Birth and The Bear King Analysis – Main Show – 306


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Birth and The Bear King Analysis

Main Show

Episode Number: 306

Show notes can be found at:

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Broken Heart – tomorrow 11/29

Swan Song – 12/6

Winter hiatus

Souls of the Departed – 3/6


Email points:

From Gabe

Well, I’m sad!! :’-(. As the rock trolls say “people make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed.” I’m truly amazed at these writers and their ability to surprise this somewhat jaded viewer (watching 11 seasons of Supernatural can do that!). My first thoughts on this episode are basically DUDE, OMG, WHAT?!?!?! and AWESOME!!! I can’t believe you guys got the podcast up so quickly, I hope they didn’t kill off Merlin, we just got him!! I want him to continue on the show. Anyways, look forward to listening to your first thoughts and later analysis. It was interesting how the dark one and Merlin (I’ll call him the light one) can accomplish so much together. It makes me think of how often times in life we have to work for and listen to people we either really don’t see eye to eye with, or we just don’t like. This episode is also a testament to letting go of those you love and learning to live with loss, especially when the other only wants the best for you. It’s a little bit similar to what I imagine parenting to be: as a parent you want only the best for your children, the worst thing a child can do is sacrifice his or her own life for their parents, that’s not how it’s supposed to happen. Any parent would give their lives for their children’s happiness (Charming’s mother for example in one of the most beautiful moments in the series). Sorry this went on so long and I hope it’s not too hard to read. Ciao y’all

Nashville, TN


From Nicola

Hi Jeff and Colleen,

Firstly, I just want to thank you both for your twice weekly podcasts. I only started really listening to them recently and really enjoy them; they help make the working day go a lot faster! This is also the first time I have emailed you guys (though I have tweeted/re-tweeted you a few times under the handle @alomostanangel) so please forgive me if I ramble on a bit.

Well, what can I say about this episode?! I really enjoyed watching it – even if it was before I left for work so had to ensure my emotions remained in check to avoid any awkwardness when walking into the office! I think we all knew that everything Emma was doing was for Killian/Hook but the way in which it was confirmed was amazing. I also had a feeling that the dreamcatcher that Emma was seen clutching and crying over a couple of weeks ago was actually Killian’s and that by having Regina and Killian finding Henry’s was a red herring.

Collen was right in first thoughts – Emma stabbing Excalibur in the ground froze Snow, Charming, Regina et al so they couldn’t go into the house to stop her killing Zelena.

I’m not going to go too much into the episode, just really wanted to focus on the twist/big reveal of Emma turning Killian into a dark one. I completely understand Emma’s decision to save Killian’s life no matter what and some of what she said reminded me of the following scene from ‘Rocky Road’ (S4E3):

Killian: “Swan; don’t make a man drink alone”
Emma: “Not in the mood for a drink. Or a man”
Killian: “Sorry I didn’t listen to you today. Right, I know you feel like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders but at some point, even though we’re quite different, you’ve got to trust me”
Emma: “That’s what you think this is about? That I don’t trust you?”
Killian: “Is that not what it’s about?”
Emma: “Of course I trust you”
Killian: “Then why do you keep pulling away from me?”
Emma: “Because everyone I’ve ever been with is dead! Neal, Graham; even Walsh. I lost everyone. I can’t lose you too.”
Killian: “My love, you don’t have to worry about me. There’s one thing I’m good at; surviving”

I can see Emma’s reasoning behind her actions. She’s only just really fully accepting how she feels towards him and being very open about it only to have him cruelly taken away; and her justification to the group was right too – they all would have done anything and everything they could (and in some cases they have done all they could) to save their loved one. Yes, there may well have been another way to save Killian without him becoming a dark one, and yes, she was selfish in her actions; but in Emma’s mind, after losing every man she loved/had romantic feelings for (and to be honest, she didn’t really fight as hard for their lives as she has for Killian’s), she was not going to lose the man she loves with her whole being.

I did wonder though why she had to tether his life to Excaliber though? Why could they not have taken his heart out and put him in a coma similar to the one Gold was in to buy them time to work out a way of saving him? Just a thought but there is probably a logical explanation; plus it wouldn’t have as much as a dramatic impact as this twist.

I did not see this twist coming though so kudos to everyone who works on the show for managing to keep that twist under wraps!! I am looking forward to seeing where they take this story arc and how it will all play out. Most of all, I am hoping that Captain Swan manage to fight this together!!

Anyway that is all I have to say. Thank you again for the podcasts; I do enjoy listening and find myself wishing I could join in with your conversations!

