Saturday, October 10, 2015

Once Upon A Time Recap: “The Price” [5x02]

     Happy Saturday, Dear Readers, and welcome to another recap of ABC’s Sunday-night fantasy drama, Once Upon A Time. The fifth season has kicked off with a vengeance, so let’s see what happened this past Sunday and look ahead at what might be going down tomorrow night. And, as always…

     The latest episode begins with the dwarves driving their statue of Sneezy to the town line. Most of them are afraid to cross and see what this new curse might do, but Grumpy keeps pushing them. Even Dopey’s smart enough to write down his refusal, but Leeroy volunteers him anyway and is inches away from pushing him across the boundary.

     However, all the Heroes arrive in the sheriff’s car just in time. They plead with the dwarves and ask them not to leave, but Grumpy insists they’re not staying if Emma’s the Dark One. Dopey takes a breath and crosses the line… and everything’s fine! Or is it?

     Suddenly a vortex of leaves breaks out of the pavement and sucks Dopey up and turns him… into  a tree. Welp, there goes another dwarf, just like I predicted.

     Six weeks ago in Camelot, Arthur introduces the Heroes to his wife Guinevere. She announces that, since the prophesy of their arrival is a decade old, Camelot has had plenty of time to prepare and a ball has been planned in their honor.

     (Wait, does that mean that Merlin might have vanished before Arthur even became king? How old was Arthur when it happened? He could be thirty now, but he could also be twenty. It’s hard to tell with all that scruff. This might not even be important, but it would be nice to clarify.)

     Off to the side, Zelena laments about being cuffed again (oh, good, they did suppress her magic after all. Sorry I doubted you, Regina.)

     Zelena threatens that if the cuff isn’t taken off, she’ll tell everyone in Camelot that Emma is the Dark One. However, Regina silences her with an easy spell and orders her to pretend to be a mute handmaiden.

     Arthur and Guinevere then lead the visitors to exactly where Merlin is: he’s trapped in a giant tree in the courtyard. Apparently the Savior can indeed get him out of it, because Merlin said so and his prophesies are never wrong.

     When asked why they want Merlin so badly, Charming vaguely admits that their home is under threat from the Dark One. Arthur assures them that the Savior will help. So who is it?

     With one hand on the dagger to keep Emma from speaking up, Regina steps forward and claims the title.

     Back in present-day Storybrooke, Hook pays a visit to Belle and asks her why true love’s kiss didn’t work for Rumpelstiltskin. Belle explains that their first kiss did awaken the man inside the monster, but eventually Gold chose power over love. Hook doesn’t think that will be a problem with Emma, but Belle warns him: it’s far easier to hate a Dark One than it is to love one.

     Out at the docks, Henry calls Emma in frustration. She appears and assures him that he doesn’t have to be scared or apologize for whatever happened in Camelot; apparently he didn’t fail her.

     Regina arrives and tries to keep Henry away from Emma. Emma taunts her and asks if Regina is afraid Henry will find out ‘the truth’ about Camelot. To which Regina points out, if the truth is so important, why did she erase it?

     Emma reminds them that it’s a curse, that’s why. And only a Savior can break the curse. Henry tells Regina that he believes she can be the savior, but Emma doesn’t think so; especially because a problem is headed towards Storybrooke that only a Savior can solve.

     At that very moment, a posse of disgruntled knights are riding into Storybrooke, dazed and confused and led by King Arthur himself. He meets with the Heroes in the mayor’s house, and they explain to him that they weren’t completely honest with him in Camelot: their daughter is also the Dark One, and they don't know how to defeat her.

     Arthur suggests that they can use the dagger to kill Emma.

     Of course the Charmings were hoping for a less-violent solution. Besides, Emma has the dagger anyway.

     However, as it turns out, the knights weren’t the only people summoned from Camelot; Robin has found droves of Arthur’s frightened citizens in the woods, and so the Heroes prepare to set up shelter for the new visitors. But Regina is uneasy about all of this. She doesn’t think the soldiers are the threat that Emma spoke of; they would be too easy to defeat with magic.

