, we learned a whole lot about Camelot, the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle and how the king was consumed with completing Excalibur. Our heroes meanwhile either got sandbagged by a spell or, if lucky, got to make out in a meadow.
As I look over my notes here for “The Broken Kingdom,” I am not surprised to see that a good 80 percent of them are about characters other than those from Storybrooke. And that was a problem. Basically, they needed to deliver the backstory behind Arthur’s obsession with Excalibur in order to service the “current” Camelot tale, but in doing so, the characters we know were off screen for
Especially when I can sum it up this succinctly: So mad had Arthur become in his quest for the Dark One’s dagger, it drove a wedge between him and Guinevere — to the point that one day she decided to seek out the dagger herself, with Lancelot at her side. But upon butting heads with Rumplestiltskin, all they got for their trouble was a vial of the Sands of
Upon returning home and seeing Arthur’s mania — now amplified by his jealousy of Lancelot — displayed anew, Guinevere elected
to use the sands on Excalibur. Instead, Arthur grabbed the vial and used the sands to cast a spell on Guin, creating a Stepford Wife of sorts. He then used more sand (the vial is bigger on the inside?) to make the kingdom of Camelot “whole.”
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Emma had a moment of weakness, goaded by Rumple to steal the dagger from Regina — but she held back, after which Hook soothed her. As Regina and the Charmings gathered around weak Emma, Charming explained how Arthur wants to make Excalibur whole, to vanquish the Darkness, while Snow White reported that Lancelot is alive and says Arthur is not to be trusted. In private, the Charmings quarrel some — she says he’s “starstruck” by the king and needs “to feel like a hero again.” Afterward, David confides in Arthur that they’ve been lying about daughter Emma, and he’s ready to reunite the dagger with Excalibur… except the box is empty. Turns out, Snow has the dagger and, with Lacnelot, plans to hide it beyond the door at the bottom of the Dark One’s vault. Arthur shows up to steal the dagger from the two of them, but when he uses it to summon Emma, he realizes it’s a fake. Charming then shows up to get the drop on Arthur, revealing that, yes, he and Snow fought, but they put their differences aside to focus on Emma’s well-being and thus set this sting in motion.
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Alas… the Charmings don’t get to be clever for the entire episode.
For no sooner have they detained Arthur inside Granny’s than Stepford Guinevere shows up with the troops, to rescue the king and enlist the Charmings in their cause, by using more Sands of Avalon on the marrieds. The spellbound Charmings then lie to Regina about “Arthur good! Lancelot bad!” and say they need to marry the dagger with Excalibur. Meanwhile, imprisoned Lancelot makes the acquaintance of a spunky cellmate — Merida — who’s all too happy to take on Arthur.
As for the Dark One herself, Emma keeps seeing visions of Rumple, so Hook suggests they go for a horseback ride through the countryside (
they spy on lovelorn Henry meeting up with Violet at her family’s stables). Upon arriving at an idyllic meadow rife with flowers, Emma indeed is no longer haunted, as she and Hook fall into a long, passionate and gorgeously directed kiss.
It is only then that we finally return to present-day Storybrooke, where Dark Emma has Rumple strapped to a gate. He insists, “I can’t be the hero you want,” but she sees him as a “dull knife” that simply needs sharpening — via her “secret weapon,” Merida, who has been tied to the Bug’s front fender. Dark Emma gives the sassy Scot her mission: to make a coward “brave.”
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When they went to the vault of The Dark One five years ago, how was Rumple there with the dagger while Mr. Gold was in Storybrooke? I’d imagine this part takes place before Lancelot went on his journey when he met with Emma and Snow
I found the whole ‘past’ Camelot timeline confusing. Remember Snow and Charming were ‘cursed’ and in Storybrooke for 28 years.. they met Lancelot and were married by him long before the events in ‘past’ Camelot. In that timeline he told Charming he left Camelot because of his love for a woman. So this five year thing is really confusing. And it wasn’t Lancelot that met Emma and Snow in the Enchanted Forest, but Cora disguised as Lancelot. Agree about Rumple and Gold.. how can he be in two places? And I can understand the need to tell the Camelot story, but not to the detriment of the main characters. Arthur is definitely a ‘mad’ King. as in completely off his rocker.
