Once Upon a Time Recap

Once Upon a Time Recap: The Second-Born Identity

This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Emma received help in finding Hook from a most unlikely source, while the first deal that Rumplestiltskin ever made came back to bite him, hard, in the present day.

As dastardly as this episode’s final twist was — and as welcome of news as it must have been for one fan base — I must take issue with the chain of events that got us there. Namely, Rumple not just doing Hades’ bidding and destroying the heroes’ ride home from the Underworld but also pitching Milah into the River of Lost Souls, which among other things deprived her of finishing her business and thus reuniting with son Baelfire (assuming she wound up in the same place, which I don’t think is a foregone conclusion).

Yes, Hades did allude to having to “kill all of you” if Rumple didn’t strand his friends in the Underworld, in trade for being “back home in bed with Mrs. Dark One by 10 pm.” So I suppose that was a compelling reason for Rumple to follow through. I just would have liked to see more bargaining/jockeying for power before he rolled over for the Underworld’s overlord.

The return of Milah had more resonance than I expected, and was not just played for awkward tittering (such as when she pointedly observed once-former-lover-son-quotethat Emma had been “with my former lover and my son”). I was happy to see her volunteer to help Emma, in the name of doing something “generous” that might make up for her selfishly abandoning Bae for a pirate back in the day. The flashbacks with Milah and Rumple, meanwhile, connected some interesting dots on what exactly pushed her in that cad Killian’s direction, after Rumple “sold” their (non-existent) second-born child to the magic man, to get young Bae the snake antivenom he needed. (As for my quip above about Milah’s fuzzy eventual fate, one could argue that having been so greatly wronged by her husband, who fated her to such a “narrow” life with no more children, maybe she gets a free pass…? Discuss.)

All of which teed up the big reveal, that when Rumple in his Underworld shop crafted a crystal ball and in it saw Belle back in Storybrooke, he had not set out to see her but his child, as in Neal. But Belle herself is now pregnant, Hades reports, thus upping the stakes for Rumple, who due to the stricter contract law in the Underworld still owes his second-born to Hades vis a vis Fendrake. As such, until Hades says otherwise, Rumple shall do his bidding — starting with one specific mission….

Elsewhere in the episode, Emma (with Milah and Rumple’s help) was able to save Hook from his dip in the River of Lost Souls — which seemed, um, remarkably easy. Yet when they returned to Regina, Snow et al, the plan to split Emma’s heart, save Hook and have Regina poof! them home hit a major snag — because Hades had gone ahead and did what Hook refused to, etching the names REGINA, SNOW WHITE and EMMA onto the three headstones, thus preventing any heart-ripping or trips back home.

What did you think of the episode “Devil’s Due,” including Regina’s side mission to seek out Daniel?


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jake L. says:

    Who else expected Belle to be pregnant as soon as the “second-born” deal was introduced? I must admit it is a credible way to write in Emille de Ravin’s actual pregnancy.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I for at least a few moments wondered if we were going to learn that Milah was pregnant when she left Rumple, and in part ran away with Hook to save her unborn child from Fendrake.

      • Night Owl says:

        Actually Matt, that’s exactly what I was expecting also. I expected that Milah’s concern was because she was already pregnant and she was about to tell Rumple.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          It’d be juicy for Rumple to learn he had a second kid out there this whole time, “Who is it?” yada yada… But it’d be a tough sell, that the almighty Dark One never sensed it.

          • Rebecca says:

            It wouldn’t have made sense anyway since Milah clearly didn’t want anything to do with Rumple when he came back home.

          • Gerald says:

            I’d like to take a closer look at that contract. It seemed the contract was for “Thier” Rumple and Milah’s second born. Not Rumple and Belle’s second born.

