Once Upon a Time Rumple Hero

Once Upon a Time Recap: Hero Reborn

This Sunday on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Merida took aim at Rumple’s sweetheart, Arthur said no to ‘shrooming and Dark Emma played (and lost) “Let’s Make a Deal,” twice.

My expectations for this episode were on the low side, going in. The Merida-heavy flashback story screamed of being hokey, while Rumple’s journey as a cowering coward thus far has been, among other things, just sad.

The Storybrooke half of the episode, though, actually was quite solid and delivered a surprising amount of payoff. Having let Rumple escape (by using poor Chip’s shards to cut himself free), Merida was tasked by Dark Emma to target Belle, to force his hand into being a hero. Rumple met up with Belle at the library, then set out to his shop to secure some magic. But first, he thanked her — twice — explaining that just as he was about to give up during his coma, having decided he didn’t deserve to live anymore, her voice nudged him to reconsider.

At the shop, Merida had the rug literally pulled out from under her, affording Rumbelle time to make tracks. But when Belle saw that Rumple planned to drive them out of town — to run away — she hit the brakes. Parting ways with Rumple, Belle promptly ran into Merida, who is compelled to drink the potion that turns her (like her mother) into a bear. The beast chases Belle until Rumple resurfaces to intervene. Swatted and then pinned down, Rumple thinks to lob into the bear’s maw the anti-transformation powder he planned to use to leave town, successfully returning Merida to her carrot-topped form.

Merida brings Rumple to Emma’s cellar, where he is to finally complete the task of removing Excalibur. On the off chance he cannot, he first apologizes to Belle for “everything,” saying if he had the chance again he’d be the man she deserves. “It’s never too late,” she warmly responds. Rumple however can pull the sword from the stone, lobs it at Emma’s feet and warns her that she has made “one terrible mistake — you turned me into a hero.” And while Storybrooke is lousy with ’em, “None of them are me.”

Elsewhere in Storybrooke: Dark Emma broke Zelena out of her cell and gifted her with onion rings in the name of making a deal, for the Wicked Witch’s services as a wielder of the Apprentice’s wand. In trade, Emma will give her freedom and protection. Zelena however firmly declines, saying she doesn’t want any darkness hovering around her baby-to-be. This (barely) cues up a chat about children resenting parents, and how Henry will never forgive Emma for what she did to Violet. Emma scoffs at the idea of undying resentment, to which Z reminds her, “I killed Neal — ready to kiss and make up?” IOW, no deal.

Regina, the Charmings, Hook and Belle meanwhile sought to use the crimson toadstool to summon Merlin, in part to solve the mystery of why Emma came back from Camelot as the Dark One. Thing is, someone “chosen” by the master sorcerer must work the magic — meaning Arthur, who in private sabotages their plan by throwing the ‘shroom into the fire pit. Little does he know, magic mushrooms don’t burn. Regina then realizes they have one other “chosen” option — the Author. Steadfastly believing his mom is somewhere inside Dark Emma, Henry obliged and summons a “voicemail” from Merlin, who says their only hope at this dire stage is someone named… Nimue.

Turning to the flashbacks…AMY MANSON, EMILIE DE RAVIN

After Merlin, like a boss, showed off his magic-throwing swag in the course of freeing Lancelot, the Merida story was as slightly goofy as I feared — though it did offer Belle multiple opportunities to be clever, someone who knows enough about magic to make Merida (ahem) “enlist” her to help rescue her kidnapped bros from rival clansmen. You had to see where this was going (with Belle slipping Mer a placebo vs. bear potion), but the way the archer shot down the firing squad’s arrows was rather nifty. (Plus, the camera kinda loved Emilie de Ravin this whole episode, which never hurts.)

