Hook’s appointment with the bottle, the sword’s weak-sauce magic, Robin playing with magic, Blue Fairy’s not-blue blood, and the scene that ruined the episode. Plus, with Hook’s ill-boding dark secret, is he really still good enough for Emma? Join us and listen as we discuss the episode “Ill-Boding Patterns” thoroughly and with more details!
The First Ogres War (Past)
This is the same war that Rumplestiltskin was drafted into. It was so long and hard that, according to 1×08 “Desperate Souls,” they needed more soldiers and thus lowered the draft age. That’s what made Rumple a desperate soul to save his son. But shouldn’t this be all kids?
Beowulf could have been a cool character, however short his appearance. But since this is Once Upon a Time, which seems to have vowed to leave no hero unturned to darkness. The sword, which is called Hrunting, does actually tie in with the Beowulf legend.
And another item lent by Unferth at that moment of need was of no small importance:
The brehon handed him a hilted weapon, a rare and ancient sword named Hrunting. The iron blade with its ill-boding patterns had been tempered in blood. It had never failed the hand of anyone who hefted it in battle, anyone who had fought and faced the worst in the gap of danger. This was not the first time it had been called to perform heroic feats.
In addition to this, the Blue Fairy actually was the one who forged the sword, which is said to be enchanted with light magic. In our initial reactions, we talked about how it came to Emma’s possessions and turns out, the sword falls into Rumple’s hands at the end of the flashbacks, and he keeps it until Emma finds it in Mr. Gold’s shop in 6×09 “Changelings”. But what else could the sword do?
The whole thing that happened in the battlefield and the first one we heard referenced back to 1×19 “The Return” by Morraine, Baelfire’s friend, who said that she was there and mentioned how it was a “miracle.” One other thing that sounded familiar from this episode was the Wilhelm scream.
It’s a tricky line to walk with a character like Beowulf, because when you go back to old English poetry, they weren’t really into characterization or deep, meaningful dialogues, but Beowulf is known to be proud, boastful and knows that he is going to die. This Beowulf, on the other hand, is just a jerk. The melancholy that Beowulf is known for did not come across with him, but with Rumplestiltskin. It felt repititious especially after what they did with Arthur, who turns out not to be a hero at all. Beowulf doesn’t need to be murdering villagers to accomplish his goals. He’s right to be concerned about the Dark One, but as the episode goes on and on, Beowulf gets worse and worse. The ill-boding patterns in this episode are not a fallen hero, but the name the character is wearing, whether it’s Gideon, Arthur or Beowulf.
Can we once just have the valiant hero stay the valiant hero for once? FOR ONCE?!
Meanwhile, Bae is getting his face in mud and Rumple is spinning but not spinning gold yet, which says that even though he’s already the Dark One, he’s not quite the Dark One he’s become just yet. It was interesting seeing him try to be as normal as he can be, hanging out at the tavern and going back to his hovel to spin. When they get to the river’s edge, it connects nicely with 1×19 “The Return” when Baelfire said Rumple was willing to overcome the darkness. But what does it matter whether Rumplestiltskin brought the dagger or not? He’s always been able to use his power regardless of where it is.
It was cool that they were at Grendel’s cave but unfortunately, there never was “The Grendel.” But Baelfire was so out of his character once they were out of the cave, which contradicts season 1 Baelfire so much, but did Bae’s actions really retconned his character at all?
Rumplestiltskin tried to do right by his son out of true love for him, and knowing himself, gave Bae the one thing that could keep him from using the power. Could we argue that Bae should have fought harder against taking the dagger? Of course. but really it came down to Rumple trusted Bae and Bae trusted himself. The lesson here is the old adage, “Power tends to corrupt, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Baelfire didn’t take the power selfishly, it was given to him freely, yet it corrupted him just the same as if he had taken it to “use” it. This doesn’t retcon Bae into any less of a hero, it only shows that it doesn’t matter if you have the best of intentions, ultimate dark power will corrupt you just the same.
— Jodi Giese
Long Time Listener, First Time Caller
The fact that Baelfire controlled Rumplestiltskin to kill Beowulf completely taints Baelfire’s character of someone who would have never controlled his father. In episode 1×19 “The Return,” Rumple gave August (masquerading as Baelfire) the dagger and August tries to control him. Rumple makes a point that Baelfire would never control him, someone who never wanted his Papa to give in to darkness and he completely made a 180. This was out of character for Baelfire and I understand why they chose to go this route, but they could have executed the story in a way that made sense and kept Baelfire as we’ve known and seen him in previous episodes and seasons.
Unless, of course, Rumplestiltskin drank a forgetting potion himself, then the scene would be understandable. If you look at this episode as a standalone, Rumple’s actions are kind of honorable by taking the blame for his son.
Honestly, I do not see “Ill Boding Patterns” as retconning Bae at all. This is about Rumple and the corrupting power of the Dark One, who let us not forget, is a SEPARATE ENTITY from Rumplestiltskin.
