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Music Monday: Weezer’s ‘White Album’

Weezer released their latest (and 10th!) album, The White Album, on April 1.

Does this album live up to Weezer’s reputation? Find out in my review:

Weezer is an American rock band based in Los Angeles, California. The band’s current members are Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner. Some of Weezer’s top hits include ‘Pork and Beans’ (Red Album), ‘Photograph’ (Green Album), and ‘Buddy Holly’ (Blue Album)

On October 2015, Weezer released a new single, ‘Thank God for Girls’, and another single, ‘Do You Wanna Get High?’, the following week.

The band is scheduled to co-headline the Weezer & Panic! at the Disco Summer Tour this Summer.

What do you think of Weezer’s new album? Let us know in the comments!

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‘Rebels’ Recap: Protector of Concord Dawn

Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels just keeps getting better and better! GeekGirl Lacey and I recently watched The Protector of Concord Dawn (which aired  January 27, 2016) and we just had to talk about it. We discuss Sabine‘s respect for Hera, Kanan, and the rest of the team and make some predictions on what’s going to happen next to the team aboard the Ghost.

For a full recap and review of the episode, check out our video below:

This episode also made me ponder possible connections between characters in Rebels and those in the Star Wars cinematic universe. Now, if you’re one of the few people in the galaxy who hasn’t seen The Force Awakens, or if you’re not super familiar with Rebels, you might want to stop here! Not spoilers, per se, but definitely rampant speculation galore!

Like father, like daughter: could their helmets foreshadow their futures?
Like father, like daughter: could their helmets foreshadow their futures? Ezra to the Dark side, Rey as a Rebel & Jedi?

One popular internet theory is that Ezra (from the show) could be the father of Rey (from the movies, duh). Rob Keyes of Screen Rant provided some insight on the possibility, even going as far as speculating Benicio Del Toro could be playing Ezra/Rey’s dad in Episode VIII! Prince from Urban Acolyte TV shared his thoughts on the matter also, and video commentators touched on unconfirmed rumors that a shooting script identified characters by their initials, with Benicio Del Toro’s character having the initials “E.B.” (EZRA! BRIDGER!) I love this theory, but want to take it a step further.

Sabine and Ezra
Sabine + Ezra = Tru Luv 4eva?

So, let’s just say Ezra is Rey’s father. Who is her mother? The obvious person that comes to mind is Sabine Wren, who Ezra is smitten with (especially in season 1). In this week’s episode, we learned that Sabine is heir to the Mandalorian Clan Wren, and that her clan is a part of House Vizla. Further, her mother was a member of Death Watch, who was associated with Darth Maul. Not a warm and fuzzy family tree, and definitely no Parents of the Year awards going to Mr. or Mrs. Wren.

Now, can we please talk about how in a universe that is so massive, that there can be a family with the last name Wren, and a cult (for lack of a better word) called the Knights of Ren? At Star Wars Celebration 2015, I attended a panel where a woman discussed how her job was being a part of a team that cross referenced the books, comics, movies, games, and shows for consistency. That was their whole job— 5 days a week, 8 hours a day: checking for consistency and trends across the lore. So, why would they have two similar names in their latest show and newest movie, unless it was intentional? Could the Wrens have paired up with Siths like Snoke, dropped the ‘W’ from their name, and become the Knights of Ren? Or, could Ezra have gone Dark side and named the Knights of Ren himself, perhaps in honor of a woman he once loved and a life he once knew?

Ezra and Saber
Ezra in a Season 2 preview (episode unknown)

Now let’s go back and talk about the movies. Rumors on the web imply that Ben/Kylo Ren has a connection to Rey. He doesn’t kill her, tries to convert her to his side, and even saves her in her visions. A lot of people thought that was because Rey was Luke’s daughter, or Ben’s cousin. But that’s too easy. Could it be that Ben, renamed Kylo Ren of the Knights of Ren, took a liking to her because she was related to one of the founding fathers of his cult? Anything is a possibility in Star Wars. I, for one, hope that Rebels characters make appearances in the films. It enriches the lore and keeps the universe connected in a fascinating way!

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Want more Rebels Recaps? Check out our reviews for episodes from a long, long time ago here!

Join us next week as we review Legacy of the Lasat, airing February 3, 2016 at 9:00 pm on Disney XD!

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‘Rebels’ Recap: A Princess on Lothal

For those of you living under a rock/asteroid/exogorthStar Wars Rebels takes place a few years before Episode IV – A New Hope, and follows the story of an orphaned, force-sensitive teen named Ezra and his rag tag group of friends who strive to make the galaxy a better place, one mission at a time. While a cartoon airing on Disney XD, the show is a must-see for Star Wars fans of all ages!

