#OnceUponATime Episode 6x16 “Mother’s Little Helper” review

“Mother’s Little Helper” starts off with a flashback of when The Black Fairy (Rumple’s Mother) took Gideon as a baby and brought him to the dark realm. We find out she steals children frequently and that they work in her mines. She tells one of her servants to care for him. She also takes the book Belle left him “Her Handsome Hero” and says that he won’t be needing it anymore.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma and Gideon (all grown up now) get into a fight because Gideon took Killian away from Emma. He says he won’t bring him back until Emma helps him get rid of The Black Fairy.

Emma storms into Gold’s shop with Snow to tell Belle and Gold about what Gideon did and ask him about The Black Fairy. Gold tells Emma that she’s his mother and that she stole Gideon and tortured him. Belle begs Emma, not the hurt him because it’s possible for him to be on the side of good. He also tells Emma that if The Black Fairy were to break free for good, she would be a threat to everyone. He tells her every bit of darkness she’s ever faced has come from The Black Fairy.

A child version of Gideon back in the dark realm has stolen his mother’s book back from The Black Fairy. We find out she makes the children she steals call her “mother”. The Black Fairy gives him an opportunity to be a hero and save his best friend that he’s grown up within the dark realm. But Gideon can’t do it.

Meanwhile, in her vault, Regina tries to break her evil half’s curse on Snow and Charming. When Henry tries to write down some ingredients that Regina needs, he goes into a trance and starts writing hieroglyphs and passes out. When he wakes up Regina tells him what happened and they go to see Issac, the last author, to see if he can help them figure out what happened. He tells them that Henry’s author powers are taking over and his trances are going to become more frequent but if they want more information they have to get him out of the cell he’s in and let him go back to New York. Emma decides to help out Gideon if he hands over the sword that can kill her and the spell to get Killian back.

In the Dark realm, on Gideon’s 28th birthday, while his “mother” is wishing him a happy birthday she finds out someone has taken the key to her vault and tells Gideon to go make whoever took it, pay. Gideon sets out to do just that until he finds out the person who took the key is his same friend that he thought the black fairy killed years ago. He tells Gideon to make it up to him he needs to be the hero he was meant to be and help him defeat The Black Fairy. He tells Gideon about a savior that can help them defeat The Black Fairy. That The Black Fairy used all of her fairy dust years ago to create The Dark Curse and that she’s collecting it again now. It’s impossible to know what she’s planning but it can’t be good. He tells Gideon they have to stop her and that the savior can do that. They just have to get to a crystal ball that the Black Fairy has that can communicate between realms. They find it but when Gideon tries to use it, it breaks, and we find out The Black Fairy has set him up as a test. She takes his heart and tells him she has plans for the savior just as she has plans for him. She commands him to find the savior and kill her, which will free The Black Fairy from the Dark realm.

In the Enchanted Forest, Killian challenges his old nemesis Blackbeard to a game of cards. If he wins, he gets a magic bean, if Blackbeard wins, he gets the Jolly Rodger. Killian loses, but he’s tricked, Blackbeard! The ship is in the same realm as Emma! So if Blackbeard wants it, he’s gonna have to let him use the magic bean, which is exactly what the two of them do. But something goes wrong! Blackbeard and Killian end up on Neverland, Killian figures out that Gideon’s magic must be preventing him from returning. The pirates start running from some lost boys that are still on the island and Blackbeard ends up finding a boat and abandoning Killian.

In Storybrooke, Gideon brings Emma to the sorcerer's mansion and begins a spell he says will bring her pirate back. Something appears to go wrong and a gigantic spider comes through the portal (Aragog much?) Emma and Gideon work together to try to get out of the mansion but appear to be trapped. When they’re cornered, Gideon traps Emma in the spider’s web and leaves her to be killed by the spider- he’s double-crossed her! The spider traps Emma and almost kills her, but Gold saves her just in the knick of time. This closes the portal Gideon was opening to let the Black Fairy through! Once Emma reawakens she shrinks the spider with her magic and kills it! She tells Gold that his son can’t be saved. That he’s evil. Belle and Snow show up at the mansion and when she tells everyone what happens it leads to a big fight between the Charming’s and the Golds. Gold tells Emma if she crosses his son, he’ll do what he must to stop her. As Belle observes “Gideon is ripping them apart.”

In the clock tower, Gideon’s talking to his estranged “mother” telling her that her plan failed. What he doesn’t realize is that his mother has actually escaped. The Black Fairy is in Storybrooke. She tells him that there is much to do. At the town line, Regina is letting Isaac go. Before he drives away, he tells Henry to look at the book, which is when Henry discovers we’re nearing the final chapter. When Henry asks what happens at the end of the book Isaac says “The savior fights the final battle, and trust me, no one wants to be around to see that.”

Episode rate: 6