So the Storybrooke crew may have figured out what happened to their memories, but nothing in “Dreamcatcher” is more important than Henry’s love life. I so wish I was kidding.
Here are the important plot points from last night: In the past, Emma uses a dreamcatcher to see that Merlin ended up as a tree because of a tear for a lost love. When reliving Regina’s trauma at the hands of her mother fails to free Merlin, the fresh pain of Henry being rejected by Violet sets Merlin free.
In the present, Regina et al break into Emma’s house and discover Excalibur in the basement. They note that it looks like the Dark One dagger, and go to Arthur. Which, I guess they don’t know he’s evil, but this is a constant problem in shows where the audience knows more than the protagonists—your heroes start looking like idiots.
Anyway, he does at least tell them the truth about the dagger and Excalibur being two parts of the same thing.
The other thing they find is the dreamcatcher, which reveals to them a memory of Emma taking Violet’s heart so that Henry will cry tears of a lost first love. Which does free Merlin. But he warns that he can’t fix Emma unless she really really wants it. Also, Henry sees the memory and is freshly upset about a thing he doesn’t remember.
Rumpelstiltskin is busy being “made into a hero by Merida,” who uses the storybook to see his history with Belle, bring the teacup to him, and goad him into fighting. Plus, the Storybrooke crew knows Emma has him and is trying to find him.
This episode goes off the rails almost from the word “Go,” since the very valid investigation into what happened to the squire that Arthur magic poisoned away last week is pushed to the side for the very important issue of Henry’s girlfriend.
GUYS. Eyes on the ball, please.
In the present, Violet’s horse is missing. And Henry wants to find it and be her hero. So he asks his crazy evil mother (the newly evil mother, not the formerly evil one.) to help him “give his friend her happy ending.” I would like Emma to remove my heart and crush it, please. That is awful.
And it’s not even the most awful part. Because, in the past, Henry takes Violet to a date at Granny’s where, I swear to fucking God, this exchange takes place after Henry opens a can of soda:
“Is that magic?”
“No, it’s soda.”
“It’s like a carnival in can.”
Brought to you by Pepsi. Out of the blue.
I will find you, person in charge of product placement for Once Upon a Time, and I will make you answer for this.
You know, I was never one of the people who minded Henry all that much. But this whole episode was miserably hard to watch. Because of the horrible child love plot (Violet says “Are you courting me?” and it’s awful) and because it felt like box-ticking, “Make Henry angry at Emma, so his forgiveness will help save her.” Can’t wait for that.
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