Dream Catcher Analysis – Main Show – 300


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Dream Catcher Analysis

Episode Number: 300

Show notes can be found at:


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Truth about the tree;
August & Emma Tree by the water well
Dragon tree where Lily was
Merida and Rumpel tree
same tree


Email points:

From Aleana –


Loved Emma and Regina being Moms to Henry and giving him advice.

Emma why you did that to Henry.

I understand why she did it to get a fresh tear to free Merlin but still that your son.

I wonder what if the darkness is just a entity and it tether to anyone the darkness seems fit and it took Merlin love and wonder who she is.

Best casting of Merida love her and Rumple scenes.

I really hope everyone that was in the sheriff office was playing Arthur and knows what he did.

I’m glad my theory was right that Emma use the dreamcatcher to erase everyone memories and I think she did it because of the horrible things she had to do and didn’t want them to remember.

My theory is what if Emma isn’t the Dark One and she pretending to be with Merlin help because Hook really the Dark One and she training Rumple to fight Hook because Rumple is the only one who knew Hook the longest only reason I thought I this theory because of what Merida said “All a man needs is a sword and one good hand.” Foreshadow much?! To me

From Aleana –

I have a another thought that Merlin cast a spell a long time ago to make it so that only heroes get a happy ending in the Enchanted Forest. Excalibur is the focus of that spell. But the universe needs to balance such an act, so it created the Dark One. That’s why Excalibur broke, and the Dark One’s Dagger is the other piece and it needs a true hero to wield it who has battle light and dark and Emma is that person because she the Savior and Merlin warn her not to pull Excalibur because it might bring on something much darker since they hint at greek mythology maybe the second half of the season will bring on Hades and the underworld

From Aleana –


Ok what if Merlin didn’t took the darkness out of Emma but instead told everyone the only way to destroy it is to save the original Dark One and the original Dark One is alive and the dark enitiy we saw that almost took Lancelot is the Dark One way of corrupt people to become the Dark One so to get more souls and to be more powerful and everyone decide to have their memories erase so they wouldn’t want to mess up the plan Emma pretending to be the Dark One with Merlin help and she telling Regina Hook Henry to trust her and Excalibur won’t snuff out the light but destroy the darkness but since darkness can’t completely be destroy everyone decide to get a piece of darkness inside them where they can control it instead other way around.

Because according to legend Merlin love Nivane but she was so afraid that Merlin will use spells on her she ask him to teach her magic but secretly she didn’t love him at all and in the end turn on him since the writers like to twist stories in the show and Nivane really did love Merlin but she was afraid magic would corrupt Merlin so she ask him to teach her so she can protect him but instead it corrupt her and because Merlin was so blind by his love for her he didn’t notice she was started using Dark magic and in the process she turn into the Dark One so Merlin defeat her by sending her to Mist of Avalon and to make sure to keep her there Merlin created Excalibur and broke it in half to create the dagger to control her but Merlin was so impatient he try to save her himself but instead couldn’t kill her and this is why he became a tree and since we know Merlin can see bits of the future he thought Arthur will be the true hero that can help him destroy the darkness but was wrong and Merlin realize he needs not only Emma but everyone to help him. I don’t know just a thought.


From Janice

Hi there, Jeff and Colleen,

Janice Marie back once again. Just wanted to give my thoughts on the episode “Dreamcatcher”:

1. Let me get one thing straight: I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks this but, this episode was a ROLLERCOASTER of feels for me (me and all the other #VioletBeliever shippers)

2. I am very conflicted about Emma right now. I mean how could she betray her own son??? Not only did she cause Henry’s heartbreak, but she ALSO broke Violet’s heart by forcing her to break his. I understand that watching Cora do it to Daniel gave her inspiration and figure out how to help free Merlin, but come on Emma, A CHILD?! A 13 year old girl? That’s too far, I think even for Cora.

3. Who’s going to buy Cruella’s car??? Maybe David so Henry could have a car to drive when he turns 16???

4. I wonder when Emma saw Merlin after she freed her from the tree if she thought “OMG!!! That’s the guy that spoke to me at the movie theater when I was 6 years old.”

5. Lots of references to Neal. I love it but at the same time it just saddens to be reminded that he’s gone. I truly loved Nealfire.

