By Meredith Loftus
“Her Handsome Hero” lays out the story of Gaston, from his past in the Enchanted Forest with Belle to his tragic fall in the River of Souls. Hades manages to outmaneuver two of the cleverest characters on the show and diminish some of the hope that has threatened to run rampant in his domain.
This episode also featured some sister bonding between the Mills sisters, Regina and Zelena, as well as teamwork between Rumple and Belle, for the sake of saving their unborn child.
Meanwhile, Emma’s nightmare leads the heroes to finding their good friend, Red, in the Underworld. With her help, they might get the advantage they need over Hades to defeat him once and for all.
Fingers crossed our favorite she-wolf is not a dearly-departed soul!
Time spent in the Underworld has started to take its toll on our heroes. Last week, Snow and Charming were hit with the reality of being away from Baby Neal for so long. This week, its their daughter who grapples with her personal issues.
Emma Swan is a woman on a mission. When she has a case or an “operation” she doesn’t rest until the job is done or the mission is accomplished. Since Killian died in the mid-season finale, she has not had a moment’s rest. Physically, she didn’t sleep while she was Dark Swan and she sure hasn’t had much sleep since embarking on Operation Firebird. Emotionally, she is constantly in fear that any one of her friends or family could die and she would blame herself. That’s a lot of weight to carry and it can be hard to unpack it, but this burden doesn’t have to be carried alone.
One of the people to help carry this burden is her dashing rapscallion. Love is strength. When one is down for the count, the other steps up to encourage and support. While the two were on the roof, Killian Jones is concerned for Emma that she has not had enough rest since rescuing him. Killian also continues to be the biggest supporter of Emma Swan. He has been skeptical of some of the plans that have gone into action, but when it comes to his Swan, he has complete support in her because he has yet to see her fail. They have built a strong level of trust with each other so that when Killian does ask her to lay down her burdens in the Underworld vault, she does. His unwavering support and love for her helps calm Emma’s fears and reassures her that their love will always be worth fighting for.
The other person that helps support Emma is her mother. As soon as Emma voices her fears, Snow immediately declares that she, their family, and friends followed Emma on her mission to save Killian on their own volition. They knew the risk they were walking into, but for family, you step to challenge. Even more than that, Snow tells Emma that there are some things worth facing the danger over; and that thing is love. Snow has experienced this great love and the journey to get it and has now watched her daughter let down her walls, fall in love, and let that love be the thing to guide her home time and time again. Snow stomps out the fear and brings the fighter back in Emma to face the monster, getting them closer to returning home.