"Siege Perilous" is the 91st episode of Once Upon a Time.
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 the prince 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 his people while, across town, Emma reaches out to a conflicted Hook as she sets about her plan to draw Excalibur from the stone.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Standing before the tree of which Merlin has been imprisoned in, Hook finds it unbelievable that one as powerful as he could be condemned to such a fate, to which Emma questions King Arthur, who believes they can get him out, for Merlin's prophesies are never wrong. ("The Price") Mother Superior gives Belle with the magic rose, going on to explain that as long as the flower still sprouts petals, Rumplestiltskin lives on. ("The Dark Swan") Emma tells Hook, who she has welcomed inside her new home, that despite her being the Dark One, the two of them can still be together. ("The Price") Arthur explains to Guinevere that the Storybrooke residents are in Camelot to destroy the Dark One, but that helping them may be his only chance of getting his hands on the dagger. ("The Price") Regina and Emma make their way into Merlin's tower, in hopes of finding a way to free him from the tree. ("The Price") The darkness guides Emma to Excalibur, persuading her to plot to make it whole again, with the dagger, so she can snuff out the light. ("The Price")
Emma spooks her favorite dwarf.
In the mines of Storybrooke, hacking away as they whistle a tune, the dwarfs do about their daily job, though maybe not as well as some would prefer. Leroy speaks up, ushering them to be more productive since Dopey can't, seeing as how he was turned into a tree. (See "The Price") "He's producing oxygen," Happy jokingly comments, striking up the laughter of some of the other dwarfs, but Leroy still isn't amused, wishing they'd stay focus. The dwarfs go back to hacking away, but are soon startled by the voice of Emma Swan, who sarcastically agrees with Grumpy, stating that no one would want a "nasty surprise". The dwarfs stop what they're doing and face the Dark One, who stares each of them down. "You're not getting any dust, sister," Leroy makes clear, but Emma states that she's "shopping" for something else, something with edge; she takes Happy's pick axe, something that doesn't make him all that happy. Emma goes on, making her way to the dwarf so she can whisper in his ear, that if there's one thing she's learned since becoming the Dark One it's that if your name is on something then to hold on to it. With that, she disappears in a puff of white smoke, startling the dwarfs, who look around to see where she could be.
ONCE UPON A TIME
The heroes work to free Merlin.
Flashback to six weeks prior, inside the royal castle of Camelot. Working to free Merlin from the tree, Regina argues over what ingredients are needed, while Belle retaliates that the labels have all faded away. Emma, however, has other ideas; she tells the two to not bother with a de-cloaking potion, believing it not to be a glamour spell anyway. If reading everything clearly, Mary Margaret has come to the conclusion the tree could actually be him transfigured. Belle suggests they find out with a sample, but Regina sarcastically asks that if they snap off a twig and it turns into a finger then who would be crying then, proceeding to usher everyone to go back to finding the needed ingredients. "You guys sure I shouldn't just wiggle my nose and get him out of that tree?" Emma asks, to which Mary Margaret replies with a quick and blunt "no." Regina reminds the true Savior that her magic is dark now, so it's not worth it; she states that she'll continue masquerading as the Savior while the two of them figure things out together. David, who has been tending to Prince Neal this whole time, agrees with Regina.
Regina reaches a breakthrough.
This is overheard by King Arthur, who makes his way in, commenting to the Prince that it's always a safe assumption to believe a woman to be right. He then asks how Regina is progressing, to which she replies that progress is being made, slowly, but surely. Belle speaks up that's marvelous to have Merlin's own books to work with, as if it's like talking with the "master". Mary Margaret then comes up with an idea: what if they could talk to him? This confuses Emma, but Regina likes the sound of the idea, commenting that her stepdaughter can occasionally be a genius. "Yes, if we talk to him, he can tell us how to get him out," Belle realizes, as Regina flips through one of the books, finally coming across a page with an image in particular. "A mushroom?" David questions, only to be corrected by Regina that it's in fact toadstool, a deadly poison, extremely useful in communicating across barriers - even through spells - and the formerly Evil Queen reveals it to be called the Crimson Crown. As Regina writes a large question mark across a piece of paper to bookmark the page, Arthur reveals that he knows of the name, having heard rumors of it growing in the Forest of Eternal Night.
A new bromance.
He states that it was surely a mere legend though, believed to be nothing but fiction; however, David points out that the same was believed about all of them, and proceeds to ask how far away it is. "A half day's ride," Arthur reveals, "but if it is there it'll be protected by magical forces." David glances at Mary Margaret, who knows what he is thinking; she asks that he wait until they learn more about it, but he insists that it's not like he's needed there, so here's his chance. As Prince Neal is handed over to his mother, David sets out. As David makes his way through the castle to set out, Arthur catches up to him, ordering that he halt. David insists His Majesty not try to stop him, to which Arthur replies that he wouldn't dream of it. Instead he was there to propose, if it was alright with the Prince, that he accompany him on the journey to lend aide; "Come with me and we can get ourselves outfitted, and then we can quest together as brothers." David has come to like the sounds of this, and so he proceeds to follow King Arthur back through the castle to do just that.
