Hope you aren’t afraid of spiders

I was afraid when I first saw this title that the Black Fairy was going to get Rumple’s dagger and turn him into her ‘helper’. With the sheer number of people that have got their hands on Rumple’s dagger lately, that didn’t seem impossible and I’ve never been more glad to be wrong. Anyway, onward to the actual review!

Spoilers for 6.16 Mother’s Little Helper under the cut.

The Black Fairy
Full disclosure I loved Jaime Murray in Hustle and I suppose it’s possible that might influence my thinking. Mind you I have always loved my fabulous villains; all these seasons later I still have a soft spot for Cora. Anyway, I know the Black Fairy is the big evil and we’re supposed to hate her … but I can’t! It’s the scene in the cell, the one I chose as the gif for this episode, it gave me lots of Regina/Henry feelings.

At the beginning the Black Fairy said to “care for him as if he were my own” which he kinda is because Gideon is her grandson. Then during that scene in the cell when Gideon says “my real mother” the Black Fairy snaps at him and says “I’m your real mother” and honestly my heart broke. The Black Fairy steals children but abandoned the only one that was actually hers – or did she?

What if Rumple was taken from her and she thought him dead, so she tried to fill the hole in her heart with other children? She certainly looked extremely surprised when Dark One!Rumple called her mother but then that was during Belle’s time. Rumple would have been a couple of hundred years old at that point, without the curse of the Dark One he would have been long dead even if he hadn’t ‘died’ as a child.

I find it interesting that the moment Gideon angrily declares “you aren’t my mother and never will be” is when she then taunts him about “you want to be a hero just like your real mum” – it really seemed to me that she was lashing out to hurt him, the way he had just hurt her. That is obviously incredibly unhealthy and very wrong, I never said she wasn’t screwed up, but I think that she does care. I think she wants Gideon to love her.

“You have much to learn from me – she wants him to turn to her, to respect her at the very least even if he doesn’t love her. I mean perhaps to her respect, or obedience/loyalty is love. It’s certainly what the Blue Fairy demands from her fellow fairies and so if that was the only model the Black Fairy knew then it makes sense.

The Dark Curse would create her perfect world wouldn’t it? That’s why Pan wanted to use it – the new Neverland. Rumple just wanted the transport to the land without magic but it’s far more than just a magic bean. It’s like a simultaneous brainwash/world creation. I’ve always figured that Regina left a lot of the details just up to magic – she wouldn’t have known anything about the land without magics architecture/electricity so it probably just carbon copied a similar town from down the coast.

Whereas the Black fairy especially with all that dust could probably design an entire world – imagine the fanfic possibilities. Pick your movie AU. This would give her the perfect world, one where nobody could hurt her and everyone would do as she wanted. She could have all the power, all the control, she could have her family and would never lose it.

“Part of you wanted to help me” – I think she’s persuading herself of that, she wants it to be true. She’s probably lied to herself about it to justify taking his heart – he just needed a little push, he wanted to help her really. He’s a heartless son but maybe that’s enough for her, just the illusion of him being on her side and denial takes care of the rest.

This also explains why she might want to hurt Rumple or at least rejects him now. He’s an adult, he’s not the child she lost. He’s an uncomfortable reminder of her failure and his existence taunts her because he is her son but not at an age where she can bond with him, if she even wants to do so. I think she wants the fantasy of a family – to raise a child from birth, and bonding with an adult son who had already been through so much would destroy that illusion.

Oh and randomly I love that she says “dearie” it sort of ties her to Rumple in a way because nobody else says that. I’m not sure how Rumple picked it up given he never knew her, or maybe she picked it up from him. After he revealed himself, maybe she checked in from time to time, desperate for knowledge of her son but at the same time loathing the reality which didn’t match what she wanted.

I’m thinking this explains Belle’s visions as well. The Black Fairy was in disguise to try and get Belle to abandon Gideon so she could have him. He would be her blood, albeit skipped a generation, and he would have powerful magic – a worthy son. Somebody to love her finally – to be hers, to be special and her own in a way none of the other ordinary children could be.

The hero Gideon
I’m just going to be superficial for a minute. I love that Gideon has finally lost the terrible cape. I like this new look, it’s much more suitable. His hair looks better as well, when he first got into Storybrooke it looked like somebody had put a bowl over his head and cut round it. There’s definitely more style to it now. Perhaps he’s been making good use of his downtime in studying this new realm and all it’s customs.

