We Review the Latest Episode of Once Upon a Time SN06 EP13 – ‘Ill-Boding Patterns’

Before we get onto the important stuff, I’d like to say that Once Upon a Time should never be watched when you’re sleep deprived and functioning on adrenaline and sugar. The show’s creators have shoehorned a lot of character arcs into six marathon seasons, and the continuity team must have the biggest balls ever, to be able to hold it all together. So, when (admittedly, mistakenly) I thought they had messed up the origins of one of the main characters in this episode, I had a bit of a hissy fit. Thankfully, everything soon became as clear as a nice steaming hot cup of tea laced with memory potion.

Yep, Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) was at it again with his dodgy brews. Never accept a drink from this man! On the receiving end, this time was Rumbelle’s petulant offspring, Gideon (Giles Matthey), who was hell bent on killing Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and swanning (ahem) off with her light magic to destroy the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray) AKA his grandmother. Families.

Unlike most of the previous ‘villains’, it’s hard to feel even the slightest hint of empathy for Gideon despite his incarceration and torture at the hand of the Black Fairy. He’s misguided, blinkered, and for all his good intentions and talent with magic, he just lacks the charm of his dearly departed step-brother, Neal (Michael Raymond-James). Also, using the Dark One dagger on his dad is just not cool. He’s a textbook, difficult second child.

Once Upon a Time, Gideon

Gideon ponders Rumple’s plea to do the right thing

Rumple’s mission to convince Gideon not to ‘snuff out the light in his heart’ but to do the right thing, was intertwined beautifully with flashbacks to his relationship with Baelfire (Brandon Spink) in the enchanted forest, set against the backdrop of the first Ogres War. There was a real lump in the throat moment between father and son following an ongoing fight with Beowulf (Torstein Bjørklund) who was determined to prove Rumple was a monster at any cost. Beowulf opened the show wielding the sword that Emma shattered in Episode 11 – the same blade Gideon was now trying to re-forge in Storybrook, with potentially dire consequences for the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy). On the plus side, Belle (Emile de Ravin) and Rumple finally stopped bickering and joined forces.

Once Upon a Time, Rumplestiltskin

Rumple realises Beowulf is up to no good

As partnerships go, it was inevitable that Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and alternate reality Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) would be drawn to each other. Surprisingly their common ground was their desire to leave Storybrook, rather than a shared interest in baby Robin. Regina (Lana Parilla) was a more unlikely ally, offering to help them break the town’s protection spell and escape, as much as it obviously pained her. A failed first attempt to bring down the spell resulted in a return by the Evil Queen, who’s spent the last three episodes as a caged cobra. And it’s just not a party until she arrives, is it? Have got a feeling sparks might fly between Zelena and the Evil Queen, now that Robin is turning on the bad boy charm.

Once Upon a Time, Robin Hood

Robin draws his bow on Regina

If you’re wondering why there’s been no mention of Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) until now, it’s largely because he spent the entire episode drinking rum and soul-searching at Granny’s. This guy has the constitution of, well, a pirate. A whole day (possibly longer, given events) boozing and he didn’t eat his massive burger or fall in a ditch on the way home. Of course, I tease. You all want to know if he popped the question to Emma. YES! Although I have some slight concerns about that relationship given that he wimped out on ’fessing up about his role in her grandfather’s demise and that she had apparently been rummaging through his sea chest (I have no idea) while he was out. Hope Archie (Raphael Sbarge) is up to speed on marital trust issues.

Once Upon a Time, Captain Hook

Something’s troubling Hook as he talks to Emma

This was a nice episode with a couple of surprising insights into the psyche of some of the core characters and the fine line between being perceived as a hero or a monster. It feels like the writers are building up to one heck of a season finale and what this week lacked in real pace or significant development in the current plot, it made up for in warm, cosy moments and sympathy building for Rumple and Regina, who are possibly the most loveable reformed bad guys, ever. But I do sometimes wish Rumple would just sack off Belle, and humanity, and revert to the Dark One of earlier seasons.

And that’s about it. Once Upon a Time airs on ABC at 8/7c on Sundays. We’ll be reviewing the show after its UK Netflix premier on Wednesdays, so I’ll be seeing you then. In the meantime, you can watch a teaser for Episode 14 – ‘Page 23’ below.

The Good
  • Lots of Dark One action, the Evil Queen is back, and the dynamic between Robin Hood and Zelena is great.
The Bad
  • The Gideon story line feels like it's lost a bit of pace and we didn't see anything of the sleeping Charmings.
4 Great

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