OUAT Thoughts and Review: “The Bear and the Bow”


When Emma needs Rumple to become a hero he threatens the one person that can could cause him to fight back: Belle. Meanwhile, Regina believes she has a way to get in touch with Merlin.

In Camelot, Merida takes Belle home on a quest to save her brothers from the clansmen.

Check out below for the recap, along with random thoughts, quotes, this week’s Most Valuable Resident and a quick review.

Let’s begin!


Change Fate: Now that Merlin is back and Arthur’s intentions known, his (former) best pal Lancelot needs to be rescued. Luckily, with Merlin’s help, Charming, Hook, and Belle help rescue Lancelot, along with Merida from the dungeons of Camelot.

After the escape, Merida kidnaps Belle to help save her brothers from those clansmen that once vied for Merida’s hand in marriage.

Their first stop, Merida’s old friend’s, the Witch’s, cottage for the potion that could defeat the clansmen (i.e. the one that changed her mother into a bear). Merida asks Belle to create the potion, but Belle has her own plan.

Later, Merida and Belle arrive in DunBroch to come face-to-face with her brothers’ captors. When Merida tries to use the ‘bear potion,’ it ends up being fake. Merida takes matters into her own hands as the clansmen attempt to shoot her brothers. Merida uses her impressive archery skills to intercept the clansmen’s arrows and Merida saves her brothers and kingdom.

Zero to Hero: With Merida unable to succeed in training Rumple into a hero, Rumple takes the chance to escape (breaking his beloved chipped cup in the process). 

When Merida and Emma find out, Emma commands Merida to kill the only thing he would protect–Belle. In town, Rumbelle find each other, but not long after Merida does the same at his shop. Since Rumple believes he is only a coward, Belle steps in to deter Merida from killing her.

Thanks to Belle, Merida gets held back, but Rumple believes the better thing to do is leave town. Of course, Belle does not agree, and leaves Rumple at the town line (again) and runs into Merida. This time, however, Merida uses some real bear potion to transform into a beast and kill Belle.

Luckily, Rumple gets up the courage to save Belle and bring a human Merida back to Emma. With Rumple a new hero, he decides to wager a deal with Emma if he releases Excalibur: the sword for Merida’s heart, and of course, Rumple succeeds. Looks like Regina and the Charmings will have another hero on their side, but now Emma is just a step away from her own plan succeeding.

The Chosen One: Also in Storybrooke, Regina lets everyone in on the Emma’s secret: Merlin was released in Camelot. However, now they need to contact him in Storybrooke.

With the help of the Crimson Crown (you know, that mushroom-type object that Charming found), they have a way to talk to him. Unfortunately, only someone ‘chosen’ by Merlin can use it to contact him.

Still trusting of Arthur, Charming brings him to Regina’s vault where the spell will be used. When Arthur asks to talk alone, he burns the mushroom so he is unable to help them.

Finally, Regina and Co. learn his true color, but that doesn’t stop them because the mushroom is unable to disintegrate. Thankfully there’s another hope–Henry, the new Author chosen by Merlin. Henry succeeds and they come face-to-face with a message from Merlin who knows they are in trouble and the only person who can save them is someone named…Nimue.

Blast from the Past: Back in Camelot, Merlin and Emma have a bit of a reconnection at Granny’s when Merlin gets Emma to recall their meeting at the movie theater as a little girl.

Merlin reiterates to her how important his message to not pull Excalibur from the stone is as the Dark One. Which begs the question: Why did Emma defy Merlin’s warning?


  • How did Merlin, Charming and Co. not notice Merida kidnapping Belle? It’s not like they were a huge group. I mean there were 4 other people.
  • I do not remember those suitors of Merida being that horrible, but then again OUAT knows how to bring the meaner/darker sides of other characters.
  • Oh, how I wanted Julie Walters (the old witch from Braveto pop up and help Merida again.
  • Zelena was definitely the comic relief this episode. She’s still got her sass, but its interesting how the more Emma levels up the other villains, the darker Emma seemed.
  • Those Storybrooke folks really need things to be spelled out for them in order to know that they are being played.
  • Vancouver (I mean DunBroch) is very beautiful.
  • I think I’m going to like Rumple as a reformed hero.


Charming: “How do you know what a bike is?” Merlin: “So you think all my prophesies came true because of luck?”

Merlin: “Aren’t you the clever one.” Belle: “Glad someone noticed.”

“Have fun with a lifetime of resentment.”–Zelena, to Emma about Henry

“Then you’ll be sweeping his remains from the floor. You were his maid once.”–Emma, to Belle

“I don’t believe this–we’re getting Merlin’s voicemail?”–Regina

Most Valuable Resident: Robert Carlyle (Rumplestiltskin) It was one of the few times we’ve seen the vulnerable version of Rumple. Considering everything he did last season, it was enlightening to see the better person fight through the fears to save Belle. Now, it looks like we’ll see more of the hero version and I’m perfectly OK with that.

Review: 4/5 We are finally getting to the interesting part of the season. Now that Merlin is back, I’m more intrigued with Emma’s turn toward darkness. I don’t think half the episode needed to be spent on Merida, but it was more enjoyable (and at least relatable) than other flashbacks they’ve had in the past.

Next Week: The search for Nimue is on and in Storybrooke while in Camelot it looks like Merlin and Emma are trying to get rid of the Darkness.

What did you think of the episode? Did you like Merida’s story or did you want a more of a Storybrooke story? Any new theories about Emma and her darkness?

Sound off in the comments or let me know via Twitter.


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