Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 11 "Swan Song"

Or better title "I Have No Idea"

Let's recap: Seeking revenge against Emma for turning him immortal to save his life, Hook (now a Dark One with the inability to make choices based on empathy) is attempting to literally drag Emma's entire family to Hell.


I have no idea.

Maybe because the mid-season finale needed a ticking time bomb.

There's been so much build up to Hook revealing himself as the man he truly is that I was hoping for a flashback of some substance that would explain why he's unable to fight the darkness like Emma. Who, by the way is acting very much like her pre-Dark One self. And wasn't that the whole motivation for season 4? Making Emma's heart dark? Not really much of a threat after all.

Ever Been To Sea?

Okay, so we see a young Killian and his brother, Liam abandoned by their father. Actually, he sells them into ship slavery before mounting a swimming horse...I think.

Mental note: Are all the parents in Fairy Tale Land vicious? Not one character has had a descent upbringing. Except maybe Grumpy, but he hatched out of a huge egg fully clothed.
Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, the Dementors had arrived!

And everyone is being branded with a Dark Mark that actually looks like a bumble bee, which acts like a one way ticket on the ferry boat to hell—literally.

The dwarves show up because they have a pivotal role to play in this episode.

Bwhahaha! Just kidding. I have no idea why they're there.

While everyone does nothing and just waits for the moon 'to become it's fullest' Mr. Gold saunters out from the alley to give everyone a lesson on the latest plot hole. If you have a bumble bee mark on your arm you will be swept into hell, no passing Go, no collecting $200.

So everyone, dwarfs included, decide to run to the library because there must be a book about this "Moon That Sends Everyone To Hell".

Before anyone gets a paper cut, Mary Margaret monologues about how she's ready to see the end of the world eating cheese burgers at Granny's with all of her loved ones by her side.

Instead of riling up his wife to channel her inner Snow White and kick some Dark One butt, he says, "True dat, babe. Besides these old books smell like book farts."

Emma says she'll meet them there, then she pulls Regina aside and I'm so excited because finally these two will proclaim their love for each other and it will be the love that spilt the world in half and True Love's kiss will sweep all those dementors/Dark Ones back to hell.

But, no. Emma says she has a plan to save everyone. She's going to use Excalibur to suck all the darkness from Hook and the Dark Ones. Then she'll absorb all that darkness, and kill herself with Excalibur.

I liked my plan better.

Anyway, putting an arm around her shoulders Regina takes Emma to Mr. Gold's shop asking for Excalibur. He hands it over without asking for anything in return and says, "Your a brave woman."

This was a perfect scene based on the inner struggle of all three characters with good and evil and the choices we make and who we was awesome.

The show should have ended right there.

Then Emma tearfully tells Regina before she carries out this epic plan to save everyone, that she wants to spend her last moments with the people she loves the most, so could Regina go to Granny's with her?

Kiss her, Regina! Kiss her now!

And completely out of character, Regina is like, "Thanks, but I have to hang out with Robin and Baby Hood."

Why would she abandon Emma when she needs her the most? They've been there for each other during the highest stakes! Why?

I have no idea.

Family Ties

Regina leaves Emma in order to deal with Zelena, which is ridiculous because all it took was the use of a sparkly wand which Regina was unable to use until this episode because...why?

I have no idea.

Emma drops by Granny's and leaves a goodbye note explaining her save Storybrooke plan even though she's still a Dark One. Saving others by murdering yourself is the most unDark Oneish thing imaginable.

In a desperate attempt to create some kind of last minute loop hole, Regina corners Hook down by the docks and eludes to a super secret past they have together. "Remember the time I hired you to kill my mother?" she starts.

Why would a magical Queen need a drunken pirate to kill her even more magical and even more evil mother?

I have no idea.

But first Hook had to prove he had the gumption to carry out the deed by murdering his own father. Wow, could it really be him? After all those years? Yes, Hook's dad works in a pub. But he reveals that he's a changed man and is truly sorry for selling little Hook and his brother, Liam. He fell under a sleeping curse, was kissed awake by his nurse (his true love) but then she died from a plague.

Though Hook was a fierce pirate who was bent on revenge, he can't kill his dad. Instead he demands he leave the country. His dad is fine with this, but then Hook discovers his dad had another son and called him, Liam. How dare he!

Hook is so upset that he ends up killing his dad anyway.

