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RECAP – ‘Once Upon a Time’ – ‘The Price’

At present day, in an attempt to leave Storybrooke, the Dwarves send Dopey over the town line.

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“This is against ADA.” – Dopey, in his head

Before he crosses, Regina, David, and Mary Margaret stop them. Grumpy explains that they’re doomed because Emma was the Savior and always solved all their villain problems, but now she’s the villain. Grumpy orders Dopey to finish crossing the line. He’s not over 5 seconds before he’s transformed into a tree, roots and all, in the middle of the asphalt.

Cue the title card with a very similar looking tree.
Cue the title card with a very similar looking tree.

Six weeks ago, Mary Margaret, David, Baby Neal, Emma, Hook, Regina, Robin, Henry, Roland, Zelena, Belle, Granny, and the Dwarves arrive in Camelot where King Arthur introduces his queen, Guinevere. They state that they’ve waited about a decade for the Savior to arrive.

“Congratulations, my dear, on being 50% of the most suspicious people this season.”

Hook is agitated that they’re wasting time on a ball that evening, but Emma assures she won’t go Dark in one night. Foreshadowing! But Hook asks when they can get on with their quest to find Merlin. Arthur taken them to a large tree in a courtyard and tells them Merlin is “in there.” He asks why they’re all so impatient to get to Merlin, and David tells him their home is being threatened by the Dark One.

Well, that’s both accurate and deceptive at the same time…

Arthur says he’s well aware of that demon and totally nonchalantly puts his hand on Excalibur’s pommel.

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“I’m not holding my sword… YOU’RE holding your sword!”

He asks which one of them is the Savior, and Regina, with a hand on the hidden dagger (which, SPOILERS, is the other half of Excalibur!) steps up in Emma’s place. Everyone looks super awkward, and Regina looks like she’s going to cry.

In present day, Hook comes to see Belle at Gold’s shop to ask why True Love’s Kiss didn’t work for her and the Crocodile. Belle explains that it did, at first, but Rumpelstiltskin got scared and chose the Darkness over love. Because it was a choice, it was permanent. True Love’s Kiss would never work again. Belle warns that it’s far easier to hate a Dark One than love them.

Down at the docks a thirty-year old Henry summons Emma by name.

“I have taxes to do, a mortgage to pay, and my sciatica is acting up. This is a terrible time for a curse!”

He recoils at her touch, but apologizes for failing her back in Camelot. She assures him that the failure wasn’t his but the others’. Regina storms up, telling her to get away from her son. Emma taunts her with a roundy-bouts explaination regarding the truth about what happened in Camelot, with Regina arguing that if it was so important Emma wouldn’t have erased their memories, with Emma countering that it’s a curse, and if she wanted them to know then she wouldn’t have erased their memories. I dunno, I stopped listening, to be honest. Emma ensures they won’t stop her or break the curse because they can’t do it without a Savior. Now that Regina’s on her own, they’re boned. Though Regina says she can save the town, it’s clear the self-doubt is rolling in.

If Emma wanted to flay everyone, she could have just done it. What is she waiting for? Perhaps…. to be saved?

As Grumpy and Sleepy are walking down Main Street trying to figure out how to feed the Tree-Dopey tacos (don’t ask), King Arthur and several knights arrive and disarm the Dwarves of their pick axes. They have no idea how or why they are in town.

When you're a Dwarf, you're a Dwarf! *snap, snap*
When you’re a Dwarf, you’re a Dwarf! *snap, snap*

In the Mayor’s office, Arthur is told by Regina, David, and Mary Margaret that they kinda, sorta lied. The Dark One is their daughter, is in Storybrooke, and has the Dagger. Robin comes in to inform them some of Arthur’s subjects got brought over in the curse.

Back in Camelot, Regina and Emma search Merlin’s tower for something to help get him out of the tree.

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“Don’t touch anything. This place is crawling with hobo spiders.”

Emma grumps at Regina for stepping in for her and Regina tells her to shut up while holding the Dagger, which Emma is compelled to do. Regina reminds her that Emma gave her the Dagger for a reason, and that Regina was trying to keep Emma from using her dark magic on the tree. Regina is adamant that Emma never uses dark magic ever again. Emma heartfully thanks her.

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Back in Storybrooke a small Ren Faire/FEMA camp has been set up on the edge of the woods to accommodate the new arrivals.

