Thursday, October 1, 2015

Once Upon a Time Episode Analysis (The Dark Swan)

WHA!?  What kind of an ending was that?!  Although, interesting hint surrounding the origins of the Dark One.  The dagger is actually the tip of Excalibur.  Didn’t see that one coming.

After merging with the Darkness, Emma was instantly transported into the Enchanted Forest, to the Vault of the Dark One, which we last saw in ‘Quiet Minds.’  Apparently, this happens to all Dark Ones.  So, was Rumple transported there after he killed Dark One Zoso?  It would certainly explain why it took him a while to return to his home village, only arriving just in time to stop the soldiers from taking Boy Baelfire to the Ogre Wars’ frontlines.  Upon arriving in the Enchanted Forest, Emma is immediately greeted by a familiar face.  More specifically, the Darkness’ consciousness is projecting a hallucination of Dark One Rumpelstiltskin to ‘instruct’ Emma on the finer points of being the Dark One.  This hallucination is basically serving as the little devil sitting on Emma’s shoulder, and is taking on Dark One Rumple’s appearance because it was a form Emma would recognize.  After all, Emma had previously gotten a first-hand look at Dark One Rumpelstiltskin’s Enchanted Forest appearance during her impromptu trip into the past.  (Although, I do have questions about this Gorgon the Invincible.  Was a previous Dark One a shapeshifter?  Or can an animal be possessed by the Darkness as well?  What are the limitations of this?) 

The presence of the Dark One Rumpelstiltskin Hallucination also makes sense from a filming standpoint.  They couldn’t very well have actor Robert Carlyle’s only appearances this story arc be of him lying in his coma, could they?  Incidentally, there is a short scene where we see Belle being torn between keeping vigil at her wayward husband’s bedside in case his condition suddenly took a turn for the worst or doing something to help the Nevengers save Emma from the Dark One’s curse.  Blue, being the walking plot point she is, presents Belle with an enchanted rose that will keep her updated on Rumple’s current condition.  As long as the rose keeps its petals, it’s a sign that Rumple still lives.  Obviously, this was meant to be another Beauty and the Beast reference, which I’m okay with.  Although, at this point, I’m not too invested in this particular pairing.  Maybe I’ll be interested again when Rumple wakes up and we get to see how Belle will react to him possibly being back to his pre-Dark One personality.  That remains to be seen.

Emma is doing her best to ignore her evil conscience and focus on what the Apprentice had told her, about how Merlin could get rid of the Darkness for good.  The Dark One’s Consciousness, taking advantage of Emma’s determination to find Merlin, convinces her to teleport herself to some previously unexplored region of the Enchanted Forest fairy tale land and directs her attention to a passing will-o-wisp, saying that the small ethereal creature could help her achieve her desired goal.  However, someone manages to capture the will-o-wisp before Emma can reach it.  That someone is Merida, straight out from Disney’s Brave.  Much like with the Frozen cast, Merida is exactly how she was portrayed in the actual movie.  Which really makes you wonder how the ‘older’ Disney characters in the show are so different from their animated counterparts.  Maybe it’s just this whole ‘lost through constant retelling of the story’ thing.  Anyway, it comes out that Merida’s father, King Fergus, has passed away, which is a shame to hear.  Because the other clans don’t think a woman can be a proper leader, they’ve kidnapped Merida’s brothers, Hamish, Hubert and Harris.  Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  If their whole issue was having a female in charge of the clan, why would they get rid of the three princes?  ‘Yeah, we don’t want a woman running things, so let’s go and get rid of the three male heirs.  That’ll fix the problem.’  Were they holding the triplets hostage to try and force Merida to give up the throne?  Again, I’m failing to see the logic behind this, but for the sake of the episode’s plot, I made an attempt to just go with it.  In any event, the plight of her three brothers has given Merida her own reason for needing the will-o-wisp, as it could help her find out where they’re being kept.  (Although, wouldn’t it make an interesting twist if the triplets managed to escape their kidnappers on their own?  The movie did suggest those three were certainly crafty enough.)  Merida eventually decides to try and help Emma upon seeing how she was willing to be completely selfless and simply allow Merida to keep the wisp instead of trying to fight her for it.  But then, the Dark One Rumpelstiltskin Hallucination starts whispering into Emma’s ear during the night, informing her that the will-o-wisp cannot be shared, and the only way Emma can get the wisp to lead her to Merlin is if she takes it from Merida.

Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, the Nevengers are left reeling from Emma’s sudden disappearance.  But while it might be my bias speaking, it’s Killian’s reactions that are the most noticeable to me.  While everyone else is  just yammering on about what just happened, he is standing stock still, simply staring at the Dark One’s dagger that was left lying on the ground after Emma vanished.  It only makes sense he’d have this sort of reaction.  Emma had only just told him she loved him for the first time, and now she’s gone, being snatched up by the curse of the Dark One.  It’s a rather chilling parallel when you remember ‘I love you’ were Milah’s last words before she was killed by Dark One Rumpelstiltskin.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Killian was once again feeling the worst sort of Deja-Vu.  When he finally snaps out of it, he was the only one who actually attempted to do something, by using the dagger to command Emma to return.   Of course, his plan failed, as Emma is now in the Enchanted Forest.  And again, I find it quite notable that he’s the only one who seemed to show concern for Henry, as he turned to look right at him when his attempts to call Emma back with the dagger failed.  I realize that everyone was in shock at the time, but if Killian can spare a thought to how Henry might feel about how his mother has just became the new Dark One and subsequently vanished, why can’t Henry’s grandparents or his other mother who has claimed to love him?

To try and find a way to follow after her, they return to the Apprentice, who turns out is alive after all.  The Apprentice informs them that Emma has been transported into the Enchanted Forest, and if they want to go after her, they need to use his wand to open up a portal, also stating that the wand can only open the portal if it’s wielded by someone who possesses light and dark magic.  With those words, he once again appears to die.  I think.  So is he actually dead this time?  Or was this another fake-out?  (And why am I once again side-eyeing Blue, who just happened to be hovering over the Apprentice when he apparently died for real?  I’ve got my eye on you, Shady.)  When Regina attempts to wield the Apprentice’s wand, nothing happens.  Even though Killian states that Regina can’t use the wand as she no longer contains darkness in her on account of her doing too much good, I have to humbly disagree with that.  Yes, she has done some good things, but the impression I keep getting is that every time she does something good, it’s because she’ll benefit in some way.  There’s a significant difference between performing a good deed simply because it’s the right thing to do and doing good in order to get some commendation or reward out of it.  The motivation behind doing good deeds is vitally important.  Hate to say it, but Regina’s actions during most of season 4 were a bit too self-centered for me to believe she no longer has enough darkness in her.  I personally think it’s the exact opposite- she doesn’t have enough light in her to make the wand work.  Either way, Killian suggests that they try having Zelena wield the wand instead, something Regina is not at all pleased about.  But when Killian reminds her that she once again owes Emma her life, Regina begrudgingly agrees.  Of course, when they actually go to Zelena’s cell, Regina ultimately decides against allowing Zelena to wield the wand, as it would require them to remove the magic-nullifying wrist cuff. 

Speaking of which, did they ever actually explain how Zelena got her magic back?  Because I got the impression she was automatically stripped of her magical abilities when they took her green gem from her.  Did she reabsorb the magic during that astral projection stunt she pulled after Gold tried to kill her at the end of season 3?  If so, they could have explained that a bit better.  While I do feel there are many times when it’s better to show not tell, sometimes a bit of exposition can be beneficial to the viewing audience.

