Review: OUaT S5E20

Review: Once Upon a Time - "Firebird"

By: Isabella Montenegro

Previously on OUAT: Hades wants to move into Storybrooke with Zelena, and Regina and Zelena made up.

Street in Underbrooke
Regina is letting the team know that she told Zelena to go after Hades and be happy, which they are shocked even happened. Killian goes as far as basically saying that you can’t trust Zelena or Hades, or give her a chance; but Regina points out that he was no better and got his chance. They are about to continue discussing, but then Hades shows up. He needs their help, as when Zelena did not show, he found a note from Gold and Pan demanding he rip up the contract if he wants Zelena back. Hades is willing to rip up the contract, but he doesn’t trust Gold and Pan to keep up their end of the bargain so he needs a trump card, and says that it has to be Emma. Hades wants to make a deal, that if she helps him, he will erase all their living names off the tombs at the cemetery allowing them to leave. Killian warns her, but she believes he will honor it. 

Flashback – Maine, 2000s
We see the bug parking on a street with a small restaurant, where we know August left the baby. Emma approaches the vendor and asks about the baby left behind and if anyone remembers anything about that day, but is disappointed when the vendor tells her that there isn’t anyone around who would remember that event. Emma moves along, and as she sits, another person sits at her table, and figures out Emma is the baby. The scene is familiar, and we figure it out when the woman lists Emma’s crime, and tells her she has skipped bail. Emma runs out, only to find her car’s wheel locked (Now we know where Emma learned it all). The woman calmly walks over, and takes Emma in. We have met Emma’s bails bond mentor.


Granny’s in Underbrooke
Hades closes down the dinner, and then requests that Gold and Pan show up, which they do by puffing in. Zelena shows Hades they put a magic blocking bracelet on her, and Gold immediately acts like an ass. Hades rips up the contract no questions asked, and demands the terms be completed. That is when Pan reveals the plan: he will take Zelena’s heart, and go back into the living world; Zelena who warns him her heart has a protection spell on it, to which Pan points out he is much better at magic than her. As Pan is about to take her heart, Emma shows up and saves the day, blasting Pan away. Emma points out that since the contract has been ripped, Gold has no business in there, and he agrees; but before he points out that there is no way Emma gets what she wants from Hades. While I have never been a fan of Gold, he does make a point here: it is one thing to wholly trust Zelena… it is quite another to trust Hades as well. 


After the kidnappers leave, Hades and Zelena reunite, and as Zelena finally begins to really see that Hades is in love with her, they kiss, and True Love breaks the curse on Hades, his heart begins to beat, and he is free to leave the Underworld. Hades explains that a portal will open at the cemetery, and anyone living can go through it to Storybrooke, and that it will close on sundown. 

At the cemetery, they find that the broken clock tower has magically moved there, and that the hands of the clock are spinning; Hades explains that once they spin fast enough the portal will open. Hades, on the reminder by Regina, then erases all the names from the headstones. Killian is still incredibly wary of Hades, and says “A man can’t change that quickly.” He makes a good point. Emma then moves over and reminds him that she is going to split her heart, and take him with them. 

Emma turns to Regina, who pulls out her heart, and splits it open, handing one half to Emma. Emma then goes to push it into Killian’s chest, but is stopped by a pain in her own chest. Regina quickly joins the heart halves together and gets them back into Emma. Killian blames Hades, but he says that it’s the laws of nature against them. David points out that it worked for him and Snow, and Regina tells them David was dead for a minute or less. Hades finally sees the difference: Killian has been dead for too long. As Hades points out, David’s soul never even left his body, but Killian has been down in the Underworld too long, while his body is rotting in the living world (A preservation spell would have been amazing here). 

Killian immediately thinks that they should leave him behind, no questions asked. Emma is still trying to find a way, and asks Hades if it can be done. At his expression, she realizes there is precedent. Hades tells them there is a rumor of it happening once. 

Emma is getting cuffed to a bed in what seems to be a motel, as her captor goes to take a shower. Emma quickly picks the lock, and goes off to escape. She goes through the woman’s purse, takes her cash, and finds a picture of a little girl, and assumes the woman has a daughter. She notices a search screen on the woman’s laptop, and is intrigued. The scene cuts out for a few seconds, and we see the woman coming out of the bath only to find Emma at her computer. The woman is shocked Emma hasn’t left, but is a little put off when Emma wants to go to a courthouse to look at the file they have on her. Emma is still trying to find her family, or something about why she was abandoned. Emma wants to make a deal: she’ll go quietly to Phoenix, if the woman will take her to the courthouse for some answers. 

