Once Upon A Time season 5 episode 2 review: The Price

Regina's finally enjoying life as a white hat in this week's Once Upon A Time, while Emma's struggling with the dark side...

This review contains spoilers.

5.2 The Price

This week, we start to learn what exactly happened six weeks ago in Camelot, and Regina and Emma must learn again (for the hundredth time) that “magic always comes with a price.”

The big push of this episode is the slow role reversal happening between Regina and Emma. In Camelot, Regina starts to enjoy the perks of being the Saviour. People are actually nice to her! Obviously this is something she could get used to. Knowing how hard Regina has worked to be a part of the ‘good guys’ team over the past seasons, it was rewarding when the crowd applauded for her. She finally got the recognition she deserved. Lana Parilla is probably one of the strongest actors on the show, and she conveys perfectly what a turning point this is for Regina.

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Emma on the other hand, is struggling to control her darkness. After Robin is stabbed by Sir Percival, who was trying to (understandably) avenge the massacre of his village by the Evil Queen, Regina begs Emma to use her magic to save Robin. Imaginary Rumple warns her that only life can pay for life, but she does it anyway. Emma denies enjoying the power, but her sparkling hand gives her away. She’s one step closer to becoming the Dark One.

Focusing in on this scene, I’m curious about the kiss between Emma and Hook. She may feel more comfortable showing PDA in front of her parents than 90% of the population, but it was still odd. Did she kiss him to hide how much she enjoyed the power, or was it because the rush of power made her, for lack of a better word, horny? Guyliner can do that do a girl.

Back in Storybrooke, Arthur and half his kingdom have shown up in the woods, with of course no memory of what happened. I hope they get their memories back soon, because it is already frustrating me. Why did Emma erase the past six weeks away, only to get mad at anyone who can’t remember how exactly they failed her? She is strong in power, but weak in logic.

While helping set up camp for the Camelot group, Robin is taken by something that looks like a Cornish pixie on crack, otherwise known as a Fury. It’s time for Regina to pay the price for saving Robin’s life. Or at least, it should be. In dubious logic, Regina sacrifices her life instead, but not to be outdone in the hero department, Snow, Charming and Leroy jump onto the bandwagon too. This causes the Fury’s circuits to short out or something, because it leaves without anyone’s life. The show is normally pretty good to sticking to its rule of ‘magic comes with a price’, but in this instance, I really felt like it copped out. The moral dilemma of deciding whom to sacrifice would have been far more interesting than seeing a blue light electrocute the four of them. 

Hook and Belle have their own small storyline this episode, and it’s a good pairing. They’ve come a long way since Hook tried to kill Belle that one time. Belle tells Hook ‘it’s much easier to hate a dark one than it is to love one’, and she would know. She could write a ‘how to’ guide on the subject. I understand her worry for him, but I swear to god if she goes back to him, I’m done. To me, what Rumple did is irredeemable. Where is her boyfriend from last season, the adorable Will Scarlet? Go find this man and have a healthy relationship. Speaking of relationships, Hook is trying to do everything in his power to save his. Alone in Emma’s new house, Hook kisses her; certain that true love’s kiss will bring her back. But it doesn’t. Is Hook not her true love? This could have been an interesting turn for the show, and it definitely got me excited just by the potential new storylines this would’ve caused, but as Emma and later Belle explain, it’s not a curse when the afflicted wants it. Too much angst and eyeliner has been invested in their relationship for them ever to be parted for good.

Finally at the end, Emma’s master plan is revealed, or is it the Dark One? It’s slightly confusing with her split personality disorder. She’s going to use Excalibur to do what no Dark One has done before – snuff out the light. Not wanting the audience to forget the title of this episode, Rumple reminds her that this power will come at a price.

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What is this price? My morbid guess would be Henry. In order to snuff out the light, doesn’t it make sense that she would have to get rid of the one thing that brings light to her life? However, I don’t see Once actually doing that. This is (arguably) a family show, after all. So it looks like we’ll have to wait for future episodes for it to become clear.

Read Alyce’s review of the previous episode, Dark Swan, here.

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