Even though Regina is now dead-set against having Zelena’s assistance in this, Killian is not willing to go along with her decision.  Watching him in this episode is really painful, as you can clearly see that Emma’s absence, and the implications of it, have shaken him to the very core.  Much like what we saw during ‘The Jolly Roger’ flashback, being separated from your True Love leaves you at your worst.  But it’s even more than that.  He has no way of knowing what Emma’s doing or what trials she’s facing at that very moment.   All he knows is that wherever she is, she’s facing her new status as the Dark One alone.  And he knows better than most how easy it is to be lured into the darkness when you don’t have anyone there to pull you back.  He’s lived through that experience twice.  In addition, he knew Rumpelstiltskin before he killed Dark One Zoso and took on the mantle himself.  Killian is the only one among the Nevengers who has seen what the Dark One’s curse can do to a person.  The very knowledge that Emma could lose the battle against the darkness while she’s separated from the people she loves has him simply wrecked and restless in his determination to get to her before it’s too late.  Many times, you get the impression he can barely even breathe with Emma gone, so of course he’d be willing to do whatever it takes to get to Emma, even if it means striking a deal with Zelena.  This is the same man who actually went to his bitterest enemy out of a desire to be worthy of Emma back in ‘The Apprentice,’ after all.  In what I hope is a testament to things to come, Killian teams up with Henry to execute his cockamamie plan.  Much like with what we saw in the ‘Operation Mongoose’ two-parter, which Killian actually references by mentioning the ‘Wookie prisoner gag,’ it’s so awesome to see Killian and Henry interacting, particularly when it involves saving Emma.  Even though it's not official yet, those two really are displaying a great stepfather-and-stepson dynamic.  And to those viewers who are saying that Killian was being irresponsible by putting a kid like Henry in danger, let me remind you that not only did Killian enter Zelena’s cell by himself, thereby leaving Henry out of the line of fire, Henry was completely right when he said ‘I’m not a kid anymore.’  We’re talking about the same character that ventured into Isaac’s warped Alternate Universe to fix things, masterminded the plan to rescue Emma from her tower, and singlehandedly took out a Black Knight and that nasty piece of work, Blackbeard.  The person who had the chance to have vast cosmic power to control and manipulate reality, but chose to forever turn his back on that opportunity because he knew it was too much power for anyone to have.  This is the same boy who frequently snuck out of the house, sometimes in the middle of the night, to ensure the success of Operation Cobra, and even willingly ventured into a collapsing mine tunnel just to find proof that Storybrooke was cursed and everyone in town was a fairy tale character.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in regards to everything he’s gotten up to since the show began.  Henry stopped being a kid when he was ten years old, from the moment he stole his teacher’s credit card, hopped on a bus and traveled across three states by himself to track down his birth mother.  So don’t even try telling me Henry’s just a child who needs to be kept away from dangerous situations.

Minor rant aside, while Henry distracts the administrative nurse, Killian swipes the keys and enters Zelena’s cell, while the seemingly mute janitor looks on.  (Speaking of whom, who exactly are Nurse Gertrude and the silent janitor?  Unless I’m mistaken, they’re the only recurring characters whose Enchanted Forest identities remain a mystery.  It would be interesting if they touched on that at some point.)  Of course, Killian’s plan ultimately backfires when Zelena gets her hands on his knife and uses it to cut off her hand to get the wrist cuff off.  Of course, she magically reattaches it immediately afterwards, but even so, this show sure does love making us watch characters getting dismembered.  Isn’t this supposed to be a family show?  With the wand in her possession, Zelena is able to escape from her cell.

