This episode gave us a handful or realizations, a few from characters and a few for us as the audience. Charming realizes that just because they lost one battle with Emma’s darkness does not mean she is doomed. Hook realizes that Dark Swan is not his Emma and he has to stop seeing her as if she is. And we realized that Arthur has some dark plans and is not someone we can fully trust.
The episode starts with the group finding a toadstool in one of the spell books that will allow them to talk with Merlin. (Quick side note, that question mark Regina put in the book was that some subtle hint that she thought something would happen to them later?). Of course this toadstool is in a very dangerous land and Charming volunteers to go off to find it. Arthur asks to join him in his quest.
In the present we see that Charming is beyond frustrated at the situation the group currently finds themselves in. He is blaming himself for not having saved Emma from the darkness. He is feeling helpless.
The real reason for his frustration is seen in the flashback. Charming doesn’t want to be the man remembered for kissing awake a princess. He wants more for his legacy. He wants to bring change to the world. He feels like he is losing that side of himself. He is concentrating on what he has lost and how, instead of moving forward from those losses.
After Arthur and Charming, “lose,” the toadstool Arthur tells Charming that what makes them heroes is that they are brave enough to move forward even when they do experience a loss. They do not give up. Charming learned that in Camelot and he needs to remember it now in the present.
Yes, the group failed to save Emma from succumbing to the darkness inside of her. But they have not lost this battle yet. As we saw last episode the Emma we know is still in this dark version. We have not completely lost her.
Charming and the rest of the group have to stop concentrating on what they have lost and focus on saving the light that still lives inside of Emma. Charming does not remember what happened. He has no idea who is to blame for Emma taking control of her dark powers. No one knows what exactly happened and they have to stop blaming themselves. They have to move past that moment and figure out what they have to do now in this time to not fail again.
Arthur is another man intent on not failing people he cares about. Arthur showed his true colors in this episode. Arthur is not the humble and kind man he appears to be to the group. He has one face he shows the public while the other one is conniving and manipulating in order to get what he wants.
Arthur is not afraid to hurt anyone if it means that he saves his people and Camelot. He steals the toadstool from Charming. He poisons his squire in order to keep him from spewing his secrets to the group.
It is difficult to be able to have a real judgement of Arthur. Arthur has his blinders on. He does not trust our group. He does not trust anyone outside of Camelot. He will do anything to save his people which is a scary thought. No one will stand in his way.
Arthur believes what he is doing is right and what is needed to save Camelot. That is the scariest part about him right now,. He refuses to see that his choices are hurting other poeple. He does not think about what consequences his actions are going to have for anyone else. Nothing else matters at the moment and he is going to hurt someone beyond repair this way. He is going to lose Camelot because he is going to lose everyone’s trust. You can only manipulate a situation for so long this way until things fall apart. People are going to be afraid of him and he is going to fall apart in the process, scared of himself. Our group will understand his actions but they will not forgive those actions.
The other major character that has a waking moment in this episode is Hook. Emma brings Hook to her and tries to pretend that they can be the same as they were before she became Dark Swan. We all know she is manipulating him and he is not dumb enough to believe her. She tries to tell him that she is still the same woman he knew, that all she has lost is her fear. And she does have a point. She still has some of her same traits but that lack of fear is what is hurting her. She no longer fears consequences or her actions or decisions. She does whatever she wants without thinking twice and that scares everyone else.
Hook tries to pretend for a minute but he can’t. He can’t see Dark Swan as Emma. There is a poignant and important moment in this episode. When Emma asks Hook if he loves her he answers that he loved her and then calls her the Dark One.
This is a huge step for Hook. He has now drawn a line in the sand between himself and her. He will no longer pretend that she is the woman he loved and knew before. He is not blinded by his love. He will not let her play with his emotions.
He has to do this. He has to be able to separate himself in order to find a way to bring back his Emma. In the beginning he was so wrapped up in his emotions and desperation that he wasn’t thinking clearly. I said before that he had to find a way to tamper down his emotions in order to be any help to Emma.
This is one way for him to do that. He had to put the two women in two separate places. Now he can concentrate on bringing back the Emma he once knew. Saving Emma is gong to take some desperate measures and sacrifices and now he can clearly think about what all of that means and be able to take the necessary steps needed to save her.
“Word quest means to seek not to find. The seeking is what matters,” – Arthur – They are seeking a way to save Emma. They are going to go through trials and tribulations along the way. They are going to learn lessons and I think the combination of what they learn is going to be what saves Emma in the end.
What is Arthurs full plan?
What will recombining Excalibur and the dagger do for him?
Will it help or hurt?
How is Lancelot alive?
Is this man really Lancelot?
Why doesn’t Lancelot trust Arthur? What does he know?
The question mark in the book did Regina purposely put it there for a reason? Did she have a feeling something was not right about the whole situation?
Will Arhtur ever use the toadstool?
Can Emam really turn Rumple into a hero?
What would that even entail and mean?
Will Belle find Rumple and be able to still love him and help him?
What effect will Emma being The Dark One have on all her relationships when she is back to normal?
What will Rumple be like now?
Will Zelena’s baby be a rift between Robin and Regina?
Will Zelena be able to ever be in her child’s life?
Will allowing her in its life be a way to change her for the good?
In the second episode of the season Regina and Emma’s new roles have been defined. Regina, who once was our villain and evil queen, is now going to take the role of “the savior”. Whereas Emma, our “savior,” at one point, is now full of darkness and intent on snuffing out the light that is left inside of her. We also see that both of them falter in taking in on these new roles. Regina doesn’t think anyone believes in her while Emma is still holding onto feelings of love for her son.
We take a step back into Camelot and quickly learn where Merlin is, he is a tree. How he became a tree and why, is not answered yet. But we are told that in order to save Merlin and in turn save Emma from the darkness they need “the savior.” Regina steps forward and professes that she is “the savior,” and that she can help them. This scene gave us two important points for this season.
When Regina steps forward and speaks out she prevents Emma from speaking out because she possess the dagger. Later Emma confronts Regina about her actions and she is not happy. Emma is not oaky with anyone using the dagger to control her. She has had her first taste of her actions not being her own and she is scared.
Regina tells Emma that she did it to ensure that Emma never has to use her dark powers. Regina knows what that pull will do and she wants to save Emma from ever having to fight that battle. Emma thanks her and I believe she is truly thankful for Regina helping her. But I also think this moment made Emma realize something. She is not in complete control of her life or her actions now that she does not possess the dagger.
