Lancelot’s betrayal is shed into a new light in the new episode of Once Upon A Time.
“The Broken Kingdom” gives some insight on how Camelot came to be. Most of the episode takes place fives years before the characters in Storybrooke lost their memories when Arthur became king with some references to when Arthur was just a young lad.
Episode four opens with a young Arthur and Guinevere. Arthur leads Guinevere to a tree. He tells her that Merlin is trapped in the tree. Which gives us some context on how that poor dude has been stuck in there a long time. Arthur says Merlin told him he would be king and Guinevere would be his queen. Arthur promises to plant a lot of pink flowers for her when he becomes king.
Five weeks before the memory loss in Camelot:
David (Josh Dallas) has been summoned by Arthur (Liam Garrigan) to discuss some serious matters. Arthur finally tells him the sword is not whole and that he needs the Dark One’s dagger. Arthur wants David to help him find it. What Arthur doesn’t know is the dagger is actually in his castle and David, his right-hand man, knows its exact location.
In the sleeping quarters, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) hears more voices. This time it’s not only Rumplestiltskin, but the dagger that's whispering to her. The whispers lead her straight to the dagger. Under the command of Rumplestiltskin’s apparition, she tries to take the dagger. She can’t touch it because Regina (Lana Parrilla) put a spell on it. I knew that seemed too easy. Regina is way too smart to just leave the dagger in plain sight unprotected.
Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) swoops in and sees her on the floor. Emma tells Hook, “He’s inside my head. I can’t get him out.” You know it’s bad when real-life storybook characters that constantly do deeds normal people would deem insane, believe that one of their own is going mad. A mental institution for all of them.
David is convinced that Arthur can help them if he can “come clean” and hand over the dagger. Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) on the other hand doesn’t trust Arthur after the discussion she had with the thought-to-be-dead Lancelot (Sinqua Walls). Mary Margaret and David get into a heated argument over it. I’m siding with Mary Margaret on this one. Arthur is a pretty sketchy guy. He might be trying to use David as a way to infiltrate the group and get to the bottom of why they’re really in Camelot.
Camelot five years earlier:
Arthur is going berserk trying to find the Dark One’s dagger. Arthur believes Merlin is testing him by leading him to “a broken sword to mend a broken kingdom.” He has locked himself in his house and won’t even go to party with his beloved wife. Of course that is frustrating Guinevere, so what does she do? She turns to her husband’s best friend, Lancelot. Here comes the real story of how Lancelot betrayed Arthur.
While Lancelot and Guinevere dance at the party, Arthur excitedly tells them that he found the location of the dagger and it’s only a day's ride away. Imagine that! After Arthur leaves, a furious Guinevere retrieves a magic gauntlet that will point her to the real dagger. Why are there so many magical items? My brain is going to explode if they introduce any more.
She and Lancelot set off on a quest to fetch the dagger. The gauntlet takes them to the Dark One’s vault. When they open it, black goo oozes from it. Stairs that lead into darkness are unveiled. Lancelot and Guinevere descend into a dark, danky dungeon. All of a sudden, dark spirits, the same ones that attacked Emma and made her dark, surround Lancelot. Guinevere acts quickly and removes a torch from the cavern’s wall and sends the evil spirits back to where they came from. In a heat of passion, Guinevere kisses Lancelot. So it was Guinevere who betrayed Arthur, not Lancelot
Five years later:
David tells Arthur the truth. “We’re going to restore the excalibur tonight,” David says. He also lets Arthur know that Emma is the Dark One. Arthur promises David he will help Emma once they repair the excalibur. Arthur has lied a lot and I’m pretty sure he’s lying again. He has no intentions of helping Emma. Guinevere has been lurking in the shadows, listening to David and Arthur’s conversation and emerges when David mentions that Lancelot is suspected to be alive. Guinevere doesn’t want anything to do with Lancelot. David proceeds to tell them that he has the dagger. He takes out the box he kept it in and ... it’s missing.
The camera cuts to Mary Margaret. She’s walking up to Granny’s restaurant — which they traveled within the tornado to get to Camelot a week before — in the middle of the forest. She walks in and Lancelot steps forward. “There is something we have to hide,” she says as she pulls out the dagger. Oh no. This is not going to end well. It’s never good when Mary Margret and David work against one another.
Meanwhile, Hook and Henry take Emma to a remote location to escape from the evil temptations in the castle. Emma confesses to Hook that she sees and hears Rumpleestiltskin's voice and that’s what convinces her to follow the darkness. Hook wants to distract her, so he takes her horseback riding.
