This review contains spoilers! Proceed with caution.
‘Our Decay’ was all about the bad guys – and how some of them aren’t so bad after all. The plot thickened for Rumple as he had a talk with Belle about their future. We also saw the re-emergence of Zelena (remember what I said about pests being hard to kill?) and learned what Hades meant last week about their secret.
As with many Once Upon a Time episodes, it began with a portal. Specifically, a portal to Storybrooke so that Hades could steal Zelena’s child. It was a case of wrong-place-wrong-time for Belle and Zelena (who had returned from Oz by means unknown), and they were swept to the Underworld along with the baby. This set up the two main dynamics this episode: Rumple and Belle; and Hades and Zelena.
Belle finally discovered the truth about Rumple’s deal with Hades and his refusal to give up his power. While I’m glad that everything’s out in the open, Rumple’s manipulation of her was seriously messed up. Once again, he shifted blame away from himself by telling her that she chose him – megalomania and all. In reality, the only thing Belle chose was to believe he was a good man at heart. It’s becoming very clear that he isn’t. Rumple is refusing to own up to his actions, refusing to better himself, and being a complete douchebag in general. Thankfully, Belle didn’t indulge his mind games. Their complex relationship is one of the most interesting parts of the show at the moment. Belle might still forgive him, but the eerie music that acted as the soundtrack for their conversation suggests that Rumbelle is no longer being played as a romance.
And on the topic of romance – were you as weirded out by the Hades/Zelena storyline as I was? That seemed to come totally out of left field. They do have that whole ‘eternal desire for revenge’ thing in common, but learning that they were potential True Loves brought a new level of cringe into the mix. In a speech that was so heartfelt it was creepy, Hades revealed that everything he has done in the Underworld has been for Zelena. Even his plan to take her daughter wasn’t as nefarious as we first thought (he only wanted to ‘rescue’ her from the heroes). This makes me wonder whether Hades is being genuine, or if it’s just another trick. Although he seems sincere in his feelings for Zelena, it’s hard to tell considering how good of a liar he is. Either way, I think I preferred him when he was pure evil.
This brings us to Zelena herself. She vowed to get her baby back without Hades’ help, and I have to respect her for that. Due credit must be given to Rebecca Mader’s superb performance this episode. As much of a villain as Zelena is, the way that Mader portrayed her anguish really tugged on the heartstrings. It all points to Zelena being established as a sympathetic character, but whether she will be a good mother remains to be seen.
This episode furthered the plot for Rumbelle, and gave us an unexpected storyline with Zades (as tumblr has named it). It’s becoming clear that there isn’t a place for Belle in Rumple’s heart. As for Hades, the coming episodes should provide clarity about his true intentions.
Unfortunately there won’t be a review for next week’s episode, but check back here in two weeks’ time!