Oddly enough, some parenting of our own delayed this post a day. Things are getting more meta by the moment. And just when everyone’s finding happiness on their own, too.
Inspired by Tipper Gore’s PMRC and their crusade for Parental Advisory labeling, Danzig’s “Mother” is a more or less a challenge to parents who wish to protect their children from the evils of the world. Sound familiar?
Can you keep them in the dark for life
Can you hide them from the waiting world
Not about to see your light
And if you wanna find hell with me
I can show you what it’s like
Of course there are also a surfeit of mothers on the show: Emma, Regina, Mary Margaret, Zelena, Cora, Maleficent, (the baby club from 4A)…
Lily: They sent me through the portal in my eggshell. Baby Moses in his basket.
So last episode I pointed out how the SuperSport with the Sylvia license plate linked Lily and Mal to 2014’s Maleficent. “Rhea Sylvia conceived Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome with the god Mars. She was a minor forest diety, a spirit of the forest, like the movie Mal.” Here the writers drill further down. The legends of Romulus and Remus as well as Moses are examples of the foundling tale, a trope as old as stories themselves. Maleficent‘s Anastasia is another example.
This is apparently the kind of thing writers get up to when allowed. We’ve seen a reference to another foundling, Sigurd, by way of his partner Guðrún’s name emblazoned on the shop next to Gold’s.
“Dark Star” (1968)
Naming a pharmacy after a song by the psychedelic rock band The Grateful Dead is both goofy and inspired. Placing the sign for it above Lilith Page, Maleficent’s daughter and unwilling recipient of Emma Swan’s potential for darkness with the star shaped birthmark… well, that’s just a cleverness hammer.
Mirror shatters in formless reflections of matter.
Glass hand dissolving to ice petal flowers revolving.
Like Gudrun they might even have seen the callback to 4A. And they named this ship if anyone wants to sail it.
Maleficent: But all I want to do now is enjoy our time together. I am your mother.
Lily: Well, I’m grown up now. I don’t need grooming advice from Annie Hall.
The prodigal daughter is definitely making fun of Mal’s vest and tie, but there’s a good chance that she’s making another lateral analogy. One of the tensions in everybody’s favorite Woody Allen movie is between enjoying the time we have versus neurotically dwelling on the past.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Chief Bromden and Nurse Ratched:
Bonus points for working these folks, whom we’ve seen before into Zelena’s cuckoo scheme subplot.
The Lion King
This is probably the closest we’ll ever get, but it’s actually more interestingly constructed than it might appear at first glance.
Nottingham’s actually trying to get himself a kingship he has no right to and he’s the nemesis of Robin, the guy Regina believes to belong by her side. This little lion is meant to remind the scary sheriff who he is. Remember…
How to Train Your Dragon
This one seems a like a bit of a stretch, but Mal does say dragons have to be trained how to fly. Even so, I might have ignored it if Killian hadn’t mentioned Toothless.
Mr. Gold: Are you sure you want to start the day tangling with the Dark One?
Hook: The Dark One can’t strike back without charring his heart. You’re toothless, old dog.
Why didn’t he say crocodile? Because we’re talking about the descriptor, not the animal.
“Operation Mongoose” 4×21,22
Maleficent: Can’t you just wait a little while longer? Things could look different in a week.
Postneometareference to the season finale, where things look very different indeed.
But wait, it’s also referencing the first ever episode? It is. Like a mirror. The parent is trying to get the child to stay in Storybrooke for one week rather than the other way around.
Emma: Listen to me, kid. I am not in any book. I’m a real person. And I’m no savior. You were right about one thing, though. I wanted you to have your best chance. But it’s not with me. C’mon, let’s go.
Henry: Please don’t take me back there! Just stay with me for one week, that’s all I ask! One week, and you’ll see I’m not crazy.
Another episode reference comes full circle as Gold’s plans from the beginning of the arc come to fruition, just in time for villains to finally win.
Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments
Killian gloats to Gold that Emma didn’t turn dark. Nah-nah-nah-nah-boo-boo!
Emma’s return to Storybrooke means a big ol’ romantic hug for Capt. Hook.
Killian takes Emma out to the docks to have her look at the horizon. “I can tell your heart is uneasy. And it’s my job, well, I hope it’s my job to protect your heart, even when no one is physically trying to steal it.” He talks to her again about letting go of the anger and resentment she’s holding towards her parents. It is incredibly sweet. And it totally works. Of course, since Lily’s blood is the key to making the ink, totally saving Emma from her darker self doesn’t end up meaning much for the plot, but it does bring Killian and Emma closer and restores the bond she has with her parents. Killian proves, once again, how insightful he can be about love and grudges.
A rough opening scene and conversation between Regina and Robin. Regina, however, shows her character growth by not just ripping out his heart. Actually, she’s pretty calm about the whole thing, if a little wallowing in self-pity. Robin rightfully points out that his moving on is hardly the biggest issue here–his little Roland won’t understand where his mother has gone once Zelena stops using the glamour. This helps get Regina back on focus, and she suggests a forgetting potion to take him back to the time before fake Marian showed up. Furthermore, poor Marian, who died for no other reason than this farce that Zelena cooked up. Regina apologies for Zelena doing all of this to thwart Regina’s happy ending, and Robin suggests they can now pursue that happy ending again, though clearly there are many complications and challenges in front of them. Here Regina wallows a bit more, foreshadowing the reveal that she cannot have children. But Robin just asks, “What do we do now?” It’s a neat scene, echoed later with Lily and Malificent, showing two real human adults dealing with their hopes and disappointments. It certainly kicks the door wide open for these two to continue their relationship, but it doesn’t minimize the emotional difficulties it would mean.
Cora is an Outlaw Queen shipper! (Except not so much as it turns out she’s willing to sub any ol’ scoundrel in for Robin.) When Cora does try to trick Regina into accepting Nottingham (the sexist pig!) in for Robin, Regina doesn’t fall for it. Later she tells Cora: “That’s not what a soulmate feels like.” Regina will understand many years later how right she is.
Regina realizes she’s her own worst enemy in achieving her happy ending and changes her mind at the last minute about writing Zelena out of the story. Instead, she essentially challenges Zelena to a custody battle, showing she’s ready to fight for her happy ending…which is feeling at home in this world. Robin’s just a part of that world. Too bad that decision makes Isaac very bored.
No real action in this episode, but the teaser for next week certainly promises great things for Rumpbelle on the horizon.
Regina figures out a way to power the blood without endangering her/our Savior’s heart.
When Snow runs in to “help” with Lily in dragon form, Charming runs in after her, clearly concerned for her well-being (and rightfully so).
Zelena, after hearing Regina’s plans to be happy with Robin despite Zelena’s meddling: “Another woman defining happiness relative to the love of a man.”