In the Once Upon a Time episode Dark Waters, the characters asked both themselves and others a lot of questions, and I had a few too by the end. Questions like, how did the Evil Queen know about those magical scissors? Is Archie not a cricket anymore? Since when does Henry have all these issues with Hook? Why didn’t Snow offer to go with Belle for her ultrasound, rather than letting her go alone? And why is Belle suddenly thinking about giving Rumple a chance? Didn’t he trap her on a pirate ship the last time we saw them? It’s all well and good that she wants her unborn son and Rumple to have a relationship that’s not based on mutual hatred, but even considering repairing their marriage? Did Belle’s pregnancy give her short-term memory loss or something?
That’s not to say there weren’t a few interesting storylines though, such as Emma and Aladdin bonding over their shared burden of Saviorhood, and really anything involving him. Gotta say, this Aladdin may not be the edgiest (it is ABC after all), but he is charming, and Deniz Akdeniz has the kind of likability that makes him impossible to root against. It also helps that there’s certainly a chemistry there with Karen David’s Jasmine, which really makes you wish they were allowed to spend more time in each other’s company so their story could really take off. Then again, the news that Agrabah has supposedly been destroyed might just be the incentive needed.
Mostly though, we get a lot of stuff that really seems to come so much out of nowhere that it feels like filler. Henry suddenly has issues with Hook, which gets worse when The Evil Queen shows up. So she somehow knows the former pirate lied and kept those scissors he told Emma he got rid of last episode. This means Hook and Henry must argue and reconcile once again, but it gets somewhat interesting when Hook’s long-lost sibling, as in the one he orphaned, is thrown into the mix. Their issues are resolved a bit too quickly, but here’s hoping we get to see the two of them bond. Also cool to see Nemo and the Nautilus.
Once also hasn’t been giving the Evil Queen her due. She’s the one Henry should really have issues with. I mean, her arrival means he technically now has three mothers, and the Queen already pointed out that she raised him just as much as Regina did, so exploring their bond and Henry’s conflicting feelings would be interesting to see, rather than briefly mentioned during her and Zelena’s spa day. But the show would rather have her and Gold continue their weird flirtation again, which makes even less sense this time around. Even after they kiss, the Evil Queen admits she wants the same thing she’s always been after: Snow White’s heart. Also, what the hell was up with that southern accent? I guess we should just be relieved there wasn’t any creepy sniffing this time.
However, the good thing about OUAT is that even when it doesn’t quite work, its characters and the stories they tell always plant the seeds for something better. Looks like the Evil Queen will up her game next episode, and here’s hoping the action won’t overwhelm the show’s better qualities.