Regina tells Robin she’s got to prove to everyone that they can trust her. Guinevere appears from the woods and reunites with Arthur, but discovers Excalibur is missing from his scabbard. David assures him that if it came over in the curse, they will find it. As Robin and Roland gather firewood, Venom an inky black scary thing swoops down and carries Robin off much to Regina’s horror.

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*unintelligible shrieking noise*

Hook approaches Emma’s yellow Bug and accidentally-on-purpose summons Emma. She transports them to the front of a house, saying it’s her place.

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“You’re just mad because I redecorated in Neo Amish!”

It’s way too homey for the Dark One. Hook notices a heavily padlocked basement door, but is handed a glass of rum by Emma, who he kisses fiercely. He’s disheartened that nothing has changed with True Love’s Kiss, and Emma says there’s nothing to fix. Though given the opportunity to tell Hook what went wrong in Camelot, she tries to make another move on him instead, much to his disgust. In a very gentlemanly manner, he leaves.

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“Dammit, Swan, I’m not just plaything! I need to be romanced first!”

Out in the forest, Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Arthur, and the Dwarves chase the not-a-wraith-but-also-not-a-flying-monkey-but-undeniably-evil thing carrying Robin. Regina loses it and pulls out some dark magic purple cloud stuff, hucks a fireball at it, and puts her evil game face on. But the … thing… bum rushes her and knocks her down. Regina gets her bell rung and the others insist that she needs to go to the hospital. Regina assumes they don’t have faith in her.

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*Sarah Mclachlan softly plays*

Back in Camelot, Percival presents Regina with a large jewel pendant from the King, and requests a dance from her that night. Regina looks more troubled than before.

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“This is the most beautiful, totally non-suspicious pendant anyone has ever unexpectedly given me!”

Mary Margaret leaves Baby Neal with Doc as she and David, dressed to the nines, get ready to go to the ball. Regina insists that she’s not going to the ball, and her insecurities show through as she admits she doesn’t know how to dance properly. Mary Margaret and David insist on teaching her, and she reluctantly changes into a dress.

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“Maybe… less evil?”
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“Here. HAPPY?”

As David takes her hand and they dance, Percival watches their conversation in a magical fire. The pendant he delivered earlier was not from the King, and it is basically a hidden nanny cam.

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“I am the great and powerful Oz! J/k, I’m being spied on.”

Mary Margaret and Emma are presented at court, and then Regina is introduced as the Savior to much applause. While her friends and family look pleased, Regina looks nervous.

Back in town, Regina gives us a reason for the little “L” up in the ratings box when she calls Rumple a son of a bitch as he lies in a coma in the back room. She says he made her like this, evil, and that he’s why no one believes in her. But she’s going to prove them wrong. Belle tells her she’s found something in a book called a Fury, and that it comes to collect the price of magic, but only if it’s a life. The portal it needs doesn’t open for a few more hours, but someone must give their life in Robin’s place in order to make the payment good.

At the ball in Camelot, Belle contemplates the jar with the enchanted rose. Grumpy tells her that he sees hope when he looks at the rose, and she lightens and asks him to dance.

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“I don’t know if you can do flower math, but by this rose, Rumple has like, 2 days to live.”

Mary Margaret and David dance, but spy a super dorky Henry looking at a young lady across the room.

"Hi, my name is Plot Device, how are you?"
“Hi, my name is Plot Device, how are you?”

Grandpa David encourages him to go introduce himself, then hands him two cups of what I’m assuming is Kool-aid, otherwise underage drinking is totally cool in this realm. David tells him to play up the mysterious “I’m from another land” angle.

The girl, who is named Violet, is bored out of her mind, so Henry whips out his iPod, which he tells the her was a gift from the Savior, which I suppose is technically true. They share a Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist moment as Henry hands her an earbud.

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“Tis the Devil’s music! I love it!”

Just as the dance scene threatens to become a YouTube fan video, Percival cuts in to dance with Regina and creepily asks who she really is. He relates a terrible tale about returning to his village where the entire place had been burned to the ground. The angel of death that caused it spied the boy, and the Evil Queen smiled at him. As Regina realizes he knows she’s a fraud, he pulls out his sword to kill her. But Robin intervenes and is stabbed. They fight, and as Percival is about to kill Robin, David slays Percival with his sword.


