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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

There are a few things that made me facepalm this episode. A particular highlight is that these people have learned nothing from Pan. For fairytale characters who are very aware of them not fully fitting their legends, and escaping the legend is a big theme this episode, they aren’t very genre savvy. You can’t assume everyone is good simply because of a story about them. Peter Pan was the obvious example of this and he tormented them for half a season. So why are they so immediately embracing Arthur and Camelot when all they have to trust is a legend? To be fair Arthur is certainly charismatic and friendly, but seriously everyone. Be a little more wary! I also want to pull out my hair re: Rumple but more on that later. Previously on Once Upon a Time, Emma’s now the Dark One and she enacted a curse to keep everyone in town. She also erased their memories so they have no idea what happened in Camelot that turned her against her family. She doesn’t seem to hold a grudge against Henry or Hook though, so go figure. The savior needs to help save Merlin who is in a tree, and Regina is masquerading as the savior to keep Emma from using magic. Also long ago Snow and Charming met Lancelot and thought he was awesomesauce, but they think he’s dead now thanks to Cora. Never believe Cora, people!

Emma is determined to get Excalibur out of the stone so she can put the sword back together. She can’t do it without the help of a hero however. She steals a dwarf axe but it doesn’t work. So she decides to try and seduce Hook into being her hero … or so it would seem. She pretends that they’re on their first date again and the charm doesn’t work on him. He knows she’s different and doesn’t like it. He says he used to love her, which seems a pretty quick turnaround, although he’s just saying that because he plans on finding a way to get her back somehow. Emma’s continued frustration that no one seems to like who she is now is almost sad to me. I think all she’s ever wanted was to be accepted and loved no matter what, and she’s being solidly rejected by everyone in her current form. I get why, but it sort of bothers me, go figure. She really was playing Hook by trying to get back his sword, the one that Rumple used before he was the Dark One. It’s the only way to wake him up and she says she wants to make him into the hero. Ummmmmm. I’m going to just head desk over here for awhile. I would like to give props to them for Hook being aware that he was pretty awful to Rumple when they first met and did the wrong thing. Not that it excused Rumple’s behavior later, but he was really vicious to him at the time. But it continues to frustrate me that they want to now make Rumple all pure and innocent. He’s a coward and made all his own choices, people. It’s not┬álike Regina is let off the hook from her evil choices, she’s had to live with them, that’s how her redemption has worked. Rumple proved last season he’ll go right back to evil whenever it’s easiest, so he doesn’t deserve it. Stop trying to make fetch (him) happen. I love seeing him as the Dark One and in flashbacks, but I’m tired of the show cramming him down my throat while constantly letting him back slide without consequences.

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Sigh. Okay so this episode is mostly about Charming and his frustration at his inability to do anything useful for his family. He can’t help Emma and he feels like he’s not being the hero he’s supposed to be. In the flashback he agrees to go on a quest with Arthur and they bond, and eventually Arthur makes him a knight of the Round Table in Lancelot’s old place. The item they went to get would supposedly help them communicate with Merlin, but Arthur steals it. Hmmmm. Fishy. He’s intentionally fishy because then in the current time he needs Charming’s help with a thief in the camp. It’s his squire Grif, who is actually working on his orders, and he then persuades the young man to commit suicide. It’s very nefarious and manipulative, and it plays on the absolute loyalty and devotion Arthur gets from his knights. And hard to watch, wow. So yeah, Arthur’s kind of a bad guy? He wants to make Storybrooke into his new Camelot. By now it’s just become expected that the good guys are really the bad guys. Lancelot shows up and warns Snow that Arthur is evil. So are we going to get a Morgana and Mordred who are actually good guys? I would love that. Morgana is my jam. This would probably pack more of a punch if we hadn’t already seen Pan and the Lost Boys change expectations.

Overall it was an okay episode. It keeps the plot moving, but there wasn’t anything particularly extraordinary in it. I do appreciate them allowing Charming some room to remember who he is. I’d love to see that happen with Snow too, who mostly seems to be around as support to others. Also I should note that Regina threatened Zelena that she would take away her child. That really bothered me, even if I think Zelena is the worst part about the show right now. Regina was treading into evil queen territory there so I’m side eying her. Also there’s a funny moment where Robin talks about a sonogram and Hook has no idea what it is, and that Robin is afraid to be excited about having another child. That whole situation I wish didn’t exist. And I also am not into turning Rumple into a hero. Remember when they had that alternate universe where Rumple was supposedly the hero, and he still did something evil? You can’t have it both ways, show. And Belle just seems to have forgotten all her reasons for being angry and practically divorced from him. I’m just going to sit here grumping and try and focus on the Dark Swan storyline that I am genuinely interested in.

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