Six Weeks Later
Back in the present day, that is of in Storybrooke, the book of which had been searched through six weeks before is examined at the sheriff's station. On the bookmarked page, Regina recognizes the piece of paper with the giant question mark being of her hand writing, thus leading her to believe she marked the page in Camelot, and though she doesn't know if it's the right answer or not, but the books they are currently searching through came from there, and so she thinks they were looking at it for answers. Before Mary Margaret and David have a chance to speak, in walks Grumpy, followed by the five other dwarfs, who exclaims, "We've been violated." David questions what the problem is, to which an angered Leroy sarcastically question what the Prince thinks it is, before stating that it's his kid. Happy speaks up that Emma took his axe, and Regina turns to Mary Margaret, gathering all of the books, stating that dwarfs are her stepdaughter's department, and so she'll stay busy with the other task at hand. As Regina sees herself out, Mary Margaret, clearly not all that thrilled, asks what Leroy wants her and David to do about it.
Grumpy, not happy.
"Help us," he exclaims, "We know she's your daughter, but you've gotta do something, because if you won't, we will." Mary Margaret sits up, demanding that the dwarfs not hurt Emma, but David calms her, stating that it's okay because they can't. "Like that's all that matters?" Leroy asks, going on that he needs to stop being a scared parent and go back to being their sheriff again, because they need him. David agrees to see about getting the axe back, and, in an insincere tone, thanks Leroy for letting him know. "Looks like just another insult for us to swallow down... for now," the dwarf replies, leaving, upset, with the other five. Mary Margaret is appalled by what has just gone down, and David stands to his feet, hanging up his coat and entering the office, slamming the door behind him. Mary Margaret quickly follows behind him, wondering why Emma would need an axe, something David himself doesn't quite understand either, thinking that there must not be much she can't just do with her powers. Enraged, the Prince kicks over a couple boxes, resulting in Mary Margaret calling out to him.
Snow assures the ing it still matters.
He states that he just wished Emma would talk to them, which Mary Margaret barks back that she wishes the same. "The worst part is... we can't save her." "Yet," Mary Margaret corrects, stating that they're trying. David questions how though, asking what it is he is doing. Mary Margaret answers that he's leading, to which David points out nobody seems to be following. "Oh don't worry about the dwarfs," his wife barks back, to which David, the tension having risen intensely, replies that he's not, but that he's worrying about Emma, and how it's all his fault. Mary Margaret reminds him that it was her who made the choice to save everyone, but David believes he should have stopped her, that he is her father, but now he's simply paralyzed. There is nothing he can do for Emma, for Mary Margaret, for anyone. Mary Margaret doesn't buy this though; she states that he is doing something - he is leading everyone the best he can, though he believes that to just be the problem. However, Mary Margaret reassures that in any world, David is her hero, asking if he will remember this. He gives in, stating that he will, and proceeding to give his wife a kiss, he ushers her to go, stating that he'll take care of everything.
David agrees to help Arthur.
Seeing Mary Margaret out, David is left alone; he looks up at a bulletin board where a picture of him and Emma hangs, back from the days in which they both worked as sheriff together. This moment is soon interrupted, however, by the arrival of King Arthur; David greets the King, questioning if he has had any luck in locating Excalibur, which the King confirms he has not, though moving on to the fact that he is coming to David with something far more urgent; "Our reliquary has been robbed," Arthur exclaims, leaving David confused. Arthur explains that it contains all the magical relics collected by the Knights of the Round Table, all of which are very important to them. He had no idea it came with them from Camelot until he discovered it in Storybrooke, but nearly empty. He goes on that inside was a magic bean, having the ability to take his people home in an instant, and that he has to tell the sheriff that he will search every residence in the city until he has found it. "You don't have to do anything alone," David assures agreeing to help Arthur, going on to state that he will help get him and his people home back to Camelot. The two shake hands, and Arthur thanks David.
Emma needs a hero...
Meanwhile, at the Swan House, down beneath where a cave has been formed, Emma makes her way down the stairs to where Excalibur remains buried in stone. Approaching it with the pick axe in tow, she prepares to smash into the stone, but the darkness in the form of Rumplestiltskin appears, commenting that the new Dark One has come up with a creative path to failure. Emma argues the a dwarf axe can cut through anything, but the vision of Rumple corrects that nothing can cut through magic... and then jokes that maybe the exception could be a kiss; he questions if she thought about kissing it. Annoyed, Emma takes the axe and attempts to hack away at the stone, only for it to entirely come apart once hitting the target. The vision of Rumple giggles at the new Dark One's failure, stating that she's running out of options. He reminds her that they want her to "snuff out the light", meaning they need a hero to pull Excalibur from the stone; "Now let's face facts, that's not gonna be you." The vision continues that Emma should now stop messing around and go get the hero they need; "Oh, and you and I both know who that is," the vision adds on as Emma looks back at the all-mighty sword.
Robin comforts his beloved.
