“Labor of Love” *****stars Aired 3/13/16
Directed by Billy Gierhart
Written by Andrew Chambliss & Dana Horgan
*spoilers contained within*
Hello dearies! Since the second half of Once Upon a Time started, Emma Swann (Jennifer Morrison) and the others are currently in the Underworld looking for Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) where they encounter many old faces and some new ones. In this episode, we see a bloody, beaten Hook trying to escape when he meets a young girl. They try to help each other but the Underworld is guarded by the three-headed dog monster Cerberus. Hook tells the girl to run, allowing her to escape as he distracts the beast. She is later found by Emma and Regina (Lana Parilla) who get her to safety in the underworld equivalent of David’s (Josh Dallas) and Mary Margaret’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) apartment. Regina says she has maps of Storybrooke in her office which could help them find Hook. Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) and Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) go for the maps while the ladies continue to search for Hook. David and Mary Margaret search the graveyard for more souls with unfinished business. She finds most of the graves are people from her kingdom, including Hercules (Jonathan Whitesell). Mary Margaret offers to help Hercules finish what he started so his soul may be released.
I like how Once Upon a Time is expanding its character line as we saw this episode dedicated to Hercules and his story. The story arc of him meeting a young Snow White (Bailee Madison) was a nice touch and lightened up a dark plot even for just this one episode. He teaches her how to stand up for herself and fight for the people of her kingdom, especially when it came to Dead-Eye (Teach Grant) and his band of thugs. When Mary Margaret discovers he is a dock worker in the underworld, she volunteers to help him defeat Cerberus, his final task he never got to complete on Earth. when the task is completed, Hercules, Mary Margaret and the others meet at underworld Granny’s, run by the blind witch (Emma Caulfield). It turns out the girl who Emma and Regina found escaping Cerberus was Megara (Kacey Rohl), who Hercules would fall in love with. We even got to see a glimpse of Hades (Greg Germann) who forces Hook to carve a gravestones for the gang. When a soul is freed, one of them of Hook’s choosing will die and remain in the underworld. Cruella De Vil (Victoria Smurfit) even makes a return cameo when she pleads with Henry to free her soul and tells him the author withheld secrets about the book and the quill pen.
When news broke last week that Once Upon a Time was renewed for a sixth season, I was not surprised. It is such a great show with great stories and characters from our childhoods and Disney movies. The beauty of Once Upon a Time is that it takes us away from our world for that one hour and brings us into a world of magic and wonder. It shows us we’re never too old to believe in magic, find true love and teaches that women can use swords and save the day just as well as the men. I wish there was more to know about next season because I want to see what worlds and characters are introduced. I would personally like to see Agrabah and Aladdin. Which characters and worlds would you like to see next season?
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC. Check your local listings.