Recap and Analysis By Joanne Denney - @Dragonlady755
Zelena learns the hard way that love is sacrifice. In this episode, we are shown the difference between four couples. On one side, Emma, Killian, Regina and Robin are willing to do anything to save their partner. In stark contrast, Hades and Rumple selfishly put their wants and desires before the needs of their lovers, Zelena and Belle.
Hades, Zelena and Baby Hood arrive back in Storybrooke. Zelena worries that Regina has not returned as well. Hades reassures her that Regina will soon return. Zelena questions why they're hiding out in the woods rather than returning to the town. Hades explains that Snow White still thinks of them as villains and that it's not safe for them. Zelena tells him that she will convince Snow White that love has changed Hades and has him take the baby to Regina's office where it will be safe.
After Zelena departs, Hades is surprised by King Arthur running towards him in handcuffs. He’s escaped from the Storybrooke jail. Arthur tries to convince Hades that he was unjustly imprisoned and is a king. Hades helps Arthur to his feet, acknowledging that they have a lot in common. He too was imprisoned and should rule over the kingdom. Hades introduces himself to Arthur as the god of death and tells Arthur that he will need his help in ruling Storybrooke. He then snaps Arthur's neck.
As we get closer and closer to the season finale, Once Upon a Time is definitely raising the stakes for all of our favorite Storybrooke residents. This week, we got more insight into Emma's past while in current time her future became more uncertain. Hades proved to be even more devious than we thought, and Rumple pulled a fast one, putting him back in our good graces.
The flashback this week was all about Emma. We met Cleo, a bailbonds woman who finds Emma with the intention of taking her back to Phoenix for skipping bail. Cleo gives Emma some leeway and decides to let her stay in town one more day to try and find out more information about where and who left her when she was a baby. Unfortunately for Emma, there isn't anything new for her to learn, but the two women strike up a begrudging sort of friendship in the short time they have together. As it turns out, Cleo gave up a daughter for adoption and can feel for Emma's struggle. In a moment of advice that will start Emma on a journey to who we know her as now, Cleo tells Emma that she has to protect herself, that the jacket she herself wears is armor and Emma should find a way to protect herself as well. She also tells Emma that she needs to let go of the struggle to understand why she was abandoned and move on. Cleo is hurt after she and Emma escape the police while searching records and Emma is forced to leave her bleeding and presumably dead in an alleyway.
In this week's episode, we were treated to a bit of sibling rivalry. Brother vs. brother and sister vs. sister. And we got a reunion that was a long time coming. Plus, a Mills family secret was revealed! We also got two new additions in Ava Acres as Young Regina and Isabella Blake-Thomas as Young Zelena, playing their counterparts spot-on.
We start off with a car tearing down the road. It is Hades' car, with Zelena as his passenger. “I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire” is playing. Hades is taking her on a date, which she wasn't expecting. He shows her the town he made for her saying she deserves more, the real thing. Hades wants to go to the real Storybrooke and have wants a future with Zelena. He then goes on to say the Underworld will still exist after he leaves, and all our heroes will be trapped there. Everyone's name has a tombstone now. “It's her or us,” meaning Regina, Hades whispers. He then drops to one knee, saying, “Will you make chaos with me?”
In this episode, Belle learns that sometimes the end justifies the means. A hero can't always be compassionate and forgiving. They have to do whatever it takes to protect their loved ones, even if it is unpleasant.
Belle meets her father, Maurice, in the stables. He presents her with a new suitor, Gaston, who is a great hunter of animals and women. Belle has heard of him and is not very impressed with his reputation.Maurice tells Belle that there's more at stake than her preferences in suitors, Gaston’s army could help protect their kingdom from the ogres.Belle argues with her father, and they are interrupted by the appearance of Gaston, a charming and confident young man.He flatters Belle and admits that his reputation isn't the best.She decides to give him a chance, and they go for a walk together in the woods.
The Brothers Jones Recap by Leigh Ann (@leigh_ann415)
This week's episode had a much-awaited reunion between Emma and Hook, but not without complications from older brother, Liam. We also see more of the Brothers Jones' past. And Henry takes matters into his own hands.