In Camelot of six weeks prior, an upset Regina slams the book she was searching through shut, upset over lack of progress. Robin Hood is present, there to make his beloved feel better; he says that everything's alright, that she'll get it eventually. "Perhaps it's time for a spot of tea," he suggests, wishing to help calm her nerves and clear thoughts. Proceeding to kiss the formerly Evil Queen, Robin sets out to get it ready, leaving Regina to turn and see a mute Zelena watching her, rolling her eyes. "You're so I can keep an eye on you, 'mute handmaiden'," Regina barks at her wicked sister, "I don't need you rolling your eyes at me." The formerly Evil Queen moves forward, stating that they need to clear the air; however, Zelena, being as snarky as she possibly can, points out that she has no voice to speak. Regina begrudgingly returns it, resulting in the Wicked Witch letting out a high-pitched sigh of relief, thrilled to be able to speak again, having missed her "light and feminine" voice. Regina declares she has had enough, now ready for a chat about Zelena trying to escape back to Oz. (See "The Dark Swan")
Wicked vs. Evil.
She states that her sister must know she can't just take the unborn child away from Robin, but Zelena questions if Regina can really blame her, seeing as how that's exactly what the formerly Evil Queen intended to do to her. She goes on that this child could be the only chance of having someone to truly love her, and asks if Regina got a second chance then why shouldn't she. "Oh I'm sorry, but you've had a second chance," Regina barks, "and a second second chance." She goes on that Zelena can't keep painting herself as the victim, deeming it absurd. "You can tell me that life is fair all you want, or I can tell you that from in here I'm still seeing one sister with all the toys," Zelena replies, only to be cut off from there, for Regina has take away her voice once more. As the Wicked Witch tries to speak, Regina demands she be quiet and listen for once in her life, going on that Zelena seems to have forgotten who her sister is: the Evil Queen. She states that she can be a far greater nightmare than her sister could possibly imagine, but now her gift to Zelena is a promise - she'll make sure her baby is fine, and loved, and safe... just as she promises the same won't hold for the Wicked Witch. With that, she leaves Zelena alone.
The Siege Perilous.
Meanwhile, else where in the castle, in the room of which the iconic Round Table is located, King Arthur slides open a door, revealing a weaponry of which he and David can choose from for their quest. The Prince is amazed, and Arthur states that he likes to be prepared, before picking out a sword to bring along. David does so as well, but when turning to face the Round Table, he notices one seat in particular: Percival's. David goes to apologize once more for the Knight's demise, but Arthur assures there is no need for more apologies, seeing as how what was done needed to be done, and that he will eventually find someone to fill the seat. He moves on, proceeding to point his sword at another seat, one different from the rest. The King states that that will be the one to stay empty forever; David assumes it was Arthur's, deeming it to be suitable for a king. Arthur denies this though, stating that his is no different than the others, not wishing to be seen as more higher up than one or the other. However, the one chair that stands out is the exception - the Siege Perilous - reserved for the knight with the purest heart, the destined to set out the most sacred quests. Arthur goes on to reveal that it belonged to a man he trusted more than a brother, but he betrayed him, and it's been vacant since. David realizes the King is referring to Lancelot, pointing out all of the knights are known as legends. Arthur jokes that he'd shutter to know what his tale is, to which David reveals it was only "one of the greatest romances of all time."
Arthur and David admire a torch.
He states that his love for Guinevere was ripped away by his best friend, Lancelot - a tragic story that clearly had a happy ending; "The two of you seem like all of that's in the past now." Arthur confirms this, stating that Lancelot was a good man, but the situation was difficult. David understands, and even reveals that he and Mary Margaret met Lancelot. (See "Lady of the Lake") This surprises the King, who questions how the former knight is doing; David regrets to inform that they learned he died. (See "Lady of the Lake") This appears to sadden Arthur, who states that though Lancelot failed to resist temptation, he was a good knight, and tortured himself for his sins far more than the King ever would have done; "I wished him happy, just not with my wife." Before David can respond to this, the two are joined by Arthur's squire, Grif, bringing with him a large chest that he places on the Round Table. "Careful!" Arthur exclaims, not happy with how the chest was placed on the table. As Grif moves a chair out of the way for Arthur and David to get by, the King reveals that the chest is in fact the reliquary, containing the sacred and magical items of which the Knights of the Round Table have recovered. Arthur opens it up, pulling out one item in particular; it appears to be a torch, which the light never goes out on. "I've never seen magic like that," David exclaims, to which Arthur reveals it to be the Unquenchable Flame, stating that it'll light their path, and where going they'll most certainly need it.
David's got a plan.
Six weeks later in the present day of Storybrooke, the Camelot reliquary is presented before David and Arthur. As David kneels down to examine the chest, most of which is now empty, he looks at the King's squire, Grif, questioning him to be the one that discovered it to be empty; he asks if perhaps the squire may have any theories. Grif points in the direction of the Dark One, stating that everyone in the realm they're in speaks of it. Arthur snaps, demanding the squire quit acting like a fool, but David reveals that she did take a dwarf axe. "And as you're about to say, the Dark One doesn't need tools," Arthur replies, pointing out that, from the look of the scratches, the lock was pried open. David realizes the King is right, who asks that, since it's his land, he'd like to know what he's thinking. "I'm thinking I may not know who did this, but I think I have a good idea what their next move would be." With that David stands to his feet, heading off; Arthur follows.
A picture of up inside Zelena.
