Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 5 Review: Street Rats

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Riff raff, street rat – I don't buy that. 

On Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 5, the story of another savior, Aladdin, came to life.

Elsewhere in the hour, the Evil Queen took her big sister for a day at the spa, secrets were exposed, and a little pair of scissors may be the answer to Emma's dilemma. 

Let's get into it, shall we?

The Cave of Wonders - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 5

Shareen: She was helping me find a man who I cared about a long time ago.
Emma: Aladdin?
Shareen: You know him?
Emma: No, I just saw the movie - it's a this world thing.

Just like Emma, we've all seen the movie. We know who Aladdin is and how his story plays out – or do we?

I'll admit that I was cautiously optimistic about the Aladdin arc on Once Upon a Time. Many of the highly advertised "guess who's coming" storylines have let me down. Peter Pan was a bust. Ariel came and went too quickly. Frozen seemed to drag on forever.

I have a nostalgic soft spot in my heart for Aladdin, a key part of my childhood, which made it hard to deny myself of getting excited. 

The Aladdin story didn't totally let me down, but it also didn't live up to my cautious hype either. Instead, it fell somewhere in the middle. It just exists as another piece of the Storybrooke puzzle. 

That's not a bad thing. 

Aladdin and Jasmine's trip to the Cave of Wonders played out exactly like I thought it would. Jasmine being trapped in an hourglass was basically a shot-for-shot live action remake of the Disney classic. (Note to Disney: Please don't do a live action remake of Aladdin.)

That wasn't the diamond in the rough - you are.

Jasmine

Aladdin's connection to Emma by way of Savior magic, was far more interesting to me than watching the movie come to life. 

That's why I think it's okay that this Aladdin story isn't a huge standout, but instead a companion story to Emma's. 

Let's be honest: if we were forced to endure several weeks of "A Whole New World" it would grow tiresome. Stripping Aladdin of his Savior magic early on, and allowing him to give Emma advice about what her life COULD be like, changes the stakes of Aladdin's tale. It turns out, we don't know where his story is headed. 

And I like that. 

What moment made Aladdin use those Savior shears? Is Jafar still a player in the game? Does the genie (in the form of Rumplestiltskin, no doubt) make an appearance along the way? 

I'm glad these are questions that we can even have now, not knowing Aladdin the way we thought we did when the episode began. 

Shareen: The worst part is being a Savior is a death sentence, and back in a cave in Agrabah, I was the one who put him on the path.
Henry: I did the same for my mom. I brought her here to break a curse. She was just living her life.
Shareen: So was Aladdin.

Shareen thinks it's all her fault, and that she led Aladdin into a life he didn't want. 

I loved how the writers tied this to Henry bringing Emma to Storybrooke. I've often found myself wondering if he feels any guilt when he sees some of the more exasperating things Emma goes through as the Savior.

Not that he needs to feel guilty – everything Emma has is because of Henry setting her life in motion. 

Including a family that she didn't trust enough to share her visions with. 

Aladdin didn't trust the people he loved, and that's why he failed. I believe in us to find a third way - that's kind of what we do.

Emma

Thank goodness that's all out in the open now. The Evil Queen should just parade around town making everyone expel their secrets. It would make so many things easier.

The Charmings, Regina, Henry, and Killian all act just as expected to the news. They go into support mode, and immediately vow to find another way around it.

But it was the motherly chat between Mary Margaret and Emma that was most important.

Because Emma's parents and Henry, they will all love her unconditionally as family. But Killian? 

You can't keep secrets from someone you're trying to build a life with. No, seriously. Ask Belle and Gold. 

Death is the fate of all Saviors.

Jafar

So let's talk about those Savior shears, the ones that Jafar gave Aladdin "for the storm coming," and are now sitting snug in Killian's jacket pocket.

These little scissors have the ability to strip the Savior of their duty. The connection to the magic stops with one little snip. (Presumably – I mean, we haven't seen how they work just yet.)

Most certainly, there are consequences to using them. But what are the rules to using them, exactly? Like, say, could a handsome hooked gentleman use them on his girlfriend?

Because OF COURSE Killian didn't throw them 20,000 leagues under the sea. 

Now it looks like Emma isn't the only one keeping secrets. And Gold isn't the only man in Storybrooke lying about magic objects that can change fate. 

Oh, Killian. Just why? He had ONE job. 

Evil Queen: I choose you because you're wicked.
Zelena: What if my daughter doesn't?

The Evil Queen continues to shine as the bright spot of the hour. 

Her day out to the spa with Zelena gave us some clear answers about Zelena's loyalties and hesitations. 

Zelena's main concern is what she wants her daughter to see her as, and after an evil pep talk, Zelena is convinced that wicked is the way to go.

Zelena needs to pick a side and stick with it. I don't care which side she chooses anymore, honestly. I just want Zelena to make a choice. If it's wicked havoc that she wants, then so be it. She'll have a blast with the Evil Queen. 

But Zelena can't sit back and be wishy-washy. It doesn't agree with her. 

Regina: I'm not there?
Emma: The figure in the hood kills me while I protect everyone, but no, you're not there.
Regina: Well, where do you think I am? Dead? Or am I the figure under the hood?

Regina asks the right questions immediately, and figures out that Emma believes it to be her under the cloak. What I love about Regina in that moment is that she doesn't sit around and backslide into a self-doubting "I'm not good enough" mantra. 

Instead, she's practical and gets right to work, saying that she's got to help while she can. 

I really hope that the writers pull out a surprise, and that it ISN'T Regina under the hood. Having all signs pointing in that direction is starting to make it seem TOO obvious for it to be her, right? Hey, we don't know...it very well may be Aladdin under that hood.

Wouldn't that be an interesting twist on an old tale? 

What do you think TV Fanatics? Are you glad Emma's secret is out? Were you impressed by Aladdin and Jasmine? Is Zelena going to stick with wicked? Are you disappointed in Killian? Sound off in the comments below!

Remember, you can watch Once Upon a Time online right here at TV Fanatic and never miss a moment of the action!

Street Rats Review

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Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 5 Quotes

Shareen: She was helping me find a man who I cared about a long time ago.
Emma: Aladdin?
Shareen: You know him?
Emma: No, I just saw the movie - it's a this world thing.

I want you to help me defeat Jafar.

Jasmine