Camelot, Many Years Ago
Arthur and Guinevere walk through a village, and a young Arthur says that one day it will be Camelot. Guinevere assumes that it's a dream, and Arthur shows Guinevere a tree and says that Merlin is imprisoned inside. Merlin spoke to him and said that one day Arthur would be king and Guinevere would be his queen. He gives her a middlemist flower and leaders her to where there are more. There's an old stone embedded in some rocks, and Arthur's stepbrother Kay comes up with some bullies and shoves Arthur to ground. Kay dares him to pull the sword out, and says that Camelot is called the Broken Kingdom because they have no kind and ever will. He points out that no one will kneel to the boy who cares the stables, draws the sword, and walks away. Guinevere assures a depressed Arthur that Kay isn't right, and that one day he will find the Sword. All he has to do is follow his heart.
Arthur, Lancelot, and Percival find Excalibur and Arthur draws it from the Stone... and discovers that the tip is missing. They take the Stone back to Camelot and Arthur shows them the sheathed Excalibur and says that the kingdom is no longer broken. Guinevere watches and Arthur runs to embrace her. He says that she will be his queen and they kiss, and Guinevere realizes that something is wrong. He tells her that his quest has only just begun.
Six Weeks Ago
Arthur summons David and shows him the broken Excalibur. The missing piece is the Dagger of the Dark One, and Arthur believes that David is the one to find it because he needs it to destroy the Dark One. If they have the Dagger then Arthur can reforge Excalibur into a single weapon and destroy the darkness. He asks David if he will help in the quest.
Emma is by herself when she hears a whispering noise. Rumpelstiltskin appears to her and invites her to take a look. Emma goes to Regina's chamber where the Dagger is stored in a box. She tries to take it but Regina's protective spell repels her. Emma tells Rumplestiltskin to leave her alone, and the hallucination tells her to save herself before it's too late. She fires a blast of magic, which passes through the vision and hits the wall near Hook as he comes in. Hook assures her that they're alone and hugs her, and Emma says that she can't get Rumplestiltskin out of her head.
Emma lies down and stares off into space, and Hook summons the others. David explains about Arthur's plan, but Mary Margaret says that Lancelot warned her not to trust David. Regina says that Emma needs rest somewhere quiet, and Henry says that he knows the place. Hook agrees to go with Henry and take Emma there. Once they leave, Regina wants to hide the Dagger somewhere safe. Mary Margaret reminds David that Lancelot married them, and now he's hiding. She angrily says that she doesn't have all the answers and asks Regina to leave. Once Regina teleports away, Mary Margaret figures that David is starstruck and wants to feel like a hero again. She refuses to tell Arthur anything until they know he can be trusted.
Five Years Earlier
Arthur pours through books trying to find a reference to the Dagger. Guinevere comes in and Arthur explains that they're close to the other half. There are three symbols he can't translate, and Guinevere tells him to come to her birthday party and dance with her. Arthur refuses, insisting that it's Merlin's test, and Guinevere says that his wife needs him that night. He asks for five minutes and then promises that they'll dance.
Guinevere is still waiting five minutes later when Lancelot comes over. He wishes her a happy birthday and invites her to dance, and Guinevere accepts. As they dance, Guinevere says that Arthur is getting worse and isn't dealing with his new kingdom. A flower woman tosses out middlemist petals, a gift from Arthur, and Guinevere tells Lancelot that she knows that Lancelot is the one who planned the party. Arthur comes out and shows her the completed translation. He insists that he will have it within a day and asks Lancelot to stay and protect Guinevere.
Six Weeks Ago
David goes to Arthur and admits that they've been lying to him about why they are there. He says that they're going to restore Excalibur that night. Once David explains about Emma, Arthur promises to help defeat the darkness inside of her. David explains that Lancelot is back and he warned Mary Margaret against Arthur.
Five Years Earlier
Guinevere tries to sneak off and Lancelot easily finds her. She says that she took Merlin's magic gauntlet, and it has shown her the Dagger's true location. Arthur didn't use it because the gauntlet leads the owner to the user's greatest weakness. When Guinevere says that Lancelot can't stop her, he offers to go with her.
The next day, Guinevere and Lancelot follow the gauntlet to the Vault of the Dark One. It has the same three symbols that Arthur saw in the scrolls, and when Guinevere touches them in the proper order, the darkness flows out of the vault and reveals a staircase leading down. Guinevere and Lancelot descend and follow the tunnel. The darkness attacks them, encircling Lancelot, and Guinevere grabs a torch and drives it away. She kisses the knight and then hesitates, apologizing. Guinevere says that it will never happen again and steps away, and Lancelot agrees.
Six Weeks Ago
Arthur asks David to keep the news of Lancelot's return a secret. However, Guinevere comes in and says that she already knows of Lancelot's return. She wants to make Lancelot to pay for what he did, and tells David that the legend is just the beginning. Lancelot coveted more than her kiss, and Arthur says that the Dagger isn't safe from Lancelot anywhere. David takes out the case from his bag and opens it... only to discover that the Dagger is gone.
Mary Margaret returns to the diner and tells Lancelot to come out. He emerges from the shadows and Mary Margaret says that she needs his help hiding the Dagger.