Sitting at the bar of Granny's Diner, staring at something in particular on his phone, Robin Hood is soon joined by the company of Captain Hook, who comments that he knows that look, referring to Robin's, and begins to instruct him on how to work his cellular device. Robin states that he knows how to work a phone, and Hook questions what it is the former thief is looking at. "It's a picture of up inside Zelena," Robin replies, slightly disturbing Hook; however, it's soon made clear to the Pirate that it's a sonogram - a picture of the baby. Hook gets a better look, and assumes Robin must be feeling mixed emotions regarding the Wicked Witch's pregnancy. The former thief confirms this, knowing that it must be painful for Regina having her evil sister carry his child; it's painful for him too. Despite all of this though, there's a part of Robin that can't help but feel happy - it's his child. He adds on that he doesn't want Regina to know this, for he does not want her to misconstrue his happiness, and Hook admits the former thief has a complicated situation at hand. "Unlike your simple love life," Robin comments, to which Hook sarcastically laughs, stating that Emma's not the same. He reveals that in her new house there's a door she doesn't want him anywhere near; he questions what Robin supposes she's hiding. Before anything else can be said though, Granny drops off a bag for the Pirate, despite the fact that he didn't order anything. "What does it say?" Robin questions, pointing to the note. Hook reads it, realizing it's from Emma, requesting he meet her on his ship. After a joking comment about the complicated situation Hook himself is in, the Pirate heads out to met his darkened lover.
Can Emma really be trusted?
Within a lower cabin of the Jolly Roger, Hook makes his way around, searching for Emma. Suddenly, he hears an eerie sound coming from the floorboards, and turns around to see the Dark One standing right behind him with a smile on her face. Not pleased, Hook states, "It's not funny appearing like that." Emma apologizes, but Hook moves on, questioning what's going on. The Dark One states that she knows everything has been very confusing for the Pirate, and she hasn't made it any easier; she wanted to apologize for overreacting last time, knowing that he's just been trying to help, so she thought they could just talk and have lunch like old times. Hook states he'd like nothing more, but that their current situation is hardly like old times; he places the bag from the diner on the table, which Emma magically unpacks, setting up the table just right. The Pirate turns and sees Emma in her dress from their very first date. (See "The Apprentice") "Better?" she questions, taking Hook's hand; "You know you can trust me," she exclaims, but the Pirate remains uncertain.
David and Arthur share origin stories.
"What is it, noon?" David questions, in flashbacks to Camelot's past; he's relieved to have the torch, for her realizes Arthur was not kidding about the "eternal night". The King replies that he's glad they sent Grif home with the horses, stating that the woods would make them restless. David takes this chance to defend the squire, having sensed tension from his earlier encounter with Arthur; however, before he can finish himself, Arthur states he knows that he should thank Grif more, and that he himself doesn't have the excuse of ignorance. He was born a common man and has been in service himself. This surprises David, who had believed the King to be born a nobleman; he ends up revealing himself as a former shepherd. Arthur chuckles and the two shake hands, bonding over their similar backgrounds; they agree to stop with the "Your Majestys". Arthur goes on that Guinevere makes up the difference, showering everyone with gifts - the kindest woman he's ever met. "Sounds like my wife," David replies, "When she decides you're family, she'd die for you." Arthur states that it's not to say Guinevere doesn't have her fierce side, commenting that with a bow and arrow she could take out a dove in flight; David says Mary Margaret could do the same, though she wouldn't. Arthur jokes that they should have their wives compete in a tournament, but David doesn't see the two of them agreeing to that just so their husbands could feel better about themselves. Arthur hands David the torch, as well as the canteen so he can have a drink; he states that perhaps there are better ways he can show off.
David comments that he's a competitive man for someone with a Round Table, having thought he didn't want to sit above anyone, to which the King replies someone doesn't need to be competitive to have a two-ton table to remind them that they're humble. David chuckles, and Arthur goes on that he knows his weaknesses, stating that Lancelot and Guinevere weren't the only ones to blame for what happened, for he was a difficult man to live with, but he made a conscious decision to fix things. David understands that, and the two carry on, the torch having been handed back to Arthur. They make their way through some bushes, and come to a bridge; "Look upon there, brother," Arthur exclaims, looking forward at where the Crimson Crown is locked. "So it is real," David replies, taking out a telescope to look out across the bridge to see for himself. He proceeds to step out onto the bridge, but feels it sink some ways into the water. Realizing that not the both of them can go across, he agrees to go instead while Arthur waits, telling his friend to let the torch be his way back. He thanks the King, and begins making his way across. Nearly slipping on multiple occasions, David makes it to a certain point, however he finally falls on his chest; he manages to stand to his feet though, continuing on, but remains oblivious to what exactly lurks beneath the waters...
Belle helps out.
