Welcome everyone, I’m back with this TV review and it’s about the latest episode of Once Upon A Time and it’s called “Tougher Than the Rest”.

It’s part B of season 6 and it continues from the cliffhanger from the winter finale. Refresher Emma was wished into a “wish” world by the evil half of Regina and the good-side Regi set sights on rescuing her. While there Regina was shocked of this “what if” world if she never enacted the curse, where Snow and Charming were able to fend off Evil Regina and raise Emma as a typical princess with the added twist with the fair maiden finding love with Neal and having Henry, who was raised a gallant prince and would-be knight and losing Neal due to reasons.

Everything seemed perfect in this world but to the bewilderment of the ex-evil queen, Emma had lost her memories of her time in Storybrooke and being raised in our world along with her “chip on her shoulder” personality and was just a maiden in waiting.

With some help from this world’s Rumple freeing Regina from imprisonment along with her own tactics and Prince Henry’s threat to kill Regina, Emma’s memories returned along with her magic. The duo soon went to meet Rumple to get out of the world with a magic bean which he did give them and just as they were going to return to their own reality an arrow stops their descent.

It was Robin Hood and due to his shocking appearance Regina hesitated from leaving this world and with that the portal closed trapping Emma and Regina there.

Back in Storybrooke evil Regina was causing havoc until the intervention of a mysterious cloaked man that soon turned the evil half into a cobra and trapped inside a cage.

The mysterious visitor was none other than the newly born Gideon, son of Belle and Gold, but strangely an adult. He states that he was raised in the dark world of the dark fairy where time is different and the fate established earlier in the season that Emma would meet her end by his hands seemed almost ready to come to pass.

For the episode it’s the fall out of Emma and Regina racing to get back to their world albeit more Emma, Regina was more focused with seeing Robin Hood alive and well. She splits from Emma for a time just wondering what’s become of him in this world of “what if”.

Regina is able to find him and the duo have a discussion which turns into Regina asking if he’s happy. Apparently in this world Robin isn’t the noble thief we think he is assumed to be and steals for himself. In this reality he didn’t marry Marian and didn’t have his son Roland. He lives a life of thievery. Regina is surprised by this and after some scenes they wind up captured but due to the likely intervention of Rumple they escape but soon have to deal with the dark one as he’s a tad bit peeved at Regi; her alternate counterpart had kept Belle captured in a tower where she died and was nothing but bones.


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After that though of either escaping him or whatnot (come on we know they were going to escape) Regi makes her way to Emma with Robin Hood who will go with them for the reason he’s become a wanted person for what transpired.

For Emma’s part just around a little before Regina peaced out, she went to Pinnochio or August, and explained to him the circumstances of her which he immediately believes. This was surprising for me but proves that no matter the world (made up or otherwise) August will always be there for Emma and their surrogate sibling-relationship will always be a factor.

Emma has the idea to use the same (plot device) that brought her to the world outside fairy tales, the magical transportation device that Gepetto created. Unfortunately he has passed and due to a lack of confidence in his skills doesn’t think he can make one. But low and behold they have the idea to use something of Gepetto, a tool to carve wood since it’s magic (in the respect it belonged to him and had his feelings imbued I guess) and they head to get to the magical tree place.

While going Ems and Aug are soon met by Hook! Or Killian…and he’s got a gut and old. And he’s here to rescue the princess!! After a hillarious fending off of him from Aug just getting his sword and Emma using her magic to “gently” knock him out (as in sent trailing and hitting the ground hard) to their shock the wood carving tool, that Killian got when Aug got the sword and the former tried using as a weapon, was with him and snapped in two.

Soon Aug goes into despair that without it they couldn’t get her home and goes into an emo corner. Of course Emma brings him out of his stupor by using good old “you can do it if you have confidence”.

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With that he is able to believe in himself and make the doorway or whatever with Regi and Robin Hood coming from their own plot. With a goodbye to August in this world Emma, Regi and Hook soon go to the real world.

A small worry was if Hood could go into the world of belief and for a second it looks like it didn’t work but soon a boom occurs and outsteps Robin Hood, to Regina’s happiness.

The part b plot of the story just dealt with Gideon and his issues with his dad along with his reason for wanting to slay Emma; it’s all to apparently save someone he cares for back in the dark dimension and he needs to be a savior in order to do so. And to do that he needs to kill the current one to pass on the title or whatnot.

Wow so more detail about the savior title. That so blows my theory I’ve had for a few years time since I thought Emma’s magic was more based on the love of David and Snow but thinking with Aladdin’s own twist I should have thought about that sooner.

Belle is shocked that her little story of him “to be hero” worked a tad bit too well. He used that as a basis to carry on more or less but the ideal became twisted with him wanting to kill Emma but for a good cause.

It comes to head when Emma returns and confronts him. Could this be their fated fight of fate? More or less but it winds up with the savior besting him but not striking no killing blow due to finding out he’s the son of Belle and Gideon.  She let’s him go due to the info and he vanishes in a swirl of red smoke.

Tougher than the Rest was an interesting episode. Not saying it’s the best due to some stuff I found annoying and that’s mostly Belle and her “if I talk to him he won’t do it” since it’s like Gold all over again but at the same time I get it. She’s a mother and wants her child to not be dark even if his intentions blossomed out of altruism.

Gideon from what I see isn’t bad, it’s the circumstances of what drove him to that was being raised in the dark dimension and away from his parents. Be it good or bad with Belle’s choice along with Gold being a prick, the two take the blame for what happened to their son and think of “what if”.

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Granted I can’t say either choice would have brought about a happy ending sadly with Gold’s obsessive behavior. If they somehow found a way to stop his obsession with wanting to use the shears or grabbing the shears and sealing them away then maybe Belle could have just raised him as single parent where she could have raised him on love and being friends with baby Neal and Robin (Snow and Zelena’s kids).

That’s the happy scenario I can come up with but sadly we got to deal with the now. So Gideon is on the loose, Emma defied her fate this time around but we will see if she can continue. Robin Hood has returned but will he be able to fall for Regina for a second round given he’s an alternate reality version of the Robin that is dead now?

Given how much crap Regi has been through I think it’s safe to say that it will eventually happen since she has changed but Regina shouldn’t rush things or there will be misunderstandings of “he would do this” or “be like the Robin I know you are” expectations.

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David’s plot of making sure to save Emma from her fate is causing him to be reckless with Hook trying to rail him in. David will probably be going through a crisis with if he’s just as bad as his twin brother or not. You remember the twin right? The one that is swimming in the pool of the damned for all eternity without hope of ever coming back?

Thinking of which OUAT didn’t even say if someone new is the new denizen of the underworld. Cripe I need to watch season 5’s bonus of Cruella De Vil at some point!

Snow is still sleeping so granted she will be shocked by what’s occurred. A possibility of the curse on her and David being lifted for next week’s episode though or so it seemed.

Sadly no mention of what happened to Zelena but I’m positive we will see her again before the end of the season.

Along with Gold’s speculation that something big is going to happen in Storybrooke that will change everything with his son’s return. Pretty much the Black Fairy will be coming home to roost just like the Dark One reunion last year.

For this episode’s rating of plot, characters and drama, I’ll give it a 7 out of 10. Entertainment value a 7 as well. Episode held up so let’s see it got what it takes to hold my interest until the season finale or series finale in May.

Till next week’s episode.

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