This Sunday on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Regina’s “Savior” secret had deadly consequences in Camelot, while in Storybrooke Hook put his honey where his mouth is, in hopes of saving Emma.
IN CAMELOT OF SIX WEEKS AGO…. | After meeting Queen Guinevere, the heroes are shown where Merlin is — stuck inside an enchanted tree, and only the Savior’s magic can extricate him. Using the dagger, Regina silences Emma so that she can step forward and claim to be said Savior.
Later, as everyone preps for the ball being thrown in the Storybrooke guests’ honor, Regina gets two cold left feet, revealing that she doesn’t know how to dance, which she frets is yet one more sign that she can’t pass muster as Savior. After Charming remedies that with a quick lesson, Mary Margaret, Emma and Regina are welcomed into the ball, where they twirl up a storm with their respective fellas. Elsewhere, Grumpy makes Belle feel better about the slowly withering rose, while Henry makes the acquaintance of a young girl named Violet, to whom he introduces iPods and Yazoo.
Sir Percival, during a dance with Regina, reveals that he knows she isn’t the Savior, thanks to the “seeing” pendant he gifted her with earlier, coupled with his vivid memories of the Evil Queen burning down his village years ago. When Percy draws his sword, Robin tackles the guy and David eventually runs him through with his sword. Robin is nonetheless gravely injured, and Regina’s magic is no help since Percy’s sword was enchanted to kill her. Regina implores Emma to use her (dark) magic to save Robin, and after great hesitation — and despite taunting by the vision of Rumple — she does. And she kinda seems to like the taste of power.
Afterward, Regina comes clean to Arthur, who shrugs off the deception and professes Camelot to be a place for “second chances.” Later, Arthur in private reassures a frightened Guinevere that they will help their guests vanquish the Dark One, if only so that they might then obtain the dagger and make Excalibur whole again.
IN STORYBROOKE…. | Anxious to get outta Dodge after Sneezy’s petrification, the dwarfs experiment with crossing the town line — only to witness Dopey get transformed into a… tree? Meanwhile, Hook confers with Belle about whether True Love’s Kiss can undo a Dark One, and she explains that it worked once for her and Rumple, until he eventually chose power over love. Plus, she wisely points out, “a curse isn’t a curse if the afflicted wants it.”
Out by the docks, Henry summons Emma, who reassures him that he wasn’t among those who failed her back in Camelot. Regina shows up, vowing to undo the memory wipe and curse Emma has cast, but the Dark One warns Regina & Co. soon will have other, bigger fish to fry.
When Arthur and his knights/subjects also surface in Storybrooke, Robin helps them set up a camp — until the aforementioned threat swoops in, a Fury that’s after Robin. Regina does her best to fight off the Fury, but gets tossed around like a beanbag, and Robin is taken away. When Mary Margaret coddles her a bit too much after the rumble, Regina worries more than ever that she’ll never be able to lead this town as Savior.
Hook forges ahead with his plan, which Emma unwittingly assists by magic-ing him to her quaint new digs. Being the Dark One “doesn’t mean we can’t still be together,” she purrs, leading him into a kiss. Alas, TLK is not gonna work here. “There’s nothing to fix,” Emma contends, seeing Hook’s disappointment. “Why can’t you accept that?” Emma invites Hook to take her as she is, but he defers, explaining, “This may be who you think you are, but this is not who I am.”
Belle explains to Regina that the Fury is here to collect the price for using magic, though of course no one recalls what went down in Camelot, with Robin almost dying and all. Regina challenges Emma to be the bigger person and call the Fury off, but 1) Emma says she is “done fixing” Regina’s problems, and 2) she didn’t conjure the Fury. Rather, the creature is here to collect on a debt incurred in Camelot. And short of Robin Hood’s life, someone else’s will have to be offered. To that end, Regina sacrifices herself to the Fury, but Mary Margaret, and then David and Grumpy, ally with her, and their concerted front wards off the creature. So, Robin is spared, and Grumpy is among those now convinced of Regina’s cred as a Savior.
Gathering later at Granny’s, Hook nurses some rum while explaining to Belle that if he can spent a century trying to kill the Crocodile, he can take just as long trying to save the woman he loves; Henry and Violet meet (again), over music/Yazoo (again); and Mary Margaret frets to David that if they “win,” “Emma loses.”
A forlorn Emma watches the others from outside, then retreats home, where Rumple informs her that there is much work to be done. He explains that as long as there are families and friends and undying love lingering out there in the world, the Dark One is always at risk. So if she can just remove Excalibur from the stone now in her cellar, and rejoin it with the Dark One’s dagger, she can snuff out the “light”… once and for all.
What did you think of “The Price”? A more focused and more compelling story than the season opener, right?