Meanwhile in Camelot, we got a tiny scene between Merlin and Emma, where — with the help of some Apollo bars — he reminds her of their long-ago first meeting. Emma raises the Q we all had (i.e. “How were you a movie usher if you were stuck in a tree for 1,000 years?”), but he says what’s important is that he somehow got his message to her (even though she wouldn’t remember it without his prompting?). That although Excalibur was already been pulled from the stone, it will return to whence it came, so she must be mindful to leave it there. The fact that Emma, as we have seen, does not leave Excalibur be makes us wonder why she ultimately defies Merlin. Or is she operating on a secret agenda that merely looks dark?

What did you think of “The Bear and the Bow”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. S.uddenly says:

    Enjoyed this episode very much. The Merida thing could be seen coming from a mile away but dang the hairy chested hottie clansman redeemed it a bit!

  2. Morgan says:

    a little bored this episode.

  3. laurelnev says:

    I know I’m going to get flamed for daring to suggest this, but I find Dark Swan boring, and was glad we were relieved of having too many scenes with her./ That being said, I loved the return to a character driven hour, and actually really enjoyed Thelma and Louise’s trip across the water to save her brothers. And those scenes with Belle and Rumple were the best of the season. But I don’t like the rest of the Scooby Gang basically being relegated to the peanut gallery with little of importance to contribute. Why bother spending all those seasons building up the Emma/Regina BFF relationship to waste Regina this season? I’m intrigued by what they have planned for Nimue, but at the same time, feel like did they really need to add yet another character? I’d much rather have seen the redeemed Evil Queen and the no-longer Dark One save Emma than a whole slew of newbies who won’t be around long enough for us to care about them.

    • Lisa says:

      Although they brought in “another character” to help with another piece of the puzzle, I’m fairly certain that the other character is merely a piece of the puzzle that will then bat it back to the main characters. The slew of newbies that won’t be around long enough for us to care about them usually provide supplementary information & strategies that benefit the normal team. In essence, the stories usually just springboard off of them.

    • the girl says:

      I agree with you. I don’t find Emma to be dark enough. I actually think Regina was more evil/dark than the so-called Dark One is behaving right now. I don’t buy it so it makes me believe that she is not trying to snuff out the light and she is still very much in control of her darkness. Which is boring.

      • smartysenior says:

        Thumbs up from me, much as I like her as the Savior she is pretty lousy at this dark one stuff. Rumple and the evil Queen were both so deliciously bad and she is just flat boring bad. Really gives you a good example of great acting vs mediocre acting ability.

    • Candy says:

      Yeah, that’s just SHOCKING coming from you.

    • Carol McGuinn says:

      You are not the only one. I find the whole thing kind of stupid.

  4. abz says:

    Not a bad episode. Rumbelle-centric episodes are usually never my favorites. I just find the pairing quite dull sometimes, but it was an okay episode. The Brave-related stuff is so much more interesting for me to watch than the Camelot storyline. Just not really feeling the Camelot characters so far except for Merlin. I’d like to see more of him.
    I can’t wait for the Regina/Hook journey episode and more of Hook’s back story. I feel like both he and Regina have been a bit underused so far this season. Even Emma too. After all the promotion for the Dark Swan over the summer, it still feels sometimes like we’ve barely seen much.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I liked that they addressed a lot of Rumple/Belle issues this week, including her asking the others, “Why do we give Dark Emma a fair shake but always condemn my not-sweetheart?”

      • abz says:

        Yeah, I agree with you there. The episode had some much-needed character work. My comment was more generally that I’m not as crazy about Rumbelle as others maybe. Although, I seriously hope she doesn’t forgive him right away. One of things that made Belle a much more interesting character last season for me was when she finally toughened up and pushed Rumple over the town line. Before that I found her to be incredibly dull. I want her to stay tough. Rumple cannot be so easily forgiven for the things he’s done. Saving her from Merida the Bear may have been a start, but that can’t be it.
        I hope we also get some more character development for Regina and Hook this season as well as I feel they’ve been underused. I’d love to even see some mother-daughter scenes with Emma and Dark Swan. Can’t recall the last time the two had a meaningful scene together.