Being controlled was one of the things that Rumple could never get used to. He couldn’t even give up the dagger to Belle, who he knew would never use it to hurt him. I think Emma is going to begin to have this same struggle. There is a certain humiliation and feeling of weakness to not having complete control of your actions. This very well could be the start of her downfall.
The other point that was important from this scene was Regina stepping up and taking on the role of “the savior.” Now I keep putting that term in quotation marks for a reason. The prophecy that Arthur speaks of calls for a “savior.” As far as we are aware it does not specify who that person is. What power they hold or what they can do. Arthur doesn’t bat an eyelash when Regina speaks up, meaning he had no idea who “the savior,” was going to be.
This is important. Regina struggles throughout this episode because she doesn’t think anyone believes in her. She thinks everyone still sees her as a evil queen and not worthy of this new title. What she learns quickly is that she has to believe in herself for everyone else to believe in her.
Becoming “the savior,” has nothing to do with the words the prophecy says. It comes down to the actions that the person takes. Regina is willing to give up her life to save Robin. Regina steps in to battle a monster to save someone. That is what makes her “the savior,” not whatever the prophecy says. She first has to believe in herself. She has to realize that she can do whatever she needs to do to save everyone. This is her town, full of people she loves, and she will not let anything happen to them. Her drive to fight for these people is what makes her the new “savior.”
While Regina is learning to believe in herself and take on a new role; Emma is busy pretending that she has fully embraced her new role as The Dark One. We see her attitude with everyone but it falls away when she is talking with Henry.
That moment with Henry is important. She lets down her walls and her facade of being full of evil and darkness and not caring. She tells Henry that she does not blame him. She tells him not to apologize or feel guilty. He did not fail her, the others did. For a moment before Regina walks up, we see genuine concerned and loving Emma once again. It is momentary but it shows that our light Emma is still inside of this woman.
At the end of the episode we see Emma alone in her house, looking lonely. The Dark One voice that takes Rumple’s form even points it out to her. Emma has not been The Dark One for very long. She is still finding a way to live with this new version of herself.
Emma has accepted a part of what it means to be the The Dark One but like Rumple she still holds light inside of her. Now Rumple had been entrenched in being The Dark One for centuries before he met Belle and let her bring out the good in him again. He had lost a lot before that point making her pulling him back extremely difficult and nearly impossible. Emma on the other hand has not been full of darkness for too long. She is still very new to this life which means pulling her back should be easier. But it is going to take everyone to do just that.
At the end, The Dark One voice, tells her that there reuniting the dagger and Excalibur will be a way to extinguish the light that lives inside of Emma. She is being pulled in two directions and it is difficult for her to choose. The group has to focus their efforts on exploiting the light that is left inside of Emma.
“A curse is not a curse when the inflicted wants it,” – Belle- Belle tells this to Hook after he comes to her inquiring about true love’s kiss. Hook will not let Emma go. But Belle warns him that the longer she is The Dark One the harder it will be to save her. Hook has to focus on the points of light in Emma and show her that she has not full embraced this new life.
“The pull of the family we are so desperate to protect;
The friendships that make it impossible to forget who we used to be;
The magic that threatens to undo our most evil deeds;
And worst of all the love that refuses to give up on us.” – Dark one voice – Here is a list of ingredients needed to bring Emma back. The group has to focus on each of these and they can save her. All of this still lives in Emma, they just have to find it and bring it back out in the open.
How did Merlin become a tree? Why?
Why do people who cross the town line also become trees? Emma’s doing? Some connection to the prophecy?
What else did this prophecy say?
Can anyone be the savior? Is it only about believing in yourself and making the right decisions?
Why are the dagger and Excalibur part of one another? What does this have to do with balancing light and dark magic?
Will Emma ever tell anyone about the voice that is in her head?
How much light is really left in Emma?
How long will Rumple live?
Can they defeat the darkness in Emma without harming her? Who can pull Excalibur from the stone?
Why shouldn’t it be Emma?
Why is Excalibur so important to the fate of Camelot?
Who are Violet’s parents?
Once Upon a Time is back! At the end of last season Emma took in the darkness of The Dark One. This season we get to watch as Emma attempts to fight this new force that lives inside of her. But as we saw in this premiere it appears that her battle is going to be a futile one.
The episode opened with a young Emma seeing a movie and stealing a chocolate bar. Out of nowhere a man appears and instructs her that bad things happen when you do things you shouldn’t. He gives her a warning to not pull out Excalibur when she is given the opportunity in the future then he disappears.
This is in an interesting scene because it again shows us that Emma’s life has always had some element of the fairytale world involved in it. She may have been sent away but these characters keep following her around. The Snow Queen knew her as a teenager and now this man shows up to talk to a younger version of her. This makes me wonder how many other things Emma is supposed to take part in, in some fashion.
We then jump to Camelot to the point where Arthur takes the sword from the stone. When he pulls it out he discovers that it is broken and the broken portion is missing. He decides to hide this from the people of his kingdom.
A quick side note about this scene. When Sir Kay tried to remove the sword he was turned to dust because he was not destined to take the sword. From what I remember of the original story those who tried to take the sword but were unworthy were just unable to remove the sword. In true Once Upon a Time twist if you try to take what is not yours you cause your own demise.
This makes me wonder about Emma and her destiny in connection to Excalibur . We know that The Dark One cannot die. So if she tries to steal or take the sword it can’t turn her to dust like it did to Kay. But can it still give out a punishment to her? Does it somehow take out the light inside of her, making her have to embrace the darkness? Is this part of the reason that she ends up embracing the darkness instead of fighting it?
When Arthur pulls out the broken sword we quickly learn that the broken portion is actually the dagger of the The Dark One. Excalibur is generally seen as a tool or weapon for good. Arthur is a human king but he is still considered a pretty decent guy. Excalibur’s magic is considered light magic. So what does it mean that part of this light magic item now houses and controls the darkest magic there is?
What can it mean for those who wield it? Do their power rely on each other? Who broke it in the first place and why take a portion and house pure darkness inside of it? Does this have any effect on those who use either portion? Can one turn the other dark and vice versa?
I do not have many theories right now but I am sure that this is going to play a major role in Emma’s fate this season. Maybe bringing them back together will somehow help Emma be able to fight and win her battle with the darkness.
