Once Upon a Time recap: 'Where Bluebirds Fly'
Love her or hate her, Zelena is taking on the Black Fairy.
Oh, Zelena. Poor misguided Zelena. This week is all about our girl in green and her history of rising (or falling) to the occasion. It’s always been a tough road for Zelena, but as the battle between Emma and the Black Fairy approaches, Zelena can’t afford to make any more wrong turns. Let’s discuss.
We take a step back to Zelena’s childhood… bopping along the yellow brick road, making friends with the Tin Man, and doing sweet gestures with her magic. When townsboys come along and make fun of her for being a magic freak, the future Tin Man steps up and defends her. Such a good friend-maker, that Zelena!
Back in the real world, Zelena is taking care of Robin when the Black Fairy shows up and sweeps her up. She’s bad about that, ya know? She stops in to see Zelena because she hears she’s wicked, and the Black Fairy makes friends, and y’all, we’ve already seen that Zelena is GREAT at making friends. Zelena tells the Black Fairy that she’s not scared of her, but the Black Fairy chimes in to tell her she should be.
Back in temporary paradise, Hook and Emma are in the business of making: making pancakes, making out, nearly making love… until Snow shows up. She’s ready to do some wedding planning, but they’re interrupted even more.
Regina calls in the troops after finding out what happened with Zelena. That’s when Hook reveals his half-wand, which was once used to expel the Black Fairy. They need to find the other part, but Zelena doesn’t have time, guys. Emma shuts it all down, because they’re going to work together… mind you, after the wedding planning because WEDDINGS ARE IMPORTANT. Elsewhere in town, Belle is jazzed to find out that this isn’t Gideon’s wrongdoing since the Black Fairy has her heart. That’s all well and good, but Blue is still in a coma. Rumple leaves to try to remedy the situation, and Zelena shows up. She asks if Belle can watch Robin, and she’s happy to. It’s not like Belle has been busy being a badass lately. Zelena is determined to be one, though. She sets off to end the Black Fairy, once and for all.
In Storybrooke, David goes investigating and stumbles upon Henry, who is deep in the writing mode. David warns him not to try to change things, but Henry has already tried, and it doesn’t work. Making no progress, he’s turned to those crazy drawings he did before. Meanwhile, Regina stops by to see Belle and realizes she’s watching after Robin. She immediately puts the pieces together, but Zelena is well on her way to fight the Black Fairy.
That’s when we flash back again to Zelena in Oz. A man shows up who says he needs help, and there he is — the Tin Man. He’s asked Zelena to help him out since he’s been placed under a spell by the Wicked Witch of the North that, you guessed it, turns him to tin. But she’s not interested in helping without something in return. He says she won’t help because she’s afraid, and it’s enough to get her to go into the woods to get the crimson heart he needs to reverse the spell.
Back in Storybrooke, Zelena is in the mines when Regina chases her down. After a scuffle, Regina throws Zelena into a wall, and it shifts the rocks, causing the mine to cave in a bit. Naturally, when trapped in a mine, they focus on the problem at hand: whose fault it is. They argue, which leads Regina to ask why Zelena insists on proving she’s better than everyone else. Zelena insists it’s because she is, and she’s going to stop the Black Fairy on her own. We flash back, and Zelena is traipsing through the woods with the Tin Man. They dive in to Zelena’s past and how her mother abandoned her. Suddenly, a lion comes and snags the Tin Man, and Zelena hops into action. Only she hurts people in these woods.
Back underground, Regina and Zelena stumble upon fairy crystals, and while trying to piece together why the Black Fairy would want them, the wench herself appears with Gideon. She throws Regina against a wall and puts Gideon over her to keep watch, but Zelena isn’t done. She wants the Black Fairy dealt with today.
In town, Snow is still really dead set on wedding planning. She wants to have the wedding at Granny’s. GRANNY’S. But this is actually a royal wedding, so they need something bigger.
The Black Fairy continues to lure Zelena deeper into the mine, and it can’t be good news for Z, guys. Impulsive as ever, she goes deeper and deeper and finally throws the Black Fairy against the wall. But as Zelena throws as much magic as she can at her, the Black Fairy simply laughs in her face. She redirects Zelena’s magic to weaponize the crystals. She chokes Zelena and reveals her plan, admitting that she used Zelena because she knew she’d make the wrong decision.
Flashing back, Zelena attempts to take on that lion that grabbed Tin Man, but she’s not so great at that either. Tin Man stops the lion from killing Zelena, and in turn Zelena stops the lion from killing Tin Man… though if you asked Zelena, she’d insist she stopped it all. But Tin Man is continuing to run out of time.
In Storybrooke, the Black Fairy launches Regina and Zelena out of the mine, and Regina lets her have it with both barrels, insisting that she made everything worse than it ever was before. She tells Zelena to just go back to Oz while she tries to fix Zelena’s mess — at least there she can’t hurt them any worse. The only group that seems more disconnected from reality than Zelena is the Hook/Swan wedding party, who act like Emma isn’t on the eve of her biggest battle yet. But logic clocks back in when Snow and David steps outside to discuss why David isn’t content with anywhere they look. He wants the perfect wedding for Emma because she deserves the best, and the best wedding does not involve worrying about the Black Fairy and Gideon.
Meanwhile, Zelena goes and picks up Robin, and it seems that she’s ready to take Regina’s advice to heart. She points the crystal (presumably to the western sky) and looks to head back to Oz. Speaking of Oz, she and the Tin Man finally make it to the heart, but she insists that the heart has no magic in it. She assumes that she’s been fooled by the Tin Man, but the Tin Man is just an innocent in Zelena’s stubborn game. He finally turns to tin, and Zelena leaves him behind. But in the present, as Regina and the Charmings discuss what’s to come, Zelena makes a surprise appearance! She didn’t go back to Oz; she’s ready to come back and fight with the heroes. And man does that fight come with a price. She can ultimately stop the Black Fairy’s use of her magic… by destroying her own magic.
Flashing back to Oz one more time, Zelena goes back to her castle with the heart that could have saved the Tin Man. Looking at it from across the table, she realizes she’s alone. But when we flash to the present, she’s joined by Emma and Regina. She opens up the heart and makes Regina promise that if something happens, she’ll watch after Robin. Both Regina and Emma promise, and with that, Zelena destroys her own magic, and all those crystals that went dark return to the good. As if she hadn’t done enough good deeds for the day, Zelena opens up about knowing where the Blue Fairy is. It’s the Blue Fairy who can really help them with that wand and with ending the Black Fairy for good. Belle insists that they have to let Regina and Emma revive the Blue Fairy, if for no other reason than getting their true son back.
Back at the well, the Black Fairy and Gideon watch as the heroes reclaim the dark magic and wake up Blue, but the Black Fairy insists that they can’t… because Blue knows the real reason that the Black Fairy gave up Rumple. Of course, we’ll have to wait for that big reveal, and then in two weeks, we get a MAGICAL MUSICAL WEDDING. What are your thoughts? Why did the Black Fairy give up Rumple? Can Once pull off the ever-daunting musical episode? Has season 6 won you over? Hit the comments; let us know!