Recap: ONCE UPON A TIME Two Characters Met Their Demise


Episode 521 “Last Rites”
Written by Jerome Schwartz
Directed by Craig Powell

In this episode, our adventurers (mostly) returned to Storybrooke. And it’s weird to have a flashback-free episode. I don’t remember that ever happening before.


King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) escaped captivity. He encountered Hades (Greg Germann) who had just recently arrived with Zelena (Rebecca Mader). After they made introductions, Hades told Arthur he could use his help. And then he killed Arthur. There was no explanation as to what assistance that would provide unless Hades wanted the others to see his handiwork. Otherwise, it was one of only two completely inept parts of an otherwise solid episode. In the Underworld, Killian (Colin O’Donoghue) found him and invited him along on a quest to find out how to get revenge on Hades by destroying him.

Their quest took them down to Hades’ throne room, where they ended up finding where Hades had hidden the missing pages from the book. Unfortunately, Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit) told them that she had the phone booth tossed into the River of Lost Souls. So the two had to try to recover the book on the other side of the river. After battling a ghost that emerged from the river (without a single Ghostbuster in sight to help), they were able to put the pages back into the book. Then a light shone through a doorway for Killian to cross over. Arthur stayed back since the prophesy said he was destined to repair a kingdom, and since it wasn’t Camelot, perhaps it was the Underworld. On the other side, Killian met Zeus (David Hoflin), who was to guide him to where he belonged.

I know you're trying to be all gangsta. But you'll never hit anything that way. (ABC/Jack Rowand)
I know you’re trying to be all gangsta. But you’ll never hit anything that way. (ABC/Jack Rowand)

In Storybrooke, Regina (Lana Parrilla) tried to convince Zelena that Hades couldn’t be trusted, but to no avail. Zelena and Hades secured themselves in the mayor’s office and she put a protection spell on the building to keep Hades safe. Then he pulled out the big MacGuffin of the season, the Olympian Crystal. It was broken and he couldn’t repair it without a beating heart. With it repaired, it would completely wipe a person out. It wouldn’t just kill a person and send that person to the Underworld. If someone was killed by it, it’s game over.

Our intrepid heroes were looking through books in the library trying to come up with a way to kill Hades. When Killian put the pages back in the book, the version in Storybrooke opened up and showed Emma (Jennifer Morrison) that the Olympian Crystal could do the job. When they found that the municipal building was protected by a spell, Regina and Robin (Sean Maguire) went in through underground maintenance tunnels to get around it. That would be the other poorly written part of the episode, that the spell only protected above ground. How convenient.

Hell hath no fury like a ... Wicked Witch ... with an ... Olympian Cryatal? (ABC/Jack Rowand)
Hell hath no fury like a … Wicked Witch … with an … Olympian Cryatal? (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Hades tried to kill Regina with the Olympian Crystal, but Robin got in the way and took the blast, completely killing him. When Hades admitted to Zelena that he trapped our intrepid heroes in the Underworld and tried to get her to kill Regina, and Regina telling her that true love involved sacrifice like Robin did and Hades would never do that for her, she painfully brought herself to kill Hades with the crystal.

At the graveside service for Robin, Zelena revealed to Regina that she had chosen to name her daughter Robin. Emma was off mourning Killian at his burial plot. When everyone cleared out and left Emma mourning, Killian showed up. Zeus sent him back as thanks for defeating Hades. It seemed a bit odd for Regina, who didn’t have a chance to say goodbye, could leave easier than Emma. But for dramatic purposes, I’ll accept it.

At least one of our heroes finds happiness and true love. The one whose love didn't stay dead. (ABC/Jack Rowand)
At least one of our heroes finds happiness and true love. The one whose love didn’t stay dead. (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Also, Belle’s father (Eric Keenleyside) refused to provide true love’s kiss to bring back his daughter. It’s not that he didn’t want to. But he refused to do it for Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle).

Apart from a couple of inexplicable parts thrown in, it was a fairly good episode. Now to prepare for the two hour season finale!


Once Upon a Time airs Sunday nights at 8/7c on ABC.


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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