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‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap: Birth

After what seemed like an eternity of a summer without Once Upon a Time, the first half of Season 5 has blown by! And while I haven’t been this season’s biggest fan, I still remain committed to seeing my friends in Storybrooke through, no matter how ridiculous their adventures may be.

We had a double episode this week, so let’s just get right to it! Here are some things we learned in the first episode, “Birth.” A recap of the second episode of the evening, “BAERS!” “The Bear King” can be found here. (No, seriously, every other word in that episode was “bear.”)

Things we learned in this week’s episode:

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David gets one “Give no effs” moment this whole season and this is it.
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Have you ever been so mad you flipped a ping pong table?
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Hook and Hood are terrible at covering the exits.
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Emma saves Hook and they have awkward “I still love you” moment.
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Hook demands answer about why Emma needs Excalibur.

And Emma and she tells him it’s all for him. 

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Cue the creepy title card with the Dark One rising.
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Behold! The contact lens of Sauron!
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Emma, Henry, and Granny share a moment of good news about completing her quest, but are interrupted by Merlin. Minus 1 for cliche timing.
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Merlin is under orders to get the Flame of Prometheus from Emma in exchange for Emma’s family members’ lives.
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Despite threatening Arthur, nothing worthwhile is learned.
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Regina thinks Emma will wipe out Light magic, and Mary Margaret thinks there may not be any of Emma left to get back.

Hook comes to Gold’s for advice, and Belle is on point.

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If this show ends with a boy with autism staring into this thing, I am writing an angry note.
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“Uh… This? This is…. a promotional item.” *achem*

Hook learns Emma has stolen some squid ink.

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“Probably should have locked this.”

Gold says Emma has the face of regret.

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Hook leaves holding the same snow globe Gold was contemplating, but we never find out why.

Emma is told that she can’t light Prometheus until she’s ready to give up the Darkness.

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Something, something, lesson about irony.
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“Wow… Hook has really girly handwriting.”

Henry gives Emma some motivation to give up the Darkness by channeling a fanfic I wrote about how he and Hook have been conspiring to buy Emma a house.

Motivated by the promise of real estate, Emma confronts Arthur and Merlin in the forest where her parents, Hook, and Regina are being held hostage.

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“How many times have I been tied to this exact same tree in the last five years? *pft* I bet someone on the internet knows.”

Zelena seems stupidly susceptible to Emma’s party tricks.

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When you show up at the club late and that one friend is already turnt.

Emma ties Zelena to a tree, then gets into it with Merlin.

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If Cedric Diggory shows up, I will quit watching this show.
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Regina looks so proud of her young padawan learner.
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When in doubt, Disney, always take out the mom.
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“This better be important. You interrupted our all-night Skyrim session.”

Back in Storybrooke, Zelena has massive gas labor pains, and Regina and Robin arrive to find Zelena pulling a Bella Cullen.

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“You look like that goo that won’t melt in the bottom of a lava lamp!”

Out in the middle of town, Hook throws himself from the highest parapet to force Emma to appear, then forgives her for whatever she’s trying to atone for.

He tells Emma his life history via his trophy-rings-turned-reminders of people he’s killed. He declares his undying-until-the-next-betrayal love for her.

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“This used to be my pimp hand, but it was more effective to use the other one.”

Emma brings Killin back to her house for some Netflix and Chill  Youtube and spooning  Call of Duty and Chestbumps  revelations and poison lipstick.

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“mmmmm tastes like eeeevillll.”
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Don’t trust Dark Ones who bring you onion rings.

Dr. Whale is going through a mid wife life crisis.

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“We’re not mandated to wear gloves, but I hate washing my hands.”

Belle and Mary Margaret bust into Zelena’s room to warn Regina that Emma needs the cries of a newborn to complete her spell.

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SUDDENLY HAMFISTED PLOT DEVICE!

Back in Camelot, Merlin feels really awkward about trying to kill everyone.

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*Three Stooges noises*
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How did it take him 2 hours to figure this out?

Hook manages to slip out of his shackles

And then Hook slap Arthur so hard he got blurry for a minute.

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*pah-kow!*
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And apparently Arthur can physically untie the magical bonds Emma used.

Everyone returns to Granny’s and Emma tries to get the Prometheus flame to spark. Regina tries to get Emma to let her guard down by gently and lovingly using the Dagger to force her to confront her fears.

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Regina is Emma’s AA sponsor. She takes it really seriously.

Mary Margaret’s enduring optimism has no chill.

