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Once Upon a Time “The Broken Kingdom” 

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand
Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

Continuing on with the theme of tarnished heroes and varnished villains, this week we peek deeper into the shadowy corners of Camelot. We knew from the start that King Arthur wasn’t all he claimed to be, but little did we realize how low he would stoop to protect his dream. Far from the wise king of legend, this guy is a greedy, grasping weasel of a man trying to prove that the village bullies were wrong about him. And Merlin, the one intended to shepherd Arthur through his difficult childhood, only had one tiny prophesy to share, and an incomplete one at that. The one good thing Arthur has going for him is Guinevere, and yet he manages to completely alienate her. Why is this guy still the king? The people of Camelot sure do put a lot of faith in a sword that they haven’t even really seen. Those village bullies Arthur grew up with should be out front of the castle saying “you’re not the boss of me,” or the medieval equivalent of that sentiment. Then again, we saw Kay get smoked by the sword in the season premiere, so I suppose his bully buddies are a bit more humble now.

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand
Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

It’s not often that the words “fix this” carry such a dark meaning. If only Guinevere had known that making a deal with the Dark One meant her becoming a slave to magic. Sadly, it also appears to mean that Snow and Charming are now slaves to magic as well. True Love’s Kiss will have a heck of a time with this one. Hopefully Regina will figure out that something is amiss and save the day. She’s getting better at that, after all.

Henry and Violet are just as cute as always, which naturally means that something bad is in store for them. Can’t wait to find out what. But seeing them together inspires Hook to show Emma a good time, and that’s always a good thing, right? Give the girl a fast ride and a pretty flower, and all life’s problems are solved. If only it were true. It’s interesting that they’ve made Emma’s hair reflect her state of mind. As the Dark One the hair is severe and frosty, and in her confused state it’s limp and dull. However, after her ride with Hook, it nearly glows. Hook has his work cut out for him for the rest of the season; be Emma’s glow guy.

So here’s the question: What happens when Excalibur is repaired? If we can rely on the legend holding true in the show, then Excalibur is the symbol of truth and goodness. That the tip is attached to the Dark One begs the question of how it was broken in the first place, and if the very act of breaking it created the Dark One. Would reuniting the two halves of the sword return it to its original state as a symbol of goodness, or will it always retain the taint of evil in the steel? Merlin told young Emma not to pull it from the stone, and that would indicate that it has the potential for great evil. And yet, if by repairing the two halves it could be made to reabsorb the magic that created the Dark One, then all would be well in the world. This is a rabbit hole with many ways to get lost, so I suppose we will have to wait and see what clues are waiting to be revealed.

Moment of Goodness: The Realization

Petals from her favorite flowers are thrown in Guinevere’s honor on her birthday. Thinking they’re from Arthur, she expresses true joy. But then the realization hits. That single moment seems to encapsulate her entire life with Arthur; always the promise of joy, but never the reality.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

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  1. MByerly

    The end game of this story arc appears to revolve around Excalibur and removing the Dark One curse from Emma so I’m guessing that who repairs the sword will change the outcome. If good characters repair it, it may be a force for good, evil characters a force for evil.

  2. LMPetersen

    You always have such interesting comments, Marilynn, thanks for speaking up. It certainly would make a better story if Excalibur were another tool to be used for good or evil. Part of me wants them to stick to the original tale, and part wants to see them put their finger in that pie and swirl it around a bit. Either way, it will be fun to watch!

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