1. Regina and Emma tried to imprison the Evil Queen behind the mirror, but she turned the tables on them. What is the EQ's ultimate plan and how can they foil it?
Joanne: I think that if the Evil Queen really wanted to kill them, she would have done it already. She always seems to be one step ahead of them. She wants Regina to accept that dark part of herself as being her passion and strength. The only way to defeat her is for Regina to find a way to merge the two parts, light and dark, back together, and control her from within herself.
Sam: I'm not exactly sure what the EQ's ultimate plan may be. I think she just likes to be evil. She likes being the queen and have people bow down to her. She needs someone, like Snow, to be the target of her evil schemes. I still think the only way to get rid of her is for Regina to re-absorb her and control her from within.
Mauri: I have no idea what her plan is or what the point of the whole Evil Queen arc is. It's gone on too long.
Teresa: It does seem odd. If her goal is that of Season One, well, been there, done that. I think she is just a very strange manifestation of one part of Regina who hasn't gotten over hating Snow. I think, like most, that she will be defeated when Regina accepts the Evil Queen back into herself.
Mia: I think the Evil Queen is trying to show Regina that no matter how hard she tries to be good, she'll always have that darkness inside of her. Only she doesn't realize that Regina does have the strength to fight against it. The EQ is also trying to do whatever she can to destroy the Charming family. She wants Henry to herself and have others fear her once more, the way it was in the Enchanted Forest. Regina can foil this plan by continuing to fight against the darkness. She needs to remind herself that everyone has darkness in them or can end up in that state, but everyone has the strength to fight against it.
2. Belle tries to enlist Zelena into helping her escape back to the Enchanted forest. Is she right to try and keep Gold out of their child's life? What did you think of Rumple's solution to the problem?
Mia: This relationship between Gold and Belle keeps coming off as toxic and dysfunctional which is very sad considering the progression and love that was clearly shown in Seasons 1-4A. Since the 4B arc, their relationship took a tumble. I don't believe Belle should keep Gold out of their child's life because he plays a major part. However, his solution is basically spousal abuse as well as a threat to steal their son away which is absolutely unacceptable. Putting the bracelet on Belle and threatening her just made things even worse than they already were.
Sam: Belle must be really desperate to turn to Zelena! I think Belle is equally guilty of lying to Rumple from time to time. She just lies about different stuff. I don't know why Belle has never accepted the fact that she can be a target of the hundreds of enemies that Rumple has made over the centuries. She cannot protect herself. This has been proven by the number of times she's been kidnapped, locked-up and put to sleep, and I'm not just talking about the times Rumple did that to her! Now, Rumple is not always in the right. He still usually acts out of the most selfish motives. He is very protective of his possessions. I still think that he treats Belle (and his children) more like inanimate objects that belong to him rather than people. Since the beginning of their relationship we've known that he's a difficult man to love, and that is no lie!
Mauri: I don't understand why Belle is going to Zelena for help of ALL PEOPLE. Zelena tortured Belle's husband for a year, and killed her stepson/friend Nealfire right in front of her in the Enchanted Forest when they were trying to bring Rumple back to life. They did it because they both loved him. And Belle said she loved "The darkness and the light" in Rumple. So now, in Season 6, this is Belle? The heroine? Asking a murderer and unrepentant rapist for advice on her marriage and her child's life? Seriously? And NO, I don't think Belle should keep Rumple's child from him. That's HIS child! This whole storyline with Belle and Rumple this year makes absolutely no sense! Belle rejected him at the well last season when he was a hero, so I don't get what the hell she wants from him.
Teresa: It does seem like Belle forgot everything that happened in Season Three. She not only was Neal's friend, but also Robin's. How on earth could she go to Zelena? I actually was not too creeped out by Rumple's solution. Belle was the one who threw the first punch by threatening to keep his child from him at the beginning of the season. At that time, she had little cause except a dream-warning from her baby. She should have accepted Rumple's challenge in that episode to talk about it before going all extreme. Her "controlling trap" on Rumple wasn't magical, but psychological, and just as inexcusable. From Rumple's side, I think he's finally reached the point of if he can't win no matter what--saving Henry, reconciling with Bae, becoming a pure hero and still getting dumped by Belle--why not break bad? That said, Rumple is still responsible for his actions, unless there is more going on with him and how he's behaving. It is so out of character to see Rumple hurt his wife explicitly and cheat on her. I think there have been double meanings behind a lot of his statements/actions that will become clear in the next episode. I'm not even sure he is Rumple; he could have been "changelinged".
Joanne: Rumple put a very dark twist on Snowing's "I'll will always find you" motto. By clamping that Gold bracelet onto Belle, he can track every move she makes. She keeps taking his warnings as a threat, but I don't think that she realizes that he may have seen something of the future and knows that she and the baby are in danger somehow. I don't think it is right that she is trying to totally cut Rumple out of the baby's life.
3. Henry stepped up to help his mothers escape from behind the magic mirror. What did you think of the Mirror World and seeing them work together as a team?
Mia: The mirror world was definitely interesting. It had a different vibe to it than the other worlds we've seen. It made me wonder what Sidney Glass must've gone through during his trapped time in that world. Seeing Emma and Regina work as a team was great because instead of a fight which is what we would've seen in earlier seasons, they were able to figure out a plan on how to escape as well as help guide Henry which he seemed to be grateful for.
Sam: I thought the mirror world was really neat. I kept imagining poor Sydney living there all alone. I love seeing what a powerful team Regina and Emma can be. They do really lift each other up in adversity.
