Review: OUaT S5E18

Review: Once Upon a Time - "Ruby Slippers"

By: Isabella Montenegro

Previously on OUAT: Ruby and Mulan embark on a mission to find Ruby’s pack and for Mulan to find her path. Zelena was sent back to Oz to protect Baby Hood, but she has managed to get herself to Underbrooke, and now Ruby has managed to cross over as well. 


The Underbrooke Loft
The episode starts with the heroes bringing Ruby back to the loft as she was knocked unconscious from the target practice Regina and Emma unleashed on her. All worries set aside as Killian assures us she is just knocked out, but the gang questions two important things: How and Why is she there? Emma pulls out a scrap of blue fabric as a clue to what she is there for, a scrap of fabric that looks a lot like Dorothy’s new outfit!

I feel it is important to note that the magical cloak works just fine in the underworld… which based on the fact that Regina and Zelena have mentioned that magic works different down here makes me wonder if one of the two scenarios are happening: Magical Items can work just as fine (Take the Author’s quill which works for Henry at the moment), or it was overlooked in the writing. I’d like to say that it is the first, but I feel that at the end of the day it was a choice to not even bring it up, as it would have added a distracting element to the plot if not only was the gang busy, but Ruby wasn’t able to remain human.


Flashbacks in Oz
Ruby and Mulan have made it to Oz and are trying to track down Ruby’s pack, but Ruby loses the pack’s scent mid chase. It is easy to see that Ruby is actually pretty upset about that and despite Mulan reassuring her it’s fine, she seems visibly angry with herself. When the scent is completely gone, Ruby remarks her pack might have never been there, and Mulan says it’s time to go back home, but then a scary growl halts them and then appears… Toto. Dorothy appears thinking they are witches, and is actually not at all friendly. When Ruby tries to play nice Toto runs away, and in amends uses her scent to help track Toto. In that moment Zelena’s tornado appears and Dorothy has them hurry. 

 

I loved the moment when Ruby said she knows Oz based on books and a movie; and I also love how Mulan knows what a movie is from the last time it was touched upon back in season 2 with Emma. 


The Cabin in the Woods
Hades drops by on Zelena to let her know Ruby is in Underbrooke looking for her. I love to see how Zelena is immediately worried about what her actions were against Dorothy and how it will impact her relationship with Regina, and also whether or not Regina will let her see her daughter. I do love the character growth we are seeing from Zelena, as the more time passes she is less concerned on getting revenger, but in doing the right thing. Hades on the other hand is all for a show of force when it comes to getting Zelena’s daughter back. 


I have to note one thing: Hades fire transportation is very jarring. If you take into account that all the scenes in the underworld have been tinted with a warm and reddish glow, then imagine just how out of place the bright blue flames look. It just makes them the more fake. 


Underbrooke Pawnshop
Belle is feeling a lot of guilt into what she did to Gaston. What I hate about this particular scene, is that in reading between the lines, it almost sounds that had the plan worked and their baby had been saved from Hades: Belle might not have felt the same guilt. I feel this is in fact a really ugly thing to add to a character whose apparent kindness has always been her most impressive quality. “I darkened my soul Rumpel, just to save you?” this line in particular felt horrible coming from Belle, as I don’t think that even for one second she will regret saving Rumpel, and not only that, she also blames HER actions into Rumpel. While he has been guilty of manipulating her before, she was the one who pushed Gaston over, and she was the one who tried to use Hades’ deal, and she was the one who ‘killed’ Gaston; for once, Rumpel’s influence was not the worst part of her actions.

 

Underbrooke Loft
Ruby explains that Dorothy went to confront Zelena and disappeared and she used a tracking spell to find the witch in search of answers. The Hero Team makes up a plan and they decide to confront Zelena; but Snow is worried about baby Neal, so she sends the boys to make a “Haunting” so baby Neal can her one parent’s voice. While adorable, it is extremely creepy. 

After leaving the loft, we find out that Hades has decided to stamp down on the hope the heroes are spreading, and begins by tearing out the phone booth. Cruella tries to get herself into the living world by letting David make a call, but David does not negotiate with the terrorists, and the booth is torn away. 

From the Cabin to the past and back to the Future
As Snow, Emma, Regina, and Ruby confront Zelena we shift over to see this story in the past. The Oz gang meet Zelena in the woods while looking for Toto, who is in need of the Silver slippers; and has taken Toto as a hostage. Thanks to the previous scene and now seeing the way Zelena is dressed: This all happened right after she was banished in the underworld by Regina. 

Let us take a look at the first scene in the Cabin: Zelena was running away to allow her daughter to stay with the people who could protect her. We have already noted the character’s growth, but the reason is highly interesting: Zelena believes her daughter is in the right place, she genuinely believes she is not ready to be her mother. As far as redeeming qualities go, Zelena is on the right track. 