The revelation that he’s being controlled makes so much sense. He had repeatedly said that he was sorry and that he had no choice, which was very true. The Black Fairy had probably ordered him not to tell anyone that he was heartless so that was the best he could do to hint at the truth. The scene with Emma was masterful because that was pure honesty, when he told her the truth about how awful the Black Fairy was and how he’d sworn to protect all the innocent children and people in her domain.

He could do that because he was trying a different tactic to fulfill her orders. It was a clever way round the limitations and one he really should have tried first. Given that he’d tried to kill her, I can understand why Emma wasn’t feeling sympathetic or trusting. After all he could have been lying about wanting to save them, and after the events with the spider later, Emma probably thinks that he was lying.

Not going to lie when they were talking about opening a portal, and needing to go to the sorcerer’s house for it, my first thought was why not use the apprentices wand? Who has that now? Did Rumple take it back or does Zelena still have it? Truthfully I’ve lost track. Either way, couldn’t Emma open a portal with it to get to Hook and then use it to open a portal back?

I still don’t understand how Gideon got to Storybrooke in the first place. He managed to portal here from the Dark Realm and he’s here permanently, not snapping back like a yo-yo like the Black Fairy pre-Emma powered portal.

Got to be honest I kinda respect Gideon even more for the tactic of manipulating Emma rather than just charging at her with a sword. I suppose in a way the sword was him being Belle’s son, and the manipulation is Rumple’s genes showing. I did think his change of heart and trusting her was a bit sudden especially because Emma wasn’t being cooperative at all. If he’d wanted to try that tactic for real then it should have been the first thing he tried, before he tried to skewer her with a sword.

I still find it incredibly sad that he’s so determined to be a hero, like his mother wanted, because it’s an impossible path. Belle has always wanted to a hero and constantly feels like she falls short, because the ideal of the hero is impossible for mortals to achieve. She’s human and so is Gideon. He had a moment of weakness and twenty years later he’s still beating himself up for it. Although, he probably gets that from Rumple who has never forgiven himself for anything.

It’s a lot of pressure, to save everyone in the Dark Realm. Don’t get me wrong it’s a noble goal but it’s also an incredible burden. Gideon isn’t responsible, he wasn’t born to be a hero, his choices are his own – well except when he’s heartless. It’s great that he wants to help but he also needs to think about himself because what fate usually meets heroes? Gideon deserves better.

Emma and reason
Not going to lie I wrote this:

“What did he do now?” – expecting something awful
“He banished Hook to another realm” – blink, blink, is that it?
“He did?” – I admire Gold’s restraint not to cackle and say now you know what it feels like because seriously?

I do try and keep sarcasm out of these reviews. I try and remain positive and if I don’t have something nice to say, then I stay silent. However, honestly that is what I felt. I know that Emma doesn’t owe Gideon anything. He had tried to kill her once already, and was attempting blackmail, when this scene at the shop happened. That being said Emma had been told, whether she believed Gideon or not, he had told her that he was trying to save his people.

Emma and Snow have a history of giving second chances. I love Regina but really they should have executed her back in the Enchanted Forest. She killed and hurt dozens (probably hundreds) of people during her reign as the Evil Queen. From flashbacks she continued spreading misery and death even after Snow spared her from execution. So Snow and Charming weren’t her only victims, and yet they gave her repeated chances.

Yes Gideon is gunning for Emma personally and I’m not suggesting for one second that she shouldn’t defend herself, but a less blinkered approach would have reflected better on both Snow and Emma as characters. Emma says “I can only go by what I see and know” but Gideon had spoken to her at this point, she had a possibility and she didn’t even mention it.

Then “she hasn’t threatened anyone else” and I really blinked because the Black Fairy has been taking children for years. Just because she hasn’t visited Storybrooke doesn’t mean she hasn’t been spreading her evil. She’s a villain and she definitely has threatened a lot of people. Now I know the Black Fairy doesn’t appear as an immediate threat, she is mostly trapped, but Emma, Snow and the others have a history of taking on other people’s problems. What about Operation Firebird down in the underworld? I know it’s mean but it does feel like they pick and choose who to care about.

“I handled you” made me laugh because Rumple used to turn people into snails and step on them. He moderates himself because he wants to be the man Bae thought he was, and he also wants to be better for Belle. However, he could crush them if he wanted. Emma has never stopped Rumple from doing anything, he’s very much holding back. One day I hope he let’s himself go and they really see the power he commands, then they’d realize how much he keeps himself in check.