Mauri: This is really the only thing I like about this season: what's been happening with Henry. He's finally becoming the hero he's always wanted to be.
Teresa: I loved seeing the Swan-Mills family working together. Henry was fantastic, and Regina working with Emma is really the one scenario besides Snowing right now that does not come off as "WTH?" And a shout-out to Sidney! I adore and miss him!
4. Aladdin sneaks into Gold's shop at Belle's request, and steals the Apprentice's wand. He also steals a magic lamp. What is your theory on who is in the magic lamp?
Mia: I believe that Jafar is in the magic lamp. I don't know how Jafar will play into this storyline or how he will interact with our core characters, but I have a bad feeling about it.
Joanne: My first thought was that Jafar was in the lamp. So far we've only seen him in flashbacks, but not in Storybrooke. Now I'm wondering if it is the mysterious Black Fairy.
Sam: I thought the same as Joanne. The obvious answer would be that Jafar is in the lamp. Given recent reveals, it could be someone else.
Mauri: I don't care about Aladdin and Jasmine. Their storyline is so boring I could less what Aladdin is doing.
Teresa: For me it's not so much that they are boring, it's just that they seem out of place for this story at this time. I love Karen David as Jasmine--and have mixed feelings about Aladdin--but I just want the main characters' issues to resolve already. As for the lamp, Jafar all the way!
5. Snow and Charming are trying to make the best of a bad situation after being put under a sleeping curse by the Evil Queen. How much longer can they go on and how will the curse finally be broken?
Sam: The sequence of Snow and Charming taking turns caring for Baby Neal and each other was one of the most romantic things ever on this show! While Rumple and Belle's relationship has always been fraught with distrust, Snow and Charming have been a team and each one has put the other before his/herself time and time again. No matter how long this new curse lasts, they will continue to hold each other up.
Teresa: It was magical. The scenes showed that True Love, faithful love, can be interesting, emotional and satisfying. Once doesn't need soap opera triangles and break-ups to be awesome. I have missed Snowing so much! I think they will go on and support each other until a solution is found. "I will always find you" with its implicit message of "never betray you" is what I loved originally about Once. I think the curse will be broken, lol, by little Baby Neal. It worked with Baby Gold "Morpheus." That little Charming sweetheart can wake his Mommy and Daddy like a boss. If they would just give it a go!
Joanne: They've put on a brave face, and have tried to stay in touch with each other, but it looks like it is very wearing on Snow. Charming is her rock and he keeps her grounded and hopeful. Maybe if one of them is able to enter the dreams of the other like Rumple did with Belle at the Temple of Morpheus, then they can perform True Love's Kiss.
Mauri: I'm distracted because the curse on Snow and Charming shouldn't even work since they, Henry, and Aurora are immune along with everyone else that's been put under a Sleeping Curse!!!
Mia: I found it very sweet how Snow and Charming wrote notes back and forth and kept up their high hopes. They were trying to make the best out of a heartbreaking situation. However I don't know how much longer Snow and Charming will last. It's tearing them apart not being together at the same time, where they can interact. I hope the curse breaks soon.
6. Favorite line or quote?
Mia: Emma: "You act like yourself. Never compromise who you are."
Henry: "You may not see it, but I'm strong, because my moms taught me that family makes you stronger than you'll ever be by yourself."
Joanne, Mauri, Teresa: "Nice try, but you can't Darth Vader me. I'll never join you." - Henry
Mia: Hook: "Unless you like the feeling of hook piercing flesh, you shove off, Your Majesty.
7. What was your favorite moment from "I'll Be Your Mirror?"
Mauri, Teresa, Mia: Henry becoming the hero.
Mia: When Henry stood up to the Evil Queen and smashed the mirror instead of crushing the Dragon's heart. it not only released Emma and Regina out of the mirror world, but it showed how strong and intelligent Henry is. He's extremely wise and it was a shining moment for him.
Teresa: I also liked Henry and Violet.
Joanne: I hate to say it, but I love seeing Rumple being bad. It was exciting and scary when he confronted Belle. He was back to being the Beast. A very wounded, vicious Beast.
8. Anything else?
Mauri: This season has been awful for me with the horrible direction the story went. No one wants to see a fairy tale show with all gloom and doom storylines: Rumbelle destroyed and the depressing dying savior. Then there are the blatant continuity issues. GoldenQueen shouldn't happen because Rumple rejected Zelena because she was attracted to him, and he kept Regina as a student because she wasn't attracted to him.
Teresa: I agree that this season since 6x03 has been depressing. I am very sad that GoldenQueen happened, not just because of how it taints "Beauty and the Beast" but it has destroyed for me the unique, fun dynamic between Rumple and Regina. Every time they kiss it feels disgusting, almost incestuous. We already got our hearts broken losing Robin Hood. Now I feel we've lost Regina and Rumple too. I miss who they used to be. I've said before it's time to bring back the joy on Once, but I'll say it again: it needs to happen. We've been in love with these characters for years. Let's have them back so that we can like them again. I am hopeful though because it looks like this melancholy chapter is about to be put to rest.
Mia: I was very happy to see that Henry was more involved with the storyline in this episode and I really enjoy watching his relationship with Violet unfold. I don't like what's happening with Belle and Gold. I feel bad for Belle, I'm nervous to see what's going to happen once the baby is born. I wish the relationship could be repaired.
Joanne: I'm looking forward to finding out who is in the lamp.