, Merida took aim at Rumple’s sweetheart, Arthur said no to ‘shrooming and Dark Emma played (and lost) “Let’s Make a Deal,” twice.
My expectations for this episode were on the low side, going in. The Merida-heavy flashback story screamed of being hokey, while Rumple’s journey as a cowering coward thus far has been, among other things, just sad.
The Storybrooke half of the episode, though, actually was quite solid and delivered a surprising amount of payoff. Having let Rumple escape (by using poor Chip’s shards to cut himself free), Merida was tasked by Dark Emma to target Belle, to force his hand into being a hero. Rumple met up with Belle at the library, then set out to his shop to secure some magic. But first, he thanked her — twice — explaining that just as he was about to give up during his coma, having decided he didn’t deserve to live anymore, her voice nudged him to reconsider.
At the shop, Merida had the rug literally pulled out from under her, affording Rumbelle time to make tracks. But when Belle saw that Rumple planned to drive them out of town — to run away — she hit the brakes. Parting ways with Rumple, Belle promptly ran into Merida, who is compelled to drink the potion that turns her (like her mother) into a bear. The beast chases Belle until Rumple resurfaces to intervene. Swatted and then pinned down, Rumple thinks to lob into the bear’s maw the anti-transformation powder he planned to use to leave town, successfully returning Merida to her carrot-topped form.
Merida brings Rumple to Emma’s cellar, where he is to finally complete the task of removing Excalibur. On the off chance he
, he first apologizes to Belle for “everything,” saying if he had the chance again he’d be the man she deserves. “It’s never too late,” she warmly responds. Rumple however
pull the sword from the stone, lobs it at Emma’s feet and warns her that she has made “one terrible mistake — you turned me into a hero.” And while Storybrooke is lousy with ’em, “None of them are
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Elsewhere in Storybrooke: Dark Emma broke Zelena out of her cell and gifted her with onion rings in the name of making a deal, for the Wicked Witch’s services as a wielder of the Apprentice’s wand. In trade, Emma will give her freedom and protection. Zelena however firmly declines, saying she doesn’t want any darkness hovering around her baby-to-be. This (barely) cues up a chat about children resenting parents, and how Henry will never forgive Emma for what she did to Violet. Emma scoffs at the idea of undying resentment, to which Z reminds her, “I killed Neal — ready to kiss and make up?” IOW, no deal.
Regina, the Charmings, Hook and Belle meanwhile sought to use the crimson toadstool to summon Merlin, in part to solve the mystery of why Emma came back from Camelot as the Dark One. Thing is, someone “chosen” by the master sorcerer must work the magic — meaning Arthur, who in private sabotages their plan by throwing the ‘shroom into the fire pit. Little does he know, magic mushrooms don’t burn. Regina then realizes they have one other “chosen” option —
. Steadfastly believing his mom is somewhere inside Dark Emma, Henry obliged and summons a “voicemail” from Merlin, who says their only hope at this dire stage is someone named… Nimue.
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, showed off his magic-throwing swag in the course of freeing Lancelot, the Merida story
as slightly goofy as I feared — though it did offer Belle multiple opportunities to be clever, someone who knows enough about magic to make Merida (ahem) “enlist” her to help rescue her kidnapped bros from rival clansmen. You
to see where this was going (with Belle slipping Mer a placebo vs. bear potion), but the way the archer shot down the firing squad’s arrows was rather nifty. (Plus, the camera kinda loved Emilie de Ravin this whole episode, which never hurts.)
Meanwhile in Camelot, we got a tiny scene between Merlin and Emma, where — with the help of some Apollo bars — he reminds her of their long-ago first meeting. Emma raises the Q we all had (i.e. “How were you a movie usher if you were
?”), but he says what’s important is that he somehow got his message to her (even though she wouldn’t remember it without his prompting?). That although Excalibur was already been pulled from the stone, it will return to whence it came, so she must be mindful to leave it there. The fact that Emma, as we have seen, does
leave Excalibur be makes us wonder why she ultimately defies Merlin. Or is she operating on a secret agenda that merely
Enjoyed this episode very much. The Merida thing could be seen coming from a mile away but dang the hairy chested hottie clansman redeemed it a bit!
I know I’m going to get flamed for daring to suggest this, but I find Dark Swan boring, and was glad we were relieved of having too many scenes with her./ That being said, I loved the return to a character driven hour, and actually really enjoyed Thelma and Louise’s trip across the water to save her brothers. And those scenes with Belle and Rumple were the best of the season. But I don’t like the rest of the Scooby Gang basically being relegated to the peanut gallery with little of importance to contribute. Why bother spending all those seasons building up the Emma/Regina BFF relationship to waste Regina this season? I’m intrigued by what they have planned for Nimue, but at the same time, feel like did they really need to add yet another character? I’d much rather have seen the redeemed Evil Queen and the no-longer Dark One save Emma than a whole slew of newbies who won’t be around long enough for us to care about them.
