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.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.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.
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
- Jan 21, 2019