After this revelation we are taken back to the moment right after Emma has disappeared. Hook attempts to use the dagger to bring Emma back to them but he is unable to do so. Regina tells him that is because Emma is no longer in their world. Which means they will need a portal to find Emma.
Hook goes into desperation mode. Everyone is upset but Hook is the most upset out of the whole group. He starts running to idea after idea. They go to the apprentice who gives them a wand that will help but needs dark magic to balance the light magic to wield it. While they all are trying to figure out a way to get Zelena to help them Hook approaches Henry. He asks Henry to rewrite the story with the quill but is dismayed to learn that Henry broke the quill. He then recruits Henry to break out Zelena which of course completely backfires.
Hook is going to have to settle down and get his head on straight. He is not thinking right and doing things that are dangerous and have zero chance of working as they should work. He should have known that going after Zelena would not work out. But he is in a haze and that is going to cloud his judgement throughout this season.
They do end up getting to Emma and helping her to not hurt Merida but it is quickly clear that Emma can’t do this alone. When Emma hugs Hook and finds comfort in his arms the phantom voice of darkness disappears. Emma needs someone strong to lean on and help her stand up for what she believes in right now. Hook has to tamper down his emotions a bit or else he is going to be no help to Emma. He can’t be making desperate decisions and running around without thinking. That is only going to make things worse.
Emma ends up in The Enchanted Forest where she meets the voice of the darkness inside of her. The voice takes the form of Rumple when talking to her. It tells her that fighting the darkness inside of her is a waste of time. It tries to give her a tutorial of what she is required to do now. She refuses to listen at first
I like that this voice is personified. We have watched many characters in this show struggle with the darker side of themselves. But it is always from the outside. We don’t see or hear the voice that is tempting them. This side of Emma is going to be a big deal and I like that the darkness has now has its own character. It will be interesting to watch as the two become intertwined and become less of separate entities throughout the season.
Emma is determined that she will not let the darkness consume her. She refuses to use the powers saying she will not hurt anyone. But we quickly see that this struggle is going to take more then her resolve to win. She has no control over her powers. She accidentally chokes a man who refuses to help her without payment.
Emma has never been one who has had complete control over her emotions. She can’t tamper her anger and her fear. Her power is so great that it takes barely a nudge for her to lash out and use it. Emma is going to need her family and friends to lean on.
It is interesting that the voice disappears when she is hugging Hook and Henry. For a moment when she is wrapped up in the love of those who love her she is safe and can’t hear the voice. But as soon as they part the voice is back. Emma is an independent woman who hates needing others. She is going to have to learn to accept this help. Though we do see at the end of the episode that they do fail in keeping Emma from accepting this dark side of herself.
The last scene is everyone waking up in the diner back in The Enchanted Forest. And in true Once Upon a Time fashion they have no memories of their time in Camelot. This shows thing is telling one story in present and filling in blanks through flashbacks. We are going to get to see how Emma loses her battle with her dark side. The juxtaposition of seeing how far she has fallen and watching her fight at the same time will be interesting.
I am excited for this season to watch as our characters take on completely different roles then we are used to seeing them play.
“I want you to start behaving like The Dark One!”- Darkness’s voice- The darkness is not happy that Emma is unwilling to play her new role. Can anyone actually fight and win against this darkness? Or is this a role that has to be filled no matter what?
“Use your anger,”- Darkness’s voice- As I stated before Emma has little control over her emotions. Her magic is connected to these emotions. Does anger play a part in her losing her battle with the darkness?
Where is Merlin?
Why is he missing?
Why is the dagger part of Excalibur?
Who broke it?
Why did they make part of it something so dark?
What role will this play in helping or hurting Emma? Who was it that came to Emma when she was younger? One of the knights of the roundtable?
Why isn’t she supposed to take Excalibur?
Does this play a role in her losing herself to the darkness?
How long does Emma fight the dark inside of her before losing?
Why did she come back with everyone?
What is her plan now?
Will Rumple wake up?
If he does can he help Emma?
Can there ever not be a Dark One?
Is there a counterpart to this Dark One idea? Someone who is pure light?
Was this somehow Emma at one point?
What role will Zelena be playing in all of this?
Will the baby change Zelena at all?
Will we see Merida again?
Will Maleficent and Lily be bak and if so will they help Emma?
This was an information packed episode. We learned the story behind the rivalry between Hook and Ursula. We found out the exact details of Rumple’s ultimate plan. More of the author’s capabilities were revealed. We also learned where the author actually is being kept. And we lost a Queen of Darkness when she got her happy ending.
The main story of this episode was the backstory behind why Ursula hates Hook so much. At one time Ursula was a mermaid and she had voice that was powerful and could make people forget their pain for a time. She was a woman who didn’t understand her father’s hatred of humans and pirates. She was kind hearted and sympathetic towards people. She stole a bracelet that let her have legs and allowed her to see the human world. She met Hook and befriended him. Hook took sympathy on her. He saw a kindred spirit and understood her pain. (Important note here: Hook was not a cold hearted monster when he was villain. He still felt for people and wanted to help those that he understood.) Ursula’s father doesn’t want her anywhere need humans and in the end he forces Hook’s hand to betray Ursula. Poseidon threatens Hook’s revenge plan and he ends up having no choice but to hurt Ursula. It is this moment, Hook stealing her voice and her father being part of the whole thing, that sent Ursula over the edge. It is important to note here that Ursula was not born evil and cruel. Just like all our other villains her life circumstances and her choices in response are what made her a villain.
One of the main elements of this show that I like so much is that the villains are never born. Not one of them has been evil from the very beginning of their lives. Every one of our villains was created by what happened to them in their lives. They lost someone or something and that sparked a retaliation element in them. It all comes down to the choices they made when they were hurt. They lashed out, blamed one person and became full of revenge. A villain is never born they are made. A villain comes out because of the choice someone makes when they are faced with a hard and difficult situation.
Hook tells Emma that working with Ursula made him remember his past and he felt himself falling back into his dark choices. It scares him. We see that Hook betrayed Ursula because he was terrified that all his work to get back at Rumple was going to end. Hook made a poor choice then, all fueled by anger and hate. That was the past Hook though, it is not the man that loves Emma.