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“This is why we don’t invite you to more interventions.”

In Storybrooke, Zelena’s baby is coming, ready or not.

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“Wait… THAT’S where babies come from? I thought they came from baskets on the side of the road!”
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Regina: I don’t know if I can handle another baby in my life. I mean, having it with you all the time, never having a moment to yourself, always holding it, never letting it out of your sight… Mary Margaret: Yeah, about that…
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“There are more swords drawn in delivery rooms in Storybrooke than in any other hospital in Maine.” – Actually printed on the hospital brochure
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Dr. Whale is obviously a cyborg because he’s never broken his spine in 5 years.
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The old “wake up shackled in your crazy girlfriend’s basement” routine.
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Apparently she didn’t want the baby!

Shoving all the dark magic into Zelena and then cutting her down with Excalibur is the simplest way the Dark One can think of to fix what’s wrong.

In yet ANOTHER flashback…

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Emma admits she’s only capable of expressing her love to people when she knows they’re about to die, and thus she doesn’t have to commit to them for any longer than their final scene.
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#symbolism

Outside of Emma’s house, a discussion Regina and Mary Margaret should have had weeks ago is happening.

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“I’mma kill my BFF.”
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“You have literally one friend! You can’t kill her!”

Not having many options, Hook agrees to remove Zelena’s power-sucking bracelet so they can magic themselves out of Fort Nutzy-Kookoo.

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“I’m so sweaty under here! It smells funny!”
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Because heart-ripping-out magic is totally the same as bracelet-removing magic.
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“These hips don’t lie. I am certifiable.”

Zelena and Hook escape the basement, but Hook stays behind to search for the squid ink to use against Emma to make her tell him the truth about her plan.

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Why does the Dark One have bills?
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This painting was just covering another painting of the same painting.
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That old gag.

Hook splashes Emma with the squid ink and begs her to tell him what she’s up to. But before they get anywhere, Zelena comes in and —

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STABBY STAB!
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Hook is somehow faster than the Dark One, but not faster than Zelena stabbing him.

Zelena asks a not-dead Hook if he’d like to see what Emma’s been hiding all this time.

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Emma leaves her most important memory laying around in the yard.
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Dream catchers have fast forward.

Back in Camelot, Emma is set to reunite Excalibur and the Dagger.

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But when she does, Hook keels over.

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Merlin doesn’t bother to tell Emma the wound Killian received by Excalibur earlier will kill him once Excalibur is made whole. Because… Why would that even happen?

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But apparently she can reunite the blades to also save him?

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“Please don’t die! You’re the only one who knows where I left my keys back in Storybrooke!”

So she magics him out of the diner to do the dirty work.

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Or, according to this picture, a giant tarantula breaks out of the back of Emma’s head.

Out in a field of Meadow Mist(™) Roses, Killian sports a dollar store Halloween make up kit gash on the side of his neck. Hook begs Emma to let him die rather let the Darkness save him.

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Replace “darkness” with “heroin” and this is basically Jesse and Jane from ‘Breaking Bad.’

Emma does not listen.

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Mr. and Mrs. Dark One, your table is ready.
u8xav
This week on “Damn You, Irony!!”

At least Arthur is ok.

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Lady Gaga ain’t got nuthin’ on me! *snap*

So… there are two Dark Ones?

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DOCTORDONNA!

How do you not know the Darkness is in you? Even if you lose your memory, how do you not feel it?

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Disney needs to market a “Dark One Robe.” I would wear one every time I needed an ego boost. …So, like…. Always.
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Props is over budget this season. Turns out that Things Remembered charges per name.

PHEW! What a ride! I didn’t understand half of it, and I took notes! But there you have it, the big reveal about what Emma’s motives have been.

I’m sick of hearing my own voice, so now it’s your turn. Tell us in the comments what you thought of the show.

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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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Surviving the Summer Break for ‘Once Upon a Time’ Fans – How to Eat Like a Queen!

I’ve been dealing with an end of summer cold this week, which I think is absolutely terrible. Not only am I sick, but the virus didn’t even have the decency wait until it wasn’t 110 degrees where I live. Being curled up with Thera-flu and a thermometer on the couch has really put me in the mindset for colder weather and chicken soup.