Although they brought in “another character” to help with another piece of the puzzle, I’m fairly certain that the other character is merely a piece of the puzzle that will then bat it back to the main characters. The slew of newbies that won’t be around long enough for us to care about them usually provide supplementary information & strategies that benefit the normal team. In essence, the stories usually just springboard off of them.
Not a bad episode. Rumbelle-centric episodes are usually never my favorites. I just find the pairing quite dull sometimes, but it was an okay episode. The Brave-related stuff is so much more interesting for me to watch than the Camelot storyline. Just not really feeling the Camelot characters so far except for Merlin. I’d like to see more of him.
I can’t wait for the Regina/Hook journey episode and more of Hook’s back story. I feel like both he and Regina have been a bit underused so far this season. Even Emma too. After all the promotion for the Dark Swan over the summer, it still feels sometimes like we’ve barely seen much.
I liked that they addressed a lot of Rumple/Belle issues this week, including her asking the others, “Why do we give Dark Emma a fair shake but always condemn my not-sweetheart?”
Yeah, I agree with you there. The episode had some much-needed character work. My comment was more generally that I’m not as crazy about Rumbelle as others maybe. Although, I seriously hope she doesn’t forgive him right away. One of things that made Belle a much more interesting character last season for me was when she finally toughened up and pushed Rumple over the town line. Before that I found her to be incredibly dull. I want her to stay tough. Rumple cannot be so easily forgiven for the things he’s done. Saving her from Merida the Bear may have been a start, but that can’t be it. I hope we also get some more character development for Regina and Hook this season as well as I feel they’ve been underused. I’d love to even see some mother-daughter scenes with Emma and Dark Swan. Can’t recall the last time the two had a meaningful scene together.
I loved it! Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin always kill those emotional scenes!
Another good episode of as very good season so far
Merlin is HOT! I hope the producers keep him around. Give Hook some competition!!
I actually think he looks like Charles Michael Davis. I actually thought it was him at first and was wondering how would he do The Originals and this show, boy I was wrong
Merida was a complete bad-a$$ with that bow and arrow wasnt she! Love her!
The 3 guys that her parents tried to marry her off to were spot on from the movie. The blonde-haired guy!
Ugh, Belle is looking awful thin and sickly. I thought Emilie was pregnant?
ITA, they must have so much fun human-casting Pixar-y characters.
Good episode this one was, and that bear was really good CGI for OUAT.
Based on next weeks promo I am betting the next few episodes (there is only 6 left and one is a 2 hour episode so really just 5 more weeks) will be Emma trying to find the stuff she needs to put Excalibur together, and then the finale will be her with the full sword and her plan revealed as the winter finale cliffhanger.
Hoping I am wrong and we find out sooner but it is looking doubtful.
Yeah I want them to reveal her plan sooner. Clearly restoring Excalibur is one part of it. But I don’t have any guesses as to what her ultimate goal might be. She’s kind of embraced the darkness, so I don’t think it’s in her interest to stop herself from becoming the Dark One and going back to her old life.
Honestly, over the summer I was so excited for the Dark Swan, but ever since the hints about the Underworld and possibly bringing in Hercules/Megara in 5B, I just wanna bypass all this Camelot stuff and get there. It’s gonna feel like forever waiting till March for 5B
I think she is just appearing to be bad, but in reality she is helping the others defeat the darkness. They just don’t know that.
Totally agree. The Underworld has me so intrigued and I hope it’s true. Camelot has been a total waste beside’s introducing Merlin so I’ll be glad when that story stops. As for Emma’s plan after the sword is full, perhaps a full sword is what introduces the Underworld to OUAT? But then why would Emma want that.
Am I the only one who is not a fan of Rumple and Rumbelle???? The episode was ok, I enjoyed the Merida and Belle storyline, but I think DarkSwan is being underused, also her parents. I wamt to see more of them. In the early seasons we had great scenes between Emma and her mom, and Emma and her parents…. Now we’ve had two or three scenes between them. They are missing such an opportunity of exploring their relationship now that Emma is the Dark One.
And please don’t let Rumple be the one that defeats the DarkSwan.
I went on a YouTube adventure few days ago with clips of OUAT and the ones with Emma and her parents were great. Would love to see Dark Swan with her mom just having a chat – would be so good.
No, you aren’t. I’ve never been interested or invested in Rumbelle together or separately. But I do understand the purpose of this episode for them, both together and as individuals, and realistically I know the show can’t always be about my faves.
No you are not the only one who is not a Rumbelle fan. Their eps, together and seperate, generally bore me to tears. This one was helped by the Merida adventure, but not by much. The only saving grace of the ep was really the Regina/Charming scenes to help Dark Swan and the scenes Dark Swan was in. And Zelena!! Whooo, I love Bex!
We are going into episode 7 and I think it’s absurd that Dark Swan and The Charmings have not shared a scene in Storybrooke. Not one scene. What a missed opportunity for them to lecture her. Also absurd to me about this episode is Zelena knowing what Emma did to Henry in Camelot. I certainly don’t think Regina is a gossiper and as much as Snow has loose lips, even she wouldn’t want the town to look at her daughter in such a bad light, so that was dumb. (Oh, maybe it was that hobo Hood who blabbered. Yeah, probably.)