This dude is out of control.

Fare Thee Well, Love

Back in Storybrooke, the pure hearted Mr. Gold does his best acting and suggests that Belle take his car and go see the world. He gives her a talisman that will allow her pass the town line and says, "Go on, no one uses the library anyway. Enjoy some espresso and IMAX. We'll be waiting when you get back."

Belle is easily fooled and grabs the keys without looking back.

After applying some lipstick Emma gets Excalibur but is confronted by Hook. All the drama and tension has led up to this moment. They argue about love and who will pay the mortgage on the house now. Then suddenly Henry is in front of her. Emma goes all slack. Henry takes the sword and transforms back into Hook.

Why did she fall for that?

I have no idea.

Suddenly everyone is at the pond (portal to hell). Hook confronts Emma (AGAIN!) about how he couldn't wait to get revenge on her for saving his life and making him a Dark One.

Um...before he was like, "I love you, let's live together in this house with an awesome view of the sea." And now, just because he's a Dark One, he's sending her entire family to hell—except baby Neal because everyone has forgotten about him.

Anyway, he snatches Excalibur away from Emma so easily while everyone just shuffled around and watched. Regina finally shows up and says, "Hook, you're being a big jerk. Grow up."

Hook replies, "Shit, you're right. I'm going to suck all the Dark Ones into this sword and then Emma will stab me and I will save the day."

Why did he change that quickly?

I have no idea.

Emma's like, "No! I can't lose you. I should be me."

He says, "Your family needs you. I deserve to go to the underworld. And there's that kiss between you and Regina that still needs to happen."

FYI: You can't be the hero if you fix the mess you made.

Emma stabs Hook!!!!

Instantly, red leather jacket Emma Swan is back. Hook's grotesque neck wound reappears and he dies in her arms.

Regina is by Emma's side, "Be strong girl. Chin up, buttercup."

Kiss her, Regina! Kiss her! 

Dumb and Dumber

Across town, completely naïve about the portal to hell, Belle returns red cheeked and runs to Mr. Gold's arms. She says, "You can't get rid of me that easily." They kiss and make-up and Mr. Gold is starting to realize that Belle, while well read, has zero street smarts.

Wandering Storybrooke, Emma senses Excalibur is close by. She follows the sound to Mr. Gold's shop. And he's all, "Okay, you got me. I performed a quick spell that somehow cleaved apart the Excalibur. When you stabbed Hook, all the darkness returned to the dagger. I'm the Dark One again." And he shows her the dagger, now engraved with the name, Rumplestiltskin.

How come Emma isn't still the Dark One? Her name was the last on the dagger? Why?

I have no idea.

She says, "You fooled us all. So all that awesome character development and struggle with your character these last few seasons was...?"

"Pointless," he answers. "Yes. It's just like season one again. Including your wardrobe."

And here's the big cliffhanger!

Emma makes a deal with Mr. Gold for the thousandth time, she'll keep his secret from Belle if he gets her into the underworld to save Hook.


Who was the MVP?

#1. Hook's half brother

#2. Emma's lipstick

#3. Mr. Gold's car

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

30 Questions for Your Outline

Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo winners!

You wrote a book! Awesome, good on ya'.

Now that the celebration has cooled off it's time for REVISIONS! Hey, don't give me that face, you know I'm right.

Before you launch your best seller at friends and family for glorious feedback, give it this test to see if it's ready.

This is a handy little tool I first saw on Pinterest a few years ago for outlining—I've modified the questions a bit to match my revision style. It helps me get to the meat of the story and showcases the stuff I need to polish, and the stuff I need to weed out completely. Plus, it keeps me motivated and saves loads of time because I lose focus easily ... oh, something shiny!

30 Questions for Your Outline

1: What does your character want?

What do they want most?
A heart, a way home, a brain, courage.

2: Why can't they have it?

3: Can you suck other characters into the main character’s problems, thereby broadening the conflict?
4: What is the hook for the readers on page one?

5: What is keeping your character from getting what she wants?

6: What character flaws are stopping your main character from getting what she wants?

7: Who is her greatest ally?

8: Who is her enemy?

9: What external forces are stopping your main character from getting what she wants?

10: How does the main character try to fix her problems? What is the consequence? 

11: How does she try to fix it the next time?

12: What is the mood of your story? Keep it consistent.

13: Is your setting recognizable? Make it unique to the story, as seen through your MC's eyes.

