Once Upon a Time “The Price” RECAP

This week, everyone’s favorite Dark One saved an Outlaw and raised a little Hell. Not to mention Regina learned to waltz, Henry’s got a crush, Robin got stabbed, Hook’s itchin’ for a True Love’s Kiss, we got yet another lesson in the price of Magic and Rumple’s still comatose! Whew, all that happened, and then some.

It was off to work they go as the dwarves made Dopey the guinea pig to test the across-the-town-line waters.  Sadly, we’re down yet another dwarf; one is a statue and the other is now a tree.  They turn into a tree though? Interesting choice Dark Swan.  But it does seem to be a bit of a theme in this episode…

In Camelot, the Storybrooke brigade made their way into King Arthur’s castle, being greeted by the Queen, Guinevere.  Of course, our Royals, Charming and Snow, led the exchange of pleasantries.  They seemed a bit starstruck, no? I’d like to think King Arthur and Guinevere were also legends in the Enchanted Forest and Snowing are just genuinely geeking out.  They, along with the rest of the brigade, are cordially invited to a ball, as this is of course a fairytale land and balls are a requirement.

Meanwhile Hook, still driven by the power of love to save Emma, quickly grows restless of the chit-chatting asking Arthur when the bloody hell the quest for Merlin will begin.  Turns out Merlin has just been chillin’ in a tree in the castle’s backyard for centuries. Why did no one just try cutting it down? Burning it down? Shaking it till he falls out? So many options! C’mon Arthur, you’re failing.  David explains to Arthur and his knights that they need Merlin’s help to save their realm from the Dark One.  Arthur admits he knows of this “demon” and that the only way they can free Merlin is with the Savior’s light magic.  So will the real Savior please stand up (please stand up)? Before Emma can step forward, Regina grips the dagger, stopping Emma in her tracks before proclaiming that she herself is the Savior.  Clever move, your Majesty.  If Emma were to take responsibility as the Savior, Arthur would expect her to wield light magic, which she of course doesn’t have anymore and  would subsequently reveal her true identity of the Dark One.

Back in Storybrooke (and six weeks later), Hook visits Belle, questioning her about the power of True Love’s Kiss.  My heart melted as the fact that he believes their love is True Love (don’t mind me, just over here crying because Killian is so sweet and devoted and passionate #CaptainSwanForever).   Belle gives him some words of wisdom…

“It’s far easier to hate the Dark One than it is to love one”

Wisdom shmisdom.  Don’t give up Killian! Bless his heart he goes straight to her little yellow car….

“Where are you? Don’t make me summon you, Swan”

Emma poofs in, dressed in  little black dress (loving her wardrobe this season), vanishing along with Hook to a house, her house.  She finally got her own place! Hallelujah! They can finally get down to business! Too bad this show has. never. had. a sex. scene. before. because. its. a. family. show.  But better late than never right, Eddie & Adam?  I hear crickets.  Damn. Anyways, back at Casa Swan, Hook and Emma are finally alone post-Dark Swan-rising.  There is a clear distance between the two of them, on Hooks side of things at least.  He never truly makes eye contact with her. When he does it’s clear to us that he doesn’t feel he is looking into the eyes of his beloved but someone else, someone so dark, the polar opposite of the woman he fell so deeply in love with (→Scene Breakdown).  Emma acts completely normal, just casually showing her boyfriend her new house.  

“Just because I’m the dark one, doesn’t mean we can’t still be together”

True, but, Hook desperately wants the old Emma back.  He kisses her passionately in hopes that True Love’s kiss will fix her. She however is unfazed, leaving Hook shocked and heartbroken.  His soft “Why didn’t it work” as he studied Emma waiting for her go back to normal just about killed me.  He was so genuinely let down, crushed. I was crushed.  Emma gets a bit defensive, questioning why everyone can’t just accept her as the Dark One.  They have a bit of fight, before Emma gets a little frisky.  At this point I was praying this scene would end the way I so badly wanted it to but sadly it did not.  Damn you writers!  Give me a sex scene or give me death! Hook leaves, still visibly in shock and deeply troubled over whom Emma has become.