I just think that the five years are not including the 28 years that time was still. If they did want to include the 28 years, it probably would’ve said 33 years in the past. So let’s say that present Camelot takes place two years after the dark curse was broken ( honestly I don’t know how much time has passed since the curse broke, so I’m just making up a number), that means past Camelot takes place three years before the dark curse was enacted.
Time didn’t stand still though. They were in the enchanted forest assumingly under Cora’s spell too for the entire 30 some odd years
But nobody in the enchanted forest aged in all that time, right? Same as storybrook. So I think in that sense those 28 years don’t count and that past Camelot is five years prior to the current time line and effectively 3 or whatever years before the curse.
BEAUTIFUL SHOT of Emma and Hook with the pink rose and field. Wow.
I actually really loving this episode (and arc)and even though it was weighted a lot in past Camelot I felt the setup was worth it. I loved the Charming& Snow scenes along with the Hook and Emma ones….and am loving watching the mystery unfold. I’m curious if even though she’s under a spell if Gwen couldn’t have used Lancelots heart for the curse?
I enjoyed the episode! Normally I hate when the regulars are sidelined for guest characters, too, but it didn’t bother me in this ep for some reason. Maybe because the regulars we did get are the ones I enjoy the most, and the ones most sidelined are the ones I least enjoy. And I found myself curious about what was going on with Arthur, Lance & Gwen, so that kept my interest. Now that we know their history, we can get back to the regulars next week.
I loved the Hook and Emma scenes — the beautiful meadow kiss, and the fun scene with them spying on Henry and Violet. Their romance is my favorite on TV in years.
And I’m so glad that Snowing weren’t being complete idiots like it looked for awhile there. Arthur has gone mad over his obsession with restoring Excalibur.
I loved the episode! The Camelot stuff I think was needed to see how obsessed Arthur was and is even now. It somehow didn’t bother me as much as the Frozen arc. Great episode!
Not a fan of the Camelot characters. Maybe its because I’m just not all that familiar with the mythology. I was a bit bored.
Another episode in which I was bored out of my mind. UGH!
This is supposed to be the DarkSwan arc and there is so little of DarkSwan that it’s just not working for me. I do not care about their Camelot fanfiction. I care about Emma, Henry, Regina & the Charmings. Less focus on boring backstory and more an actual DarkSwan.
I liked 2 parts of this episode: The Charmings’ ruse and Emma’s reaction to Henry in the stables. That’s it.
I was SO excited for this arc and so far, it’s terribly uninteresting and that is unfortunate because Morrison is doing her finest work since Season 1. She should be the focus. DARKSWAN.
I’m having a hard time viewing Arthur as a conflicted hero. I think he’s power crazed and desparate, like Cora, Zelina or Regina (Rumplestilskin was just desparate before he took the dark dagger).
I forgot that Granny’s was sent to Camelot, so I thought the scene with Guin and the knights took place in Storybrooke. Thank you for clarifying that.
I had the same reaction as you to the “Endless Dust of Avalon” magic item.
Thank you Matt, for putting your finger on what has been WRONG with this season. They’re too busy filling in details for the too many new characters than showing us anything, and the characters we know and love are pushed to the side. Did we really NEED Camelot? King George and King Midas were established baddies…couldn’t one of THEM have entrapped the Sorcerer, so they could develop THEIR stories without trashing beloved legends? We het 35 minutes of plot-driven scenes, and like 8 minutes of what we love about the show. Tonight, that was the barn scene and Hook&Emma on the horse. I want 35 minutes of character driven story, with like 8 minutes of plot driven stuff to fill in what we need to know. SHOW us; don’t tell us.
I think they’re trying to “show” us why Arthur is working against our heroes. The problem is, it doesn’t matter nor do I care. In fact, I was more interested in Arthur when I knew less about him, when he seemed like a king trying to do right by his kingdom even if it meant going against the Storybrooke folks. He was dynamic and garnered some sympathy. Now that I know he’s just a manipulative, power-hungry jerk, he sunk to Cora/Zelena status for me. I have no interest to learn more about him nor do I have any sympathy for his cause. Rather than furthering his character, tonight’s ep turned him into a one-dimensional villain.
Sigh…they just HAD to capitalize on the whole Bill Cosby thing and work him in SOMEHOW I guess…
Yeah too much 5-years-ago Camelot, not enough Storybrooke-residents-we-care-about. Even worse, the actors playing Guinevere & Lancelot have absolutely no chemistry, which made the “love triangle” completely unbelievable. Good job setting up Arthur as truly a bad guy (last ep his sneaky ways seemed more altruistic than selfish) but the rest of the Camelot stuff was pretty snooze-worthy.
