‘The Broken Kingdom’ is full of contrived events and forced character beats. There’s very little about Arthur and Guinevere’s past that felt organic, and while the story itself is interesting, the execution of this week’s flashbacks left a lot to be desired.
Bringing Lancelot back into the fold, however flimsy the reasons for it are was a good decision on the writers’ part. He adds a bit of familiarity to Arthur and Guinevere’s history that, to us seasoned Once viewers, is full of new faces and unknown dynamics. I even like the idea that Guinevere fell for Lancelot when Arthur was too preoccupied with fulfilling his duty to make Camelot a true kingdom.
Unfortunately, the whole thing felt rushed and awkward. Lancelot and Guinevere falling for one another happened too quickly and Arthur’s descent into madness was difficult to comprehend. I think that the history itself sounds good on paper, but this episode really missed the mark in terms of execution and selling the events to the audience.
I liked that we didn’t see much of present day Storybrooke this week, though. Keeping the episode locked into the 6 weeks previous scenes, and Arthur and Guinevere’s flashbacks was clearly a better option than trying to cram in development in the present day just for the sake of it. That being said, I am anxious to head back to it next week to see how Emma’s plan to use Rumple and Merida works out (yay for obligatory Disney references!).
I love that Guinevere fought off the Darkness with fire. If it was as easy as that why didn’t team Charming think of it?
How long did Emma have Merida chained to the front of her bug? Since she got back? Did she feed her? How did she pee?
If Arthur and Guinevere grew up together, why is her accent still so strong when she’s an adult?
He Said, She Said
Guinevere: “Stop trying to mend that sword or your marriage, and your kingdom, will be broken forever.”
Arthur: “And what if I can’t?”
Guinevere: “Then I’ll follow my heart.”
Emma: “You see there’s a guy I know - you wouldn’t like him he’s a real coward - but for me to get what I want that needs to change. I need you to make him just like you. I need you to make him Brave (tm).”
I think there’s a lot more that can be done with the Dark Swan arc, but the Camelot dribble is causing it to lose its way. If the show can start to sell the inclusion of these characters a bit better, and use them in a more streamlined way, then we can start to enjoy their part in the Dark Swan saga. Until that happens, I will continue to roll my eyes every time Arthur mentions rebuilding Camelot in a tiny village in Maine.
2 out of 5 fake daggers
Originally posted at PandaTV.
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