TV Review: Once Upon a Time 6×08 “I’ll Be Your Mirror”

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It was nice to see Once Upon a Time remember a few things. Things like the Evil Queen having an actual bond with Henry. Also, that Jasmine and Aladdin are apparently still in town. It’s not everything the show has forgotten, but it’s good to see Once address a few issues it’s been neglecting in the episode I’ll Be Your Mirror.

Regina and Emma come up with a plan to trap the Evil Queen, but she turns the tables on them and the duo end up getting sent to what was meant to be the Queen’s prison, the world behind the mirrors. As Regina and Emma find themselves trapped in a place where they’re unable to use magic or communicate with Storybrooke, they can see through the mirrors surrounding them, and the Evil Queen decides to impersonate Regina so she can turn Henry to the Dark Side. Expect Star Wars and Darth Vader references.

Henry hasn’t always been given the best storylines. Throughout most of the show’s run, Once was mostly interested in him playing cute, and seemed to have trouble giving him more to work with as he aged. But lately, OUAT has made a valiant effort to make the poor kid a little less annoying. Thankfully, I’ll Be Your Mirror is another step in the right direction. Henry is standing more on his own, dealing with the wicked half of his mother running amok, while also coping with some typical teen issues like getting all nervous about taking his girlfriend Violet to a dance. While Hook is the first to see through the charade, it’s Henry who might be forced to make a life-and-death decision to save both of his mothers.

Also, it doesn’t look like Rumple and Belle will ever be worth investing in again. Belle is trying to escape her ex so she can give their child his best chance, and she recruits a very unusual and unexpected ally to her cause in Zelena. Soon the two are sitting down with Jasmine and Aladdina very welcome sight after a puzzling absencein order to persuade Aladdin to steal a wand from the Dark One so Belle can raise her child away from Storybrooke in the Enchanted Forest. But Rumple stops her and puts a magical tracking device on her so she can’t take their child from him. Yeah, there’s controlling, and then there’s that.

Rumple also tries to take some revenge on Zelena, and he discovers he can’t hurt her without hurting himself. So Gold tells the Evil Queen that if she wants him to help her get her happy ending, she has to kill her sister Zelena, which doesn’t seem to sit well with her. This could be very interesting, seeing as how Regina began her journey to the light when Henry was in danger. Zelena is the one bond the Evil Queen has left, so we’ll just see how she reacts now that the only family member who’s stood by her and accepted her is in danger.

Meanwhile, Aladdin also stole a lamp that has a new genie inside, who he hopes can help him and Jasmine find Agrabah. Since this version of Jasmine and Aladdin aren’t officially together yet, here’s hoping we get to see these two get closer, since seeing them onscreen has become one of the show’s brightest spots.

If only I could say the same for the Charmings. They’re still under the sleeping curse which keeps one of them awake and one of them asleep, and once again Snow seems to be cracking under the pressure. Once really seems to have lost sight of the fact that Snow is a fighter, and here’s hoping they change course and develop her without weakening her. Looks doubtful, since it seems Rumple will only get worse next episode, where it looks like he’s about to put Belle in even more danger. Well, Rumbelle was fun while it lasted, but I think we can safely say that one of the show’s most treasured ships is officially dead.

Rating: 7/10

Andrea Thompson is a contributor for The Young Folks.