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Mother's Little Helper
Once Upon a Time 6x16
April 9, 2017
Running time
Production code
Flash sideways
Viewers (mil)
Centric characters
Centric character
Other backstory characters
Other backstory character
Written by
Directed by
Cast Featured
{{{cast featured}}}
Also Starring
Special Guest Star
Archive footage

"Mother's Little Helper" is the 127th episode of Once Upon a Time.


Belle and Gold convince Emma to help Gideon in his mission, explaining that, together, they can put a stop to the Black Fairy. Meanwhile, Henry experiences a disorienting shift in his powers which forces Regina to seek counsel from the previous Author, and, in the fairytale land that is, Hook attempts to win the assistance of an old adversary by betting his most prized possession in a game of cards. Through flashback, we are shown the Black Fairy as she tortures young Gideon in the hopes of molding him into the perfect dark apprentice.


Previously on Once Upon a Time...

Gideon faces Hook on the Nautilus, the latter of which wonders what the former wants. He apologizes, but states that for what he has planned Hook cannot be in Storybrooke. As such, the Nautilus is sucked through a portal to another realm. ("Page 23") Hook is able to contact Emma through an enchanted shell in Agrabah and reveal that Gideon sent him away, thus alerting the Savior that her boyfriend has in fact not left her. ("A Wondrous Place") Gideon reveals himself to Emma, having disguised himself as Aesop in order to get her tear. She wonders what she must do to ensure Hook's return, to which he tells her to help him kill the Black Fairy. ("A Wondrous Place") Belle and Rumple are reunited with their son, both left wondering what the Black Fairy did to him. ("Tougher Than the Rest")


616 01
The Black Fairy returns home with her stolen grandson.

Focus on a newborn Gideon in a basket, sleeping with absolutely no clue as to what is going on around him. The camera zooms out to reveal that he's being flown through the sky by none other than the Black Fairy. The devious grandmother of the sleeping infant has just finished besting the Blue Fairy in a fight (see "Wish You Were Here") and is now returning from which she came. Surrounded in a purple glow, and sporting an ever-so-sinister expression on her face, she proceeds to excel in speed, seemingly magicking her way from Storybrooke and back to her home realm. She then ducts in the sky, making her way to an entrance which is soon revealed to be a set of mines. After making a few twists and turns, she soon finds company in miners she has working for her and she expands back into her full form where she approaches one of her slaves and announces that she's brought someone new. "Another child for the mines?" the woman wonders, but the Black Fairy denies this. "Not this one," she says, holding the basket up, "This child is different. He's... precious."

616 02
Baby Gideon hasn't got a clue as to what's coming...

That same sinister smile still remains as the Black Fairy stares down at the sleeping child. She then hands the basket over, and the lesser woman promises to care for the child as if it's her own. However, the Black Fairy doesn't approve of this, demanding that the woman care for the child as if he were hers. As the Black Fairy shushes the sleeping child, seeming to take some joy in possessing this baby, the woman finds buried in the basket the copy of Her Handsome Hero that Belle had sent away with her son. (see "Changelings") Inside is a note reading, "To my son, Gideon. Remember to be strong and brave. I will always love you. Mother." The woman comments on how sweet it is, but the Black Fairy slams the book shut, deeming it but a mere remnant of the past. "You won't be needing this anymore... Gideon." The Black Fairy continues to sport her sinister grin, putting her hand down in the basket to touch her infant grandson's. He merely lies there, sleeping, unaware of what the future has in store for him. The Black Fairy proceeds to throw the book.


Act I

Act II


Act IV

Act V

Act VI


616 Title Card


  • The title of this episode was officially confirmed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on January 6, 2017.[1]
  • This episode marks the thirty-eighth overall writing credit for both Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, but the second episode for which they just write the story. This episode also marks the first credit for its teleplay writer, Paul Karp.





Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.

External Links


  1. Adam Horowitz tweet.
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