The Bear and the Bow 5X06

The Bear and the Bow: 5X06

I haven’t stopped smiling about this episode since I saw it last night. Talk about a payday! I have been waiting seasons for the writers to do justice to Belle. And they did. Among under utilized, under served characters, Belle tops my list for raw untapped potential. As much as I love him, Rumple is such a huge character that he tends to suck attention away from those around him like a swirling vortex of amazing work. It takes a lot to share the stage with Rumple and Belle has been doing so since Skin Deep, some moments more successfully than others. To clarify, this is about the writing of the characters and no reflection on either Robert Carlyle or Emilie de Ravin. They, as we have all seen, have marvelous chemistry and show off their great team work every time we see them together in a scene.

And so, finally we get to see Belle step out from behind the skirts of the other characters, mostly. More on this below the spoiler line.

Performance of the night goes to Emilie de Ravin. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that stare. You’ll see what I mean below the spoiler line. The obvious runner up goes to Carlyle for two particular moments which captivated me and drew me closer to the screen.

This episode has great motion and emotional arcing. Another sign that an episode has me by my eyebrows would be when I don’t notice pacing and structural elements on the first pass. I don’t try to watch for those things the first time, but when I do notice them it is usually a sign that I am not fully engaged with the story. When an episode flies by and I haven’t budged in 45 minutes, I know I got sucked in. The Bear and the Bow did this.

Overall Rating: 9/10. I’ll discuss the missing point below, as usual, but it is for a missed opportunity in an otherwise well put together story.

Here endeth the spoiler-free overview. Below there be dragons!

Scene 1: Glad someone noticed

Opening image: Camelot at night, followed by the dungeons.

I love the use of light to blind the guards before plunging them into darkness. This is a creative use of magic.

But, Charming presenting his backside is a great way to get run through. I wonder if they had a blocking issue here. Turning your back deliberately to the enemy is not a winning tactic. Even if you have Hook to clean up the mess.

How do you know what a bike is? Love that.

Question: why did Belle come to the dungeons with the Brute Squad? Belle rarely gets asked to adventure at all, and certainly not these kinds. Her Storybrooke compatriots tend to sideline her at every chance they get. Go look something up for us, Belle. Give us answers Belle. Not: hey let’s go beat up some people and rescue the prisoners. Belle, could you help us out with that?

To backfill that motivational gap a bit, perhaps Belle glued herself to Merlin’s coattails because she hopes he can help Rumple. Another reason, which I like better, is Belle’s own interest and scholarship in magic. Could she resist having access to the wizard to end all wizards? She, after all, married the Dark One, whom, aside from Merlin (maybe), is among the most powerful magical forces in all the realms. Nerd!!! Fan girl!!! Yes, I like that explanation much better.

Of great filming choices, filming this tight space by shooting through the bars and over the top of Belle’s head really works. We feel the cramped space. I am surprised by how much I don’t need perfect and clean images here. There’s a lot of camera movement and blurred foreground technique which adds to the cramped feeling of this scene. I can’t quite smell the darkness, but the feeling is there.

It does feel contrived, though, that Belle just happens to have a modern book of sorcery with her. Where did she get that? I had thought they only had access to Merlin’s tower. Would Arthur have a library with books on modern magic in it?? Now we know Merlin’s been in that tree a thousand years.

Also, if not for Rumple I could totally see a Belle/Merlin ‘ship. She likes smart, older men with power and they clearly like her.

I think Merlin had a little glimpse into the future in mind when he assures Merida that they’ll deal with her brother issue.

Scene 2: The voice she should have had all along…

I never thought I’d say this, but this scene lacks just a little bit of exposition…

Regina gathers the war council to tell them about Merlin and that she figured out how to contact him. Ok. Hook, moron that he is, tries to talk into the shroom (Colin O’Donoghue- I love your work on this). Lovable moron, but still… Belle goes along with this for the moment. Regina tells Hook she’s got the spell for this all worked out. But, Merlin’s picky about the calls he takes so Charming starts off to grab Arthur…

Now Belle pipes up and says hold the damned phone, Rumple can help us.