Hook and Henry take Emma to a smithy and Henry explains that it belongs to Violet's family. As Henry starts to explain that Violet is a friend, Violet calls out. Emma and Hook hide, and Henry asks for a horse-riding lesson. He goes with Violet and Emma realizes that Henry has a crush on a girl. Hook asks for the truth, and Emma explains that about hallucinations of Rumpelstiltskin. Rumplestiltskin is watching and Hook says that he purged his visions of the Jolly Roger. He suggests that they ride to take Emma's minds off of her problems.
As they walk through the woods, Lancelot tells Mary Margaret that what happened between him and Guinevere is in the past. He admits that he still loves Guinevere and always will.
Five Years Ago.
Guinevere and Lancelot follow the gauntlet to a door. Lancelot opens it and they find themselves apparently outdoors. The Dagger is resting on an altar, but a protective spell knocks them back when they reach for it. Rumplestiltskin appears and dissolves their swords, and realizes that they used the gauntlet to find the Dagger. He realizes that the Dagger is Arthur's weakness and who Guinevere is, and he offers her a deal for the gauntlet. He will summons enchanted sand from Avalon that can fix anything. Lancelot warns against trusting Rumplestiltskin, but Guinevere accepts the deal. Rumplestiltskin warns her that love is the most dangerous of all, and the worst pain comes from a broken heart.
Six Weeks Ago
Lancelot leads Mary Margaret to the Dark One's vault and opens it. They go through the door to the forest with the pedestal, and Mary Margaret remembers being there before in a vision when a young Emma crushed her heart. Lancelot warns her about the spell on the altar, and offers to place the Dagger there. He insists that he needs to do it, and Mary Margaret hesitates. Arthur comes in, sword drawn, and says that David is looking for Mary Margaret in the wrong place. If she wants to see him again then she'll have to hand over the Dagger.
Five Years Earlier
Arthur watches from his tower and sees Lancelot and Guinevere together. When Guinevere comes in, she hides the vial of sand and says that she went to find the Dagger. Arthur snatches the case from it and discovers that it's empty, and Guinevere holds up the vial. She explains that it can make something broken appear repaired, and made the deal so she would have Arthur back. But she's learned that she doesn't want it unless it's real. Arthur says that she can have it all, and Guinevere tells him to stop mending Excalibur or his marriage and his kingdom will be broken forever. Arthur wonders what happens if he can't, and Guinevere says that she will follow her heart to Lancelot. She explains that Lancelot is leaving Camelot, and Arthur grabs the sand and says that he will fix things. He casts the sand on her, and she says that she feels better. Middlemist flowers appear in her hand. and Guinevere says that she hasn't been supportive enough in Arthur's quest. Arthur promises that she will live in the kingdom she deserves and spreads the sand out the window. Camelot is restored and Arthur smiles in satisfaction.
Six Weeks Earlier
Arthur threatens to kill Lancelot unless Mary Margaret gives him the Dagger. She hands it over and Arthur says that now he can command Emma to restore Excalibur and free Merlin... and then kill the wizard. Then Arthur will snuff out the darkness and become the greatest king of all the realms. He holds up the Dagger and commands the Dark One to appear. Nothing happens, and Mary Margaret says the Dagger isn't real. David comes up behind Arthur, sword drawn, and Arthur is shocked that David betrayed him. He insists that every choice he has made is for the good of Camelot, and Mary Margaret explains that after they argued, they set aside their differences and thought of Emma's well-being first.
Hook steals a horse and leads it and Emma through the forest. The pirate tells Emma to introduce herself to her mount, but it panics when she reaches for it. Rumplestiltskin tells Emma that the pony knows what she is, and Hook tells Emma to put her faith in him and get on the house. He promises that he'll never start fighting for the two of them together, and Emma joins him on the horse. Rumplestiltskin watches... and smiles.
Back at the diner, David and Mary Margaret wonder what to do next. Lancelot says that Camelot's true leader is Guinevere, and they realize that Arthur knows something. Guinevere arrives with the knights and enters the diner, and she frees Arthur. Lancelot realizes that Arthur used the sands on Guinevere, and she takes his sword and orders the knights to imprison Lancelot. As they lead Lancelot away, he stares as Guinevere kisses Arthur. She then says that they hope David and Mary Margaret will help them. The couple refuses, and Guinevere sprinkles them with the sand.
The knights throw Lancelot in a cell, and Merida speaks up from the next cell. She figures that an enemy of Arthur's is a friend of hers, and they introduce themselves.
Regina paces nervously and Robin waits with her. David and Mary Margaret come in and say that they can trust Arthur, and Lancelot was lying. Regina reminds them that they agreed to hide the Dagger, but Mary Margaret insists that restoring Excalibur is their best chance to help Emma.
Hook and Emma ride through the forest and finally stop in a field of flowers. Emma thanks Hook, and he confirms that she no longer sees Rumplestiltskin. Hook explains that by trusting him, she freed herself of the darkness' burden.
In the cellar of home, Emma contemplates a middlemist flower. An imprisoned Gold tells her that she doesn't have to give in to it, and she could set him free. Emma reminds him that he's the only one who can get her Excalibur. When Gold says that he can't be the hero she wants, Emma says that she has just the thing to make him one: her secret weapon. She then goes to her Volkswagen where Merida is tied to the fender. Emma removes her heart and commands her to pick up her bow. Merida does so and Emma says that she needs her to make Gold brave.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 19, 2015