Definitely (one of) my favorite episode NOT ONLY of the season but of the WHOLE SERIES. I was happy, I was angry, I was heartbroken– just SO MANY FEELS!!!

Love you guys, keep up the great work.

Your fan,

Janice Marie

P.S. #VioletBelieverExisits


From Chris Tipton

Oh wow, what an episode… Easily my favorite of the season, and probably one of my favorite of the entire series. So many awesome moments. I had a few quips, for instance, it took you all day to hide that dagger in the top of a stump Regina?! What a horrible hiding spot!! I just found that silly, AND THEY DIDNT BRING UP THE SECURITY CAMERAS AT ALL!! FAIL ONCE UPON A TIME, FAIL!!! ok i feel better now lol. On to my top 6 this week because it was so good

6) Emma and the dreamcatchers (a good band name)…. So we pretty much know now that it was in fact Emma who cast the curse. I found it a neat twist that she took away everyone’s memories. Was she planning this whenever she was making them in Camelot? Also, since when did dreamcatchers become dark magic? Weve seen them used several times before with absolutely no consequences. I call shenanigans on that. And then talk about a convenience? The image just appeared? WHAT? ok sure ill go with it. I have a couple more dreamcatcher thoughts in a bit

5)# SWANFIRE… I counted at least 5 refences to Neal, most notably the one about Neal teaching Henry to use the only you song tactic, and then there is the dreamcatcher that Emma used to take Violets memories.Hook said it looked like the one she and Neal shared. Emma obviously made it to remind her of Neal and I think she was hugging and crying over it because it reminded her of her of the connection between the loss of her first love with Neal and the loss of Henry’s first love with Violet. This is absolutely devastating to a swanfire shipper like myself, especially because Emma caused the loss of Henry’s love. I enjoy CaptainSwan… But i will forever miss SwanFire and i will always believe Neal was Emmas true love.

4) Violet Heart….I love Henry and Violet and i ship them so hard. Regina being freaked out about Henry having a girlfriend was so cute. I
And then Hook telling him he knows his way around women with his raised eyebrow… So good!! So genius of Henry to come up with the dance idea. I was in stitches over Heney having the worst dad talk ever with sir Morgan. I loved Henry trying to learn to be a knight in the forest to try to impress Morgan, but i loved Regina and Emmas advice to him even more…Be yourself!! And then Henry setting up the date at grannys… So cute!! I thought violet was acting strange and i was afraid maybe she wasn’t who she seemed to be, so as devastating as it was to find out why she was acting that way, it was also a relief. Violet being so confused about all the things from our world was cute, and then she asks Henry if hes courting her… #FEELS!! I was so devastated that she turned him down, so again, it was sad but also relieving to find out it was Emmas fault. My heart was Shattered when Henry found out it was Emma (WHAT A TWIST THAT WAS) I really don’t know how Emma can make this up to him. I know she had a good reason but still. When Emma saw what Cora did and she said “I dont understand how a mother could do something like that”, at that moment I was like oh dang shes gonna do that to Henry!! So sad that i was right. Im glad Violet heart is having another go at it in Storybrooke. It was great to see Henry impress Sir Morgan by being himself.

3) Merlin… So cool to finally see Merlin (not counting in the theatre which we now know was for sure him). I was sort of confused by the opening scene. Correct me of im wrong but didn’t they say he created the dark one? So what would have happened if he had killed him (or her i suppose) and how in the world did that dark one make him drop the dagger? I thought you have complete control of the dark one with the dagger. So many, questions this arises. I wonder if this was the first dark one. It was absolutely epic seeing this… It was probably one of my favorite scenes of the whole series. Well they disproved my theory on who put Merlin in the tree… It wasn’t the lady of the lake, although i thought this was even cooler. I loved this twist so much. I wonder who merlins love was…and how did he lose her… I hope they show this backstory. So clearly it was light and dark magic that brought Merlin out of the tree, and they say Excalibur that he forged can snuff out light and darkness. I am convinced Merlin is not all good. I think he is the embodiment of equally good and evil. Makes sense now why the wand was forged with light and dark magic. Maybe Arthur isn’t so bad for wanting to kill Merlin. I definitely think once Excalibur is made whole again it can kill Merlin. I think that is Emmas plan. She wants to kill Merlin with it. It was nice to see that Merlin cured Snow and Charming so we know they arent under the curse in storybrooke. So Merlin sais its as much up to Emma as it is him to take the darkness away. I think maybe she chose to stay the dark one. That would explain why she really believes its who she is in Storybrooke.

