Once Upon A Time 6×18 “Where Bluebirds Fly” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Episode Summary:  In flashbacks, we’re introduced to the Tin Man and the Lion allowing us to understand that when Zelena had the opportunity to keep a friend safe, she turned it down believing her magic was more important. In present-day Storybrooke, when the Black Fairy gets one step ahead of the heroes, Zelena’s sacrifice helps them out.

Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time has continuously reiterated the fact that strength isn’t power but rather bravery and selflessness. Through its intricate characters and their gorgeous arcs, it reminded us of the fact that strength is never to be measured by magical abilities or carelessness, but rather by love and courage. And “Where Bluebirds Fly” reminded us of this detail through Zelena’s character allowing Rebecca Mader to shine wonderfully.

Zelena’s an incredibly fascinating character, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually care for her when she was first introduced because while she was fun to watch as a villain, I didn’t feel any sort of emotional attachment to her. However, that all changed when Mader began showing bits and pieces of her heart that revealed there’s more to Zelena than envy. And tonight’s episode allowed her character to come full circle beautifully. I can’t believe Zelena gave up her powers. And I mean, I’m legitimately dumbfounded. But wholeheartedly impressed. Wicked has indeed won by choosing to put others before her need to continuously succeed.

I’ve been wanting to see Regina and Zelena team up once more after “Sisters,” and I appreciated the fact that we got an episode once more. While I couldn’t stand to watch Regina bring her down, I loved the fact that when Zelena thought about it, she truly enjoyed her time in Storybrooke. And because she couldn’t make the same sacrifices for her Tin Man, (I’m just going to keep calling him this because it’s a nice homage to Oz.) she’d learned her lesson. This is a lesson I’m so thrilled she learned because it’ll be a lot of fun to watch Zelena interact with people in Storybrooke without them fearing for their lives. It’ll be interesting to see her as a magic-less mother. An ordinary Storybrooke citizen who’s proven that her heart isn’t in fact all green.

It was interesting to see that when asked how she felt after her sacrifice, her response was weak. And for Regina of all people to say that she’s never looked stronger was something I didn’t know I needed. Is it possible for all of them to give up magic once the series ends because that’ll be a twist I’d love to watch. These presumably all-powerful women learn that it isn’t fireballs that make them strong, but rather their newfound ability to love and put others above themselves. And that scene, beautifully executed by both Mader and Parrilla is now on my list of favorites for the sisters.

It was also sweet of Emma to be there because while her life is the one that’s in greatest danger, we know that her forgiveness, along with her family, towards the world, is what’s influenced great change in villains. But the interesting thing is that the women that stand before us today are women who’ve showcased that their bravery doesn’t come from magic, but rather love. And this is a lesson Once Upon A Time delivers best setting an example for young girls everywhere that true strength comes from choosing to do the things that are incredibly hard for us. Zelena’s magic defined her. She’s expressed time and time again that it’s the one thing she feels gives her an identity and to sacrifice it completely in order to save her family was unexpected, poignant, and profound.

To add a bit of light to the darkness surrounding the final battle, Snow’s taken it upon herself to be the Leslie Knope of Once Upon A Time and focus on wedding planning. And she comes fully prepared with a binder! I’m beyond thrilled we’re getting little moments like this because I was afraid that the wedding would happen too quickly without enough little planning scenes like this. And it’s so clear to tell that Ginnifer Goodwin is having an absolute ball with this process. Did anyone else’s heart jump a little when Snow said that she’s missed out on so many milestones, and she doesn’t want this one to be one of them? This hug felt like something straight out of season one in the fault when they were just two friends who cared deeply for one another.

I also appreciated the little parallel between Emma walking in on her parents in the process of “making tacos” with Snow walking in on Killian and Emma “making pancakes.” If Once Upon A Time decided to shift gears and turn itself into a comedy, everything would be grand because of the Charming family especially, they deserve this sort of spin-off.

But can we just take a moment to appreciate how fire-crackin’ hot Killian and Emma’s make-out scene was!? And I loved the fact that before it, we were given a brief moment of intimacy with Emma once again expressing that she’s still unable to believe that this is a reality. She still can’t grasp the fact that she’s truly, completely, incandescently happy and ardently in love with Killian.

While I loved the search for venues, and Snow’s description of Granny’s as though the others have never been there before (lol!) what I appreciated most was Charming convincing them of the fact that they deserve a perfectly planned wedding with no interruptions. And the fact that both Emma’s parents came to this conclusion, in the end, was lovely. I’m all for living in the moment, but I also understand Charming wanting to make sure that this one event in Emma’s life is done right. (Which then makes me wonder what forces them to get married prior to the finale?)

Once Upon A Time is a show that emphasizes the importance of living in the moment while choosing the hard path. And sometimes, the hard path means putting our own personal desires aside for the sake of others. But if we’ve learned one thing after six years of this show it’s that often, the hard, heartbreaking choice preludes the best outcome. “Where Bluebirds Fly” was a solid, thrilling episode and what it’s leading up to at this point has become so exciting. There’s strength in giving up what we love most in order to gain a lot more. There’s strength in putting others first. And there’s strength in numbers, no matter what happens, the only person that’ll probably be standing alone will be the Black Fairy.

Worth Mentioning: 

  • I’ve finally gotten a bit invested in the Black Fairy storyline, primarily because I want to know what made her give up on Rumple, but am I the only one hoping she stays a villain? I don’t know if a redemption arc within five episodes will be believable.
  • How sweet is Belle with babies? It’s weird to say but I somehow wish they’d figure out a way to make Gideon small again just so someone would be able to raise their baby.
  • The Once Upon A Time fandom has always been under the impression that the Blue Fairy is hiding a massive secret making her incredibly shady and a part of me now wishes that it’d be the ultimate twist at the end of the show? But another part doesn’t.

Leave a Reply