Storybrooke better watch out, because Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is on a mission to get Excalibur and snuff out the light in episode 3 of “Once Upon a Time.” This week’s installment kicks off with Emma paying a visit to the Seven Dwarfs. But after her magic turned Dopey (Jeffrey Kaiser) into a tree in the premiere, the Dwarfs aren’t exactly her biggest fans. Emma’s not there for a social visit though … she wants one of their axes.
Why would Emma want one of their axes when she has dark magic? Because she’s desperate to free Excalibur from the stone! Since she’s no longer a hero, she doesn’t possess the power to remove it. But unfortunately for her, the axe -- which can normally cut through anything -- doesn’t work either. Her subconscious manifests as Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) again and tells her that she must get the hero to remove the sword. But who is it?
Meanwhile, a flashback to Camelot a couple of weeks ago helps fill in more blanks from Emma’s memory erasing curse. The group of heroes is still trying to free Merlin (Elliot Knight) from the tree; however, it’s proving to be difficult since Regina (Lana Parrilla) is not the true Savior. Emma offers to “twitch her nose” and free him, but Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) don’t think it’s worth it for her to use dark magic.
The situation is frustrating, but they come up with an idea that could help -- talk to Merlin. Of course, they can’t converse with him as a tree, but a rare magical toadstool has the ability to communicate across barriers. The catch is that they have to find it first. David immediately takes off to search for the toadstool and King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) accompanies him.
The two men find the toadstool with ease, but only one person can cross the water to get it. David decides to take that responsibility and crosses the old bridge with no problems. He cuts the toadstool from the ground and begins his journey back. However, phantom swamp knights rise from the water and stop him before he can reach the shore. While he manages to fight off the first couple, a hand from the water pulls him under.
It doesn’t look as if David is going to make it, but King Arthur manages to save the day. He pulls David from the water -- but the toadstool is gone.
Meanwhile in current day Storybrooke, Emma leaves a note for Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) to meet her at the Jolly Roger. She apologizes to him for overreacting about the failed “true love kiss” and asks if they could have lunch like old times. Hook’s not interested so Emma whips out her magic and changes from the Dark Swan back into “old Savior Emma.” However, Hook still doesn’t trust her. He’s tired of her games and doesn’t like it when she compares their relationship to that of Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Rumpel. All he wants to know is what’s behind the locked door at her house. But Emma has no intention of giving him any of the details about Excalibur.
Emma’s mind games upset Hook so much he takes out his sword. He tells her he’s a changed man, and he’s done humoring her. He knows she’s there for a reason and wants to know what it is.
“All I need is your trust, I promise,” she tells him. But that’s not enough for Hook.
“Do you love me?” she asks. “If you tell me you don’t love me I will let you go.”
“I loved you,” Hook says, and Emma disappears in a puff of smoke.
Elsewhere in Storybrooke, David and King Arthur are working together again -- but this time to find magical relics. A chest containing these magical devices traveled with them from Camelot. While they found the chest, most of the items inside were missing, including a magic bean that could transport King Arthur’s subjects back to Camelot.
Although the first suspect is Emma, they quickly figure out that someone who doesn’t possess magic broke into the chest. But who? They discover that it’s none other than King Arthur’s squire.
The squire tells David that he was tired of the way he was being treated and wanted to hurt the king. However, he insists he didn’t steal a magical bean. King Arthur believes him, but the two agree to lock the squire in a cell at the jail. Shortly after doing so, David and King Arthur find the toadstool in Storybrooke. David takes it back to Regina and the group quickly puts together a piece of the puzzle. They figure out how they can use the toadstool to communicate with Merlin.
A flashback to Camelot again reveals King Arthur rewards David after their journey. He’s made a Knight of the Round Table, but not just any Knight of the Round Table. King Arthur asks that he sit at the Siege Perilous, a chair reserved for the knight with the purest heart. The seat used to be occupied by Lancelot (Sinqua Walls); however, Lancelot betrayed King Arthur.
“I never thought I’d find anyone I trust enough to fill that seat, but it’s yours,” King Arthur tells David.
Mary Margaret is happy David is getting the recognition he deserves, but exits into the hall when baby Neil begins to cry. While in the hallway she comes across Lancelot, who she believed to be dead. Although Mary Margaret is happy to reunite with her old friend, he comes bearing bad news. He warns her that a villain -- besides the Dark One -- is in Camelot. He tells her Arthur is a bad man, and Camelot is “not what it seems.”
Mary Margaret doesn’t know what to do with that information, but it looks as if Lancelot is right. It’s revealed Arthur stole the toadstool from David and made him believe that it was lost in the water. He tells his wife they must think of the kingdom first.
And surprisingly that’s not King Arthur’s only betrayal. In Storybrooke it’s revealed he teamed up with the squire to stage the robbery of the magical items. He visits the squire in jail and thanks him for his service. Arthur explains the Storybrooke folks lied to them in Camelot and brought the Dark One inside their walls. Since there is no way to return to Camelot, he tells his squire they will build a new kingdom in Storybrooke. But unfortunately, the squire cannot be part of this new Camelot. He knows too much and Arthur asks him to drink poison for a chance to die in service of Camelot. Although hesitant at first, the squire drinks the poison and disappears into a cloud of smoke.
That wasn’t the only big shocker of episode 3 though. Belle is surprised to find the rose petals back on the stem, symbolizing Rumpel is awake. However, when she returns to the pawn shop Rumpel is gone.
Back at her house, Emma performs a spell to wake up Rumpel that requires an item he touched before he turned into the Dark One. That’s why she went to the Jolly Roger. She wasn’t interested in reconnecting with Hook, but instead wanted his sword. She uses the sword to cast the spell and successfully wakes up Rumpel. But why does she need him? Because his heart is a blank slate! He’s neither light or dark, which means she has the opportunity to make him into the “purest hero who has ever lived.” Once he takes on that title, Emma can put him to work removing the sword from the stone.