Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
1 user 3 critic

Our Decay 

Gold creates a Storybrooke portal; Zelena and Regina clash; Belle and Rumple are reunited; Snow and David try to send a message from the Underworld to their son, Neal.


Steve Pearlman


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 6 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle Gold
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena
Sean Maguire ... Robin Hood
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Blind Witch (as Emma Caulfield)
Greg Germann ... Hades
Teri Reeves ... Dorothy Gale
Paul Scheer ... Scarecrow (voice)
Keegan Connor Tracy ... Zelena / Mother Superior


Gold creates a Storybrooke portal; Zelena and Regina clash; Belle and Rumple are reunited; Snow and David try to send a message from the Underworld to their son, Neal.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West, learns that her birthday is April 15. Traditionally, in the United States, this is the day when federal and state income taxes are due, making it (arguably) the most unpopular day of the year. See more »


Hades calls Zeus his older brother which is wrong, since according to Greek mythology (which his character is based on) Zeus is actually the youngest of the siblings. See more »


Mr. Gold: Zelena's baby? What do you want with her child?
Hades: Well, you of all people should know the value of keeping your reasons your own. I don't have to tell you anything.
Mr. Gold: And yet you keep doing so. Some might call that the mark of an insecure man.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence shows Munchkins with the forest background red instead of blue to reflect the Underworld. See more »

User Reviews

Strange decay
21 August 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Season 5's previous episodes for me were decent to brilliant. Unfortunately "The Brothers Jones" saw its first disappointment in one of its lesser episodes and 'Once Upon a Time's' weakest episode in a long time. "Our Decay" definitely is an improvement, evidenced by being better received critically, at least the main plot-line adds to the characters in question and doesn't feel pointless. It's still not great and a lesser episode of Season 5, while far from being a 'Once Upon a Time' low point.

There are good things about "Our Decay". It mostly is a handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and cookie-cutter. It is beautifully photographed too and the effects are improved here. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable theme tune.

Despite them deserving much better material, mostly the performances are fine. Rebecca Mader brings both menace and pathos, effectively casting a spell as she always did as Zelena. Lana Parrilla is typically spot on. The two best performances comes from the ever reliable Robert Carlyle and particularly Greg Germann. Germann and Mader work so well together, and do wonderfully playing off each other.

"Our Decay" is at its best with the development of Zelena, she is a very interesting character and shows some real growth, and the heartfelt Belle and Gold chemistry. Gold putting Belle in her place is the highlight of the episode. Really liked the intriguing Oz storyline here too as is the tension between Zelena and Regina, beautifully played. The Hades and Zelena evoked mixed reactions from me, leaning towards the positive, there is intensity, intrigue and poignancy and Greg Germann and Rebecca Mader help quite a bit before it got melodramatic and soapy in the latter stages.

However, Emilie De Ravin provides one of two acting debits here, there have been times previously where she did show improvement but Belle is just not interesting in development and De Ravin is incredibly bland. The other is Sean Maguire, who does irritate and Robin is fairly useless here. Some of the story is jumpy and cluttered, the relationship between Hades and Zelena does feel rushed and out of the blue, parts don't make sense like with Rumplestiltskin and the dark one, and parts are just plain strange like with the Charmings.

Most of the characters have been more interesting elsewhere, Hades, Zelena and Gold excepted. Character development is barely there, other than with Hades and Zelena, and much of it feels dumbed down.

The nosedive in the writing seen with "The Brothers Jones" continues in "Our Decay", too much of it is too soapy, dissolving into melodrama in the final third, and the campiness goes overboard. It does feel like the show has run out of ideas, Hades' plan is like rehashing that for Zelena in Season 3.

Overall, a lot of great things but also wanting in other areas. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

3 April 2016 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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