Welcome to another week in Camelot, Oncers! Tonight’s episode has been brought to you by the word “heroes,” the food “mushrooms,” and the No. 3, as the third episode of Once Upon A Time continued to bridge the gap between the missing six weeks in Camelot and Emma becoming the Dark Swan.
We’ll start off our recap with a chemistry lesson, a.k.a. the Storybrooke crew continuing their quest to try to get Merlin out of the tree. They’re trying to find witchbane so that they can finish their potion, when Arthur shows up. In Merlin’s book o’ spells and magic, Regina finds information about a toadstool (don’t call it a mushroom; Regina’s very particular about that) called the Crimson Crown. It can communicate across barriers, which means if they can find it, they can use it to talk to Merlin in the tree. But getting the object isn’t so easy. It exists in the Forest of Eternal Night, a place so enchanted, it makes it almost impossible to retrieve. Charming decides he’s going to be the hero who goes after it, and Arthur, being the good king of Camelot, invites himself along to help. Back in Storybrooke, the group is finding the drawing of the Crimson Crown for the first time. Of course, thanks to the curse and the memory loss, none of them remember it, but Regina recognizes her handwriting when she marked the book originally. They’re interrupted by the dwarves, who are downright pissed that Dark Swan Emma stole Happy’s ax. I feel like the dwarves’ frustration this season is basically five years of pent-up annoyance at being shoved into the background of everything. But also, in the past three episodes, they’ve now had more screen time than usual, so maybe the frustration is worth it.
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Snow and Charming take a moment to themselves to, well, be parents, as Charming is upset that he’s failing Emma as a father. A gentle Snow talks him down from his self-loathing, reminding him that there’s still time to be a hero — and that not all is lost for their daughter. I still love how the Charmings theme music is used whenever the two have a quiet moment together; it’s those small scenes that remind me of the magic that the show really captured in their first few seasons. Arthur arrives to tell them that the reliquary (a box of magical relics collected by the Knights of the Round Table) has been robbed. Why is this such a big deal? There’s a magic bean inside that can take them home to Camelot. No worries, Arthur! Sheriff Charming will help you find your magic beans, no matter the price, because that’s what bro-friends do.
See, in Camelot, Charming and Arthur became super close, bonding over their unexpected rise to royalty. But we’ll get to all of that in a little bit. Right now, we’re heading back to Camelot, where we find a sweet Robin calming down an annoyed Regina, while a silent Zelena lurks in the background. Regina gives her sister her voice back just long enough to tell her she can’t take the child away from Robin, and Zelena tries to reason with her by saying she deserves a second chance at love. Regina got one, so why can’t she? Sorry, sis — you’ve had one too many black marks on your record to be believable. Regina’s not having it, but I personally am having all the chemistry between Lana Parrilla and Rebecca Mader, who play off each other so well I constantly wish we could just watch a spin-off show of The Evil Queen and her Wicked Sister. Regina assures her that she’ll will make sure Robin’s baby is loved and cared for…though the same can’t be said for how Zelena will fare. Yes, there’s still some Evil Queen vibe left in Regina, and maybe it comes out a little more in Camelot given the atmosphere, but it’s nice to see it appear every once in awhile.
NEXT: Did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything I would like to be