     Back in Camelot, Regina and Emma search through Merlin’s tower for clues. Emma tells Regina never to use the dagger like that again, but Regina (while holding said dagger) tells her to shut up and listen. If Emma had stepped forward and tried to free Merlin with [dark] magic, what could have happened?

     Regina resolves to figure this out and be the Savior so that Emma won’t have to use magic and get sucked in by the Darkness. And for what it’s worth, Emma is grateful.

     Six weeks later in Storybrooke, while a camp is being set up for the Camelot refugees, Regina confides in Robin about her worries. The people may not see Regina as the evil queen anymore, but they’re not ready to trust her as a Savior.

     Meanwhile, Arthur reunited with Guinevere. She’s shocked to see that Excalibur is missing from his belt, and he admits it was missing when he arrived. David assures him that if the sword is in this world, they’ll find it.

     A few yards away, Robin and Roland are happily gathering firewood together.

     Suddenly a shrieking skeleton fairy swoops down out of nowhere and snatches Robin up!

     The Heroes try to chase it through the woods and Regina does manage to knock Robin out of its clutches briefly, but even her magic can’t stop it: it deals her a heavy blow, grabs its prize again, and escapes! Snow tells Regina to see a doctor, but Regina thinks that this is just because they don’t believe she can be the Savior.

     Unaware of the goings-on at the camp, Hook wanders to Emma’s yellow bug and tries to summon her. She appears, then poofs him back to her own [very new and very big] house, all the while acting pleased and seductive. Just because she’s the Dark One doesn’t mean they can’t be together.

     As Hook enters, he can’t help but notice a big bolted cupboard under the stairs…

     …but Emma draws him away with a glass of rum. He ignores the rum and goes in for the kiss… but it doesn’t work. Emma figures out that he talked to Belle, but this is who she is now, and she’s not going to talk to him about what happened in Camelot. So is he staying or not?

     I originally wondered during this season whether Hook might be tempted to go back to his scalawag ways under Emma’s negative influence, but he impressed here, and probably let out the quote of the episode (and perhaps one of the best quasi-breakup lines ever):

     “This may be who you think you are, but this isn’t who I am.”

     Back in Camelot, while Regina and Robin look over the Merlin-Tree, a knight presents her with a gift meant for the Savior: a pink crystal pendant. He requests a dance with her at the ball before leaving, and Robin admits he’s looking forward to a dance as well. But Regina looks worried.

     That night, Snow and Charming tuck baby Neil into bed and leave Doc to babysit, since he wants to avoid being Grumpy’s wingman at all costs.

     Regina enters and offers to watch Neil since she won’t be going to the ball. When they finally squeeze the truth out of her, Regina admits that it's because she actually can’t dance. Even though Snow’s father used to throw balls all the time, he tended to dance more with his daughter than his second wife.

     Snow and Charming offer to teach Regina how to dance (because according to television-show logic, she can learn in one night), but Snow insists that Regina wear a dress to learn properly. Regina poofs herself into an Evil Queen dress… but Snow suggests something less scary and Regina switches it to a pale pink gown.

     With Doc playing a music box (so ornate I wonder if it’ll be important later), David begins to guide Regina through the first steps of a dance and assures her that everyone will believe that she’s the Savior.

     However, the three of them are being watched and overheard through a cauldron, which is projecting everything from the pink crystal. And that cauldron is being observed by… Mister Shady Knight.

     Snow then visits Emma and helps her get ready: Emma is an absolute vision in a white gown and flower crown. Snow’s so excited to finally prepare her daughter for her first ball (because apparently Emma’s little escapade as ‘Princess Leia’ doesn’t count).

     Then all the Heroes arrive at the ball, and the festivities begin!

     Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Regina barges into Gold’s shop and rants at his unconscious body for making her the evil queen. No one believes in her because of him, but she’ll prove them all wrong.

     Fortunately, Belle enters before things get too crazy. She discovered in a book that the creature that took Robin is a fury: a demon collecting an unpaid price for magic. Someone used magic in Camelot and didn’t pay up. (Seeing as it took Robin, all in favor of thinking it’s Regina, say aye.)

     The fury came because the price for magic was a human life, and now when the moon reaches its zenith, it’s going to drag Robin to the underworld.

Yes! My theory STANDS!

     The only way to save Robin is for someone else to give their life to the fury instead. (Again: I vote Regina. She’ll sacrifice herself and thus become the Savior. Boom.)

     During the ball, Grumpy encourages Belle not to worry too badly about her enchanted rose, and she invites him to a dance (how sweet). All the adult couples (Charming and Snow, Hook and Emma, Regina and Robin) are dancing the night away… then Snow spots Henry crushing on a girl from across the room.

     David joins Henry and recommends he approach the girl using two drinks as a means of introduction!?

Whoa now.

     Henry offers the girl a drink because she “looked thirsty,” but in actuality she’s bored; apparently balls are pretty much daily occurrences in Camelot (I refer you to all the Monty Python gifs in my previous recap).

     So Henry pulls out his iPod/mp3 player (oh, boy), which he got as a ‘token of appreciation from the Savior’ for saving everyone Isaac’s alternate universe. He shows her how it works and introduces himself not as a knight, but as a writer. She introduces herself as Violet.

     Out on the dance floor, Shady Knight cuts in on Robin and Regina’s romantic moment to claim his dance. But once he has her alone, he demands to know who she really is; he knows she’s not the Savior. He tells her a story of a boy who, a long time ago, returned home to find his village in flames, and the woman who destroyed it stood there and smiled at him. He, of course, was the boy, and the woman was Regina: the Evil Queen.

     When Regina asks why he didn’t tell Arthur who she truly is, he admits it’s because then he wouldn’t have this moment… to kill her!

     Regina dodges his initial sword-stroke, Robin dives to her rescue, and a battle ensues! Regina uses the dagger to restrain Emma from using dark magic. David steps into the conflict and slays the Shady Knight…. but not before Robin’s stabbed!

     In present-day Storybrooke, Regina storms into Emma’s house. She won’t sacrifice somebody else to save Robin, and she demands that Emma call the fury off. But Emma won’t; she’s not the one who summoned the fury, and it’s not her price to pay.

     It’s Regina’s.

     Back in Camelot, the Heroes take Robin to a private chamber where Regina tries to heal Robin, but his life fades away; the sword was enchanted to use against the Evil Queen, so her magic won’t work… but Emma’s could.

     Emma doesn’t know what will happen, but Regina begs her. Rather than using the dagger, she’s asking not to lose love yet again. So Emma agrees to try… but as she prepares to heal Robin, Rumpelstiltskin appears in her mind again. There’s a price to save Robin, he says, and she has to pick it… but she can’t pay it. Regina asked for the magic, so Regina will have to pay the price. So Emma turns and heals Robin…

     …but doesn’t tell Regina that there’s a price to pay.

     Emma then leaves to go lie down and regain her strength… and to hide the start of ‘crocodile’ glitter creeping up the skin on her hand!

     Six weeks later in Storybrooke, the fury brings Robin’s body to the lakeside beneath the moon. A portal of smoke grows and a boat to the Underworld appears on the water. Who is that mysterious figure on the boat, I wonder?

     But then the Heroes arrive! The fury blasts them back, but Regina offers her own life instead!

     The fury snatches Regina with a crippling forcefield, but then Snow races up and offers herself, too! Then David! And then Grumpy! Soon they're all linking hands in a vortex of purple magic!

     They blast the fury away and Robin revives! Now it appears that Regina really can save the town — even Grumpy agrees.