        • Naoyusimi says:

          “Rumple cannot be so easily forgiven for the things he’s done” … however, Emma will be, no matter what she does, so you’re exhibiting the same sort of hypocrisy of which Belle (finally) accused the “heroes”. Same curse, same rules apply. Of course saving Belle (again) from the Mer-bear isn’t going to be “it” for his story! It was just the act that was needed to start him on the side of “good” that Emma needed, so he could pull Excalibur. He has always shown remorse for most of his actions, even while the Dark One. Rumpelstiltskin was a compassionate man before that, giving his last money to a beggar and feeding him at his hearth, so now that person can emerge from under a few centuries as the Dark One. He’ll be changed, so his development will be interesting–perhaps a foreshadowing of Emma, post-Dark One.

          I find the comments you make about Belle in season 4A interesting, since her screentime was so lacking and the writers had her asleep much of the time: No wonder you thought she was “dull”. I think Emilie’s an excellent actress when given some screen time and actual LINES. I must disagree that she wasn’t tough before that. Belle has always been strong. The fact that she was happy in the newlywed phase of her marriage, because she was kept in the dark about her husband’s plans, doesn’t make her weak nor gullible. I think it’s sad that, like you, other fans have hinted at such about Belle, and only liked her once she rejected Rumpelstiltskin. I think that says more about the character they dislike that it does about Belle. What she did to her True Love was actually quite cruel, since he was out in the wilderness in winter with no money, no transportation, no cane to help him walk, no food or water, no winter coat–no belongings whatsoever. It’s a good thing it’s a fairytale show, since he more than likely would have died.

          • abz says:

            No, I thought what Belle did to him was far from cruel and that he got exactly what he deserved. What happened to Rumple at the end of 4A was of his own doing and it was Belle’s shining moment of the show for me seeing her toughen up and no longer willing to take any more of Rumple’s nonsense and lies and watching him hurt the people around her.
            He’s put them through enough crap since he was revived in 3B. I saw the reaction of the group about Rumple to be human and natural. This was a man who wreaked so much havoc in their live only just recently. Sending the Churnabog into town, reviving Maleficent and unleashing the Queens of Darkness, stealing Hook’s heart and almost crushing it (not to mention the fact that he was in position of his hand the whole time and never gave it back which is pretty sick), trying to destroy Emma, the mother of his grandchild and the love of his son’s life by stealing her powers and trapping her into the Sorceror’s hat, torturing August, etc. He has done good, but all these things I’ve listed were very recent, so its natural that they are still pissed about everything.
            Also, with regards to Belle. I have always found her to be quite dull since the beginning. She has her moments here and there but that’s about it for me. And I don’t have a problem really with Emilie de Ravin. I enjoyed her in LOST, but there is nothing special about her acting to me.

      • It's Delovely says:

        Other than the tons of lovely Rumbelle goodness, my favorite moments were Rumple’s totally badass “because none of them are ME” and Belle calling out Team Hero as hypocrites. The sooner everyone else realizes what a valuable ally Rumple could be (he’s the only former Dark One in town), the sooner they might be able stop/help Dark Emma.

        • Lily says:

          Team Heroes are not hypocrites, as Gold tried to kill all of them less than two months earlier. They have had enough of his schtick.

          • Naoyusimi says:

            He never tried to kill all of them two months earlier. You must be watching another show. He’s helped them a ridiculous number of times, including dying when saving their butts from Pan. Yet they don’t care when he’s enslaved–twice they just left him there, in a cage, force-fed and molested, by the twisted Wicked Witch, both in the Enchanted Forest and back in Storybrooke. Were I him, I would have killed Zelena, too, and the “heroes” can go and die on their moral high ground, the next time they needed his help.

            I know how this is going to go: Emma hasn’t killed anyone yet (that we know of), but when she does, she’ll be forgiven immediately (just like when she killed Cruella), or excuses will be made. But Rumpelstiltskin, as the Dark One, was treated like something subhuman. He managed that curse for centuries, and resisted its pull at times, even doing quite a lot of good. It’s the same curse, so the same rules should apply. There shouldn’t be double standard for different Dark Ones. That’s where the “heroes” hypocrisy really stands out–though they’ve always been a self-centered and self-righteous bunch.

