life.
- I don’t remember Beowulf being such an arrogant prick in the novels, but then again, I was more of a Hamlet girl so that story is a huge blur.
- Sean Maguire is doing an excellent job with this version of Robin, and I’m loving it so much.