Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
1 user 4 critic

Mother's Little Helper 

Emma agrees to help Gideon in order to bring Hook back. Meanwhile, Henry's author powers have a new development, and more of Gideon's past is revealed.


Billy Gierhart


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 5 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 (credit only)
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Patrick Fischler ... Isaac Heller
Giles Matthey ... Gideon
Charles Mesure ... Black Beard
Jaime Murray ... Fiona / Black Fairy
Grayson Gabriel ... Adult Roderick
Anton Starkman ... Young Gideon


Emma must team up with Gideon if she has any chance of saving Hook, but are his intentions all good. Meanwhile Hook makes a deal with Blackbeard to get home to Emma. Whilst flashbacks reveal Gideon's time in captivity with the Black Fairy...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tied feet | See All (1) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When Regina is making a potion, one of the ingredients that she asks Henry to fetch for her is tongue of newt and emphasizes that she needs the tongue, not the eye. Eye of newt was one of the potion ingredients Henry found while looking through Regina's potion ingredients in "The Apprentice". See more »


When talking to Gideon after being attacked in the Sorcerer's Mansion, Emma's hair changes positions between shots. See more »


Emma Swan: After we kill this thing, then what?
Gideon: Then we turn our sights to my mother.
Emma Swan: I thought she was trapped in another realm.
Gideon: That's where you come in. You're the Savior. Your magic is the only thing strong enough to not only slice into her realm, but to allow me to at last defeat her.
Emma Swan: So, you tried to kill me because you didn't believe that I would help you get to another realm to get back to her?
Gideon: Seemed like a good plan at the time. In retrospect, perhaps not.
See more »

User Reviews

With a little help from the unexpected
21 January 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Once Upon a Time' was to me was a very addictive show when it first started. What really intrigued me into seeing it in the first place the fascinating and creative premise of turning fairy tales and characters on their head and putting own interpretations on them. Yes as you may have guessed, do find myself intrigued by good premises a lot. Loved it with very few exceptions for Seasons 1-4 and the first half of Season 5.

It was the second half of Season 5 where 'Once Upon a Time' started to become hit and miss, although actually still liked the Underworld arc despite reservations. Season 6 was much more variable, leaning generally towards the disappointing. Personally thought that the first three episodes of the season were very good to great, especially "The Other Shoe". From "Strange Case" onward, the lack of new ideas and magic began as did the increasing campiness and soap opera and less interesting characterisation. "Mother's Little Helper" is for me one of the best episodes of the sixth season and of the latter seasons perhaps.

Not an awful lot to dislike actually. The spider for my tastes did look a bit cheap, the special effects in 'Once Upon a Time' were not always a strong suit and while there were worse cases than here it is not an exception here.

A few lines took me a little out of the story, such as the one about the Hamilton tickets.

However, "Mother's Little Helper" works brilliantly as a setting things up seemingly episode while also advancing characters and storytelling. Two of the episode's biggest strengths is the character writing, which was very hit and miss in Season 6, and the character interaction, which was always a high point of the show regardless of how the episode fared everywhere else. Absolutely love the character of the Black Fairy, who is intimidating and provides some nice tension. The flashbacks are illuminating and heart-wrenching Hard to say which is my favourite of the numerous character interactions, whether it is the tension and heart between Regina and Henry, the intensity and wit with Hook (love his charisma and swagger here) and Blackbeard (another great addition), the Charmings being the most interesting they've been in a while. As well as the mystery of Isaac and the Author, Gold/Rumplestiltskin being awesome as always, the tension between the Charmings and Gold and Belle (the most halfway-mildly interesting she's been in a while) and the tension between Emma and Gideon with a rare case of Emma getting the upper hand.

Cannot find faults with the acting, with a particularly great performance from Jaime Murray. Lana Parrilla and Robert Carlyle continue to never disappoint. A lot happen in "Mother's Little Helper" but this is a case of it not feeling like too much going on or being confusing because the characters and their interactions are handled so well. The dialogue is amusing, thought-provoking, heartfelt and intense, balanced very well. Less soap, corn and camp here. The production values have a lot of beauty and atmosphere, nothing drab or gaudy here, while being attractively photographed. The music doesn't ever sound cheap or out-of-kilter, fitting well with the mood and never found myself questioning its placement. The main theme is still memorable.

Overall, a great episode and a Season 6 high-point. 9/0 Bethany Cox

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

9 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed