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‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap: Nimue

After some sword fondling in Emma’s basement, Rumple’s image tells her that the blades represent history, and that Excalibur’s promise was born “eons ago,” and that its promise is about to be fulfilled.

1000 years before the time of Arthur, in what looks like biblical wear that even a leper would sneer at, Merlin and a companion struggle through the desert, apparently fleeing from some soldiers.

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What are thooooooose??

In the distance, something shiny catches Merlin’s eye and he limps towards it. The supposed Holy Grail sits atop a rock, and, upon drinking from it, Merlin discovers he now has magic. The desert transforms into the lush woods of Camelot.

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Oh and no big deal, but Merlin’s bro tries to drink from it without asking nicely, and he bursts into smoke.

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Cue the title card with poppies a totally innocent looking field of flowers.

In Camelot, Mary Margaret, David, Hook, Regina, Robin, and a silenced Zelena confer with Arthur as they hammer out a plan to save Emma, who is outside fashioning dream catchers with childlike innocence.

Merlin says it’s his and Emma’s job to procure the magic to reunite the Dagger and Excalibur. Hook is super annoyed with how “fuzzy” the plan to get the blades back from Arthur is.

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No caption. I just happened to get this screen shot and it made me laugh too much to not use. Please enjoy.

He confirms that Emma doesn’t sleep anymore and instead fashions dream catchers meant to steal people’s memories all night. Arthur assures Hook that he knows what it’s like to lose a loved one to the Dark One.

500 years after drinking from the Grail, and 200 years previous to the age of Arthur, Merlin is out by a well healing people a la Jesus.

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“No allegory here. Nope. None. Zero. Now find me a place to eat the Passover.”

His apprentice, then a young boy, is with him. Merlin speaks to the last woman in the queue who tells him she escaped her town, which was being ransacked by a masked man named Vordigan. Though the town was destroyed, she saved Middlemist flower seeds, which she then presents to Merlin. She asks for revenge in the form of allowing the flowers to live on, a reminder that Vordigan did not destroy everything. Merlin lets her plant them, then magics them to bloom immediately, much to her joy and at the expense of some terrible CGI. He suggests that she come to visit them whenever she likes, but is unable to read her future to tell if she will. The woman introduces herself as Nimue.

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“Keep looking at these tennis balls on sticks. They’ll fix it in post.”

Merlin approaches Emma (who is still fashioning dream catchers) about collecting a spark from Prometheus to forge the blades back together. The first Dark One is still around, and they’ll have to face him. Merlin foresees two outcomes: 1) Emma chooses to resist the Darkness, and they return, or, 2) Emma succumbs to the Darkness, and Merlin dies, confirming that “a” Dark One does have the power to kill him. Emma is obviously not excited about that, nor is she happy about the idea of facing Darkness Prime when she’s just gotten Rumple out of her head. To add insult to injury, Emma realizes that if “a Dark One” kills Merlin, it would be her that does it.

As Emma prepares to leave with Merlin, Hook says goodbye to her with a kiss, then hands her a ring that he says is the reason he’s still alive… well, probably – he was kind of vague. He reminds her that the Dark One is immortal, but Emma isn’t, so to bring her back to him. They share some cuteness and Emma looks and acts more human in this brief scene than she has all season.

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*hyuck* I’m the Dark One!

She slips the ring necklace over her head as Merlin tells her it’s time to leave.

Back in the day, Merlin and Niume, who have obviously been in a relationship for a while, discuss what is standing between them and a life together. On one hand, Merlin’s immortality means he will live on after Niume dies, which he can’t bear to think about. On the other, if he fashions the Grail into a sword, it will cut away his magic, leaving him mortal again. They could live their lives out normally until a natural end. Niume, moved that Merlin would give us so much for her, happily accepts the ring he fashions out of a stem-turned-to-gold.

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Am I the only one who remembers the last Mac Guyvered engagement ring fiasco?

OH BTW SKETCHY CREEPY DARK ONE PRIME IS LIKE RIGHT THERE WATCHING THEM.

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“Wait… This isn’t the Little Hangelton graveyard…”

As Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Robin, and Hook work out how to infiltrate Camelot, Zelena silently scoffs and mimes derision at each of their suggestions.

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“Amateurs! You might as well draw a map on one of Granny’s place mats!”
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Literally.

Entering head on, using a diversion, and magicking in will all get them killed, explains Zelena once Regina removes her silencing hex. Zelena informs them that while she was in the castle she formulated a way to excape, and if she knows a way out, she knows a way in. She’ll help them, in exchange for her magic back of course.

Outside a super convenient back door to the bowels of the castle, B Squad gathers. Mary Margaret stands guard with Zelena as Regina magics away the grate, and the boys draw their swords.

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“Why does this door say ‘Cast Members Only’?”

Upstairs, Arthur is rummaging around Merlin’s lab like a meth head looking for quarters.

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*twitch* C’mon, c’mon, just another dollar and I can get some medicine… *twitch*

Guinevere warns him about the strong magic he is working with, but Arthur is adamant that they need protection from the people “from the sky.” So, you know, totally not paranoid. Arthur calls the guards to reinforce the castle and grounds, and then gives them the potion he’s concocted. He demonstrates the acidic like powers of the brew, and instructs them to throw it on any stranger they meet. A creepily intense Arthur tells Guin that it’s war now.

Emma tells Merlin that she’s worried that not seeing Rumple means she has embraced the Darkness. She confesses that she hurt Henry, and she’s worried that the Darkness may be winning. Merlin says that there is hope, and they head up the steep hill before them.

200 years previous, Niume and Arthur walk the ruins of Niume’s village. There is rubble and bone all around, and Niume is overcome with the want for revenge. Merlin steadies her and they note that there are cups in the street.

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Those guys from Kappa Gamma Tau throw the best parties.

Merlin realizes Vortigan demanded to see their cups because he was questing for the Grail. Merlin performs a detection spell and sees Vortigan not far.

"Leave Potter for the Dark Lord!"
“Leave Potter for the Dark Lord!”

He hastens Nimue to leave, but she reminds him that he could strike down the Dark One with one magic word. Merlin, though, insists he cannot, as then the darkness will take root in him, and he is not willing to risk that.

B Squad stands in a really obvious doorway while the guards carry their bubble bubble through the courtyard. They engage in some very cliche talk about waiting for the other shoe to drop and how Zelena hasn’t betrayed them…YET.

Outside, Zelena is in tears about how unfair it is that she’s just trying to help and no one believes her. She doubles over in pain as she cries about Regina taking her baby. Mary Margaret, who has been aloof to her whining, approaches Zelena and is double gut kicked and knocked out. Zelena ties her up.

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“Oh my goodness, are you ok?”
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“HRRRUUNNNGGH! Right in the bread basket!”

Merlin and Nimue approach the Altar of Prometheus. Merlin takes the grail and places the cup near the fire. He magics the cup into the sword we know as Excalibur, whole, with the Dagger piece fully intact. Nimue turns to find Vordigan behind them. Merlin clutches Excalibur, and Vortigan grabs Nimue. Merlin warns Vortigan that the sword will bring him no joy. Nimue fights back against Vortigan, ripping his mask away, exposing Anakin Skywalker his pale, scarred face.

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Totally not derivative.

Vortigan slices open Nimue’s stomach, and she dies in Merlin’s arms.

Merlin and Emma arrive at a dilapidated and overgrown Altar of Prometheus. The flame is extinguished now, and Merlin tells Emma the first Dark One possesses it as a single ember. This is the spark they will need to forge the blades back together. Emma is ready to kick some ass, so Merlin hands her the Dagger. He confesses pragmatically that he didn’t ask permission to take it. He tells her to call on the spirit of all the previous Dark Ones, to reach back to the origin of dark magic, and Emma clutches the ring that Hook gave her. “Take the right path,” she reminds herself.

A slot machine of names appear on the inscription of the Dagger as the Dark One appears before them. Merlin warns that it’s not a “him,” and Emma sees the name “Nimue” on the Dagger as the figure removes its mask revealing a sparkly, scary-as-whoa Nimue.

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“Will you still love me… When I’m no longer… Young and beautiful?”

Flasssssshbaaaaaack to Merlin about to avenge Nimue’s death at the altar. In a poof of purple smoke, Merlin cuts off Vortigan as he walks away with Excalibur. But before they can fight, Nimue rises and pulls Vortigan’s heart from his chest. She reveals that she drank from the Grail and revels in the power of immortality. She says that she had to play dead to remind Merlin what death looks like. He tells her that she holds a man’s heart in her hand, and that if she kills Vortigan, she will go down a dark path that she can’t return from.

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Katniss, have a Snickers. You know how you get when you get hungry.

Nimue chooses to crush the heart of Vortigan and becomes the first Dark One. She grabs Excalibur and strikes the altar, extinguishing the flame and severing the blade, dooming Merlin to immortality.

Flashback over! Nimue approaches Emma, the first Dark One and the newest Dark One, together. Emma realizes that Merlin blames “the Dark One” for killing Nimue because she killed the woman she used to be, the woman he loved. As Nimue attacks, so does Emma, and Emma is mortified to see that she is working in synch with Niume. But Nimue insists that she’s got to be who she is, to claim what’s hers, to stand up for what she wants, and to kill anyone who tries to stop her.

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“She’s evil, but she makes some valid points.”

With her hands on Merlin’s neck, Emma tries to resist, but Nimue infiltrates her mind, telling her they are one, that Merlin is trying to make a sword to destroy them.

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*hrrunnggh!*

If Emma doesn’t kill him know, Nimue warns, then she’ll go back to being powerless, to being nothing.

In a move that actually surprised me, Emma resists and screams that she “was never nothing!”

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Man, this episode had way too many great faces in it. I wish there was room for them all, but Emma’s giant forehead vein is taking up too much bandwidth.

Her name appears on the Dagger again. She holds it towards Nimue and tells her she’s going to take the ember and leave. She magics the ember out of Nimue’s bra, I guess? and holds it in her hand.

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I’m sorry, ladies, Sweeny Todd auditions are one studio over.

Nimue says the sword has more than one use, and she’s not dead yet. When Emma wants her again, she’ll be *points to Emma’s head*

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“Ellliot….”

Alive and relieved, Merlin asks how Emma feels to have take the right path. Emma replies it feels “damn good.”

As they head home, Merlin explains how he and his apprentice kept Excalibur and the Dagger safe. Merlin encased the sword in the stone, and used a tethering spell to bind the Dark One to the Dagger to have some control over her, but Nimue got it away from him. She then imprisoned him in the tree. Nimue wore the mask of Vortigan, dressing up her darkness as vengeance. Emma tells Merlin that Nimue still loves him, and though she’s twisted and evil, that love is still real.

In a flashback, the Apprentice says it’s too bad that Merlin couldn’t see her future and just avoid her to begin with. But Merlin, echoing something David has said before, tells him that “life is made of moments,” and he had some of the best with Nimue.

#YOLO, amirite?

Emma wonders to Merlin if it’s possible to have the Darkness, but use it to protect people. (Hmm, foreshadoing? Or… or is it hindsight? Or… wait, where are we in the time line?) Merlin says there may be a person capable of such a thing, but if they reunite Excalibur and the Dagger, they can wipe out the Darkness forever.

In Arthur’s round table room, B Squad bursts in, and Regina petrificus totaluses incapacitates Arthur.

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“Wingardium levi OH NO YOU DIDN’T!”

Just as Regina is gloating about her upper hand, Zelena comes in with a tied up Mary Margaret and no magic-dampening brace, which Arthur removed apparently?? Yeah, I was a bit lost on that one, too.

Robin prevents Regina from blasting Zelena to hell because #baby, and Zelena takes 3 seconds to read, decipher, and use Merlin’s cookbook.

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“Yeah, see? Says right there. Robin only gets two lines per episode, and one of them has to be about the baby.”

 

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This show, I swear.

She tethers Excalibur to Merlin and puts Arthur in control of it. Once Arthur summons Merlin, he makes the wizard magic B Squad away, then gets all kinds of grumpy on him for treating him like a pawn. Merlin says Arthur was like a son to him, someone he put all his faith in to save him. But Arthur is too hardhearted to believe him. Merlin says Emma has passed her test and all Arthur has to do to fulfil the prophecy that he will banish darkness from the land if he would just give Merlin the sword. But Arthur feels slighted and wants for greatness.

Back where we began in Storybrooke, Emma stands over the broken pieces and Rumple goads her to reunite them. Nimue appears, saying now Emma can douse the light. Then about a hundred Jawas Dark Ones Previous appear, chanting chug chug  “take the power.”

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Emma practically rolls her eyes and gets on with pulling the ember from its storage and doing some kind of funky dance moves that even Drake would question as she forges the two halves back together.

As Emma is about to reach up for the sword, she remembers that Merlin told her not to touch the sword. But both Niume and Rumple encourage her to do it. Emma grabs the sword and looks fierce.

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Did I miss something? When did Arthur get a chance to remove Zelena’s brace? And why didn’t Emma use her power of foresight to anticipate the Nimue reveal? Also, why could Nimue drink from the Grail when we were very blatantly shown that one had to be worthy to drink from it? How could someone motivated by revenge be deemed worthy? What do you think? Tell us in the comments?  

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‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap: Dreamcatcher

I went from hating this episode to appreciating it, but I can’t say I loved it. Let’s just get to it. If I think about it too much, I start writing fanfic to make myself feel better.

Merlin’s has been de-treed! And we meet the first Dark One

In what starts as a showdown between Merlin and the first Dark One turns into a horticulture nightmare.

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The First Dark One was obviously inspired by the Death Eaters.

Merlin, the Dagger in hand, is all set to destroy evil incarnate.

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Fun fact: There’s no name on that Dagger.

Apparently the Dark One is responsible for destruction of the only woman Arthur has ever loved. Whether this is Nimue of Merlin mythology or another character, is not made clear. But in his grief, Arthur fails to kill the Dark One and makes the rookie mistake of dropping the Dagger. The Dark One collects a tear of heartbroken grief from the wizard and then roots Merlin to where he stands, creating the tree we find to still be in the courtyard of Camelot.

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Straight razor shaves are making a comeback, but this is just terrifying.

It’s important to know that we learn all this from Emma, who is viewing it from tree-Merlin’s memories. Last episode we saw her amassing a small (but growing) collection of dreamcatchers in her quarters in Camelot. While this may be her version of Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold to combat his insomnia, this hobby seems to have a more practical use. As we learned in The Cricket Game back in Season 2, dream catchers are powerful in memory magic, even working on Pongo the dog. So waving one over a sentient tree doesn’t seem out of the realm of believability. This won’t be the last time we see Emma using a dream catcher, as the title suggests.

Cue the misleading title card with a pumpkin.
Cue the misleading title card with a pumpkin.

Oh, and no big deal or anything, but the mightiest wizard outside of the Harry Potter ‘Verse is back in human form and offering Emma a chance to un-Dark One herself.

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Who knew he was such a dork?

By the end of the episode, Merlin confirms that he can save Emma from being the Dark One. But, he adds, she must be completely honest and be sure her heart is truly ready to be free. This unanswered question on Emma’s part leads us to believe that either her dishonesty or the repercussions of such somehow put her on the path that sets her up as Storybrooke’s latest villain.

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This is the face of commitment to the side of good.  …It’s not going to end well.

Emma and Regina team up

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I’m a platonic QueenSwan shipper, so I always enjoy seeing Regina and Emma doing anything that isn’t them glaring at each other on Regina’s porch. (More on that later)

Regina reluctantly leads Snow and Charming to the Dagger’s hiding place in the woods. She questions their judgement in handing the Dagger over to King Arthur, and that gets Snow into a snotty mode. As Regina recoils, Snow and Charming are magically immobilized by Emma’s dark magic.

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Snow White is the epitome of grace and kindness.

Emma explains to Regina Arthur’s plan to reunite the Dagger with Excalibur and how the king plans on killing Merlin with the blade. Though initially disbelieving, Regina hears Emma out. Regina’s on board until Emma says it’s time to get down to business and use her dark magic to bust Merlin out. Regina is worried Emma will end up like her.

In Merlin’s study, Emma explains that she used a dream catcher to see Merlin’s memories and found out that David and Mary Margaret were put under a spell to serve Arthur. Emma reveals she doesn’t need to wave it over people to use it. When viewing Merlin’s memories, she saw that Merlin wept, and his tear was used to transfigure him. Regina suggests that if a tear of lost love trapped Merlin, then perhaps another tear could free him.

Though they know it will be difficult, Regina pulls up the memory of Cora ripping out Daniel’s heart.

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“This cross stitch sampler is amazing, but I have no idea where I’d hang it.”

This easily induces a tear from Regina, which Emma bottles. Emma admits she never realized how terrible Regina had it when she was younger and understands better why Regina was driven to darkness.

It’s no mystery why we see and hear Cora tell Daniel about sacrifice and doing what’s best for your children. There’s some heavy foreshadowing coming up, and given that Emma has the power of foresight, she probably knows all too well what she’s going ot have to do.

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“It’s my As Seen On TV minibar on the go!”

That night, out in Merlin’s courtyard, Emma breaks out the mini bar and they add Regina’s tear to the potion. But the potion fizzles.

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“I… don’t actually know how to make Jungle Juice.”

Emma realizes that Regina’s heartbreak has healed because she’s moved on and is with Robin now. Henry comes up, late as usual to midnight potion making parties, and his moms see he’s visibly upset. Henry admits that despite his best efforts, Violet wanted nothing to do with him, then sheds a tear born of love’s first heartbreak. Regina quickly grabs it with a cloth and tells Henry that he’s going to be a hero.

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“We’re very concerned about your feelings, but you’re also a magical tear dispenser, so stand still, Sparklets.”

They are interrupted by Arthur and his knights, who threaten death if they proceed. Regina hands the tear stained cloth off to Emma and holds the knights off with a fireball or seven.

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When the sorceress and the bard roll a 4 and the mage rolls a natural 20.

The potion turns into a frightening spaghetti monster of light and dark magic, which Emma channels towards the tree, enveloping it.

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Gypsy moths… Gypsy months everywhere.

When the smoke clears, Merlin rises from his roots. He recognizes Emma at once. Merlin tells Arthur he’s disappointed him, and Arthur accuses Merlin of sending him on an impossible quest full of false prophecies. Arthur pulls his sword, but Merlin scoffs, saying that broken thing can’t harm him.

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“I did not think this through.”

Emma is terrible and Henry is ruined for life

Okay, maybe not ruined for life… But definitely heartbroken for a while. And his mom caused it. Not, not the one that usually does it! This time Regina isn’t the cause of Henry’s woes. In a flip-upside-down from the first season, Emma is now the one using Henry for self-serving reasons, and Regina is standing up to the Dark One for him.

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*poignant look* So… Have you ever read a John Green novel?

In her stable, Violet and Henry bond over dead parents and horses. We see Henry make a total ass out of himself in front of Violet’s father, Sir Morgan.

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“Why ya gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too?”

Their initial meeting doesn’t go well at all, and Henry leaves thinking he must change and better himself to win the affection of Violet and the approval of her father. Regina and Emma find Henry practicing his sword skills out in the woods and remind him that who he is is just as exciting, interesting, and worthy as who he thinks he needs to be.

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This week on “My Two Moms” Henry realizes he might not want to take love advice from two women who can’t seem keep their boyfriends alive for more than a season.

Though Henry still feels he ought to change some things to grow and be a better person, he embraces what he does has going for him, his mysterious-visitor-from-a-strange-landness, and sets up a dinner date at Granny’s.

Henry plays “their song,” Only You by Yazoo, and woos Violet with the old soda-in-a-wine-glass routine.

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Someone in props totally got fired because they forgot Disney is sponsored by Coke.

Then he wins any sane girl’s heart over with the promise of lasagna. And when a dude offers me lasagna, I assume he’s trying to court me too. Unfortunately Violet veers off course and defines friendzoning to Henry without the aide of urbandictionary. I mean, OUCH.

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Henry was legit trying to implement Operation: Netflix and Chill

But back in Storybrooke, Violet is disheartened by the loss of her beloved horse. Henry promises to help her find Nicodemus and approaches Emma to help find him. In a throwback to their buddy cop Operation Cobra days, Emma and Henry set off in the yellow bug to start their search. After questioning Henry about Violet, she learns that Henry played the girl a song that Neal used to play for her.

Knowing that Nic has a liking for pumpkin, Emma drives to Peter Peter’s, a side-of-the-road fruit and veggie stand that specializes in pumpkins.

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Or if could be a used carriage lot. Who knows in Storybrooke?

Nicodemus appears and starts freaking out around the Dark One.

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But Henry lures him to him by using a hunk of pumpkin and the high falsetto of his youth.

Henry later finds his moms at the Merlin-tree. Their previous attempts at potion making have failed and they need a new tear. Oh, how convenient, teenager Henry has experienced his first heartbreak, and he’s crying! Blah, blah, blah, tear goes in the potion, potion works, Merlin is de-treed.

Back in Storybrooke, Henry rides Nicodemus through the fair and up to Violet who is walking with her father.

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What is this, “The Cowboy Way”?

Sir Morgan is impressed with Henry’s accomplishment and humility, compliments him thusly, then takes Nic so the two can have fun together. Violet kisses Henry’s cheek in thanks, and the two head off to enjoy the fair.

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“Hail Hydra.”

Back in Regina’s house, she and Robin ponder the dream catcher. Regina hesitates to uncover what memories it holds, but Robin says the only way to find out what happened is to look. Regina magics the thing and they realize they are watching Violet’s memories from back in the stable. Emma appears in the stable and says Henry can never know about this, then pulls out the girl’s heart. She needs the fresh tear of a lost first love, and she needs her to break Henry’s heart. Unbeknownst to them, Henry has come in and is standing behind Regina and Robin.

Emma comes to Regina’s house to see Henry, but Regina is pissed, knowing full well that Emma has broken their son’s heart on purpose, took their memories, and Gold. She insists that there’s nothing Emma couldn’t come back from, thought Emma would be different. Regina shows Emma the stolen dream catcher and tells her Henry is devastated.

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“I found this. Just lying around. In your locked house. In a box. Just out in the open!”

She guesses that Emma set Nicodemus free just so Henry could reunite him with Violet to make up for breaking up the two in Camelot. Regina knows how Dark Ones think, after all. Emma says she had good reason, and Regina realizes that Cora said the same things to her before doing dastardly things. Emma slips up and says it was the only way to free Merlin. Regina wonders why Emma is still the Dark One. In a balls-in-a-wheel-barrow move, Regina denies the Dark One a visit with Henry and slams the door in her face.

From his window, Henry looks down at his mom, then closes the curtains on her.

This is like a scene from a really bizarre Taylor Swift video.”

It doesn’t matter the reasons. Henry knows Emma purposefully hurt him to further an agenda. And at Henry’s (dubious) age, that’s gonna leave a mark.

Rumple just might get to be brave afterall

It only took him 300 years, but, hey.

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“Hey, guys, Rumple is missing! Like he was in the last episode. Remember? When I couldn’t find him and I told David and Arthur I was working on a spell to find him? Well, I’m telling you again, like it just happened. Something, something, reasonable cause to break into Emma’s house.”

Rumple is still captive in Emma’s basement, which is not a sentence I ever thought I was going to type. Emma tells him he’s going to get her the sword. He tries to explain that the more dark magic Emma uses, no matter what the reason, will just push away the ones she loves the most.

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I feel like Rumple and Severus Snape both subscribe to “Stingy Hair Monthly” magazine.

This seems to resonate with Emma, but she ignores him and calls Merida out of the shadows, telling her to take Rumple to the woods to begin his training. Considering he can barely stand without falling over, this should be interesting. Merida tries to defy Emma, but Emma still holds the Scot’s heart. She magics Merida and Rumple to the woods.

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“Bye, Felicias.”

The Dark One heads to a garage out back. Inside, it’s filled with hundreds of dream catchers handing from the rafters. She takes one down and begins to cry in earnest.

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Of all the things previous Dark Ones have had hanging from their rafters, dream catchers are really quite tame.

Out in the woods Merida is all business despite Rumple’s mangled foot. Rumple, though, keeps insisting he’s not a hero and that he can never be brave.

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“C’mon, you’ve got one leg and no spine! Man up!”

In massive frustration, Merida knocks Rumple unconscious, promising to find his motivation.

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“Oy, Hydra!”

Merida breaks into Gold’s shop and hunts for some kind of insight to his motivations. She returns to the woods and tells Rumple that if he won’t fight, she’ll give him something to fight for. She dangles his beloved chipped cup above him, then throws him a sword.

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“You English and your weakness for tea!”

He fails at sparring with her, but she goads him with memories of Belle, and he swings. She is much pleased and encourages him, saying that swing was an act of bravery because it was for Belle. She goads him further and he doesn’t back down. Merida says they have a long way to go before they can take on Emma.

The Scooby Gang finally breaches Emma’s basement

After investigating the disappearance of Gryf from the holding cell in Storybrooke, the conversation totally naturally leads to discussing the morale of Camelot’s citizens. Mary Margaret, with the suggestion from Henry, decides to put on a dance/bike safety street fair because she and David are the town’s leaders and ambassadors of fun! Because in a crisis the only logical course of action and use of time and resources is to put on a damn party.

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If you listen closely you can hear the band playing on as the Titanic sinks.

Also, Henry and Violet are texting, because apparently Storybrooke has a cellphones for curse victims program. These people have been here for about a week, and already the teenagers have mastered technology.

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I’d like to point out the girl from medieval times is typing with with modern slang and Henry the author is using emojis.

Regina, Robin, Hook, and Belle go searching for Rumple, or some kind of clues, in Emma’s home while Henry has Emma distracted. Despite protection spells, the gang breach the home and head straight for the basement. Sidenote, I kinda feel like Hook’s asking Robin to help him get into the house last episode was kinda cast aside. Robin doesn’t even come up with a suggestion as to how to get into the place, leaving that to Belle.

Down in the basement, they discover Excalibur in the rock, and immediately note that it bears a striking resemblance to the Dagger.

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“This looks vaguely familiar. I can’t place it. Steak knife at Granny’s?”

