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Once Upon a Time: Broken Heart

“Clearly you don't believe in me anymore, so how am I supposed to fight this?”

The decision to change the game in ‘Birth’ is marred in this episode by a clumsy attempt to set things up for the following finale. There are some interesting ideas at play, both in regards to what Emma had to do in Camelot and what’s been happening in the present day, but the significance of all that is lost in favor of rushed character beats in order to get everything into place for a big finish.

We start ‘Broken Heart’ with Killian coming to terms with the fact that Emma’s actions in Camelot have turned him into a Dark One. An interesting starting point, but the weight of what transpired between Killian and Emma is expedited fast. By the close of the episode, Killian 2.0 had already faced off with Rumple, faked a loss to said ex-villain, stolen everyone’s lost memories, and resurrected all of the past Dark Ones in a bid to get revenge on those responsible for turning him back into a bad guy. That’s quite a lot for 42 minutes. Not to mention what he did in Camelot before any of this happened. Killing Merlin is a pretty big deal; I hope it’s not forgotten.

As I’ve said, this episode deals with some great material, but Killian’s journey to that final scene where he greets a newly resurrected Nimue is far too premature. You have to wonder if what happened to guy-liner couldn’t have happened sooner. Maybe if the show had dropped an over-reliance on the technicalities of the Dark One mythos in favour of the more impactful history of it all, then we’d have been able to experience a more believable transformation on Killian’s part. Although as it stands, it’ll be interesting to see how his plan plays out from here.

Aside from Killian’s expedited turn to the dark side, there were some wonderful moments happening elsewhere; most notably, Henry finally trusting Emma again. I’m glad he was the one to make the decision to free her from the cuffs Killian put on her at the start of the episode. She isn’t the old Emma we loved yet, but I think there’s hope for her now. She hasn’t used her powers to do something she can’t come back from, and now that we know what she was hiding all this time, she has no more reason to lie to the people she loves.

Another moment that stood out was Belle’s decision to walk away from Rumple. It’s a huge step forward for her, and it’s one that will go a long way in making her a stronger individual character. What’s interesting is that she chose to do this after Rumple finally proved that he was a good man, and shed the cowardly part of himself that was his downfall way back when. It’s almost as if her work was done. I hope we get some Belle centric episodes in the second part of the season that are more about Belle herself and less about those around her. Now that she’s free from Rumple, there’s an opportunity for the writers to do something like that with her.


Zelena got to see her daughter for the first time. I wonder if being a mother will change her.

He Said, She Said

Killian: “Why must Dark Ones dress like monks?”

Belle: “I have spent too many years trying to mend your heart. Now I need to protect mine.”

What transpired in ‘Broken Heart’ would have been a lot more impactful had it been spread out over a few episodes. Hook’s fall into darkness happened way too fast, and it’s hard to understand why he did everything he did here. That being said, the ideas at play are strong so we should get to see some exciting developments in the finale, at least.

2.5 out of 5 dreamcatchers

Originally posted at PandaTV.

1 comment:

  1. I thought that spell was to transport everyone, stop time, and give them all new identities?

    Also what happened to the dwarves? Grumpy made a big deal about them being part of the action and we haven't really seen them since the first few episodes. I didn't even see any of them get transported back to Story Brooke. This season seems to be heavy on plot holes.


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