Our Hook has to remember that he is not his past. Everyone has a past with poor choices that they do not ever want to repeat. Present Hook is not that man. Yes, he did make a promise to Ursula he could not keep but instead of lashing out, he attempted to fix his mistake. Hook found Poseidon and brought him back in order for him to return Ursula’s voice to her. Hook made a mistake, understood what he did and rectified it. That is what matters now. Hook is so afraid of losing his happy ending, (Emma), that he is too concentrated on what he did at one time. Just like Emma told him before he had a past but that is not what matters now. If he continues to live as he is, striving to do good and fixing mistakes when he makes them, he will be fine.
Ursula not only got her voice back but she always got her father back as well. Without the author rewriting her story or altering the storybook in anyway Ursula got her happy ending. What I found interesting here was that no one seems to have realized just what this could mean. The author is not needed for these people to get what they want. (Essentially they are the authors of their own stories). It all comes down to the choices they make and the choices of those around them. Hook and Ursula worked together, and in the end Ursula got what she wanted. This has an interesting implication for the whole ordeal they are working in right now. A happy ending is possible if you work toward it, forgive those who hurt you, right your wrongs and make the right choices. I wonder if anyone is going to realize what happened with Ursula and if it will make them doubt their whole plan.
As part of their deal Ursula gave Hook the information about Rumple’s plan. It turns out that while Emma is around the author cannot rewrite the storybook and give anyone the ending that they want. How Rumple learned this information we are not told, yet. Emma is the one who has been giving people their happy endings, or at least helping them work towards them. The author cannot undo the work she has done.
Rumple’s plan is to consume Emma’s heart with darkness. If Emma is not the savior then the author can rewrite the stories. Why this is I am not positive yet but I am sure we will get more information soon. Turning Emma dark is the ultimate goal for this plan. How Rumple plans on doing this I am not positive yet. But right now I can tell his work may not be that hard.
The previews next week show that we are going to learn more about what Snow and Charming did to Maleficent. It also appears that Emma learns about her parents lies. Emma is being held together by her parents, Hook and Henry. If these strings start to unravel Rumple will not have to do much to turn Emma. As I said earlier all the villains are turned evil by the circumstances around them and the choices they make in response. Emma is going to have to make some tough choices soon. She is going to have to not let her anger and pain rule her actions or else she is going to turn dark without much effort. Emma is already teetering on the edge. Snow and Charming are her guide to choosing correctly, so when she sees that they aren’t perfect she is going to lose it. I hope that Hook can keep himself together because I have a feeling he is going to have to be Emma’s voice of reason soon.
“You finally chose the winning side,” – Rumple- This is what Rumple believes. What is interesting is that Ursula got her happy ending without Rumple. He did not have a hand in her getting what she always wanted. So what does this say for the other Queens and Rumple getting what they want.
“Even when I think he can’t deceive me anymore, he finds a way,” – Belle- Belle learned about Rumple’s betrayal and him stealing the dagger. Now that he knows that he yet again tricked her, there is no hope left for these two.
How will Emma learn about her parents lies? Will it be from them or someone else?
Can Hook live in his present and stop defining himself by his past?
Will the other two Queens get their happy endings as well leaving Rumple all alone?
How did the author end up in the book? Was it to hurt him or her? Or was it protect him or her?
Why does turning Emma dark allow the author to change the stories?
What does this imply about the extent of Emma’s powers?
Is Maleficent’s child still alive? Do we know him or her?
Is Emma some new type of author? Will she be given that power before the season ends?
What is Rumple’s happy ending?
When is Robin Hood coming back?
What did Regina’s dream mean?
Why is her past self protecting Robin? What does that mean for her present time?
Does it imply that present Regina trying to change her story is going to ultimately hurt Robin somehow?
When will Regina’s double agent role be revealed? How?
What is Cruella’s story?
In this episode “Apprentice,” we learned what the hat in the box is for and a lot questions sprang up about what Rumple is doing and what his end plans are. We also got an introduction to a power struggle that is going to go on between Hook and Rumple. They both want to take each other out and believe that without the other they can have the happy ending they desire. I have a feeling much of at least the first half of this season will be these two continually shoving at each other trying to take the other one out.
This episode opened with the dark one before Rumple trying to steal the box with the hat in it from the apprentice. He does not succeed because of an enchantment on it that says that only those who have no succumbed to the darkness inside themselves can have the box. The apprentice says that every dark one has tried and has failed because of this exact reason.
What this box holds is a hat that when it is charged it makes the wearer or the one who possesses it invincible and all powerful. Rumple and all the other dark ones want it because even thought they have this extensive power they are tied to the dagger. Whoever possesses the dagger controls them. Rumple desires more than anything to be completely free.
Rumple found the box in the house where he and Belle honeymooned. Whose house is this? Is it connected to Anna is some way? Anna was the last one we saw to have the box and if she lost it who did she lose it to? And is this all connected to Ana being missing? Is she really missing? Also did Rumple comes to this house because he knew the box was there? Was this all part of some bigger plan of his?
If this is some bigger plan what does Rumple want with this power? He spent much of last season saying that he changed and he wanted to live a better life for his son and Belle. Now that Neil is dead has his way of thinking seems to have changed. We can see plainly that no matter how many times he says he has changed that is not completely true; if it was he was he would not be being capturing people in this hat. Belle doesn’t even have the real dagger because Rumple can not relinquish control over himself to anyone. He can not let anything be able to hold him back.
So does he want this hat so that he can be completely free and not have to worry about the dagger? So he charges the hat and gets away from the dagger then what? He is not going to just sit around with all this power and not use it in any way. He has a plan for it and he has an endgame as he alway does, we just haven’t gotten enough clues to find out what it is yet. Rumple can keep talking about being a changed man but until he really steps away from the power of the magic inside of him he will never be able to live free. Rumple is his own worst enemy right now.
Rumple loves to manipulate people. He will always make deals. Hook came to him in this episode to get his hand back. He wanted to have both hands so that if his date with Emma went well he could truly hold Emma. He wanted to be whole for the woman he loves.
Rumple agrees because Hook blackmails him with his knowledge that Belle does not possess the real dagger. Rumple tells him thought that the hand is from the old Hook and that if he reattaches it, it could reawaken the man Hook once was. Rumple warns Hook that he could become the angry and selfish pirate once again with the hand. Hook refuses to believe him and let’s Rumple reattach the hand.
