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This article focuses on the Season Six episode.
For the Season Four episode, see "Mother".
Black Fairy: But part of you wanted to help me, now didn't it? Part of you always does.
Gideon: Of course, mother.

"Mother's Little Helper" is the sixteenth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Paul Karp after a story by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, and directed by Billy Gierhart. It is the one hundredth and twenty-seventh episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 9, 2017.


Gold and Belle convince Emma to help Gideon, explaining that together they can stop the Black Fairy. Henry experiences a disorienting shift in his powers that forces Regina to seek counsel from the previous Author. Meanwhile, in Fairy Tale Land, Hook attempts to win the assistance of an old adversary by betting his most prized possession on a game of cards. And, in a flashback, the Black Fairy tortures young Gideon in hopes of molding him into the perfect apprentice.[2]




Guest Starring




Production Notes

  • For the opening scene where the Black Fairy is flying though the night, Jaime Murray was placed inside a room with at least fifty different cameras and photographed from every conceivable angle.[6]
  • The scenes in the Sorcerer's Mansion were originally supposed to take place in the forest but were moved indoors due to heavy rain.[7]
  • In the episode script, Regina asks Isaac, "Are we bargaining now? Is that what's happening?", and Isaac answers, "You're quick. I always enjoyed writing you. A challenge for the intellect."[8] This exchange is not in the final episode.
  • When Gideon's sword starts to glow with magic, there is a wide shot of Storybrooke Main Street,[9] which is stock footage from an establishing shot which was shown after the dock scene in "Murder Most Foul".[10] The new shot does not have any people in it, while the original shot shows two extras walking past the clock tower, indicating that the new shot was created from cut footage from before or after the extras walked down on the street.

Event Chronology

  • Isaac asks for tickets to the musical Hamilton in New York City, which made its debut at The Public Theater in February 2015, and officially opened on Broadway in August 2015.[11] However, according to Adam Horowitz, the musical hit Broadway about 18 months earlier in the series' universe than in real life,[12] indicating that the episode takes place in the first half of 2014. This, however, is impossible: One of the previous episodes, "I'll Be Your Mirror", takes place in the autumn (Henry refers to the homecoming dance as "the fall formal", and this tradition usually takes place in late September or early October) - meaning that the story would have to take place during the second half of 2014.
  • Further complicating matters is that in "The Final Battle Part 1", which takes place not long after this episode, the Black Fairy refers to Henry as being fourteen years old ("Now, thanks to you, I have a 14-year-old boy, who still believes in fairy tales"). Since Henry was born in August 2001, the story would have to take place in 2015 for Henry to be fourteen at this point.

Episode Connections


Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

Props Notes

Ingredients to break Sleeping Curse
1) Tongue of newt Eye Tongue!!!
2) Otter spleen
3) Goat tears

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

Filming Locations

International Titles



  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. File:616Title.png
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  10. File:612TalkedToRobin.png
  14. File:616ClockTower.png
  15. File:616WhatIsThis.png
  16. File:616BookShakes.png
  19. File:616ListenToThem.png
  20. File:701MyWings.png
  21. External screenshot from "The Garden of Forking Paths"
  22. External screenshot from "Wake Up Call"
  23. 23.0 23.1 File:616SnowWhiteAndRoseRed.png
  24. File:616TheGoldenBird.png
  26. File:616ReachingForOrb.png
  27. The Wrong View of History, Jack Paraskovich, Xlibris, 2016, pp. 118 - 119. Facsimile by Google Books
  28. File:515EvilTwin.png
  29. File:601CarryingTray2.png
  30. File:721SearchingForFamily.png
  31. File:616CleaningHerBoot.png
  32. File:602NightParty2.png
  33. File:616NumberPlate.png
  34. File:616OneMoreTime.png
  36. File:IGlee j buckley-616.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about Mother's Little Helper

  • Mothers' Little Helper Discussion and Thoughts

    126 messages
    • CadoDoan wrote:I agree that everyone is not whole good and bad. Emma and Regina both made mistakes. But the thing is: Regina redeemed herself ...
    • This has gotten really off topic. We can start a thread about that, but this one is meant for people who want to discuss "Mother...
  • 6x16 - Mother's Little Helper

    207 messages
    • Only a half hour left! Can't wait to find out more about the Black Fairy and her creepy realm!
    • CoolDudeAl wrote:Can't wait to find out more about the Black Fairy and her creepy realm! Yes! I'm so excited to see more Black Fairy!