Zelena protected her child while contemplating happily ever after with Hades; and Belle learned the horrifying truth on Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 16.
Below, TV Fanatics Allison Nichols, Christine Laskodi and Robin Harry are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to debate whether Zelena and Hades have a future, what Belle will choose for her baby and their most disappointing and favorite moments from "Our Decay."
Does Zelena deserve a chance to be a mother to her baby girl?
Allison: I think that Zelena deserves a chance, yes. Of course those chances have to be highly supervised where it's clear that Zelena can't use magic or somehow escape with her daughter. But yes, Zelena deserves to be in her daughter's life.
Gareth: Yeah, she definitely does. Henry helped to redeem Regina and I think the effects of having a child in her life could do exactly the same for Zelena. She made the choice to put her daughter’s safety over her personal happiness so I think there is definitely hope for her.
Christine: Absolutely. I was in tears when she gave the baby over to Robin and Regina. And just like Gareth pointed out, having a child seems to redeem people. Even Emma, who before knowing about Henry, was really living aimlessly and was hard and cold to those around her.
Robin: As much as I dislike Zelena, I've never approved of the idea that she should be kept away from her child. I think Zelena has proven now that she indeed knows how to put her daughter's needs above hers, and she should absolutely have a part in her daughter's life.
Can you see Zelena and Hades sharing a happily ever after?
Allison: I honestly can't even wrap my mind around them being each other's true love. It's just really weird to think about. Also, how do you know this based off a bicycle ride? It's just too weird.
Gareth: I’m really unsure about Hades. I think he is playing Zelena and only has an interest in her child. It was the child he initially wanted to bring through the portal, not Zelena. I’m really unclear why it has to be Zelena’s child that he uses for any potential time travel spell. Could he not just use any random baby?
Christine: Honestly, this aspect of the episode confused me a lot. I understand the love part, I suppose. But wasn't it Allison, or maybe Jim, who predicted that Zelena's baby was somehow Hades'? Could this entire thing be a clue to that? Maybe that kid isn't actually Robin's, after all? Again, like Gareth said, why else would Hades have wanted only the baby? I don't buy that he was trying to "rescue" her. This is all a set up, I think.
Robin: TEAM HADES!! Honestly, at first I was a bit irritated at the idea of a romance being introduced so quickly and lazily, but Greg Germann sold every second of it for me, and I just want whatever he wants. That scene on the bicycle, and the look on Hades' face when Zelena sat near him and he felt his heart flutter? My goodness, I got chills. That said, despite their chemistry (or Hades' oozing of chemistry, rather), I think Zelena's a little too boring and narrow-minded for him; maybe she should be with boring Robin Hood and let Hades find a happily-ever-after with someone who's actually interesting.
Will Belle choose to raise her child with the Dark One or make a different choice?
Allison: I really hope she makes another choice. Belle needs to really examine her feelings and face the man that Rumple truly is. She needs to think about what kind of life she wants, and what kind of life she wants for her child. Belle should just take a couple days or weeks and think things through.
Gareth: Gold’s frank conversation with Belle was probably the most interesting aspect of the episode for me. It’s great to see him confronting his demons and saying "this is who I am and who I will always be". He has been redeemed so many times and fallen back into bad habits again. He is what he is and it was cool to see him acknowledge that.
Christine: I think this would be a great opportunity for Belle to step up against Rumple and make her own choice that's completely independent of what everyone else will want her to do. But I do agree...that scene between Belle and Rumple was really fascinating. I just can't see Rumple being redeemed in the series end. Maybe it'll be a Gollum type deal...he dies chasing power?
Robin: Like Gareth, I loved every part of Gold's conversation with Belle. I love that he owned who he was and stopped apologizing to her about it, and that he pointed out her part in having to make choices about the two of them. I think he had an excellent point about Belle choosing to be with him knowing exactly that his darkness was a part of him. I'm hoping she'll surprise everyone and stay with Rumple, which would be infinitely more interesting than her predictably leaving.
What, if anything, on "Our Decay" disappointed you?
Allison: I still just can't decide how I feel about the Hades and Zelena romance. I don't know if I would say that it disappointed me, but I'm not fully on board with it yet.
Gareth: I’m getting a bit tired of the Underworld now. I want to get back to Storybrooke. There’s lots of questions hanging from Once Upon a Time Season 5A that I’m scared won't be resolved. Will Merida get her revenge on Arthur? Will Guinevere find out she was under a spell and finally be reunited with Lancelot? Where are Mulan and Ruby? Will the plot started in Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 23 about Lily’s search for her father ever be revisited? This show has a bad habit of starting plot threads and never resolving them.
Christine: I didn't like the side plot with Snow and Charming and "haunting" Neal, though any excuse to see Blind Witch makes me happy. I'm just kind of tired of Snow and Charming in general in the Underworld. It feels like they are a little underused in this storyline, and like they don't really need to be there.
Robin: Snow and Charming? Boring! Robin Hood? Boring! Henry's teenage attitude? Boring! Even Emma and Hook are getting boring. Also, the idea that Snow wasn't motivated to get out of the Underworld until her baby son heard her voice "upstairs" is actually ridiculous.
What was your favorite quote or scene from this episode?
Allison: I loved Zelena's goodbye scene with her daughter where she handed her over to Regina and Robin. Zelena broke my heart. You could tell that it took a lot for her to realize that she couldn't protect her daughter. She handed her over to the people that want to make sure that Zelena spends as little time with her daughter as possible. There's no doubt in my mind that Zelena truly loves her child.
Gareth: Loved the scene between Gold and Belle. Also Zelena and Hades riding on the bike was a fun little moment. And we finally got to see Munchkins!
Christine: Agree totally with Allison. That scene with Zelena giving away the baby was just amazing. It might be my favorite Zelena moment to date, and really showed a lot of growth for her, at least as far as being a mother and selfless, goes.
Robin: It's a tie between Belle and Gold's conversation, and the moment Hades realized that he had feelings for Zelena. I was enthralled by both of those scenes.
Check back on Sunday for our review of Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 17 and if you can’t wait for more magic, you can watch Once Upon a Time online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.