There is a slight possible plothole here.  While confronting Zelena in her cell, Killian pours a potion on his hook to once again grant him the ability to remove someone’s heart, planning to take Zelena’s heart to ensure she wouldn’t try anything.  During the scene, Killian refers to the moment in time when Evil Queen Regina gave him that ability to remove Cora’s heart.  However, when you go back to watch that episode, it appears Regina placed an actual spell on his hook.  There didn’t seem to be a potion involved.  If there had been, she certainly didn’t seem to give it to Killian at the time.  Unless Killian had obtained the potion after Evil Queen Regina used it through the act of pickpocketing.  After all, Killian was a full-blown pirate captain during that point in time.  I can see him being all ‘hmmm, that could come in handy at some point.  Mine!’  Minor inconsistency aside, the fact that Killian has once again failed to use the heart-removal spell for its original intent is an interesting turn of events, especially since it means Killian might still have the ability to remove a heart.  I wonder if that will come up again at some point in the near future. 

Also, why would Killian bring a knife with him when he was going to face Zelena to begin with?  He has to remember how psychotic this woman is.  Then again, maybe he felt a bit safer/more comfortable with some manner of blade on hand.  Did he ever get back his sword?  You know, the one he seemed to lose when Dark One Rumpelstiltskin transported him and Emma into his forbidden vault back in the season 3 finale?  Perhaps he started carrying around the knife because he was getting tired of constantly reaching up to touch the sword only to keep finding it missing.  Sorta like the way someone would keep looking down at their wrist to check the time even after they lost their watch.

So, now Zelena’s on the loose and her first act is to take Robin hostage, demanding the Apprentice’s wand in exchange for his safe return.  Zelena intends to use the wand to return to Oz, stating that she’s tired of Regina getting everything and wants to escape her shadow, blah blah blah.  Okay, it’s official.  I am so sick of Zelena.  Never mind the fact that she’s now claiming she just wants to go back to Oz so she can finally be happy.  Because don’t blame us for that, Greenie; you’re the one who decided to leave Oz.  No one in Storybrooke made you leave.  She’s just so annoying with her constant whining about how Regina gets everything.  It makes me wonder why they brought her back and didn’t just leave her dead.  Because I don’t see how anyone could possibly be interested in this whole pregnancy-through-deceit subplot.  What makes it even worse is that I’ve got a really nasty feeling they’re going to try and make another half-baked redemption story for Zelena.  If they do, I’m not going to be too happy, since I don’t think they did a very good job with Regina’s redemption story.  I mean, seriously.  Regina became a villain when she started off blaming a 10 year old for her boyfriend’s death.  And even after she ‘redeemed’ herself, she still has a tendency to cast blame on everyone else every time something didn’t go her way, completely ignoring how much pain she’d inflicted on others.  And now, we’re seeing a similar pattern with Zelena’s constant wining about how her half-sister, who only just learned of her existence less than a year ago, has taken away everything from her.  Seriously Zelena!  Shut up, already!

Anyway, though a bunch of magical what-not, Regina ends up giving Zelena the wand to ensure Robin’s safety, but then it’s revealed that Regina was also simultaneously setting a trap, since she knew the wand would injure Zelena the instant the portal was opened, (how’d she figure that out?) allowing the Nevengers to recapture her.  Now that Zelena is once again restrained, they decide to redirect the portal and use it to locate Emma in the Enchanted Forest instead of Oz.  To make sure the portal brings them to Emma, Regina produces Emma’s old baby blanket.   How Regina managed to get access to the baby blanket is not actually explained.  I don’t think Emma ever showed Regina the blanket, as she always seemed to keep it under close guard.  In fact, I think the only people who Emma actually showed her old blanket to was Snow, back when she was still just Season 1 Mary Margret, Nick and Ava/Hansel and Gretel, Henry and Killian.  Come to think if it, did Regina even KNOW about the existence of the baby blanket?  Eh, whatever.  It gets the plot rolling.