After a mid-season break, Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels season 2 is back with new adventures, familiar faces, and a whole lot of action! GeekGirl Lacey and I recently watched and reviewed A Princess on Lothal, which originally aired  January 20, 2016. We talked about the gang meeting Princess Leia for the first time, discussed the future of the rebellion, and made predictions on what’s going to happen next.

To see what we thought of the latest episode, check out our video below:

My favorite part was seeing how calculated, insightful, and strong Leia was, even as a teenager! Too often Leia is criticized for her lack of emotions, but I find her ability to stay focused and calm on a mission to be one of the things that makes her an incredible leader. (Side note: how come male leaders are never criticized in war movies for not shedding a tear? Serious double standard. But I’ll save that rant for another day!)

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Want more Rebels Recaps? Check out our reviews for episodes from a long, long time ago here!

Join us next week as we review The Protector of Concord Dawn, airing January 27, 2016 at 9:00 pm on Disney XD!

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Rebels Recap: ‘Blood Sisters’ & ‘Stealth Strike’

Did you fall behind on Star Wars Rebels episodes during the Thanksgiving holiday? No worries! GeekGirl Lacey and I will bring you up to speed with your favorite animated Rebels. Disney XD aired Blood Sisters (Season 2 Episode 6) on November 8, 2015 and Stealth Strike (Season 2 Episode 7) on November 25, 2015. So, grab a plate of leftover pumpkin pie (it’s still good… probably) and pull up a seat, because we’re blasting off with Rebels Recap!

Season 2 Episode 6: Blood Sisters

rebels-208-blood-sisters_701bfb89

Alas, technical difficulties kept us from publishing our video review. (Where’s Chopper when you need him?) In this episode, Sabine and the crew go on a mission to retrieve top secret information from a courier droid. Trouble rises when the Rebels run into Ketsu, an old friend and colleague of Sabine’s from her days as a Black Sun bounty hunter, who is after the same droid. In our review, we gushed about how pleasantly surprised we were to hear the amazing Gina Torres voicing Ketsu. We love Gina from Firefly and Serenity, and adore how she always plays strong, interesting characters who kick butt (Ketsu is no exception)! We also campaigned for droids rights and discussed how someone is surely going to bite the dust this season. If our MSE-6-series repair droid can fix our tech issue, we’ll post the video!

Season 2 Episode 7: Stealth Strike

In our review for the latest episode, we celebrated what is being hailed as the best episode of the season (if not the whole series)! By the way, Chopper’s not the only one with a new top: in the video, I’m wearing my High Commander Cardigan I got from the Her Universe booth during Star Wars Celebration 2015. Charming to the last! Also, in the background, you can see my gorgeously gruesome Star Wars print made by Las Vegas artist Dasha Biggs. You can find her out-of-this-world art at Spectral Gallery.

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Want more Rebels Recaps? Check out our reviews for episodes from a long, long time ago!
Season 2 Episode 1: The Lost Commanders
Season 2 Episode 2: Relics of the Old Republic
Season 2 Episode 3: Always Two There Are
Season 2 Episode 4: Brothers of the Broken Horn
Season 2 Episode 5: Wings of the Master

Be sure to catch Star Wars Rebels Wednesday nights at 9:30 pm on Disney XD!

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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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.25.23 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.26.49 PM

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

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.27.14 PM

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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.29.07 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.30.04 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.32.32 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.36.54 PM
*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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.14 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.41.54 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.32 PM
“Amateurs! You might as well draw a map on one of Granny’s place mats!”
Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.28 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.43.43 PM
“Why does this door say ‘Cast Members Only’?”

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

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.44.35 PM
*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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.46.47 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.49.00 PM
“Oh my goodness, are you ok?”
Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.49.01 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 8.52.58 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.02.50 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.06.17 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.04 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.02 PM
*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!”

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.26 PM
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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.17.38 PM
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*

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 11.36.31 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.21.30 PM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.22.19 PM
“Yeah, see? Says right there. Robin only gets two lines per episode, and one of them has to be about the baby.”

 

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.24.56 PM
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.”

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.27.09 PM

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.

Screenshot 2015-11-09 at 9.28.38 PM

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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‘Rebels’ Recap: Relics of the Old Republic & Always Two There Are

Behind on your Star Wars Rebels episodes? Disney XD aired Relics of the Old Republic (Season 2, Episode 2) on October 21, 2015 and Always Two There Are (Season 2, Episode 3) on October 28, 2015. To get you all caught up, GeekGirl Lacey and I recapped and reviewed what happened the last time we saw our favorite animated Rebels.

Relics of the Old Republic

Lacey and I dished on what it takes to earn someone’s trust, gushed over one character’s surprising change of heart, and struggled to be as eloquent as Ahsoka Tano, who is voiced by the lovely Ashley Eckstein (who we interviewed at Star Wars Celebration back in April, by the way)! View our full recap below:

Always Two There Are

Lacey and I got goosebumps talking about the creepiest episode to date (which appropriately aired the week of Halloween). We shuddered thinking about what might happen to our dearest Rebels now that not one, but two Inquisitors have it in for them! Watch our full review below:

What did YOU think GeekGirl World? Let us know in the comments section!