Flash six weeks later, inside the pawn shop, the magic rose is being examined by Belle; multiple petals have noticeably fallen off. "How is he doing?" David asks, having joined the brunette beauty, to which she replies that the former Dark One is not doing well, but goes on she found a healing spell in one of his old notebooks, and she has everything put together except for one last ingredient; "I need an object that touched him when he was still a man, before he became the Dark One." David believes she must have something, though Belle is uneased, for there's nothing she can find, but she also doesn't know what to look through. David offers to get her some help, but Belle turns him down, stating that she's the only one who really knows the shop and his things, and that she needs to keep doing something. "Well, then we'll make this quick," David replies, moving on from the subject, "Has anyone come in to pawn anything today?" he asks. "Especially a magic bean," King Arthur, who had also joined David, speaks up, adding on. Belle is a bit surprised, but lets them know that no one has stopped in. David and Arthur are let down, but the former says that it was worth a shot; however, an idea comes to mind when he notices a particular chalice, which he asks to borrow. "Uh, yeah," Belle replies, having gone back to searching around the show. David turns to Arthur stating that the cup will point them right at their culprit. Arthur asks what it is, and Belle interrupts, stating it's not magic, but just a souvenir from Doc's birthday party; "See, it says Doctoberfest on it." "Oh, I'm very well aware," David replies, adding for there to be no worries, but that he's got it. He then leaves the shop, followed by Arthur.
Standing before the refugee camp in the Storybrooke woods, David holds out the Doctoberfest Cup, calling for the attention of the subjects of Camelot; "In my hand you see the chalice of vengeance. There's been a theft in your encampment; now this will tell me which among you is the thief." The Camelot citizens all appear worried, and David calls for them to all line up for their chance to drink from the "sacred" cup. At that moment, however, one man from the group pulls over his cloak, making a run for it, mounting his horse in an attempt to get away.
Is this legal?
David and Arthur quickly pile into the former's truck, taking off after a runaway Grif, whose now galloping across the roads atop a horse. Though catching up, they can't quite get to the squire, so David warns the King to hold on, thinking for a moment, and finally tells him to take control of the wheel, giving him quick instructions before climbing out the window of the truck and onto the back. As Arthur recklessly steers, Grif is able to pull off to the sidelines, giving himself the advantage, but David tells the King to circle around, which he does, splattering mud into the air as he does so. David grabs a long piece of wood, and having now been able to pull up in front of Grif, the Prince is able to stick the piece of wood out, just in time for Grif's horse to ride him right into it, knocking the squire off, onto the ground, unconscious.
David obtains the Crimson Crown.
Back in Camelot of six weeks prior, meanwhile, David finishes crossing over the shaky bridge, making his way to the Crimson Crown, which he is able to cut loose. Admiring the toadstool for a moment, he finally puts it in a carrying pouch, and starts making his way back across the bridge. However, below the waters, pieces of a knight start to form together, and soon enough a fully formed knight begins emerging form the waters. David sees this, and looks over to the other side of the waters where he can see another forming as well. The first Phantom Knight makes its way onto the bridge, sword in tow, and begins swinging at the Prince. David defends himself though, fighting back, and ends up knocking off the knight's helmet, which spills nothing but water. David moves on to the second knight which he's been met with, chopping off the gloved hand holding a sword, but it's not over yet when the first knight re-attaches its head.
Arthur rescues David from the Phantom Knights.
Again knocking off the head, and this time knocking the knight back into the water, David switches back to the second knight, which has re-attached its hand. The two sword fight a bit till the knight loses his head as well, and falls apart entirely. One more knight peeks out of the water, but as done before, David takes care of it. Looking around to be sure it's safe, not seeing anymore knights, he makes a run for it across the remainder of the bridge, but one more sticks its hand through the top, tripping the Prince, and dragging him under. David does his best to resist, but finds himself drowning as the knight holds on to him, keeping him underneath the water as he struggles for breath. Finally, however, he's able to break free enough to get to the top, and King Arthur pulls him out to safety. The Prince thanks him, but Arthur says for him to thank nothing of it, for it appears David succeeded. He then helps the Prince off the remainder of the bridge.
Hook wants answers.
On the Jolly Roger, back in the present day, Hook sits with Emma as they go through with their date. The Pirate has questions though, which the Dark One knows is gonna have to do with if she's still the same Emma or not. Knowing it won't be a simple question to answer, Hook suggests they start easy: her new house - he wants to know what's behind the locked door; "You know I want to trust you, Emma. Why don't you help me?" The Dark One takes her boyfriend's hand, telling him to just trust her, stating that with her powers she could hide anything from his prying eyes anyway. Hook replies that she just answered his first question, that she's not the same Emma, for that Emma didn't play games, to which Emma agrees, stating that she is different... but also that she's better. "As the Dark One?" Emma continues that she use to be scarred, judgmental and closed off - it took her forever to see the magic in Storybrooke. (See "A Land Without Magic")
Emma thinks using Rumbelle as an example is a smart idea.
Now, however, she sees things more clearly; she's not scared anymore, and she's honestly an open book if Hook is willing to take the trust up. "Are you really suggesting we move forward in a real relationship?!" As Emma pours wine for the two, she reminds Hook that Gold and Belle loved each other, but Hook doesn't think Emma should be using the previous Dark One as an example. "Well think about it, he was born a coward," Emma argues, stating that he didn't find true love until he was the Dark One. (See "Skin Deep") She continues that Hook even told her that he once grovelled on the depths of the ship they're currently sailing on, even. (See "The Crocodile") She says he changed for the better too. However, Hook corrects his beau, stating that he was the villain of that particular drama, and not Rumple. The Pirate goes on that Rumple was a good man trying to keep his family together, but that he took a sword and put it to his head, taunting him; "I was the only one there who's changed for the better. He became an evil, manipulative killer."
"I loved you."
