We Review Once Upon a Time SN06 EP19 – ‘The Black Fairy’

“That’s the problem with saviours, isn’t it? Never quite as helpful as advertised.” Oh, Rumple (Robert Carlyle). If he only he knew how much that little dig at Emma (Jennifer Morrison) would bite him on the arse later in this episode. Kudos to the Once Upon a Time creators too, as I can’t imagine that anybody saw this week’s massive revelation coming. In fact, it’s such a biggie that I’m not even going to bother with a chronological build-up to it. Rumple was meant to be the Saviour! That’s the same Rumple who’s been the Dark One for the duration, aside from that time when the Dark Swan and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) did a bit of holiday cover.

While you’re all pulling your jaws off the floor, let’s recap exactly how this episode brought us to that shocker. Of course, it all started back when the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray), who at one time was called Fiona and wasn’t a fairy at all, gave birth to Rumple. Her joy was short lived, as the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) and Tiger-Lily (Sara Tomko) immediately showed up with the news that he was destined to be a hero. Rumple possessed an insane amount of light magic and would protect hundreds from a great evil. Unfortunately, as Fiona discovered, he would die in doing so.

Being an avid reader of fairy lore and prophecies and on a one-woman mission to protect Rumple, Fiona nabbed Tiger-Lily’s wand and turned herself into a fairy, although not the one we’ve become used to in recent weeks; that transformation would occur later. She was obviously on a dark path, refusing to concentrate on bringing Rumple up and letting Tiger-Lily (his fairy godmother) protect him and do the dangerous work that ‘no mere human could’.

Fiona holds baby Rumple


Fairy Fiona and Tiger-Lily spent months tracking down all the other babies born in the same winter as Rumple and checking them for a crescent-shaped mark, which would confirm their identity as the evil being who would ultimately destroy him. None of them did, which led Fiona to grow increasingly agitated and obsessed and start looking at more dubious ways to undo Rumple’s destiny. The Dark Curse was hinted at – this time, to banish all the other children to a world without magic, which Tiger-Lily was having no part of.  Ever (un)reasonable, Fiona yanked out Tiger-Lily’s heart and prepared to crush it, completing her metamorphosis into the Black Fairy and realising that she was the great evil that Rumple would face. They were destined to destroy one another (the crescent having appeared on her wrist after a warning shot from Tiger-Lily’s wand).

Rumple, Emma and Gideon watch Fiona and Tiger Lily

We saw much of this in the dream realm, where Rumple had taken Emma and Gideon (Giles Matthey) using the Sands of Morpheus, as a sidestep to the Black Fairy’s control over his son. In the dream world, Gideon could speak freely and tell his dad where his heart was hidden. All three came out of ‘nap time’, as Regina (Lana Parrilla) referred to it, still clueless on the heart but confident that Rumple needed to wipe the floor with his terrible mother. Side note: one thing that did vex me in this sequence was that Emma was wearing a beanie hat throughout most of the dream, but didn’t have it on when she fell asleep or woke up… why was Rumple dreaming up random knitwear and is it actually cold when it’s not real?

Blissfully unaware all this was going on, the Black Fairy was desperate to find the missing section of wand in Storybrook. She even resorted to shape-shifting, pretending to be Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and almost throttling Blue, before kidnapping her and threatening to torture the wand’s location out of her. Thankfully the Charmings, Hook and Regina were on the ball and found the wand at the ‘heart of Storybrook’, Granny’s, under the jukebox to be specific. The Black Fairy and Regina then geared up for a showdown in the street, which was brilliantly interrupted by Zelena (Rebecca Mader) ploughing into her sister’s opponent with her weird green station wagon – a gift from Regina, to get baby Robin and Henry (Jared Gilmore) to safety when the Final Battle started. The (formerly) wicked witch drives and builds furniture almost as well as me and her time on screen this week was a pleasure and a real relief with all the drama that was playing out in Rumple’s dream. Describing turning lights on using switches as ‘barbaric and exhausting’ was a particular favourite.

Zelena celebrating her Black Fairy hit

Unsurprisingly there was more to come with Rumple and the Black Fairy, much of which suggested that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree with the Dark One. Ultimately, the Black Fairy was given the option to use the magic shears we’ve seen Rumple and Regina use previously to sever her own fate and save her son, but she couldn’t bring herself to give up her powers (all very familiar, think Rumple and Baelfire in Episode 13). Instead, she used them on Rumple, meaning that she was to blame for his ‘life of cowardice’ and descent into the darkness, and getting herself banished in the process. Her argument that she did it all out of love didn’t wash with Rumple, although he was less annoyed than I thought he might by all this and seemed more interested in the safety of Gideon and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) than ending the Black Fairy. This might explain all the questions that now need to be answered in the season finale.

Y’see, Rumple took the wand with the intention of using it, then presented the Charmings with a lump of coal-type stuff that was supposedly the Black Fairy’s heart, but we didn’t actually see it happen. They all believe she’s dead and are back in wedding mode, but he was pulling a fast one. The Black Fairy is very much alive and kicking and under the impression that Rumple’s on her side. Oh, and that Emma is going to die tomorrow (well, next week in our realm). Rumple did get Gideon’s heart back so I’m pretty certain he’s either pulling an epic double bluff in true Dark One style, or he’s made a deal with his mum for the safety of his family, which may or may not include swapping his heart for his son’s.

Rumple and the Charmings in Granny's

Sadly we won’t find out exactly what’s going on until after next week’s musical episode but at least we’ll get to see Emma and Hook get their ‘happy ending’, simultaneously breaking the hearts of millions of female Oncers who’d be more than happy to give Hook one of those themselves *shifty eyes*. Henry’s agreed to be best man and everyone’s going to be singing and dancing and all that jazz, and I have no idea what to expect other than what’s in the preview below. Can’t wait to see how social media reacts and I might even sing my review of Episode 20 ‘The Song in Your Heart’ with a guitar accompaniment… or not. See you next time!


The Good
  • Zelena's hilarious 1st world problems (Ikea flat packs, driving, electricity)
  • Robert Carlyle proving once again that he's basically the best actor ever
  • Seeing a bit more of Tiger-Lily
  • Sheer edge of seat drama and a musical score that matched it perfectly.
The Bad
  • It's really hard to think of anything bad this week, although for whatever reason pre-BF Fiona reminded me of Nigella Lawson, which was a bit off-putting. Maybe if she'd made a nice chocolate pavlova, we wouldn't be in this mess!
5 Essential

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