Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
1 user 5 critic

Ill-Boding Patterns 

Mr. Gold attempts to help Gideon avoid the taint of dark magic, Emma learns that Hook is keeping a secret from her, and Zelena and Robin make a dangerous duo.


Ron Underwood


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 4 more credits »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard (credit only)
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills / Evil Queen
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan (credit only)
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore) (credit only)
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena
Robert Carlyle ... Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold
Sean Maguire ... Robin of Locksley
Giles Matthey ... Gideon
Raphael Sbarge ... Dr. Archibald 'Archie' Hopper
Keegan Connor Tracy ... Mother Superior
Torstein Bjørklund ... Beowulf
Brandon Spink ... Baelfire




When Gideon resumes his mission to kill Emma and become the Savior, Gold steps in to ensure that the use of dark magic does not poison his son. Meanwhile, Robin proves willing to ally himself with anyone offering the possibility of escape from Regina and Storybrooke. Hook gathers the courage to come clean to Emma, but not before she discovers he's been keeping a secret.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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beowulf character | See All (1) »


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Did You Know?


The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on November 15, 2016. See more »


Dr. Archibald 'Archie' Hopper: It's a little early for rum, isn't it?
Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones: I called your office. You didn't have an opening. The bottle did.
See more »

User Reviews

Patterns that don't bode well with the viewer
4 December 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Found 'Once Upon a Time' when it first began and in the early seasons to be a very interesting and highly addictive show. Love the fascinating and creative premise of turning fairy tales and characters on their head and putting own interpretations on them. It did become inconsistent during the second half of Season 5 with the Underworld arc.

Season 6 actually for me started off well and promisingly, with the first three episodes being very good to great. With a few exceptions however, and even those exceptions weren't 'Once Upon a Time' high points, post-"Strange Case" there is a real sense that the show in Season 6 lost its magic and run out of ideas, and this unfortunately continued and to a worse degree in the seventh and last season.

"Ill-Boding Patterns" sadly isn't an exception, although not quite one of the worst examples of the show's decline in quality. There are good things but most of the problems present consistently in the last two seasons are here and there are a few other things done badly.

Lets start with the good things. "Ill-Boding Patterns" is a good-looking episode, there is a stylish look to the photography and the settings have enchantment and atmosphere. The costumes are not too garish or drab either. The music fits well and is pleasant in its own right and has nice contrasts of moods, while the main theme is still memorable.

To me the story and characters don't really advance here but some of the characters are done well. Will always love Gold/Rumpelstiltskin and find him one of the more consistently interesting characters, and do appreciate that Rumpelstiltskin was a more conflicted character than he has been in the previous episodes this season. Gideon and Archie have made really strong impressions here and it was great to see more of Zelena after her being underused for a while. Good to see Robin more interesting than he was in especially Season 5 and Regina is still one of my favourite characters, the tension and wit in their chemistry is great and along with Zelena their subplot is the best-faring one.

Have no faults really with the acting, with the best performance of the episode easily coming from Robert Carlyle, magnetic as especially Rumpelstiltskin, he and the character just about stop the flashbacks from being disposable.

On the other hand, as said other episodes do far better progressing storylines and characters. There is a cluttered feel, with the different subplots not really connecting together enough. The pace is erratic, sometimes feeling disjointed and rushed and then dragging in particularly the flashbacks.

From personal opinion, the writing is melodramatic and sometimes corny, especially with Hook and Emma. Both characters don't have enough to make them rootable here and their chemistry has shown far more warmth elsewhere. Will always love the Evil Queen but her storyline has started to become over-stretched and stale.

Where "Ill-Boding Patterns" fares worst is in the flashbacks, outside of Carlyle's performance and Rumpelstiltskin himself they were near-disposable. There is nothing really surprising or anything really emotional, while unlike most flashbacks on 'Once Upon a Time' they don't fill in existing blanks and instead increase these blanks. Beowulf is a dull character and what little there is of his development is very rushed. Worst of all is the completely out of character, to the point of being offensive, writing for Baelfire which is woefully inconsistent to what we knew about the character before and is quite a character assassination. Don't blame the acting here, the writing is the problem.

Summing up, has its moments but underwhelming. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

19 March 2017 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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