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Once Upon a Time: Siege Perilous

“I don’t want to only be remembered as the man who kissed a sleeping princess awake thirty years ago.”

David is such an important character in theory. It’s his love story with Snow that started all of this, and the two of them hold the dysfunctional Once fam together. But when David’s thrust front and centre it never really works because he doesn’t stand out as an interesting character in his own right. Like so many Charming centric episodes before it, ‘Siege Perilous’ suffers because it’s all about David being a hero (and not a whole lot else) and there’s never really much to talk about. However, the episode attempts to combat that by using newer, less admirable characters to help beef out the plot, to mixed results.

We start out in Camelot with Regina proposing a spell to communicate with Merlin, still trapped in a tree, but to do that they needed a magic toadstool for it to work (I didn’t realise how ridiculous that sounded until I typed it out). The quest to recover the Crimson Crown seemed pointless in the end since it was stolen by Arthur and Team Swan was sent back to square one, but though its significance may come to light later on, it seems like the journey to get it was the most important part right now. There were a few interesting takes on heroism and what it means to both David and Arthur, who seemed to have a lot of respect for each other initially, and bonded over their experiences as princes and supposed figures of good.

As the episode unfolded, we learned that Arthur isn’t as nice as he first seemed, using David’s good nature to help recover the Crimson Crown for his own use, something that played into the present day when David stumbled upon it after ferreting out a supposed thief amongst Arthur’s men. I’m not sure what to think of Arthur’s plan to use his man as a scapegoat. He may have coerced his subject into taking the fall for his scheme, but he does raise some good questions about David and their lies to his men when they first got to Camelot. Of course, forcing him to poison himself to keep Arthur’s secrets was a step too far. We also have Lancelot’s odd appearance and warning for Snow. Does all this factor into the events that lead to Emma turning dark?

David finding the Crimson Crown on the ground in the present was a little flimsy, and Mary Margaret praising his success even flimsier. All he did was run around Storybrooke chasing down some nervous idiot on horseback before fluking onto something in Arthur’s camp. I get that they were trying to tie it into his similar realisation in Camelot six weeks previous to these events, but it didn’t work for me. He didn’t do anything spectacular. Why does that make him a hero?


The chalice David used to identify the thief was used for Doc’s birthday party, and had “Doctoberfest” stamped on it. It’s about the only funny dwarf relating gag the show has had in a very long time.

Emma and Hook’s meeting on his ship was strange. She made a lot of fair points and comparisons to Rumple’s situation which Hook shook off in anger. I wonder if that will be addressed again or if we’re supposed to side with Hook on this.

Gold stars for Jennifer Morrison this week. I’m really into the Dark Swan now.

Zelena hasn’t made much progress in letting the spoiled brat in her go. Hopefully we’ll get a Wicked Witch episode soon to change that.

He Said, She Said

Mary Margaret: “In any world, you are my hero.”

Though I wasn’t sold on David’s role this week, the story at large is still working for the most part. Emma’s turn as the Dark One is getting pretty entertaining, as is her plan to use Rumple’s “blank slate” to get Excalibur free from the stone. With Arthur manipulating behind the scenes, it could be interesting to see how everything comes together. I’m glad we got out mandatory David episode out of the way before it does.

2.5 out of 5 Crimson Crowns

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. I did enjoy David clotheslining the thief on horseback with a two-by-four. Of course in reality that might have killed him. I wonder if the security cameras in the Sheriff's station were turned on and if King Arthur knows what security cameras are?

  2. I forgot to mention my favorite part of the episode:

    Robin: It's a picture from up inside Zelena.
    Hook: Whoa! Mate!



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