2) Merida and Rumple… I kind of feel like Merida was going about this the wrong way, it seemed like all she was doing was making Rumple angry at her and want vengeance on her… Kind of the opposite of making someone brave or a hero… Thats just making him vengeful. But man she meant business. It was nice to hear her motivation (besides of course Emma having her heart). I still enjoy them together and can’t wait to see where this goes. I just think she needs to find better methods. How in the world did Merida know about the book, and who knew shooting an arrow at a lock would open a door? Still, Merida is my favorite new character since Anna! I like her more than the original character!!

1) Just all the feels…. From Henry reminding Emma why he brought her to Storybrooke (which makes her going even darker in this episode more painful, because i miss her and Henry having a good relationship), To the swanfire callbacks, to Henry and violet bonding over their deceased parents, to the appearance of Chip, to what Emma did to Violet, to Henry and violet at the Storybrooke ball, an episode hasn’t elicited so many emotions from me in a long time!!

I definitely think this is a top 10 episode for me!! Easily 10/10 magic soda cans

I was rewatching the episode while writing this and something dawned on me… At the tree Emma thought Reginas tear would work, so why earlier in the day would she go take Violets heart and say she needed a tear of lost love? Either this is a big plot hole or she knew Reginas tear wouldn’t work… But then she would be making a big assumption that Henry would show up at that exact moment. This puts a damper on such a poignant moment… Hopefully she had it planned.


From Leslie

First – congratulations on reaching 300 episodes!! I ran across your podcast last season and thoroughly enjoy listening, insights and your playful banter. I also, love the fact that you embrace other OUAT podcasts/ers. Love the theory that the DO (which I think probably is the very first DO) could be Nimue (it’s a Welsh name & pronounced NEE-MOO-EH) – who was also the Lady of the Lake, Merlin’s love, Lancelot’s mother (Lancelot du Lac i.e. Lancelot of the Lake) and the creator of Excalibur. With regard to the timeline, our friends at the Once Podcast have figured it out and the 5 years round out to 5 years ago + 28 frozen years (either by Cora or Ingrid’s spells) + 6 weeks ago from current Storybrooke time (link: )http://oncepodcast.com/once-upon-a-time-timeline/)
Once again great job and keep up the good work!!



From Gabe

Hey guys. I’m a first time writer and listener and I want to tell you how much I enjoy listening to your podcast. You always bring out new points not just with speculation and plot points but with ethical quandaries. I go to a Catholic school and we have to study a lot of ethics and theology. This show has SO much Catholic Theological themes. The biggest one in my opinion is the immaturity of evil. You probably notice that all of the evil characters are inherently immature. They never understand the consequences of just about anything they end up doing, and I LOVE how they have brought that to Emma this season. Like you said, her vision has been clouded by the darkness. I have a theory of how this half of the season will end and I’d like to get your commentary on it:

Emma is going to succeed in uniting Excalibur and is going to try to use it to get rid of her darkness, it won’t however work and all the light magic will start pouring into the sword. Emma panics saying that this wasn’t supposed to happen while her family (everyone in the tree, there’s a bunch) will be trying to stop her. The dark one (as Rumple) will be screaming in lustful joy as his plan is finally taking hold. Emma is unable to stop herself until Merlin shows up (right when he’s needed) and reminds her about how it has to be as much her choice as it is his. She fights the pull of the darkness with Merlin and finally they succeed in putting the darkness in Merlin’s hat. However, everything else Merlin has trapped in the hat breaks free in order to make room for the darkness and the half-season ends. Just a theory.

Thanks for doing this podcast. I have a podcast of my own called The Gabealicious podcast. It’s very new and I don’t have a partner, but I have 3 short episodes so I’d love for you to listen. Thanks for reading!!

