Once upon a time there was a girl who was green, and her story has been told many different ways over the years. OUAT is just one more entry in the long 'history' of the Wicked Witch of the West, but they've made her tremendously compelling, due in large part to Rebecca Mader's brilliant portrayal. (okay, sometimes she is over the top. But most of the time - boy is she fun to watch!).
Anyhow, I find myself feeling so conflicted after finishing 5.16 "Our Decay." How can I be sitting here, feeling sorry for Hades and Zelena? How can I be wishing they could get together and have their happily ever after, which involves vengeance and destruction?
Good storytelling, that's why.
OUAT may not always have the best writing. and they make some unpopular decisions, but they have managed to create a very compelling world and cast of characters that has already secured them a season 6 renewal. They may not hit every ball out of the park, but they continue to surprise and entertain (almost) every week.
Normally I'm not too keen on the Oz episodes, but Mader and Greg Germann (Hades) have a sizzling chemistry that really sells their backstory. Furthermore, Zelena's choice to give up her baby in order to save it was tremendously moving (I kept thinking of King Solomon's judgement during that scene).
Still didn't get a name for Baby Hood, but the explanation that Hades could use the name magically was a good point. Not enough Robin - we really need a flashback episode for him VERY soon.
Was not expecting to see Belle until later in the season, so I appreciated her scenes (although de Ravin is obviously VERY pregnant, unlike her character who had no clue yet!). Even though Rumple has given up any right to her at this point, I also found myself wishing she'd try to make the relationship work - even though I KNOW she needs to walk away from him! The emotions at play were very well done.
"Our Decay" was a really good name for the episode. I mean, calling it "rooting for the bad guys love lives" would have been more on the nose, but that's basically the point of the show anyhow, lol.
So now we have sympathy for Hades. Time will only tell - will he be revealed to be truly evil, or continue down the misunderstood path? As he points out in the show, Hades is lord of the underworld, but he is NOT the devil, which is a true and important distinction. He's not like a super great guy all the time, but honestly Zeus has a rather worse reputation in many ways! OUAT likes to take traditional good guys (Peter Pan, Arthur) and make them the truly evil, and take traditionally bad people and reform them. While Hades is the villain in Disney's "Hercules", the original mythology leaves more room for interpretation. I'm very interested to see where they take all of this...