14: Do you have ongoing mysteries/questions that will keep your reader guessing?

15: What are the surprises and twists in your story?

16: Is the subplot developing at the same rate as the main plot?

17: Do each of your characters have a role to play? Are they unique? What if they weren't in the story?

18: What makes each character special/significant to your main character?

19: What are your characters’ secrets?

20: Have you created a sympathetic main character? How?

21: Is your story building up to something big? Can you make it bigger? 

22: Who/what is your antagonist?

23: How do they challenge your main character?

24: How can you make your main character’s voice unique?

25: What tools does your main character have to gain in order to win in the end? What do they have to overcome? How?

26: Do you have a ticking time bomb? If so, what is it? How does it escalate the tension?

27: What are your characters’ back stories?

28:  What mistakes does your main character make? And what does she learn from them? 

29: What is your story's theme?

30: Does your ending reflect the tension in the beginning, ie: what has your character has learned since that moment?

What are some of your tools for tackling revisions?

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 10 "Broken Heart"

Or better title "Hook Becomes A Total Arse"

Let's clear the air, when Hook didn't know he was the Dark One he had zero issues with good and evil, however, since Emma spilled the beans about making him immortal so he wouldn't die, he's gone completely cruel and totally jerk face boyfriend.

Plus, he's the one who cast the 'oh my god, not again' purple curse to get everyone back to Storybrooke, murdering Hot Merlin in the process.

Why does this show keep killing off the hot guys?

Hey, I get it, Once has a plot like a wad of hangers all tangled up at the back of the closet, but why would they make it so easy for Hook to go bad...and really bad. He has one line in this episode that made me cringe while holding back vomit—we'll get to that.

Meanwhile, Emma, despite doing magic so dark she brought two men back from the dead, has it together enough to patiently sit through her parents trying to understand why she saved Hook if it meant making him immortal.

Now that Hook is evil his first matter of business is to race over to the pawn shop and challenge Mr. Gold to a duel to the death to finally exact his revenge. Because instead of killing him on the spot, it makes more sense to orchestrate a fight for later.

When Mr. Gold finds Emma and lets her know of Hook's somewhat pathetic revenge plan, David rushes into the room announcing that all the dreamcatchers Emma hid in the shed have been stolen. Not only that, but Belle suddenly remembers there's a set of books called the Dark Chronicles in the library that no one has thought to look at, even though Storybrooke has had two Dark Ones in the last few months.

This makes no sense. That's okay, we all gave up on this show making sense. In fact, I watch it for the senselessness of it all.

Hey, where is Lily the dragon by the way?

Meanwhile back in Fairy Tale Land, a freshly resurrected Hook reunites with Emma, who is no longer wearing her white velour robe, but now the black leather Dark One ensemble we know so well. But Hook is distracted by visions of Rumplestiltskin urging him not to trust Emma.

Back in Storybrooke, Merida was left to guard Emma while Mary Margaret and David leave to save the day (as if). Hook shows up and makes it clear he's not so into Emma anymore. He makes fun of her hair, calls her an orphan and also an anchor.


Because he's a Dark One and he hates that she did this to him. Confusingly enough he also loves being a Dark One. Again, I'm dumbfounded by Hook's sudden transition into jerk-wadness based solely on becoming a Dark One.

In other news, Zelana shows up at the hospital to claim her baby where it's the same nurse who also works the psych ward and the long haired dude who is always mopping the floors. Anyway, Regina is there and tells her that even though "Baby Hood" is now with Robin, she'll let Zelena see the baby since people with legitimate abandonment issues should get snuggle therapy.

Zelena was like, "I gave birth two hours ago, don't mock me."

Meanwhile, after her fragile ego was crushed by Hook, Emma manages to track down Henry and after a heartfelt talk, he forgives her for (whatever) and takes the No Magic cuff off her wrist. They decide to go find the dreamcatchers since no one else in town is doing anything except reading books upside down at the abandoned library.

Back in Fairy Tale Land Hook is still lamenting to Emma about how she should have let him die (yeah, I'm starting to wonder that myself) he would have much preferred to die.

Emma is all "I am so so sorry I have control over you. But I'll never try to control you ever again. Here, take the sword. It's yours. This is how much I love and trust you. And don't forget I'm so so sorry. Can we make out now?"

