I have Once Upon a Time set up on my DVR because I am always at Bible study or driving home from picking up my kids on Sunday evenings. We had been out of town for spring break and apparently our power must have gone off because upon our return, the cable box was off and Once Upon a Time had not been recorded! Ack! So, we had to wait for the episode to be loaded to the On Demand feature before we could watch it!
Once Upon a Time, Season 3, Episode 14 Recap
In the opening scene, I was confused about what timeframe we were in. Prince Charming walks into what is obviously a nursery in a castle. So, we assume they are in the Enchanted Forest, but is this the past and is the cradle meant for Emma or is it “present” and the new baby’s room? In the corner is the enchanted “wardrobe” that transported Emma to this realm and we know that it was destroyed, so you think this is pre-Emma, yet you hear a baby crying. They didn’t get much time with Emma after she was born before she was stuffed into the wardrobe, so what is going on here? Then, we get a glimpse of “fairy tale Emma”! If Emma would have lived the life that she were meant to, this is what she would have looked like. Dressed in a beautiful gown, hair pinned up, decked in sparkly jewels, and asking her daddy to help her practice her dancing for the ball. I was imagining Steven Curtis Chapman singing, “I danced with Cinderella…” in my mind while watching this scene (which, incidentally, came on the radio while I was writing this). I know that Emma growing up in our realm and being an orphan was horrible, but I have to say that I prefer the “real” Emma to the fairy tale version they presented. Although, it shows how versatile she can be that she can go from no-nonsense bounty-hunter/sheriff/”the savior” to a frilly-dressed, wide-eyed, innocent princess going to her first ball (“I don’t even have a proper vanity!”). However, the scene goes dark and in an Exorcist meets Chucky move, the doll on the shelf’s head starts spinning. Emma calls Charming “daddy” for the first time that I can remember in the show and tells him not to fail his new baby like he failed her, before being sucked into the wardrobe. Those crazy wardrobes….
Charming awakens to find this was all a nightmare. Obviously. They are in the castle in the Enchanted Forest and Snow announces that she is pregnant, which is pretty dumb because they didn’t wrap her in something bulky, but instead have her clad in a clingy nightgown which makes it obvious that she is about four to six months pregnant. “Surprise, honey! I’m pregnant! And you thought I was just getting fat!” And then to add insult to injury on her announcement while she is very obviously farther along than they claimed, they fast forward to “present” day, saying, “9 months later.” Okay, I love this show, but the writers need a biology lesson. At the very earliest, if she had just found out she was pregnant, she would already be a month along, meaning that 9 months later, they should have a one-month-old baby. My OCD coming out, I guess, but it’s all in the details….
Back in the real world, Snow, Charming, Emma, Hook, and Regina are having a pow-wow about how to find the wicked witch. To protect Henry while they are investigating, Regina decides to accompany Henry around town.
Zelena, aka the wicked witch, visits Rumpel in the storm cellar where he is spinning straw into gold, mumbling, “it cleans the mind, it soothes the soul.” She reveals that she has the dagger that controls the Dark One. Rumpel tells her to go ahead and kill him (making her the Dark One) because “all the voices in my head will be quiet when I’m dead.” But, instead she manages to dry shave him with the kris (asymmetrical dagger). She did his whole face in about 3 or 4 strokes, amazingly enough, and only knicked him once. I had to laugh when she was talking to him about their outside showing what was rotting on the inside. I read a review the other day where the writer surmised that perhaps between takes, the two actors would bemoan the atrocities of the makeup they had to wear. Rumpel sounds a bit more coherent after his shave–perhaps he only needs a cup of coffee now to get going. Zelena apparently wanted his blood from the knick to access his safe in his shop, where she retrieves a root.
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Hook, Emma, and Charming are combing Regina’s office for clues. The scene takes on a surreal feeling when Hook is commenting on the decor and Charming is analyzing berries based on his expertise at the dog shelter. Of course the berries only grow in one part of Storybrooke and how convenient that the witch stepped in berries and then kept them on her shoe until she got in Regina’s office. Charming gets a text from Snow (fairy tale characters texting!) for him to come home and meet their new midwife. He wants to continue the search, but Emma urges him to go be with Snow.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Charming is hitting the sauce in the barn and Robin Hood and him have a tête-à-tête about being afraid. Robin Hood tells Charming about nightroot that grows in a haunted forest that helps you overcome your fear, so Charming immediately sets off to find it. Have they not learned yet that all magic comes with a price? Rumpel would be so disappointed.
Meeting Zelena, Charming muses (while Zelena is making tea) that since they don’t know her, they may not be able to trust her and we have hope that Charming is actually being smart! How come no one in town knows who she is? She just somehow ended up in this curse when she wasn’t in the last ones and that’s not a red flag to anyone??? Zelena crushes up the root in Charming’s cup and we realize that it is the same root he went after that Robin Hood told him about. Why does Zelena want him to have something to help him defeat his fear? They tease us with him lifting the cup to his mouth and then sitting it back down a few times, but then he goes ahead and drinks it.