And it never occurred to them to think of him…

Ok, Belle, how do you think Rumple can help Emma? Do you think Rumple can sort out Merlin’s caller ID? Do you think Rumple can talk Emma down? Or is it because of his vast knowledge of sorcery/Dark Oneness that you’re sure he might be able to help free Emma? Or even help her control it?

It makes great sense to me that Rumple could provide insight into the Emma problem, obviously, but his general helpfulness isn’t enough motivation for a scene about specifics. The shroom.

No fault to de Ravin here, she’s marvelous in this scene. Normally stuck with exposition, ironically she doesn’t get it when we needed just one more sentence for continuity’s sake.

Belle chases Regina out of the way to stare them all down and tell them what’s what.


When she lays it on them, by the way your precious Emma is as much at fault as Rumple, their reactions are perfect. What do you mean our can-do-no-wrong daughter is like Rumple? No way, we hate that guy, she can’t be like him. He’s a big jerk and we don’t like him, there’s no way there could possibly be any comparison between him and our beloved Savior Emma…

And, we don’t give a toss what happens to him

We also can’t see our mile-wide hypocrisy. But Belle can.

I just wish, not for the first time, that the FCC wasn’t preventing Belle from saying what she’s really thinking and giving them all her middle finger.

And they stare after her retreating back thinking: what’s gotten into Belle, did she eat Crazy-O’s for breakfast?

I have been waiting for this scene for SO long. The smart woman in the room finally tells those bozos they’re wrong. They haven’t treated her very well since, well, ever and I hope she continues to let them know about it. The town heroes have been so entrenched in their black and white thinking that they couldn’t see what she always has: a good man trying to get out.

And now, their darling has a problem. Like a teen experimenting with drugs whose parents always thought drugs only happen to bad people of low character. NAIVE!!

Instead of helping Belle with Rumple’s rehab all along, they have been squatting and moaning over them both.

Hmm, flavorful language above… can you tell that this episode is compelling?

Scene 3: It was already broken anyway…

For a scene with only two words of dialogue, it packs a punch. More mileage out of props here. That poor teacup has been to hell and back, much like our characters.

I wonder if this scene needed dialogue at all, though. Carlyle communicates with us, captivates us, so clearly without saying a word that I think he could have done the scene entirely in silence if they had wanted to try that.

Now both Belle and Rumple have shattered that teacup, their even I guess?

It hurts as much this time as it did in Season 2.

Scene 4: Exposition via rock to the head

I love Belle’s new cloak. It reminds me very much of Merlin’s.

Also, de Ravin seems to be having balance issues. I wonder if they stuck her in heels (AGAIN!!!) for traipsing through the woods. More on this later.

Scene 5: His tether

Emma is creepy here. Morrison does use just a little too much vocal-fry here, but for exposition, this scene works well enough.

It does confirm an earlier theory that Emma will use Belle to craft Rumple into a hero.

Scene 6: Beautiful Lake, stolen Belle

FYI: a head injury like that could seriously injure Belle, to the tune of years worth of recovery and never really being the same again. Just in case you were wondering about the realism of TV violence. That’s way worse than a little headache and hours of unconsciousness.

But, moving on. I do love fierce-Belle! I’d have enjoyed seeing her take a swing at Merida… but not to be, she’s too reasonable. Doesn’t want to fall out of the boat in all that fabric.

These two ladies do a great job with this exposition scene in which the thematic material is introduced. Merida said the magic words to Belle, don’t let men push you around. Step up and take what you deserve for yourself.

Those are magic words for me too. Again, Once takes on sexism head on. Have I mentioned lately that I love this show??

I can’t go further without mentioning how beautiful this lake is. I could happily spend the afternoon on the lake with these two ladies, a picnic and maybe some beer. Yeah? A nice outing.