      • Flashrow says:

        At the moment I was thinking something as Bae as the second child and Mila having lost the first one.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I thought the same way as you, Jake. As soon as the second-born-child-deal was revealed, I knew what was coming. Good twist though! And certainly decent motive for Milah to go running into the arms of that devilishly handsome pirate at the tavern. (Milah & Killian’s “meet cute” flashback was my favorite scene of this ep — would’ve liked to see them meet in the Underworld)

  2. laurelnev says:

    I really would have liked to have seen more of a deal…but I have a feeling we didn’t, because the loophole Rumple is so famous for exploring will come into play to save the day for ALL our heroes and the unborn child. Perhaps we haven’t seen the end of Milah either. But I guess we DID get confirmation that any baby-making between Cora and Rumple didn’t take. I guess this also explains Rumple’s affinity for taking babies in his own contracts. Perhaps he was arranging a swap in the back of his mind? But just as the heroes found an out for Cinderella, I’m sure together, they WILL defeat Hades in the end. And this arc IS proving to be much better than the last few.

  3. LADY_in_MD says:

    Milah’s line to Emma was funny “my former lover and my son!”

  4. amanda says:

    Rumple is the worst. All I have to say, really. The fact that he’s essentially killed his wife TWICE now is…ugh…

  5. jj says:

    Hades didn’t tell him that he had to get rid of Milah. Rumple decided that on his own. Plus Rumple didn’t destroy the ship to save the others. Hades flat out told him that he was keeping the others. He was giving Rumple the choice of being sacrificed with the others or saving his own ass.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      True, he only charged Rumple with “figuring out” the Milah problem. I shall make an edit.

      • murley says:

        He used the same phrasing as Milah did when she told Rumple to kill the healer so I agree it was pretty much a directive to kill her.

  6. BM says:

    That Underworld “Riverworld” kind of reminded me to the Disney rides… And what is it with Regina and magic in different realms? For someone as powerful as she is supposed to be they sure toy with her magic a lot when they need to. Makes it kind of hard to take it seriously.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I’m sure the “message” was that it was impaired by her “unfinished business” of sorts with Daniel, but yeah, it was kind of a weird 1/2-scene plot point.

      • BM says:

        That’s an interesting thought. I wondered if it was simply a call-back to S2 but the unfinished business with Daniel makes sense.

    • Earl says:

      Kind of assumed there was to her talk with Cruela that we haven’t seen (yet).

  7. Jaclyn says:

    There needs to be an intervention with the CGI team at OUAT. The CGI flames of blue really need to go. Greg Germann nails it and then they ruin it by adding Disney hair.

  8. Cassie Owens says:

    Anyone else concerned by the preview for next week???!?!? Please tell me that this trip isn’t going to waste!! I know A&E have said that Hook was just the catalyst for going down to “Underbrooke” (which I like better than underworld), but still. I liked the way they wrote in the pregnancy though.

    • Jami says:

      I am a little concerned for next week’s episode as well. I was hoping for a great meeting between Liam and Emma. We could still get that but the promo makes me wonder how it’s going to play out.

  9. antisocialbutterflie says:

    I may have misheard, but I thought Hades told Hook that if he touched the water of the river his soul would be lost forever. Milah hit the river, ergo she wouldn’t be in the warm fuzzy place with Bael/Neal. I will hold out hope that they Deux ex Machina her out of the river rather than just leaving her there, but she seems small enough a character that they might just forget about her, especially because no one but Rumple knows she hit the water.

  10. Gail says:

    I thought the horse was going to be Regina’s horse from when she cast the curse. Remember she took the horse heart as the thing she loved most first. When that didn’t work she took her father’s heart. Can’t see any other reason for the horse scene.

    As I mentioned in a previously post, Emma’s heart couldn’t be taken because she is the savoir. That was established back when Cora tried to take her heart. It should have nothing to do with a name on a tombstone.

    I still think Rumple has another child out there. Whether the mother is Milah. Cora, or someone else. Hades is just using the contract to get Rumple to do his bidding. Also Rumple said he was going back on the ship that Cora arranged. They never explained why he stayed.

    • Kip says:

      But when Cora tried to take it she could still reach her hand into Emma’s chest. I think what they mean is anyone who has a tombstone in that cemetery the tombstone works as an anchor and that once they decided to come to the underworld that the loving had the potential to be anchored into the underworld which is what hades did. I still don’t know why Regina couldn’t reach into her chest though:\

    • Ezio Cosentino says:

      If you forget Emma’s heart can’t be taken it has to be given by Emma. That’s why Cora couldn’t take the saviors heart.