Five years earlier:
After their passionate kiss, Lancelot and Guinevere approach the door that the dagger is hidden behind. When they open it, they are taken to a secluded place surrounded by jungle. The dagger is laying on a pedestal right in front of them. Again, this seems way too easy. When they go to pick up the dagger, it throws them backward, just like all of the other protection spells. Rumplestiltskin, who is the Dark One at the time, materializes. He sees that Guinevere possess the magical gauntlet of Merlin and proposes a trade. But instead of giving her the dagger, he gives her sand that mends anything that is broken. She has every intention of using it on the excalibur so that she can have her husband back. I’m sure her plan, like all the others thus far, is going to fail miserably.
Five years later:
Lancelot and Mary Margaret arrive at the Dark One’s vault and take the same steps he and Guinevere took five years earlier, minus the make out sesh. When they get to the part in the jungle, Mary Margaret remembers the place from a vision she had. In the vision, a young Emma extracts her heart and crushes it. That signifies the darkness that has always threatened to consume Emma.
As Mary Margaret is about to return the dagger to its rightful place, Arthur shows up. He’s been following them the entire time! The dude just keeps getting creepier and creepier. Arthur sees Lancelot and is about to kill him when Mary Margaret hands over the dagger. What is she doing?! Why is she giving up so easily?! That is uncharacteristic of her. Arthur unveils another part of his evil plan — He wants Emma to restore the excalibur and release Merlin so that he can kill him and remove all darkness from their realm and be praised as the greatest king of all time. When he summons Emma, she doesn’t come. The sword is fake! In comes David. Mary Margaret and David have been working together the whole time!
Five years earlier:
Guinevere returns to her husband. She says she found the dagger. In a fit of crazed excitement, Arthur seizes her bag and rummages through to find nothing. Guinevere confesses that she was going to use the magical sand to make it look as if the sword had been fixed in order to ease Arthur’s mind. “You have to stop trying to mend that sword or your kingdom and your marriage will be broken,” Guinevere says. Arthur snatches the sand from Guinevere’s hands. He throws it in the air between him and Guinevere and expects it to fix their broken marriage. This obviously wouldn’t work, right? Wrong. Guinevere is completely brainwashed now! Not only does he use the sand to fix his marriage, he also uses it on his kingdom! Before our eyes, a fortress is erected. I need some of this magical sand in my own life.
Back at Granny’s five years later, Mary Margaret, David and Lancelot have Arthur held captive. They are about to combine the excalibur and dagger when two of Arthur’s knights and Guinevere appear. She frees Arthur and orders the knights to lock up Lancelot. Guinevere wants Mary Margaret and David to help. There is no way they will help! Guinevere pulls out a small tube with sand in it — the magical sand. She blows on it and it lands on Mary Margaret and David. Great, now they’re brainwashed, too.
In the dungeon, Lancelot hears the voice of another prisoner. By the sounds of it, it’s a female voice. “An enemy of Arthur is probably a friend of mine.” The voice belongs to Merida (Amy Manson). The only logical conclusion is that Arthur was the one who kidnapped her brothers and when she tried to rescue them, she was caught and put in captivity.
While all of these serious events are happening, Emma and Hook are having the best date ever. He takes her to a field full of pink flowers. The same type of flower Arthur gave Guinevere. Emma has managed to force out Rumplestiltskin’s voice with the help of Hook.
The camera shifts to Emma holding one of the pink flowers in present day Storybrooke. The flower proves that a part of her still loves Hook and wants to be with him. It could also mean that she wants to go back to the way things were when she was the savior. She is talking to Rumple whom she has tied up. When he refuses to help her, she says she has to go get her secret weapon. I wonder who or what that could be. Hopefully not another magical possession. Emma walks to a tunnel toward her yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Tied to her bumper is Merida. Emma says to her, “I know a coward and I need you to make him like you. I need you to make him brave.”
Once Upon a Time loves to make simple, not very subtle, allusions to the original movies or books that the characters come from. Sometimes those can be quite humorous. Other times, it is just downright unnecessary and annoying. The Brave reference is that of the latter. Do they really need to say she’s brave? I’m sure her actions speak for themselves. What made it worse was they ended the show with that. The only positive aspect is Merida’s back and that we can expect a lot more drama and fighting in the upcoming episodes.
Once Upon A Time airs every Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.