In the Enchanted Forest, Charming finds the nightroot but then hears a cry for help coming from a tower, which he climbs and finds Rapunzel. It kind of reminds me of the scene from the Princess Bride when Wesley is effortlessly climbing up the Cliffs of Insanity! Why is she crying out for help when after he climbs in the window, she seems to cringe away from him at first and then refuses to leave? I assume it was more to warn him not to take the nightroot because a hooded witch appeared after she took it and imprisoned her in the tower. Charming tries to take her out anyway, but the hooded figure appears and we get more horror-movie stylings as the hooded figure’s movements are jerky and glitchy.
Charming goes out to the forest (the one in the real world) to help Emma and Hook with the search and is being shadowed by the hooded figure.
Regina and Henry take a walk, with Henry eating an ice cream. They talk about the benefits of a small town versus New York. Henry confides that he thinks there is more to them coming to Storybrooke than just a “job.” He tells her about Walsh and the marriage proposal and that he thinks that had something to do with it because Emma wouldn’t take him out of school for anything. He said it would have been nice to have more than two place settings at the table and I laughed, imagining a family dinner with the spectrum of his family that he doesn’t know about.
Meanwhile, Hook and Emma find the berries and have a “feelings” moment. Hook is amazingly good-looking, don’t get me wrong, but I so don’t want her to end up with him. He was the bad guy in the beginning and since he was in love with Henry’s dad’s mom, this would make family get-togethers even more awkward than they already are with Snow, Charming, the Dark One, and the Evil Queen in attendance. I’m rooting for Neal, since they would have had a happy little family (albeit crime-filled) if August hadn’t convinced him to let her go to fulfill her destiny. He never stopped loving her and did what was best for her! Hook’s a good distraction, but I don’t see him being the stable love interest/father figure.
They find a farmhouse and Emma comments on the irony, which I assume is directed toward the wicked witch’s sister having a farmhouse from Kansas fall on her in the story. Would that be Regina, then?
Charming sees the hooded figure and calls Emma and leaves her a message that he thinks he’s found the witch and is going after her because apparently Hook is too loud for Emma to hear her phone ringing.
We have some scenes that go back and forth between present day forest and Enchanted Forest with Charming doing battle with the hooded figure in both.
Emma and Hook look in the window of the farmhouse and when Hook asks why she is whispering, she goes into a spiel about her life as a bounty hunter finding people that are hiding. Okay, so whispering is necessary, but clomping across the porch in your boots is okay, as is standing full in front of the window to peer in, instead of cautiously peeking around the corner? Of course there is a bike with a basket on the porch which made the “Miss Gulch” music from Wizard of Oz run through my mind. They spot the storm shelter and find it padlocked. Emma is about to blow it off with her gun (so much for stealth), but Hook stops her. They decide to get Regina, but Emma finds the voicemail from Charming.
We find out that the hooded figures are Charming and Rapunzel, respectively. Taking the nightroot embodies their fears and they have to face and defeat their fears. Rapunzel cuts off her hair as her hooded figure is crawling up it and it disappears. Charming sees Emma’s car approaching and admits his fears about being a father and kills his hooded figure with the hilt of his sword (which was broken in the fight). As he goes to grab it, it disappears in a cloud of green smoke.
Charming reunites Rapunzel with her parents and Snow asks where he has been all night. Funny, because most wives would be livid if their husband was out all night and came back with a girl! He admits he is afraid of being a father because he failed to protect Emma. And, again, we see how pregnant Snow is, despite this being a day or two after she told him she was pregnant. Snow gives Charming a pep talk about doing this together and they scamper off to build a nursery.
As Charming, Emma, Hook, and Regina are heading to the farmhouse, Charming explains about his sword hilt disappearing and Regina says that it has become a totem for the witch, having his courage in it. We are shown Zelena looking in her purse, as she is leaving Snow’s apartment, and the hilt is in there.
Maybe it’s pregnancy brain, but Snow seems like an airhead to me now, whereas she used to be this strong, courageous warrior woman. I enjoy the innocence of fairy tales, but her whole character seems to have changed.
When the little hunting party arrives at the storm shelter, they find the padlock is busted open. I have to giggle because for the first time, Regina seems to be hanging back a bit. She feels dark magic. They find the spinning wheel and gold straw pieces and realize that Rumpel has been there. The question is, how did he get out? If he got himself out, how did he bust the padlocks on the outside of his cage door and the storm shelter door? And if he didn’t do it, then who freed him?
Once Upon a Time, Season 3, Episode 15 Preview
The preview for next week was hard to decipher because there were a lot of short scene flashes, but I watched it though several times and paused it multiple times. I can make out Rumpel running through the forest alone, the witch summoning the Dark One, Regina appears to be fighting a winged monkey, Neal seems to drop in pain in front of Emma, Belle and Hook are barricaded in the shop when Neal crashes through the door, Neal and Rumpel have some scary-looking scenes around a decorative metal circle that looks like a manhole cover in the snow, Emma has a horrified look on her face with a phone up to her ear, Emma and Charming kick in some doors, and they conclude the preview with the green-painted witch saying, “oops.”