TV Review: Once Upon A Time (5×18): ‘Ruby Slippers’

(ABC/Jack Rowand)

(ABC/Jack Rowand)

The big discussion topic about “Ruby Slippers” is the introduction of the first LGBT couple into the Once Upon A Time universe. While we had Mulan’s unrequited love for Aurora (that scene on the bridge will forever break my heart) and some could argue, the underlying sexual tension between Emma and Regina, this is the first official, two-sided love affair on the show.

The love story was framed in a way that perpetuated Zelena’s constant struggles between being a better person for her daughter and the misdeeds that she has done in the past, but hey if Regina can do it, why can’t she?

Her past misdeeds literally come at her, when Ruby appears in Underworld looking for Zelena to ask her what happened to her friend, Dorothy. Through a series of flashbacks we discover that Mulan and Ruby met up with Dorothy in Oz while they were searching for Ruby’s pack, but of course party pooper that she is, Zelena appears and steals Toto, telling Dorothy she can have him back if she gives her the silver slippers so that Zelena can return to her daughter.

(ABC/Jack Rowand)

(ABC/Jack Rowand)

Dorothy, of course, refuses and she, along with Mulan and Ruby, create a sleeping curse to put Zelena under. Through the course of this, Dorothy and Ruby start bonding and you can see the underlying romance in the air. But all is not revealed until Ruby makes her way back to Oz (with the slippers that Zelena stole from Dorothy when she put her under the sleeping curse instead) and used “True Love’s Kiss” to bring her back to life. It’s true, it’s love.

Some people were not happy with the storyline because they felt it was forced, calling it “token,” because Ruby is a side character, and Dorothy is a character that we just recently met, many people were hoping that the LGBT romance that was teased would be between Mulan and Ruby (poor Mulan cannot catch a break) because the two of them have been spending a lot of time together on their travels, the audience is invested in both of them, and there was that hot scene where Ruby landed on top of her.

But let’s be real, relationships other than the main three – being Snow and Charming, Regina and Robin, and Emma and Hook – rarely get more than a rushed episode before they are apparently in love, case in point being Hades and Zelena a few weeks ago. I understand the want of a well-developed LGBT relationship in the show and hopefully this will not be the last, hopefully this couple does not have to carry the torch for all the other couples. I’m still holding out hope that Mulan gets her great love, and perhaps Ruby and Dorothy will be there to support her. The execution of this was not perfect, but none of the couples on the show are, there were good things about it though such as no one questioning Ruby’s love for her, or pointing out Ruby’s interest in men as well. Snow, her best friend especially, just accepted Ruby’s bisexuality and encouraged her, that’s refreshing to see onscreen. Perhaps this will be a great starting point for writers to explore other versions of true love.

What else happened?

  • Reeling from her guilt about killing Gaston, Belle puts herself under a sleeping curse so that Rumple has time to thwart Hades about their baby contract. Time for maternity leave for Emilie de Ravin.
  • Snow leaves Underworld with Ruby in the silver slippers, and goes back to Storybrooke to take care of her son and Roland, and to be a leader in the town. Always I’m assuming time for maternity leave for Ginnifer Goodwin too.
  • Hook uses his enchanted hook to scratch off Snow’s name from the tombstone and add David’s instead.
  • Hades kills or banishes the soul of Dorothy’s Aunt Em (uh didn’t he say he loses power when he loses a soul, why is he just willynilly throwing souls away, also why can’t he do the same to the Storybrooke folk) so that she can’t give Dorothy the True Love’s Kiss and save her. This was his romantic gesture for Zelena, which seems to work. Although I’m not too sure if she’s genuine or not.
  • Charming and Hook had some bonding time as well, you know the way fathers bond with their daughter’s boyfriends that are pretty much the same age as them. It was cute, especially when he said that he is growing on him.

Rating: 7/10

Caryn is a 26-year-old journalist from Cape Town, South Africa. She believes people will be more tolerable if they just watched more TV. Otherwise she's obsessed with movies, literally any book, comedy, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Halsey. Her dream is to one day marry Tom Hiddleston, or take over the world, whatever comes first.