          • abz says:

            Did you not remember how a major part of his plans in season 4 was to DESTROY Emma, the mother of his grandchild and the love of his son’s life? How if it weren’t for Elsa he’d have let her get sucked into the Sorceror’s hat. After what he put them through not too long ago in 4B with sending the Churnabog, reviving Maleficent and unleashing the QoDs on them, torturing August, stealing Hook’s heart. He also couldn’t resist killing Zelena after they jailed her in season 3 and as a result the crap with her continued with her returning after having basically raped Robin and impregnated herself. I think their reactions towards Rumple were perfectly natural.

  5. M. says:

    I loved it! Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin always kill those emotional scenes!

  6. Boiler says:

    Another good episode of as very good season so far

  7. David says:

    Merlin is HOT! I hope the producers keep him around. Give Hook some competition!!

  8. ninamags says:

    Merida was a complete bad-a$$ with that bow and arrow wasnt she! Love her!

    The 3 guys that her parents tried to marry her off to were spot on from the movie. The blonde-haired guy!

    Ugh, Belle is looking awful thin and sickly. I thought Emilie was pregnant?

  9. Cornelius says:

    Good episode this one was, and that bear was really good CGI for OUAT.

    Based on next weeks promo I am betting the next few episodes (there is only 6 left and one is a 2 hour episode so really just 5 more weeks) will be Emma trying to find the stuff she needs to put Excalibur together, and then the finale will be her with the full sword and her plan revealed as the winter finale cliffhanger.

    Hoping I am wrong and we find out sooner but it is looking doubtful.

    • abz says:

      Yeah I want them to reveal her plan sooner. Clearly restoring Excalibur is one part of it. But I don’t have any guesses as to what her ultimate goal might be. She’s kind of embraced the darkness, so I don’t think it’s in her interest to stop herself from becoming the Dark One and going back to her old life.
      Honestly, over the summer I was so excited for the Dark Swan, but ever since the hints about the Underworld and possibly bringing in Hercules/Megara in 5B, I just wanna bypass all this Camelot stuff and get there. It’s gonna feel like forever waiting till March for 5B

      • Luli says:

        I think she is just appearing to be bad, but in reality she is helping the others defeat the darkness. They just don’t know that.

      • Cornelius says:

        Totally agree. The Underworld has me so intrigued and I hope it’s true. Camelot has been a total waste beside’s introducing Merlin so I’ll be glad when that story stops. As for Emma’s plan after the sword is full, perhaps a full sword is what introduces the Underworld to OUAT? But then why would Emma want that.

      • Lily says:

        @abz…. I think Emma is trying to find a shortcut, to defeating the Darkness. She clearly does not want to pay the Price, because it is probably someone she truly cares about.

  10. Luli says:

    Am I the only one who is not a fan of Rumple and Rumbelle???? The episode was ok, I enjoyed the Merida and Belle storyline, but I think DarkSwan is being underused, also her parents. I wamt to see more of them. In the early seasons we had great scenes between Emma and her mom, and Emma and her parents…. Now we’ve had two or three scenes between them. They are missing such an opportunity of exploring their relationship now that Emma is the Dark One.
    And please don’t let Rumple be the one that defeats the DarkSwan.

    • Cornelius says:

      I went on a YouTube adventure few days ago with clips of OUAT and the ones with Emma and her parents were great. Would love to see Dark Swan with her mom just having a chat – would be so good.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      No, you aren’t. I’ve never been interested or invested in Rumbelle together or separately. But I do understand the purpose of this episode for them, both together and as individuals, and realistically I know the show can’t always be about my faves.

    • Amelia says:

      No you are not the only one who is not a Rumbelle fan. Their eps, together and seperate, generally bore me to tears. This one was helped by the Merida adventure, but not by much. The only saving grace of the ep was really the Regina/Charming scenes to help Dark Swan and the scenes Dark Swan was in. And Zelena!! Whooo, I love Bex!

