Once Upon a Time Recap: “Our Decay” and “Her Handsome Hero”

So far this season, our heroes and villains have been to Camelot and back. Emma is no longer the Dark One, the title having been reclaimed by Rumple. But Killian is lost to the terrors of the Underworld, and our favorite fairy tale gang is out to save him.

Spoilers ahead, dearies.

“Our Decay”


In Zelena’s past, she is aided by Hades in stealing the Scarecrow’s brain for her time travel spell. The two begin to fall for each other, but Zelena is hesitant to act on her feelings, believing that Hades only wants access to the spell in order to get to his brother Zeus.

In the present-day Underworld, Hades manipulates Mr. Gold into opening a portal to the real Storybrooke. Hades is apparently after Zelena’s unnamed baby, as he needs it for an ingredient in his own time travel spell. The plan backfires when it draws in not only the baby, but Zelena and Belle as well. Zelena attempts to protect her baby, but finds that her magic is too weak. She entrusts the care of her child to Robin and Regina, showing us for the first time that she does possess a heart capable of love and a mother’s selflessness. Hades finds Zelena, but she is adamant that he won’t get his hands on her baby, no matter how much he professes to care for her.

Meanwhile, Belle runs into Mr. Gold and is told that she is pregnant with their child, and that Hades holds a contract over said child’s future. She also learns what he’s been hiding from her: his renewed status as the Dark One. This time, Mr. Gold owns up to his actions and does not apologize for his dark magic, saying that he can be the Dark One and love Belle at the same time.

“Her Handsome Hero”


In the past, Belle is introduced to the famous hunter Gaston by her father, who wants them to wed in order to make a political and fruitful alliance in the fight against the ogres. Belle is hesitant, but decides to give Gaston a chance. While walking in the woods, they come across a young ogre caught in a trap. Gaston insists that it’s a trick, but Belle believes in knowing the whole story before deciding what to do with the trespasser. While she is away procuring a magic mirror in order to learn the ogre’s intentions, Gaston tortures the creature and then lies to Belle, claiming that he was attacked. Belle learns the truth from the mirror, and sets the ogre free.


In the Underworld, Hades visits Gaston, who is working in a pet shelter. Hades tells Gaston that Rumplestiltskin is nearby, and urges him to see revenge on the man who killed him. Provided with magical arrows by the god of the underworld, Gaston attempts to kill Rumple multiple times, but is continually stopped by Belle. Belle attempts to help Gaston move on from his unfinished business, while also gauging a deal from Hades that determines the fate of her baby; if either Gaston or Rumple push each other into the river of souls, he will dissolve the contract. After she accidentally pushes Gaston into the river while trying to save Rumple from being shot, Hades refuses to upload the bargain as Gaston’s death didn’t happen the way he stipulated it must.


Meanwhile, Emma has a nightmare in which she, Hook, and Snow are trying to reverse the graveyard spell. In the dream, a cyclone appears, bringing with it a monster that kills Snow. Emma wakes, and decides to try out the spell from her dream. But the vision begins to come true when a cyclone really does arrive, and really does bring a monster. Terrified that she brought about her mother’s end, Emma doesn’t want them to try to find whatever is out there. Regina and Snow insist that no matter what Emma saw in her dream, they all have to fight together.

Emma uses her magic to knock the creature unconscious, but when Snow goes to kill it, she realizes that this monster is not a stranger; it’s a werewolf. Snow covers the wolf’s body with its scarlet cloak and reveals Ruby/Red Riding Hood.

Wait, what?

1.) DOES THIS MEAN THAT RUBY IS DEAD? Don’t touch my Ruby. Don’t do it.

2.) I was pleased with this set of episodes for two main reasons. First, Zelena’s character development is monumental. It’s no secret that I didn’t like her as a villain. I found her trite and annoying. But now, I’m starting to feel empathy for her. And I totally ship Zades.

3.) Second, Belle took matters into her own hands for a change. I was irritated at the mid-season finale for the writer’s and Rumple’s treatment of Belle, manipulating her into an abusive, lie-fueled relationship. But now, the truth is out, and Belle decided to be in charge. She told Rumple that they would do this her way, and for now he seems to be respectful of her decision.

Until next time, dearies.

-The Collected Mutineer