*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
Trapped In A Tree
Episode two kicks off with the dwarves determined to cross the town line and discover what the new curse will bring to those who do. Although Snow and Charming attempt to intervene Dopey refuses to listen to their wise words and steps over the line anyway, only to be turned into (or trapped inside) a tree moments later! Interestingly, this idea presents itself again later in the episode when King Arthur reveals that Merlin is in fact in a similar predicament.
Who Is The True Savior?
Upon the arrival of the Storybrooke squad in Camelot, King Arthur is keen to find out which of his new guests is the famous ‘Savior’ Merlin had spoken of. In a move we later learn was made to protect Emma from using her now dark magic and losing control, Regina steps forward as the Savior, using the dagger to stop Emma from telling the truth.
Back in Storybrooke we see Emma speak of the curse she has placed upon the town, revealing that it was built without the one thing necessary to break it; a Savior. Again, we see Regina stepping up to take on the role, with a confident Henry believing that she will be the one to save the town from whatever darkness Emma has in store. By the end of the episode it appears that others are starting to come around to this idea too.
A Camelot Ball
Over in Camelot everyone is prepping for a ball to welcome the Storybrooke newcomers to the castle, with faux-Savior Regina set to attend as the guest of honour. Whilst it’s clear to see how happy Snow is to finally be able to attend a ball alongside her daughter, we also get to see her acting as a sort-of mother figure to Regina (aka her ex-step mother).
As it turns out the ex-Evil Queen can’t dance. Despite attending many similar events during her previous life, Regina was always the one crashing the party, never just a guest who was there to dance. Of course Snow & Charming won’t stand for this and both take on parent roles teaching her how to dance and helping her get ready for the big event. This sequence was definitely another nod to Regina taking on the role of the Savior and it looks as though we’ll see this theme develop further throughout the episodes, perhaps causing upset to Emma and contributing to her present-day Storybrooke darkness.
Before she can put her dancing skills to the test Regina is presented with a necklace by Percival, which he claims is a gift from the King. Just like his fellow Camelot friends, Percival is a bit of a shady character and it turns out that the necklace is in fact allowing him to spy on Regina… and he knows her secret.
For a little while everyone appears to be having a lovely time at the ball, that is until Percival asks to dance with the Savior. He reveals that he knows who Regina really is (the ex-Evil Queen) by telling a story from his childhood in which an ‘angel of death’ came to his village and set it ablaze, smiling at him as she walked away. Out for revenge Percival attempts to attack Regina with a sword enchanted to kill her but at the last moment (after Hook stops Emma from intervening with dark magic) Robin steps in and is seriously injured.
Unable to heal Robin due to the fact the wound was caused by a sword enchanted to kill her, Regina is all out of options and asks Emma to save him. Regina knows that Emma will have to use her dark magic to do so, but makes it very clear that she is asking for Emma’s help, and will not compel her to save Robin by using the dagger. Of course, as Emma has not yet turned completely dark she agrees to help and saves Robin’s life. As she goes to lie down, exhausted from using her powers for such a big ask, she runs into that pesky Rumple-illusion once again who teases her about how much she enjoys having such power. It looks as though this act was the beginning of Emma’s downward spiral into darkness.
Paying The Price
Emma tells Regina and Henry something bad is coming to Storybrooke, but no one suspects what happens next. When a mysterious creature shows up and flies off with Robin, it leaves the town bemused. Thanks to a little detective work from Belle, they figure out that Robin’s captor is a demon known as the Fury. Sent to reclaim payment for magical debt left in Camelot (translation: someone used magic and didn’t pay up!), this particular type of demon is summoned when the price to pay is a life. Of course, Regina offers her own life to save Robin, however Snow, Leroy and David step in to help her fend off the Fury…for now at least.
Back over at the Camelot ball, Henry finally manages to meet someone of his own age in this crazy fairytale character world, a girl named Violet. After plucking up the courage to go and speak to her Henry woos Violet with some music a little more current than that being played at the ball, on a magical device that was a gift from 'the Savior' no less (in our world it's known as an iPod!). Since most people we meet turn out to be characters we already know from elsewhere...any guesses who Violet could be in an alternate world?
Back at Granny’s, we see Violet and Henry meet for the second time (of course with their memories erased they don’t remember the first!), and again bond over music as Henry shows her how the jukebox works. Coincidentally the same song the pair listened to at the Camelot ball plays and Violet feels like she recognises it – could this be the beginning of her memories returning?
After meeting, a somewhat suspicious, Arthur & Co. in the previous episode it seemed inevitable we would run into Guinevere soon and this week we do. After the dramatic events of the ball, we join the couple as they secretly discuss ‘fulfilling the prophecy’, revealing that it is their intention to reclaim the Dark One’s dagger in order to reunite it with Excalibur. For what purpose only they know, but unfortunately for them the sword has already fallen into someone else’s’ hands…
True Love’s Kiss
Hopeful that he can find some way to bring Emma out of the darkness and back to her old self Hook approaches Belle for some advice, knowing her history with True Love’s Kiss and her relationship with former Dark One Rumple. Belle clearly sympathises with Hook stating “it’s far easier to hate a Dark One than it is to love one” as the pair bond over their struggling relationships. Unfortunately for Hook, the kiss doesn’t work this time round with Emma reasoning that it won’t because “there is nothing to fix”
Emma also introduces Hook to her brand new house, because apparently now that she’s the Dark One it’s time to get her own place! Whilst there, Hook sees a mysterious door which we later learn is where Emma is keeping both the dagger and Excalibur (which Arthur lost en route to Storybrooke), planning to reunite the pair herself. Voice-in-her-head-Rumple reveals that doing so will “snuff out the light forever” but we quickly learn Emma will not be the one to do this as she is unable to pull the sword from the stone. Rumple-illusion reveals simply that if she wants it she will have to pay the price.
What did you think of ‘The Price’?