*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
The Quest To Free Merlin
Before they are able to fulfil the prophecy and free Merlin the squad must first figure out whether he has been transfigured into a tree or if he is just stuck inside it, so Belle, Regina, Emma, David and Snow set to work to find out. Whilst searching through Merlin’s books the squad discover something that might just be the key to his rescue; a toadstool named the Crimson Crown. David immediately steps up to go in search of the possibly fictional toadstool that will allow them to contact Merlin, and is joined on his mission by none other than King Arthur himself.
The pair, who as it turns out have more in common than they first thought (humble backgrounds, in positions of power thanks to chance etc), manage to track down the Crimson Crown. The only catch is there’s a rickety-looking bridge between them and the very important plant. David, living up to his ‘hero’ status, volunteers to cross the bridge and retrieve the Crimson Crown, whilst Arthur waits behind. Surprisingly he manages to make his way across without too much trouble, but as with everything in OUAT things aren’t that simple and on his return figures that can only be described as ‘ghost knights’ emerge from the murky water and attack him. David is pulled under but is soon saved by his new friend Arthur, only to find that back on dry land the toadstool has disappeared from his bag. Trying not to be too disheartened they head back to the castle, agreeing that never giving up is what makes them true heroes.
After bonding on their quest to retrieve the Crimson Crown Arthur surprises David with a knighthood and seat at the famous roundtable. And not just any seat but the Siege Perilous that once belong to Lancelot, who it appears is in fact still alive! Of course, when Snow runs into him, he has a warning for her, ‘Camelot is not what it seems’.
A private conversation between Arthur and wife Guinevere lets the audience know that we should probably be with Lancelot on this one. You see, Arthur is the one who has the Crimson Crown, he lied to David and is determined to ‘put his kingdom first’ - was what happened to David on the quest a set up?
Over in Storybrooke something, or rather a lot of things have gone missing. Arthur rushes to the Sheriff’s office to let David know that Camelot’s Reliquary (a collection of magical relics) has been broken into. Arthur seems most concerned about the loss of a ‘magic bean’ that will take them back home to Camelot and the pair set out to try and retrieve the missing items.
In an attempt to get the thief to come forward and confess David finds a non-magical cup (from “Doctoberfest”) and decides to lie to the people of Camelot, telling them it is ‘The Chalice Of Vengeance’ and will reveal to him which of them is the thief. The culprit, who turns out to be a man named Grif, escapes on a horse. Then follows a very strange chase sequence with David trying to explain to a confused Arthur just how to drive a car (they definitely don’t have those in Camelot!) as the new BFFs chase after him. They finally manage to stop Grif with a combination of their modern day vehicle and a little jousting-style move with a plank of wood. Although Grif swears he never saw the apparently very important magic bean, he confesses he wanted to hurt the King and is locked up.
David recovers the Crimson Crown, which has also been transported to Storybrooke, and seems to have a glimmer of recognition. Interestingly Regina recognises it too, realises she has seen it in one of Merlin’s books (also now in Storybrooke) and starts to put together the pieces.
As it turns out our initial hunch about Arthur was correct; he’s not exactly the nice guy he first appears to be and a sinister scene reveals his true colours. Grif was in fact asked by his King to steal the Reliquary and pretend that the magic bean was there, although as far as we know it actually never existed. Not only did Arthur use Grif as part of his plan but we also see him use his powers of persuasion to encourage Grif to drink poison in order to make sure his dark secrets are kept quiet… and Grif disappears in a cloud of green smoke.
Furious that they brought Emma, or rather The Dark One, into his Camelot castle, we learn that Arthur is out for revenge on our Storybrooke favourites. He believes that he cannot get back to his former home and must build a new Camelot right there in Storybrooke – it sounds like this could spell disaster for the town.
In a moment that reminds us all that these people are pulled straight out of the storybooks Robin is having a little trouble getting his head around modern technology, looking at a sonogram photo on his phone when Hook turns to him for help. He’s hoping his fellow ex-‘villain’ Robin will be able to assist him with breaking into Emma’s house to find out what is behind that mysterious door we got a glimpse of last week. The conversation is cut short though when a note from Emma shows up, inviting Hook to a date on his ship.
A Second First Date
Hook had a date with the Dark One this week and Emma is dressed for the occasion just as she was on their very first date. Over on his ship we see him finally decide to ask Emma just what’s behind that mysterious door. Whilst he doesn’t get an answer to his question, Emma gets an answer to hers; does he love her? Hook’s reply brings a sad moment for all Captain Swan fans when he replies that he ‘loved’ her… past tense.
Knowing she is only there because she needs something, Hook becomes fed up with Emma playing games and asks for her to just be honest. Emma explains all she is looking for is his trust, although unfortunately this isn’t strictly true. When Emma uses Rumple and Belle as an example of how she thinks their relationship can work out despite her new role as the Dark One, Hook opens up about his past as the villain in the Pan/Crocodile saga, revealing what turns out to be something very important for Emma; the cutlass he once used to taunt Rumple.
Welcome Back Rumple!
After failing to free the sword from the stone using Happy’s axe, it’s time for Emma to turn to her plan B. Now in possession of a cutlass that once touched Rumple back before his days as the Dark One, Emma uses her powers (and Hook’s trust) to bring him out of his coma. Emma’s new plan is to use the currently not-light-but-not-dark status of Rumple to mould him into a hero who in turn will be able to free the sword from the stone for her - the plot thickens!
What did you think of ‘Siege Perilous’?