Big love to you and all the OUAT listeners out there,

Nicola 🙂


From Amber

Hello Lady, Colleen, and Jeff (sorry guys…lady’s first) *;) winking

My name is Amber and this is my first time writing you. I first want to congratulate you on 300 episodes….I hope for another 300!!! I found your podcast back at the beginning of OUAT season 2, but for whatever reason never listened to my downloaded episodes until the end of season 4 when I had no internet (for yours and other podcasts I wanted to try). I quickly narrowed down the podcasts I was listening to to just listening to yours. During the summer hiatus, I made it through the long months of waiting for season 5 by catching up with your past episodes. I love your comments, insights, theories, and research you add to make yours stand out from the multiples of OUAT fan podcasts. I’m also a huge fan of many of the same: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Back to the Future, and most of the hidden Easter eggs scattered throughout the show.
Like you, I came into OUAT on the Lost ship and was hooked before the first episode aired. All I knew about the show was Adam and Eddie from Lost, producing a fairy-tale show, with Ginnifer Goodwin (who is just absolutely lovable) playing Snow White. That was all I needed to know. When the show premiered, I quickly fell in love with the other actors and characters on the show. I love the character development and flashbacks, and constant anticipation for what’s going to happen next.
When the season 5 premier was on the horizon, I found myself with no television and an extremely limited amount of internet access(I know, AAAACK!!!), and was going crazy with the thought of missing my favorite show. I finally made the decision that I was going to download and listen to your podcasts without having watched the show first! *Gasp* Yes, I’m forgoing some of the spoilers because not knowing anything was more torturous than losing the fresh eyes I would have without first listening to your reviews and insights. Honestly, I’m still keeping some of the mystery (I only have your podcasts through 300) and don’t plan on downloading any more until I can catch up with the OUAT episodes, and I’m really looking forward to joining the conversations once I have my home internet up and running!!
Anyway, congratulations to you again, and Big Love to you and all the other Oncers….talk to you again soon when I have the chance to catch up!

Amber Moon


From Kathy

Hi Colleen and Jeff,

Please disregard my earlier email. I not only left out a couple points, but there were also typos.

I also was expecting two back to back episodes that tied together. The second hour while entertaining left me hanging. I did enjoy how they brought Mulan back into the fold and seeing Ruby is always a wonderful thing. I hope they both stay at least for awhile. Longer would be better.

My initial thoughts watching Birth: OMG OMG OMG and NO!!!! What a great episode.

Questions I now have:

If becoming a dark one is thrust upon you and not chosen how does it manifest itself? Killian had no idea he was a Dark One. Dark Ones don’t sleep, has Killian not been sleeping? Does he have magic and not know it?

Two dark ones? Or two sorta dark ones? How is this going to be resolved?

Emma’s transformation by embracing the dark when she “saved” Killian finally explains why she now looks as she does. How dark is she really though? She said her plan was to destroy the darkness so she can’t be all bad. But would she really kill Zelena?

How long will Regina, Snow and David stay frozen outside Emma’s house? Will Regina be able to step in and either stop Zelena from doing something terrible or help Emma and Killian in some way?

How will the others now react towards Killian?

Where is Lancelot? Seems he was locked up in Camelot, was he brought to Storybrooke as well?

What has happened to Merlin? When he was tethered to the sword, did some dark enter him? He doesn’t seems dark. Black tendrils certainly were pulled out of him by Emma.

Random thoughts:

Killian seems pretty angry so I am wondering what he means by taking care of her (Emma) first. His last few words were chilling. I hope he is trying to still help her while throwing Zelena off his plan.

A smoldering Killian is pretty hot!

Regina’s red velvet gown is absolutely gorgeous. And I loved her line “No one hurts my sister, except me!”.

I love Zelena. She is so unabashedly evil. I was convinced she would renege on her deal with Killian.

I thought the dwarves were going to have more of a role in this story and I’m disappointed that hasn’t happened.

I loved seeing Dr. Whale again and the dialogue about his hair was hilarious!

I could go on for pages, but will stop here. I am feeling a lot of angst over this.

Thanks for your terrific podcasts. It’s the best start to my week, every week.

Take care.


From Brad – Birth

Greetings Jeff and Colleen,
before you flip any tables over the issues in this episode, here’s the things I learned this week, in Birth.

#1. What could be better than
having an intimate date night
with your wife? Sharing it
with a friend of course!

#2. Killian Jones can be lead
detective in the spinoff
series, CSI: Storybrooke.

#3. Every movie expert knows,
it’s always the wayward
pupil that turns on you in
the end.

#4. Trusting Zelena to keep her
word is like trusting a
Charming to keep a secret.

#5. “Mommies with Magic”
should be a self help
Storybrooke blog.

#6. Onion rings can reduce
the amount of pregnancy

#7. Snow may be developing a
fetish for strangulation.

#8. Hook has a very sad taste in

#9. Just because you’re a
zombie Doctor, doesn’t mean
you can’t deliver babies.

#10. Emma used the old spring
loaded snakes trick with
the flame of prometheus.


Is it possible that Hook unknowingly used Dark One magic to cut off Zelena’s cuff?

Why is Hook able to control his darkness when he doesn’t realize he’s a Dark One but as soon as he sees the vision he immediately turns dark? When Emma came through the vault she saw the vision of Rumple right away, why didn’t Hook see any visions in Storybrooke? Is it because he is the first one in a new chain of dark ones?


