I decided that the constant back and forth between Camelot six weeks ago and present day Storybrooke was giving me whiplash when trying to put together these reviews. So, my new format will recap everything in the Camelot flashbacks first and then everything in the Storybooke present second. Let's hope that makes sense. More than this show does at least. Yay!
By the way, I'm starting my review with this picture again. It's just as relevant this week as it is every other week this show is on the air.
Camelot, Six Weeks Ago
Our Storybrooke crew has been invited into Camelot by a very eager King Arthur. He introduces everyone to his wife, Queen Guinevere, and I realize that everyone in Camelot is very beautiful. It must be a prerequisite for living there or something.
Arthur and Guinevere are eager to tell the group that Merlin's prophecy foretold that a Savior would arrive to their kingdom. This Savior is supposed to help free Merlin. Two problems here. One: Merlin is trapped in a tree. Like...not trapped up in the branches and he can't get down. He's physically a tree. Or inside of it? This is very unclear.
The second problem is that the Savior Arthur has been waiting for is no longer the Savior. She's the Dark One. Something tells me the arrival of the Dark One will not warrant a ball thrown in her honor.
I'm questioning the validity of Merlin's prophecy altogether. You would think that his prophecy would account for the Savior being the Dark One now, thus his Savior is an entirely different person altogether. Or maybe his prophecies don't have a specific time frame so he wouldn't actually know that the Savior is now the Dark One because he assumed she would arrive before that transformation had happened. Or MAYBE he has no idea what he's doing/I don't understand the practice of prophesizing.
Anywho, things get awkward when nobody from Storybrooke wants to break the news that the Savior is now the Dark One. So, Regina steps up and pretends the be the one Arthur has been waiting for. Emma gets a little miffed at this. The ONE TIME she could wave that Savior flag in somebody really cool's face and she's no longer the Savior.
Arthur is very pleased with Regina and decides that a ball is in order. YES. I just want an entire episode of everyone teaching me the etiquette of various land's balls and feasts. And then I want the characters who lived in modern times to teach all of the other fairytale characters the macarena. Everyone should be subjected to the horrors of having to do the macarena for 6 straight minutes.
While everyone is getting ready to dance the night away, Regina is having some self doubt about whether or not she can be the Savior. Like, not even pretend but BE the actual Savior. Pretty sure we were told there is only one of those but maybe she can do enough magic stuff to get Merlin out of the tree without blowing her cover. Who knows.
As she ponders her situation, a cute knight, brings her a beautiful necklace to wear to the ball. It's a gift for being the Savior. The knight, Sir Percival, asks for a dance even though Robin is STANDING RIGHT THERE. I guess he doesn't know. Plus, Robin is super chill about it. He just giggles and tells her that he's not surprised that everyone wants to dance with her. Way to be a supportive boyfriend!
Charming and Snow are in the process of leaving baby Neal with Doc when Regina bursts through the door and declares that she isn't going to the ball. Everyone GASPS. Just kidding. She probably has a great reason like someone finding out that she's lying about being the Savior. Someone recognizing her as the Evil Queen. Somebody spiking the punch and her getting a little too crazy on the dance floor. All valid reasons to stay at home, Regina. But no, it's none of those. Regina apparently does not know how to dance. Cora gave her all kinds of fairytale land lessons to uphold when becoming a Queen but never let the girl dance. Somebody watched Footloose and sided with the town, y'all.
Thankfully, Snow and Charming put on their best parental faces and help Regina. Snow makes her change into a ballgown and Regina hilariously dons her typical Evil Queen attire. They nix that idea and her next dress is very lovely but also makes her look like she's 15 years old.
Charming proceeds to teacher her how to dance and it really is adorable. As they are dancing we see Sir Percival looking angsty in a different room. AH! The necklace he gave Regina is essentially a nanny cam! He's spying on her and unfortunately Charming decides at the most inopportune time to mention that fact that Regina is not the real Savior. Oh the drama.