Scene 7: It’s just me…

We’ve had a good long wait to see magic again between these two. Together they sparkle.

Emotionally speaking, Rumple has nothing left to lose and everything to gain so he speaks his heart to his wife. We feel his intensity effect us like it does Belle. Here’s this guy who has done just about every flavor of evil imaginable, but he’s an amazing person -how does that work?- and he broke all of our hearts last season over and over again. Belle has had her heart put through the ringer, but she has continued to fight for him.

This moment of cognitive dissonance for Belle is beautifully executed by de Ravin. Belle is split emotionally between True Love and self respect. Who stays with a guy as awful as Rumple? Belle’s a tough cookie, but love isn’t blind for her, she knows he’s not a good man and has not been good to her. But, on the other hand, she sees, has always seen, his potential, the person he is underneath all his terrible choices.

In this moment Belle can’t decide between doing what’s best for her (if she even knows what that is yet) and grabbing Rumple and kissing him till the cows come home. Seeing her ex there in the elevator was the culmination of all of her efforts since the Apprentice pulled the darkness from his heart. But she is torn.

Rumple’s words move Belle as they do us, but Belle just can’t face this problem right now so she retreats into dealing with the present dil-Emma. (Sorry, couldn’t help that one. It slipped out.)

While I’m misbehaving… There certainly is no adult metaphor implied with Rumple coming up the elevator shaft into Belle’s inner sanctum. Man seeks refuge in his wife’s domain, offers her magic. She does greet him with a fire extinguisher, though.

Scene 8: There’s magic in there that can help us

I do love seeing Belle doing magic. It confirms a theory I’ve long had that even without the ability to wield it directly, the quasi alchemical potion making magic Once has presented is open to everyone. I also, remembering Regina offering to teach magic to Henry, wonder if it isn’t learnable. In born (or curse acquired) talent would likely be stronger, but if this is true then Rumple would likely have the means to learn on his own. And Belle too, for that matter, if she wants to, which, given the fact that she has thrown herself into the study of magic, could very well be the case.

Scene 9: Fresh greens

So glad they gave Nurse Ratched a line. She’s delightful.

Also, this scene made me wish for onion rings.

Scene 9b: Direct, I like that

Emma says Zelena is the only one to wield Merlin’s magic and live to tell about it. Who died? Is this a hint about Camelot?

The patient with the mop is chatty???? How delightfully unexpected. I hope to see more of him. Does anyone know if he is a reference to something? I feel as though he should be and I should be able to remember what, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

Next level darkness! Rebecca Mader is wonderful here. Zelena is unimpressed by the Dark One. This makes sense, after all she kept Rumple in a kennel doing her dirty work for a good long time and lived to write home about it.

Theory: Emma doesn’t believe that somethings can’t be forgiven. She thinks there will be forgiveness for herself. I start wondering if she is really following Rumple, DO’s (Dark One) directives with regards to her plans for Excalibur. Will it be that Emma saves herself? What will be her motivation? She’s doing a bang up job convincing us she likes being the Dark One.

Thanks to Mader’s creepily excellent work, this bit of thematic exposition hits us where it hurts with that line: I killed Neal, ready to kiss and make up?

Then we see Emma alone in her empty house. Will that be the ultimate undoing of the darkness in Emma? That she, unlike what Zelena claims about herself, can’t stand to be alone?

Scene 10: That stare

Like Belle, I have a hard time believing in Rumple’s cowardice. We just finished seeing a piece of emotional bravery, the like of which we have seen many times from him before. He may be afraid, but what makes a coward anyway? Sometimes fear is sense. He’s powerless and lame and his wife is in danger. Who wouldn’t be afraid?

He brings out the best in Belle, just as she does in him. We don’t get to see it this way very often, but Belle, a moment ago, tried to run away from her emotional problems, to not address what is broken between them. Rumple’s sense of shame over his fear brings Belle back to the best version of herself, that of helping others see in themselves what she sees in them. She inspires people and she cares for them. And she’s not taking no for an answer.