Out on his date with Emma we see Hook lose control a few times. He ends up beating Will Scarlett pretty badly when he gets caught breaking into the library. Hook is instantly afraid because he thinks that Rumple was right. He always looks to his hand as if the hand made the decision to lash out at someone and not Hook himself. He puts all the blame on his hand and has to enter into a new deal with Rumple to get his hook back and get rid of the hand. Hook is terrified that with the hand he will go back to the man he once was.
Rumple gives him back his hand and then only reveals that he was lying the whole time. The hand is just flesh and bone and nothing more, the actions that Hook did were all his own. Rumple knew exactly what he was doing when he told Hook about the hand.
The power of persuasion is something that we all know about. That commercial that tells you that your computer or phone is out of date and needs to be replaced or you can’t keep up with the world. This idea can control people is so many different ways. All you do is put the thought into someone’s head and let it grow. If you tell someone that by doing action A they will cause B, even if the two are not connected in any manner, B will happen nine times out of ten. And it is only because you have that idea in your head. You start making choices based off of this assumption and before you know it B takes place.
Hook was told that by reattaching his hand he would become angry, violent and selfish once again and because Rumple stuck that idea in his head it happened. Hook has been working to push those thoughts and actions to the very back of his mind for a while now. He has been working not be that person but one reminder of his past and it is all over. He assumes that he can’t escape his past and because he believes that he never will escape the man he once was.
If Hook really wants to change he can, he just needs to believe that he can. For every person who says he can’t be a good man he needs to step up and tell them off and prove them wrong. He can’t let those thoughts and ideas swim around in his head because they take root and they influence his actions. Hook needs to believe in himself or else he is going to lose himself.
Rumple manipulated Hook because he seems to need him for something. He has some bit plan and he needs someone to help him. Hook is stubborn and strong and Rumple sees how useful he can be. Hook enters into a deal to help Rumple but this partnership is not going to be a smooth one.
Both Rumple and Hook not only hate each other but have no respect for one another. They are constantly trying to take out the other one. Hook threatened Belle so Rumple threatens Emma. They know exactly how to hurt the other one and neither is willing to let themselves be hurt or the one they love to be hurt. Hook is not going down without Rumple at his side. If this all implodes on itself they both are going to get hurt. Neither will walk away from the other. Hopefully they don’t destroy each other in the process.
The other major part of this episode was Henry being determined to help Regina get her happy ending. This episode reminded us that Henry is still a child and he thinks along those lines. He still has the child way of looking at something and thinking that a solution is easy, simple, black and white. Robin Hood still loves Regina so that is great for them right? Regina tells him that ,“There are somethings you are too young to understand.” And she could not be more right. What is going on between Regina and Robin Hood is much more complicated then just true love finding a home. There are so many grey areas and questions that Henry doesn’t understand.
Which is why him helping Regina with the book may not be the best thing. Henry thinks that happy endings are neat and tidy. He says that Rumple is married to Belle so he must have a found a way to get his happy ending and change the book. But Rumple does not have a happy ending right now. He has Belle but the rest of his life is a mess. The question becomes what makes a happy ending? As I stated before many of these characters may have all the pieces they needs for their happy endings they just don’t see how to put them together right now. I feel like Henry is going to be very upset and disappointed when he learns that getting a happy ending for Regina is not going to be simple and easy.
“Nothing can change me back,” – Hook- The only thing that can change him back is Hook himself. If he fights to be the good man he wants to be then he can win. If he lets Rumple and others stay in his head, he is doomed.
“You took the most precious thing in this world and turned it into a weapon.”
“Love is a weapon. Always has been. Just so few people know how to wield it,” – Rumple and Anna – This is a very important exchange. Love is a very powerful weapon, something Ana has already seen with her sister saving her. It all depends on how you use love. You can use it to save those you love or you can use it manipulate people and destroy. Love is a powerful weapon made more powerful by the person using it.
Can Hook block out all those voices and be able to find the good in him and live through that side of him?
Does he have enough faith in himself to win this fight?
Will Rumple and Hook working together destroy the both of them in the end?
Can Hook let his love for Emma and his desire to be good win out over the darkness he still holds inside himself?
Whose house had that box? Ana’s? Someone else connected to Elsa and Ana?
What are Rumple’s plans for the box? To get pure freedom? Something bigger? Defeat someone?
Will Henry being Rumple’s apprentice be a good or bad thing?
What will Henry learn?
Is this arrangement going to help Henry grow or is it dangerous for him?
Does Rumple really have a happy ending right now with Belle? Is his refusal to see that going to destroy everything?
When does this all take place in connection to Once Upon a Time in Wonderland?
What is Will Scarlet’s story? What happened to the red queen?
During this episode we found out what Hook has been up to during the lost year. During his time away he had to come to terms with the new man he is now. We dive into how much Hook has changed and how he is desperate for a life he knew, understood and could control. He loves Emma, that part is not something we could ever doubt. Now his love for her controls his actions and makes him have to come to terms with the life he now has at his disposable.
What interested me the most about his story this time was how deeply he tried to hold onto his past. We opened on Hook robbing a carriage. He proves that he doesn’t need a ship to be a pirate. Being a pirate is the only life he knows and can control. This is the key concept for this episode, Hook being in control of his life.
From the moment Hook comes back to the Enchanted Forest he strives to distance himself from everyone else. He has lost Emma and a chance at a different life. Now he doesn’t care anymore. Caring hurt him once and he doesn’t wan to live like that again. He doesn’t want to think about that past, and about what could have been. It is much easier to fall into the old habits and ways of life he knows and understands. So he goes back to being a pirate, a way of life he is great at and can control.
Being a pirate is a way of life that has become ingrained in him. He knows what to do and what to expect. It is easy and comfortable. The last thing he wants now is to try to live in any way that could be difficult or make him remember the last few months. Though no matter how hard he tries outrunning the past it is impossible. The past holds on and will not let go.
I wasn’t surprised when he pushed Blackbeard overboard. He wanted his ship. If he got his ship he could sail away from his issues and be completely done with the whole mess with Emma. As captain he was in complete control of his ship, his crew, his destination and what came about. Helping Ariel would be too close to what he lost. She could have her true love again while he never could. He tried to cut himself off from those memories. But they can’t be thrown overboard like Blackbeard. It is not that simple. They mean something and have shaped him, he knows that, which is why he feels so guilty later.