In an interesting turn of events, when the Nevengers all decide to make the trip to the Enchanted Forest with Granny’s Diner in tow, (possibly to ensure they had a roof over their heads, as they had no way of knowing how far they’d be from an actual village), Grumpy/Leroy volunteers himself, Happy and Doc to go along as well, stating that he’s sick and tired of always being left out of their adventures.   (Although, seeing Grumpy take charge makes you wonder who really is the leader of the dwarfs.  Because the animated Disney movie would make you believe Doc was the one in charge.  Obviously, that’s not the case in OUAT’s reality.)  As a result, this is the biggest outing the Nevengers have had to date.  Just look at the list of people going on this adventure: Snow and Charming (who are actually taking responsibility for their son by bringing Baby Neal along, so kudos to them), Killian, Henry, Regina, Robin, Roland, Belle, Granny, Grumpy, Doc and Happy.  (Also, Zelena is also being dragged along, which I don’t fully understand.  Maybe there wasn’t enough time to return her to her cell before the cyclone portal hit?)  I gotta admit, it’s really fitting that such a big group is going along, as this time, the stakes are arguably at the highest they’ve been to date.  Although, I do wonder what the rest of Storybrooke is going to do with Granny’s Diner gone, as it’s practically the town’s centerpiece.  Also, wasn’t Ruby supposed to be coming back this season?  Why would Granny leave for an extended period of time without at least saying goodbye to her granddaughter first?

The Nevengers touch down in the Enchanted Forest at just the right time, as Emma is starting to lose her internal battle against the Dark One Rumple Hallucination, who is currently talking her into crushing Merida’s heart in order to gain control of the wisp.  Killian is just on fire in this moment.  While he spent the majority of the episode fuming and crazed in his desperation to get to Emma, the moment he’s at her side again, he’s immediately back to his collected, rational self as he tries to talk her down.  And on a personal note, I adore how he responds to Emma’s questioning how he managed to reach her by saying ‘it doesn't matter how. Has anything ever stopped me before?’  In all honestly, Emma really shouldn’t have been surprised.  We’re talking about the same man who found a way to cross realms to find her again, fueled by nothing but her ‘good.’  The same man who willingly followed her through a time portal that would take them who-knows-where-and-when after an ‘of course I care.’  What did Emma expect him to do after she gave him an actual ‘I love you?

Also, this scene once again gives us another example of how Killian is more of an anchor for Emma than her own mother is.  Snow is fully prepared to use the dagger to force Emma to stand down, but Killian immediately steps in and dismisses Snow’s plan, knowing that Emma has to choose to resist the Darkness, otherwise it won’t count.  There he goes again, not only respecting Emma’s agency, but also showing his complete faith that Emma is strong enough to beat this on her own.  This is Killian ‘I’ve yet to see you fail’ Jones, after all.  He even goes so far in ensuring her ‘we can find another way together.’  Which is a possible callback to what he told her back in ‘Smash the Mirror,’ after Emma chose to not give up her magic.  ‘We'll find another way to defeat the Snow Queen... together.’   In the end, Killian’s reassurance does the trick, and Emma is able to return Merida’s heart without crushing it.  Although the effort involved must have been physically trying on Emma, as she just falls into Killian’s arms so hard, he nearly stumbles backward.

In the aftermath of this trial, Emma tasks the responsibility of wielding the Dark One’s dagger to Regina, stating that she’ll be the only one who’d be able to do what is necessary if Emma loses control.  And as much as I disagree with the statement that Regina can actually be considered a hero now for the reasons I’ve previously gone over, I do agree with Emma here.  I don’t doubt for an instant that Regina wouldn’t hesitate to destroy Emma if it came to that.  As for Merida, she sets off to locate her brothers, thanking Emma for allowing her to see her struggle against the Darkness, as it has inspired Merida to resist against it herself, by not killing the people who kidnapped her brothers like she originally intended.  Instead, she plans to show them mercy, the way Emma had mercy on her.  After Merida sets off, and the Nevengers take Emma back to Home Base Granny’s to show her in person how many people are now standing behind her, they are immediately approached by King Arthur himself, who states Merlin had once prophesied that the Nevengers would appear there one day, and when they did, Merlin, who had apparently been missing for years, would also return.  With King Arthur and his knights providing escort, the Nevengers all make their way into Camelot, with Emma and Killian leading the way, arm-in-arm.  And how could you not love their new level of intimacy, which has undoubtedly been brought about by Emma’s verbal love confession?  Even though they have yet to get the chance to actually discuss the matter, that ‘I love you’ has really lowered a lot of barriers between them.  At one point, you even see Emma and Killian swinging their arms as they walk while holding hands.  Could those two kill me more with the high levels of cute?  And of course, there was Killian’s ‘well, you don't look like a crocodile.’  Because of course he would comment on that.  Those two just have their own brand of flirting, and it is beyond precious.