Rumple was trying to do the right thing by not using magic (as hard as that was for him) and in doing so, handed Bae the dagger. The whole point is that Baelfire did not want his Papa to use dark magic, even for ‘good.’ He wanted to show Rumple that they could work together to defeat Grendel/Beowulf the ‘right way.’
Rumplestiltskin tried to do right by his son out of true love for him, and knowing himself, gave Bae the one thing that could keep him from using the power. Could we argue that Bae should have fought harder against taking the dagger? Of course. but really it came down to: Rumple trusted Bae and Bae trusted himself. The lesson here is the old adage, “Power tends to corrupt, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Baelfire didn’t take the power selfishly, it was given to him freely, yet it corrupted him just the same as if he had taken it to “use” it. This doesn’t retcon Bae into any less of a hero, it only shows that it doesn’t matter if you have the best of intentions, ultimate dark power will corrupt you just the same.
Rumple was heartbroken that his own actions, also regardless of intention, led to Baelfire’s corruption, and immediately acted to ameliorate the effects on his child. He would rather Bae despise him than allow him to fall into the trap of dark power.
The same with Gideon. Rumple knows better than anyone, that even though he wants this power to defeat the Dark Fairy and stop her from harming innocents, just like Rumple in the First Ogre’s War, it will lead to Gideon’s corruption and the damaging of his soul. Say what you will about Rumplestiltskin, he is a good father -he loves his children and takes responsibility for their well-being, and would rather himself be hurt, despised, corrupted than see them changed.
— Jodi Giese
Long Time Listener, First Time Caller
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Storybrooke (Present Day)
I do like this pairing of Archive and Hook. We don’t get to see nearly enough with Dr. Hopper.
Poor Jiminy Cricket has to have therapy sessions with most of the people who’ve traumatized him. Rumple was his patient back in Season One. Of course he didn’t remember his past with Rumple at the time. But Rumple is the one who changed Jiminy’s life to such a degree that he ended up a cricket!
Regina hasn’t been an easy patient and Cora posing as her while almost killing him, couldn’t be relaxing. And do you recall where Archie met Hook for the first time in Season Two? On the Jolly Roger when Hook was trying to torture him for information about Rumple. You remember; Hook said he’d always wanted to dissect a cricket. I wish they’d have an episode that takes place solely in Archie’s office where he has sessions with all of the main cast of characters. You could call the episode “A Bug’s Life.”
— Meredith of Everett, WA
Furthermore, die-hard James Bond fan would recognize the rum Hook is drinking, which is River Rum from Oracabessa, Jamaica, which is the home to the Golden Eye luxury hotel, the Ian Fleming International Airport, and the James Bond Beach. That aside, it was cool to see the crisis Hook is in, and Archie was right; Hook is a changed man. He is a better person now, regretting his past and wanting to do the right thing.
While they were looking for Gideon in the woods, Rumple actually threaten the Blue Fairy. He might have redeeming qualities, but he hadn’t really change at all. Jumping forward to the end of the episode where it was Rumple who took Blue Fairy’s magic, he probably might have enjoyed doing that a little bit. But despite his back and forth, he still might be trying not to let anyone get hurt.
Meanwhile, Robin is at his thinking log playing with magic and said, when Regina appeared, “not another step,” just like he did in “Wish You Were Here,” which proves more that this is anyone other than Wish Robin. Everything about this Robin was a total opposite of the other Robin, except for the fact that he is a thief.
Back to the clock tower with Gideon tied up by his own father, it was interesting how quickly they repaired the clock tower, which was also shown the previous episode. Rumplestiltskin referred to the sword is a useless relic, but that was a lie, because the sword could hurt the Evil Queen. That’s not nothing. Rumplestiltskin also said that “Giving into darkness can only lead to heartbreak.” If he can be such a great understudy for Belle, why doesn’t he listen to her? As nice as his speeches are, they’re out of character, or is it?
An enchanted blade may ebb and wane in time with scores of differing hands on the hilt. Like an oft blood letted vein, energy escapes. To invigorate the instrument in question, the practitioner should find the smith who originally forged the blade. Some blood of that might will needed to commence the great work.
Make a magic circle with rope and establish the four quarters with a dedication to the old ones. Mix the blood of the smith with some wolfsbane and some juniper berries. Pour this concoction into a cauldron and stir it in a deasil motion on a clear evening when the moon is waxing gibbous. When the concoction has cooled, dip the blade into the cauldron while willing the lost magic to return.
With Rumple’s argument for not wanting Gideon to go dark, why not just tell him that it’s evil and not someting a hero would do? Is everything that Gideon is doing planted by the Black Fairy? Was it the Black Fairy who told Gideon he needs to kill Emma, a Savior, to defeat the Black Fairy?