Hook is all for that, but it was only a trick so they would go back to Granny's and kill Hot Merlin and cast the purple curse!

On a personal note, I cannot believe Hot Merlin was killed off instead of bumbling Merida or useless King Arthur.

Back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold arrives at the Jolly Roger for the above mentioned duel. Hook reminds us all this moment is strictly for the revenge of Milah, his true love and also Rumple's wife. By some miracle Mr. Gold defeats Hook. Perhaps he became all riled up when Hook referred to Milah as 'soiled'.

*cringe, barf*

Seriously? Soiled? I understand we're doing a lot of time travel each episode but this was straight out of the dark ages. Gross, OUAT.

He could have said, "...your wife would have returned to you, still in love with me and my love making skills." Or maybe "She'd go back to you, but the smile would be from memories of our nights together." Anything. ANYTHING other than, 'soiled.'


Light on his feet, Mr. Gold quickly goes to the well where he arranged to meet Belle if Hook didn't turn him into a kabob. He told her earlier, "I have a pure heart to offer you now. Please, give me a second chance." If she was there, it meant she was ready to love him again.

She's there!


Oh-uh. But then she tells him, "I have to take care of my own heart." And she leaves him broken hearted in the forest.

Whhhat? This is more confusing than the evil Hook storyline. Now that he's the man she always wanted him to be, she's walking away?

Across town, Emma and Henry arrive with the dreamcatchers they found in the clock tower and gives them to her family, choosing to trust them. Even though she is the Dark One she makes positive choices in regards to her loved ones happiness—which Hook is incapable of.
Then we're treated to this scene. Brain sucking dream catchers.

Emma is like, "Oh crap. I remember what Hook is planning now! He's going to open a portal to hell!"

A portal to hell?! At last.

The camera's whisk to the lake where Hook and the Rumplestiltskin hallucination wait for the arrival of a boatload of Dark Ones. Nimue (Merlin's true love) is both the original Dark One and the ferryman to hell. She's brought all the Dark Ones back "in the flesh" to snuff out the Light.

Vague much?

Even though Hook seems to be slipping further into TAT, total asshole territory, a battle of Dark Ones against Emma, Mr. Gold, Regina and perhaps Zelena seems promising. And hopfully, Hot Merlin will be resurrected somehow.

Who was the MVP?

#1. Baby Hood

#2. Hot Merlin's heart

#3. The dude mopping the hospital floor

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How To Be As Happy As Your Dog

This is my dog, Cody, king of naps.


Skip the self-help section of the bookstore, folks, the real answer to the true meaning of life is sleeping at my feet as I type this post. The secret to happiness? Think like a dog... 

How To Be As Happy As Your Dog

1. Knock over expensive vases and don't feel guilty.

2. Leap onto any sitting person for attention.

3. Don't count calories.

4. Make a cozy bed out of the laundry left on the floor.

5. Always greet your favourite person with unbridled affection.

6. Bark/growl at people you don't like.

7. Get lots of fresh air.

8. Take naps, preferably in a spot of sunlight.

9. Never skip an opportunity to snack.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 9 "The Bear King"

Or better title "So That's What Happened to Ruby"

The Bear this about Zelena's baby? Has it grown super fast and is now a kickass warrior ready to be Regina's new best friend? such luck. This episode was all about secondary characters we don't have much investment in, filling in backstory about a magical object that may or may not have a big role in the season finale.

All I can say is the wig department at ABC needs serious budget control.

Time travel back to baby Neal's christening at Granny's and we see Ruby standing off from the crowd, a little forlorn. Mary Margaret asks why the long face, and Ruby spills her guts that being the only werewolf in town is super boring. Also, she's been helping Tiny in the fields growing magic beans to help her realm hop.


Instead of grabbing the bean and holding it aloft to the crowd because, hell, that will really come in handy in the future, she hugs Ruby and basically says, "Yeah, you're a bit of a freak. Smell you later. Good luck, though."

In Camelot, Zelena has now hooked up with Arthur and she joins him on a quest for a magical helmet that will convince his guards to fight Merlin.

Meanwhile, Merida is mourning the loss of her father as she prepares to be crowned Queen of the clans. But before this can happen, the witch arrives and says she has to pay a debt her father owes or a curse will fall over the entire highlands...or something like that.

Apparently, had gotten this magical helmet that forced people to follow him into battle. Upset that her father didn't have genuine charm, Merida decides to go looking for the man who killed her father in battle and took the helmet.