We start off with Henry and Cruella riding in Cruella's car. They are trying to find the quill. Cruella tells him they are looking for some kind of sign. Henry then sees a bright red light off in the distance and asks Cruella to stop. Henry sneaks away from Cruella and bumps into the Apprentice. The Apprentice tells him that Henry is his unfinished business, and he's here to tell Henry not to resurrect Cruella, that it would be a terrible mistake. Henry is in disbelief that the pen can bring someone back, unlike what the Apprentice told him before. He replies that the rules are a little more flexible in the Underworld. The Apprentice says he should record the stories as they are, but Henry says he is sick of the stories, and being on the sidelines. He wants to help Emma, not Cruella. The Apprentice then says that the quill is in the Sorcerer's mansion, protected by a spell, but he needs a key to find it, which the sheriff took. If Henry can find the key, the quill is his.
In this episode we see another chapter in the difficult marriage of Rumple and Milah. There is also a Captain Swan reunion and a tender moment for Regina. Finally, Hades makes a deal with the Dark One.
First we see Hades torturing Hook who refuses to choose who must stay in the Underworld. Hades threatens to throw him into the River of Lost Souls as punishment. He is particularly unhappy that Hook's friends brought Hope to the Underworld.
Rumple arrives at the Underworld Pawn Shop where he finds a note from Pan telling him that the shop is his to use. He brews up a potion and uses a crystal ball to find "who he seeks" and has a vision of Belle. She seems happy and well, but for some reason Rumple becomes upset and he drops the ball which shatters to pieces.
Meanwhile, Regina, Hook, Emma and the Charmings are cleaning up the apartment after Cerberus' attack. They are making more plans to go rescue Hook. Rumple shows up and tells them that he has decided to help them after all because it's the only way they will ever get out of the Underworld. His plan involves just himself, Emma and a "helpful dead person".
In "Labor of Love", Snow gets her groove back. We learn about her meeting a childhood friend, Hercules, and how he helped her gain confidence by training her to use a bow.
In an underground prison, a bloody and beaten Hook awakes and tries to stand up. He is warned by another prisoner, a young woman, not to move. “It’s just a trick. He wants you to think that you can escape, but you can't,” she tells Hook with despair. But Hook is convinced that Emma is coming for him and he must do everything he can to help her find him. He convinces the other prisoner to escape. As they run through the dark tunnels, they hear growling and then see a set of red glowing eyes, and then another set and another. It is Cerberus, the three-headed Hell hound. Hook distracts the beast, and sends the young woman out with a message for Emma about his location.
The winter hiatus is over and the first episode up was definitely worth the wait. Once Upon a Time turned 100 this week and a carriage full of guest stars turned up for the landmark episode. In a moment that many fans had hoped for, Neal returned to warn Emma of the dangers ahead. He assured her that he isn't in the Underworld and is in a place where he is happy. The meeting took place in the yellow bug, near a roller coaster, suggesting that Neal's Heaven is his younger days with Emma. This moment also gave Emma the ability to tell Henry later in the episode, when he was trying to find Neal at Underworld Granny's, that his father was happy
The flashback this week centered around the events of Regina's birthday. Unhappy with her inability to kill Snow White, she wants only for her birthday to be over. Henry Sr., always the concerned father, asks Sydney/Magic Mirror to summon Cora so he can speak to her through the mirror in an Enchanted Forest to Wonderland trans-realm call. Cora uses this chance to escape the mirror and, in her twisted motherly way, gets the one thing Regina really wanted for her birthday: Snow's heart. In an effort to save Regina's soul and keep her from going dark forever, Henry Sr. steals back the heart and returns it to Snow. This is only revealed when Regina goes to crush it and instead of being in pain, Snow simply laughs off Jiminy (getting a little fresh) who had been stuck in her tuffets. Furious, Regina shrinks Henry Sr. and puts him in a box, which Mommy Dearest Cora grabs just before she is banished through the looking glass and back to Wonderland.
The winter finale of Once Upon a Time was full of heart-wrenching, epic moments sure to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Add to that a twist that nobody saw coming and a cliffhanger to keep us wanting more. Adam and Eddy did not disappoint with the writing of this episode. With stellar performances from the entire cast, most notably Jennifer Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue, “Swan Song” proved to be an episode for the record books.
