"The Bear and the Bow" is the sixth episode of the fifth season of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It is the ninety-fifth episode of the series overall and aired on November 1, 2015. It is written Andrew Chambliss and Tze Chun by and directed by Ralph Hemecker.
An arrow from Merida is shot in the forest, piercing the glass in the "O".
Six weeks earlier in the Camelot dungeon, David, Hook, Merlin and Belle waste no time at all to defeat Arthur's guards, with Hook impressed by Merlin's ability to see the future. They then reach the cell where Lancelot and Merida are being held, with Merlin telling others its enchanted. Belle then gives Merlin a book of spells and makes the bars disappear. Merida tells the rescuers that Arthur took the wisps which she needed to find her brothers, so Merlin suggests that they need to find another way to find them. When Belle asks Merida why she was in the dungeon, Merida tells her that the wisps led her to the sea, but the boat she hid out belonged to Arthur, who after finding her, was thrown in the cell. Merida then knocks Belle out with a rock and hours later finds themselves on a rowboat in Shores of DunBroch as Belle learns that Merida needs Belle's magic to find her brothers. She further explained that the clans kidnapped her brothers so they can force her to relinquish the throne as she is not married.
Merida and Belle later stumble upon a witch's home, where they sneak inside to use a cauldron to do a locator spell, which conjures up a futuristic vision of a Southern moor where three men are vying for Merida's hand in marriage, followed by her three brothers bought in by their captors and remove the bags off their heads. Unfortunately, the United Clans also plan to kills Merida's brothers and take DunBroch from Merida. Belle tells Merida its time to change the fate, so Belle reads the scroll. As Belle watches Merida practices her archery skills, she's just finished up creating the potion, which will turn Merida into a bear so she can save her brothers. Belle is skeptical about using the spell to change fate, but Merida says otherwise. As they reach the United Clans, Merida threatens to take them out but as she drinks the potion, Belle told her it wasn't the actual potion, then tells Merida that she should have faith in her own fate without magic. When the United Clans' archers aim their arrows at her brothers, Merida showed them who was in charge by aiming her arrows at the targets and takes them out. The clans then bow down to Merida to acknowledge her as the Queen of DunBroch. With that out of the way, Merida let Belle return to Camelot to join the others.
Finally, back in Camelot, Merlin looks at a candy bar when Emma arrives, and Merlin soon remembers Emma from their encounter in the real world. He reminded Emma the story of not pulling Excalibur, and continued to stress that to her because of the danger she could bring to her loved ones.
In the present day, Regina informs Mary Margaret that Emma has slipped out information about Merlin, then confirms that she has the Crimson Crown which can be used to summon Merlin, but it has to be the one that was chosen by the sorcerer. When Belle suggests Gold, believing that he is no worse that Emma, everyone else turns a deaf ear saying its a risk they have to take if Gold gets hurt, and a furious Belle storms out. Out in the woods, Gold stares at the chipped tea cup in his hands and says "Forgive me, Belle." then kisses it and breaks the glass in order to take the shards to free himself from the ropes. When Emma arrives to the spot to see if Gold has made any progress, they discovered Gold has escaped. Emma then forces Merida to find him, and threatens the archer by destroying her heart by having Merida kill Belle in order to turn Gold into the hero she needs to release Excalibur. As for Belle, she uses a street map to find out where Emma is keeping Gold, then hears a noise from the elevator, prompting her to take a weapon. She opens it and its Gold, who warns Belle that Merida's after her by using Gold to turn him into a hero but in order to do that Emma has made Belle a target, and the two race back to the pawn shop to find magic.
Around the same time, Regina conjures up a potion with Arthur watching, telling her that David explained everything, then Regina gave Arthur the mushroom. Arthur hesitates and says its best to do it alone, and adds that Merlin only delivered prophecies when he was alone with him. David then tells everyone to step aside so he can be alone, but after Arthur tosses the Crown into the fire instead the cauldron, he tells them the spell did not work.
In between the events, Zelena, annoyed with Regina sending healthy food and reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting" at the hospital, is interrupted by Emma, who then materialized the Wicked Witch to her home for onion rings and take out food, as Zelena asks Emma about why she's important. Emma shows Zelena the Apprentice's wand, as Zelena was the only person to wield it and lived, then offers Zelena freedom and protection in exchange for her assistance, but Zelena tells Emma that she is a bad influence as her darkness is already causing Henry to resent her, saying that a broken heart can't be forgiven, and she is not interested due to her own family problems. Despite Zelena's rejections to be alone, Emma tells her that she will take the deal soon.
Meanwhile, Belle tells Gold that the coast is clear but before they can make a run for it, Gold tells Belle about his past in the Enchanted Forest during the events of the Ogre Wars and why he sees himself as a coward, but Belle now sees Gold as a hero. When they make it back to the pawn shop, Merida shows up to shoot arrows at Belle, saying that he can't resist the magic. When Merida breaks open the door she walks into a mirror but after she sees their reflection Belle yanks the rug from under her and they escaped with a bag containing a potion, then drive to the town line so they could use it, but Belle, worried that Emma will still go after them, demands that she be left out of the car. After she gets out, Belle tells Gold that he still a coward and walks away. Belle then runs into Merida, who then drinks a potion and she turns into a bear and starts chasing Belle, but before she can convince Merida to listen the bear is distracted by Gold, who told Belle to go so he can fight Merida. As the bear sniffs down Gold, he uses a antidote powder to restore Merida back to normal. Despite telling Belle that he didn't know how it worked, Gold told Belle it was her who saved him. The three return to the basement, where Gold agrees to pull Excalibur in exchange for Merida's heart and find out where her brothers are. Gold then pulls Excalibur then places it at Emma's feet, only to have Emma warn Gold that there are heroes around Storybrooke that haven't stopped her, But Gold tells her they're not him.
As for the spell, Regina told Mary Margaret that the spell did work, and as suspected by David, Arthur lied to them, believing that he did not want to contact Merlin. Regina believes the only other person who was chosen by Merlin was the Author, meaning Henry, who is bought in to help them, adding that Emma is still inside the darkness and they can save her. Henry then places the mushroom in the cauldron and a image of Merlin appears, informing them that things are worse than he feared. Merlin says the only way the Dark One can be defeated is by the Nimue, but before he can go any further, Merlin says the Dark One has found him already, leading the others to believe that Emma has beat them to it.
- Ginnifer Goodwin as Mary Margaret Blanchard
- Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan
- Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills
- Josh Dallas as David Nolan
- Emilie de Ravin as Belle French
- Colin O'Donoghue as Hook
- Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills
- Rebecca Mader as Zelena
- Sean Maguire as Robin Hood (absent)
- Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold
- Amy Manson as Merida
- Liam Garrigan as King Arthur
- Joana Metrass as Guinevere
- Elliot Knight as Merlin
- Sinqua Walls as Lancelot
- Paul Telfer as Lord Macintosh
- Marco D'Angelo as Lord MacGuffin
- Josh Hallem as Lord Dingwall
- Ingrid Torrance as Nurse Ratched
- Colton Barnert, Jordan Olson and Matthew Olson as Harris, Hubert, and Hamish
- The title of this episode was the original title of Brave.
- The flashbacks show that the sons of the clans have now taken over and are the Lords.
- Belle points out the potion Merida is familiar with IS NOT one to change fate. As Belle is well-versed in magic lore, this is the truth; meaning The Witch tricked Merida into solving her problematic relationship with her mother on her own.