A lot of theft went on in this episode. Magical items, personal effects, actual people… And of course there were lies. Lots and lots of lies.
So Emma believes that the best way to get to Excalibur would be to steal a dwarf’s axe and bust it out of the stone. But a dwarf’s axe is no match for magic, so she has to go to the original plan of finding a hero to pull the sword from the stone. Seeing as though there is only one person she can likely trick into doing her bidding for her, Emma decides to invite Hook on a dinner date. She pulls out all the stops, from transforming herself into savior Emma to talking about how being the Dark One has made her open up more to the world. But Hook’s not buying it. He knows Emma is playing games, and wants nothing to do with her.
Meanwhile, back in Camelot, Regina may have found a way to speak to Merlin. There is a mushroom, growing on a island surrounded by animated armor ready to kill anyone who comes near, that can allow people to communicate across magical barriers. So if they can get the mushroom then they can speak with Merlin through the tree, getting an idea of how to get him out and how to help Emma. Of course there is that problem involving the animated armor. Of course, it is not a problem for the famous King Arthur and Prince Charming! Except for where Charming loses the mushroom.
But the important thing is that we all learned a valuable lesson about hard work right? Right… I guess. Though fighting bravely alongside King Arthur earned Charming a valued seat at the Round Table! Which is pretty amazing… I guess. Turns out that Arthur stole the mushroom and lied to Charming “for the good of the kingdom.” And Lancelot did show up, even though he is supposed to be dead, and warn Snow White that Arthur is secretly evil.
Do you remember Lancelot? Because, if I am being honest here, I had completely forgotten he had ever appeared in the show. This episode the characters keep saying how tragic his death was, while I was sitting there like, “Yeah, sure… So tragic.” Thanks to the wonderful powers of the internet, I did learn who he was. He appeared once in Season Two and sacrificed himself so that Snow White would not be barren. After that episode he was mentioned a couple times, but we never saw him again until this season. So I suppose I do not feel too bad about forgetting him.
Anyway. In the real world some of Arthur’s evilness has carried over. First he tells Charming that they had a magic bean that could transport everyone back to Camelot. Then he convinces his squire to steal all these precious relics so it looks like the magic bean was stolen. After that he requests Charming’s help to get the items back, creating this kind of brotherly bond between the two. When Charming comes up with a clever plan to reveal the perpetrator the non-existent bean is not there. And while the viewer questions why Arthur is going through all this trouble, he has the squire drink poison so that no one will know he lied. But not before declaring that he will work to turn Storybooke into a new Camelot.
So this show’s habit of making villains heroic and heroes villainous continues! Not that I am complaining. Makes for good television.
While all of this is happening Belle is still trying her hardest to find a way to save Rumplestiltskin. She was giving a rose by the Blue Fairy so she would know how her love is doing, but the rose keeps losing more and more petals. Just when she is close to finding a way to wake him up from his coma, the petals start growing back on the rose. So Rumplestiltskin is alive… and missing. Because no one in Storybrooke gets the time to appreciate the happier moments in life before the personification of evil whisks them away to an underground chamber holding a legendary sword.
Since Rumple had the darkness ripped from him and was born anew, he is neither good nor evil. Just like a newborn he has the potential to dip down either path, and just needs to be guided. Emma realizes this potential and decides to capture him and wake him up. If she is able to mold the former Dark One into a hero, then she will be able to get Excalibur from the stone.
On the bright side that magic-defying mushroom appeared in Storybrooke, so now people can speak through magical barriers. Which probably means that Merlin’s tree is somewhere in our world, just rearing for a conversation.
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