As Emma eyes the sword, she stands to her feet, getting behind Hook and guiding him with the sword, reminding of him about how when they were trapped in the storybook and she taught him to sword fight. (See "Operation Mongoose, Part 2") Hook breaks away though, leaving the sword with Emma. He states that all he wanted was her honesty, but that he's now done humoring her. He now wants answers; he wants to know why she brought him there, and he knows it's not because it's what they use to do, because that her isn't there; "You need something, Dark One. Tell me what it is." Emma answers that all she needs is his trust and promise. Hook says that he liked who she was, but Emma states that person inside is still her. She then moves on though, "I have a question for you for once: do you love me? If you tell me you don't love me, I will let you go." Hook takes a moment to think about his next response, but finally he answers: "I loved you." Emma appears hurt by this, and poofs away, leaving Hook with the ship to steer home.
This flashback story is made redundant.
In Camelot of six weeks prior, Arthur finishes getting David back over the bridge and lies him down on the ground, allowing them both to catch their breath. Coming to, David quickly panics, grabbing the pouch he carried with him, checking, and realizing he no longer has the Crimson Crown. He reveals this to Arthur, and the two quickly stand; the Prince states that the Phantom Knights must have gotten a hold of it, while the King suggests they could search for it. In a fit of rage, David throws the empty pouch to the ground; he tells Arthur that couldn't for the toadstool is now gone. As David miserably sits back down, Arthur continues to look out, finally turning to the Prince, stating that the word "quest" means to seek, not to find - it's the seeking that matters. "Do you believe that?" the Prince questions, to which Arthur admits he does not truly; if the finding makes a difference in the world then that's what he wants, and he apologizes. There's a moment of silence, but David starts chuckling, resulting in a smile from the King.
David makes cute callbacks.
The Prince goes on to reveal that his father drank his life away (See "White Out"), while his brother accomplished nothing but evil (See "Tiny"), and there was a time he thought he'd be different - change the world - but he doesn't want to only be remembered as the man who woke a sleeping princess thirty years ago. (See "Pilot") "I understand," Arthur replies, taking a seat; this surprises David, seeing as how Arthur is the King of Camelot. He chuckles, stating that it was just some large rock that said he'd be a hero, and then the prophecy was fulfilled. As the two laugh, Arthur continues that since then he has had victories and losses, and he's learned that it's the losses that require you to be brave, so if anything will make us heroes; "It's the never giving up, even after the loss," David finishes for the King. Arthur confirms this, and David stands, stating that they might as well get out of there, for there is work to be done, and it's not there. "Good man," Arthur exclaims as David helps him up; "David, if you want to be apart of something, do something that matters. I have a place for a man like you." The two then start heading back.
The items from Arthur's reliquary have been found, and Grif is held for questioning in one of the tents of the Camelot refugees, back in the present day of Storybrooke. "I never saw a bean," Grif exclaims, but David raises his hand, telling the squire to forget about the bean for now and tell him and Arthur why he stole the rest of the items, to which Grif sighs, and admits it was because he was tired of how he and everyone else were being treated - breaking their backs for King Arthur, for the love of Camelot; he wanted to hurt the King. "Grif, I had no idea," Arthur exclaims, "but you see, you've hurt everyone. We need that bean to get home." However, Grif still insists he didn't see a bean. Tapping Arthur on his armored chest, David motions for the King to join him in private for a moment. As the King and Prince walk, the former comments that he's always betrayed by those closest to him, but David ignores this, stating that Arthur knows the guy, and questions if he's lying. "I don't believe so," Arthur answers, "and of course it's possible there was no bean if it was removed during the six weeks can't recall." David accepts this, and says they'll find another way to get him and the other Camelot citizens home. "Working together?" Arthur questions, which David confirms, pleasing the King. The sheriff adds that they go tell Grif he'll be making his home in one of their cells for sometime, but David soon notices something on the ground - the Crimson Crown - not that they know that yet. David questions what it is, and Arthur replies that it must have fallen out when they emptied Grif's bag. Arthur states if it was taken from the trunk, then it was from the time they lost. Examining it, David realizes that he does recognize it.
Pieces are put together.
With David holding up the Crimson Crown to Mary Margaret and Regina, down in the latter's vault, the formerly Evil Queen points out that it's the one in the book from Camelot, the one she found this morning. David nods as Regina flips to the page, bookmarked with a piece of paper with a question mark written on it; "That's what we were looking for back there," Regina comes to realization, but Mary Margaret questions why. Regina reads that it's used to communicate through magical barriers, stating that they must have been trying to communicate with Merlin. "I wonder if we did," Mary Margaret speaks up, to which David suggests they use it and find out if they can talk to him now, and Mary Margaret adds on that they can find out if he can save Emma from being the Dark One; "David, you did it," Mary Margaret exclaims.
David is dubbed a Knight of the Round Table.