We also learn that right before that epic battle, the king hired Mulan to teach Merida how to fight...or fight better, okay, actually he hired Mulan to make sure Merida was too busy to go to the battle.


Anyway, Merida decides to return to the battle field for clues to the identity of her father's killer...years after the battle. She runs into Mulan who is no longer a proud warrior but a bounty hunter of sorts. Seems she had her heart broken...yada, yada yada.

Mulan decides to help Merida only because that crazy hair reminds her of Happy Meals from McDonald's and who doesn't need a happy meal once in awhile?

Miraculously they find one of Merida's arrows in the battlefield with a bit of cloth, snagged while trying to defend her father.

Thinking the witch can do a locator spell for them on the cloth, they arrive at the hut only to be attacked by her pet wolf. But Mulan isn't afraid. She pours the cauldron of magic potion over the wolf and ta-da! It's Ruby!

This is a fortunate stroke of luck because with the cloth from the arrow, Ruby is able to sniff out Merida's dad's killer, then they can get the helmet, return it to the witch and prevent the curse from ruining her coronation.

So the Merida/Mulan/Ruby trio eventually find Zelena and Arthur.

Through flashbacks, we learn that Merida's dad didn't wear the helmet into battle, he threw it into the lake before the war even started.

Even though the helmet was obtained from the lake by Merida she still wanted revenge on Arthur, but guess what, she didn't.

And it turns out the whole helmet quest the witch sent her on in the first place was a test to make sure she could lead. And she can lead!

So lesson learned, kids.

The best part of this episode was when Mulan and Ruby decided to skip out on Merida's crowning party and do some werewolf hunting together. I sure hope those two show up in Storybrooke one day.

Who was the MVP of this episode?

#1. Merida's wig
#2. Mulan's smirk
#3. The helmet

Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 8 "The Birth"

Or better title "A View of the Sea"

In this back to back episode special, the first half consisted of the main characters explaining all the tedious loops holes while the second half brought tertiary characters that hold no real interest together to fill in the last forty-five minutes. But I have to say, I'm loving all AFF ) awesome female friendships).

The Birth began with everyone hunting down Arthur for burning the magic mushroom thingy that allowed them to talk to Merlin. He and Marion were chillin' in his tent enjoying a chianti and using a ping pong table as furniture.

No wonder he's missing Camelot.

He escapes out the back and Hook chases him down. Arthur soon overpowers Hook and is about to finish him off when Emma poofs into the scene with Excalibur.

After Emma saved him, Hook brushes the pine needles off his black leather chaps and starts screaming at her. Like, really screaming. If you love me how can you be the Dark One? And why can't we remember anything about Camelot?

Emma finally uses her low, gruff voice and screams back. "You want to know why I'm the Dark One?! It's all because of you!"

After hearing this revelation from Hook, Regina is all like, "Oh, please, she became the Dark One for me, remember?"

This Hook/Emma relationship seems so forced this season. Anyone else feel Regina and Emma make a better couple than Hook and Emma?

Undaunted by Regina's widsom and kick ass wit, Hook wants answers now! Answers he hasn't gotten since they all woke up in Granny's diner dressed like Renasance Fair extras. So Hook decides to throw himself off a building, trusting the fact Emma will appear to save him.

Bingo! She arrives in her usual plume of smoke and prevents his skull from smashing into Main Street. Instead of thanking her, he gives a long speech about now every ring on his finger represented someone he killed in the past when he was a badass pirate. Then he utters this gem, "I won't judge you the way I did several times before. I will love you no matter what you've done (now that you've saved my life) because I have done evil things too."

Then Emma says she'll finally tell him why she stole everyone's memories and became The Dark One. Except she says it many times and it lasts for two commercial breaks.

And what is the super secret reason for all this mess? What is the motive that drove her to make such a decision?

Real estate, my friend.

She takes Hook to her house, tells him that it was a house he and Henry secretly picked from them to move into. He's stunned then she shows him the view through the telescope. "You can see the ocearn from here. This is why I became the Dark One, to give us this future together." And then they make out because this makes perfect sense.

Back in Camelot, Emma learns from Merlin that her family is hostage in the forest and if she doesn't make Excalibur whole using Prometheus's spark, Arthur will order Merlin to kill her whole family out in the woods while she watched!

