Saturday, October 31, 2015

Once Upon A Time Recap: “Dreamcatcher” [5x05]

     Happy Halloween, dear readers, and a special salute to any of you who dressed up as Once Upon A Time characters this year! Our own characters happened to have a little harvest festival of their own this year, so buckle up and prepare yourselves for the latest refresher in ABC’s Sunday-night fantasy drama.

     We begin many many years ago, where we see a shadowy figure in the woods: it’s the same fellow who spoke with Young-Emma in the movie theatre at the beginning of the season, warning her not to pull Excalibur from its stone. He’s using the Dagger to summon the Dark One (the masked figure before the reign of Rumpelstiltskin) to kill him. Why? The Dark One destroyed his true love.

     However, when our hero raises the Dagger, he can’t follow through and drops the blade to weep instead. The Dark One snatches the Dagger back and casts a spell when one of the tears of lost love falls on the blade, turning his adversary into… a tree! So the broken-hearted guy wasn't just anyone: that was Merlin!?

     Back in Camelot, it turns out Emma has seen all of this through one of her Dreamcatchers, possibly through communication with the Merlin Tree… via dark magic.

     While Emma’s been left alone, Regina is hiking out in the woods with the other Heroes to retrieve the Dagger from where she hid it… but she still isn’t sure if it’s right to trust Arthur. Just when the Charmings start getting suspiciously snippy with her, Emma shows up and freezes them in time. She explains Arthur’s true plans, and tells Regina that since they’re running out of time, the real Savior must free Merlin… by any means, including dark magic.

     Meanwhile in present-day Storybrooke, the Heroes convene in the jail with Arthur and try to determine how the squire vanished from his cell. With him (and the supposed “magic bean”) gone, the citizens of Camelot desperately need some cheering up. Henry (in the midst of texting Violet) innocently suggests a dance.

     Unfortunately, Charming sees through to the real reason for this, and Regina must be held back from going into “protective mother” mode… until Belle runs up and tells them that Gold has vanished!

     Down in the Dark One's basement, Emma frees Gold and commands Merida to take him to Hero Boot Camp. Gold warns her that the more she justifies her acts, the more she’ll lose the people that she loves most… but she poofs them away to the woods. Once they’re gone she goes to her garage, which is full of Dreamcatchers with different items woven into their centers… and she cries over a certain one with seashells (coughHOOKcough).

     Back in Camelot, Regina keeps interrupting Emma from her research to know how she knew the Charmings were cursed. Emma shows her the Dreamcatchers and admits that the visions have just been appearing in them — including a vision that showed her how Merlin was trapped. Then Regina realizes that if Merlin was trapped through a tear of lost love, perhaps they can use another such tear to create the “antivenom” that will bring him back. Huzzah — use Lancelot!

     Down in the stables, Violet and Henry are bonding… particularly over the fact that they both have lost a parent (Violet lost her mother years ago). Well, there goes my theory about her heritage for now (unless she’s lying. Or was adopted. Or whatever other weird plot twist these writers are capable of. But I’m not too torn up about it; it’s nice that she’s a bit more normal).

     While Violet puts her saddle away, Henry finds a few spare swords and imagines pulling Excalibur from the stone for her… but he falls over and the ruckus attracts none other than Violet’s father: Sir Morgan. (As in… Morgan Le Fay, perhaps? I could dig this.)

     Morgan is anything but impressed with Henry’s lack of “manly” skills and sends him packing.

     Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Henry meets Violet to discuss the festival, but she’s uneasy because her horse has run away. Her father is out trying to lure the horse with pumpkin, his favorite treat—

     **AHEM.** Pumpkins and other such gourds originated in North and Central America and were not introduced to Europe until the 1500s, which is a full two centuries (at least) after the latest era in which King Arthur'rs rule could have possibly occurred. Translation: Pumpkins didn’t exist in Camelot. Fairytale or no, I disapprove of this oversight. Then again, why bother? It’s not as if the costuming on this show is historically accurate, either.

     Fortunately, Henry knows exactly who can help find the horse.

     He goes to Emma’s house and tells her that she can prove herself to him if she helps find the horse and return Violet’s happy ending, since she’s the Savior.

     Out in the woods, Gold’s wounded leg is barely allowing him to stand, and even with a walking stick he can’t manage to block a single attack from Merida. But her own life and family is at risk, so when he keeps refusing then she knocks him out and goes to find his weakness.

     Back in Camelot, Henry’s mothers find him practicing with a sword in the woods and admits it was “advice” from Sir Morgan to fit in. However, both women know that changing for someone never works. Violet is interested in Henry precisely because he’s different and exotic. Regina herself was drawn to her first love because he wasn’t like everyone else… and as Henry runs off to make some plans, Regina realizes that she knows precisely where she and Emma can get the tear they need: from herself.

     The two ladies return to the castle and Emma prepares a Dreamcatcher. Through it, they see a flashback to when Cora ripped Daniel’s heart out under the pretense of protecting her daughter from him. As all the emotions come flooding back, Emma gets the tear she needs from Regina. She had no idea how Cora could have done it, but Regina tells her it was all about the excuse of “doing what’s best” as a mother.

     Meanwhile in Storybrooke, the Heroes prepare to break into Emma’s house since Henry is distracting her. Though the house is protected with a spell, they know the one person that would be allowed to enter — Henry — and use a piece of his clothing to get through the spell.

     Back in Camelot, Henry has covered Granny’s in candles and flowers and prepares a romantic dinner for two with the jukebox playing in the background. HENRY, YOU SLY DOG YOU! WHERE WAS THIS KID WHEN I WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL!?

