Review – Once Upon a Time S06E13 – Ill-Boding Patterns

Once Upon a Time S06E13 – Ill-Boding Patterns

Hello and welcome everyone to Once Upon a Nap Time. Rumple tries to stop Gideon’s plot to kill the savior in the present time and we get a flashback of Baelfire in the past (with a new actor and some serious ret-conning), Regina deals with fake Robin and Killian deals with telling Emma the truth.

This episode was definitely one of the most boring episodes I’ve seen in my life and I’ve watched a lot of awful television in my lifetime. While it wasn’t as offensive as the midseason finale (nothing is as offensive as the midseason finale), it was still a pretty bad episode. It definitely falls into the category of I watched it so you don’t have to.

Rumple is totally good now! We Promise!

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Ill-Boding Patterns"
ONCE UPON A TIME – “Ill-Boding Patterns”

Sadly nowadays if there is anything you can expect from Rumple-centric episodes of Once Upon a Time, it’s Rumple apologism, every time get a new flashback or Rumple-centric it feels repetitive and it’s like the writers want us to forget everything that came before it. They practically flash a sign that says forget the previous canon, this is the canon now. We know that the writers love him but come on, at some point, you have to admit that the character you created is an abusive piece of shit that loves power above anything else. The flashback was extremely boring and didn’t mesh with the rest of what we knew of Rumple and Baelfire. Now I do think Rumple was a good father before becoming the Dark One but afterward, he became the worst as his craving for power always overpowered the love for his children. I mean this is the same guy that let his kid fall into a portal alone because he was afraid to lose his power. Then when the older version came back he pretended it wasn’t his actual son. So why do the writers think he’d get anywhere with Gideon?

Of course, Gideon would use the dagger against him because Gideon knows his father is extremely shady and a horrible person. If anything the only way those scenes would have worked would have been if they had been between Gideon and Belle. We know Gideon actually loves his mother and she’s an actual hero so she could have helped. Instead, we had Belle missing for most of the episode while Gideon and Rumple did shady things, like taking Blue’s powers. And Belle is there in the aftermath hugging Rumple for “putting their son first” apparently forgetting the fact that she was terrified of him 2 episodes ago. Forgetting that the only reason the Black Fairy got a hold of Gideon was because Belle had to give him up because she was terrified of Rumple taking him away. But apparently, things like that don’t matter because look Rumple did a moderately good thing.

Baelfire Retcon

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Ill-Boding Patterns"
ONCE UPON A TIME – “Ill-Boding Patterns”

I think everyone who is reading knows my feelings about Neal. I think he was a selfish man-child douche who gets unfairly regarded as a hero (a title he didn’t earn, like Regina, is more of a hero than Neal is and she’s not a hero at all). Plus he sent my girl Emma to jail for his crime and never apologized for that. So yes I am not a fan of the character at all, so it will come as a surprise to see me defend him. But I feel like I must.

If there was one thing that was constant in 6 years of Once Upon a Time has been on the air, the one thing that has never changed, it’s that Baelfire hates magic. He hated magic as a child and he hated it when he was Neal. So why did we get this weird retcon of Baelfire forcing Rumple to do magic? Forcing Rumple to kill? Easy, it was to glorify Rumple. It’s not fair that Baelfire who by all accounts was a good kid who had awful things happen to him should suffer because the writers want us to forget Rumple is the worst. It made absolutely no sense that even people who hated Neal were like this is wrong and he doesn’t deserve that because he doesn’t. It’s unfair that it’s always Rumple’s family members who have to suffer (Neal, Milah, Belle, Gideon) while Rumple gets off scot-free.

Secrets? What Secrets?

Secrets have a way of coming out in the worst way in this show. We learned in last week’s episode that Killian had been the one to kill Robert. Killian spends all day agonizing about it (or well we assume because he’s in two scenes in the entire episode). He talks to Archie who tells him he needs to tell Emma the truth, it’s an adorable scene and one of the best moments of the episode. Then at the end of the episode, we see him run home clearly intending to tell Emma the truth. She runs down the stairs and she looks delighted to see him.

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Ill-Boding Patterns"
ONCE UPON A TIME – “Ill-Boding Patterns”

She’s so clearly happy that it hurts me because I know that can’t last if he’s going to tell her the truth. Then she admits she found the ring and my heart gives another pull. She’s so happy and you can imagine that she could have spent the day seeing how the ring felt and getting excited about it. As an Emma fan, this scene is so clearly important to me. This is a woman who in the first episodes of season one said that “One-nighters is as far as I go” and now she’s got a ring in her hand and isn’t even slightly terrified at the possibility of spending the rest of her life with Killian.

She tells him her answer would be yes and that it’s just the two of them, no walls no secrets. That’s when I’m sure Killian is going to tell her. Because this is Killian Jones and he’s never truly lied to her, he always tells her the truth even when it hurts. We’ve got proof throughout the show that Killian Jones does not lie to Emma Swan, except for now. The moment where honesty is the most important thing, especially considering what she just said, he decides to lie to her.

I get the explanations, he didn’t want to kill her happiness, it was a spur of the moment decision, but that doesn’t erase the fact that he lied to her. I can’t enjoy the fact that Captain Swan, a couple I’ve loved more than any other, is finally engaged because it all started on a lie. There’s this huge lie hanging over them and it spoils everything. And the worst part is that I don’t think Emma would have cared about him killing Robert because he’s changed and that was in the past. This is the present, one where he decided to lie to her. Emma Swan is the main character and this is her love story so it makes no sense. Also for a man that thrives on giving Emma romantic speeches what we got was barely a proposal. I should be raving about the proposal and smiling all over the place, instead I’m hurt and angry and dealing with this feeling of betrayal. The fans don’t deserve this, Emma Swan doesn’t deserve this. 


  • Killian Jones: I actually want to tell Emma the truth.
  • Archie Hopper: Because you really are the man who Emma wants to marry.


  • Emma Swan: Maybe I can make it easier and tell you that my answer would be yes


  • Beowulf has always been horribly boring, even in high school, so that probably didn’t help.
  • Hey Once Upon a Time guess what maybe your ratings problem is because you choose not to focus on your main character (Emma Swan).
  • I couldn’t even enjoy the fact that Regina admitted that she and the Evil Queen are the same person, because of everything else that happened. And I’ve been waiting for that since forever.
  • Regardless of everything, that kiss after the proposal was literally the cutest.

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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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