To say that Sunday’s “Once Upon a Time” episode was a little unusual would be an understatement and then some. Rather than focusing on some of our series regulars, the show instead cast the majority of its attention on some other characters in King Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere. It’s a story that many who know Arthurian lore know very well already, but this was a rather significant twist that you had not see before now.
For one, we had the notion of Arthur more or less drugging Guinevere with herbs to ensure that she continued to love him rather than abandon him in favor of Lancelot. This convoluted love story proved to be even more complicated when Lancelot was eventually locked away, and not too far from Merida. She’s back!
There was not too much time spent in present-day Storybrooke this time, but the most notable moment came in the closing seconds when the Dark Swan attempted to convince Rumpelstiltskin to be a “hero” and solve the problem of Excalibur for her. She is also using Merida in order to ensure that Rumple becomes “brave” in just the right way to suit her plan.
How much you enjoyed this episode is really dependent on how much you care about the backstory of characters we’ve really known for only a few weeks. We enjoyed most of it, in particular how Charming managed to be swayed to turn against King Arthur despite his fancy new title and place at the Round Table. After all, we know that these are things that do commonly speak to him. “The Broken Kingdom” was meant to mostly remind us of how broken this world truly is, and how hard it will be to turn Emma back into the woman she once was. Grade: B-.
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