“I’m sorry your son can not be saved he’s evil” – that’s very black and white. Yes I know Gideon has now tried to kill her twice. She has every right to defend herself. If Emma killed Gideon in self-defense then she would be justified. I just find it a tough pill to swallow given how certain others are treated. I suppose Emma likes those others though, or likes people that like them. Proves that Belle isn’t actually Emma’s friend because she’s not willing to make those kind of compromises.

I know it’s very much “cool motive but still murder” and so from Emma’s perspective no matter what Gideon suffered, his actions do seem evil, so she can call him that. I don’t know, I just think a little moderation in her statements would have reflected better on her. I don’t think Emma even thanked Rumple for saving her life. She just noted that he was “cleaning up his son’s mess” and so perhaps she felt she didn’t have to thank him. However, isn’t that kinda what Regina did when Emma was the dark one? Emma turned that dwarf into a statue and Regina fixed it. The town were demanding something be done about her but they protected Emma.

I think the mystery of what Rumple and Belle have been doing for the last two episodes has been solved – they’ve been talking. When Snow and Emma burst into the shop Rumple and Belle seemed very attuned. They knew what the other was going to say, they were definitely very much on the same page. There was a real feeling of them being a team and I hope that continues. The backrub, was a physical sign of that mutual support.

I love that Rumple got to be a hero. He was actually worried about Emma. I think that he liked her at first, and then when he learned of her relationship with Neal/Bae he almost saw her as family. Then the last few seasons happened and that all broke to pieces but he still cares a little bit. He called her Miss Swan first but then he swapped to the less formal Emma, urging her to be alright. Then what I thought was most telling was that he asked if she was alright before he asked after Gideon. That was polite and not at all selfish.

I do wonder though what Rumple holding his dagger up actually did. Given that the spider shrunk, and Emma’s magic had previously had very little affect, I’m guessing there was some kind of magic at work. Why wasn’t there the usual magic smoke or colors? Had they tapped out on funds for CGI so just said Rumple could hold up the dagger instead?

Rumple made excellent arguments to Snow and Emma, basically everything I was thinking and they didn’t concede an inch. Charmings vs Gold’s is very much on the table and I’m relieved that Belle stayed with Rumple. I’m not surprised that she agreed with Emma’s assessment that Gideon was lost because “they only see the world in black and white” does kinda apply to her as well. Still it meant Rumple could give her hope and that was wonderful to see and they held hands!!

Also, I found it interesting Belle signed the book ‘mother’ as that sort of explains why Gideon called her that. I mean there are so many options aren’t there; mother, mom, mama etc. and mother is the most formal. I figured Gideon used it because it was formal and it was a way of acknowledging who Belle was but at the same time keeping distance. Still actually thinking about it Belle called Colette ‘mother’ so it makes sense.

Other stuff
Regina has really been taking care of business hasn’t she? Undoing everything that the split!Queen did – accepting the consequences for her actions. Henry’s eyes going all white like that was really creepy and Regina’s panic was heartbreaking. She must have felt so powerless in that moment.

I love that Henry woke up, he turned to Regina for comfort and for answers. It obviously really pained Regina that she didn’t know so she instantly jumped to what she could do. Her sass with Isaac was great, she really does have the best insults. Oh and I’m sorry I just have to have a small complaint now about Adam and that tweet.

Adam said that Hamilton hit the stage 18 months earlier than in reality but that’s like a band-aid over a bullet hole. It’s an obvious excuse and the tag #TimelinePolice was just rude. I don’t usually comment on these things but not going to lie I found that a little offensive. If people care enough about his show to notice these things, a little humility and respect would go a long way.

Right back to the episode where does Blackbeard get all those magic beans from? Does he have his own beanstalk? I thought those things were supposed to be rare. I liked the banter between Hook and Blackbeard, in fact I think I prefer Blackbeard, can we keep him instead of Hook? I did have to laugh at the rowing boat though – where did Blackbeard think he was going?

The promo for next week – finally! I thought Snow and Charming would never wake up. The war is definitely on with Golds vs. Charmings. I want to see a lot more Black Fairy to see if any of my headcanons are actually true. The whole time travel thing next episode is going to give me a headache and I don’t know if I can stop myself from ranting.

When Once did the time travel thing last time they messed it up, time travel doesn’t work like that so I have zero faith that they will get it right this time. Still it’s an interesting concept and like I said at least Snow and Charming both seem to be awake and getting screentime. They deserve that because they really haven’t had enough.