Saturday, December 5, 2015

Once Upon A Time Recap: “Broken Heart” [5x10]

Even though it feels like this season of Once Upon A Time only just started, it's already starting to wind down for the winter — and by “wind down,” I mean the opposite. Even though I came back to ABC’s Sunday-night fantasy drama with fairly low expectations, the show has started to surprise and impress me within the last few episodes. Despite my griping, tomorrow’s Winter Finale looks like it’s shaping up to be a doozy. Why? Well, let’s take a look at what happened last week. Just remember…

We begin precisely where last week left off, after Hook learns he’s become a Dark One and decides to avenge himself on Emma. Since she took away his memories, he returns the favor, and Zelena puts the cuff on Emma to restrain her magic. The two villains split up on their respective missions, agreeing to stay out of one another’s way.

We then see that weeks earlier when Hook is sent to the vault of the Dark One, black magic shoots into him and makes him re-live all the worst and most agonizing memories of his life: particularly the moment when Rumpelstiltskin killed Milah (oh great, let’s remind ourselves that Emma’s true love once tried to elope with her almost-mother-in-law).

When Hook awakens in the forest, Rumpelstiltskin appears and Hook dives for him… then learns that the “crocodile” is only in his head. However, when Hook tries to leave and ignore all the Dark Ones in his head, Rumpelstiltskin offers him… a chance to kill Mr. Gold.

In the present, the Heroes come looking for Emma after her spell on the house drops, and they find her restrained with the magic-suppressing cuff. She tells them how and why she made Hook the Dark One (wait, then which memories did he erase exactly!?). Snow suggests that Emma return their memories so all the Heroes can figure out Hook’s plan, but all the dream catchers are gone.

Not far away, “Captain Dark One,” as Regina calls him, is in Gold’s shop facing down his old enemy. He’s come for revenge, but instead of achieving it by, I dunno, going after Belle (because duh), he decides he wants to savor the moment a little more than that. So he MIMICS RUMPELSTILTSKIN PERFECTLY. “Get your affairs in order, Dearie, for we duel at noon on my ship!”

No ordinary sword can kill Captain Dark One, so Hook shows them Excalibur. It can’t control him anymore, but it CAN kill him. All Gold has to do is win it in the duel.

After Gold comes to the Heroes with this news, Emma wonders why Hook would erase her memories if he was going to announce his plan anyway.

Snow remembers Nimue is the key to stopping the Dark One, and Emma and Gold explain who Nimue is, and they prepare to do some heavy research on the subject… but Emma says there’s a faster way. She asks them to take off the cuff, but they don’t trust her. Even when Henry arrives and hears her plea, he looks her straight in the eye and says no. She just wants her magic back so she can try to solve everything alone again… and he’s seen what she does when she's alone with Dark Magic.

Back in Camelot, Merlin and the Heroes reach the vault of the Dark One and follow Hook’s tracks until they disappear. Merlin is worried; this is the darkest path that he foresaw for Emma. She still might not hurt them, but Hook might, and so Merlin sends Lancelot to go find his mother, the Lady of the Lake.

Totally forgot about her.
Where has she been, anyway?

Some distance away, Captain Dark One storms through the woods trying to ignore the voice of Rumpelstiltskin in his head. He knows his thirst for revenge can’t be satisfied because the real Mr. Gold is in Storybrooke, and he won’t crush the heart of his true love to enact a curse and transport himself there. But Rumpelstiltskin assures him… there is a loophole.

Emma shows up looking for Hook, but when he asks about Excalibur, she says it vanished right after he did. Rumpelstiltskin is not convinced — and because Emma is a Dark One, she can see him, too. However, she tries to convince Hook to ignore the voices and focus on their future together. When he does, the hallucination vanishes, and they can journey back to the people they love and trust for help.

Back in the present, the Heroes tell Emma to stay put and let them save her (wow, old-school fairy tale politics there). They leave the house, but Gold tells Belle that he’s going to go prepare for battle. It’s time for him to be the man she deserves and stop running from battles for good. If he wins, then he’ll wait for her by the well where they were married. If she meets him there, he’ll know how she feels. BUT WHAT IF CAPTAIN DARK ONE DISGUISES HIMSELF AS EITHER PERSON AT THE WELL!?