Completely oblivious to their foiled plan, Snow and Emma share a sweet moment getting ready for the ball together. Snow is acting like this is Emma's first ball though and I don't think any of us have the heart to remind her that Emma already attended her first with Hook when they were sent back in time at the end of season three.
The ball itself is sweet and pretty. Everyone is dancing and being super flirty because they look gorgeous and it's probably exciting to do something that isn't almost dying all the time. Snow and Charming notice Henry staring at a girl and Charming encourages him to go over and say hello. He also gives him some kind of drink. I assume it isn't alcohol but it makes me laugh to think he gave his 13 year old grandson liquid courage so I choose to believe that is is alcohol. Turns out Henry has a few moves and when he whips out his IPod the girl, Violet, is super into him. As much as you can be at 13, of course.
Regina and Robin are super cute trying to copy Emma and Hook's dance moves. The cute turns ugly quick though when Sir Percival cuts in and asks for his dance. Turns out, Sir Percival hasn't told anyone about Regina not being the Savior but he also knows that she is the Evil Queen! He was a young boy when she burned his village to the ground and then had the gall to smile at him afterwards. Instead of keeping this information and using it in a more strategic way, Sir Percival goes for the straight up kill.
Robin manages to thwart his attack but is gravely injured in the process. Once Charming enters the fight and successfully kills Sir Percival, the group rushes Robin to another room in hopes to save him. Regina can't quite do it because the sword had been enchanted to kill her. She pleads with Emma to save him but that would require Emma to give in to dark magic for a bit. Who knows what that could do to her in the long run? She eventually agrees and heals Robin. Then, randomly, she makes out with Hook.
I get that she needs some sort of anchor to keep herself from going too far with the dark powers. I guess if she want's Hook's lips to be her anchor, more power to her! It also could be that she's using Hook for a true loves kiss in hopes that it keeps her use of darkness from spreading or getting worse. I mean, somehow Rumple once rejected a true love kiss from his true love because he was power hungry. Maybe this is the same deal. Hook, and everyone else really, is super confused when she rushes out of the room though. Unfortunately, sub-conscience Rumple pops in and gleefully notices Emma's skin starting to turn scaly. She likes the power and the power likes her. Uhoh.
After Robin is saved and the ball is probably cut short, Arthur apologizes for the almost murder. Regina decides to be honest and tells him that she isn't the Savior but for some reason Arthur believes they still have a chance.
The last bit of Camelot finds Arthur looking at Sir Percival's crest while seated at his round table. Guinevere comes in and expresses her fear of the Storybrooke arrivals. That's fair. They lied and then managed to kill one of your knights. I would be concerned too. Arthur is very adamant that they continue on with the group though because that is the only way they can get Merlin back. Once they have Merlin back, they hope to get the dagger and reunite it with the other part of Excalibur. I honestly hope they succeed. I want to see how cool but also probably scary Excalibur can be when whole.
Storybrooke, Present Day
If you're still with me, you will find that more people are turning into trees. Must be a theme this season. The dwarves decide to test the town line because they would really like to leave. Grumpy doesn't think they have a fighting chance against Emma considering she used to be the one who had to save them all the time. They send Dopey over the line as a test and at first nothing happens. Then he is suddenly swept up by some lawn clippings and turns into a tree! Just like Merlin! Hmmm....
Out on the docks, Henry calls for Dark Emma and she appears. Remember last week when she told everyone that they had failed her? Well, not Henry. That's nice. I honestly think Emma wants Henry to be impressed with her but Henry just looks a little scared. He knows they'll find a way to get her back from the darkness but maybe Emma doesn't want that? Still, he seems to think it's up to Regina to save them all.
Regina is currently doubting herself as a Savior but also hating on everyone that doubts her as the Savior. C'mon, Regina. Let's pick a side.
