- Title: Once Upon a Time – Labor of Love
- wiki: link
While stumbling around a very Storybooke-esque version of the Underworld in their search for Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), who is now a captive of Hades (Greg Germann) and being guarded by the three-headed Cerberus, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) will seek out the help of an old friend who has unfinished business with the creature. Offering us flashbacks to the young Snow’s (Bailee Madison) first encounter with Hercules (Jonathan Whitesell) we see the crucial role the demigod performed in putting the young princess on a path to becoming a hero – a service Snow reciprocates here by helping the fallen warrior complete his final labor and move on to Olympus.
The reasoning for the Underworld being designed like the show’s sets of Storybrooke is introduced but not actually addressed. I was hoping for a simple explanation (such as the Underworld is different for everyone, so those from Storybrooke all see it the same way). Except for the fact that the creature seems to change sizes randomly over the course of the episode, the CGI Cerberus works well (especially when kept partially in shadow). Once Upon a Time has done some remarkably good casting and the return of Bailee Madison as the young Snow White continues that trend. Although I’m less sold on Whitesell as Hercules, Germann hits the right notes for Hades.
With so much of the episode centered around Hercules, Hook himself is mainly an afterthought in this episode for everyone except Emma (Jennifer Morrison). Even Henry (Jared Gilmore) is distracted from the quest by Cruella De Vil (Victoria Smurfit) who offers him a chance to wipe out the blight on his mother’s soul by embracing his role as the Author. With Hercules and Megara (Kacey Rohl) moving on I’m guessing more of next week’s episode will center on the captive Captain Hook who has earned himself a new responsibility thanks to the heroics of his friends.