Be sure to catch Star Wars Rebels Wednesday nights at 9:30 pm on Disney XD!

Want more Rebels Recaps? Check out our review for Season 2 Episode 1, The Lost Commanders.

 

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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.
Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.11.19 AM
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….

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.16.53 AM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.14.07 AM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.27.53 AM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.19.47 AM
“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?”
Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.02.17 AM
“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.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.16.10 AM
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.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.24.44 AM
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.

Screenshot 2015-10-19 at 2.30.12 AM

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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‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap: Siege Perilous

What a whirlwind of deceit we had this week! Let’s get started!

Emma appears in the Dwarf caves at the remaining six mine for fairy dust. She absconds with Happy’s ax.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.26.19 PM
“Hail Hydra.”

 

Cue the title card with the creepy bog.
Cue the title card with the creepy bog.

In Merlin’s study back in Camelot, Regina, Mary Margaret, David, baby Neal, Belle, and Emma are brainstorming ways to get Merlin out of the tree in the courtyard.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.27.24 PM
“I am missing disposable diapers something fierce right about now…”
Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.28.09 PM
“Do you have any idea how much Turkish erotica we’ve had to sift though just to get this far? DO YOU?”

Mary Margaret suggests that Merlin actually *is* the tree, transfigured, and that perhaps there is a way to talk to him. They discover a toadstool that has this property. David decides he will go find it when Arthur says it grows a half days ride from there. King Arthur proposes they quest together as brothers.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.28.39 PM
Regina: Hey, maybe we should go to Wonderland! Everyone else: NO! Someone outside: NO! A peddler down the lane: NO! Three fairies in a field: NO! A person in a coma opens their eyes: NO!

Back in Storybrooke, Regina recognizes her handwriting in a book that came from Camelot. The Dwarves bust into the sheriff’s station demanding David act like their prince and sheriff again and do something about his daughter. When they leave, David admits to Mary Margaret that he feels paralyzed. His wife assures him that he is doing the best he can by leading and not giving up.

"I don't think you understand. No one ever actually SWORE ME IN."
“I don’t think you understand. No one ever actually SWORE ME IN.”

David contemplates a picture of him and Emma for a few moments.

Bike safety fair! Sign me up!

Arthur arrives to tell David that his reliquary has been broken into and a magic bean that could get his people home is missing. David assures him that he will help search for it.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.31.02 PM
David: Sorry, what’s a reliquary? Arthur: Uh, are you a Prince in our realm, or…?

Back in the secret room under Emma’s house, Emma approaches the rock holding Excalibur with Happy’s ax. Rumpelstiltskin’s image appears again and warns her that her idea will fail. She hits the rock, but the ax blade falls off, much to her dismay. Rumple’s image tells her that they need a hero to pull out that sword, and they both know who that is.

Back in Camelot, a stressed out Regina is comforted by Robin, who leaves to get tea. Regina notes Zelena rolling her eyes at their exchange and gives her “mute handmaiden” her voice back to clear the air. Regina wants to chat about Zelena trying to escape back to Oz with Robin’s child, but Zelena says it was her only chance to be with someone who truly loves her. She just wanted a second chance, but Regina reminds her she’s already had a dozen second chances and to stop painting herself a victim. Before Zelena can have a Jan Brady-style breakdown, Regina reminds her re-silenced half-sister that she’s still the Evil Queen, and promises that Zelena’s baby will totally be loved and safe– unlike Zelena.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.33.49 PM
“Regina this, Regina that! Everywhere I go, it’s just Regina, Regina, Regina!”

In the Round Table room, Arthur tells David about the Siege Perilous, the seat reserved to the knight with the purest heart who carries out the most sacred quests – a seat previously held by Lancelot.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.34.23 PM

David tells Arthur that he and Snow knew Lancelot back in their realm, but that he had died, much to Arthur’s sadness.

The Squire, Gryff, brings in the reliquary and Arthur takes out the Unquenchable Flame, which he says they will need where they are going.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.35.10 PM
“Let me show you the junk in my trunk.”

Let’s just take a moment to really appreciate how badly Arthur needs to take a trip to the Container Store. Like, it’s only a collection of sacred, holy, magical, one-of-a-kind items that brave knights have risked life and limb over. Let’s just throw them in a box. There isn’t even bubble wrap in there. Who does that?