      We are going into episode 7 and I think it’s absurd that Dark Swan and The Charmings have not shared a scene in Storybrooke. Not one scene. What a missed opportunity for them to lecture her. Also absurd to me about this episode is Zelena knowing what Emma did to Henry in Camelot. I certainly don’t think Regina is a gossiper and as much as Snow has loose lips, even she wouldn’t want the town to look at her daughter in such a bad light, so that was dumb. (Oh, maybe it was that hobo Hood who blabbered. Yeah, probably.)

      All said and done, I’d rate it as a C+ episode.

    • Lily says:

      No…. Rumbelle is the only relationship on OUaT, I truly detest and refuse to support. It is so toxic, and disturbing. I loved when Belle finally kicked Gold to the curb, last season. Where has that Belle gone?

  11. abz says:

    I don’t know if I’ve missed any hints about this, but I’m curious as to how Dark Swan as a former Savior differs from Rumple as Dark One. Didn’t the writers emphasize the fact that Emma is the Savior would mean she would be a much more different incarnation than the ones before her? But if so, in what way? Does being the Savior possible give her greater control over her darkness than Rumple would have had? For example. if it was Rumple, would he have just crushed Sneezy’s heart and killed him to make a point rather than turn him into stone that could easily be undone the way Emma did?

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Maybe Emma’s Savior-ness will make her able to resist the darkness and destroy IT (rather than the light) like some fans have suggested.

  12. Mika02 says:

    Not my favorite episode there are now more questions than answers plus not enough Merlin in my opinion. I did love Emma & Zelena, Henry’s usefulness as the author and them realizing they can’t trust Arthur.

  13. Katie says:

    LOVED this episode. I thought it was great to see Belle point out the group (Snow, Charming, Regina, Rumple)’s hypocrocy, and I don’t consider myself to be a Rumbelle shipper. Not that I don’t like them, I just don’t have strong feelings about them one way or another. But I thought Belle was completely right because he had something actually making him evil – it’s not like he was in his right mind while doing some of his darker deeds. So I felt like it was a completely valid argument that Belle gave and she shot up about 100 points for me this week.

    • Susannah says:

      Emma’s reason for darkness is different though, it wasn’t for her own gain like it was for Regina and Rumple. She took in the darkness to save everyone else. That’s why I feel she’s different to Rumple and Regina, they wanted that dark power to for selfish reasons.

      • Donna says:

        but they didn’t. Rumple wanted to save his son from an unjust war that was taking young children. He intended to use it for good and did when he stopped the Ogre war. So his intent was not for a selfish reasons. that’s canon.
        As is Regina’s. She wanted to get away from and overbearing mother and felt victimized by circumstances when forced to marry Leopold.

        • It's Delovely says:

          THANK YOU. If you go back and rewatch “Desperate Souls” from Season 1, Rumple clearly tells Bae that he wants to use the power of the Dark One for good. His motivation was to save Bae from being drafted from the Ogre Wars, and one of his early acts as Dark One was to bring all of the child soldiers home from war. Like Jennifer Morrison said in an interview about Dark Emma, BOTH Rumple and Emma took on the curse for honorable reasons. The darkness has a strong pull, though, and neither were/are able to resist it as the Dark One.

      • Light says:

        Yes! I Agree! Emma is not Cora. Or Regina Or Rumpelstiltskin! Emma is someone who took on the darkness to save the lives of these idiots. That is all. I loved Hook’s little head shake when Belle was trying to make Emma look as bad as Rumple, like “Belle, she took on the darkness as a sacrifice and technically hasn’t even killed anyone yet, just stop with the comparisons.”

        • Lily says:

          Also, Emma has on been the Dark One for less than two months! Hook tried to gently knock some sense into Belle, because he knows how much Gold has hurt her. It is a shame, she cannot see that for herself.

          • Rebecca says:

            “Hook tried to gently knock some sense into Belle,” Ironic you using this phrase considering he LITERALLY hit her once, and shot her another time…. But yeah…. Hook and Belle are GREAT buds and this is a TOTALLY healthy friendship for Belle to have!

