The episode begins with Merlin, Hook, Charming, and Belle rescuing Lancelot and Merida back in Camelot. Merida eventually knocks Belle out when they are separated in the escape. Back in Storybrooke, Regina, Mary Margaret, and David want to talk to Merlin via the Crimson Crown. They seek out King Arthur as they need someone who has been once chosen by Merlin. Arthur asks to be alone to talk to Merlin and ends up burning the Crown (remember, he’s a bad guy).
Over with Dark Swan, Rumplestiltskin is tied up because of Emma and Merida. He breaks the beloved Chip cup to cut himself free. He gets to Belle in the city library, but points out how cowardly he is. They get over to his pawn shop by Belle telling how she can see through his cowardice to who he really is. But, Emma sends Belle to go try to kill Belle in order to make Rumple into a brave hero.
In Camelot six weeks ago, Merida has kidnapped Belle so that she can make a potion to turn Merida into a bear to defeat clansmen that have kidnapped her brothers. Her story plays out where Belle switches potions so that Merida can prove to the clansmen that she is the rightful ruler. She proves it with her archery ability, and didn’t have to be a bear for it.
So, back in Storybrooke, Merida does try to kill Belle and Rumple. The not so happy couple flee, with Rumple grabbing anti-transformation powder to protect them as they cross Storybrooke city limits. Belle makes him stop by getting out of the car, and runs away from him…again. Merida catches up to her, turns into a bear (this time) and Rumple catches up to both of them. As he defends Belle, he is about to get eaten, or killed, or whatever…but Rumple throughs the powder into Merida’s bear mouth, and she turns back.
The random interlude that comes up is Emma taking Zelena to try to convince the Wicked Witch to help her. There’s some dialogue over whether people can always forgive, and Zelena refuses to help Emma.
With Rumple now being a hero, he makes a deal with Emma that he will pull Excalibur out of the stone if she returns Merida’s heart (which she took to control Merida). Emma agrees, heart is returned, sword out of the stone, and Rumple points out something big: he’s now a hero. Emma comments on how there are plenty of heroes and they haven’t stopped her. But, Rumple retorts that they are not him.
Back with Regina, Mary, and David, they start to clean up the supposedly failed Crimson Crown experiment (which Arthur told them didn’t work). And they find the Crown slightly singed. Now they know Arthur is evil, and figure out another person that has been chosen by Merlin – the author. Enter Henry, and he is able to make the spell work. A message from Merlin does appear and he tells them they must find someone named Nimue in order to defeat the Dark One.
This episode wasn’t the most intense or most revealing, but still good. What I liked most is how things are really set in motion. What I don’t like is where the motion is moving to.
I’ll say what I liked first.
The twist of Rumple becoming a hero adds to the huge about face this season has made. Dark Emma has been just terrific. Hero Rumple is going to be quite interesting.
Merlin being powerful, but not too powerful is a good depiction of the character for the show. I thought he would be the ultimate answer to everything, and the show would seemingly be done. Not the case. But, it’s clear from a flashback with Emma that he is quite powerful to communicate through space and time. And he wields magic far better than anyone we’ve seen in the show.
Rumple and Belle’s moments of her truly knowing him were touching and well done. Despite it being the constant dialogue of their relationship, it’s still endearing and has seem to come to the healthy conclusion…at least of what they’ve gone back and forth on for like four seasons.
Finally, having Arthur as a villain known in both past and present is refreshing. No more of the “how can they not tell?” nonsense. It’s forward motion now.
Introducing a new key someone is a faux pas at this point, I think. Who is Nimue? I don’t care at this point. Either let Emma be Dark Swan or turn her good again. But, do it with those already known. Get Merlin out of the tree or leave him and still solve the problem. But, when you reuse the cliffhanger you used at the end of last season it has immediately gotten old. The main crew was searching for Merlin. Let that be enough.
I know there’s something with Zelena being asked for help from Emma, but it was way too inserted in at random to make any sense at this point. I’m sure we’ll remember the dialogue in a later episode when it gets flushed out, but give them more than one scene to help us connect some dots.
Lastly, Merida scenes I have a hard time with. Maybe it’s her thick accent, but I haven’t found them too amusing. It seems like it’s mostly done, but I wish they could have done better with it all.
Overall I liked the episode, but it wasn’t the strongest of the season. It wasn’t the slowest either. Just in the middle. I liked that we are advancing even more now. I don’t know how to take the Nimue stuff. Let’s get on with it all even more! Still, the touching moments with Rumple and Belle made up for ongoing Merida/Rumple fights. And the actors and actresses performances have been stellar this season. It all makes this episode still great, despite its slow moments.
Yeah, I’m making a new section to my reviews.
Like I was saying with Zelena, there’s something in what she’s saying that will come back to haunt Emma. In particular that Henry may not forgive Emma easily.
With Merida sticking around and knowing Mulan is set to come back for an episode, I wonder if there will be something between them. The reason is that Merida keeps saying she was being forced to marry in general but doesn’t say if she wants to get married at all or with who. Could it be she doesn’t want to marry a man? Just a speculation.
I’m wondering if Arthur doesn’t have a touch of the Dark One himself. We know he’s not the Dark One currently, but maybe he gets a hold of the dagger and starts commanding Emma to attack Merlin.
We’ll find out if I’m right or wrong in future episodes of the season, but for now, what do you think about this episode? What do you think will be happening?