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Recap: ONCE UPON A TIME Hades And Zelena Were A Match Made In … Oz?


Episode 516 “Our Decay”
Written by Tze Chun and Dana Horgan
Directed by Steve Pearlman

It’s always fun to see the Wicked Witch make an appearance.


In flashback to the Land of Oz, Zelena (Rebecca Mader) was trying to put together a time travel spell to get back at her mother for giving away the wrong child. One of the ingredients was the brain of the Scarecrow (voiced by Paul Scheer). In came Dorothy (Teri Reeves) and Toto to save him. So this takes place after the Witch was supposedly melted with no explanation as to how she survived. And Dorothy was somehow a Lara Croft-like warrior who had the love and admiration of the people of Oz instead of a simple farm girl from Kansas. That certainly started off on a weird note. Was the change to Dorothy somehow necessary? Maybe we’ll see in the future. But it just seemed contrived as far as this episode was concerned.

In the process of trying to force some Munchkins to tell her where warrior Dorothy was hiding the Scarecrow, Hades (Greg Germann) arrived and volunteered to help her. And he tried to seduce her. According to him, he was cursed by his brother, Zeus, to be the ruler of the Underworld and wouldn’t be able to get out until a kiss of true love (surprise, surprise) would restart his heart. He helped Zelena find a sword-wielding warrior Dorothy at a cottage in the woods with the Scarecrow where she froze the warrior farm girl and took the brain out of the Scarecrow’s straw head.

Was Dorothy's anime makeover necessary? (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Was Dorothy’s anime makeover necessary? (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Hades later tried to seduce Zelena and get the kiss to restart his heart. She rejected him, believing he only wanted to be the one to cast the time travel spell instead.

Back in the Underworld, Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) was being forced to open a portal to Storybrooke. Hades promised him that the contract would be torn up if he did so, allowing him and Belle to keep their child. Belle (Emilie de Ravin) was in Storybrooke taking care of babies in a nursery when the Mother Superior/Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) walked in. Or so Belle thought. It turned out to be Zelena in disguise, discovered when the real Mother Superior walked in. Zelena was there to get her baby. But then the portal opened up and Belle, Zelena, and the baby fell through to the Underworld. Zelena hurt her foot (or ankle or something) on the landing.

So Hades wanted the baby as an ingredient for a time travel spell. Zelena tried to keep the baby away from not only Hades but Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), Regina (Lana Parrilla), Belle, and Emma (Jennifer Morrison) as well. Her injury and sporadic ability to use magic caused her to relent and hand the child over to our intrepid heroes.

Mr. Gold broke the news to Belle that she’s pregnant, there was a contract on the child, and he was still the Dark One. Belle wasn’t happy about him being the Dark One. But Gold told her that the man she fell in love with was both the man and the beast and the two were inseparable. I’m still annoyed that they didn’t play around with him as a hero. Perhaps he can end up being the first Dark One to end up using his powers for good? One can hope.

Hell hath no fury like a Wicked Witch scorned. (ABC/Jack Rowand)
Hell hath no fury like a Wicked Witch scorned. (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Snow White (Gennifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) learned about a telephone booth used for “haunting” the real world. In exchange for the information, David had to breathe in a container since the breath of the living is worth a lot on the black market. (I’m not sure if it will be relevant in future episodes or not. But there is is.) Snow and David stood in a long line for the booth in order to talk to their infant son.

Henry (Jared Gilmore) began using his Author powers (which brought being a whiny teenager along with it apparently). Rather than control the story, he let the story write itself. It included Snow and David’s son reacting to their voices.

Hades declared his love for Zelena at the end. He made the Underworld look like Storybrooke in order to try and give her what she wanted, that which Regina had. Zelena didn’t know her birthday, just the day she was abandoned. Hades told her that her birthday is actually April 15th (Tax Day, speaking of wicked and evil), which he tortured out of a miller’s daughter, who he then “took care of” for Zelena. Was he being sincere? Or was he being manipulative as usual? We shall see.

So it was a decent episode, though with some clear shortcomings. Now time to gear up for Gaston in the next episode!



Daniel C. Handley

Dan Handley was raised a Trekkie, fell in love with "Star Wars" at an early age, and became obsessed with comic book superheroes. He spent his youth dreaming of how to get real superpowers, starships, and so on.

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