Now Hook is in a major dilemma. If he doesn’t kiss Emma and steal her powers, Zelena will kill everyone Emma loves. No matter what Hook ends up doing none of this will end well for him. Emma is going to be angry at him either way. The question becomes how much does he truly love Emma? In the end this will probably come down to him having to make some type of sacrifice. Will it be his life or Emma’s love? Can Hook win in anyway at all?
The other major part of this episode was Regina teaching Emma how to control and really use her powers. Emma wants to use them against Zelena and that is all. She doesn’t want this part of her to become part of her life. She acts like it is learning how to sword fight, useful for when you need it but you can drop the skill when you are done with it. Magic doesn’t work like that. Emma knows this but she holds onto a dream that she can have a life where none of this fairytale world elements will be present.
Yet again in the beginning of this episode Emma tells Hook she wants to take Henry back to New York and their old life. She wants him away from this crazy unpredictable life. Emma wants this aspect of her life around only when it has to be around. She believes this life is almost disposable. She thinks she can just walk away and forget this whole life. You can’t run from who you are.
Emma has magic, her parents are Snow White and Prince Charming and her son’s stepmother is the Evil Queen. These are things you can’t forget and ignore. This is all apart of her, it has allowed her to grow and learn more about herself. She has grown so much since she found her real family, she can’t go backwards. Now that she has embraced magic in some manner she can’t turn away. Magic is a way of life, something Regina tells her. It becomes part of you and feeds off of who you are.
Emma will learn this fast. Emma is more powerful then Regina and that isn’t something she will be able to ignore. This taste will arouse a hunger inside of her. She will want to use magic beyond just when she has to. Regina tells her she has so much potential, and Emma is going to eventually want to explore that potential. For a woman who felt worthless for most of her life, this is a dream come true. She will be revered and loved by all and she wants that more than anything. This power will live inside of her forever, no matter what she tries to do. The question will become can she embrace it, understand it and use it to its fullest extent? After everything is over will the power and lust for power consume her though? Can she truly control it?
It will be interesting to see what she does with magic and how quickly she accepts it as a part of herself. She can’t be two people anymore. She has to unite the two sides of her life, embrace all parts of her and fight for her life and her families lives. If she can’t understand this she will fail, losing her life, her son and her family in the process.
“No matter how you wish you can go back to your old life, you can’t”- Hook- He can’t go back to a life without Emma. Emma can’t go back to a life without this whole side of herself. They need to embrace their new lives or end up losing everything.
“You are more than a pirate, you have a true heart.”- “Ariel”- Now Hook has to believe this and to learn how to really use and listen to that heart. He can’t run from what his heart wants anymore.
Why does Zelena want Emma powerless?
How do all the pieces connect?
-gathering Regina’s heart, Charmings courage and being after Snow’s baby.
How does this all lead to hurting Regina?
Where will Emma go in the end, stay in Storybrooke or go back to New York?
What will Hook chose to do?
Can Emma embrace magic?
Will she end up losing control?
Can Emma undo Zelena’s spell somehow?
Who’s more powerful? Zelena, Emma, or Regina?
Once Upon a Time is finally back and I am extremely eager to see what the second half of this season has in store. I loved the Peter Pan storyline and how intricately connected it was to the rest of the plot lines.
They were able to make Peter Pan someone important and a tool to reveal more about Rumple and also small pieces of everyone else. I loved Peter Pan because of much he pushed the characters along and inspired some major changes in some of the major characters. He allowed so many of them to grow and for us to find the deeper parts of characters such as Regina. I hope with crossed fingers and toes that they are able to do the same with the Wicked Witch and Oz.
Oz is a little tricky. Peter Pan is a actual classic fairy tale so going into Neverland didn’t seem like a leap that was going too far. Oz is different, it doesn’t spark the same ideas that traditional fairytales do, at least for me. Few, if any, would really call the Wizard of Oz a fairytale in the sense that the rest of the stories have been classified. It will be very interesting to see how they connect and weave the stories around. Up until now they have done the twisting and weaving so very well that I have faith they will be able to work with this new story just as well.
I watched the season recap/explanation that aired before the episode and there were a few things they mentioned that really caught my attention. The idea of everyone having to find home in this second half of the season; and the idea of how everyone gets a happy ending; the story is really about how they find that ending and what they do with it when they get it.
First they mentioned about how the characters are going to be struggling with finding a home in this second half, a true home. There a many ways of defining a home. It is somewhere we feel safe and comfortable. Somewhere where we can be ourselves without having to hide who we are. Home is our sanctuary. How will everyone define this concept for themselves now?
This new theme was apparent very much in this episode. Of course there was Emma. This is not a new idea for her. She has never had a true home, never had somewhere where she felt completely safe and happy. With the new memories Regina gave she has the life she used to dream about, at least most of it. She has a real physical home and a happy life with her son.
The question for the last half will be what is her true definition of home, what will make her truly happy? Living this “fake”life she always had an odd feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Hook constantly tells her to listen to that pit in her stomach that is telling her that something is wrong. Why would this not feel right to her when for so long she has said that this is what she wanted? A life with her son is what she says she wanted. She is constantly fighting her fairytale roots, always having trouble reconciling what she dreamed of with what she has before her. Even in this fake life she is doing that. She has to get past her past and see what is lying right in front of her. I think Emma is going to discover that home isn’t a place it is where the people who love and care about you are. Whether that is Storybrooke, the Enchanted Forest or New York. It isn’t the place that counts, it is the people.
Hook is the character that really interested me in this episode. Up until now we have spent the time we had with him trying to determine what side he was on and what his ulterior motives have been. Who does he care about? and What does he actually want? Questions that we are still asking but in a different way now.
Emma showed him a new side of himself. He has fallen for her and that at first confuses him, then motivates him. He wants to have that true connection with someone. He had Milah at one time, but she really just enhanced the mask he portrayed to the world. She didn’t enable him to delve deeper into himself ever. She allowed him to continue to show the world his pirate face. Emma on the other hand hit a deeper side of him, his “hero” side. After Milah’s death he became focused on vengeance alone. He met Emma and he has had to reevaluate what he needs in life and what he is living for.
It was interesting how once they all returned to the Enchanted Forest Hook instantly wanted to leave. He is connected to Emma and without her as his anchor to this group he sees no place for him. He is afraid and he just wants to run. All the feelings and ideas Emma sparked scared him and without her beside him he just wants to run from everything. He is lost now and he isn’t quite sure what to do with himself. So he decides on a path he has always followed.