Robin finally utters a throwaway line, and Hook makes a move to pull the sword from the stone. Regina stops him before he can be turned into dust. Belle finds ropes that she assumes once held Rumple, and they decide to search the rest of the house. But Regina receives a text from Henry that Emma is headed back.

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L to R: Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy.

As they make their escape, Hook’s attention is caught by the only decoration in the room, a fancy box on the table. Inside Hook finds a the dream catcher Emma was crying over in her creepy shed of memories. Regina recognizes it as a magical object that most likely was used to take their memories.

At the street fair, Hook, Regina, Robin, Belle, tell Arthur and Guinevere, joined by Mary Margaret and David, that they found Excalibur in the Dark One’s basement.

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“The service is terrible, but the funnel cake is to die for!”

Hook presses Arthur on why the blade resembles the Dagger, and Arthur admits he wanted to make sure he could trust them before telling them the pieces are one in the same. The restored sword can eradicate all dark magic forever, but in the wrong hands, the sword can wipe out all light magic too.

I didn’t want to end on that terrifying note, so let’s just go back and ask ourselves how and why Storybrooke has a large and varied supply of carnie games, ticket booths, prizes, and decorations.

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Also, is that a cotton candy booth? Or a Dippin’ Dots? How did they get a Dippin’ Dots?!

What did you think of Emma’s betrayal of Henry? Tell us in the comments below!

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‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap: The Broken Kingdom

*deep breath* Ok. This episode has officially made up for what I consider a very anticlimactic Season 5 opening. I was so engrossed in the story that when it ended I said to my husband, “I thought we were at the halfway mark! It’s over already?” For me this was the least plodding episode of this season. While it was definitely a challenge to keep the heroes and villains straight this week, the effort was worth it! I felt engaged and rewarded for my time. But there was so much information in this episode that I would pretty much have to reprint the entire script here to give you a classic recap! So this week we’re going to listicle it with Five Things You Need to Know About “The Broken Kingdom.”

5. King Arthur and Guinevere, while not exactly the caliber of villains we’re used to on OUAT, are definitely the bad guys

The most important thing to know in this episode is demoted to fifth place in our list because it was just so obvious.

We discover that Arthur’s backstory (ranging from childhood to very recently) centers around his primary motivation to unite Excalibur with its missing piece, fulfilling Merlin’s prophecy of his kingship by restoring Camelot, the titular Broken Kingdom. Ok, solid. What may surprise some folks is that he used magic to deceive his subjects, control his wife, and ultimately possess the Dagger.

Narrator: That was the summer I met Winnie Cooper and knew we were destined to be together forever.

After being teased as a child for spouting on and on about how someday he would become king, Arthur quests for Excalibur, only to find that it’s incomplete. He returns to the village with it, and claims his prophesied birthright by only showing the intact portion of the sword.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 1.58.14 AM
“He said something about ‘just the tip’ earlier. I sure hope he was talking about the sword…”

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 1.58.29 AM

He reveals to his queen (childhood BFF Guinevere) that the sword is incomplete. He becomes Ahab-and-the-whale obsessed about hunting down the missing piece in order to restore Camelot. Over time his obsession eats away at what threads of a relationship he has left with his wife.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.04.41 AM
“I keep telling her I just want to read these for the articles, but I don’t think she believes me.”

Guin is comforted by the friendship and devotion of Arthur’s numero uno knight, Lancelot.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.05.21 AM
Imma shower her with rose petals.
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Bitches love rose petals!

The two go on a hunt for the Dagger using Merlin’s gauntlet to guide them. This gauntlet leads them to Arthur’s weakness: the Dagger.

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Along the way, the Darkness attacks Lancelot much like it did the Apprentice, Regina, and Emma– which makes no sense because Rumple was the Dark One at the time.
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Also this awkward and predicable kiss happens.

 

The duo find the Dagger’s hiding place.

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I swear, if this is Wonderland again, we’re going to have words.

They find the Dagger….

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“Hello, IKEA? I’d like to order the ‘benstiks’ dagger holder. Yeah, does it come in white? Oh, just ‘ominously evil black’? Well… Ok.”

…but Rumpelstiltskin appears and convinces Guin to take a vial of the Sands of Avalon instead of the real Dagger. The sand will make a broken thing appear whole.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.17.48 AM
“Do you have any idea what the street value of this is?”

Guin returns to Camelot, planning to use the sand on Excalibur to stop Arthur’s mad quest, but instead she confesses her plot to him. Arthur, who is already worried Guin and Lancelot have feelings for each other, uses the sand on Guinevere to make her broken love for him appear whole again.

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Guinevere: I can accept that you’ve come out of the closet, but the glitter is a little stereotypical! Arthur: THIS IS WHO I AM!

With Guin’s love “whole” again, he then uses the magic on his kingdom, turning the last standing tower of Camelot into a whole castle and grounds.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.21.35 AMScreenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.22.00 AM

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Guinevere: At first I was skeptical of the Grow Your Own Kingdom Kit! But it really worked! Arthur: It saved our marriage!

This all leads up to the Storybrooke rescue party’s time there, where David is knighted, Regina is the supposed Savior, and Emma is slowly but surely going bonkersocks and seeing Rumple everywhere. Everything Arthur has told them (especially to David) is a half-truth. His deception is revealed by the end of this episode as he tries to steal the Dagger from Snow and an alive-and-well Lancelot.