In Storybrooke, David investigates the burgled reliquary and has an idea what the thief’s next move may be. Hook finds Robin at Granny’s and they discuss their awkward love lives. Robin shows Hook a cellphone picture of a sonogram.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.36.00 PM
Robin. It’s a picture from up inside Zelena! Killian: *gouges out eyes with hook*

Hook mentions to Robin there’s a weird door in Emma’s house, but before he can share his theories, Granny sets down a large to-go bag complete with instructions for Hook to meet Emma on his ship. Frustrated, Hook leaves for the Jolly Roger.

Hook looks around the quarters in his ship. Emma appears suddenly, but Hook doesn’t like it. Emma apologizes for overreacting the last time they saw each other and asks to have lunch and talk like old times. As Hook sets the bag down, the table from their first date recreates itself, and Emma stands before him in her soft pink dress minus the white hair and scary makeup.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.36.35 PM
“I hope you like this dress. This plan was kinda last minute. I couldn’t get a Slave Leia bikini.”

In inky blackness, David and Arthur walk and talk about being leaders who came from low backgrounds. They bond over their commonality and they practically touch abs.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.36.55 PM
Arthur: When all this blows over, I think you and I should get an apartment together. David: Maybe you should stop saying words now…

Arthur hands David his flask and they talk about weaknesses and how they’ve changed and grown. They come upon the toadstool at the other end of a rickety bridge over a murky bog. David says he will go and Arthur too-easily agrees. Though David falls on the bridge, he continues on, oblivious to the armor floating a few feet from him.

David and Arthur visit Belle in Gold’s shop. She’s contemplating the rose as yet another petal falls off. She mentions a healing spell that she’s put together, but she still needs an object that touched Rumple from back when he was still a man, before the Darkness found him. They ask about anyone pawning a bean, but no one’s been in all day. But David spies a silver cup that he says will help them catch the thief. Belle says it’s not magical, just a souvenir left over from Doc’s birthday.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.38.33 PM
“It still says Doctoberfest on it.”

Out in the woods, David presents the “Chalice of Vengeance” to the people of Camelot, then asks that everyone step up to drink from it so it can reveal the thief.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.39.15 PM
“The old ‘pet the black chicken’ ruse. Gets ‘em every time.”

The Squire takes off on a horse and David and Arthur give chase in David’s truck. There is a ridiculous “take the wheel” moment where Arthur learns to drive like Bo Duke in a matter of seconds…

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.40.34 PM

…and where David uses a 2×4 to joust and knock the Squire to his death off the horse.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.41.29 PM

Back in the bog, David acquires the toadstool, then makes his way back across the bridge. But two black armored knights rise up and attack him. David beheads one, but it finds his helmet and continues fighting him.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.46.12 PM
“‘Tis but a flesh wound!”

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.46.00 PM

The other has his head knocked clean off and several feet away. David beheads the first one and makes a break for land. As he runs, another arm reaches up and grabs his ankle pulling him underwater. A struggle ensues and he is pulled free of the water by Arthur. On land they discover that the toadstool is missing. Instead of going back to look, Arthur super calmly gives David some Mike Brady dad speech about the journey being the reward, totally not mad that their chance at communicating with Merlin for the first time in a decade has slipped through their fingers.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.49.08 PM
“Nah, it’s cool, I owe him money anyway.”

Before leaving for Camelot, Arthur says he has a place for a man like David.

On the Jolly Roger, Hook hits Emma with a blunt question about what’s behind her locked door. Emma tries to be sweet and joke around, but Hook says the real Emma didn’t play games. Emma admits she’s different now, better. She’s not scared anymore and can finally see things clearly. If Hook is willing to move forward, she says, she could be an open book. Hook is incredulous at her suggestion that they try to have a real relationship, and Emma reminds him that Gold and Belle love each other. To paraphrase Hook, “That’s not exactly comforting.”

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.47.54 PM
“Can we please not fight? I had to go two towns over to get these bread sticks from Olive Garden.”

Emma says Rumple didn’t find love until he became the Dark One. Hook tells her that Rumple was trying to keep his family together, but that Hook put a cutlass to the man’s neck and ruined his life. Emma, realizing that the blade has touched Rumple when he was still a man, turns playful and reminds Hook about teaching him to sword fight in the fairy tale book. Disgusted, Hook releases the sword to move away from Emma who now holds it.

Hook says he’s done humoring her and realizes, sadly, that the Dark One is there because she needs something, not because Emma wants to be there with him. Emma swears she just wants his trust, but Hook says he liked her the way she was before, even with her walls. She asks him if he loves her, saying she’ll let him go if he doesn’t. Hook says he loved her and backs away, waiting for her wrath, but Emma disappears, leaving him very alone.

In the camp, David interrogates Gryff. The Squire says he wanted to hurt Arthur because he was tired of the kingdom breaking their backs to serve the King.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.49.25 PM
“You made me put ointment on your saddle sores!”