Which brings me to that stare.

De Ravin pins us down with that. It is for this that she gets performance of the night. It is beautifully shot, but no amount of great lighting will make up for an unconvincing performance. Belle (de Ravin) rivets us to the spot, and Rumple, while she tells him what she, and we, believe and have for some time. Rumple has within him all the makings of a good man, a hero, he just needs a nudge, a reason. He needs Belle.

She took his hands and I felt hope. She is remembering why she loves this man and remembering her own strength at the same time.

This is a major (I’d say key of G) thematic point. How we treat those who have fallen, those who make mistakes, those who aren’t perfect is a huge chunk of what ails society. We are short on forgiveness and long on judgement. We spit on the weak, failures among us rather than nurturing them.

Belle nurtures Rumple in this scene and props him up, literally and figuratively.

Dare I say this scene is Emmy bate for de Ravin.

Scene 11: your wit and your bow

More well executed thematic exposition from de Ravin. I appreciate the thematic balance of this episode. Belle doesn’t say magic is bad. She says do your own work and stand on your own two feet. She’s trying to get Rumple to do this in Storybrooke present.

Scene 12: should know better than to argue with you

Leaning against the closed door is clearly not the way to go.

Scene 13: gullible much??

At first when Arthur kneeled, I thought he was praying. But in fact he was deciding to chuck the shroom in the brazier.

Should have asked Rumple… Belle was right.

Scene 14: Mirror trick

So much love for this scene.

Belle doesn’t just quake in terror she literally pulls the rug out from underneath Emma’s plan. So unlike most damsel stories. Belle will save herself, thank you very much.

Habit, I believe took over here for both of them. Rumple and Belle are used to seeking comfort in one another. They huddle together on the floor. On the way out, Rumple takes Belle’s hand she doesn’t bat an eyelash at him. The direness of their situation cleared all the past garbage out of the way like someone upending a chess board to show us, and them, the true nature of their feelings for each other. True Love will not be denied.

Scene 15: Exposition behind a rock

Belle tries again to get Merida to believe in herself.

Scene 16: Town Line Heartbreak 2.0

This scene so transfixed me that it has taken multiple rewatchings to even know where to start. First thing I like about this is that Rumple, unlike many TV drivers, watches the road. Even when he shows Belle the anti-transformation powder, he doesn’t just watch her or the bag for any longer than a competent driver would. I suppose it’s possible he’s actually driving here and they are using mounted camera’s but I doubt it.

I also don’t fault Rumple for doing the only thing he knows will keep Belle from harm. Again, I don’t think this is cowardice. When you can’t win, find another way. Rumple can’t win. He certainly isn’t willing to risk Belle trying.

Belle, however, isn’t having any of it.

I’m not sure I agree with her here, but I’m not sure she’s wrong either. They do have people they care about in Storybrooke, whether they deserve it or not remains to be seen- Henry excepted. I tend to be a figure it out kind of lady, so I can see where Belle is coming from here.

I can also appreciate not taking any more of that guy’s BS. For all the closeness they have remembered in the past few hours or so, Belle hasn’t forgotten what a pain in the ass he is.

I’m not taking any more of your crap.

Seeing Belle raise her voice to him delights me. She did (the writers wrote for her) a good deal of whining last season and it is so good to see her strength and her will asserted. This is the pissed off Belle I remember from being stuck in a hole of Rumple’s making while he tries to kill Robin Hood in Season 2. This is the Belle who, gun on her, knocks Hook for a loop with an oar on his own ship. We need to see more of this Belle.

Of course she scares him by attempting to jump from a moving vehicle, but hey, she got his attention.

Frankly, Rumple’s got a point here. He’s not a hero; he has no reason to believe he can be. He wants his wife safe, and himself if he can manage it while he’s at it. He has no self confidence, never really has had any aside from what the Dark One’s powers gave him. Except that one time when he killed himself and his father to save Belle and Baelfire…

But he doesn’t give Belle a chance to site this rather glaring example of bravery.