Later, assisted by Guinevere and his knights, Arthur throws Lancelot in the dungeons and uses some of the last powder on Charming and Snow. To what final end, we don’t see. But I speculate it’s to enforce the illusion of their loyalty and trust to him.

4. Henry is in love, and it looks like Violet likes him back

Usually I can’t stand the overplayed and predictable “the youngest character falls in love for the first time” story line, but I do think it’s the perfect way to acknowledge the undeniable fact that Henry went from 11 to 17 years old over the summer break.

His relationship with the lovely Violet seems to be progressing normally in Camelot, and I’m interested to see if such a complicated show can handle writing a relatively “boring” romance where a boy and a girl like each other and just enjoy their time together without having to deal with ghouls and curses and whatnot.

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“I’m a courtier’s daughter, but apparently I also muck out stalls.”

Oh, no, wait, they’ve already gone through a memory curse when they returned to Storybrooke. Ok, fine, we can’t have it all. It’s interesting to note that, much to Emma’s chagrin, Henry does lie about the seriousness of his relationship with Violet, making it seem like they’re just acquaintances when really they’ve been spending an awful lot of alone time together.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.13.32 AM
“Tell her she’s your happy ending. It worked for me! Kind of.”

Needless to say Hook is not only amused but proud of Henry for getting out there with the womenfolk.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.14.20 AM
When your mom and almost-step-dad watch you try to score.

3. David and Mary Margaret are awesome again! But also terrible at being awesome…

After a fight about whether or not to give Arthur the Dagger to reunite it with Excalibur…

It was a very screamy scene.
It was a very screamy fight.

…the pair conspire and Snow teams up with Lancelot to lure Arthur away from Camelot to expose his true motives: to procure the Dagger by any means necessary and to use it to empower himself, fix his sword, summon Merlin, run him through, and also destroy the Dark One. Of course this doesn’t mesh with the mom and dad of the Dark One, so #conflict. After Arthur tries (and fails) to summon Emma, Charming arrives and they take Arthur into custody so they can figure out what to do with Excalibur.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.26.30 AM
“We need somewhere secure! To the ol’ diner!”

It’s a combination of inconsistent writing and forcing complexity on to otherwise straightforward characters that has had me grumbling about David and Mary Margaret since the second half of Season 4. But in this episode I felt like Charming and Snow were back again, as husband and wife, as partners, and as heroes.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.23.54 AM
“It took us a whole year, so I’ll be dee-dum-doodly-darned if you get in the way of us being badass heroes again!”

Err, spoiler alert, they totally fail at keeping the Dagger away from King Arthur. But they had a really great plan going for them up until a brainwashed Guin showed up with the royal posse and made the fight 12 against 3.

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“Where are the pitch forks and torches! This is the worst angry mob I’ve ever been in! Amateurs!”

After Guinevere uses the sand on them, David and Mary Margaret return to Regina and Robin to tell them Arthur is totally cool, Lancelot is a traitor, and making Excalibur whole it their best chance at helping Emma.

Well, ya can’t win ’em all, Mr. and Mrs. Charming. At least you tried.

Oh, and PS, Snow realizes the Dark One’s hiding spot for the Dagger is also the place she saw in the dream where a young Emma rips out her heart.

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“This is so weird, I totally had a dream where you — ACK!”

2. Merida’s heart is literally in Emma’s hands

Emma is still holding Rumple in the caves , as he’s the only one who can get the sword out of the stone. But he’s useless to her right now because he’s not a real hero…yet.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.30.44 AM
This is the weirdest Annie Lennox album cover to date.

Emma has a plan to use Merida (who we find strapped to the front bumper of Emma’s yellow bug! Like… WHAT?), and she rips Merida’s heart out and tells her that she’s going to help make a coward brave (just like her).

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.31.26 AM
“Y’ken take mah heart! But ye ken nevah take mah freedom!”

Fun fact! When Lancelot is thrown into the dungeons, Merida is in the cell across from him. She tells him that any enemy of Arthur’s is a friend of hers. Hopefully soon we learn how Merida went from setting out to free her brothers to imprisoned in Camelot. Sorry there’s not more I can tell you about Merida this week; she was onscreen for about 60 seconds.

“And for 25 of them, I just looked smoldery and intense!”

1. Hook was unwavering in his devotion to Emma in Camelot

I chose this as my number one event in the episode, and you should know it’s not just because I’m a CaptainSwan shipper. This episode highlights just how bad it must have gotten for Hook to have told Emma he loved-past-tense-with-a-d her in episode 3.

Last week we saw Hook turn Emma’s offer of a relationship down despite the potential of great personal peril and wrath. This week we look back in time and see him come to Emma’s aid, thinking nothing of a magic bolt being shot at him by her (by accident), keep her secret of her visions of Rumple tormenting her, and hide her away with Henry’s help so that no one in Camelot realizes she’s going Dark.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.00.44 AM
“If you could just stop shooting angry magic at me, maybe we can Netflix and chill?”
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“Just Netflix?”

Moreover, he basically tells her to GTFO her visions and trust that he can free her mind and heart by going hot-pirate horseback riding. I’m not even close to exaggerating that one.

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Emma: I like to try new things as much as the next girl, but that looks uncomfortable. Hook: … It’s for the horse.

He tells Emma he really believes that they can get back to normal in Storybrooke one day, if only she’d trust him.

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For a tough, cool, 200 year old pirate, he’s such a DORK for Emma.