Down the road at the hospital, Zelena barges in to look for her child but finds Regina waiting and the cradle labeled “Baby Hood” empty. (Because clearly when you have a tiny human in a cradle, you need to label it as a “baby” or people won’t know what it is. To be fair, I suppose no one expected to have to pick a name quite this soon… but why not just “Hood”? Was “Baby Hood” really necessary?)

Zelena vows to tear the town apart to get her child back. Regina thinks her wickedness needs to stop, but Zelena doesn’t think it can… then Regina suddenly has an idea that might actually help.

Back at Emma’s house, Merida was left guard but is easily knocked out when Captain Dark One comes to call. Emma thinks he came because he still has feelings for her and tries to convince him that whatever deal he made to get his revenge isn’t worth it. Hook says he doesn’t care what the Dark Ones inside of him achieve so long as he gets what he wants. He goes on to say that she should understand that since she always pushes her loved ones away and that’s why she’ll always be an orphan. And he says it all because he wants to hurt her the way that she hurt him.

Back in Camelot, rather than using magic to poof back to Granny’s, Hook and Emma decide to walk. But when they split up on their search to gather supplies, Hook can hear a sound: Rumpelstiltskin says it’s the dagger and sword whispering together. He can hear them because they’re close… in fact, because Emma has them and lied about it to control Hook (says Rumpelstiltskin).

When Emma shows up, Hook demands to know the truth… and she eventually shows him that she does have the sword. She didn’t trust him with it since he had said he would succumb easily to darkness… and he shouts at her that it was also why he didn’t want to be turned Dark in the first place. Since she clearly doesn’t believe in him anymore, how is he supposed to fight this?

In present-day Storybrooke, Emma shows up to the pawn shop where Gold is practicing for his duel. She needs to find the dream catchers and return everyone’s memories, and she offers him the last of her squid ink to occupy Captain Dark One in the meantime. But Gold says he doesn’t need the ink; if he’s going to win, he’ll do it with honor. And he’s surprisingly confident.

Ummm... why?
Down the road, Regina brings Zelena to her apartment. After a stern warning, she explains that she herself couldn’t find redemption until she became having Henry’s mother. Perhaps loving a child will help Zelena to find her best self, too.

Robin’s waiting with the baby, and says that while the four of them will never be one big happy family, they’ll let her visit the child anytime as long as one of them is present. Though it’s hard for them, they allow Zelena to hold her “little green bean” and she actually cries a little.

Down in Belle’s library, Emma finds Henry in secret and asks for his help to find the dream catchers. And she’s not going to do it with magic; she’s going to do it with help. Henry says he just needs a locator spell (um, Henry: that IS in fact, magic) and the materials that she used to make the dream catchers.

Back in Camelot, Emma goes looking for Hook in the field (of roses that should be on bushes. I don’t care if they’re part of Nimue’s myth--they are STILL ROSES).

She calls for him, but when he doesn’t come, she resorts to summoning him with the sword. He says she doesn’t love him because she doesn’t understand how it feels to be this powerless: she says she felt it every time she was abandoned. He was the only person who didn’t leave her, and that’s why she couldn’t lose him. She called him to show that she does trust him, and she hands over the sword. They’re going to do this together, and she promises she won’t try to control him again.

The two of them return to Granny’s. The Heroes are suspicious of Hook, so Emma stays outside to talk to them while Hook goes inside to see Merlin. The great sorcerer is leaving his potion message, but then Hook comes in… and locks the door and snatches Merlin’s heart.

He needs Merlin’s heart to get back to Storybrooke and achieve his revenge. To cast the curse, the person crushing the heart needs to have feelings for Merlin… and what do you know, Nimue lives inside of Hook!

Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Gold limps aboard the Jolly Roger. Captain Dark One, who was waiting with Excalibur, heals his leg so it’ll be a fair fight… then the two of them begin the duel. Gold is surprisingly decent at swordplay and actually manages to run Captain Dark One through… but it won’t work until he can get Excalibur from Hook’s hands. The pirate slashes Gold’s arm with his hook and warns him that this won’t be the deepest cut he receives.

Near the center of town, Henry and Emma find the dream catchers in the clock tower.

They’re protected by a dark spell, however, and Emma has no magic… but Henry brought squid ink to take the cuff off! Since Emma trusted him, he’ll trust her.

Back in Camelot, Emma comes into Granny’s. To keep her from controlling him again, Hook sends Excalibur back to its stone. Emma asks what Nimue wants: Nimue says all Dark Ones want it. Suddenly Emma’s eyes go wide with realization.