I’ve always turned to comfort food in my times of need. I’m fairly certain that if I didn’t have such a penchant for fandoms and all the stress they cause me, I’d probably be fifty pounds lighter. And no size-shaming here, it’s just a fact of life for me and always has been. But I enjoy it. My grandmother would say, “the heart of the home is in the kitchen,” and I wholeheartedly believe that. Food may not equal love, but it is one way to show your love for others, and for yourself! Food also helps us celebrate events we love, and I love September because Once Upon a Time comes back!

So in honor of September (which officially kicks off the Autumn eating season for me), here are seven toasty, cozy meals and drinks inspired by Once Upon a Time to work into your Autumn menu

Blue Fairie’s Birthday Buttercream Wishing Cupcake

Property of ABC
“If I’d have known it was going to grant me a wish, I would have asked for a new beanie.”

This is the cupcake that started it all! Bust open any box of pre-made cake mix, and while they’re baking make this indulgent frosting. Don’t forget the blue star on top! Spritz makes perfect ones for this cupcake, but they are frequently out of stock, so you might have to settle for Betty Crocker’s instead.

The secret ingredient is butter!

Emma’s Favorite Grilled Cheese and Onion Rings

A Sheriff’s office staple, especially if things get chilly when the Snow Queen comes ‘round! Emma gets hungry for them, so they must be good! With 20 variations on the classic lunchtime treat from Serious Eats, you’ll be sure to find one that suits your palate.

Vegetables are basically a vehicle for batter and oil.

And at 4.8 stars and 130 reviews, Guy Fieri’s Beer Battered Onion Rings will make a much-desired side to your buttery, melty sandwich. The only thing better would be if your favorite OUaT character delivered them to you!

“Onion rings! My father’s wrong about you not being a good provider.”

Granny’s Lasagna

I came here to serve lasagna and kick butt. And I’m all out of lasagna!

*SPOILERS* We find out that Granny’s lasagna is of the frozen variety! Whether that means she pre-makes and freezes them to store in her walk-in fridge/werewolf cage, or she orders them from some lasagna factory that delivers over the magical border, it’s still a popular dish at Granny’s Diner. Good for a Sunday family sit-down, or to pick at a slice at a time for leftovers, this recipe will fill you up with all the food groups!

This is the most staged photo of lasagna I’ve ever seen. The pan underneath is clean.

Belle’s Hamburgers

“Please don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning burger, thanks.”

If there’s anyone who’s found magic in masticating, it’s Belle! After being locked up for 28 years in the psych ward, Belle was thrilled to finally be freed from the confines of both her straight jacket and the hospital menu. She found great joy in the burgers at Granny’s. Try your hand at flipping some of these thick and juicy patties on the grill as the last days of summer turn cool, or follow the directions and fry them in butter for an easy cold weather dinner.

“TREAT YO SELF” – Belle (probably)

Regina’s Apple Turnovers

“After this, I’ll teach you how to grind bones to make bread!”

You don’t need a Blue Apron subscription to enjoy this recipe, which is a super easy and delicious 5-ingredient apple turnover that anyone who can slice an apple can make! Just make sure you use non-poisoned apples so you don’t get any comatose kids lying around. For a totally unnecessary addition of 200 calories, skip the whipped cream and dip your warm bites in cold vanilla pudding. You’re welcome for that.

This picture doesn’t do them justice.

Henry’s Hot Chocolate (Don’t forget the cinnamon!)

Disney’s audio animatronics are getting really impressive.

No more packets of powder mixed with water! YUCK! Why would you do that? Make this concoction instead. With heavy whipping cream as a base, you know this drink will be hearty and comforting. Cocoa should always be shared, so don’t just make a mug or two. Put that crock pot to work and whip up this decadent brew. It’s so good that it might make you forget about pie! Just kidding. What kind of weirdo forgets about pie? 

I would swim around in this and drink myself to the bottom.

Zelena’s Meat Pie

“I am totally not crazy, and you can tell by how I made my hostage a candlelit dinner.”

These are by far the most complicated items on the list to make, but well-worth it. They are a little different from the style Rumple made as a child with the Spinsters as well the ones Zelena made him while holding him captive. But these are easier to make, and easier to take along with you on cold mornings. These are sometimes called hand pies because they’re so portable. You can make a huge batch and freeze them individually for a no-fuss dinner. If the flaky pastry is a little intimidating, try using pre-made pastry sheets found in the frozen dessert area at the store. 

Mashed potatoes were invented for this.

With 20 days left until the Season 5 premiere of OUaT, you’ll have plenty of time to try out these recipes. Let us know in the comments how they worked out for you! And don’t forget to share with us your favorite Once Upon a Time food or beverage?

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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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