Review – Once Upon a Time S06E16 – Mother’s Little Helper

Warning: if you suffer from arachnophobia do not watch this episode of Once Upon a Time.

This episode of Once Upon a Time featured Killian Jones trying to return to Storybrooke, flashbacks of Gideon’s life in the Dark Realm and Emma Swan faces up against a giant spider.”Mother’s Little Helper” was entertaining and featured some wonderful acting by Giles Matthey and Jaime Murray. Plus it had much better pacing than the previous episodes. This season of OUAT is not perfect but the episodes are getting better.

(Missed our review of last week’s episode? Catch up here.)

Once Upon a Time Mother's Little Helper
(ABC/Jack Rowand)

Pirate Comedy

The B-plot in this episode was Killian Jones trying to find his way home. It added some much-needed levity in an otherwise dramatic episode. Killian finds his way back to the Enchanted Forrest and meets up with Blackbeard once again. If he can beat him in a game of cards Blackbeard will give him a magic bean if he can’t Killian will give him the Jolly Roger. We’ll get to the meaning of the latter later, right now let’s focus on the hilarity.

Charles Mesure and Colin O’Donoghue have a truly wonderful rapport and it was truly a joy to see them in scenes together again. Killian knows that Blackbeard is cheating but goes along with it to get the magic bean, knowing Blackbeard will want to get his hands on the Jolly Roger. There’s a fantastic moment where Blackbeard realizes he’s been duped a bit and it’s absolutely hilarious. Killian’s plan was perfect and it should have worked but instead, they ended up in Neverland. The audience knows why it didn’t work, Gideon is blocking him from returning, but the captains are in the dark. We get to see Blackbeard and Captain Hook running from the lost boys that are left in Neverland. Blackbeard knocks Killian out and leaves in a small boat.

There’s something quite meaningful in the fact that Killian doesn’t even hesitate before offering up the Jolly Roger, something that used to be his home, in order to return to Emma. Because she is his home, it doesn’t matter where they are as long as they are together they are home. For those of you keeping score, this is the second time he’s given up the Jolly Roger in order to get back to Emma or help her in some way. Let’s hope they finally get reunited in this week’s episode because this plot has dragged on for too long.

Not what it seems

It’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of Gideon so far. That is nothing against Giles Matthey who is doing a truly tremendous job in portraying him. Frankly, all that I’d seen is a Gideon that had clearly taken after his father in the cowardliness, the evilness and the refusal to admit to their own wrong-doings. It was all the markings of the Rumplestiltskin men. And then this episode took on us on a whirlwind of emotions regarding Gideon French.

We see through the flashbacks a cowardly Gideon who couldn’t stand up to the Dark Fairy and grew up to be her lackey. In the present time, we saw a confrontation between Emma and Gideon. Emma kicked his ass, which I’ll admit was slightly cathartic and then they agree to work together. Everything seems to be going well, we even have Gideon apologizing, something neither Regina nor Rumple have done so it earned him a few points in my book. And he even looked so honest that you believed him, so mad props to Matthey for that. Then he betrayed Emma and left her to be killed by the giant spider. So I was all set to hate Gideon again.

I was so sure he was just trying to help the Dark Fairy come to Storybrooke and that he truly was evil. Then we got the final flashback. Gideon’s friend Rodrick had convinced him to help him go up against the Dark Fairy, portrayed marvelously by Jaime Murray, but it turned out to be a trick. Rodrick got killed while Gideon lost his heart. 

Yes, the reason Gideon had been doing all those things is because the Dark Fairy had his heart. I did not see that coming so I definitely have to give props to the writers for that. I would like to apologize to Gideon for all the things I’ve said about him, it’s not fair to judge someone that isn’t actually in control of his actions. I really hope this storyline culminates in him being a baby again, not because I don’t enjoy Matthey because I definitely do, but because this kid deserves better. 

I do have to say didn’t Rumple or Belle think to check if their son had a heart? You would think with the amount of times villains have stolen hearts or the fact that Regina still has the hearts of her victims locked up, they would think to check; apparently not.

Once Upon a Time
(ABC/Jack Rowand)

Snow White: And I’m happy to help we’ve been looking for some mother-daughter bonding

Emma Swan: Let’s get my pirate back



*Jaime Murray is truly phenomenal as the Dark Fairy. The mannerisms and the use of the word dearie that really hit it home and you truly believe this woman is Rumple’s mother.

*I’m not a fan of the retcon that the Dark Fairy created the original curse, we know it was actually Rumple who created it. And it’s been stated multiple times over the past 6 seasons that Rumple created it so this was just ridiculous.

*Rodrick was an Emma Swan fanboy and I think that’s beautiful.

*I’m thankful that Rumple saved Emma’s life but I still hate him and think Belle deserves better.

*The Hamilton jokes just fell flat and like they were trying too hard.

*The savior fighting the final battle sounds ominous and it makes me scared for my girl.

*Can we get Captain Swan and Snowing reunited, please? Both storylines are so dragged out.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!


Images via ABC.

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About the author

Maii Trueba

Maii is a 27 year old writer, who can get emotional and protective over certain characters and their stories, also pandas. And don't get her started on A Song of Ice and Fire because you'll never hear the end of it. She graduated in film and has a certificate in Art History so the nerdiness comes out from time to time.

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