And this is when things take a sudden U Turn.  The Nevengers are suddenly transported back into Storybrooke, all wearing Enchanted Forest garb.  According to Sneezy and Sleepy, who arrive on the scene seconds later, they’ve all been gone six weeks.  But none of the Nevengers have any memory of that- the last thing they remember was entering Camelot with King Arthur.  Oh, goody.  Another round of amnesia/lost memories.  By now, you’d think they’d all be keeping personal journals to ensure they’ll have a way to instantly figure out whatever they’ve forgotten.   Besides, Henry's the Author now.  His entire job requires him to chronicle stuff that's been happening.  So what's his excuse of not recording everything that's gone down during that six week period?  Of course, you gotta love Killian’s sense of priorities.  While everyone else is wondering what happened and why they’ve suddenly got new wardrobes, Killian’s first question is about Emma’s whereabouts.  In fact, just watch him when the camera pans to him when the Nevengers first return to Storybrooke.  The very first thing he does is look down at his good hand.  Because the last thing he remembers was that it was holding Emma’s.  So of course, he’s going to immediately notice she’s unaccounted for.

And that’s when we all get kicked in the teeth, when Emma makes her appearance.  Somehow, during the six week gap, she’s gone full –on Dark One on us.  And while I know the new look she’s sporting is meant to be shocking and intimidating, it still makes me hope that Dark Swan will only last until the end of the season at the very latest.  On the other hand, her take on the Dark One is a striking difference to Dark One Rumple.  While Rumple was all giddy about utilizing his Dark One powers and fully relished in them, Emma comes across as cold and aloof. (And I tell you now, if she starts calling people ‘dearie,’ I’m gonna vomit)  Hopefully, this will be a good thing in the long run- it could suggest that even though she’s fully Dark One, she’s not enjoying it the way Rumple did.  Which could mean she’ll be more willing to eventually give up the power than her predecessor did, once they find a way to do so.