Our tale starts off with a flashback on a ship in a raging storm. It cuts to a young Killian, obviously frightened. He yells for his father when the flame flickers out in the lamp. We are then introduced to Brennan Jones, Hook's father. He tells Killian it's all right because he's there, and relights the lamp. He tells Killian there's nothing to be afraid of. “Whenever you feel scared, all you have to do is look inside,” pointing to his heart, “We're all braver than we think, if we just look deep enough.” He then goes on to say that he's trying to prepare Killian for becoming a man, and what kind of man is he going to be. Young Killian thinks about that for a minute, and then says he wants to be just like his father. His father smiles and says that's a nice answer. Then he tucks Killian back into bed, telling him to find that brave part deep inside himself. And he doesn't have to worry about anything; his father will watch the light for him.
Sometime later, Killian awakens, and the light is out again. He knows something is wrong, so he gets out of bed and goes over to wake Liam, his brother. He says that their father is gone. He opens the door, and a man walks in saying, “Looking for your father? Look out there; he rowed away an hour ago.” The man goes on to then say Killian's father isn't who he thinks, he's a fugitive from the law. Killian obviously doesn't believe the man, asking “Why would he leave us?” The man goes on to say, “He traded you and your brother into my service.” Killian is furious saying, “No, he wouldn't do that.” And the stranger says now he knows what kind of man his father really is.
Broken Heart Recap by Teresa Martin (Teresa__Martin)
Once Upon a Time delivered an intense, devastating episode this week. The full truth of what happened in Camelot was revealed, and Hook embraced his Dark Side in a way not yet seen on the series.
The Camelot portion of the story begins with Hook being reborn as the Dark One. As he transforms, unresolved issues flash before his eyes: hatred for Rumple, losing Milah, Rumple cutting off his hand and later ripping out his heart, and Emma choosing to become The Dark One. To his horror, Hook emerges from this state realizing not only is he alive, but that "Rumple" is inside his head. This "Dark Vision" though wins him over by promising that he can help him get final revenge on Rumplestiltskin.
Hook and Emma have bitter confrontations as the former unleashes on the latter for her decision to make him Dark. Several scenes play out where Hook's anger and Emma's declarations of love abound, and it all climaxes with Hook tricking Emma. In Granny's diner, he has Merlin's heart. Hook wishes to cast The Dark Curse so that he can return to Storybrooke and kill Rumple. Nimue takes over the Dark One form and states a new curse is eminent for, on Hook's behalf, she will kill the thing she loves most: Merlin. Though technically it will be Hook who crushes the heart, it will work because Nimue lives in all Dark Ones. Despite Emma's pleas, Hook crushes Merlin's heart, killing him. However, before the purple cloud reaches them, Emma knocks Hook out and uses the dreamcatchers to take his and everyone's memories, Emma tells DarkVisionRumple that all of it was her fault so she will fix it alone.
Recap by Joanne Denney @Dragonlady755 What does it take to be a good leader? Do you have to do whatever it takes no matter what or do you have to be willing to sacrifice? In this episode, Merida seeks knowledge on how to lead her people and save them from a witch’s curse. She also discovers her father’s killer in the process.
Zelena transports Arthur to Camelot after being defeated by Merlin and Emma. Arthur thinks that his knights can overcome the Charmings and Emma if properly motivated. He asks Zelena how far her magic can transport them since he knows of a magical object that can help them in DunBroch.
In DunBroch, Merida lays flowers at her father's grave after saving her brothers and proving that she is fit to be queen. But she still worries that she cannot rule over the clans. Her father made it look so easy, and Merida wishes that her father were there so that she can ask how he did it. Her mother reassures her that her father is always with her. It is her coronation day.
Would you want to know the truth, no matter how terrible the answer? Captain Hook has relentlessly pursued Emma to learn what happened in Camelot that turned her to the dark side. In this episode, Emma’s dark secret revealed, and we witness not one, but two births.
As the episode begins, Charming, Hook, and Robin arrive at Arthur's camp and confront him on why he tried to burn the Crimson Crown and the identity of Nimue. Arthur attempts to flee cutting his way through the tent. Hook and Arthur tussle. When Killian loses his weapon, Arthur brings his sword downward only to be blocked by Emma with Excalibur. She has appeared out of nowhere to save Killian. Arthur realizes that Excalibur is finally whole before Emma knocks him out.