Back in the present and the Cabin, Regina asks Zelena for the truth, but she tells them that what she has done is beyond anyone’s help. When prodded, Zelena reveals that she put Dorothy under a sleeping curse. The scene changes and Zelena is now trying to make a deal with the Silver Slippers, and het her daughter; but Regina sees right through it. Regina assures her she can come back from it and do the right thing. Regina’s smile is actually pretty confusing, as I am sure she is proud of Zelena in some way, but it almost feels like she is using Zelena at the moment. 


The Heroes make a plan to get True Love’s kiss from Aunt Em and save Dorothy with it.


Back in Oz
The team is set on rescuing Toto, and they are brewing Mulan’s sleep powder to do so, but they require poppies, which Dorothy and Ruby set out to find. Dorothy and Ruby certainly got off on the wrong foot, and it is almost as if they are intimidated (attracted) to each other but prefer to bottle it up.

Dorothy explains that Toto is more than a pet. When she returned to Kansas as a kid and tried telling her family about Oz, they tried to have her committed, and the only person who fought FOR her was her Aunt Emily. Toto was a gift to Dorothy just before her aunt died. After assuring Dorothy that Toto will be ok, Ruby tells Dorothy that she understands, as after accidentally killing her boyfriend her village ran her out with pitchforks and torches; she ran but found her pack, but she lost them as well. 

While I am a fan of the buildup, and the idea that soulmates did find each other; the moment these two started talking, all I could think about was Frozen… They’ve known each other for a day!


The Graveyard
The find Aunt Emily’s grave and they run into the first problem: Aunt Em can’t leave the Underworld. Snow then brings up the solution that they can bottle the kiss! Much like the Blind Witch bottled David’s breath. Ruby can take the silver slippers and deliver the kiss to Dorothy in Oz.


Their joy is short lived as David, Henry and Killian show up to tell them the news of the phone booth. Snow immediately begins to suspect the worst, and even goes as far as saying that Hades could make a move on the town. Emma then says what most of us have been thinking: They have to go back to Storybrooke. Emma reasons that beyond all they’ve done to help, they are still trapped in the Underworld because she needed them to come. Killian tells them that the Heroes will have to fight this war without the Charmings. Regina, being the voice of reason for the fandom, points out that Snow can’t leave while her name is on a tombstone. Snow reasons that maybe should be the one to go on his own.

Cabin in the Woods
Belle shows up for a visit with Zelena, looking for help to keep her own baby. Belle has an idea that Hades might just listen to Zelena, but she doesn’t even believe that Hades would do that. Belle confides that she can’t really trust Rumpel at the moment. Zelena guesses that Belle can finally see Gold for what he really is, and remarks that it is the same reason she doesn’t go to Hades in the first place, as she cannot trust him either. Zelena is also sure she will never have a happy ending, and Belle points out that she has never even tried. I’m going to point out that we saw this particular problem with the Queens of Darkness: you cannot gain your happy ending by doing the wrong thing. I have a feeling we might get a happy Zelena quite soon. 


Belle gets a bout of morning sickness, but Zelena reminds her that the Dark Swan rushed her pregnancy forward, making Belle realize that Hades could do that at any moment. Zelena realizes there is a way for Belle to hold off Hades taking the baby. I have a feeling that Zelena saving Belle’s baby might end up being what gets her a happy ending.


The Underbrooke Loft
Killian is looking for information about Aunt Em, but can only find that she died in Kansas. David on the other hand, is troubled by the fact that he has to leave them all behind to go to his son. He is feeling even more guilty that he and Snow (he only mentions Snow, but it is implied) are missing Neal growing up; he ends with a remark that they shouldn’t be here, which immediately makes Killian feel guilty.

Killian takes a moment to thank David for coming back to save him, as he did not want Emma to do it in the first place, nor bring everyone along for the trip. Once again, David assures him that they all chose to come. The conversation becomes a little funny when Killian remarks he didn’t know David cared about him (of course he does, Hook is his Bro); to which David replies that he did it for Emma. David then reluctantly agrees “I guess; you’ve grown on me a bit.” Which is downright adorable: The Bromance has been established! How I would wish for a scene in Storybrooke where Robin, David, and Killian go out for drinks or something. The scene ends with David agreeing with Killian that they cannot pass up the opportunity to get back home and be with his son.


Flashbacks in Oz
Dorothy and Ruby make it to the poppy field, and the conversation starts with Dorothy apologizing about calling Ruby “Wolfy;” but Ruby tells her it’s fine and then nicknames the other girl “Kansas.” (I feel the WB might object to that nickname as a certain superguy was called that).


The girls are surprised by flying monkeys, and overwhelmed they realize they have to escape. Ruby comes up with the plan to turn into a world and allow Dorothy to ride on her back. As they make it back to the camp, Ruby is under the impression that Dorothy has been weirded out about the whole wolf thing.


I’m going to have to note on the special effects here, as the monkeys do look weird in some shots, but all props as Ruby as a wolf looks really great.