Belle looks skeptical while he says he smashed his foot because he didn’t want to die. I am skeptical too. I wonder if he is rewriting history in his own mind out of desperation to keep Belle with him. I’m sure there was a part of him that didn’t want to die, but he’s been told he’s a coward his whole life and he believes it. It is relatively easy to lie to ourselves about why we did things in the past. Convincingly. He doesn’t believe in himself and this narrative fits with his own self image. But it doesn’t fit with the image Belle sees, nor me.

But Belle gives up here. Or she makes a last ditch effort to threaten him into doing the right thing. I’m not sure which.

And I really wondered if Rumple was going to drive out of Storybrooke and leave her. My heart was breaking, but I refused to believe he’d do that. While I was protesting this potential turn of events I was preparing myself for that eventuality. I considered to myself that the writers could really make that choice if they wanted to, she threw him out once already. The precedent has more than been set for sudden and unexpected large changes in what seemed like an obvious timeline. If there’s one thing that has delighted me over and over again with this show it is the rule to never get comfortable because the applecart is only inches from being upset.

This scene is a lovely call back to mid season last year when she threw him over the town line for being a schmuck. They broke our hearts once, they could do it again, easily.

But I don’t want to believe that!!!

Both de Ravin and Carlyle are wonderful on their own, but together they shine. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. These two have that on camera magic that keeps us enthralled. I believe what we are seeing with these two is the essence of teamwork and trust between actors. They fit with each other and are invested in the success of their scene partner. They have a comfort and ease around each other that likely becomes stronger with time, but they sparked from that very first episode they did together in Season 1, Skin Deep. We can see a similar connection between Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison. Despite many scenes together, I’ve never seen it between Parrilla and Ginnifer Goodwin. I am sure if anyone figured out how to bottle and sell whatever it takes to cause this specialness between actors, they’d be very rich indeed.

But I digress.

As much as I want them to get their happy ending, the best moments in Once are ones like this one with Belle and Rumple struggling together. This scene caused my chest to tighten and my brow to furrow. I probably clenched a fist or two and begged Rumple to get it together.

Speaking of heart wrenching, and also toughness, Belle says Rumple isn’t her sweetheart. I call BS on this and so does Merida, or she would if she didn’t have other things on her mind.


Now I am really hoping Rumple didn’t drive out of town. I never really thought the writers would kill Belle in this episode, at least not like this, but my heart rate went up.

Scene 17: Did you mix it right?

But I switched the potion with water.

Should have taught your lesson before we were surrounded…

Well, Belle knew Merida wasn’t going to listen unless forced to face her fears.

The real veggies of this episode come out now. The person we think of as brave was refusing to lean on her inner strength to solve her problems. Belle kicked her in the arse.

The person we think of as a coward was refusing to lean on his inner strength to solve his problems. Belle kicked him in the heart.

Neither of these two people are cowards, but both are adversely motivated by fear. Belle’s tough love approach worked on both of them.

Both of these two lacked self confidence, that’s not the same as cowardice. Not in my book anyway.

Side note: I didn’t like Brave. Not because there was anything wrong with the thematic material, on the contrary, it had a fine message. What bugged me was that I felt personally mocked. Some might say that Scottish-American doesn’t mean anything, but it means something to me. There is a line between cultural teasing and a mockery of traditions and customs. I felt Brave was the latter. I have a tartan, a clan motto and most of the shebang. I may lack a certain accent, but my ancestry is important to me even if I’ve never even been to Scotland.

Brave felt to me like the historical pissing on Scotland in a variety of ways, not the least of which was linguistically (Highland Clearances a complex piece of history, but I think I understand the gist of it). The crazy dumb son could only speak what I think was at least an attempt at Gaelic (though I wouldn’t know because I haven’t studied the language). The message seemed clear to me though: dumb savage. In any case, he was clearly undesirable because of his language “barrier”. Not cool.