  11. Rumple was trying to get back to Belle so she wouldn’t be alone raising a child and that deal was in the back of his head that was reason he was desperate to get home. If I remember correctly, Hades for some reason wanted Rumple to destroy the boat and take care of Milah who still hadn’t apologized for being an abusive wife. This episode only made me hate her more. Like forcing Rumple to kill the healer and than flirting with Hook why her son lays dying? Anyway, Hades threatened to kill everyone if Rumple didn’t and than they cut it off so we don’t see the actual deal but Rumple looked surprised that they couldn’t all leave. As to Milah, she is already dead and if I remember my myths correctly, those souls can be saved but that is up to the writers. They will either have Rumple or Hook save her or both. I am happy about the baby and hope Rumple and Belle can save their child from Hades. Excellent acting from Robert tonight. I really don’t care for Milah, Hook, or Emma so I have nothing to say about them but I had to laugh when Liam thinks Emma isn’t good enough for Hook when I always thought it was the other way around until the writers ruined Emma along with every other character!

  12. T.M. says:

    I still on team 200% bs that they’ve gone to the underworld to save hook. I miss the days when dead meant DEAD. no get out of death free card. I’m at the point where I don’t care about contracts with the actors or how much they like writing a character… if you are going to kill someone they shouldn’t have the opportunity to come back. You can have everyone go into the underworld but I’m still praying for and Orpheus and Eurydice ending where Hook gets to say goodbye and truly redeem himself in an organic way before his character is gone for good. He, and the Wicked Witch, should not have had the chances to come back the way they have. Everything in this story is now so frustrating because there is 0 continuity at this point unless it suits them.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      You must not watch Supernatural.

    • jj says:

      The death that should have stuck was Rumple’s. Instead of the continually rehashing the same he’s redeemed oh no wait he’s still bad storyline.

    • Heather says:

      I do not mind a ‘not truly dead’ twist every once and awhile but my problem is it gets overused ONLY for select characters while other interesting characters who lacked development they deserved get the axe way too soon and it is permanent.

      I roll my eyes at this storyline because I never once believed they would truly let Hook die. They love writing for him and CS too much, so much so, I do not really care for the show anymore.

      Plus – this is not LOST and too much death on a show about a Savior and ‘happy endings’ is not smart. I don’t care how much they try to stretch and twist what happy ending means after the fact to attempt downplaying it.

  13. Valerie says:

    What became of Henry finding the “pen” to rewrite the story that Cruella mentioned?

    As for Hedes – if you know the story of Hercules, Hedes is killed by being pushed in the river. Hmmm – maybe that’s where it’s going.

    • grazelled says:

      Henry said no one person should have that much power so he broke it in half. This was shown within the last 2 arcs when Henry became the new writer after the last writer became corrupted and evil. Not watching this arc so I’m not 100% sure when the writer’s arc took place.

  14. Gail says:

    I have enjoyed the story in Underbrooke. ( Thanks Regina!). I am a little concerned that it has been mentioned that Ruby and Mulan will be back and there will be a story set in Oz with Zelena
    and an adult Dorothy. Hopefully they are the same episode so that there is only one episode that takes us away from the main characters.

  15. Imzadi says:

    My first thought on seeing the tombstones was that he chose the women–what a sexist pig! But, thinking back, although the men have on occasion been extremely heroic, this show primarily belongs to those three women–and, of course, Rumple!

  16. JBC says:

    I didn’t see the whole episode, but wondered if Milah met Henry, her grandson? I do hope they bring Milah back & she gets to see Hook.

  17. Alicia Gray says:

    Okay. Forgive me … who is Zelena’s father? Why did I think it was him? I thought Cora has a thing with him as the Dark One when she was trying to get with a prince or something….. spaced that plot.

  18. Paige says:

    I think it’s such a shame that the writers decided to give Rumple back the power of the dark one. When he became mortal there was a great opportunity to show a different side of him as he struggles with his cowardice and living with all the terrible things he had done. Now we’re just back to the same old Rumple and the same tired story line of Belle not seeing his darkness. Both of these characters deserve more development than this

  19. Alyssa says:

    Ok so help me out here… Is the wicked witch zelena not rumple’s second born child?? If not, then do we know who zelena’s father is?