Hades shows them the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, who escaped when Orpheus fed Eurydice Ambrosia, which is the food of the Gods. Regina asks where you can get that and Hades puffs them to the Library, and unblocks the Elevator. He explains that the Ambrosia seems to take away magic, and so the Elevator is the only way in or out of the place. Hades admits he has never been to where the Ambrosia is; since there is a test to reach the Ambrosia, where the heart is tested for True Love. Hades takes out Emma’s heart, and places it in a bag for her to take, since she can’t use magic to take her own heart out underneath. Emma wonders what happens if people fail the test, but Hades does not know, and Killian tries to stop her, but Emma won’t have it. Emma and Killian go down on the elevator. 

Gold goes back to his shop, and checks on Belle. He seemingly tries to use True Love’s Kiss but it fails, although it is difficult to say if he tried or not, as he has vowed that he won’t use light magic ever. Pan then shows up angrily at the store, and reminds Gold that Belle won’t accept him as the Beast, but he will. Pan and Gold share a few words on who is the worst human being, but Pan makes him a deal: Pandora’s Box, and safe passage to the portal, if Gold helps him get a living heart. 

Henry is impatient, and not only that, he feels it’s wrong to put a hold on operation firebird, as there are still people who need help and might not be able to move on. Hades explains that since he is leaving the underworld, things will return to work like normal. Henry still wants to help them figure out what the unfinished business is for all those souls. 

Robins walks into the library, and asks what is happening. David and Regina vouch for Zelena and Hades, and explain they are waiting for Killian and Emma to return from their mission. Regina tries to get the baby to Storybrooke, and then helps convince Robin to trust Zelena… which is stupid, since at the moment trusting Zelena, means trusting Hades, and that is the worst plan ever. Robin feels in a way shocked that Regina trusts Zelena. When alone, he is surprised by Gold, who takes his heart.

As Killian and Emma reach the end of the elevator, the scene cuts away to a flashback in the courthouse, where a young Emma is waiting with Cleo (the woman) for her file. Emma seems very emotional and impatient, and Cleo explains that her jacket is an armor, she uses it as a reminder to wall up her emotions, to be calm and to think clearly, to be able to protect her heart. She encourages Emma to find an armor to handle the good or bad news she might find. Emma is disappointed at the lack of information, and demands the man check again, Emma loses her emotions, and causes a scene, as Cleo tries to reason with her. Cleo encourages her to start a new life and leave this behind, but Emma tells her all she wants is the money for bringing her in.

Henry and Regina are overseeing a line, as Henry writes out the unfinished business of people waiting there. Cruella storms in, wanting to rule the Underworld in Hades’ absence, but also wants the Hero Team to be stuck in the Underworld. She teamed up with the Blind Witch, who magically locks them in the library, stuck inside until the portal closes. Regina tries to use magic to get out but it doesn’t work. 

Lower Levels of Underworld

Emma and Killian are walking through the cave, and end up at a room with a door, and a scale in front of it; Killian is able to read the inscription on the plate which says “Only a heart filled with True Love can pass.” Apparently the Navy is very proficient in its education. Emma figures out she has to weigh her heart in judgement, and Killian is a bit surprised that Emma thinks that it might be True Love after all. Killian also makes a cute joke about Emma admitting how she feels, only when one of them faces certain death. Funny and cute, but oh so valid. Emma goes to admitting she knows she does not need an armor around him. 

Emma then places her heart on the scale, and nothing happens at first, but then she begins to ‘choke,’ or experience the feeling of someone crushing her heart it seems. As Killian moves to get the heart he is engulfed by CG flames (which only feel out of place because the shadows on the walls stay the same regardless of them). As Killian is being burned, he urges Emma to use the moment to get her heart, but she ignores him, and saves him instead, despite the fact that she might be dying. The door opens, and the couple realizes it is true love after all.

Emma breaks into the courthouse to look through the files, and find something on her past. She is looking when a noise distracts her, and Cleo is there try to reason with Emma; she tells her that her parents would not want her obsessing and doing illegal things to find out where they are. We know now that the little girl in the photo is a daughter she abandoned/gave up as opposed to someone waiting for her. The police arrive, and Cleo and Emma escape getting caught by jumping out a window.

Lower Levels of the Underworld
Emma and Killian get to the Ambrosia room, and find the tree has been cut down, and the fruit is dead; and that this happened long ago. Killian immediately surmises, that Hades cut the tree (I don’t know if I agree there, but I’d say one of the new characters showing up in the last three episodes did it). Emma and Killian figure out that if Hades did it, it was to make sure only he and Zelena would cross the portal. 