#1. On the side, Jeff specializes
in relaxation techniques for
Once Upon A Time stress

#2. Permission was granted,
tweet Adam about your
barking dogs.

#3. Once Upon A Time is so
Jerry Springer.

#4. The three magic words that
Colleen loves to hear are,
Jeff was wrong……at least
in his mind.

#5. An enchanted hook does
what it wants.

To Be Continued……………


From Brad – The Bear King

Welcome to part two, which is not a continuation of my first email but a completely different one entirely! This email is actually two years after the third season and not two years before. That would make this the first season, which it is not. Two years before that, the show wasn’t even on the air. So lets fast forward 5 years into the future and then one year back but only five days after this episode premiered. Makes sense? Good. Now onto the things I leaned this week in the episode, The Bear King.

#1. Unless you want to learn
sign language, don’t ever
disrespect a man’s

#2. There’s nothing more
stressful than a witch with
an IOU.

#3. When all else fails, there’s
always squid ink.

#4. After picking a fight with
Mulan, is the perfect time to
do your impression of
Luke Skywalker losing his

#5. Someone needs to sew
those clansmen some

#6. When an attractive
wearwolf pounces on you,
you can take solace in the
fact that at least you’ll die

#7. Dudes! Ole Tiny’s probably
trapped in a maze of bean
fields right about now.

#8. Never play 20 questions
with Mulan.

#9. Eating your boyfriend
disqualifies you from giving
dating advice.

#10. With the right kind of
ale, you can talk to the dead.


I really wish they would have shown us the scene with Ruby and Snow awhile back instead of trying to make up for it after the fact. At least they realized they needed to give us some type of explanation instead of pretending she’s been there the whole time, as they’ve done many times with other characters.


#1. A parody inspired by
Colleen’s rant called “Two
Years From What” should
be created and sent to
Adam and Eddy.

#2. Jeff likes to rename the
episodes with his own

#3. Colleen is getting really
tired of the ding dang
flash backs, flash forwards,
flash drives and flash

#4. Calling a helmet a helm, is

#5. Rip Van Winkle does

That’s all for this week. Sending you both big love and wishing you a happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for. See you in two weeks.




From Trace

Hi Colleen and Jeff,

Hope it’s not too late-what a crazy busy week! I went into the episodes knowing these were separate episodes back to back, so it wasn’t so bad of a transition for me. But I can see how that would throw you off when the second one got underway. The ADD in me just loved these episodes!!! Here, there and everywhere. So many shiny things to distract and keep my crazy brain busy. These are definitely ones to rewatch and take it all in. I think there would be way less negative fandom if these episodes weren’t back to back…ok, and if they could keep track of the time a bit better. I actually liked them both a lot….I know-really? Yes, there are a lot of head scratchers, but I still liked them anyway. Being right does feel good Colleen. Here are my thoughts on Birth.

I knew Emma was up to something, just didn’t know what it was, and never imagined this at all! I saw the screen shot of Hooks name on the sword too Jeff, but didn’t know what the heck it meant. Ok, honestly though, if all it takes to not be the dark one is to forget that you are one, then problem solved…really?? Regina could have just wiped Emma’s memories of ever sacrificing herself to be the dark one as soon as they got to Camelot, find a way home and done. Too easy. I honestly am still trying to figure out the whole tethered to the sword rules and dark one rules…was Merlin a dark one when he got tethered, how come he didn’t rise up out of the vault? And her not being able to give up the darkness because she didn’t want to move in with Hook? I know…it’s the ‘Commitment”, but I still think it was “lame, lame, lame” to quote another Disney villain. Wow Hook, didn’t take ya long to turn dark. One second you’d do anything for Emma, next second you join Zelena and go dark? Amazing will power there sir, I wanted to punch him in his way to sexy face. Then again, being turned into the thing you hate most after you begged to be let go would tick me off too. I would have done the same thing tho-watching another true love die in my arms…ugh-too much. And what spell was that she did with the sword? A protection spell? Die she give them their memories back? I loved the magic fight and even more that she got Merlin to fight the darkness as he had helped her. Who has to pay for the magic she used to save Hook…is the Fury on the way? Ok, off my soap box because I did like the episode just had a lot of hmmmms. Arthur is just annoying now. He’s such a big baby. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t wait for Lancelot to show up and plant one on Guinevere and break that pink eye spell-she deserves better! Zelena is comic wicked goodness. She’s worth being back just for how snarky she is. I groaned out loud though with the accelerated baby story-though I’m glad we don’t have a whole season of her pregnancy. She seemed happier being evil, and not in a hurry, I mean I would have poofed back to my baby the minute I was free!!

Things that made me go hmmmm…I already jumped down off my soap box so no more hmmmms for today.

Big Love Oncers! Take the week off to re-watch everyone. Watch them as too completely separate episodes, and I think some of the angst will soften. It was a great episode as a standalone and season one did this all the time and we loved it. Talk to you all next week about the Bear and the Bow, and the trio of feminine greatness…go Mulredia! Trace


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