With her family's lives on the line, Emma arrives at the forest to save them and a battle ensues. In the mayhem, Hook uselessly charges Arthur and gets a flesh wound in the neck. Emma quickly heels him and the danger is over.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Zelena's pregnancy goes into overdrive (magicked along by Emma's onion rings from last episode) and she's taken to the hospital while Regina and Robin watch awkwardly. After a healthy baby girl is delivered, Emma shows up. They fear she's there for the baby, instead she kidnaps Zelena.

Grand plan revealed! Emma is going to put all the darkness into Zelena and then kill Zelena.


Hasn't Emma been the only once this season saying that darkness is a metaphor and people are not two-dimensional representations of good and evil, but instead beings capable of making choices based on logic and emotion?

Zelena finds herself locked up in Emma's basement with Hook. They chirp at each other in order to dump a lot of info for the viewer. Zelena, "My wrist band prevents me from using magic. There's no way out of here." Hook, "Remember my hook is enchanted. That should help us out of this jam."

Regina arrives with the Charmings to Emma's house, instead of staying with her true love, Robin and his brand new baby. These two keep finding ways to be together. When will OUAT reveal the real romance of this series.

Anyway, as soon as Hook takes off Zelena's cuff she escapes speedy quick, but then she returns with a dream catcher she happened to trip over in the backyard: a dream catcher full of Hook's memories.


Back in Camelot, after Emma was able to forge the Dagger and Excalibur, that magic somehow undid the magic she used to hell Hook's neck wound.

How? Why? Who knows, no one knows. There's so many loop holes and ass backwards logic in this show, let's not waste time trying to figure that one out.

Ignoring everyone's pleas to just let him die and to keep forging the blade, Emma whisks him off to a flower filled valley and cries that she can't let him go.

Sure you can. You still have Regina.

The only way to save Hook, is to bind him to the sword to make him immortal. He's like, "No, actually just let me die." But Emma said, "I can't lose you too."

Ka-Blamo! Hook gets a cape.

Okay, I actually enjoyed this twist. But why did Emma act all evil if she was actually only keeping Hook alive? And why did the memory curse work on Hook if he's a Dark One?
Hey, too bad they can't just True Love Kiss each other back to okay, but True Love's Kiss never seems to stick with these two...interesting.

But Hook isn't happy to learn he's the Dark One. He decides to take Zelena as his cohort in a plan to...who knows?

Who was the MVP for this episode?

#1. Zelena's baby

#2. Hook's hook

#3. Regina's wit

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Five Things Every Writer Should Know

With NaNoWriMo breathing down our necks  in full swing, I thought a little motivation was in order. Writing is a solitary activity (thank god) and while we love those quiet moments when we're completely submersed with our characters, it also leaves us vulnerable to self-doubt.

So here's a little pick me up for those of you feeling a bit like Eeyore, moody and glum, hunched over the keyboard.

#1. Every first draft is garbage, but keep that crap coming because you can't edit a blank page.

#2. Stop comparing yourself to the writer who just got a movie deal. Television is where the big money can be made—aim for that instead.

#3. If you don't write this story, no one else will. Imagine if other writers gave up.

#4. What you're doing takes tremendous skill, concentration and heart, most will fail, but you will triumph.

#5. You can do this. You've got this. You've come this far, just a little further until you reach the finish.

Congratulations! You made it to the end of this post.

Now go tackle that manuscript like the bad mother fuc*er you are!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Once Upon A Time Season 5, Episode 6 "The Bow and the Bear"

Or better title "Bare It All"

In Storybrooke, Regina has completed the potion that will allow them to communicate with Merlin. King Arthur arrives with that stupid magic mushroom and asks the others to leave because Merlin is very fussy who he'll respond to.

Regina is suspicious, but David and Mary Margaret are all, "Sure, Art. No problemo. We'll all wait outside. Do your thing, it's not like anyone has double-crossed up before."

Belle has had enough of this tired fungus storyline and leaves to go look for Rumple.

That's the spirit!

Once everyone leaves, King Arthur tosses the mushroom into the fire, then tells them it didn't work.

Mwahahaha! How evil.

In the woods, Mr. Gold is having an awkward session with the chipped cup. When Merida leaves, he smashes the cup and uses its sharp edges to cut through his tied hands.

