TV Review: Once Upon A Time (5×03): ‘Siege Perilous’

ONCE UPON A TIME - "Siege Perilous" - In Camelot, the heroes feverishly work to free Merlin. Determined to help Emma, David embarks on a quest to retrieve a magical relic that Regina could use to communicate with the imprisoned sorcerer, but, when David leaves, Arthur insists on joining him because the dangers ahead are greater than he can imagine. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret discovers the fate of her old friend Lancelot. Back in Storybrooke, Arthur seeks David's help to catch a thief who threatens the safety of the citizens of Camelot. Across town, Emma reaches out to a conflicted Hook as she sets about her plan to draw Excalibur from the stone, on "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Jack Rowand) JENNIFER MORRISON

ONCE UPON A TIME – “Siege Perilous” – (ABC/Jack Rowand)

This week’s episode seemed to be framed around bromances – Charming and King Arthur, and Hook and Robin Hood. It also had a moment that completely broke my heart, and two resurrections. Let’s go to the episode:

Like all fairy tales and legends, there has to be a couple of quests just to keep things interesting and to show us that nothing good comes easy. This week’s quest came from the books of Merlin, as the team attempted to find a special toadstool, called the Crimson Crown, that allowed them to communicate across boundaries, so that they might be able to communicate with Merlin who is still a tree. As a chance to prove himself as someone other than the comic relief and occasional baby holder, Prince Charming aka David decided he wanted to prove his worth and go out into the dark forests of Camelot and find the toadstool. King Arthur offered to go with him so that they could bond and talk about how they both rose from peasantry to become royals. In all of their scenes together – both in Storybrooke and Camelot – David looked as if he was in love whenever he glanced at Arthur.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma steals an axe from one of the dwarves while they are mining, and they angrily go to report her to the sheriff – who is her dad. This kind of puts David and Mary Margaret in an awkward position as they want to be able to protect the people of Storybrooke from Emma but they also don’t want anyone to hurt Emma, so they are between a rock and a hard place. But the dwarves, especially Leroy, have had enough of Emma’s shenanigans.

We discover that the reason why Emma stole the axe is so that she can attempt to break Excalibur out of the stone with it, because dwarf axes can chop through anything. But it does not work and Head!Rumple reveals to her that she needs a hero to take the sword out of the stone.

Arthur comes charging into the sheriff’s station to say that he has been robbed – their reliquary, a chest that was supposed to be full of his magical objects is empty. He and David once again team up (although they don’t remember the first time) in order to find the objects.

Back in Camelot, Arthur shows David the round table and tells him how every man is equal around the table – except for the one who gets to sit at the Siege Perilous, which is the tallest chair and only the purest knight can sit there. The seat had been empty ever since Lancelot – who we all know from legend had a secret romance with Arthur’s wife Guinevere, was exiled. On the quest to find the Crimson Crest, using the Unquenchable Flame from the reliquary, David walks a very small plank to get to the toadstool which he manages to collect but as he is walking back, dead knights rise from the water and try to attack him – like we’ve seen in Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and pretty much any other fantasy film or book.

Arthur saves David from the dead knights, and David suffers damage – except the fact that he lost the Crimson Crest. However, David confesses to Arthur that he just wants to be seen as a hero and more than just the person who kissed Mary Margaret and saved her from a curse all those years ago. Arthur then gives a super cool gift, the Siege Perilous seat at the round table.

While this whole ceremony for David is taking place, Mary Margaret is loitering outside when she runs into Lancelot who is just lurking it seems. Mary Margaret is shocked to see him alive because as far as we know Cora killed him, but apparently not as he claims to be very much alive. However he warns Mary Margaret that Arthur is a villain and Camelot is not what it appears to be. Which I don’t know about you, but that kind of reminds me of Peter Pan and Neverland…

Arthur reveals to Guinevere that he stole the Crimson Crown from David and wants to use it to save Camelot. In the same way we discover back in Storybrooke that Arthur and his squire cooked up a plan for his squire to steal the items from the reliquary and Arthur reveals as the squire is locked up that his plan is to build a new Camelot in our world, and the Storybrooke residents cannot be trusted because they brought the Dark One into Camelot. Arthur then makes his squire take poison so that he can die for Camelot. So sadly that was the end of the squire’s life, and also the Arthur/David bromance.

Hook and Robin Hood are also having bonding time – although theirs seems to be a lot healthier than Arthur and David. Robin confides in Hook about his complicated feelings over the Zelena/Regina/baby situation, saying that even though he clearly isn’t rooting for team Zelena anytime soon, he is still excited for his baby. Hook tells him that he doesn’t trust Emma, and that she has a locked room in her house that he is suspicious about.

At that moment, Emma summons Hook to his ship and they have a sort of pseudo-date where she tries to make it like old times, wearing light dresses and saying she wants a real relationship. But Hook isn’t having any of that, and he asks her outright about the locked room and she ignores him. They discuss Rumplestiltskin and Emma says being the Dark One improved him from a coward to a strong person but Hook refutes her saying that Rumplestiltskin was a good man until Hook ruined him, being the Dark One made him worse. Emma tells Hook if he says he does not love her she will leave him alone, and he tells her that he ‘loved’ her, and my heart broke.

However we discover that Hook was right as Emma stole a sword from him in order to use it to complete a spell that Belle was busy with in order to save Rumple. As Rumple is recovering, Emma tells him that as he is no longer evil, or good, he is a blank space so she can make him into a hero to remove the sword out of the stone.

Also back to the Hook/Robin bromance, Hook returns to Robin who seems to be constantly hanging around Granny’s, and tells him that he wants to break into the locked room in Emma’s house and he needs a thief to help him. So we have that team up to look forward to.

This episode was clearly a filler episode but it did reveal a lot – yes, Arthur is super shady and clearly has nefarious intentions, Rumple is back, Lancelot is alive (did he come back to Storybrooke with the gang?), Captain Swan is caput, and Dr. Frankenstein has to be still around (who else is doing Zelena’s sonograms? Storybrooke only has one doctor).



Episode rating: 7/10


Caryn is a 26-year-old journalist from Cape Town, South Africa. She believes people will be more tolerable if they just watched more TV. Otherwise she's obsessed with movies, literally any book, comedy, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Halsey. Her dream is to one day marry Tom Hiddleston, or take over the world, whatever comes first.