SPOILERS AHEAD, DEARIE!!
Merlin helps David, Hook and Belle free Lancelot and Merida. Along the way back to the diner, Merida knocks Belle out in order to use to find her brothers. They find a chateau where Belle uses magic to find Merida’s brothers who are about to be executed. In Storybrooke, Rumplestiltskin manages to escape from Merida who tracks him down back to his shop and Belle. Meanwhile, Emma frees Zelena to strike a deal with her. Elsewhere, King Arthur is called by Regina and the Charming family to use the Crimson Crown mushroom to speak to Merlin. After Arthur has everyone leave, he tosses the toadstool in the fire. Rumplestitlskin attempts to leave Storybrooke with Belle to escape Merida and Emma but Belle refuses to leave with him and returns to Storybrooke, only to encounter Merida who drinks a potion that turns her into a bear. Belle is chased until she is rescued by Rumplestiltskin. They all return to Emma where Rumplestiltskin succeeds in pulling Excalibur from the stone. Henry is then summoned to contact Merlin after David finds the toadstool in the ashes of the fire.
More is revealed about Merida in this episode. She will do anything to save her brothers, including using Belle in order to make a potion to turn herself into a bear, much like her mother Elinor was in the 2012 film. Luckily Belle was able to convince her otherwise, having her prove that she is worthy of ruling the three clans. We get a look at the three clans from the film—Machintosh, MacGuffin and Dingwall. The casting staff of Once Upon a Time deserve a raise for finding three actors who very closely resemble the sons of the three clan leaders. With the exception of Young MacGuffin and Wee Dingwall, Young Machintosh’s known arrogance in the original film is dramatically escalated, making him the likely candidate for organizing the coup to kidnap the triplet sons of Clan Dunbroch. Speaking of the triplets, they are portrayed as teenagers rather than their child incarnations, suggesting that several years have passed since the “Brave” film.
Belle has been known to really stuck her neck out for others. She is perhaps the only person in Storybrooke who still has faith in Rumplestiltskin. Hell, she’s probably the only person who tolerates the guy. After the chicken crap move he pulled on her last season, one would think that she wouldn’t bother with him after sending him packing across the town line. But Belle can’t help but be nice. She still loves her ‘beast’ and willing to do anything to help him. When he is chased by an Emma controlled Merida and tries to leave town, Belle puts her foot down and tries to get Rumple to be a hero by facing his fears (which is a task in itself since Rumple makes the Cowardly Lion look like Braveheart). She also gives this lesson to Merida who wants to use magic to save her brothers. Belle’s positive influence gets Merida to save her brothers without magic and helps Rumplestitskin grow a pair in order to save Belle from Merida after she transforms into a bear. Hey, it’s “Brave” so the bear thing was emanate. Due to his newfound bravery, Rumplestiltskin is able to draw Excalibur. Guessing self-sacrifice is an automatic ticket to the ‘brave’ table… (and that’s three). But how brave will he be when the time comes to face the dark Swan?
Okay, I had one more.
Lastly, King Arthur shows just how much of a douche he can be. As if putting Prince Charming and Snow White under a spell wasn’t enough, he nearly destroys the one thing that can help everyone communicate with Merlin after putting on the ‘nice guy’ act. What is it with Arthur? Does he want the power of Excalibur for himself rather than to protect his kingdom? And what exactly happened between him and Merlin that has put him out of the wizard’s good graces? Perhaps Arthur had something to do with Merlin losing his true love which led to Merlin being trapped in a tree. With this, just maybe it’s not good to be the king.
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