Last week on Once Upon a Time, Emma teamed up with Merida in an attempt to find a will o’ the wisp (because apparently they can tell her where to find Merlin), Rumpelstiltskin was all like “Emma, come to the Dark Side,” the rest of the crew tried to get Emma back (but Hook was too cranky for the first half of the episode), Zelina showed up and they found out they weren’t in Storybrooke anymore, Monty Python’s Knights of the Round Table rode in, and we were left with the knowledge that Emma did join the dark side after all. And that’s what you missed on GLEE! Oh wait. Wrong fandom. Okay, I’ll stop now. On to this week’s sound off!
- In the present, the team tries to figure out what exactly happened in Camelot while coming to terms with Dark Emma. They also try to save Robin, who was kidnapped by a Fury who intends to take him to the underworld. The citizens of Camelot are also in town, thanks to the latest incarnation of the Dark Curse. Is anyone still keeping track of haw many times it has been activated?
- Back in Camelot, Regina pretends to be the savior so Emma is not forced to use magic that may cause her to give in to the darkness. But it proves no easy task, as Sir Percival learns of their secret and a ball to celebrate their arrival takes place.
Of course, with the arrival in Camelot, the Arthurian references come in full force. The earliest known one is Merlin’s imprisonment. For those of you who may not know, in the original legends, Merlin falls in love with either the Lady of the Lake – you know, this girl from season one:
– or one of her servants, often given the name Vivian. He knows she will be his undoing, but he is so smitten with her that he does not care. He tries to ask her out, but she refuses until he teaches her everything he knows about magic. He agrees, and everything goes according to their deal until she is forced to return to her home country. So, Merlin decides to escort her home and they are forced to stop inside a tomb belonging to two lovers for the night. Merlin recounts the story of the lovers to Vivian and then either tries to make his move or proceeds to fall asleep for the night. Either way, Vivian is all like, “Ew” and uses what Merlin taught her against him by imprisoning him in the tomb, a rock, an invisible tower, or the most popular option: a tree. And that is presumably where our heroes find themselves now, assuming the writers have not mixed things up.
Back with our regularly scheduled program, we were introduced to a number of characters. One such character is Guinevere: Arthur’s wife and queen. Personally, Angel Coulby from BBC’s Merlin will always be my Guinevere, but Joana Metrass seems to fit the role rather well. Still, it is still too early to really say anything about her. The other new addition to the cast is young Violet, portrayed by Olivia Steele Falconer. May I just say, I had quite a fangirl (and I specifically use the word ‘fangirl’ because I let out the most high-pitched squeal while spinning around in my swivel chair) moment when I saw David take notice of her and Henry. I heard Henry would get a love interest this season, but I did not expect her to appear this soon! I found them to be extremely adorable even though, like Guinevere, they do not make too many appearances together. The ball as a whole was probably the highlight of the episode for me. Regina’s struggle to take on the role of the ‘savior’ was very engaging. Perhaps not as engaging as Emma’s struggle from last episode, but still interesting nonetheless. Whether she pretends for Emma’s sake or actually plays the role of the savior to save Robin, seeing Regina overcome the doubts the people around her, and she herself have, was quite nice to observe and an interesting reversal of roles. Speaking of role reversals, Dark Emma showed up a few times in the present, but really all she did was show up so people would ask her questions and she would refuse to answer them.
The other baddies this episode were Sir Percival and the Fury. Percival was just your run-of-the-mill villain who had a grudge against Regina and is unfortunately quite forgettable as he deviated too much from his legendary counterpart to really make any comparison. He reminds me too much of that Star Wars fan who worked for Pan in seasons two and three. The Fury, on the other hand, is a bit more interesting. Sure, she resembles the Wraith from season two, but from the mythological standpoint she has a couple interesting aspects. We see her as the one who takes souls to – presumably – Charon, who in Greek Mythology is said to be the ferryman who carries the dead across the rivers Styx and Archeron in order for them to move to the afterlife. In Arthurian legend a similar concept happened when Arthur was mortally wounded. Female entities (albeit certainly more benevolent than the Fury) whisked him to a boat that then took him to the Isle of Avalon, which is also a sort of afterlife place. I do not think the writers intended to make this connection on purpose, but it is something worth noticing.
Lastly is Belle. Some of my favorite moments were her interactions with the other characters, from Leroy comforting her about the rose to she and Hook bonding over both having their true loves become lost to the darkness. Small moments, true, but still heartwarming nonetheless.
- The What the Heck Moment: When Dopey turned into a tree. Expecting the Merlin reference I could see where this was going, but still. It left me thinking we were going to lose a dwarf each episode until Sneezy was restored at the end. Plus, last episode the dwarfs swore to stick to the Charmings to the death and now they’re the first to want to leave Storybrooke?! So much for loyalty.
- The Magic Moment: The ball (up until Percy ruined everything)!
- The Whoa Moment: The Darkness’s monologue at the end. Once Upon a Time is actually really good at these! It gave an interesting look into how the Dark Ones’ minds work in regards to love vs. power, while also leaving something to look forward to for next week’s episode.
Despite being the second episode, we managed to get some answers as well as some new questions.
- What do you think of Regina becoming the savior?
- Mr. Gold is still asleep. Do you think he’s having sweet dreams?
- Now that they have become a bit more prominent, what are your thoughts on the Arthurian aspects of the show?
- Do you think Dopey is adjusting well to being turned into a tree?
- Henry and Violet: R.I.P. them or ship them?
What were your thoughts on this episode as a whole? Sound off below!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes