“Once Upon a Time” recap (5.16): Bicycles, babies, and Belle, oh my!


Once upon a time on Once Upon a Time, everything was silly and fun and happy. But then we took a wrong turn at Neverland and have been in a downward spiral ever since. There have been bright spots, sure—Elsa being the adorable badass she was always meant to be, Mulan joining forces with Merida and Ruby, etc—but now we’re in some kind of aggressively heterosexual hell where everyone who used to be awesome is boring and the worst of the storylines are being repeated.

But we just have to hang in there for a few more episodes, then we’ll have Mulan back, and officially know whether we’re soldiering on or riding off into the sunset with our wonderful queer warrior.

Okay, let’s dive in.

We begin with a flashback in the Land of Oz where Zelena is torturing the Scarecrow and threatening to take his brain for her time travel spell. Before she can lobotomize the straw man, Dorothy Gale struts in, eyes fierce with determination.

OUAT 516-1Careful Dorothy, they might strip you of your independence if you don’t watch your back.

She heard that Zelena didn’t die when she melted her all those years ago, and has returned to save Oz again. Her and Toto save the Scarecrow and storm off, much to Zelena’s dismay.

In present day Storybrooke, Belle visits babies and for a good long time I legitimately thought she was just working at the local orphanage. It wasn’t until the Blue Fairy turned out to be

Zelena in disguise that I remembered that Zelena’s baby and the Charming infant were still characters on this show.

Anyway, Zelena tries to steal her baby back, but Belle protects the little girl. They tussle over the baby when a portal Gold made for Hades opens up. Belle snatches the baby and falls in, and Zelena dives in after them.

When they get there, Belle is confused, but Zelena recognizes the annoying lighting and knows they’re in the Underworld. Belle assumes Rumple has finally decided to let her help in this mission and Zelena assumes Hades wanted to see her. Both of them are wrong, he just wants to nibble on baby bones.

OUAT 516-2 “Seriously, no one looks good in this filter.”

Zelena begs Belle to give her her baby back, but she’s injured so she can’t chase after Belle when she says she’ll never trust the Wicked Witch and runs off.

In Flashback Oz, Zelena tries to get the munchkins to tell her where Dorothy took the Scarecrow when Hdes interrupts. He knows she’s trying to time travel and he wants in. He says he can help her, but Zelena doesn’t need anyone’s help.

They hear a knock and are surprised to see Zelena at the door. Regina gets excited because she thinks it means her sister is dead, but Zelena says that, despite them making a big freaking deal about it a few episodes ago, it’s actually quite easy to come to the Underworld and stay alive. She doesn’t have time to point out all the flaws in the plot of this show, though (eternity would be too short) and besides, her baby is in danger.

OUAT 516-3“You mean, the baby you raped Robin Hood to get?”

Flashback Hades brings Zelena a cupcake and some exposition: True love’s kiss can restart his heart and get him out of the Underworld for good, but since that seems unlikely, he would like to go back in time and trade places with Zeus.

Belle carries the baby around the Underworld and, in a classic Belle move, heads right for the library. But it’s not a library down here, it’s just the lobby to Hades’s lair. Gold is there, so they talk it out, and Belle learns that Gold opened the portal to steal Zelena’s baby, that Hades forced him to help because Belle is pregnant and Rumple swore away her baby, and that Gold is still the Dark One.  

He’s not even a little bit sorry about all of it, saying that he’s both the man and beast and always has been, but she is feeling very nope nope nope about the whole situation. Gold says they can be a happy family if she just chooses it, but Belle says she’s not choosing anything until he cleans up his mess.

OUAT 516-4 I don’t know how this isn’t just always her face when she looks at him.

Robin Hood, Regina, and Zelena make their way through the woods to look for the thus unnamed child, and Zelena gives Robin Hood a hard time for abandoning their kid to go on a dangerous mission to save a pirate he barely knows.

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