Nashville, TN


From Kathy

Greetings Jeff and Colleen,

I have been wanting to email before now but my mother has been ill, work is terrible and I have been crazy busy.

First I want to share my thoughts on the Season so far. I waited impatiently all summer for the Season to begin knowing I would really enjoy it. The first couple of episodes intrigued me and there have been some great moments such as jousting by pickup truck. Honestly, though I’m not sure how I feel about Dark Swan. She kinda creeps me out and is not a sympathetic character. I can’t decide if she’s really dark or playing the part for some other reason.

I feel for poor Killian. Emma finally admits she loves him and then starts to become the one persona he has sought to destroy for years. But it’s nice to see him teaming up with Robin, Regina and especially Belle to figure out what Emma is up to and try to stop it.

I was thrilled to see Lancelot – love that character. And so far am really liking Merlin and the spin Adam & Eddy have put on Camelot. Bad Arthur is fun!

I am really looking forward to seeing Ruby again and watching some of Killian’s back story. I just hope the Dark Swan is resolved without hurting too many more characters. How will Henry ever get over what Emma did to him through Violet?

Second, I want to thank you and congratulate you on your 300th podcast. I eagerly look forward to listening when a new podcast is released and replay the ones that summarize favorite episodes during the hiatuses. Listening to both of you helps get me through a very boring work day.

I also wanted to mention that I have been watching Heroes Reborn. I was so impressed with Robbie Kay as Peter Pan that I have started watching his other work.

Finally, are you dressed (or dressing up) for Halloween? If so, as what? We get very few trick or treaters at y house, but I will be a Pink Flamingo for the ones who do come by.

Take care!



From Trace

Hi Colleen and Jeff,

Hope you’re not as “grumpy” this week, I think this week’s episode could turn that grumpiness around, I thought it was very good! Give me more and more Emma and Regina any day! Those scenes are just the best!! Here are my thoughts on the Dream Catcher.

I think my theory from the first show that Emma is not truly evil was cemented this episode. She is definitely trying to get that sword together so she can snuff out the darkness, not the light and is somehow faking or trying to hide it from the inner darkness that got into her heart as Merlin eluded to. But, she is the savior so that is why she is able to fight the darkness. I think she will have to sacrifice herself to truly rid the world of darkness and that’s what she’s trying to do. Her crying into the dream catcher (which I think was Henrys), was proof to me that she is not evil and hiding things to save everyone! I agree with you that each dream catcher is someone’s memories. I could watch Emma and Regina scenes all the time! I hope when the series ends, we could get a new one just about those 2! Their character development and growing friendship is one of the greatest things about this show. Hearing “Ms. Swan” again was so sad but what a flip from the first season. Emma ripped the heart out of Violet for a tear…a tear that was needed to save everyone, not just her and Merlin…but like Regina said, there was always a choice-perhaps Lancelot’s tear would have worked-he cleary just lost his love Guinevere…just a thought. Ok Regina…you sent countless of children into the witches house to get eaten trying to get an apple, you slaughtered entire villages, crushed a man’s heart in front of his bride at his wedding, and you made Henry believe he was crazy for years and had to see Dr. Hopper, so you also weren’t the best mom either…yes, ripping your sons new loves heart out-not the best plan and manipulative for sure-but Henry has forgiven way worse than this, he has the heart of the truest believer, so I know in time they will work it through together, they love each other too much. I think the dark one that Merlin could not kill was his love, and that’s who put him in the tree, which according to most Arthurian legend, is Nimuwe. I can’t wait for that backstory, which I think will also be the history of the dark one as well-so exciting! The scene with Emma getting Merlin out of the tree was great, and I think showed that she does still have both light and dark magic. Merida is awesome! So spunky, just loved her waiving that “wee lil chipped cup” over him to get him to react bravely. He’s going to need it with a bear on the loose…watch out Belle. I love the gang at Emma’s working together, and I think Regina stopping Hook from taking the sword was something. Not sure exactly, but I think that will mean something later.