At the Library, the team come to the same conclusion, since the magic keeping them trapped is too strong to be Blind Witch’s. At the cemetery the portal opens, and Hades urges Zelena to leave, and she trusts him and leaves with the baby. At the pawnshop, Gold arrives with Robin’s heart, and tells Pan they have to wait for the right moment.

Back at the Ambrosia tree, Emma is trying to find something to help Killian; but he urges her to go, knowing they cannot stay down there, nor can they afford to leave the rest of the team unprotected.

The girls are running away, and then Cleo falls as she has glass stuck on her side, and she is bleeding profusely; she is dying and the cops are coming. She tells Emma about the little girl she gave up for adoption, and then urges Emma to get away and to let her past go. Emma runs away as the police approach.

Lower Levels of the Underworld
As Emma gets on the elevator, Killian stops and tells her he is not going up with her. Killian only told her they would find something else, so Emma would leave the ambrosia room, and Emma is not willing to leave him. Killian wants to say his goodbye in private, but Emma won’t have it; Killian feels that he should have died in Camelot, and they have had all this extra time. Emma begins crying, not wanting to say goodbye, but Killian doesn’t expect her to. He encourages her not to put back her armor because of him. She makes him promise to move on, and not let her be his unfinished business, to not wait for her to show up. Killian gets Emma on the elevator, and they say their I love yous, and then they kiss.

The elevator begins to move up as they look at each other for one last time, and one can only think this is the reverse of the Titanic scene, when Rose is being lowered on the boat as Jack looks on… there is no jumping of the boat on this one though. The final shot is of Killian letting go of a single tear, to pan out far back into the cave, with him looking up at the elevator rising, and if you look closely, at how he looks to the ground in the final moment. A beautiful shot

Emma is running her trial period for her new bails bond job. She found Cleo’s daughter, and brought along all she knew about Cleo to her, and tells the girl she passed away. Emma sees the girl find something in the information, and turns to leave, but as she is walking out, she sees something off camera, and ends up buying her famed Red Leather Jacket. 

As Emma steps off the elevator, and the team realizes the plan to save Killian failed; they all come to the conclusion that everything has been a setup to keep them in the Underworld. Emma tells them that Killian stayed down there to make sure they would all leave the Underworld even if he couldn’t. Emma and Regina combine their magic to get out of the library, and after the doors open, Henry leaves behind the storybook, so that the people trapped can finally move on. 

At the pawnshop, Gold and Pan are ready as Gold puts Robin’s heart into Pan’s chest. Pan grips his chest, and Gold reveals he filled a skin with water from the River of Souls, as he had returned Robin’s heart before. Pan dies, and then Gold uses Pandora’s box to keep Belle safe, and he goes through the portal. 

The heroes get to the portal before it closes, and safely go through, as David is passing, Emma stops and looks back, trying to see if miraculously Killian is there; David manages to get Emma to go through, as she realizes she can’t lose any more people she loves. As the shot pans out, the portal closes, and the hand moves one time, symbolizing a soul has departed. 

While some people will speculate that it was Killian, I feel that was Pan, as I doubt Killian will remain dead.

RATING: 6.5 OKAY. While the Story itself seemed ok, and it had some great moments, I feel the episode just did not do justice to the main things it aimed at. The High points for me were Gold’s final stand against Pan and defeating him again, Regina trusting her sister, and finally Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue’s beautiful acting on a scene, that we wished had way more of. The True Love scene between Emma and Killian was amazing, but it cannot save the main issue I had with the episode. The drawbacks are actually the fact that the heroes trusted Hades to begin with, as it does seem to be a part of a plan, but more so is the fact that we saw Killian die: AGAIN. I love the show, and I am a big supporter of Captain Swan, but for the first time, beyond the beautiful acting, the actual death did not strike a chord with me. Why? We have seen Killian die four times already now, three in this season alone: we saw him die in the alternate reality last season, once in Camelot when he was turned as the Dark One, once more when he saved everyone from Dark One apocalypse, and now again when we failed to get him out of the Underworld. I feel they propped up the season on “his rescue,” and literally sidelined the character to serve as emotional puppet, a feat that fails, when it is clear they are not killing him off at all. My guess to the rest of the season: Killian finds whomever dies in the next episode whilst in the Underworld, and they both get rescued by the end of the season. Props to Morrison and O’Donoghue for the performances of the night