“Once Upon A Time” keeps pouring salt on the wound by brutally tarnishing King Arthur’s honorable image. “The Broken Kingdom” sheds even more light on Arthur’s villainy and how he pushed his wife into another man’s arms. Camelot’s iconic love triangle gets the “OUAT” treatment, as we see how blind obsession and a passion for power only breaks more hearts.
Many years ago in Camelot
Young Arthur receives a prophecy from Merlin, who is surprisingly speaking to the boy from within his tree cell. Camelot is a broken kingdom and it is Arthur’s destiny to save it. If he can make Excalibur whole, he will be able to mend his kingdom.
Five years ago in Camelot
King Arthur is consumed by his quest for the Dark One’s dagger. All he cares about is fixing Excalibur and the kingdom. Guinevere openly tells Arthur that she needs him and begs him to join her for at least one dance during her birthday celebration. Oh, come on, Arthur! It’s no wonder she finds comfort in Lancelot’s loving arms. He’s the one who organized this beautiful party full of Guinevere’s favorite things. After a while, Arthur bursts out of his tent. He found a solid lead and is going on a quest to get the dagger. Great, now he’s totally bailing on his wife. This is the classic recipe for an affair.
After Arthur rides off, Guinevere retrieves an enchanted gauntlet that will lead her to Arthur’s greatest weakness, the dagger. Lancelot catches her and joins her on a dangerous mission to save Arthur from himself. They are led to the Dark One’s lair, which holds the dagger. But when they try to take it, darkness strikes and nearly kills Lancelot. After the close-call, the Queen is overcome with emotion and kisses him. Lancelot is elated to know she feels the same way about him. This isn’t the time to dwell on their feelings, so they remain focused on their mission.
Lancelot and Guinevere make a deal with Rumple. He gives them magical sand from Avalon, which makes things appear to be fixed. If she sprinkles some of the sand on Excalibur, the sword will appear whole and Arthur’s obsession will come to an end. However, Rumple warns that a broken heart is far worse than a broken sword…or kingdom, for that matter. The Queen has to make a difficult decision.
When Lancelot and Guinevere return home, Arthur watches them bid each other farewell. He knows something is up and he isn’t happy about it. Guinevere tells Arthur about the sand and gives her husband one more chance. You have to give her credit for being honest every step of the way. She warned him that he was going to lose her. Now she gives him an ultimatum. She tells him to stop trying to mend the sword or else their marriage and the kingdom will be over. If he does not drop this obsession, she will follow her heart to Lancelot. Whoa! That is a bold move. Guinevere was always a spunky one.
Sadly, Guinevere’s honesty bites her in the bum. Arthur uses the sand on the Queen to keep her by his side. Then he sprinkles it over the kingdom, making Camelot seem like a thriving society once more. Wow, this situation is a hot mess. Surely, Arthur can’t get way with this forever. Right?
Five years later (a.k.a six-ish weeks ago) in Camelot
Arthur tells David about Excalibur and the Dark One’s dagger. He wants David to hand the blade over, so that his kingdom can be saved and the Dark One defeated. Of course, salvation isn’t that simple. Snow White informs David of Lancelot’s warning. Arthur cannot be trusted. But David is too star-struck to see the truth. He wants to be a hero again and is milking the opportunity to be an acclaimed Knight of the Round Table. She urges her husband to trust the man who married them instead of falling for Arthur’s fictional persona. So, there’s trouble in Snowing Paradise.
To make matters worse, David tells Arthur everything about Emma, the dagger, etc. So we’re screaming at the TV calling Charming an idiot for blabbing. Since David is being a bonehead, Snow and Lancelot take matters into their own hands and head out to hide the dagger. As they approach the Dark One’s vault, Snow recalls a vision she had in which young Emma crushed her heart. She worries this may be a premonition, especially since Emma is the Dark One now. Great! As if we don’t have enough to worry about it, now we’re reminded of this horrifying possibility. There better be some kind of silver lining soon because this episode is kind of a bummer.
Arthur appears, revealing that he followed them and has come for the dagger. Once he takes it from them, they reveal that the dagger is a fake and this was all a set up. Phew! Snowing set their differences aside and put Emma first. They came up with this rouse to force Arthur to reveal his true intentions. David is disappointed. The hero he deeply respects is plummeting off of that pedestal before his very eyes. For shame, King Arthur! But wait, there’s more.
Just when we think all will be well, Arthur uses the sand to manipulate Charming and Snow. Ugh! This is so annoying. When Snowing returns to the castle, they tell Regina and Robin that Arthur has good intentions. They should hand over the dagger and let him mend Excalibur for all of their sakes. Outlaw Queen still senses something fishy about this situation. Hopefully, Regina’s perception will not fail Team Heroes. They need her to trust her gut and knock Arthur down a peg.
At least we get a little bit of cheering up during the hour with a dose of Captain Swan sweetness. Henry takes Emma and Hook to Violet’s stables where they can lay low for a while. The look on Hook’s face as Henry tries wooing Violet is priceless. Their budding romance is adorable! When the young ones go for a ride, Hook gets an idea that can help Emma shake Rumple’s relentless presence in her mind.
Hook asks Emma to put her faith in him and their future, she needs to stop talking to Rumple and a proper distraction can help. He takes her for a horseback ride and as she begins embracing the moment, she lives fully in the present and Rumple slowly disappears. Hook’s plan works and the lovebirds enjoy their solitude. Unfortunately, we can’t end things on such a happy note.
Arthur locks-up Lancelot in the dungeon. After the King leaves, we discover that he’s in a cell across from Merida. Together, these strong-willed warriors must find a way to break free. Flash-forward to the present day…
Now in Storybrooke
Dark Swan has kept Merida chained to her yellow bug. Now that she has captured Rumple, she needs to make the useless coward brave enough to be a hero and pull the sword from the stone. Emma takes Merida’s heart and instructs her to make Mr. Gold brave.
Between Dark Swan and King Arthur, Team Heroes is fighting an uphill battle against darkness. This episode was full of annoyances. What did you think, Oncers? How do like “OUAT’s” spin on Arthur’s character? Do you wish he was the honorable King of legend? What are your thoughts on the depiction of Camelot’s epic love triangle? Are you relieved Snow and Charming were able to work it out? Do you think Regina will get to the bottom of the truth? How cute were those scenes with Henry and Captain Swan? How long can Hook’s method keep Rumple at bay? Share your thoughts below!
‘Once Upon A Time’ airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.