Shrug, I am sure that there are probably ‘real’ Scots out there who disagree with me and would dispute my claim to the label and that’s fine. I’m not threatened by their opinions, which are their right after all. And so, I’m not looking to pick any fights here, just to make note for the following praise for Once.

I have been holding my breath since I knew of Brave’s arrival on Once in fear that Once would go down the same offensive pathway. But they haven’t. I wonder if having a Scot near and dear to their hearts helped them steer clear of that temptation. Heck, maybe the writers of Once even agree with me. Who knows. Maybe they’ll see this, comment and let me know.

In any case, kudos for being respectful.

Scene 18: Do your worst

Speaking of the worst…. I keep threatening to write up Once for making women run (through the woods) in heels with Belle’s costuming choices being among the chief offenders. I really need to get on that…

I doubt I’m the only one that doesn’t want to see de Ravin fall down and break something in the course of her job. I am really hoping that tumble down an embankment was a stunt double, but I don’t want their necks broken due to heels either. This just isn’t right. Let de Ravin be short, she’s just fine that way. And so am I and every other short person on the planet.

On the lighter side of costuming issues… Belle could use a few longer skirts. It’s a good thing she was wearing tights this evening but I have to wonder how many retakes the wind causes Once due to her short skirts. Now before anyone howls, I don’t have anything against short skirts and I wear them, but they are seriously impractical. I use shorts under mine so I don’t end up showing away unexpectedly due to gust of wind etc.

Slightly more seriously, and fodder for the article on Belle’s costuming woes, Vancouver is a cold place in the winter. We’ve seen Belle running around in way too few clothes for the weather on numerous occasions and Once needs to get its act together and protect de Ravin from the elements. It’s just mean for little gain. De Ravin doesn’t need to make up for anything in the looks department via a short skirt, she’s lovely end of story, if in fact this is not just another jab at her being short. Sure, wear the cute skirt when it is weather/situationally appropriate, but Belle doesn’t seem to own any other clothing and that makes no sense in addition to being bad for de Ravin’s comfort and likely her health.

Ok, off that soap box for now. I’ll get back on later, promise.

By the way, that open pawed slap would have flayed and broken Rumple… brain damage etc.

But I loved this scene anyway. I heaved a relieved sigh at seeing Rumple show up in the nick of time. Yes, deus ex machina again, I know. But I was delighted Once decided not to break my heart again after all.

We get the proof in the pudding here that Belle is (and I are) right to disbelieve Rumple’s going on about being a coward. He’s not. He shows up to die for her. Again. Cowards don’t do that and certainly not twice.

The de Ravin stare is in full force, if differently applied in this scene. I’ve heard Carlyle say acting is in the eyes, and it seems like he’s right. De Ravin most assuredly sells this and we all have a giant Rumbelle surge of hope. She still loves this guy regardless of what she told Merida five minutes ago. It was also for this stare that she got performance of the night.

But we can’t forget Carlyle here, for me the moment he buries his nose in her hair and cuddles in is the moment I buy this scene on his end. We humans smell each other, ok that doesn’t sound romantic, for comfort. We wear our partner’s clothing, we sniff their hair when we hug them. This kind of attention to detail on Carlyle’s part, especially because I doubt that was written (could be wrong, but I highly doubt it), makes this real for us.

Do you see what I mean about better together? These two scintillate.

Note: Rumple says “Actually, I think you saved me.” Belle smiles at him and I was thinking: and kiss! But no. Really????? Disappointment!!!

Ok, so I really shouldn’t be complaining about my Rumbelle payday because it is gorgeous, but dang! Where’s my kiss? I’m sure they’ve got another special moment waiting for us later, but gee wiz, waiting is tough sometimes. Even if, with Once writers, it’s always worth it.

Scene 19: The least I can do

A Merida/Belle friendship would be welcome indeed. Poor Belle doesn’t have any friends, if friends can be defined as those who will help you when your sweetheart (no matter what you say out loud, Belle) has Dark One troubles.