Flashback to Camelot, once more, where there applaud coming from the castle as David makes his way through the doors. He is next seen kneeling before King Arthur, as the latter holds out a sword, dubbing David of the Enchanted Forest now a Knight of the Round Table. As Arthur performs the ceremony, David's friends and family, along with other Camelot royals watch. The King admits that David's new title must be pale in comparison to that of a prince, but David denies this, stating that he is beyond honored. "Then rise, Sir Knight, and take your place," Arthur exclaims, which David goes to do. Arthur stops him, however, pointing at a different seat than the one he originally thought - the Siege Perilous. "Really?" David questions, to which Arthur states he never thought he'd find someone he trusts enough to fill that seat, but it's his. The ceremony continues as David makes his way past those who gathered, where Arthur now stands at the seat. Queen Guinevere dresses the seat, and David and Arthur shake hands, to which the latter comments that it's not bad for a shepherd. As the two chuckle, David thanks his new friend, and finally takes a seat; everyone applauds.
Re Lancelot, nevermind how.
Everyone applauds except Mary Margaret though, who, though proud of her husband, has to momentarily exit the room to tend to Prince Neal, who now cries in her arms. Rocking him in her arms, outside of the room of the Round Table, she sees from the corner of her eye someone run by. "Is someone there?" the Princess questions, looking up, only for an old face to emerge from around the corner. "It can't be..." Mary Margaret exclaims, but it is. Lancelot approaches his old friend, who is surprised to see he's alive; he states that it's a long story, but for Mary Margaret to trust her eyes that it's him. He moves on though, stating that what matters is that right now there is a terrible villain in Camelot; however, Mary Margaret believes him to be referring to the Dark One, which she reveals is her daughter, but that they're going to fix it. "No," Lancelot reveals though, "there's another villain: Arthur." This confuses the Princess, but Lancelot begs for Mary Margaret to trust him; "Camelot is not what it seems." Mary Margaret looks back through the doors as Arthur and the rest of the crowd clap and cheer for David; she now wears the look of distrust.
Arthur reveals his betrayal.
Evening has befallen Camelot, and Arthur sits at the Round Table, as Guinevere stands by his side. "Today was a difficult day," the King sighs, pulling out a white cloth, which, when unfolded, reveals the Crimson Crown, revealing Arthur to have stolen it. Guinevere's surprised; "You lied to him, to David." Arthur replies that it brought him no pleasure, for he is a good man, a noble man, but the King must think of his kingdom first. There's a moment of silence, but Guinevere smiles, placing her hand on her husband's shoulder, stating that of course he must. As he wraps the toadstool back up in the cloth, Arthur states that it's always the burden of being the King.
Grif very explicitly recounts his orders given by Arthur.
Back in the present day, at the sheriff's station, Grif sits, detained in a cell. He is soon joined by King Arthur, however, reassuring the poor squire as he stands to his feet, panicking, for he does not understand what's going on - he only did what the King asked, taking the items he requested, and claiming that there may have been a bean even though the two of them knew for sure that there never was, and he did it exactly as Arthur said; "Can you please let me out now?" Arthur lets the squire down though, telling him not just yet, for there may have not been a bean, but they can't have them learning that. Grif agrees, and Arthur continues that they trust him now, so he must use their trust to protect his kingdom; "These people may seem friendly, but they threaten everything we hold dear." Pointing at a picture pinned to the bullitin board of Emma and David, back when they worked as sheriffs together, Arthur states that the Prince likes to think of his quest as a noble one, but his daughter is the Dark One. Arthur reveals to Grif that they lied to them in Camelot, bringing her into their castle, and are responsible for tearing them away from their home, which they must now reclaim. "How will we ever get back without a bean?" Grif questions, but Arthur reveals he is afraid they cannot get back, which is why they must build a new Camelot there, in Storybrooke.
Grif commits suicide for the sake of Camelot.
Grif is surprised, and assures Arthur that he can trust him to help, stating that he would do anything for his kingdom, which Arthur knows, adding that he would as well, which is why he needs him to drink something in particular: a bottle of poison from the Agrabahn Vipers. "But why? I won't tell these people a thing," Grif promises. Arthur believes he wouldn't at his own free will, but the folks in Storybrooke have magic on their side, and in time they will make him talk. Grif believes there must be some other way, but Arthur denies this, though wishing there was. He continues that though Grif wished to sit at the Round Table one day, he can now have something greater: a chance to die in service to Camelot; "Your death will be a cornerstone to a great, new kingdom... if you take this." Arthur opens the bottle, but Grif still remains hesitant, not sure if he should go through with it or not. He makes his decision though; "To Camelot," he proclaims, drinking the poison. Arthur takes the squires hand as he begins to choke, and once grabbing the bottle back, Grif falls to the ground, dead, and disappears in a puff of green smoke. "For Camelot..." Arthur says to himself.
Hook goes to Robin for help.
Meanwhile, Hook arrives back at Granny's Diner where he sees Robin in a booth, having a meal alone. "Good, you're still here," the Pirate exclaims, taking the seat opposite to the former Thief. "Do you need me?" Robin asks, to which Hook confirms, stating that he wants to know what's behind the door in Emma's place. "I take it asking her didn't work," Robin comments, to which Hook responds that she's beyond that, and that he needs a thief. "Former thief, those days are behind me," Robin corrects, but Hook argues, "Take it from a former pirate, those days are never behind you. Will you help me?" Before Robin can answer though, Belle comes running into the diner, with the magic rose in tow. Making her way to the counter, she asks Granny if she has her lunch ready, to which the diner owner confirms, handing her a wrapped up sandwich on a plate, but states she'll need more than that, and asks that she sit down for some real food.