Dark One Emma’s first act is to turn Sneezy into stone upon seeing he’s donned her trademark red leather jacket.   Okay, does anyone actually think for a second that that’s going to be permanent?  Because I’m pretty sure the dwarfs are immune from any permanent damage.  Like the way they fake-killed Doc in Isaac’s alternate world.  That was just done for shock value, and wasn’t a permanent thing.  Oh, could this be an indication that they’ll actually go to Narnia in the next story arc?  After all, Aslan was able to return people who were turned to stone to their original flesh and blood state.  And The Chronicles of Narnia were seeped in Christian undertones.  Isn’t redemption and forgiveness of sins a major aspect of Christianity?  Or am I just reading too much into this particular moment?  Anyway, Emma then proceeds to inform the Nevengers that they all failed to take the Darkness out of her, and because of some currently unknown wrong they inflicted on her, they will be punished.   Which of course, leads to the question of what exactly happened in those missing six weeks that led Emma to this point, and what exactly did the Nevengers do?  At the moment, we have no way of knowing, but I’m pretty sure Snow once again played a part in it.  While she did have a bright spot in this episode when she stepped in to break up the fight brewing between Killian and Regina after Zelena escaped, she has a long history of dropping the ball in regards to Emma.  Deciding she wanted another go at being a parent because her current relationship with her daughter wasn’t matching her expectations, being willing to stay in Neverland with Dreamshade-poisoned-Charming, even if it meant never seeing her daughter and grandson again, reacting in fear to Emma’s magic to the point of not letting her hold her baby brother and then scolding her for an accidental magical surge.  Not to mention the fact that she more-or-less performed the magical equivalent of genetic pre-selection to make sure Emma would be born ‘right.’  (Because manipulation by Author Isaac or not, that was pretty messed up.)  And Dark One Emma was looking right at Snow when she stated the Nevengers failed.  The fact that she didn’t hesitate to try using the dagger to stop Emma from crushing Merida’s heart could have been a foreshadowing of things to come.  (Is it too much to ask that Emma and Snow finally get to share a good relationship for once?  With each passing season, I miss the dynamic between Emma and Season 1 Mary Margret more and more.)  And while I know it might be my personal bias kicking in, I don’t think for a moment Henry and Killian had a part in this misdeed Dark One Emma mentioned.  If you look back at the scene when Emma was reunited with everyone, when Emma hugged Killian and then Henry, the Dark One Rumpelstiltskin Hallucination vanished.  At present, I think this was the writers’ way of hinting that Killian and Henry are the keys to Emma keeping the Darkness at bay.  So how could they have played a part in failing Emma?  Not to mention Killian had previously stated ‘I don’t intend to let you down.’  And we’ve seen Henry has unparalleled faith in his mother, so I have a hard time believing that those two played a part in whatever it is Dark One Emma’s talking about.

I’m also wondering how Excalibur is going to play into this.  We already know the Dark One’s dagger is actually the end of Excalibur’s blade, so there is the question of what would happen if the two parts are made whole again.  Also, that small flashback scene of Little Emma at the start of the episode suggests that at some point, Emma might have the opportunity to wield Excalibur.  Which doesn’t make much sense right now, as this episode also showed us that Arthur has already pulled it out of the stone, which lead to the reveal about the connection between Excalibur and the Dark One’s dagger.  Speaking of the flashback, I have one minor grievance with it.  So, in this flashback, we see Little Emma, who I guess is about 6 years old at the time, being taken to the movies to see The Sword in the Stone with her current foster family.  However, when they enter the theater that’s playing the movie, anyone who has actually watched Sword in the Stone can tell that it’s at the start of the final act.  Really, I don’t get it.  If you’re going to take your kids to the movies, be it a foster kid or not, why would you only enter the theater when the movie is almost over anyway?  Where’s the logic to that?  Not only will the kid have no idea what’s going on, but you’ve essentially wasted your money by paying full ticket price and only getting the final few minutes.  Eh, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that this foster family wasn’t that with it.  After all, they clearly weren’t keeping a close watch on Little Emma, as she was able to slip away on her own, after swiping a candy bar from some woman’s pocket.  Another thing about this flashback was how this guy is able to approach her and give her a warning about something that’s possibly going to happen at some point during this story arc.  I’ve more or less have been told that this mysterious person is going to eventually be revealed as Merlin, who is choosing now to give Emma the warning.  This kinda makes a bit of sense.  From what I remember about the original legend of King Arthur, Merlin aged in reverse.  So he could remember stuff that was going to happen in the future, but not what had already happened in the past.  In an unrelated story, was it bad that I thought that the person warning Emma in this scene was Lancelot at first?  I realize that doesn’t make a lot of sense, since Lancelot is supposed to be dead in the present-timeline, and it would beg the question how he even got there to begin with.   But in my defense, I had seen there was talk about Lancelot somehow coming back this season, so I figured they might end up revealing that Cora had been lying about killing him.  After all, she’s been known to lie about quite a lot.  Plus, I really don’t know the actors who portray the Camelot cast outside of this show, and it had been a while since we last saw Lancelot.  Top that off with the fact that, before I saw this episode, I hadn’t come across any promotional images of OUAT’s portrayal of Merlin, so I had no clue what he was going to look like ahead of time.

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