Through this he maintains that he never saw the bean Arthur is looking for. Arthur privately says to David that they could have used or lost the bean during the six months they can’t remember. Outside the Squire’s tent they find the toadstool, which David recognizes. He brings it back to Regina.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.49.41 PM
I don’t understand this new season of Supernatural.

“You did it! You found an item that might be in some minor way tangentially related to saving our daughter eventually. Good on ya.” – Mary Margaret… kinda

Back in Camelot, King Arthur knights Sir David of the Enchanted Forest and grants him a place at the Round Table sitting at Siege Perilous. David, who expected to take Percival’s seat, is stunned.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.50.16 PM
“We present the most manly coat of arms in all the realms! Oh, wait, sorry, this is Guinevere’s cross stitch sampler.”

He takes the seat to applause. Baby Neal begins to cry and Snow takes him outside. In the shadows, Lancelot appears, assuring her that it is really him. He warns of a villain in Camelot, and that the kingdom is not what it seems.

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“You wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve seen around here. For one thing, NO ONE in the kitchen wears hair nets.”

Later, Arthur and Guinevere talk alone in the Round Table room where Arthur unwraps the toadstool he lifted from David. Though he says he regrets having to lie to David, he tells his wife he must think of the kingdom first, as that is the burden of a king.

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Some guy on Yelp! called “Grumpy07” gave this cell 4/5 stars.

In Storybrooke’s sheriff’s holding cell, Arthur approaches Gryff, who thinks Arthur’s there to spring him. The Squire says he’s done all the King has asked, that he lied for him and told David maybe there was a bean even though there wasn’t one. Arthur says they trust him now, and though they seem friendly, they are a threat. Arthur blames the group from Storybrooke for tearing them away from their home in Camelot. But since they can’t get back, they will build a new Camelot in Storybrooke. Gryff insists he will do anything to help rebuild, but Arthur holds out a vial of venom from Agrabah vipers.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.52.07 PM
You can’t fool me, props master. That is pure Ecto-Cooler!

The Squire swears he will never tell their secret, but Arthur says they have magic that could make Gryff reveal their plan. Arthur offers him a chance to die with honor in service to the king and kingdom. He fills the man with the promise of a legacy, and the Squire, shaking but resolute, downs it in one go. Gryff disappears in a puff of smoke.

Hook approaches Robin in Granny’s, saying he needs a thief to help him get into Emma’s locked room. Though Robin considers himself an ex-thief, Hook basically says they’re all ex-bad guys until the shit hits the fan.

Belle hurries in to get her lunch, but just as Granny is insisting that she sit down and eat a decent meal, the rose loses its last petal. A heartbroken Belle is about to cry when Granny points out that the rose is coming back to life. Elated, Belle runs out of the diner saying “He’s waking up!”

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.52.50 PM
“Oh, dammit, I forgot about the bike safety fair!”

Belle rushes to the back room, but Gold is nowhere in sight.

Down in Emma’s basement, Rumple’s image congratulates Emma on finding something that touched Rumple when he was a man, and for crushing Hook’s heart. Emma disintegrates the cutlass over Gold.

Screenshot 2015-10-12 at 3.53.30 PM
“Trust me, my mom dated a doctor one time like four years ago.”

Meanwhile, Belle sees the rose fully reform and sparkle anew. As Gold wakes, he says Emma is the Dark One now, not him. Emma says he’s not dark, or light. He’s nothing but a blank slate.

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“Just tell me one thing… Did I sleep through the bike safety fair?”

Emma says she will make him into a hero, the purest who’s ever lived. As he looks around the cavern, not seeing his doppelganger, Emma says then she’ll have a job for him.

Well, I gotta say, this episode kinda hearkened back to the old days of OUAT for me. I liked the bro field trip, and I liked the continued set up of King Arthur as a benevolent sociopath. I could have done without the drawn out lunch between Emma and Killian though. It just pointed out the plot of hole of “when did Emma find out that she needed something that touched Rumple when he was still a man?” Sure, we knew because we heard it from Belle, but when did Emma find out? Well, whatever, I still enjoyed this more than last week’s episode.

But what did you think? Tell us in the comments!

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RECAP – ‘Once Upon a Time’ – ‘Killers’

In Minneapolis, 1989, a young Emma attends a showing of Disney’s The Sword in the Stone alone. She steals a candy bar from a woman, and is immediately approached by an usher who knows her by name.

Hey, totally unrelated, but Merlin is played by Elliot Knight. But that’s got absolutely nothing to do with anything right now.

But the usher doesn’t care about the candy. He simply warns her to never pull Excalibur from the stone. Then he vanishes.

Cue the title card with a distressed looking Granny’s diner.

Lancelot, Perceval, and Arthur arrive at the sword i the stone, but discover Sir Kay has beaten them there. He wants the sword for himself, but when he reaches for it, he turns to a pile of ash, obviously unworthy. Arthur takes his turn, and succeeds in removing what’s left of the sword from the stone.