She pleads with Hook that his revenge isn’t his happy ending: she is. If he destroys Merlin, he destroys his happy ending. But Killian’s happy ending isn’t what he wants now, so he crushes Merlin’s heart to dust and conjures the curse!

Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Captain Dark One manages to corner Gold but — ironically — gets distracted by the voice of Rumpelstiltskin in his head. When he glances away at the hallucination, Gold unlatches a belaying pin and sends a pulley down on Hook’s head!

He takes Excalibur… but now that he’s a Hero, he won’t kill Hook. He’ll just let him live with the shame (and give him time to plot revenge). Captain Dark One poofs away and leaves Gold with a sliced arm.

Despite the wound, Gold goes straight to the well, and Belle comes to him. However, she says he’s broken her heart just too many times; he’s the man she’s always wanted, but she’s not sure if she wants this. She’s spent too many years healing his heart, and now she needs to protect her own.

It’s not Belle, it’s Hook! This was Hook’s revenge all along, not the duel! Right? RIGHT!?

Back in Camelot, Emma can’t stop the curse, but she can erase Hook’s memories. To make him forget for certain, she needs to erase the memories of everyone who knew that he turned Dark. She summons all the Heroes, re-cuffs Zelena, then adds the memory-wipe to the curse. The smoke rolls over them all, and she’s left kneeling and weeping over Killian, and she'll have to pretend to be evil while she tries to save him and NO ONE WILL KNOW.

In the distance, Merida is caught by the curse as she’s riding through the woods. Camelot is covered (and possibly transported?) just as Arthur rediscovers the sword in its stone at the center of the Round Table.

Now in the present, Emma returns the memories to all the heroes and even Merida, who aren’t sure if they can trust her… and once the memories are restored, Emma remembers what Hook’s plan really is.

Speak of the devil, Captain Dark One is talking with his hallucination of Rumpelstilskin at the town lake about how he got what he really needed: the blood of a man who went to hell and back. And they’re at the pond for the same reason the Fury brought Robin there; the lake holds a portal to the Underworld itself!

Wait, is Hook getting Milah back? THAT WOULD BE SO AWKWARD.

The captain dips his blood-stained hook in the pool to open the portal. The ferry to the underworld appears full of passengers, and off steps… NIMUE.



Tune In Tomorrow…

     …for the Winter Finale! All the Dark Ones come to Storybrooke, and they prepare to kill everyone Emma loves including Henry and Baby Neal… perhaps even driving Emma to kill Hook to prevent it all!

Quote of the Episode:

     “What the devil am I wearing? Why must Dark Ones dress like monks!?”

Current Questions:

1. Will we see Merlin again? Because frankly, for all the hype and consecutive seasons that we took wondering who he was and waiting to see how powerful he was, his role in the story has been somewhat of a letdown when I look back. He spent the first half of the season in a tree, and the second half more as Emma's equal than as some all-powerful being who could save her. What happened to THE MIGHTY SORCERER who appointed the Authors, entrusted Mickey with magic, and actually sometimes seemed to control the happy endings in Storybrooke? Come on.

2. Did Belle really dump Gold at the well? I mean… just… really? NOW, of all seasons!? After he's CLEARLY a Hero now? HE DREW EXCALIBUR FROM THE FREAKIN' STONE.

Current Theories:

1. Maybe Camelot was transported to Storybrooke by the curse and is… hiding… somewhere? Okay, now that I say it, it sounds stupid. But still. The stone holding Excalibur crossed over between the realms, so why not the magic castle?

2. Lancelot and his mother will (or should, anyway) have a major role in the winter finale, stopping the Dark Ones and Arthur. Perhaps Lancelot will become the new king of Camelot! (His name already rhymes with the castle's: what more could you ask for?)
     Actually, since Gold drew the sword out of the stone, he also qualifies for kingship. Which would be a whole other can of worms.

3. I also suspect/hope that Zelena will play a major role in defeating the Dark Ones. Perhaps when they start threatening Henry and Baby Neal, she’ll suddenly get filled with maternal rage and become a [temporary] Hero. Or maybe they'll be going after Robin's baby as revenge on him and Regina, but since it's her baby too, she'll fight back.

4. Oh, and “Baby Hood” just might get named ‘Nimue.’ Because that’s totally the sort of thing this show would do. (Naming her ‘Marian’ would be a little too weird, I can tell you that.) (Baby Neal and Nimue, sitting in a tree… oh no, it's starting already!..)


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