Learning a lesson that his brother James did not, David removes the sword from Percival's reach.
Learning a lesson that his brother James did not, David removes the sword from Percival’s reach.
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The King and Queen look on, totally horrified. As you can see by their suspiciously bland faces.

In Storybrooke, Regina bursts into Emma’s home and insists she won’t sacrifice anyone else for Robin. She says she knows the good Emma is still inside and will call off the Fury, but Emma refuses to fix her problems. Emma drops a heavy bomb on Regina as she tells her that it’s Regina’s fault the Fury is there to collect, so Regina is the one who’s got to pay.

In Camelot, the group tries to attend to Robin, but he’s fading fast. Regina can’t heal him because the blade was enchanted to kill her, so her magic is useless. Despite all logic, Regina begs Emma to save Robin, but doesn’t use the Dagger to will it. Reluctantly Emma says she will try. As she’s about to heal him, Emma super creepily starts talking to an empty chair. Only she can see Rumple, but everyone else is weirded out by her talking to seemingly no one. Rumple warns her there’s a price to be paid, but Emma insists she’ll pay it. He says Regina asked for it, so she’ll have to pay, but Emma says she’s still the Savior and this time it will be different.

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This chair won an Emmy for best supporting an actor. Ba dum dum tiss!

Emma easily heals Robin and then apparently gets super turned on by the power because she Frenches Hook, then says she needs to go lie down. Rumple appears again and mocks her for enjoying using dark magic.

Back in Storybrooke, the Fury deposits Robin on the banks of the lake where Death awaits in a rowboat. Regina tells the Fury to take her life instead, and the Fury happily transfers its life-sucking beam to her. Mary Margaret grabs her hand, then David, then Grumpy, and even Arthur. The Fury takes the total sum of a life from the five of them and leaves, sated.

This is exactly how the X-Men saved Phoenix, actually.
This is exactly how the X-Men saved Phoenix, actually.

Robin wearily tells Regina she’s found some believers in her. Grumpy says that standing up to that monster proves that she can save the town.

In Granny’s, Hook sips from his flask and the others come in to recover. Belle and her jar of the same name sit next to Hook, and they lament True Love’s Kiss not working. Hook pledges to spend at least as long trying to save the woman he loves as he did trying to kill Rumple. Violet stands by the glowing juke box, and Henry comes up and puts a quarter in, choosing the same song he shared with her at the ball. They introduce themselves again. David reassures Mary Margaret that they will get Emma back, but Mary Margaret says that if they win, Emma loses. Outside, Emma looks on from across the street. She starts to walk towards the diner, but then turns down the road.

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Only in Storybrooke would you find a store called “Modern Fashions” with a dress from the 17th century in the window.

In Camelot, King Arthur apologizes for Percival’s attempted murder, and Regina confesses that Percival was right. Arthur assumes that Regina saved Robin with her magic, and that reinforces his belief that she’s the Savior Merlin prophesized. In the Round Table room, the king and queen talk. She is worried over the new strangers’ presence there. The king pulls out Excalibur and says they may be the only way to find the missing piece of the sword. If they don’t find it, they could lose the kingdom.

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Looks like we got ourselves an agenda!

Back at Emma’s house, she sits alone in the dark fondling the Dagger. Rumple appears to taunt her about feeling left out. She is compelled to open the basement door, and Rumple tells her Dark Ones are always held back by family, friendships, magic, and love that refuses to give up on them. The light of those things never fails no matter what. But as he and Emma walk through the caverns of the basement, they approach Excalibur, stuck again in the rock. To unite this blade would make a weapon to snuff out the light forever. Emma dramatically tries to pull out Excalibur, but is blown back by magic. Rumple laughs and warns her she’s going to have to pay the price if she wants it.

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“Something, something, don’t pull out the sword, something, something….”

While I was a little frustrated by Emma’s illogical withholding of the events at Camelot, I can only hope that it makes a finer point later in the season. It was awesome to see Regina vulnerable and then confident in herself. It’s like all of Cora’s breaking down of her over the years might finally have run its course. Also, how much do I love the role reversal of Robin being the damsel in distress? It highlights how ridiculous the whole cliche really is. Lastly, I am still reeling from the whole “the Dagger is the piece of Excalibur” story line. This opens up so much great backstory!

But what did you think of “The Price”? Did you like Regina’s story? Do you think Arthur and Guinevere are a little bit sketchy? Let us know in the comments below!

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