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Once Upon a Time: Dreamcatcher

“There’s always a choice, Emma. You’ve said that to me a thousand times.”

For the first thirty minutes of ‘Dreamcatcher’ I was rolling my eyes and struggling to stay interested. Then the last ten minutes happened and the whole episode was given a lot more weight and significance.

I’ve always discussed Henry’s importance, and how he’s always been at the heart of the show. If it wasn’t for him Emma would never have come to Storybrooke and none of this would have been possible. The thing is, though, is that I never enjoy watching him trying to carry a plot on his own. This episode tried its hardest to sell Henry’s blossoming romance with Violet, but it failed miserably – until we learned why Henry’s attempts to woo her failed, that is.

Emma betraying Henry and convincing Violet to break his heart is exactly the kind of twist the series needed to sell her transformation into the Dark One. Meddling with a part of Henry’s life that, to him, is legitimately a big deal, is the right mix of callous and selfish, and it’s sold just how much this dark magic has changed Emma from the person she used to be. What’s more interesting is that the memory of this could be what pushes Emma to want to change back to her former self in the present, or more likely, forces her into doing something really dark to escape the mistake she made. We still don’t know her end goal yet. What does she want to get from Excalibur?

All of the drama with Henry, as annoying as it was, helped to bring together the show’s two strongest characters; Emma, obviously, and Regina. Both of them care deeply for Henry, and I liked seeing how both of them dealt with Henry’s struggle to impress Violet, even if I didn’t quite enjoy him actually trying to. Emma manipulating a negative outcome just to free Merlin makes Regina’s transformation even more striking. She’s the one who is protecting Henry from the darker parent, now. Her advice to Emma carries even more weight than Emma’s did back when Regina was trying to turn over a new leaf, too, because she’s been there. I hope we see more of this dynamic play out.


Merida’s Brave (tm) bootcamp scenes were silly, but kind of fun at the same time. And we even got a surprise teacup appearance.

Regina reliving what happened to Daniel was heartbreaking. It was also one of the best scenes ever because it shows how much Regina is willing to do in order to help Emma, while also showing Emma what a complete bitch Cora was.

Merlin is out of the tree, and he’s going to help Emma to rid herself of the darkness, but only if she’s willing.

Henry must have a magic battery for his phone to last as long as it has.

He Said, She Said

Henry: “If you didn’t change for the better, you wouldn’t be with Robin.”
Regina: “True, but do you really think a girl from Camelot would really be interested in someone who’s just like every other boy around here?”

It’s the significance of past events that make everything that happened here as important as it was. It’s irreversibly changed the bond between Emma and Henry, and without the one person who was still on her side, it looks like things are going to get even harder for Emma. How will she win everyone back?

3.5 out of 5 dreamcatchers

Originally posted at PandaTV.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this one! But then I usually like the eps that focus on the Swan-Mills family; it remains the core of the show for me.

    I've actually come to like Henry kind of a lot. I hated him during seasons 1/2 (particularly 2, omg, the manipulative little thing he was), but somewhere around mid-season 3 I started to really enjoy him as a character and not just as a plot device for Emma and Regina to duke it out or work together. I do agree that carrying a big arc by himself is a bit too much, but I kind of enjoyed his akwkward teenage fumbles.

    I really enjoy the throwback to season 1 feeling of the episode, with Emma and Henry working together on a operation and then Emma and Regina having a porch discussion filled with tension (I love "Don't Miss Swan me, we've been through too much, especially).

    I also really liked the dreamcatcher scene with the memory of Daniel's death, and I loved the twist of Emma using on Henry the same tactic that Cora used on Regina by ripping the heart of his very own stable girl (I mean, paralell much? Does that mean that Henry will become the Evil Author??).

    I thought it was the best of the season so far, and I'm glad that the next one bring Rumpel and Belle to the forefront.


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