Uhhhh…. Holy cow…. Didn’t see that coming.

Back in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Robin, Henry, and Hook try to summon the Dark One but fail, realizing she’s not in their realm.

“I’ve spent the last 200 years learning about this thing… *achem* Uh… Hmm… Doesn’t seem to be working…” #awkward

They head to the Apprentice who is being cared for by Mother Superior. Before he passes on, he gives them a wand and says it can only be wielded as it was forged, with the darkness and the light. Regina thinks this is her cue, but fails to make the wand summon a portal to Emma. Hook points out the irony that she’s done too much good to be dark enough anymore. He says they need someone “wicked.”

5 manhole

In a very fancy manhole cover, the alien from the X-Files the Dark One appears.

6 emma hood
“I’m sorry to bother you, ma’am, but I ran out of gas, and I just need a few more dollars to get home…”

Emma, clad in rough garments, has materialized in the forest.

The Darkness takes the form of Rumpelstiltskin, informing Emma that the real Rumple is still in a coma back in Maine. But though the Darkness can take many forms, this is the most practical one for Emma to accept. Immediately, the Darkness tries to push Emma to use her powers. Though Emma insists she’ll never go evil, Rumple assures otherwise. The only way to stop, he promises, is to be stopped.

Emma approaches a peddler on the road for directions, and he charges her an increasing rate for his information. Not having any money, Emma tires of his demands and inadvertently Force chokes magically restrains the peddler. Though disgusted by her actions, Emma can’t deny that she is intrigued by her powers.

*ack* Darn *coff* Star Wars *gasp* references!

Belle is watching over Rumple in the back room of his shop, instead of a hospital room for some reason. Mother Superior tells her she ought to be helping the others get Emma back, but Belle wants to be there in case Rumple dies. Mother Superior magics Belle a most impractical rose in a bell jar, saying that as long as the rose has petals, Rumple still lives.

“This is beautiful… But could you just, like, text me if he gets worse?”

Zelena is meditating in her padded cell when Regina, Robin, and Hook arrive asking for help. After a bit of squabbling, Zelena asks to see the wand. Despite the magic-blocking cuff Regina slapped on her, she’s still able to understand the magic in the wand and tells them they need something important to Emma to guide them to her. Regina refuses to remove the bracelet from Zelena and leaves, but Zelena appeals to Hook.

Meanwhile Emma is lost in the forest, and Rumple taunts her into using her magic to teleport to where she needs to be. She discovers the Will-o’-the-Wisp and is told that it can get her to Merlin. Emma chases the Wisp through the forest, but it’s snatched up by Merida, who Emma magics to the ground. Emma pleads with her to give her the Wisp, but Merida needs it to save her family and kingdom.

9 Merida bow
“I don’t know if you saw my movie, but I’m pretty good with a bow.”

She’s willing to fight for the right to it, though, so long as it’s fisticuffs and not magic. Rumple encourages Emma to break Merida’s neck, but Emma refuses to fight at all, hurrying Merida on her way before it’s too late. Grateful and sympathetic, Merida offers to take Emma with her to the Hill of Stones where she can use the Wisp too. Emma agrees to set out with her, pleased that her choice to not use magic has worked in her favor.

At Granny’s, Hook approaches Henry about using the Author’s pen to change Emma’s story, but Henry confesses he’s broken the pen to avoid temptation.

10 Hook murders Henry with his eyes
“I don’t care if you *are* Emma’s son; I am going to straight up murder you.”

Hook then suggests springing Zelena from the padded cell. Henry shows his teenage reckless side and agrees to help him.

Merida slashes her way through the delicate ferns of the forest with a massive sword as she and Emma trek to the Hill of Stones. She reveals that her brothers have been kidnapped by warring clans, and that her rule as Queen has been put into question. Emma suggests they make camp because an exhausted warrior is no good to anyone.

As Merida sleeps, Emma tosses and turns. No matter which way she faces, Rumple appears to her. Though Emma is proud of not using dark magic to get what she wants, Rumple informs Emma that the Wisp will belong to Merida once she whispers to it for help, and it will be inaccessible to Emma so long as Merida’s heart beats. Though she cannot hear Rumple speak, a terrified Merida gleans enough from Emma’s half of the conversation to know she’s in trouble.

a awkward moment murder
That awkward moment where your new witch friend is talking to herself in the middle of the night and plotting your brutal murder.

Henry and Hook make their way down to the psych ward of the hospital, and Henry creates a diversion by spilling his soda on “Nurse Ratched” (no, really, Henry actually calls her that) while Hook snags the keys to Zelena’s cell.

b nurse ratchet soda
This ruse is 10 out of 10 not derivative.

