This episode focuses on two important characters connected to Belle; Merida and Rumple. Both have to find the courage to fight. Both have major moral dilemmas to face.
Now, Rumple is without his evil powers. Unfortunately that means he is back to his cowardly self. Emma somehow believes that Rumple can become the hero of Storybrooke. He cowers from Belle in the elevator, and even after a strong pep talk from Belle, still tries to run away across town lines.
Meanwhile, in the past, Belle is acting once again as a moral compass for Merida. She fights hard to convince Merida that magic has consequences and it isn’t magic that makes someone a hero. Ultimately, Belle succeeds and Merida is able to use her fighting prowess to win over the clansmen and save her brothers.
Back in Storybrooke, it is the opposite side of the coin. Our Storybrooke gang has finally discovered Arthur’s trickery and has come to realize that something horrible happened back in Camelot and they aren’t even sure that Merlin is around. Merida, forced to take a magical potion, turns into a bear and hunts down Belle. It is only when Belle’s life is truly in danger that Rumple scurries in to sacrifice himself for her safety. Had it not been for the magical bag, all would be lost. But the powder worked, and Rumple becomes a hero.
However, while his act of bravery is enough to prove to Excalibur he is a hero, his actions don’t seem to be superior to any other. He gave up his cowardice and embraced bravery. But, Merida had shown the save bravery in Camelot and succeeded without magic.
Rumple’s saving grace? Throwing down Excalibur and warning Emma was the best challenge of the episode. He has been dark and survived. He has more in his pocket than any hero before.
Merlin’s final message to Storybrooke was that things are dire. Their only hope now resides in Nimue. Going back to Arthurian legend, Nimue is the Lady of the Lake, the ruler of Avalon. It was Nimue, in legend that gave Arthur the Sword, enchanted Merlin, raised Lancelot, and trapped later Merlin in a cave. Could this be the original Dark One we saw with Merlin earlier? Could she be Merlin’s lost love? Let’s see what the rest of the season brings.