Hook demands to know from Emma about Nimue and why she wants Excalibur. Emma finally confesses that she's doing it all for him and then disappears.
How far will a man go to save his people? In this episode of Once Upon a Time, King Arthur is faced with the dilemma of a broken sword and a broken kingdom. A king’s got to do what a king’s to do to win at all costs. David is also facing the dilemma of trying to save his daughter, Emma, from Dark forces. Does he sacrifice his hero’s glory for his child’s sake? Each man’s decision on how to face the problem is a drastic contrast to the other. The episode begins in Camelot many years ago when Arthur and Guinevere are childhood playmates. Arthur tells a secret to Guinevere that Merlin is trapped in a tree, and that Merlin spoke to him, giving him a prophecy that he would pull a sword from a stone and become king of Camelot.
This week Once Upon a Time was an hour of action that ended with a couple of surprising twists. The story focused on Charming and his need to feel useful when his loved ones are in danger. I thought it was a nicely written episode with a script that was tighter than a pair of David's Storybrooke jeans.
The story opens in Present Day Storybrooke where we find six of our favorite dwarves whistling a familiar tune as they mine for Fairy Dust. Suddenly, the Dark Swan shows up and steals Happy's pick axe. Then we flashback to Camelot where Regina, still pretending to be the Savior, is frantically studying Merlin's spell books and trying to concoct a potion to free him from the tree. Belle, Mary Margaret and Emma are all searching Merlin's tower for clues and ideas. A stray comment from Belle and a suggestion from Mary Margaret gives Regina a flash of inspiration. If she can't transform Merlin back from a tree, maybe they can still find a magical means of communicating with him. She finds just the spell she needs, but it requires a special ingredient: Crimson Crown, a very rare form of toadstool. Charming has been tending Baby Neal throughout this exchange. Arthur walks in and says that Crimson Crown can be found in the Forest of Eternal Night. Fired up by the additional testosterone in the room, Charming tosses the baby to Mary Margaret, gets suited up for battle and with Arthur by his side sets off on the Quest to find the Crimson Crown.
Season 5 is off to a running start and the break-neck speed continued in this week’s episode, "The Price". Longtime fans of the show know that the title is reflective of Rumple’s frequent warning that “All Magic Comes With A Price.” We discovered this week that it is not just Rumple who asks payment in return for magic, but every act of dark magic requires it, no matter who requests it. The residents of Storybrooke are trapped in the town once again by a curse. This time it is Emma, the new resident Dark One, who has cast it. The group of heroes who traveled to Camelot six weeks prior have no memory of what happened, and anyone trying to cross the town line is changed into a tree. (Alas, poor Dopey. His bravery in testing the town line will be remembered). Similarly, this is reflected by Merlin’s predicament in Camelot, as we see in a flashback that he is trapped in, or as, a giant weeping willow.
The Dark Swan Recap by Zach Van Norman--@TheZachVan
Emma's reign as the Queen of Darkness began in the Season Five premiere of Once Upon A Time. Dark times ahead? Oh yeah. Mystery and intrigue? Check. Awesome costumes? Always. Here's what happened when "The Dark Swan" landed in Storybrooke.
Picture this: Minneapolis, 1989. Young Emma (wearing red plaid) goes to a showing of The Sword in the Stone. After she steals Apollo candy bars from a nearby patron, a young man in a red blazer appears; he says she will one day have the chance to remove Excalibur from the stone, but she must leave it alone. In Camelot, Arthur and Lancelot ride to Excalibur, its location the subject of a prophecy made by Merlin. Arthur removes the sword and the tip is missing, but the blade carries the beginnings of a familiar serpentine shape: the Dark dagger is made from the end of Excalibur.
Meanwhile, our heroes in Storybrooke, shocked over Emma’s sacrifice, attempt to summon Emma with the dagger but she does not appear. Regina realizes that she’s in another world. The Apprentice tells them she has gone to the Enchanted Forest and gives them a wand that will open a portal. Next we see Emma emerge from the Vault of the Dark One. The Darkness manifests itself in Emma’s head as the form of Rumplestiltskin, attempting to trick Emma into using Dark magic, so she leaves to find Merlin. Along the way Darknesstiltskin succeeds in getting Emma to use Dark magic and she meets Merida, who is chasing a will o’ the wisp which can lead Emma to Merlin.