Through all of Emma’s downward spirals in this episode, Hook looks unblinkingly into the abyss and roguishly grins as the abyss stares back. This to me solidifies Hook more and more as a hero deserving of a happy ending. It also makes Hook’s decision to fight the Dark One in episode 3 (when he asks Robin Hood for help discovering what’s in the basement of Emma’s house) all the more personal and serious. Who better to fight the Dark One than a man who has spend over 200 years hunting, calculating, and surviving the same? And spurned on by his love for the woman the Darkness inhabits? Well, let’s just say this came to mind.

Also, they might have consummated their relationship in a field of pink roses. Not sure. It may or may not be implied. ….Ok, it’s kind of implied.

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Did you like Arthur’s back story? What do you think about his use of the sand? To what end will Arthur use Charming and Snow? What do you think Emma has in store for Rumple and Merida? Let us know in the comments!

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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.

Screenshot 2015-10-05 at 11.33.25 AM
“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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Surviving the Summer Break for Once Upon a Time Fans – Camelot Cast Revealed!

I’m swimming in Once Upon a Time news from Comic Con like Prince Charming water dancing with the Lady in the Lake-turned Snow White: it’s sexy as hell, but it isn’t real.

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“Nah, nah, honey, I’m good.”

I wanted to title this article “Comic-Con Is the Cure for the Summertime Once Upon a Time Blues,” but while I’ve reveled in every little scrap of news coming out of San Diego this weekend, I’m feeling ever the more desperate for September 27. Every funny, exciting, thrilling quote, picture, or revelation that’s proffered up, just reminds me more and more that that which we yearn for is still 76 days away.

By the way, I made this. Consider it a gift. Christmas in July, etc., etc. You’re super welcome. Please send cookies.

But several weeks ago I did say we have to stay optimistic if we want to make it out of Summer break alive. And while I loathe eating my words (they get in the way of the delicious cookies I’m trying to shovel in there), I have to admit, it really is the best course of action. So let’s focus on the positive!

We have FOUR new confirmed actors for Season 5 according to the news out of Saturday’s OUaT panel. We’ve already focused on Amy Mason who was cast as Merida, the arrow-shooting red-head who doesn’t take any MacGuff from anyone. It’s possible she may make an early appearance and play a part in the Dark Swan storyline, but my doubloons are on her making her debut Zelena-style and kicking off the second half of the season post hiatus and after the Dark Swan chapter closes.

Since Episode 1 of Season 5 is definitely titled “Dark Swan,” and it is confirmed by show creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis that the episode will pick up just moments after the events of the Season 4 finale, we can easily assume that the Apprentice’s dying admonition to “find Merlin” will be on the top of everyone’s to do list. Merlin, of Authurian legend fame, is to be played by Elliot Knight.

© DAVID MCNEW/Reuters/Corbis

Most famous for his portrayal of the pirate Sinbad in the 2013 UK television show of the same name, Knight is an unexpected yet intriguing choice for the wizard to end all Dark Ones.

Knight is twenty-five years old, which is a sharp contrast to the traditional depiction of Merlin as an aged warlock. Anything written about Merlin’s younger years dealt much with his love life, which is always a topic OUaT is masterful at making into motive. Considering the Lady in the Lake has already been well-established, she would be an excellent introduction to Merlin in an episode; recounting her possible backstory as Viviane the huntress, and Merlin’s legendary obsession with her. Of course, Knight is just playing the part. They may very well age him, or explain away his age to magic. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time on this show for that!

Lisbon born Joana Metrass joins the cast as Camelot’s Guinevere.

Mug Photography

Her credits include long-running Portuguese dramas Morangos com Açúcar (2012) and Sinais de Vida (2013).

Andrew Jenkins head shot

Fresh out of Wayward Pines (2015) is Andrew Jenkins who will portray Percival, one of King Arthur’s knights. As Lancelot appeared in Season 2, it’s reasonable to assume that he and several other knights may also play a part in the backstory of Merlin. No word yet if phrases like “Holy Grail” or “Quest” or “Shrubbery” will come up along the way, but knights and princesses in Camelot rarely have boring days, so I expect we can look forward to some of the traditional mythos weaving its way into the Dark Swan storyline.

I and other Oncers are also interested to see if fan speculation might become canon. You’ll remember that at the end of Operation Mongoose Part 2, Lily, who is dragonborn, asked Emma if she minded if she stayed in town to look for her real father.

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“I’m trying to get me an mom on Maury, but they say I have to at least three suspected dads before they’ll even interview me.”

As Merlin is known for his demonic origins and his penchant for talking to dragons, there are definite rumblings about if Merlin will be revealed to be Maleficent’s dragondaddy. While likely it’s also rather obvious, so I’m calling fifty-fifty odds on that scenario.

Maybe I’ll change the name of the article to the “Once Upon a Time Summer Speculation 2015 Bonanza.” I feel like I’m sitting around, pre-Deathly Hallows, spitballing what I think is going to happen in book seven of Harry Potter based off of the color scheme of the dust jacket. But no matter what happens, good or bad, expected or blindsided, traditional or whole new story, I am confident that someone will send me cookies— I mean, that Season 5 will be the most magical season yet! Join me in the comments for more spitballing!

Do you like the choices for the our new Camelot cast?
What theories do you have about Merlin, Guinevere, and Percival?
Do you think Merlin and Lily will be related?

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