At the town line, Robin and Zelena have that potion that will drain the magic out of any spell. During our Ill-Boding Patterns initial reactions, we asked where did the protection spell come from. Turns out, it was put into place by the Evil Queen in 6×02 “A Bitter Draught.” It’s the exact same protection spell as what Regina used with the original curse, which Evil Queen cast it from the magic she stole from Regina’s vault. And in turn, Regina was so selfless that she volunteered to help Robin leave Storybrooke, which is exactly what a redemption arc looks like. Too bad that the Evil Queen expressed wanting to stay later on in the episode.
At the lake, Gideon finds the Blue Fairy and it’s interesting that Rumple took all of Blue’s magic to remake the sword. So, when Rumple takes some of the blood, he took all of “The Original Power’s” magical power. Did Rumple do this not because he want Gideon to kill Emma, but so that he could kill Emma himself? Now that all of Blue’s magic was drained out of her, is she still a fairy?
Rumple then takes the Blue Fairy to his shop and told Belle that the plan is to stop Gideon and then return the magic to Blue Fairy, so she’s not dead this time. Does Rumple really cares as much as Gideon wanting to kill Emma?
I do think that Rumple wants Gideon to avoid murdering Emma. But that doesn’t really mean he’s trying to protect her. He probably thinks that he himself is too far gone. So who’s to say that he wouldn’t simply kill Emma himself and go back with Gideon to get rid of the Black Fairy?
By the way, Rumple may have killed Papa Dearest [Peter Pan] for the right reasons, but it no doubt darkened Rumple’s heart considerably. It isn’t a coincidence that Rumple’s been on the wrong path ever since Season Four. Killing one’s parent leave a hole, as Regina knows. If Rumple kills his mother too, he’ll never ever come back from it. Then again, Regina managed to kill both her parents. In fact, she killed Cora twice via Hitman Hook and Snow’s waxy candle poisoned heart. Regina really needs to resume therapy.
— Meredith of Everett, WA
Hook’s proposal would have been beautiful, if not for the underlying, ill-boding dark secret. To be fair, she did force his hook by bringing the ring with her. Will Hook’s proposal hinder him to confessing the truth to Emma?
Back at the vault with Zelena bringing Queen Cobra back to Regina, the cage that snake Evil Queen was in was broken, which could mean that she escaped and not that someone let her out. However, it was admirable how Regina is taking responsibility for her actions during her Evil Queen days, making her now a complete person.
On the other side of town, however, Robin and the Evil Queen are sitting by the tree not quite K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
I think that this Robin is the page 23 Robin, and in order for them to be together, she must reunite with the Evil Queen because that is the person (the whole person), that was meant to be his soulmate. Once reunited, they can fall in love.
— Tracy Miller
I was very excited to be able to, for the first time, give you feedback in time for a new episode after I binge watched 6 seasons in less than a month.
I’m not sure but my theory is that our Regina will get back her evil part and then something will happen with Robin. Not sure how/why but that’s what I gathered from the hints the show left in those (very few) scenes we had with WishRobin and Evil Queen.
Will this Robin fall in love should Regina and the Evil Queen reintegrated back together? What if, because a part of Regina has been ripped out like her evil self, the kiss with Robin didn’t work?
What did you think?
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- In 6×14, “Page 23”, The Evil Queen sets out to eliminate her other half using Robin
- Meanwhile Hook, determined to make things work with Emma, turns to his old friend Capt. Nemo for advice
- In the past, however, the Evil Queen learns a surprising lesson about the true source of her misery
- “Page 23” was written by David H. Goodman & Brigitte Hales and directed by Kate Woods
- Guest starring are Rose McIver as Tinker Bell, Sean Maguire as Robin of Locksley, Tony Perez as the Valet, Giles Matthey as Gideon, Faran Tahir as Captain Nemo, Edward Foy as Lead Knight and Hesham Hammoud as Crewman
- Promo for 6×14 focused on the Evil Queen being back and wanting Snow White
- We also did see Regina vs the Evil Queen at the Mayor’s office having a sword-fight with Regina flying off the wall in the promo for 6×14 “Page 23”
- “Page 23” is going to be the final battle between the Evil Queen and Regina
- Promo photos for “Page 23” shows a flashback with the Evil Queen’s carriage arriving at the village, a lot of Regina in the village, and a couple with her father
- Jennifer Morrison talked to Entertainment Weekly and revealed, “If she wasn’t ready when she found the ring, she would’ve pretended like she didn’t find the ring…”
- 6×21 and 6×22 is entitled “The Final Battle” written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
- There are some photos of an ambulance in the set, wheeling somebody out on a stretcher. People who have been watching on set said that it was Henry running around Storybrooke with his story book.
- Granny will be back for the finale and is seen driving Ruby’s car.
- Mr. Gold’s shop is being turned into “Gold and Son”
- According to the papparrazzi hanging out on set, both Lana Parrilla and Colin O’Donoghue both have signed on their contracts; Jennifer Morrison is still under negotiations, and Robert Carlyle will not be returning should the series be renewed for another season and will be killed off by the season’s end. Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, and Jared S. Gilmore will not be returning as season regulars, but as guest stars.