He only knows life as a pirate and without Emma beside him, guiding him, he can’t see any other alternative for his life. This new struggle is what is going to define home for Hook. Charming was welcoming to him, asked him to join them but Hook can’t open himself up like that just yet. He is hurting and all he wants to do is run away. Like Regina he doesn’t do well with pain and suffering.
Where is Hook’s home? Does he have any idea of what home actually means? He has never truly had that one place where he has felt safe and able to truly settle in. Now he has to redefine himself. He doesn’t want to connect to the world butt we see that something pulls him back to Charming and the rest of the group. He finds Emma so she can rescue her family. He doesn’t completely disconnect himself from these people. Why? What draws him to these people? Why does he want to help? Is it only for Emma? Or does he see a new opportunity for a new life in this group? Does he see that he may actually be able to have family and friends? He was hurt when he lost his brother and was betrayed by his king, can he trust and hold onto a family again?
While Hook is running and holding out no hope for finding Emma, Neil is determined to get his family back. Neil refuse to stop believing in the possibility that he will be able to reunite his family. This determination did not surprise me. For so long Neil was a hurt man. His father left him and he was forced to leave the love of his life. He was afraid of connecting to anyone because he just kept losing them. Now he has faith in the love of family again and he is not going to let it slip from his fingers. He finally got all he wanted and he will not lose that again.
What did surprise me was Snow’s reaction. She was so quick to tell Neil that there was no hope of them of ever seeing Emma and Henry again. This is a very realistic view of the situation, something that Snow is not. She is always preaching about hope and holding onto the belief that the impossible is possible. It was a little shocking and sobering to see her resigned to their new fate. Is it because of all they have gone through? Has their struggles hurt that believing hopeful heart she has always had?
I was just waiting for to her say something about how they will find a way to get their daughter back, but she never did. Is holding out hope too painful for her? She pretends to understand and be okay with the fact that they will now have a new life but we know deep down she is breaking. For someone who has alway believed in the vast power of the happy ending this new reality has to be crippling. In her conversation with Regina we see that she is in fact devastated but she has hope for a new life, not hope for the old life but for a brand new one. She is shedding her past and moving on. Why?
The conversation with Regina was touching and really showed the new relationship between Snow and Regina. Of course Regina is heartbroken and devastated. She buries her heart because she can’t deal with the pain of losing her son. She doesn’t know how to live with this kind of pain. Always in her life before she has covered up her pain with action, right now she has no way of acting. There is nothing she can do, no one she can’t go after, nowhere she can find a solution to her problem. She is helpless and that is killing her.
This moment showed a new almost sisterly relationship between these two characters. For so long they were at odds and now they are living with the same pain and regret. This can be extremely bonding. We saw the start here where Snow refuses to let Regina break and destroy herself. Snow knows she is in pain and that the only way to deal with that pain is to move on and find a new reason to live. You have to keep moving or you die and Snow doesn’t want to see Regina die. A far cry from the first season. Snow’s way of moving on is staring a new family. What is Regina’s new reason for living going to be?
Regina defined her life by vengeance and then by Henry. Now she has lost both and she has to determine what matters to her now. It will be interesting to see how she begins to live again.
The other theme or concept that really caught my attention was the idea that everyone gets a happy ending, the real story and test is how you get there and what you do with it when you have it. First can our characters get their happy ending and will they ever be able to live with it when they find it?
Emma believes she is living her happy ending, a life with her son but it is not real. Deep down she knows something is missing from this scenario. So what is her true happy ending? Life with her parents? A home in the Enchanted Forest? Hook? Neil? Just her and Henry?
Snow always thinks her happy ending is within her grasp and it is always yanked out of her hands. She marries Charming and gets pregnant with Emma then Regina curses them and she loses Emma. She gets Emma back but miss half her daughters life. She goes home to the Enchanted Forest and gets cursed again, forgetting that whole year. What is her true happy ending? Her whole family together again? Does the place matter?
Regina saw a happy ending once with Daniel, then Cora kill hims and she completely erases that notion from her mind until she adopts Henry. She found happiness is causing suffering. She adopted Henry but is always had something wrong with the situation. Now she is back at square one. Where does she go from here? Who does she trust and what will define her? Will her happy ending have Robin Hood involved? Will it only be having Henry back? Will it be saving those she once hated and cursed?
It will be interesting to see how they define the happy ending concept for each character. Will some of them get it but not be able to really enjoy it, always wanting something more? I doubt any of them will get their true happy endings until the series actually ends.
A quick word about Henry. Henry scared me in this episode. Henry got the book and that sparked his belief. He needed something to define his life and he got it from Snow. Now that moment never happened. He never was given that book, never felt out of place so what has that done to his “true believer” heart?
He was so flippant about the idea of magic when Emma asked him. Old Henry wouldn’t have hesitated in answering her with a resounding yes, now he sees it as a means to get money and gifts. He has a whole different set of memories, not just a few new ones like Emma. How much has this changed who he once was? Does that belief live in someone even if they don’t actually need it? It will be interesting to see how they convince the “true believer” to believe again.
“Tried the hero thing and it didn’t take,”- Hook- Obviously that’s not true because he goes after Emma to save everyone. Hook has been defined as a pirate and had for so long that is it going to take time for him to determine how live this new life.
“Sometimes it is okay to accept things that are good”- Henry- This is a concept all the characters struggle with. They are always waiting for the next person to take a shot at them.
“Our castle”- Regina- I loved how Regina referred to the castle. It is small but it shows that she is staying with Snow and that she is beginning to feel apart of this group.
“Wick always wins”- Wicked Witch- Is there going to be a difference between wicked and evil?
What are Neil and Belle going to try to do to get Rumple and Emma back?
Why is Hook not in Storybrooke? Where did he go after the returned to the Enchanted Forest?
Who is the Wicked Witch?
What is her connection to Regina?
What did Regina do to her?
Is there some familial connection or friendship connection?
How much has changed about Henry?
Are Regina, Neil and Belle in Storybooke too?
Is Rumple truly dead?
How much of Oz is going to play a part in this second half?
This episode dived into Hook’s character. I have spent this whole season trying to decide which side Hook was on. Is he here for himself or does he have another purpose? For the most part I saw him as Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean”, out to help himself and only himself. Jack Sparrow assisted whichever side kept him alive. I really thought Hook was going to be this type of character.