Henry summons Emma, beetlejuice style, asking her earnestly why she is like this, why she cursed them all.  Henry has truly grown up over the course of the show, not just the obvious voice changing, growing 2 feet taller but his role has evolved.  He went from being a little kid begging everyone to believe in fairytales and getting into trouble to now going out and getting what he wants, not waiting for the adults to guide him.  Also he’s got a girlfriend? More on that later.  This Mother-Son reunion however is interrupted by the other Mother, Regina.  Emma warns her that she there’s something deadly coming to town and only a Savior can defeat it, a Savior that Regina is incapable of being.  Henry and his heart of the truest believer, reassures Regina that he believes she can in fact be the (interim) Savior.  Sidebar: While Jennifer Morrison is totally killing it as the Dark Swan, Lana Parrilla continues to steal every scene she is in.  Sure Morrison has the dead eyes and the cold attitude but Parrilla’s natural presence as Regina cannot be outmatched.  

Knights storm the center of town, turns out Camelot came along for the ride back to Storybrooke.

“Didn’t anyone teach you to kneel before a King? Now tell me where am I and how the hell did I get here?”

Calm down Arthur, it’s just Earth, we’re totally peaceful here, I swear.  The Charmings come clean to him about the whole Dark One predicament before setting off into the woods in search for the rest of the residents of Camelot.  At the Merriman’s campgrounds, Regina expresses her doubts to Robin about proving her worth as the Savior, they hug and I weep as I remember how much I love these two.  The weeping continues as Robin is swept away by demonic Angel looking creature, leaving poor Rowland screaming in fear.  They chase after the demon, Regina getting roughed up in the process. With the help of Bookworm Belle, they learn this demon is known as The Fury and the price of defeating it is someone’s life.  

In Camelot, it’s time for the Ball! Only problem- Regina can’t dance (isn’t this the plot of a Prom rom-com?). Have no fear, Prince Charming is here to save the day with his killer dance moves.  Its an absolutely unlikely never-before-seen pairing but it was such a sweet, innocent scene.  David teaches her to waltz, they laugh as she steps on his foot.  How did we get here? If someone had shown me this scene during season one my jaw would have dropped.  But now it fits so perfectly: yet another representation of Regina’s evolution.  It is proof that the past is behind all of them, they’re now a family who supports each other.  Scenes like this are what makes OUAT so special.  It’s a mere 2 minute (or less) scene yet it speaks volumes and leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina are presented at the ball, all looking ethereal in white.  After witnessing the failed TLK and lover’s quarrel between Hook & Emma in Storybrooke, seeing the two of them happy together in Camelot was mesmerizing. What was even more entertaining to watch than these two was Henry (never thought I’d say that)! Yes Henry has a crush and her name is Violet.  With a little help from his Grandpa, Henry used the simplest and most effective play to woo a teenage girl: music.  They listen to Only You by Yazoo on his iPod, which left fairytale land-born Violet amazed.  The song continues to play as all of our Ships sail happily, dancing, so in love.  Unfortunately this only lasted about 2.5 seconds before one of Arthur’s Knights, Percival, stepped into Regina and Robin’s dance.  Respectful, yes.  Good intentions, no. Percival proceeds to tell Regina a story of an evil Queen who burned down an entire village, leaving but one child alive.  Percival was the child and is hell bent on revenge.  He pulls out his sword but is quickly tackled by Robin.  The two fight, Robin trying to take his sword before David steps in and kills Percival. Yeah he killed him.  Anyone else a bit thrown by that quick death?  Sadly, Robin was somehow stabbed amid his fight and is rushed to another room to be treated.  The sword was enchanted however so Regina cannot use her own magic to heal him.  That leaves Emma, who against Hook’s wishes, uses her dark magic to save Robin.  Magic come with a price as we all know.  That price, as told by the Rumple on her shoulder, is The Fury.  With Robin healed, Emma pulls Hook in for a strong passionate kiss.  Why? I believe Hook is her anchor.  He keeps her good, he keeps her, her.  By kissing him right after giving into the darkness (if only for a moment), it resets her mind, back to the light and away from her Rumple filled subconscious.  At least that was what she hoped.  Rumple returns however to taunt her, telling her that she likes the darkness which is why the kiss had no effect on her.  