          • abz says:

            @Rebecca, its no more a healthy friendship than the relationship that has developed between Snow and Regina even after every thing Regina has done to Snow and her family. I think once you accept that these relationships are all twisted and not real, you will save yourself some time.

  14. Ram510 says:

    I thought this was a good episode. The scene with Zelena and Emma was probably the first time I enjoyed watching Dark Swan and though she did a good performance in that scene

  15. ninergrl6 says:

    I loved the opening scene with Merlin, Charming, and Hook (with Belle in tow) busting into the Camelot jail. Then it became a rather predictable snoozefest for me until the last 10 minutes. I’m not a Rumple fan, nor am I a huge fan of Brave, so I knew tonight’s episode wouldn’t be my cup of tea. I am, however, VERY intrigued by next week’s ep and I’m more convinced than ever that 5B is going to revolve around Greek mythology. Wasn’t it Prometheus who originally gave fire to man?

  16. Sharon Hoyt says:

    I was not so happy about seeing the Apollo bars return….makes me wonder if OUAT will go sideways….as Lost did towards the end.

    I’m really hoping they have more control over this series.

  17. Dominique says:

    although i really enjoyed the amount of merida/belle scenes, i rolled my eyes so hard during rumple’s “i’m a hero and none of the others are me” scene. holy cow that’s SO bad. certainly hope this isn’t what we have to endure from now on.

  18. browneyegurl says:

    So basically they undervalued and undermined the original premise of Season 1. Rumple clearly injured himself not of cowardice, but because he wanted to be alive to father his child. Last week they totally undervalued Regina’s pain of seeing her fiancé murder in front of her to Henry’s 2 second crush on a girl. I swear OUAT can’t go an episode without some type of inconsistent characterization.

    Anyway, is nobody going to point out how can Merlin, who is stuck in a tree, could somehow physically show himself to Emma as a child??????

    Poor Belle is truly a writers prop. It would have been more interesting for her to pull out Excalibur since she has been useful in actually helping people so consistently. It just seems misogynistic that women do all the good deeds in the world and yet men continually reap the benefits and rewards (Hook, Rumple). Though Rumple has helped the heroes a lot, I just see the trend of male villains getting complete wipes of their past but yet Regina still acknowledge her low moral ground (like last episode) and still have to earn her redemption. It seems the fans and the writers don’t even see Hook as some villain.

    Anyway, I hate that Belle yet again gets stuck with the guest stars who will disappear after the 12 episode, I wish she was more integrated in the circle of “heroes” but alas, Belle is a prop. So far she has been victimized by Hook, Rumple, Regina, Emma, Zelena, Merida in some shape, form, and capacity. That’s OUAT for you.

    • MissVCI says:

      Rumple feared loosing his son, so out of fear that he would die in the ogre wars he crippled himself which is a cowardly act. And he has always been portrayed as a power hungry cowardly man.

      and how did they undervalue Regina’s pain, you still saw Regina saddened and upset by her past but luckily she has moved on so yes the pain wasn’t enough, but that doesn’t mean it’s undervalue but pain does heal over time.

  19. Denny says:

    These people can’t write for saving their own life! Make Rumple a hero? Good! Perfect! But at the very least try a little harder! Write something epic! Something that seams real!

  20. dancmh says:

    Rumple has one good day and can pull the sword from the stone. Ridiculous.

    • Denny says:

      Agreed. I feel like 45 minutes was not enough time and a bit too rushed.

    • browneyegurl says:

      Ridiculous. Guy does evil deeds for hundreds of years, get a clear blank state, does one good deed of saving his damsel in distress, he’s epic hero now. I love my Rumple, but he is going through the “Hook whitewash” phase now. Ridiculous.

      • Denny says:

        Or Regina whitewash. But for me it’s not about ships or favourite characters anymore. It’s about writing.
        The execution was really really poor. He just threw conveniently placed magic stuff at a bear. In a moment that could be considered self-preservation even if he came back for Belle. All in 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES. At least with Regina and Hook they have the decency to use nealy 3 seasons.
        Don’t get me wrong, I like that Rumple is trying to change, but one heroic act doesn’t automatically make you a hero.