My absolute favorite scene was Henry bringing Emma & Hook to the stable. The looks that Hook gave Henry were HILARIOUS. Colin O’Donaghue can say more with an eye brown and a smirk than with a whole page of dialogue. Such a cute, light moment amidst all the angst.
I actually liked Snow & Charming’s fight too. She totally called him on his hero complex, which was the perfect call-back to last week’s episode. I kind of wish they were at odds longer and the dispute over whom to trust, Arthur or Lancelot, was more of a mystery. There had to have been a way to NOT lay all the Camelot cards out on the table so soon, advance the plot of trying to save Emma past and present, and not overload us with so much Camelot backstory all at once. I liked the uncertainty of Arthur vs. Lancelot and having Snow and Charming in opposite sides. Now it’s obvious who is good and who is bad and that’s less interesting IMO. And apparently all of Camelot is a magic-dust-induced figment of the imagination? What the heck?
The husband says, “Yah, do we really need Camelot? It is about fairy stories, not legends.”
The husband says, “Where are our Storybrooke characters? It emphasizes too much about the Camelot…what the heck?” Myself, I am so bored with the Camelot thing, but I never got into the musical, either. It is too confusing with too many characters packed into too little storytelling. Violet and Henry were a zinger, though.
I have a random in left field question. Was the scene in Granny’s Diner filmed in ‘Luke’s Diner’ from Gilmore Girls? It looks eerily similar
This episode’s cinematography was truly gorgeous from start to finish, that shot of Captain Swan kissing in a rose meadow… you really can’t get more fairy tale.like than that!
I also liked that the pieces to the puzzle are slowly coming into place, I can’t wait to find out where all of this Camelot being a basically phony kingdom will lead to.
I think I’ve made sense of the timeline. Matt, can you confirm?
We now know how Rumple came to possess Merlin’s weakness detecting gauntlet (which the Queens of Darkness later attempted to get him to trade for Belle). Do I understand correctly that Camelot is in the realm of the Enchanted Forest? So Lancelot leaves Camelot, becomes a trusted knight of King George,, befriends Snow, marries Snow and Charming and gives Snow the magic water so she can have Emma. Assuming Emma arrived in Storybrook around 3 years ago – including the 6 month jump in Season 3, this all has to happen within about a year, then Snow is pregnant for 9 months, the curse hits, and everything, including Camelot is frozen for 28 years.
(And within that year is also when Belle is taken by the Queens…)
I personally found the episode very boring…Too much focus on Camelot characters, and not enough on the core group. Also, I wish there was more focus on internal struggles, especially in this arc where Emma is the Dark One and all, and not so much ‘plot plot plot’.
I’m most interested in next week. Does anyone else have the concern that poor Violet is going to be murdered by Emma? Stable girl and all…would be a strong parallel between Henry/Violet and Regina/Daniel.
“You Guin’ Some, You Lose Some”. Why, Matt? I don’t know if I should be frustrated with the pun in this recap’s title or laugh hysterically.
I’ve been waiting for the right occasion to use it. This was it. Awards are forthcoming, I can only assume.
I actually really enjoyed this episode. I like the character of King Arthur. Remember that this show needs a bad guy now for the Camelot time period and Emma isn’t bad enough yet to fill that role. Every season they add new characters and have to fill backstory. I happen to prefer King Arthur to the Frozen storyline.
That picture looks like it was taken in Luke’s Diner from Gilmore Girls! Just pointing that out. Have not seen this episode yet just started watching the show on Amazon and Netflix to catch up. Great show!!
I liked the episode alright. Yeah the balance was tipped heavily in favor of the Camelot characters, but I find them a lot more interesting as guest stars than say Frozen last year. The Guinevere twist was good. I like Henry and Violet even though I think it will end in tragedy. I can’t be bothered a single bit with the Emma and Hook relationship, but they’re so devoid of any actual relevance and meaning that it’s easy to just skip those scenes so whatever.
Also, Guienevere has the (everlasting) bottle of enchanted sand, knows what it does, but doesn’t realize it has been used on her?!? Do we think this enchantment can be broken by True Love’s Kiss? Maybe if Lancelot kisses Guin’… But then the next time Snow ans Charming kiss the enchantment over them should break… So maybe not…
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