Things that make me go hmmmm….Henry is 13? Ugh…I hated that. They should have just made him 15 like he is in real life and made a meta moment where he says, “yes-I’m 15 everyone-just deal with it.” He doesn’t look 13, nor do 13 yrs olds date in that manner, and, did Henry LOVE her already? Oh well, what’s done is done. Harold and Maude? Not at all a 13 yr old date night movie. How about showing her Disney’s Merlin? And, his cell phone battery is definitely magical, I need one of those. Where is the surveillance camera in the jail? And last, WHERE is Granny, the dwarfs, Zelena, and Lilly?

This was great episode, big love to you both and all the Oncers!! Can you believe we’re half way through already? Talk to you all next week! Trace


From Katie

Hi, Jeff, Colleen, and Lady!

I just want to say that I enjoy listening to your podcast! I have only sent an email a few times, but I have been listening to your episodes for a couple years now. It is interesting to hear all the theories discussed and I like it when we get the special video messages from the cast.
I hope Emma will eventually turn good again, but I know it will take a long time. I am amused by all scenes when Henry’s feelings for Violet are discussed. I was upset when Emma revealed that she made Violet break his heart. It will take a long time for Henry to forgive her. It should be interesting to see if Emma will be even worse since Henry isn’t speaking to her now.

I did get to see some of the cast at Enchantacon and Spooky Empire in Orlando – Lana, Gil Mckinney, Rebecca, Ariel, were there with a few other actors/actresses from the show. Lee Arneberg, Beverly, and Faustian Skyped with us at Enchantacon since they were supposed to come, but weren’t able to make it. Beverly had responded to me on Twitter before as well.

Have a Happy Halloween and a Great Weekend!

From Florida


From Brad

The Once Upon A Time podcast is like a carnival in a can! Now unto the things I learned this week on the episode, Dreamcatcher.

#1. Sir Morgan will have his
hands full trying to explain to
Violet why she can’t take a
smart phone back to

#2. Emma needs an Etsy store
for all those Dreamcatchers.

#3. Wiping someone’s tears with
a dagger is not a soothing

#4. Make sure there are no sharp
objects in the vicinity when
meeting your girlfriend’s.
father for the first time.

#5. If Merida was your workout
trainer, you’d think twice
about cheating on your
your diet.

#6. Forget the tumblers, the
arrow is the new lock pick.

#7. Peter Peter likes his pumpkin

#8. Ripping out the heart of your
son’s girlfriend is a horrible
first impression.

#9. He’s not too Bashfull when
he’s hustling Doc at the
strongman game.

#10. Stealing memories, ripping
out hearts, capturing and
imprisoning people is bad
but breaking and entering is
where is the Dark One draws
the line.

I agree 100% with Colleen, the same thought was going through my mind when Merlin said “You destroyed her, the only woman I ever loved”. This Dark One is without a doubt, the woman he is talking about. The smaller body and mask totally give it away. Hook even tells Emma that she is not the same person as the Dark One, mirroring what happened with Merlin and his love.

Why did they not check the video surveillance cameras in the Sheriff’s station? I could forgive this if we hadn’t seen it used already when Zelena was in prison. Arthur wouldn’t have manipulated the footage because he wouldn’t even know what a camera was but the show completely glosses over this. It’s so maddened sometimes!!!

Don’t forget guys, the horse always comes BEFORE the dance.


From Marilyn

Hello Jeff and Colleen,

I just wanted to congratulate you on reaching the milestone of your 300th podcast episode!!!

I first heard about ONCE podcasts while talking with people standing in line with me outside the Saban Theater in LA. We were there waiting to see the very first PaleyFest ONCE panel with all the cast and Eddie and Adam.

After discovering the existence of ONCE podcasts, I went to iTunes and downloaded just about all of them that existed at the time. Then, just like Goldilocks, I went thru them one by one to see which would be the best fit for me. I dismissed some for being too negative. In others, the personalities were just too annoying. Some were just a general disappointment. Finally, I tried the ONCE Upon a Time Fan Podcast and I knew I had found what I was looking for, with your in-depth ONCE episode discussions, comedy bits that made me both laugh and (sometimes) groan, and your genuine enthusiasm for what had quickly become one of my favorite shows.

So thank you for producing your podcasts for us Oncer fans. You have given me hours of thought provoking entertainment and I truly appreciate it!!!

Your podcast fan,


From Janell Pennington

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Play Kathy’s VM from Gmail


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Prerec Outro:


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