Emma is unfazed to find that Mr. Gold has escaped. She orders Merida to put an arrow through Belle's heart. This is the only way to force Mr. Gold into becoming a hero apparently. So it's not really a dark thing because she knows Belle won't die and Mr. Gold will finally become a hero.

Plus, when she visits Zalena in jail she gives her onion rings because Emma can empathize what it's like to be pregnant and in jail.I don't think she's fully grasping the whole Dark One philosophy. Zalena eats all the onion rings without sharing.

Concussion Time

Back in Camelot, Belle impresses Merlin with her reading abilities after she gives him a spell to help break Lancelot and Merida out of Arthur's jail. Seeing that Belle has 'magic smarts' Merida knocks her unconscious the first chance they're alone so she can cook up a potion to help her find her kidnapped brothers.

Right, because that's super brave.

When Belle comes to, instead of having a concussion or even being a tad upset at being kidnapped, she's totes into the plan and can't wait to use her magic cookbook.

Who is responsible for these wigs?

After Belle completes the recipe, Merida peeks into the magical caldron or something and sees the rebel clans will kill her brothers by sundown if she doesn't relinquish the crown to them. They don't want a Queen to rule them so instead of killing her and making one of her brothers King, they will kill all of her brothers.

Merida freaks out and lets Belle know she has a magic potion that will change her fate.

In my day we called it gin.


Back in Storybrooke's library, Belle is startled when the steampunk elevator doors open and Mr. Gold is cowering inside. I guess he came in through the mines or something...this town is full of secret passageways.

Anyway, Mr. Gold is shaking and basically incontinent at the thought of going outside. Belle is like, "Dude, suck it up. So your foot is sore from escaping. Big deal. Let's drag your arse back to the shop and magic you some personality."

But Merida shows up, sending arrows everywhere except for the target. Realizing Mr. Gold is hopeless, Belle pulls the rug out from under Merida and gives her a concussion for a change.

Pay back!

Mr. Gold rushes to his safe and grabs a pouch full of transformation power. Belle asks why they need it. He says, "It's time to get the hell out of this hole."

Across town, The Charmings realize King Arthur fooled them. Regina rolls her eyes and suggests they get Henry to try summoning Merlin since he's the next author.

Sure, whatever.

It works, but instead of any useful information, they see Merlin warning them against The Dark One.

That. Was. Useless.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gold speeds to the edge of town. Belle tries to get him to pull over and not be such a coward, but he's like, "People keep knocking you unconscious and someone is trying to kill you. We need to leave. You need to work in a library where people actually read!"

But Belle is adamant she wants to stay. Mr. Gold leaves her on the road and speeds across the town limits. Then Merida shows up. "Aye. Here to kill ya." But instead of using her arrows, she drinks her potion (the real potion this time) and turns into the bear.

Bear or Bare Chests

In another dimension, Merida and Belle hide behind a rock while a rough troop of Chippendale performers prepare to murder her brothers.

Anyway, Merida jumps out and talks about how sorry they will be. She guzzles her potion, but nothing happens. Belle, that sneaky trickster, changed it for water. So instead of changing into a bear, she's still Merida, girl in the bad wig. Belle then whispers harshly about being brave and blah, blah, blah, Merida gets courage and all this time none of the Chippendale dancers think of killing Merida because...?

So, Merida shoots the arrow that deflects the three arrows intended to kill her brothers. The dudes all bow their heads, knowing they've just witnessed some badass archery. The clans give her their support and the brothers rush over for a big hair hug.

Seriously. Those wigs, though.

Hero Time

Merida the bear chases Belle through the forest. Then out of nowhere, Mr. Gold shows up. He throws his pouch at the bear and it turns back into Merida. 

In Emma's basement, Mr. Gold makes a deal with Emma to return Merida’s heart in exchange for his sword-pulling services. Emma agrees. He gives Belle a sweet good-bye speech in case he isn't worthy to pull the sword which makes me all misty eyed.

Thankfully, Mr. Gold is a hero. He hands the sword to Emma but also warns her that because of her greediness she made a huge mistake—she made him into a hero.

She's like, "Pfft, this town is full of heroes."

Mr. Gold smiles and it's like a bit of the old sly dog is in there. He says, "There's on hero like me."

Whoo-hoo! Bring it, Rumple.

Who was this episode's MVP?

#1. The chipped cup

#2. Merida's wig

#3. The fire proof mushroom

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