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‘Once Upon A Time’ Review: History of ‘The Broken Kingdom’


The latest episode of Once Upon A Time filled in some of the details to explain how and why King Arthur got to be super shady. Like others before him, his obsession with power took over any good sense he may have possessed. “The Broken Kingdom” led us on a journey through Camelot’s history from the time a young Arthur told Guinevere the legend of the sword and the stone to the fallout after Lancelot warned Snow about the king’s villain side.

Long story short, Arthur spent all of this time trying to solve Merlin’s riddles and reunite the dagger with the sword so he could fix Camelot. But his queen didn’t appreciate losing the man she loved to his madness and set out to find the dagger herself. Lancelot joined her and they went to the Dark One’s vault. The darkness attempted to take Lancelot, but Guinevere saved him and then they shared a kiss. They agreed it could never happen again and continued on their quest.

ouat-504-01Here’s where the timeline confuses me. These events happened five years prior to our heroes arriving in Camelot. But Rumple showed up to offer Guinevere and Lancelot a deal since he wouldn’t give up the actual dagger. How is that possible? Wouldn’t Rumple have been in Storybrooke five years ago? Does Camelot exist in its own timeframe? Or is that Rumple just a manifestation of the Dark One like the guy Emma’s seeing? I suppose it doesn’t matter. Even though Lancelot advised against it, Rumple provided Guinevere with some magic sand that would appear to fix what was broken.

Unfortunately, Arthur saw her with Lancelot when they were saying goodbye, freaked out, went through her bag and then had zero interest in using the magic to fix the sword. Instead, he used it on Guinevere to make her love him again. And this is where I apologize for calling her shady the past few weeks. She’s just in a magical Stepford state and Arthur is the absolute worst. He also used the magic to make the kingdom a better place and still had some left over in present day (and by present day, I mean however many weeks in the past the group was in Camelot at this point).

Why did he need that magic? Snow and Charming were fighting! I know, I was shocked too and a little worried about Charming for not seeing his new bro as a creeper. Instead, Charming went to Arthur and confessed everything while Snow took the dagger and joined Lancelot on the journey back to the Dark One’s vault. Arthur followed them there and tried to summon Emma, but whoops, the dagger was a fake and Snow and Charming were working together after all. I kind of assumed that was happening because even though they fought, there’s just no way Charming would go behind Snow’s back or risk Emma’s life.

ouat-504-02But sadly, Guinevere came to Arthur’s rescue since she’s been magically brainwashed. She had Lancelot sent to a cell where he encountered Merida. How awesome is it to have her back? She’s Team Anyone But Arthur so I’m looking forward to finding out how and why she ended up locked in a cell. As for Snow and Charming, you guessed it, Guinevere sprinkled the endless supply of magic sand on them and they went to Regina and Robin (who does a girl have to beg to get more Outlaw Queen in these episodes?) and told them they could trust Arthur and should let him reunite the dagger and the sword.

While all of this was happening, Emma told Hook about seeing Rumple and he and Henry took her for a walk to a barn. Henry told them about Violet and then made them hide when Violet showed up. Emma didn’t appreciate that Henry lied about his huge crush on Violet, but Hook was basically basking in pride at the idea of Henry having a first love. It was super cute. Then, he convinced Emma to go horseback riding with him to try and purge the demon from her mind. At first, Emma spooked the horse and Rumple taunted her, but then Hook encouraged Emma to trust him and focus on him instead of Rumple. It worked and the two went to make out in a flower field and their scenes were the greatest, basically (shipper bias, party of me).

Back in present day Storybrooke, Emma still had one of the flowers (see, she’s in there) and Rumple tried to tell her that he understood the darkness and he wasn’t the hero she wanted. Emma told him she had a secret weapon and then she went to her car where she had Merida locked up (rude). Emma yanked out her heart and told her she needed to teach Rumple how to be brave like her (nice one, show). This season continues to intrigue and entertain and I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode.

(But seriously, does anyone understand the timeline with Rumple in Camelot?)

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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