Broken Heart Review | Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 10

We save each other. That is what our family does.


Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin, Colin O’Donoghue, Jared S. Gilmore, Rebecca Mader, Sean Maguire, and Robert Carlyle.

Season 5
Episode 10: Broken Heart

“Broken Heart” certainly had a lot of questions to answer after “Birth”’s dramatic cliffhanger ending that Killian was, in fact, another Dark One. Not only did it answer these questions, but it also gave us a new, concrete threat as Killian brings all of the past Dark Ones from the Underworld ready to wreak havoc upon Storybrooke.

Throughout the episode, Colin O’Donoghue really gave it his all. He was deliciously evil and fun to watch – as successful in his villainy as Rebecca Mader is in her’s. The way that he affected some of Rumple’s Dark One mannerisms when goading him into a fight was riveting to watch, and he really came across as a menacing and credible villain.

However, Killian’s descent into evil was far less nuanced than Emma’s. Emma spent the majority of the premiere being menaced by the vision of Rumple and accosted with the sheer amount of power available to her. Killian was also visited by Rumple, but he took much less goading for him to fully commit. Emma struggled against the darkness for six weeks; Hook could barely last six hours, and mostly all it took was for Emma to conceal having Excalibur from him.

I suppose this reflects upon their relative support systems. Emma had not only Hook, but also Henry, Regina, Snow and Charming, but, as soon as Hook interpreted Emma as being against him that was the only person on his side. There’s much less anchoring him to his morals compared to Emma, and I wonder whether this will actually be addressed in future. He took much less persuading to go down a dark path than she needed.

It was nice that Snow supported Emma’s decision in the past storyline, and challenged David’s worries. After all, the pair of them know what it’s like to go to bat for their love, and Snow’s entirely right: in Emma’s situation they would have done exactly the same thing to stop them being torn apart. Charming’s worries about Hook illustrate why Hook was easier to turn: because Charming, and I’m sure others, view him as “other”, or as “less”. Charming worries that Emma’s faith is misplaced, yet he accepts Snow’s faith in him as worthy. They do not question Hook’s love for Emma, but they question his goodness, and that’s telling.

Having said that, everybody’s demeanour towards Emma in the present time was more than a little frustrating. In contrast to Regina’s “there’s nothing you can’t come back from” speech a couple of episodes ago, Storybrooke’s citizens had little problem in distancing themselves from Emma and treating her with distrust. It’s understandable, but they could have been more compassionate with how they handled it.

On that topic, Henry’s tantrum towards Emma was eyeroll inducing. Why, just before seeing the message from Merlin, he said that it wasn’t his mother who had done those deeds, yet here he stands, judging her and whinging at her. I honestly get whiplash with Henry’s feelings, and I couldn’t stand watching those scenes and seeing him act out. I like that the two of them made up because she included him in finding the dream catchers, but I’m just so over Henry’s teenage angst.

Killian’s fight with Rumple led to one of the more satisfying moments of the episode, which came from Belle. I’m really pleased that she stood up for herself, and her observations are correct. Rumple really has broken her trust too many times. It’s sensible of her to put her own heart first, and also to want more, even though she does still love him. It’s a moment that’s been a long time coming. Will Rumple actually learn anything from this and change? Unlikely. But it’s wonderfully freeing for Belle, and I hope the writers actually continue to develop her beyond her relationship with Rumple, which they’ve been guilty of not doing in the past.

Elsewhere, it was heartening to see Regina and Zelena build some bridges over Zelena’s baby. I was more confident of Zelena’s ability to change before she sided with Arthur in the Enchanted Forest, but now that Regina and Robin have their memories back, I’d doubt that they will allow Zelena any more access despite this nice moment.

And, finally, the episode ends with that cliffhanger. It’s certainly the most danger that we’ve seen our characters face. One Dark One is usually bad enough, but with an entire history of them, it can mean nothing but trouble, regardless of what Killian’s end goal is. A wonderful set up for the mid season finale, with satisfying character moments (by which I mean, I’m so glad that Belle dumped Rumple).

You can watch Once Upon a Time Seasons 1 – 7 on Netflix. It is also available on home media and other digital platforms for purchase or rent.

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