     Violet joins him for their adorably awkward meal, and he gives her the “magic” drink of soda in a wine glass. He talks about lasagna and movies, until she looks around and realizes that he may be trying to court her.

Suddenly I'm having second thoughts
about Henry dating a girl with Violet's amount of brains.

     Then comes the blow: she admits to Henry that she just doesn’t feel the same way. It’s not her father talking… she just liked it better when they were friends.

     Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Merida sneaks into Regina’s house and starts going through the Fairytale Book (um, how did she even know about this!?) and finds the pages about Belle. Then she shoots her way into Gold’s shop and finds what she needs in the back room. (I vote… chipped teacup.)

     Outside of town, Emma takes Henry to a pumpkin-covered shack where some ever-noisy Peter used to live (Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater?). Sure enough, Violet’s horse comes trotting up. It doesn’t trust the Dark One, but Henry’s able to calm it down with some pumpkin. Yet something feels amiss here.

     Down in Emma’s basement, the Heroes find the traces of Gold’s captivity, as well as the stone holding Excalibur. They see the truth of the sword’s design as part of the Dagger, but then they receive word that Emma is returning and they have to leave before they can search further. On their way out, Hook finds a Dreamcatcher. But it’s actually Baelfires; he was the one who taught Emma how to make them (Oh, right. I forgot). Regina senses magic on it and realizes that this is how Emma took their memories.

     Back in Camelot, Regina and Emma prepare to create a potion to free Merlin before Arthur arrives.

     They add the tear, but it putters out. Regina’s heartbreak wasn’t strong enough because she’s been able to heal. However, who should come upon them at that moment but poor sweet heartbroken Henry, who eventually admits the truth to them about Violet’s feelings. Regina admits he may not be a hero in Camelot, but when she captures one of his tears it will make him a hero when they free Merlin!

     Arthur arrives and tries to stop them, but Regina drives him and his knights back with magic while Emma adds Henry’s tear to the potion and gets surrounded by an epic vortex of light and dark magic! When she blasts the tree with them, it turns back into Merlin, who recognizes her… and Arthur.

     Arthur rants at Merlin for sending him on an impossible quest, but Excalibur can’t hurt Merlin. As the Heroes leave, Arthur calls after them, “This is not finished!”

     At the Storybooke Autumn Festival, the Heroes tell Arthur that Emma has Excalibur and ask why he hid the truth about the sword. Arthur admits he wanted to restore the blade to snuff out all darkness, because in the wrong hands it can snuff out all light — so that’s what Emma must be planning.

     Down the road, Morgan is trying to get a heartbroken Violet to enjoy the festivities… but then Henry comes riding in and returns her lost horse!

     Morgan is so impressed, he actually lets them go off alone together! Violet thanks Henry and kisses his cheek, then they go off like two lovebirds and leave us all to wonder… why does she feel differently about him here than in Camelot!?

     Out in the woods, Merida returns to where she tied Gold to a tree and waves the teacup (called it!) in his face. If he wants it, he’ll have to fight for it… and now Gold gets mad! He actually manages to stand and give a few good swings with his sword, thinking about his love for Belle rather than his limp! It’s a great start, but they’ve still got a long way to go.

     Meanwhile, Regina and Robin are examining the Dreamcatcher to see what happened in Camelot. Unbeknownst to them, Henry walks in behind them just as the magic begins.

     At first the memory — of Sir Morgan’s stable — appears to be Henry’s… but then it turns out to actually be Violet’s. She sees the note from Henry inviting her on the date, but then she turns and sees Emma, who must ask her to keep a secret from Henry.

     Since Emma needs a fresh tear of lost love, she temporarily steals Violet’s heart and orders her to break Henry’s.

     As the memory in the Dreamcatcher ends, Regina and Robin realize that Henry was behind them… and saw everything.

     Back in Camelot, Merlin frees the Charmings from Arthur’s spell. Once introductions are made, they ask if he can free Emma. He replies, “Sure,” as if it's going to be all-too-easy.

     He warns Emma, though, that if he frees her, he must know that her heart is truly devoid of darkness and ready to be free. (Because we all know now that it’s not.)

     Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Emma knocks on Regina’s door and asks to visit Henry… but Regina breaks the news that she broke into Emma’s house and found traces of Gold there, as well as the Dreamcatcher with the truth about Violet… and Henry saw it all. Emma insists it was the only way to free Merlin, but Regina doesn’t understand how Emma could still be dark if Merlin was freed. Emma refuses to tell and demands to see Henry, but guess what? He’ll have none of her!

Tune in Tomorrow…

     …when Emma orders Merida to kill Belle, and Gold must save her — even when faced with a gigantic killer bear!

Quote of the Episode:

     Soda. “It’s like a carnival in a can!”

Current Questions:

1. Why isn’t Lancelot or Merlin in Storybrooke?


3. Why did Merlin not incarcerate Arthur and Guinevere before they could cause more damage?

Current Theories:

1. There’s a small possibility that Violet is still the daughter of Arthur, and she’s just been adopted by Sir Morgan.
     A. Even if she’s not Arthur’s, she could still be a major player in the future — especially if her dead (or thought-to-be-dead) mother is Morgan Le Fay.

2. What if Merlin was Lillith’s father? That’d be interesting. He does have the ability to take dragon form…

3. What if the masked Dark One didn't destroy Merlin's true love by killing her? What if the Dark One was Merlin's true love!?

4. Lancelot and Merlin died in Camelot. I’d guess that Emma might have been the one to kill them, though Arthur is still a decent bet.
     A. What if Emma and Arthur teamed up to do it.


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