This episode pushed that idea to the side. Hook’s backstory is simple (at least this part is), he and his brother go on a mission to find a supposed magical plant that will cure anyone. Hook and his brother trust their king without question. They refuse to believe the king would do anything sinister or not right. Hook especially says the king has to have honor.
Honor is a trait we learn defines Hook. Hook doesn’t do anything or help anyone if he doesn’t believe there is honor in it. Though his definition of honor might be a bit twisted, he lives by the idea. He is a pirate, a profession we don’t generally associate with any type of honor. But he becomes a pirate because he is betrayed beyond what he can handle. His brother dies because the king is not an honorable man. Hook is set on revenge.
I think that Hook at one point lost himself, like every character in this show has done. No one on this show is a purely bad person, (I doubt even Pan is). They have all fallen because of outside circumstances that hit them too hard. Most of them are twisted because of a concentration on revenge, but all of them have forgotten who they used to be.
Regina lost the love of her life, causing her to follow a path of revenge and mistrust. Rumple is a man who no one believes in, causing him not to believe in anyone else. Even Snow lost herself when she killed Cora, she blackened her heart out of desperation. Yes, everyone has fallen but someone is always there to hang onto them and pull them back onto their feet. Charming is Snow’s anchor, Bae is Rumple’s and Henry is Regina’s. I think Hook’s anchor is Emma. Hook likes Emma, he see a better side of himself in her.
Emma has always seen another side of Hook. She trusts him more than anyone else. Hook lost hope for a minute, now he has it back. Hook wants to do what is honorable, get back to living life in that way. He needs to live the honorable life once again. He has someone to trust him and believe in him again.
Though the problem is going to be now that he knows Neil is alive, what will he do? Will he tell Emma, knowing he will lose her if he does? What is the honorable move? Hook is clinging to Emma, how will he behave if he loses her? Are we going to see the pirate, tough, and angry Hook again?
Hook pushes Charming to the cliff top because he wants him to live. Charming can’t leave his family, Hook will not let him. Hook will not see another family destroyed by this island. Though the cure of course has a side effect, Charming can never leave Neverland. Hook knows the consequences but he needs Charming to live. He needs Emma to see the good in him, to know he isn’t out just for himself. With this move he shows her that he is more than a pirate, even if she doesn’t actually know what he really did.
While Hook and Charming are saving Charming’s life; Emma, Snow and Regina are trying to find a way to get a message to Henry. Emma knows the longer Henry is a prisoner, the harder it is going to be for him to hold onto hope and fight Pan. Emma sees how Neil stopped counting the days until he could go home, same as she did in everyone of her foster homes. Both of them at one point gave up hope, Emma knows how much that can break someone. Emma and Neil are still trying to heal from that pain.
Emma’s fears aren’t unwarranted here. Henry injures a lost boy while sword fighting with him. First, the way he could turn that stick into a real sword is highly significant. Henry has power here and Pan is showing him how to tap into it. Is that a great idea on Pan’s part? Henry can turn against him. Though Pan doesn’t seem worried about that which makes me wonder if Pan somehow controls the power of the island no matter what.
Also it was nice to see that Henry felt bad for hurting the lost boy. Right after he didn’t seem all that upset but later he says he doesn’t want to hurt him again. Henry still holds that passive, peace loving side of himself. I think it is scaring him how much Pan is influencing him. He is going to have to start fighting harder if he is going to hold onto the person he once was.
Emma is not going to let Henry lose hope if she can help it. The length she goes to to give Henry hope is a little worrying though. Emma allows Regina to take a lost boy’s heart, letting her control him. Snow loses it, scared and upset by this moment. Emma sees it as necessary and of course Regina has no issue with it.
I understand Snow’s reaction. This isn’t tricking someone, this is dark magic. If Emma let’s this happen, what will she allow next? Snow has given into that darkness before, she knows what it does to your head and your heart. The last thing she wants is for Emma to lose herself, to fall under the dark influences. But Henry is her son and her strength and he is in danger and I don’t think there is any line that Emma won’t cross.
Emma cannot lose Henry. We have seen broken people but that will be nothing compared to Emma if Henry is lost. Emma needs Henry, she will not heal if she hasn’t done everything she can to save him. The thing will be what will Emma be like when this is all over? What type of person are we going to be left with?
Pan again has me questioning him as well. We still know very little about him. We know he could at one point leave the island and that he left to find companions. We know he is in complete control on the island. What we don’t know is anything about him as a person. We know the front he puts up but not the real person behind the mask.
In this episode we saw where he met Hook for the first time. He never hides from anyone. I think this aspect is very telling. Pan is not afraid of strangers. He knows he has the upper hand, always. He has no reason to hide in the shadows. Where did he get this confidence? Is it from years of tests and trials? Or is there sometime from his past that makes him so confident? Is confidence all that he was left with?
When he met Hook and his brother he warned them about Dreamshade. He told them right out how dangerous it was. Why? Why was he warning them? Did he know at one point that he would need Hook? Then he gives Hook the life saving water with a warning. Though in neither case does he ever tell him exactly what the consequence of the actions will be. He gives vague warnings and that is all. Pan wants people to listen, to understand that when you are warned of something, you need to listen. You might not have all the details but if you act without thinking, something negative is going to happen.
Pan wants Hook to be his puppet again. He wants him to do his dirty work for him. At one point this was an arrangement between the two. I think this is part of the deal that let Hook leave the first time. But Hook isn’t going to play that part anymore and I think Pan is getting scared. Pan has been in control from the very beginning, very carefully setting up this game. Now the pieces are starting to move on their own and I think that is going to really mess with Pan and how he operates.
“Second star to the right and straight onto morning”-Hook’s brother- I just love this quote.
“At least you got to say good-bye, most people don’t get that much”- Hook- Talking to Emma. He is telling her that she needs to start looking at situations with new eyes.
“I’ll fight my enemies but I’ll fight fair”- Hook- Again this is telling for Hook. He won’t be underhanded. He likes to fight in the fairest way possible
“The cost can’t be this family”-Snow- she will not watch Emma fall. She will not let her family collapses because of desperate decisions.
What type of person will Emma be at the end of this?
How fast is Henry falling?
Will Hook ever work with Pan again?
How long as Pan been in control of everyone’s lives?
What is Pan’s story?
Who is the other prisoner with Neil?
How is Charming going to get off Neverland?