FRIDAYS 8|7c

S5 E09 The Bear King


11/15/15 | TV-PG | CC

Arthur tells Zelena they can get the help they need in a far off land called DunBroch. This is Merida’s home. It’s where her coronation is taking place. Several years earlier in DunBroch, Merida’s father, Fergus, asks an old witch to provide him with some magic to stop invaders from taking over his kingdom. A deal is made. If Fergus wears an enchanted helm into battle, he’ll get exactly what he wants.

On Merida’s coronation day, the witch from the past bursts in to interrupt the ceremony. She’s come to collect the debt left by her father. She must return the helm within a day or the entire kingdom will be cursed to live on as bears. The missing item is in the hands of the mystery knight who killed King Fergus.

Two years earlier, King Fergus gives Merida his bow as she goes into her first battle. He hires someone to tutor her in the art of war. This would be Mulan. Two years later, Merida tracks down her onetime mentor. Mulan doesn’t display any sense of the honor she once preached. She’ll help Merida for a price as well as the condition that she’s not to ask questions about what happened to her.

Arthur and Zelena learn from the witch that Merida and Mulan are on the hunt for the magic helm. They track them down. Merida is crushed to hear that the helm has the power to make other men fight your battles. Her father’s bow is swiped by Zelena. She needs it for a locator spell to find the helm. Merida believes all hope is lost. If her father couldn’t lead without dark magic, she doesn’t believe she can either.

In the past, Merida asks her father how he inspires others to fight in deadly battles. Fergus looks down at the enchanted helm he holds in his hand before answering. He then says that if the warriors believe their king is ready to die for the cause first, then it must be worth the fight and the risk.

Jumping ahead two years, Mulan heads over to the witch’s home for information on the mystery knight she seeks. A wolf is waiting for her. Mulan realizes this beast needs a nudge to realize who she is. A boiling cauldron spill creates an amazing transformation. The wolf becomes a beauty named Ruby. Her friends call her “Red.”

Ruby recalls the time in Storybrooke where she admitted to Mary Margaret how she feels like she doesn’t fit in. She felt she’d be happier back in the Enchanted Forest, but ended up being held prisoner by the witch. Now that she’s free, she wants to help Mulan, who wants to help Merida.

Two years earlier, Merida realizes that her father instructed Mulan to keep her away from the battle with the invaders. She rushes toward the fight. Fergus leads his men into action. Merida arrives as the mystery knight strikes down her father. She doesn’t see that the man behind the mask is Arthur.

Jumping ahead, Zelena and Arthur find the missing helm. Merida arrives to inform them via an arrow shot that it doesn’t belong to them. She learns that Arthur is the one who killed her father. She also realizes that Fergus tossed the enchanted helm into the sea before his last battle. He didn’t use magic to lead. Merida’s father used honor.

Merida and Arthur engage in a mighty swordfight. A short distance away, Ruby is able to knock out Zelena with some sleeping powder. Back at the swordfight, Arthur promises to slay Merida if she reaches for the helm. He’s shocked when members of another clan promise to skewer him with arrows if he does. A sleepy Zelena transports herself and Arthur back to Camelot.

As for Merida, the other clans still want her to be their queen. She was willing to give up her crown and her life for the good of the kingdom. That’s a leader with honor. Merida is made queen of DunBroch. Once again, the witch interrupts the ceremony. She wants the helm. She’s not going to get it. Merida intends to destroy it. This is just what the witch wanted to hear. As it turns out, the entire quest to find the helm was a test to fulfill her father’s request to ensure the future of his kingdom.

Mulan admits that she lost her way due to a broken heart. Ruby offers to have her join her on her journey to help with this problem. As for Merida, she uses a gift from the witch to have a conversation with her father. Fergus admits that he chose to not use magic because of his daughter. A heartfelt hug is shared before the representation of Fergus disappears. Once her father is gone, Merida exclaims aloud that Arthur has no idea what’s coming for him.

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