1. Charming and Arthur went out on a quest and bonded. Then we learned of Arthur's treachery. How do you see this playing out? What has made Arthur so obsessed with saving Camelot?
Teresa: I really enjoyed these scenes. Charming was finally featured! I don't think that Arthur is quite the villain he seems. At some point, yet to be revealed, he maybe was a "desperate soul" who started down a less honorable path in which he he didn't quite expect to find himself. I can see this leading to an ephipany and a subsequent heroic act which will free Merlin..
Mauri: I think Charming will catch on eventually. I'm glad Lancelot showed up. I think Arthur has gone mad. I'm also wondering if the people of Camelot are already dead like in the movie The Sixth Sense, and the magic in Storybrooke is keeping up their illusion.
Francesca: I think Lancelot has a role to play in all this, and we have not yet seen all the clues to reveal Arthur's true purpose for saving Camelot, and Guinevere seems just has devious. I did like the scenes between Arthur and David on their quest for the Crimson Crown.
Lori: One section of dialogue said it all for me. Arthur defines the nature of a quest as a search for something, and it is the search, not the finding, that is important. This is a major theme of medieval romance (and I don't mean romance in the modern sense of genre - medieval romance was literature focusing on chivalric deeds and quests, maybe with some courtly unrequited love thrown in to spice things up). And then Arthur throws this ideal on its head by stating if the finding is important for his kingdom then that is what matters to him. In true OUAT fashion, Arthur is not the ideal philosopher-king of Sir Thomas Malory's story, but a "real" person, much like the other fairy tale characters, made up of both heroic and villainous traits. (By the way, treachery was the utmost sin of the Middle Ages - Dante saved his final circle of Hell for traitors - so Arthur is treading on perilous ground here. No pun intended.) I simply cannot see Arthur as a full-on villain yet, no matter what Lancelot says. The Celtic idea of kingship was a sovereignty of the land: the king was tied to the land, literally and symbolically, and was expected to make sacrifices and decisions for the good of his kingdom. You can see this symbiotic relationship in the Wasteland of the Grail legends; the king of the land is maimed (usually in the thigh or groin), and thus the land itself is parched and barren. Arthur may be following this sovereignty, but to what extreme . . . in a real, flawed person, attempting to hold to this kingship ideal may lead to an "end justifies the means" mentality and single-mindedness. I think we saw this already in Arthur convincing his page to drink poison for the good of Camelot. To me, so far it is an interesting exploration of King Arthur as a flawed human leader rather than a literary ideal
Amy: I think Arthur has been manipulated, and that he truly believes he is saving his kingdom and all he loves. He seems like such a smarmy jerk at the end of the episode, but I still feel like Shady Guinevere has something to do with all this. The Charmings are clever though, and I see them catching on pretty quickly to Arthur's shenanigans.
2. "Love Is A Weapon" we've been told and Emma used it last Sunday. Hook was notably rattled. Thoughts on this pivotal scene.
Mauri: I knew Hook's sword was the missing ingredient for Belle's spell! I was moved by Hook's declaration of how much he's changed. He and Regina have really tried to improve themselves over the last couple of seasons.
Francesca: I think Emma truly wishes that Hook would love her as she is the Dark One, but she is still manipulative in order to get what she wants: joining the Dagger and Excalibur to eliminate the light magic.
Lori: Hook is right. Emma is not herself, and she is not in there, hiding, waiting to get out. What was her has been twisted by darkness, even though I believe she still loves Hook. But like Rumple in the Enchanted Forest, power is important above all else to her now. It's really hard to see her as the Dark One, for me, and to remember what her motives are, whereas with Rumple/Gold I always expected he had a trick up his sleeve. When she had the sword in her hand, it took me a moment to click.
Amy: I thought it was beautiful actually. I have always thought that Hook was good eye- candy. (Love me a man in guyliner!) I didn't really feel like the Emma/Hook relationship made too much sense in the beginning, but I really feel like their journey together, and apart, has definitely grown on me. Hook didn't make the easy choice, he made the difficult one in this episode. This says to me that he's not giving up on the true Emma. I thought this scene was lovely. Emma's eyes were a little teary by the end and even though it was all a ploy for the sword, I believe she is still conflicted.
Teresa: It was an amazing scene! Wow! Dark Emma was harsh, manipulating Hook! Plot and publicity wise, I was floored that CaptainSwan got Rumbelled; a true break from the pattern for this ship. I feel for their fans, but on the other hand, I think it's high time that CaptainSwan earns their True Love as other couples have had to--complete with a months-long separation. This could lead to the moment to show WHY people should root for CaptainSwan rather than tell us we should. Hook has loved Emma when she was easy to love. Does he love her when it's difficult? Can he? Does he have the fortitude True Love requires? This scene opened up these questions for me, and I love that it did! Moreover, Hook admitting he was wrong when he bullied Rumple was a giant step forward for him. While I'm trying not to get my hopes up, I feel this moment on the Jolly Roger could be the start of Hook turning a corner and really understanding his "Crocodile" and hence himself by facing what it truly means to change. Hook still has a long way to go, but I can see him moving towards a truly unselfish act--apart from Emma-- in which he re-earns the name "Killian", the man we first met in the superb episode "Good Form." He doesn't need to become besties with other fan favorites to show his strength. He can show us on his own. Colin is a fantastic actor, as evidenced in this scene, and I think if given the chance, he can shine and blow us all away. High drama is so close I can taste it!