Rumple's fate comes into question.
Belle shakes her head though, stating that she can't; however, her attention is soon directed at the rose, and the petals continue to fall off. Belle apologizes, but tells Granny to forget about the soup she ordered, for she needs to get back to Rumple. "Hang on," Granny calls out though, questioning, "is it supposed to do that?" Belle looks back at the flowers, and realizes the petals are growing back, meaning the former Dark One is waking up. In shock, Belle drops the plate containing her meal, shattering it, and she runs out the door of the diner. Making her way back to the pawn shop, running to the back row, out of breath, Belle is taken by surprise when she looks at the cot Rumple's comatose body has been sleeping on the past several weeks, only to see that he's gone.
"You know, he doesn't look too good, if I do say so myself," the Darkness in the form of Rumplestiltskin exclaims, watching over the real Rumple, who lies asleep in the basement of Emma's home. Emma pulls out the sword she stole from Hook, however, to which the vision of darkness comments that it's quite a stroke of luck that she found something that touched him when he was a man. "It wasn't luck, I worked hard for this," Emma argues, which the darkness accepts, stating that Emma crushed Hook's heart even more firmly under her "impractical boot heel". The Dark One demand the voice inside her head be quiet, as she uses her magic to crush the sword into pieces, spilling it over a sleeping Rumple. She watches as he begins to wake up.
Belle, meanwhile, back in the pawn shop, continues to examine the magic rose as it has fully rebuilt itself. She's clearly scared, not knowing what this means, exactly.
Rumple is awoken to become a hero.
Rumple comes to, fully awakening before Emma. Immediately realizing what has happened, seeing the Savior in her new attire, realizing she's been fully darkened, and is the new Dark One, he begins sitting up, sliding back a bit in fear. "What do you want from me?" he asks; "You are the Dark One now, not me." As Emma looks over at the vision of Rumple, which still stands by her side, watching her, smiling a wicked smile, she tells the former Dark One that he's right - he is not dark, he is also not light, he is nothing - but this also makes him in fact useful to her. As Emma takes a seat by Rumple, appearing to frighten him a bit, she reveals that the reason this now makes him useful is because now she can make him into the last thing that he ever thought he would be: a hero, and not just any hero, the purest who's ever lived. As she goes to continue, the Dark One looks up at the vision of Rumple, who smiles and nods that she continue. Not knowing what it is Emma's looking at, Rumple looks up as well, confused. She continues though, stating that once making him a hero, she'll have a job for him...
- The title card of this episode features trees from Brocéliande.
- According to Jane Espenson, whenever re-writes were made to the script, the first thing she would do is make sure the line regarding the Doctoberfest Cup was not removed.
- The scenes between Emma and Hook were meant to take place on the deck of the Jolly Roger, but due to budget reasons, their scenes were moved to inside the ship.
- The line about Merlin being in the tree, "...snap off a twig and it turns into a finger..." was pitched in the writers' room by Andrew Chambliss.
- Though the character of Grif was originally named "Griflet" in the Arthurian Legend, writer Jane Espenson changed it because she thought it "sounded weird".
- The sword Hook claims to have threatened Rumplestiltskin with is not the same sword used in "The Crocodile".
- The title of this episode was officially confirmed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on July 30, 2015.
The episode's numbers remained steady with a 1.6/5 among 18-49s with 5.28 million viewers tuning in, despite a slight drop from the previous episode, but good enough to win its timeslot.
- Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly said, "Okay, look. I had Arthur pegged as sketchy the moment he seemed to be okay with Charming going over the water by himself, but I should’ve started side-eyeing him when he gleefully suggested that Guinevere and Snow should be pitted against each other. Charming would never!"
- Amy Ratcliffe of IGN said of the episode, "Tonight's Once put some important pawns into place with Arthur's villainy (and Lancelot) and Gold's return to the world. Those two points have promise. Aside from that, the episode meandered. David and Arthur's chemistry was flat, and Emma was robotic."
- In a review from Rickey.org, Nick Roman said, "“Siege Perilous” is certainly as good a starting point as any for Once Upon A Time to once again explore what makes a hero."
- Gwen Inhat of The A.V. Club gave the episode a positive review, giving it a B+. She notes "We have writer/producer Jane Espenson to thank for this episode’s script, her first of this season."
- Christine Orlando of TV Fanatic gave the episode a 4.0 out of 5 stars.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Jane Espenson tweet #1.
- ↑ Jane Espenson tweet #2.
- ↑ Jane Espenson tweet #3.
- ↑ Jane Espenson tweet #4.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time recap: Siege Perilous", by Hilary Busis, Entertainment Weekly (October 11, 2015)
- ↑ Once Upon a Time: "Siege Perilous" Review, by Amy Ratcliffe, IGN (October 12, 2015)
- ↑ "Once Upon A Time’ Review: ‘Siege Perilous’ Is An Hour of Intrigue, Double Crosses", by Nick Roman, Rickey.org (October 11, 2015)
- ↑ Once Upon A Time: "Siege Perilous", by Gwen Inhat, The A.V. Club (October 11, 2015)
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 4 Review: Siege Perilous", by Christine Orlando, TV Fanatic (October 11, 2015)