Zelena realizes that Hook’s there to spring her. Despite swearing on her unborn child that she’ll be good, Hook requires more insurance. Using a potion Regina gave him a long time ago to rip out Cora’s heart, he douses his hook with it and aims for Zelena’s chest. But she’s protected her heart a long time ago with magic that still shields her. She swipes Hook’s knife from his belt and slices off her own hand. Now free of the bracelet, she uses her magic to reattach her hand and disappear in a cloud of green smoke.

c hand 1
I’ve lost count of the Star Wars references at this point…

Regina is livid that Hook’s let Zelena escape. Mary Margaret FINALLY speaks and insists they stop bickering. They need to stick together, united as Emma would want them to be.

A glamored-as-Regina Zelena appears in the Charming’s loft where Robin has just put Roland to sleep. Fake-Regina tells Robin Zelena has escaped and they must flee. Upon kissing the glamored Zelena, Robin realizes it is not Regina. Zelena drops the glamor and tells Robin he’s the key.

Out by the clock tower, Regina leads the Charmings, Hook, and Henry towards Zelena who is holding Robin hostage. She wants to trade Robin for the wand so she can return to Oz. Though Hook is incredulous that Regina would give in, she makes the trade, and Zelena uses a trinket from Oz to summon a green twister.

I love that Belle keeps her jar at her side, but we don’t see baby Neal until 30 minutes in.

The others look on in horror as Zelena aims the wand to summon the portal to her, but she is struck by … I dunno…wand kickback? David grabs her and Regina reclaims the wand and shoves the magic-dampering brace back on Zelena’s wrist. Regina hijacks the portal and says they are taking it to Emma.

Emma discovers Merida has left while she was out gathering food.

She used the old "shove a rock and some sticks under her cloak" ruse!
She used the old “shove a rock and some sticks under her cloak” ruse!

Rumple tells her she’s gone to the Hill of Stones to use the Wisp and says she’s going to have to kill her. At the Hill of Stones, Merida whispers to the Wisp, destroying Emma’s chance at using it. Emma’s countenance has changed dramatically and she looks less desperate and more determined. Merida pleads with her to leave, but Rumple goads Emma to rip her heart out.

Vader to his Palpatine, you say?

The twister is approaching town, and the rescue party has taken up inside Granny’s. As she battens down the hatches, Zelena is tied to a chair. As the only one able to wield the Apprentice’s wand, they must take her along. Regina pulls out Emma’s baby blanket, one of the very few belongings that are special to Emma. Four of the Dwarves rush in before the twister strikes, and they pledge their fealty to Snow. The twister hits and the diner is shaken loose from the foundation.

g you cant take a baby to camelot
“You cant take a baby to fight the Dark One!”
“FML.” – Baby Neal, probably

Rumple continues to whisper to Emma as Merida shoots arrow after arrow at her heart. But Emma catches every shot and throws them aside with increasing ease.

i arrow catch
“Ok, not gonna lie, I am *really* impressed I’ve caught like, eight of these.”

Emma insists she can talk to Merida, but as Rumple pushes her, Emma becomes more enraged and pulls Merida to her magically. She pulls out her heart, and on Rumple’s command begins crushing it. As Merida gasps, Hook and the rescue party run up to them and he yells at her to stop. 

j merida heart
“I’m sorry, she’s not usually like this. EMMA, EAT A SNICKERS!”

Emma says it’s the only way to ensure the Darkness won’t destroy everything and everyone she loves. Mary Margaret pulls out the Dagger to control Emma, but Hook says Emma must make the choice to be good.

k dagger snow emma
“We need you to choose. Of your own free will. While we hold this dagger to you.”

As Merida’s pleading eyes beseech Emma, Rumple continues to encourage Emma. Hook comes between Emma and Merida, saying heroes and villains overcame their demons, and so can she. Emma shoves Merida’s heart back in her chest and collapses in Hook’s arms. The vision of Rumpelstiltskin has disappeared for now.

The Wisp flies off as Emma apologizes to Merida. Merida thanks her for showing her darkness and decides mercy may be the better choice for dealing with the warring clans that took her brothers. As Merida follows the Wisp, Emma and her parents reunite. They try to offer her back the Dagger in good faith, but Emma gives the Dagger to the one person she knows will overlook her emotions and do the practical thing. She hands the Dagger to Regina, asking Regina to save her if she can, or destroy her if she can’t.

They leave the Hill of Stones and return to Granny’s and the rest of the rescue team. King Arthur and his knights ride up to them, expecting the group’s arrival because of a prophecy from Merlin. Merlin, though missing, is to be reunited with them all through Emma. The group is led to the gates of Camelot, and Emma and Hook walk hand in hand behind King Arthur.

l camelot bridge
Emma: I don’t like it. The moat is really big. Hook: You haven’t liked any of the ones we’ve looked at. We’re never going to find a house in this neighborhood.