Elsewhere, Arthur and his knights find themselves in Storybrooke and they are understandably confused. Turns out, more of Camelot's people were transported into the forest where Robin is setting up a refugee camp. Do they not have space to house these people? Can Regina not whip up a few hostels? What good is magic if you can't use it for anything actually useful?
While passing out water, a scary black smoke creature, that I am told is called a Fury, shows up and takes Robin! What!?
Regina is pissed. She, Charming and Arthur go after the Fury. Apparently, saving Robin's life back in Camelot came with a price that Regina was willing to pay but never did. I mean, she got transported back to Storybrooke with no memories of any time in Camelot so let's give her a pass. The Underworld doesn't work like that though. It demands that the price be paid.
Regina blames Emma for the Fury but she tells them that it wasnt her. She isn't too sympathetic though when she tells Regina that the payment is another life. Regina refuses to sacrifice anyone for Robin and that's a Savior moment if I've ever heard one. Emma just scoffs and tells Regina that she has decide who to be. Emma doesn't care about anything anymore.
Except for maybe Hook? She magically swirls him to her new house and invites him in. She's being super flirty and I'm pretty sure he has no idea how he feels about it.
He then tries to true love kiss her but it doesn't work. Belle had previously warned him that there is no longer a curse when the one inflicted accepts their curse. Emma has welcomed the powers of the Dark One so true loves kiss is pointless right now. She doesn't believe she has anything to be saved from so he can't really save her. Poor guy, two attempts at true loves kiss. Two strike outs. Of course, both had explanations for why they didn't work and neither of those explanations were "they are not each other's true love." So, let's cross our fingers, folks. We still have a chance! Really though, it's almost 100% going to happen at some point.
Hook does make the smart choice of refusing Emma's advances because she is still totally into him. He's not feeling it, though. It's probably the reminder that he's spent like hundreds of years trying to kill the Dark One and now the person he loves is the Dark One. It's too weird and twisted for even him to go there. Still, good for you Hook!
While Emma and Hook are having some relationship problems, Regina's other half is currently being dragged to the Underworld. The Fury takes Robin to the lake where the gate keeper of the Underworld slowly rows his boat to shore. Regina won't go without a fight so when the Fury starts to suck out Robin's soul Regina steps up to sacrifice herself instead. Then, in a scene I know was not meant to be hilarious but it kind of was, Snow decides to join her. Charming, Grumpy and King Arthur follow and now all of their souls are being sucked out but it's too much for the Fury and he is blasted away.
They save Robin again and Grumpy decides that if Regina is willing to sacrifice herself she is probably their best shot at saving the town. Robin cutely mentions that it looks like Regina has found a few more believers.
They all head to Granny's for a celebratory drink. Hook is being angsty and tells Belle that he spent hundreds of years hunting down the crocodile so he can spend at least that amount of time trying to save the woman he loves. Swoon. Snow laments the choices they will face with Emma. She believes that if they win, Emma ultimately loses. Umm...no. Pretty sure she wins if y'all win but also manage not to kill her completely in the process. Believe in yourself, Snow! Regina does!
While they all party at the diner, Emma sits at home in the dark just petting her dagger. I feel like she should be listening to The Cranberries or something. Sub-conscience Rumple shows up and leads her to a locked door. The locked door leads to an underground cave. This can't be good. Ah. In the cave sits Excalibur. It's hanging out in it's stone again.
Rumple tells Emma that she needs to unite Excalibur's pieces so she can snuff out all of the light left in the town and in her life. No other Dark One has been able to succeed in this. There has always been family, friends, magic and love to help keep one from going completely dark. I think all of those things are destined to save Emma in the end but what do I know? She tries to get Excalibur from the stone but it rejects her and slams her into a wall. Ha.
She needs someone good and worthy to get the sword and now I am afraid for like 95% of Storybrooke's inhabitants. Also, WHERE IS MERLIN? I need him back on my screen. Unless he ends up being a bad guy, but also I think I can dig that? I can't wait to find out!