At the Diners
The girls all head to the diner to question the Blind Witch, and find out that Aunt Emily is running a competing diner. They head to Aunties and tell Aunt Em about the plan, to which she agrees without question. Hades interferes by melting Aunt Em into a puddle of water. Hades had added water from the River of Souls to the soup. When Snow question as to why he did that, and Hades responds that this was because they were trying to help people. Regina uses Hades remark that they are helping Aunt Em, to mean they are helping Dorothy; leaving her with the conclusion that this was Zelena’s fault. Hades tells them that this wasn’t Zelena, but that it is about something else. Emma remarks that he is scared of losing the fight; Hades then rolls out a masterstroke: if anyone helps the heroes, they will end up in the River of Lost Souls. He then tells Emma, that it is hard to save people when they don’t want to be saved. 

I do have to make a note on a curious thing I saw tonight: Hades has never directly attacked any of the heroes. He has attacked Killian, because Killian is dead, and Gold, because he was dead at one point… but all the other heroes haven’t been at his hands. In fact, so far he has been seen attacking people, but only manipulating the living. Could this mean that he can’t? 


Back to Oz and in the Diner
Ruby and Mulan have a little heart to heart, and Mulan makes Ruby understand that yes she likes Dorothy, and maybe Dorothy likes her back; but she does counsel to tell her how she feels before it’s too late. It was too late.


At the Diner, Snow and Ruby have a similar talk, and Snow tells Ruby that she has known her long enough and that she knows that Ruby has a thing for Dorothy. Snow encourages Ruby that she has to try and give Dorothy true loves kiss, she also tells her to remember love doesn’t always start out perfect (she did hit her future husband with a rock that one time). I love the scene between them, as you do feel they are really great friends. Ruby is scared, but Snow tells her that love is worth it.


At the Graveyard
Regina begins by explaining how the silver slippers work, and then David and Killian reveal a surprise. David tells them that leaving the Underworld is basically a life for a life, so he traded in his for Snow’s as he believes she should be the one to be with Neal. Emma questions how it is possible and Killian explains that when he was Hades’ captive, his hand was enchanted to carve names on the stone, and while he can’t remove the names, he can change them. David assures Snow that she can take care of Neal and the town, and that he has to stay; Regina also asks that Snow look into how Roland is doing. 

The theme song for hope in the show starts to play in the background so you know that this is going to work after all. I loved seeing that Killian did the saving of the day aspect of today, as until now, he has been merely the one getting rescued, and now he has been able to help. 

Hades’ Living Room
The scene opens with Hades smelling the remains of the old lady (He has been doing creepy things throughout the episode). Zelena then appears for a visit, and Hades reveals that he in fact did this for her, even if we know he used it for his own purposes. You can immediately see it in Zelena’s face that she is actually horrified at what Hades has done, but she manages to pull back and pretend that she is merely shocked he would do this for her. Hades ends up lying to Zelena about getting nothing out of melting Aunt Emily, even though it was a deliberate move against the heroes. 


It is actually difficult to see if Zelena is helping Belle or helping herself, but I’d like to think that she is playing for the heroes’ team at the moment. 


At Oz in the present
Ruby and Snow make it to Oz, where Mulan has found Dorothy’s body. Snow has to encourage Ruby against her fear, but she still walks up and True Love’s Kiss happens, and Dorothy is woken up from her curse. Dorothy tells Ruby she left because she was afraid that Ruby would get hurt by Zelena, and then tells Dorothy the family motto of “I will always find you.”

While you all might know, this is the first LGTB relationship the show has presented, and what a way to do so. (I bit sad that they are still not giving Mulan a new person to love). 


At the Underbrooke Loft
Henry is gliding his pen across the page writing what happened with Ruby and Dorothy, and then heads downstairs to show his family. The family was in the middle of planning something against Hades with no real success. After getting the good news about Oz, and that Snow made it safely to Storybrooke, the family sit down to make plans. 


At the pawnshop
Gold is still trying to find a way to save their baby when Belle walks in on a mission. Thanks to Zelena, Belle has figured out that she can pause her pregnancy with a sleeping curse, to which Gold is clearly not on board for. He immediately makes it known that he will not change to save Belle or their baby. Belle was smart enough to count on his selfishness, and tells him that after Hades is defeated and they leave the Underworld, then he has to take Belle to her father, since he will break the curse. Despite protestations, Belle puts herself under a sleeping curse. 

Rating: 8.8 Great Episode. I loved the inclusion of the Oz storyline in this episode, and you have to give it to Zelena for still being the character we want to root for. Greg German is probably the most interesting villain we’ve had on the show so far. Now, while I did love the episode overall, the VFX keep hitting its score as mostly Hades’ blue fire is instantly jarring every time it’s on screen, and the monkeys looked a lot better back in season 3. Other than that, I found this to be a truly enjoyable episode.


Next week: It’s time for James and David to finally meet. Also, Zelena causes mayhem.