Back to the future, Regina shows up at Casa Swan to confront her about releasing The Fury.  The conversation quickly turns into a shouting match with Emma finally revealing that The Fury is Regina’s fault, that it’s her price to pay, she needs to take responsibility as the Savior…        

“You want everyone to believe you’re the savior then step up do what needs to be done.”

Regina, The Charmings, Arthur and Grumpy catch up to The Fury who is about to take Robin’s life.  Regina steps in, allowing
the Fury to take her life instead of Robin’s.  Mary Margaret rushes in, telling her she isn’t in this alone.  The two are both having the life sucked out of them as the men join in.  Somehow this subdues the Fury (too much life?) and it disappears into the night sky.

The people of Storybrooke, sans Dark Swan, reconvene at Granny’s.  While the others happily settle into their seats, Belle sits down next to a solemn Hook and his trusty bottle of rum.  I love how the writers have pursed their friendship.  They are very mismatched and yet they forged a connection last season which has continued to blossom.  I mean they aren’t BFFs, but they have an understanding, a very honest platonic relationship that isn’t seen at all on this love-filled show.

“It’s not over.  I spent over a century trying to find a way to kill the bloody crocodile, I can spend at least that long trying to save the woman I love.”

Oh Killian.  I love you.  Never change and never give up on Emma, ever!

The Dark Swan watches her friends and family from across the street.  A tiny, blink and you’ll miss it spark of the Emma we know and love comes through.  She’s coming undone (I hope)!  She goes to her new home, which is conveniently equipped with a dungeon.  Down below sits Excalibur, stuck in its stone.  She attempts to pull it out but is jolted off of it.  Come on Emma, we all know you’ve seen The Sword and The Stone…rookie mistake trying to pull that thing out, only heroes can do that…

I’m going to end this recap with Rumple’s quote, which was so brilliantly overlaid over a sequence of showing Regina, The Charmings happily looking at Neal, Henry and Violet smiling at the jukebox, and Hook and Belle toasting their glasses of rum to their lost loves.

“As long as the Dark One has existed one thing has always held us back.  The pull of the family we were so desperate to protect, the friendships that make it impossible to forget who we used to be, the magic that threatens to undo our most evil deals, and worst of all the love that refuses to give up on us.”

Some extra thoughts:

  • Regina controlling Emma with the dagger, more of this please!
  • Rowland needs more screen time that kid is too damn cute
  • Seriously, there has never been a sex scene on OUAT.  How is this possible?  We got a hint of a couple – Regina & Graham, the Charmings cuddling – but no passionate steamy scenes we see on HTGAWM, I mean it’s the same network! Show us some skin! Preferably Hook & Emma! Excuse me while I write Eddie & Adam a strongly worded letter…
  • Emma & Hook had their first real fight! I didn’t like it one bit…but I kind of did? “Then bloody answer me!” Someone gif this please!
  • I hate that they aren’t happy, that Hook is so upset. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.  Can we just skip to the part where Hook & Emma rekindle their TRUE LOVE and are happy? Please!
  • This parallel
  • Henry’s got game!
  • Only You by Yazoo? Perfect.  OUAT isn’t one of those shows that has a lot of music, never mind a song like this one.  Surprisingly it worked beautifully over the Ball in Camelot and in the final scene at Granny’s, more of this please!
  • “Are you a knight?” “Better.  I’m a writer.” Oh Henry, a man after my heart…

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