It is nice to see that Belle confides in Merida here about her uncertainty over what to do with the Rumple Problem. It’s even better that the Once writers didn’t just write her with clear feelings on the subject. He’s difficult. She’s got conflict about him and it is great to play. There’s no easy answer about Rumple. We all know what a pain in the ass he is, but we also know that he truly loves her and has spent the last several centuries being twisted by darkness. A person whom, after that long stewing in the brine of evil, can still love? Can still True Love? That is a special person indeed.

Belle doesn’t give up.

Hilarious! Belle hopes their paths cross again. How does she feel about that while she’s getting chased by a bear? Oh yeah, she doesn’t remember. But when she gets her memories back, and I have little doubt she will, what a laugh she and Merida will have about that one.

Amazingly pretty shots of Belle and Merida on the lake. Sun flare and all.

Scene 20: Sticky Fingers

Don’t take stuff that isn’t yours… exposition. I love the Apollo bar touch.

Scene 21: you were his maid once

A hero never runs away from his problems.

Ha, ha, Rumple. And check out Belle’s glare in his general direction.

I don’t think Rumple’s besting Merida was what actually allowed him to draw Excalibur. I think it was in fact his coming clean with Belle. The courage to tell her, publicly that he is sorry and would change given the chance is courage, heroic. Her acceptance, her tears- she’s proud of him- are likely what fill his heart with determination to be a good man and to succeed. For her.

Rumple made a decision in that moment to be better than he was and THAT is courageous and heroic. Not much to do with the bear nonsense.

And for his other performance of the night runner up moment, Carlyle blazes when he draws Excalibur. That moment gives me chills. The sheer force of change from sniveling wretch to self confidence is eloquently written on his face. A truly amazing moment. It was so tough to choose between that moment and de Ravin’s stare. Very close indeed.

The momentum of the scene makes it easy to skate past de Ravin’s reaction shot which we absolutely should not do because it too is noteworthy. We feel that relief all the way down.

None of them are me.

Now we hear the determined Rumple we remember from his threatening, pick whomever you like but let’s go with Regina, way back in Season 1. Emma had better watch out, she’s just made a monster. Oh wait, no, she made a hero.

Scene 22: Magical toad stools don’t burn

Merlin’s voicemail? Quite funny.

Effective set up for the future, closing image is of poor Hook wondering what happened to his sweetie.


I loved this episode, like you couldn’t tell. I have been anticipating my Rumbelle payday all along and I am a satisfied customer. Even if no kiss happened. Sigh. Next time. But, on to why this episode missed a point. The reason for that is that instead of having Belle make up her own plan, start her own plot line or establish goals for herself as any other character focused episode for the others in this series tends to do, she still got stuck with a supporting role. Both for Merida and for Rumple. Hey Once writers! Belle does have thoughts of her own, motivations of her own  and they are enough to tell stories with, please see to that in the future. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Kudos de Ravin and Carlyle for a lovely episode! Thanks!

Want to help study the magic of Once? Take the survey here. Read about the study here.


3 thoughts on “The Bear and the Bow 5X06

  1. Personally I would like to see Rumple, now sans most magic, more often use the cleverness of his brain to overcome his opponents. We saw this with his encounter with the bear in the woods, using the bag of transmogrification prevention materials to undo the shape shifting potion.

    No magic, no physical attack, but using the noggin and his long history of having had magic, to know how to unweave his opponents attack.

    Remember, this is the guy that formulated those bargains which were usually so airtight, complex and actually hid their true objective from those he dealt with. If he can make bargains that clever, and exploit the needs and desires of his “marks”, then surely he is up to the task of using mental Aikido on his foes.

    Speaking of Aikido, think of Rumple like a magic-less Harry Dresden 😉 wisdom and preparation.


      1. That is a good question… and an almost better one is: “If Harry Wins, will he become the next Dark one?” followed up by “if Harry is the Dark One, can he resist it as if it were a silver Denarius?”



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