Six weeks later, Sneezy and Sleepy are patrolling the town. Sneezy is wearing Emma’s red Savior jacket. Gross. There’s a flash and a crash, so someone must be back from the Enchanted Forest.

The entire rescue party have landed back in town in the diner. Dressed in period garb from Camelot, they know not why they have returned nor remember what has transpired in the last month and a half. They have lost their memories. AGAIN. Emma appears in the doorway in black clothing with stark white hair and pale skin. More evil than ever before, her bearing and tone have changed dramatically.

m white dark emma
“I came here to rip out hearts and bleach my hair. And I’m all out of hair bleach!”

Emma tells them they failed to get the darkness out of her. She turns Sneezy to stone, saying there’s no savior in this town anymore. Regina reaches for the Dagger, but Emma reveals she is holding it. She threatens to end them all. Hook asks why she’s doing this, and Emma simply replies she’s the Dark One before vanishing.

Final thoughts, Jerry Springer stye: Not a big fan of this episode. While I really liked Merida and Emma’s story and how Rumple was her spirit guide, I’m over Mary Margaret and David’s bland parenting, Henry’s new “teenager” mode, and Zelena for being Zelena. I still want to see how Regina and Hook continue to grow, but I could actually, literally throw Robin Hood into Granny’s deep freeze until after the hiatus. In my opinion, there was too much story crammed into this one hour, and they could have easily broken this into two parts and given the Charmings more personality (and dialogue) and Henry a little more depth.

But what do you think? Tell us below!

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Face Off Ep 2: Siren Song

This week the artists meet up with Mckenzie aboard the USCSC George Cobb to find out what their makeup inspiration will be. Once fully out to sea, Mckenzie lets them know they are to create a beautiful but deadly creature from myth, the Siren. I am just as excited as the artists for this, and cannot wait to see what they come up with! Since there are still 16 contestants, they are randomly paired off,, and each team must choose a sea creature to model their Siren after.

Sidney and Omar choose the Portuguese Man O’ War, Brittany and Nora choose the Flabellina Nudibrach, Evan and Jason pick the Peacock Mantis Shrimp, while Ricky and Ben get the Blue Sea Slug. Scott is paired with Stevie and they select the Blue ringed Octopus, Kevon and Meg are teamed up and choose the Cone Snail, Missy is with Libby and they grab the Striped Surgeonfish, and Jasmine and Jordan take the final creature, the Yellow Boxfish.

After some initial sketching and concept development they all head back to the lab to start day one of three. Models are chosen, and face sculpts and cowls are quick to be fleshed out. When Mckenzie does her walkthrough with her father, he notices some flaws with Meg’s face sculpt, and she ends up having to trash it and start over.

Evan and Jason are hard at work on their cowl when it locks into the mold, and has to be chiseled out. They are certain it’s going to be in pieces come tomorrow. Meg is finally happy with her face sculpt and takes it to mold as well.

Turns out it is Brittany and Nora that should have been worried about their cowl, as they come in the next day to discover all the tips broke off their beautiful piece. These two are on it though, and are quick to fix it using makeup sponges as filler for the missing pieces. There is a ton of pre-painting happening as everyone prepares for last looks, but it is Missy and Libby that can’t seem to agree on the paint pattern for their siren.

During last looks, it is the beauty makeup that appears to have the majority of teams stumped as some must attempt it for the first time in their careers.  The hour is up too soon though, and the models take to the stage for judging. Before their creations are displayed however, Mckenzie informs them that two artists will be packing up their makeup brushes and heading home tonight.

Evan and Jason, Ricky and Ben, Scott and Stevie, and Jordan and Jasmine are all safe. Although, I personally feel as though Ricky and Ben’s Blue Sea Slug was absolutely gorgeous, it’s Kevon and Meg as well as Brittany and Nora that find themselves in the top looks for the night. When Glenn asks Meg and Kevon what they think of their creation, Meg feels it is “ok” and Kevon takes it a step farther declaring he’d date her. Glenn is a little disturbed by this, but more disturbed that Meg doesn’t understand how lovely their creation really is.

On the bottom tonight are Sidney and Omar who the judges feel did not put enough into their work this week with only a cowl that Ve considers “cabbage-like” and a staff. Along with them is Missy and Libby, whose Siren Neville said he wouldn’t go near, but conjectures Kevon might. Glenn enjoyed the profile of their Siren, but could not find their inspiration sea creature anywhere in their finished makeup.

In the end it is Kevon and Meg’s haunting Siren who takes the win, with Meg getting the overall recognition for her contributions. The first artists to be asked to leave Face Off are Sidney and Omar. The judges just could not understand what the majority of their time was spent on.

Tell us which looks you liked the most and which artists are beginning to stand out among the pack.

Also don’t forget that next week is the 100th episode!!!!  

 

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