OUAT Thoughts and Review: “Birth” & “The Bear King”


This week’s two-hour adventure had two different stories to tell.

In the first story, we discovered why Emma took everyone’s memories away. However, it led to a big reveal, that is definitely going to cause issues for Captain Swan.

In the second story, we arrived in DunBroch and learned more about Merida’s past and her future as the queen. It was also the return of Mulan and Ruby, who have been MIA for a while.

Look on for the more detailed recap, along with random thoughts, my review, and Storybrooke’s Most Valuable Resident for the two outings of “Birth” and “The Bear King.”

Shall we?

Hour One

Light the Flame: Now in possession of the Promethean flame, Emma needs to light it to join the dagger and Excalibur. Unfortunately, Merlin is under the control of the Excalibur, thanks to Arthur and Zelena, and has captured her family until she turns over the flame.

Emma goes to rescue her family and is convinces the tethered Merlin to fight the darkness while Hook takes Excalibur from Arthur. While he saves the day, he gets a knick on his neck, but since Emma heals it you think nothing of it.

Later, Emma is still unable to light the flame and after some probbing by Regina, Emma finally admits to Hook that the idea of building a future him scares her from letting go of the Darkness.

But just when you think they are about to get their happy ending, the cut on Hook’s neck begins to bleed with Emma unable to save him with her magic.

tumblr_nxxgszzrsv1qkheaxo8_r1_250Against Merlin, and everyone’s, wishes Emma finds a loophole by tethering Hook to Excalibur making both of them the Dark One(s).

Memories Revealed: In Storybrooke present, Hook tries to get Emma to tell her about their wiped memories, but she won’t budge with the truth.

Meanwhile, Emma fast-tracks Zelena’s pregnancy for another plan. Zelena and Robin have a baby girl and Zelena is immediately wisked away to Emma’s basement.

With Zelena no longer pregnant, Emma plans to take Excalibur to conquer the Darkness (and Zelena) once and for all. Zelena doesn’t taketumblr_nxwqa9i9fv1t6t8guo1_r1_250 that lightly and when she finds out Emma’s secret she shows Hook his dreamcatcher memories and learns his fate as the (other) Dark One.

Not shockingly, Hook does not take the news well and plans to take Emma down with the help of the magically restored, Zelena.

Hour Two

A ‘Brave’ Adventure: In Dunbroch of the past, Merida’s dad, Fergus, goes to the witch for something to help him be a good leader for his tumblr_nxrovnkmc31sjcg5bo1_r1_250people at war. The Witch gives him a helmet that will make people fight for him.

Years later, Merida goes on a quest for that helmet when the Witch comes after the kingdom for the debt with the help of her former trainer, Mulan. Also on a quest to find the helmet? Arthur and Zelena who hope it will give Arthur a way to have the Camelot people fight against Emma (and basically all the Storybrooke folk).

During the quest, Mulan goes to the Witch’s home and meets her guard dog, Ruby, who has been living in the Enchanted Forest since Baby Neal was born way back in season 3.

When Merida and Arthur meet they discover that Fergus never used the helmet during their war and the man that killed Fergus was actually King Arthur (there really is no redemption for this guy, is there?).

Before Merida can get her revenge against Arthur, Zelena poofs them backtumblr_nxx6ca1u8a1taf6o9o1_250 to Camelot sans helmet. Meanwhile, Merida becomes queen of Dunbroch
and the Witch gives her a way to speak to Fergus after her has died.

Lost on their own paths, Mulan and Ruby decide to go together to find a ‘new path’ after Mulan reveals her heartbreak (Aurora?) and Ruby unable to find her werewolf family.


  • This was probably my favorite Dr. Whale moment when he went sass to sass with Regina and Zelena in the delivery room
  • In case you didn’t know, Whale’s dye job is because of his role on another series, the CW’s iZombie.
  • There was very much a Harry Potter vibe during the Emma vs. Merlin power-off. Question is: who was Voldemort or Harry in the scenario?
  • A great way to start the episode is to have Charming, Robin, and Hook join together to fight against Arthur!
  • How much of a let down was it that there was no continuation of the Hook/Dark One storyline in part 2? Was it just me?
  • Are we sure Ruby wasn’t mentioned to be in Storybrooke at all during season 4?
  • I have even more storyline questions. Was Mulan’s past interaction with Merida pre/post curse?
  • So what are the guesses when we will see Mulan/Ruby again? This season? Next?


“Shut up, I was a fake midwife. I know the drill.”–Zelena

Regina (to Whale): “We really need another doctor in this town. What’s with the dye job?” Whale: “Oh, so Emma changes her hair and no one makes a fuss, but I get ridiculed? Come on, you know you like it”

“No one hurts my sister, but me.”–Regina

Queen Elinor: “You’re magic is never direct, is it?” Witch: “It does the trick.”

Most Valuable Resident: Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) Emma’s actions may not have been the best this week, but the performance in both storylines keeps getting better. First, there was the heartbreaking reaction to almost losing Hook, then in Storybrooke it was the seeing the reaction to her repercussions. This story is becoming more and more intriguing.


Birth 4.5/5 This was another good episode this season and the arc in general. There was finally the reveal as to what Emma’s plan was and to top it off Hook is also a Dark One. There was a great balance between Camelot and Storybrooke and great moments for a number of different characters (Whale and Regina, namely). What will be more exciting is seeing how this will affect everyone.

The Bear King 2.5/5 OK, so I was really dissappointed with this episode. After the big reveal of Hook being another Dark One, it was such a let down to not even discuss it the entire episode, let alone not have Hook or Emma appear. It was a filler episode. I was looking forward to seeing Ruby and Mulan again, but the let down of stopping the overall story completely overshadowed the return.

Next Time: In two weeks, OUAT returns and Hook is pissed. Now that he knows he is the Dark One he is out for some vengence including Emma. Let’s see how that turns out in “Broken Heart.”

What did you think of the Dark One duo reveal? Were you a fan of the Merida-centric episode? Did the return of Mulan and Ruby live up to the hype?

Sound off in comments or via Twitter.


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