Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep3 – Siege Perilous

“Camelot is not what it seems.”

“Siege Perilous” involved Emma’s plans to unite Excalibur with the Dark One’s dagger, and David trying to be proactive in a town where, in all honesty, it’s the women who run the show. Because let’s be honest, whether in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest (or any of the many realms we’ve visited on this show), it’s the female characters who drive the action whether as heroes or villains or everything in between. So far, the most powerful and significant of the male characters are Rumple (who’s currently on ice/in a magic-induced coma) and Henry. David, Hook, and Robin are around to support their lady loves who are constantly taking the lead. And the great thing about this is that none of them really mind playing second-fiddle to Snow, Emma, and Regina because they love and respect them as they are.

The quest for the magic mushroom, er, toadstool!

The quest for the magic mushroom, er, toadstool!

Nevertheless, every now and then David needs to feel really useful and this episode gave him a little more to do than usual. As much as he loves and admires Snow and Emma, he does occasionally feel insecure about his contributions to his family’s adventures. And I suppose having grown up as a shepherd might have given him a bit of an inferiority complex. But he always means well, and is determined to help no matter what and that’s what makes him a hero.

"My girlfriend turned into the Dark One." "That's rough, buddy."

“My girlfriend turned into the Dark One.”
“That’s rough, buddy.”

This episode was about developing bro-ships, with David and Arthur bonding over similarly humble origins leading to great destinies, while Hook and Robin swapped stories of their complex love lives. Hook seems to be making more friends this season now that he isn’t clinging to Emma, though the basis for his new friendships remains rooted in his relationship problems. First, Belle gives advice on loving Dark Ones and then, Robin shows support for loving a powerful and complex woman.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep3 - Siege Perilous


Emma has been reaching out to Hook and even attempted to orchestrate a sweet date on board the Jolly Roger, complete with take-out from Granny’s. (Nice to see Granny doesn’t discriminate among her clientele. She’ll serve the Dark One as long as she pays her bill and presumably leaves a generous tip.) Emma tries her best to get Hook on her side, even getting all pretty in pink and asking him to trust her. But Hook’s had ample dealings with dubious individuals to know that she’s playing him and he doesn’t fall for the trap, much as it pains him to refuse the woman he loves.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep3 - Siege PerilousMeanwhile, both the Camelot flashback and the current storyline revolve around David and Arthur’s quests. In the former, the prince embarks on a journey for the Crimson Crown, a magical toadstool that may enable them to communicate with Merlin, while the latter concerns David helping Arthur find the stolen reliquary of Camelot. David succeeds in both cases and even becomes knighted by Arthur. But his quest was notably unimpressive and relatively easy. He didn’t actually perform any extraordinary feats of valor, especially when one compares what he did in this episode with his previous exploits (dragon slaying, anyone?) But he got to have a bit of adventure and a boost to his self-esteem.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep3 - Siege PerilousWhat’s more interesting are the revelations about Camelot, including Arthur’s sneaky plans to “remake Camelot” in Storybrooke, plans he intends to keep secret even if it means sacrificing a loyal subject. This nefarious side of a king supposed to be pure and noble is an intriguing development, and adds some depth to a character who has so far been rather bland. And I have a sneaking suspicion that Guinevere will be a kind of Lady Macbeth-type figure in this power couple.

Lancelot’s return is another exciting development. He was poorly underused in Season 2 and I’m glad that he will be able to play a more significant role this season. Given his friendship with Snow, he’s a natural addition to the story and will hopefully be a very valuable ally in the upcoming conflicts with Arthur.

And Mr. Gold is back! But instead of waking up in the arms of the devoted Belle (who leaves him for a minute only to lose him to Emma!), he is now about to be a pawn in Emma’s plans to snuff out the light. The whole thing about his heart being a “blank slate” now that the darkness has been taken away from him is both intriguing and confusing.

I know, Rumple. I'm confused too.

I know, Rumple. I’m confused too.

Does this mean that his actions prior to becoming the Dark One no longer count, whether they were good or bad? He still seems to have his memories, so how will that affect his future actions? Will he still be as sassy as he was or is that only a trait of ManifestationOfDarkness!Rumple? I’m not quite sure how this is going to work but at least, we get to see more of Robert Carlyle so I’m not really complaining.

After all, the best way to enjoy Once Upon a Time is not to over-analyze but to simply enjoy the ride.