        • browneyegurl says:

          My poor Regina suffered too, like how Belle should confront her about the heart situation but A&E forgot about that. No character or plot point can escape the wrath of OUAT’s writing crew lol.

        • Lily says:

          Gold is far from a hero, for pulling Excalibur…. he is just the Dark Swan’s puppet.

    • JM says:

      Yes, the writing has gotten really sloppy lately.

    • BM says:

      Agreed! That Rumple became a hero that way seems way too easy. He didn’t even really fight. And I’d say his last line sounded like he’s got a hero complex now, too. When Regina won her battle against Zelena she, at least, had the decency to say that today she was a hero, and she didn’t really consider herself a hero throughout S4, not sure if she’s doing it now.
      Maybe Rumple has the lack of emotional attachment it would take to defeat Emma, but please. That man is the Mastermind behind it all – Regina may have executed the curse but he was the puppet master, and his actions were always very calculated.
      If Rumple really were to save the day by himself, I would very unsatisfied because that’s not really how it works and I want himt to have to work for his happy ending, too. Like everyone else. He needs to deserve it. He may have saved Belle and Merida but they didn’t even inform anyone else of what was going on, they weren’t willing to find a solution *together* which didn’t involve heeding the Dark One’s request. Their actions have a rather selfish touch to it. They put their needs and desires before the Greater Good and that is not heroic. At least, that is how they came across to me.
      That said, I also loved the character quality time Belle and Rumple got.

  21. I loved this episode. First one in a long time. Hoping for more of Rumple and Belle in the future.

  22. buttercupscarlett95 says:

    I didn’t like this episode much at all. I don’t like Emma as Dark Swan, so the Storybrooke scenes depressed me. I especially dislike the writers darkening Emma to try to make Rumple look like a hero. I don’t mind Rumple being redeemed, but I hate that they’re doing it at Emma’s expense. She’s the hero, not the villain, and I feel like they are completely destroying her character. I have a problem with the writers putting plot over character, and I feel that’s what this whole Dark Swan arc is doing. This isn’t Emma’s character. They’ve sacrificed her for the sake of plot, and the whole show is suffering for it.

    Also, while the casting of Merida is spot-on, the Belle/Merida adventure failed to grip me. I didn’t feel any kind of strong bond between the women, and the idea that the clansmen would bow down to Merida after one good shot from her bow was laughable. They had Merida ridiculously outnumbered, and Belle was unarmed. No matter Merida’s prowess with the bow, they could have taken her easily.

    The promo for next week looks promising. I’m interested in Nimue’s story, and Emma/Hook scenes always light up the screen. I hope for better in the next episode, and more Camelot Emma, less Dark Swan.

  23. robandco says:

    The overall main story is moving so slowly. It’s excruciating. They should never have gone the flashback route for this story. I don’t think it works. Especially when they have half filler episodes with flashbacks completely off the timeline from last week. It makes little sense (except you know, let’s cash in on Brave’s Merida popularity, thank you Disney).
    Dark Swan does not work either for me. JM isn’t believable as a Dark One. Her acting is bad.

    On the positive side (because there is), Emilie De Ravin was great this week, I like her character even though I don’t really like Rumbelle. Merlin’s story is fun. And I like that they still care about Henry being the new Author.

    PS: I am currently rewatching Lost and the Appolo chocolate bar Easter Egg thing is very nice.

  24. Dor says:

    So less than half a season and Rumple is now a hero? That’s a bit much. If after everything he has done Bell forgives him that easily? How’s does that work?! Their best moments was when Bell pushed him out of storybrook. Let’s not forget the reason he could even be a hero is bc of Emma? And what she is doing will eventually become unforgivable but Rumple has done far far worst over several seasons lol but wait? No He is a hero! It was just a bit much considering all the redemption Regina has fought for and then he saves Bell who he has always wanted/manipulated through several seasons of being evil.

  25. Melissa says:

    Are you serious with this article title? I googled once upon a time season 5 so I could watch the episode, not so I could have the climax spoiled for me by the first link to pop up.

  26. Donna says:

    loved loved this episode! It parallels so well the Emma we saw that was once good, not darkness by the curse. To Rumple now seeing that he can be the hero, the good man he once was. Henry saying this wasn’t his mom , that he wanted her back. To Bae saying the same thing about his father.

    Rumple believing in himself instead of the self loathing. Loved that Belle called out the hypocrites. They want her help, but then refuse to help her? Rumple may have done a lot of bad, but they also always went to him when they needed something. Hook’s friendship to Belle is one sided. He demands her help for his TL but wont help Belle with hers. None of the heroes are without darkness. All have done something, while not cursed that was evil.
    I hope this show continues this path. That everyone is worthy of redemption. Even a former dark one.
    Emma and Rumple both fell victim to the curse and it’s seduction. The difference is Emma has support and those trying to aid her. Rumple spent centuries with the darkness devouring him. This doesn’t mean Rumple is forgiven. Like all the villains he needs to do really work for his redemption. But he should be allowed it and it’s a step in the right direction.

    I also like that Rumple proved that a real hero won’t just save a loved one but will also save a stranger. Even a stranger that (against her will) was trying to kill your TL. It’s a big step and I can’t wait to see how this develops.

    It felt like S1 good story telling again.

    I also loved that all the right things were said last night. Rumple is doing things right to make amends for what he did to Belle. It will make an eventual reconciliation believable.

    this show is about hope.. and I may have found mine in the show again.

    It’s too bad such an excellent episode went up against both Football, and the World Series. But considering that it really didn’t do badly compared to the ratings so far this season.

    And kudos to Robert and Emile. Robert yet again gives birth to another version of this complicated man. The man after the curse.
    And EMilie for showing Belle’s strength and love even though she’s not ready to jump back into the marraige.

  27. Rumpleforever says:

    I REALLY liked the Dark One edge to Gold’s last comment regarding being a hero and that none of the other heroes were him.

  28. Phil says:

    Anyone know why Emilie de Ravin is suddenly wearing a wig again? Belle’s hair went from shiny to s*** overnight.

    • It's Delovely says:

      She’s pregnant in real-life and has stopped dyeing her hair dark, hence the wig. I think this was the first episode with the wig.

  29. Beany53 says:

    I was confused when Emma was talking to Merlin about meeting him when she was a child. It looked like they were inside Granny’s diner. In the recap it said it happens in Camelot. I didn’t know they had buildings with window blinds back in the 12th century.

  30. JM says:

    Guess I’m in the minority, but I like Emma as the ‘Dark Swan’. She was getting boring as the ‘Savior’, and I like her with more edge. Love Rumbelle, but one good deed does NOT a hero make. Can’t stand Merida. Her whining about her brothers and kingdom is getting on my nerves.
    Matt, the ‘Merlin’s voicemail’ line by Regina definitely has to be in the ‘Quotes of the week’!

  31. Sorgiende says:

    I’m not particularly fond of this new season. I am greatly annoyed by the liberal deviation from traditional Arthurian legend, and in an attempt to make the characters of Arthur and Gwen nuanced, the writers inadvertently removed all room for moral grays in depicting Arthur as a false-king and Gwen his magically-duped pawn. Perhaps its the actors’ portrayal of the characters, but their stories are not engaging, and Arthur’s goal in serving Merlin (I am annoyed that Merlin is a young, pretty boy) to reunite the parts of Excalibur was a fruitless pursuit used only to stage the setting of the present plot. This season has been a episodic series of disappointments. It is dull, convoluted, and boring; for something borrowing from a heavy cache of lore and myth such as King Arthur, I would expect better quality in writing, character development, and plot advancement, but instead the episodes have become an hour’s worth of suffering through dull acting, forced dialogue, and the waste of a story with such great potential that will never be realized.