1. Gold showed that he's willing to fight his cowardice for Belle. Do you think he will triumph over his demons and become the hero he's always wanted to be?
Teresa: I'm not sure his demons will go away, but I believe he will be heroic. Both Belle and Bae have already inspired him to do some of the most heroic acts seen in the series. I think that Belle's life being on the line will once again bring out the best in him. As for the cowardice, Gold to me is not coming off as a coward, but rather displaying a natural reaction to being in a "Misery"- like situation. Moreover, his apparent bat-s&%^ crazy kidnappers keep taunting him--a cripple-- to fight. It's like "Mean Girls" on crack! I'd be freaking too. Hence I need more information about any "cowardice" the characters say he needs to overcome. But will he fight for Belle? Oh heck yes!
Lori: I think it's within him to be heroic in the moment of dire need. I believe (and hope) that the Rumple who let go of his son's hand over a portal has evolved. But conquering his demons and making heroic choices with deliberate thought is harder.
Amy: Perhaps. I think he can do just about anything for Belle, but I don't see him staying completely without magic forever.
Francesca: I do think he will triumph because his love for Belle is strong and we saw his emotions when Merida showed him the chipped cup. But I still do not think he will be the hero in the end to help Emma with removing Excalibur from the stone.
2. Each Dark One seems to have an object that defines them. With Rumplestiltskin it was his spinning wheel: he spun straw into gold to "forget." With Emma it is dreamcatchers. What do you think the dreamcatchers represent to her in her Dark One persona?
Lori: I think it represents the innocence and happiness that she had with Neal--her first real happiness, and so it is very symbolic to her.
Amy: I think it represents the core of who she is. It is a symbol from her past, which has always been dear to her. By holding onto/making them, it keeps her sane. Rumple spun to forget, I think its the opposite with Emma. i think she wants to remember and makes the dreamcatchers to be a reminder of who she is.
Francesca: This is a hard question because I really don't get Dark Emma. Rumplestiltskin as portrayed by Robert Carlyle had so much depth that you enjoyed the journey watching him as the Dark One and trying to figure what was in his head. I'm afraid that Jennifer Morrison's portrayal as the Dark One is flat and one dimensional, so I have no answer to this question.
Teresa: I immediately thought of Neal. It was all about that moment in "Tallahassee" with the dreamcatcher and all that it represented: the bad (abandonment), but also the good (Henry) that came from it all.
3. We saw Henry step up to be both a hero to Violet and honest with his feelings for her. Thoughts on these scenes and where the romance may lead.
Lori: I loved the exploration of young, blossoming love between the two of them, and the family dynamic that it caused is a reminder of the humanity of the characters. It was another blow to have Dark Emma manipulate that--again, we expect it from Rumple, but it's still a shock from Emma, and that's what makes it so effective.
Amy: It was super cute. Zach also pointed out an interesting tidbit...Violet's dress on the "date" was the same dress (without sleeves) that Emma was wearing in Snow's vision of young Emma ripping her heart out. I feel like that was a hidden hint that Emma was controlling her there. Kind of a neat tidbit once you find out Emma had her heart and really was :) No idea where this is leading, but I feel like Violet might be a major player coming up.
Francesca: I thought that the scenes with Henry were truly the best part of this episode. Jared is always convincing as Henry as he is growing into a fine young man. If they show the core cast in Storybrooke then, yes, I think the romance could blossom with Violet because she sees him as her hero. I really wish they would stick to one timeline, like last week's episode going back and forth makes me feel that I am on a roller coaster ride.
Teresa: These scenes were easily the strongest we've seen in a long time. I like the character of Henry, but I had no inkling that Jared would blow me away with the range of emotions he displayed. My mother's heart was elated and bleeding for him. Once has a strong set of core characters and the show becomes great when they are used and allowed to "speak." The moments with Henry's mothers advising him, as well as the mention of Neal as the father he misses, touched me. When it was later learned that Emma actually ripped out Violet's heart (a child!) just to make her boy cry convinced me in a way never before that she is The Dark One now. I hope Violet sticks around. She is the perfect "lady" for the Heart of the Truest Believer as he grows into a young man.
4. Merlin arrived! What do you think of his origins flashback? Who was that first Dark One?
Amy: I think Merlin's dark side was the first Dark One, or that it was his lover, Nimue. I think Violet is their child. Maybe Merlin tried to get rid of his darkness and it consumed Nimue, making her dark. I don't think she died because he said that the darkness "Destroyed her," not killed her.
Francesca: I think the first Dark One was Merlin's first love. The Mask looked like a feminine face. That is the reason she did not kill him, but turned him into the tree.
Teresa: I am almost on board with the theory going around that the first Dark One is The Blue Fairy. That would explain a lot of her actions in the series. Fairies can't love, and sisters do not marry. Unlike the other fairies/sisters, she never seems happy in either vocation, and was eager to sabotage Nova and Dreamy. Her experiences with Merlin could explain that.
Lori: I don't trust him. His "sure" to Emma did not ring right with me. I also agree that the Dark One in the scene is his lover transformed.
5. Favorite Moments.
Teresa: When Henry cried! Wow! That emotional center of Henry is what glues the show together. And when Rumple went "Rumple" as Merida threatened the Chipped Cup. This was a strong throwback to "Skin Deep" and brought out the raw passion that Robert Carlyle so masterfully infuses into his character.
Amy: Emma in the Dreamcatcher room, and Emma and Henry in the car was perfect. I also loved the Regina/Emma/Henry family moment just before Emma used light and dark magic to free Merlin.
6. Favorite Quote:
Amy, Teresa: Did you learn those big words in Sheppard school?-Regina
Amy: I loved how this touched back to the end to the pilot, but Emma and Regina were at completely different places now. I also adore the Dark Swan, and how we are getting to see that she is keeping up a Dark front. I think someone in town is watching and she doesn't know who, or where, but in the end, everything she is doing is for good and not evil.
Teresa: The tributes and connections with the important relationships in core characters' lives made this a solid episode. There were moments for all fans. This led to an hour which tugged at the heart and made me care again.