Last week OUAT got to a huge start with Emma Swan turning into the Dark One and the group going to Camelot to try to save her by finding Merlin. Then it ended with a return to Storybrooke with missing memories…again.
This week the story continues as everyone tries to find out what happened to the memories, why Emma has embraced her Dark Oneness, and how things seem to have gotten worse.
The episode begins with the dwarves seeing what this new curse has for Storybrooke. They drive to the border and Dopey steps across, despite the warnings of Snow, Charming, and Regina. Things seem ok, but then Dopey turns into a tree. Poor Dopey.
In a flashback to Camelot 6 weeks ago, the crew are presented at the court there. Zelena is still in tow with all of them, since she was in Granny’s when it was transported to the new land. And that was about all the cameo she had. Back with the rest, Emma’s still fighting the Dark One. Hook is trying desperately to keep her from using dark magic.
Though things go back and forth between Storybrooke and Camelot, I’ll continue on with Camelot a little more. The Savior has been prophesied to release Merlin, who may be in a tree. When asked which of the group is the Savior, Regina chimes up before Emma can. The reason is that Emma will have to use dark magic if revealed to be the Savior.
Regina posing as the good one of the group sets in motion great celebration and a knight who suspects something else. He spies on the group through a flame thing, and all proceed to the ball. There the knight cuts in to dance with Regina and reveals he recognizes her from her Evil Queen days. He tries to kill her, but Robin Hood steps in, and is stabbed instead. The sword was enchanted, intending to kill the magical Evil Queen.
Robin is dying, and Regina’s more good magic cannot heal him. She asks Emma if she’ll use magic to heal him. In her head is the Dark One in the form of Rumplestiltskin, who tells her that the magic comes with a price and should be told to Regina before performing. Emma doesn’t and heals Robin.
So, what is this price? Well, it was supposed to be a life, as during the construction of a tent Camelot in Storybrooke a fury takes Robin away. Regina must find a way to save Robin, though she’s been struggling in her new role as the substitute Savior.
Meanwhile, Hook, after talking to Belle, believes true love’s kiss will reform Emma. When he tries it, nothing happens and she says there’s nothing to fix because she’s embraced who she is now. Furthermore, she doesn’t think the rest have embraced who she is.
Meanwhile meanwhile, Henry may have a girlfriend.
The way that the Fury is defeated is with Regina offering to give her life instead. Mary Margaret/Snow, Charming, and Leroy/Grumpy join hands to give themselves too. The fury is thrown back and dissipated from the energy connection…or something. Nevertheless, Robin is safe, and things keep going.
In a flashback to Camelot, King Arthur and Guinevere speak to each other, and it’s revealed that Arthur wants the Dark One dagger to reunite it with Excalibur in order to maintain kingship. In Storybrooke, Excalibur is missing. Or is it…
In the end scene, it’s revealed that Emma has the legendary sword in her basement. The Dark One in her head says that she can do what no other Dark One has been able to: snuff out the light. To do this, there is a price to get Excalibur out of the stone again, and unite it with the dagger. But, if she does, she will be rid of family, friends, love, and any other light relationship. The interesting thing is she seems to pine after this though obviously outcasted because of her current role.
Once Upon A Time has always been about twisting the fairy tales and legendary stories we know. But, this season seems to twist the established characters we know. Regina and Emma have clearly switched places, and there are scenes that emphasize this. Emma’s look into Granny’s when everyone is having a good time is something Regina once did. Regina’s desperation for Robin Hood, and her willingness to sacrifice are things Emma has had. It’s an entire switch.
Relationships between the characters are stronger than they have been in the past season. We get to see more of how the dynamics of them play out in various situations. There’s truer family and friends this season.
King Arthur is an interesting character, and it’s hard to tell what his desire with Excalibur is. He doesn’t seem to be the villain, but who knows.
I really wasn’t sure about what this episode would hold before I watched. There’s no clear idea to where the season is going. But, this did not disappoint. Some revelations were made, but there’s still plenty of mystery that keeps me going in anticipating the further episodes. I like the writing of Regina and Emma. I love their portrayals. It’s great to see the side characters a little more again. But, I will say the rest of the cast needs something more. Hook and Belle seem lackluster now.
Still, it’s early in the season to see how things will turn out. I wouldn’t say this was as strong as the season premier, but I think that was a hard one to follow. This wasn’t bad, but not quite the best. It’s stronger than a lot of other episodes in the season. Definitely worth watching and enough to keep someone going for the show!
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