Once Upon a Time: Our Decay

“Love is not enough!”

‘Our Decay’ was an important episode for Zelena. I thought going into this season that she would become an important part of the Once story, but a few snide remarks aside, she’s been mostly relegated to a background player. This episode brings her back to the forefront, and strides are taken to make her an integral part of the Underworld arc. It’s a mixed bag in terms of execution, but I did feel like Zelena had finally made progress by the time the credits rolled; whether it’s for the better or not remains to be seen.

The idea that Zelena has a past with Hades didn’t exactly excite me at first. Do all of these characters have to have some love affair they’ve kept secret for multiple decades? I was pleasantly surprised that this could-have-been romance was built on some decent parallels being drawn between them. They’re both driven by the same things; jealousy, revenge and distrust. What’s interesting is that’s exactly what drove them apart.

Zelena didn’t believe that Hades could ever want anything more from her than to further his own agenda, because that’s what she would’ve wanted. She saw so much of herself in him that it led her to chase him away, regardless of the obvious connection they both shared.

Hades is planning on using that connection to bring her over to his side. Zelena is such a loose cannon that there’s equal chances of her siding with the lord of the Underworld, who modeled his orange tinted kingdom after Storybrooke so he could have his happily ever after with Zelena, and the good guys, who still don’t believe in her. I’d like to see her make the choice herself to do right by her daughter, and return with her to the real world. It would further the shift in attitude she had when she saw how her unpredictable magic hurt her child.

Either way, it looks like Hades will have a fight on his hands to claim the baby as his own. I’m not sure how Henry’s writing factors into that fight. All he’s doing is waking up with no recollections of having written anything at all. The only advantage here is that anyone reading his work can see the unseen effects their actions can have, like Snow and Charming’s “haunting” of baby Neal actually reaching him. I can only imagine this will come into play further down the line.

Plus

Belle found out about her pregnancy after she got whisked through the same portal to the Underworld as Zelena and the baby. I hope that she doesn’t buy into Rumple’s “you love the man and the beast” line. She’s worth more than that. At least she said how much she didn’t want to accept him as the Dark One...again.

The stuff on the bike was stupid.

More Emma Caulfield as the blind witch! It’s a shame it's only short cameos each time.

He Said, She Said

Hades: “Love, happiness, joy... They've all been taken from me. What I'm left with is only anger and a thirst... for vengeance.”

Rumple: “Belle, there's something you must realize. (Sighs) Falling in love with the man behind the beast... isn't really what happened to you. You fell in love with me... because there was a man and a beast. Neither exists without the other.”

The Underworld arc is making me feel the same impatience as the Neverland one did back in season three. At this point I’m ready for the story to come to a conclusion. Sometimes relocating the story for prolonged periods of time can feel a little suffocating. Nevertheless, ‘Our Decay’ did make this whole arc feel a little more personal, which is necessary now that Hook is safe and back with Emma again.

3 out of 5 scarecrows

Originally posted at PandaTV.

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