3. Gold is now awake, kidnapped and the savior! How do you see this playing out?
Francesca: I like that Gold is back, but I do not think he is the Savior/Hero to help Emma remove Excalibur. I think in the end Henry will be the Hero.
Lori: Oh dear Lord. (Or should I say OMG - Oh My Gold?) All I know is I don't think I could take watching him revert to cowardly behavior. It was painful to watch in Season 1 and would be even more painful now.
Amy: This is going to be Belle's moment to shine. I feel like she will take lead on finding Gold. Emma said he is not good, or evil, just a blank slate. I see Emma coaching him, manipulating things so that he does in fact become that hero. She needs him to pull Excalibur out of the stone, and only a true hero can do that. I do not believe Emma is all bad right now. I think she has that constant fight within her going on. She is so much fun to watch, LOVE the Dark Swan!
Teresa: I, like Amy, think a great direction for Belle is at hand. Fans have waited years for Belle to come truly into her own, as well as an "unconditionally-together-moment" with Rumple. I also think Rumbelle really needs to quit being Rumbelled. It's getting old and rather depressing. Isn't it finally time for hope rather than dashed-hopes for our Beauty and her Beast? That fairy tale is theirs, and I hope they get the moment I believe is due them before the hiatus.
Mauri: I'm not really sure what Gold will choose to do.
4. More "sisterly love" between Zelena and Regina then a scene with Robin and his baby's picture. Where do you see this leading?
Lori: Nowhere good. I wish they would just let her go back to Oz. And as much as I loved seeing Regina channel her Evil Queen, she needs to watch it with Zelena. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If Zelena is that desperate for love, maybe some kindness would go a long way. Or maybe not. Zelena is a viper waiting to strike, always. I wonder if Regina has in the back of her mind that she herself could not have a child, and if that is fueling any of her motivation to just take the baby away from Zelena.
Amy: I think it is just indication that Robin is a good father. Tons of people have babies (in real life) with people they don't really care for or even end up liking. I feel like this is a step to show that whatever happens between parents should never influence the love or care of a child. I think it is amazing for ONCE to put that in the show.
Teresa: Perhaps Regina needs to be rather careful at how harsh she is with Zelena? She's our beloved Evil Queen, but she too blew her second-second chance in 4b when she stole Lily's blood, and, far worse, victimized Belle again by stealing her heart . . . even viciously squeezing it! That betrayal is the "elephant in the room" in her scenes, as is her still unconfessed violation and murder of Graham which was far more grave than Zelena's of Robin. I can see these actions coming out and being a way that Emma may justify her choice to go dark. Perhaps Dark Emma will observe that evil deeds appear to be forgiven and forgotten (with the notable exception of Rumple). I can see Vision Rumple messing with her on this. The scene with Robin was positive to me. He loves his baby no matter how he feels about the mother or the circumstances in which the baby was conceived. While I wish this plot had never happened, I found this scene fascinating.
Mauri: I'm hoping Zelena reconciles with Regina and gives her the baby, and then goes away.
Francesca: Zelena to Regina - "I see one sister with all the toys." This relationship for me has become tiresome, too much Melrose Place. Robin's character is not convincing. I'm sorry to say this because I love Regina and Robin's chemistry and they have come so far on their journey to find love, I feel this plot line needs help! I see this leading to more arguing between the two sisters.
5. Favorite Moments.
Amy: Dark Swan and Rumple together in the Excalibur room. Jennifer Morrison was perfect and Robert Carlyle was amazing at playing yet another facet of Rumple/Gold. I also found the Dwarf/Emma moments in the mine to be fantastic!
Teresa: Anything with Robert Carlyle and Jennifer Morrison together. Amazing! I also love the moment when Charming got his coat of arms and his theme was played. I've missed Charming!
Mauri: My favorite moment was the scenes between Emma and Hook on the Jolly Roger.
Francesca: I like the CGI of the armored knights coming out of the water fighting with David while he was crossing the wooden pathway.
Lori: I LOVED the quest for the "crimson crown." The setting was spectacular and the armor rising from the water was perfect. Just great medieval fantasy right there. None shall pass.
6. Favorite Quotes.
Teresa: "I wished him well, just not with my wife."~Arthur on Lancelot.
Francesca: "You are occasionally a genius."~ Regina to Snow
Amy: "It's a picture, from up inside Zelena."~Robin "WHOA, Mate!"~Hook
7. Anything Else?
Teresa: I am beyond pleased that Belle is being Belle: deep into books and presenting her research, a solid character on her terms, and most of all, has had her dignity restored and is the classy yet magnificently nerdy character I loved so much seasons 1-3. It's as though Season 4 "Belle" never existed, and I couldn't be happier about that!
Francesca: How does Arthur drive a car when he is from Camelot where there are only horses?
Lori: I loved that car/horse chase scene!!! And Charming "jousting" with the plywood was awesome! It reminded me of a similar, favorite scene of mine - in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, on the motorbikes!
One note on Siege Perilous: in Malory, that chair was ordained for Sir Galahad, the son of Lancelot and the knight who achieves the Grail, Galahad being of course a knight of almost unearthly perfection (indeed, after he alone is granted access to see the Grail, he is lifted bodily up to heaven). I don't mind so much that OUAT decided to put Charming in that chair. I really enjoyed how Charming was itching to be himself, to fulfill his identity as a questing hero, something he has not had a chance to do in a while. I got a kick out of seeing him so proud in that chair.
Amy: I adore Dark Swan. She is fabulous. I do not for a minute believe that she is all dark. I don't think Emma CAN tell everyone what happened in Camelot.. I think she is working things in order to save those she loves right now.