     As most of the Heroes celebrate at Granny’s and Regina even revives the stone Sneezy from Emma’s curse (why didn’t she do that before?), Hook drinks at the bar and ponders Emma’s fate. Belle joins him, and he tells her the kiss didn’t work… but he spent nearly a century trying to kill Rumpelstiltskin, so he can spend at least that long trying to save Emma.

     Not far away, Henry spots Violet contemplating the jukebox and pulls out a quarter. “If you feed it, it’ll sing for you.” Henry, you sly dog.

     Violet likes the music, as if she’s heard it somewhere before, and the two of them re-introduce themselves to each other.

     Back in Camelot, Arthur tries to apologize for his knight’s actions, but Regina admits that she really was the Evil Queen. However, Arthur believes that if her magic healed Robin, then she really is the Savior. Emma listens in on the whole thing… but Regina still doesn’t admit the truth.

     Arthur then leaves them to sit at his round table with Guinevere, contemplating a shield with a lightening bolt across it. Guinevere is worried at how things are turning out; they know the Heroes are meant to be here, and they know what’s going to happen, but they don’t know how everything is going to play out. Now Percival is dead (thanks for giving Shady Knight a name after the fact, guys), so who else knows what will happen? 

     Arthur knows it’s risky, but helping the Heroes may be his only way to get his hands on the dagger and complete Excalibur.

     In Storybrooke, Emma is contemplating the dagger on her own. She was watching everyone at Granny’s, and now she secretly feels a little left out… but then Rumpelstiltskin appears in her mind again. He’s come back because there’s still more to be done: something bigger. He/she unlocks the cupboard under the stairs—

     …and descends. Down in this cave, Emma finds Excalibur back in its stone. Rumple explains that the one thing always holding back the Dark One is relationships: family, friends, and of course significant others. But Emma can change all that, if she pulls the sword from the stone and makes it whole and snuffs out the light forever.

     Emma wraps her hands around the sword… but it blasts her back! (She probably has enough magical protection to keep from getting turned to dust like Kay in the last episode.) Apparently, if she wants Excalibur, she’ll have to pay the price. (I’m guessing that would be the lives of her friends and family.)

Tune in Tomorrow…

     ……when Emma needs a hero to pull the sword from the stone!

     While she keeps trying to seduce Hook and ask him to love and trust her again (probably to get the sword out), David and Arthur have to go on an ‘impossible quest’ that may lead to a sunken ship and threaten to drown them both!

Quote of the Episode

     “This may be who you think you are, but this isn’t who I am.”

Current Questions:

1. Is Guinevere still going to have an affair with Lancelot in this universe?

     A. If the Charmings know about the legend of Excalibur in our world, do they also know about the affair? What if they do know about it, and they don’t tell Arthur, and then when it happens they have to admit to him that they knew it might happen all along?

2. Where is Zelena now, in the present-day Storybooke series of events? And for a matter of fact, where's Lillith!?

3. When is Baby Neal going to start crawling and stuff? I just want a whole episode where various characters babysit him and try to get him to walk. And of course Snow would then be freaking out because she wants to be there when he takes his first steps, since she missed Emma’s first everything.

Current Theories:

1. Um, Hades is coming. He just is. You saw the whole portal to the Underworld, you know how hard I’ve been pushing this. I want to see Hades and Emma snark it out already! Don't you?

2. I think Regina will spend the whole time in Camelot trying to be the Savior and making Emma jealous, which will lead to Emma turning dark. Then, in Storybrooke, Regina will actually become the Savior and make Emma all the more angry.

3. Emma’s hallucination of Rumpelstiltskin is going to try and push her to destroy her friends and family so that she has no emotional ties left.

4. What if Henry and Violet had a little spat before returning to Storybrooke, and so their memory loss was kind of a good thing in that they got to start afresh? (Though that means they may repeat the same mistakes). Not that I want to sabotage those two: Henry is such a gent!

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