I don’t know if I’ve missed any hints about this, but I’m curious as to how Dark Swan as a former Savior differs from Rumple as Dark One. Didn’t the writers emphasize the fact that Emma is the Savior would mean she would be a much more different incarnation than the ones before her? But if so, in what way? Does being the Savior possible give her greater control over her darkness than Rumple would have had? For example. if it was Rumple, would he have just crushed Sneezy’s heart and killed him to make a point rather than turn him into stone that could easily be undone the way Emma did?
Maybe Emma’s Savior-ness will make her able to resist the darkness and destroy IT (rather than the light) like some fans have suggested.
Not my favorite episode there are now more questions than answers plus not enough Merlin in my opinion. I did love Emma & Zelena, Henry’s usefulness as the author and them realizing they can’t trust Arthur.
LOVED this episode. I thought it was great to see Belle point out the group (Snow, Charming, Regina, Rumple)’s hypocrocy, and I don’t consider myself to be a Rumbelle shipper. Not that I don’t like them, I just don’t have strong feelings about them one way or another. But I thought Belle was completely right because he had something actually making him evil – it’s not like he was in his right mind while doing some of his darker deeds. So I felt like it was a completely valid argument that Belle gave and she shot up about 100 points for me this week.
Emma’s reason for darkness is different though, it wasn’t for her own gain like it was for Regina and Rumple. She took in the darkness to save everyone else. That’s why I feel she’s different to Rumple and Regina, they wanted that dark power to for selfish reasons.
I thought this was a good episode. The scene with Zelena and Emma was probably the first time I enjoyed watching Dark Swan and though she did a good performance in that scene
I loved the opening scene with Merlin, Charming, and Hook (with Belle in tow) busting into the Camelot jail. Then it became a rather predictable snoozefest for me until the last 10 minutes. I’m not a Rumple fan, nor am I a huge fan of Brave, so I knew tonight’s episode wouldn’t be my cup of tea. I am, however, VERY intrigued by next week’s ep and I’m more convinced than ever that 5B is going to revolve around Greek mythology. Wasn’t it Prometheus who originally gave fire to man?
I was not so happy about seeing the Apollo bars return….makes me wonder if OUAT will go sideways….as Lost did towards the end.
I’m really hoping they have more control over this series.
although i really enjoyed the amount of merida/belle scenes, i rolled my eyes so hard during rumple’s “i’m a hero and none of the others are me” scene. holy cow that’s SO bad. certainly hope this isn’t what we have to endure from now on.
Dominique, it is going to be either exactly or worse it is going to be lol.
So basically they undervalued and undermined the original premise of Season 1. Rumple clearly injured himself not of cowardice, but because he wanted to be alive to father his child. Last week they totally undervalued Regina’s pain of seeing her fiancé murder in front of her to Henry’s 2 second crush on a girl. I swear OUAT can’t go an episode without some type of inconsistent characterization.
Anyway, is nobody going to point out how can Merlin, who is stuck in a tree, could somehow physically show himself to Emma as a child??????
Poor Belle is truly a writers prop. It would have been more interesting for her to pull out Excalibur since she has been useful in actually helping people so consistently. It just seems misogynistic that women do all the good deeds in the world and yet men continually reap the benefits and rewards (Hook, Rumple). Though Rumple has helped the heroes a lot, I just see the trend of male villains getting complete wipes of their past but yet Regina still acknowledge her low moral ground (like last episode) and still have to earn her redemption. It seems the fans and the writers don’t even see Hook as some villain.
Anyway, I hate that Belle yet again gets stuck with the guest stars who will disappear after the 12 episode, I wish she was more integrated in the circle of “heroes” but alas, Belle is a prop. So far she has been victimized by Hook, Rumple, Regina, Emma, Zelena, Merida in some shape, form, and capacity. That’s OUAT for you.
These people can’t write for saving their own life! Make Rumple a hero? Good! Perfect! But at the very least try a little harder! Write something epic! Something that seams real!
Rumple has one good day and can pull the sword from the stone. Ridiculous.
Agreed. I feel like 45 minutes was not enough time and a bit too rushed.
Ridiculous. Guy does evil deeds for hundreds of years, get a clear blank state, does one good deed of saving his damsel in distress, he’s epic hero now. I love my Rumple, but he is going through the “Hook whitewash” phase now. Ridiculous.
Or Regina whitewash. But for me it’s not about ships or favourite characters anymore. It’s about writing.
The execution was really really poor. He just threw conveniently placed magic stuff at a bear. In a moment that could be considered self-preservation even if he came back for Belle. All in 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES. At least with Regina and Hook they have the decency to use nealy 3 seasons.
Don’t get me wrong, I like that Rumple is trying to change, but one heroic act doesn’t automatically make you a hero.
My poor Regina suffered too, like how Belle should confront her about the heart situation but A&E forgot about that. No character or plot point can escape the wrath of OUAT’s writing crew lol.
I loved this episode. First one in a long time. Hoping for more of Rumple and Belle in the future.
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