The Perilous Seat is David’s chance at the big kids’ table. The writers play musical chairs. And Arthur carries a torch for David.
Michael’s “Always… no, no… never… forget to check your references.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
We more or less get this scene. Whistling. No lyrics.
And Happy comes close enough to The Fellowship of the Ring for government work.
Emma: “You guys sure you don’t want me to just wiggle my nose and get ‘im oughta that tree?”
Tonight on Once Upon a Time, King Arthur and Prince Charming go foraging for psychoactive mushrooms so that their wives can, no, no, really, talk to trees. I can’t even.
In Arthurian legend, the Siege Perilous is a vacant seat at the Round Table reserved by Merlin for the knight who would one day be successful in the quest for the Holy Grail. The Siege Perilous is so strictly reserved that it is fatal to anyone else who sits in it. Once is substituting Excalibur.
They demonstrated that by dusting Sir Kay and lampshaded its importance by allowing Percival, the original occupant before Galahad, to die.
Then played some, ahem, musical chairs to place Lancelot in the seat prior to his moral turpitude and left Percival’s seat open as a placeholder.
The Little Mermaid
Zelena does a little ahh-ahh-ahh and comments on her light and feminine voice when Regina releases it. Since Regina posed as Ursula and reenacted the plot in 3×06 “Ariel,” it’s especially amusing.
“The Apprentice” (4×04)
The Dark One dons the first date dress to lull Killian. You know, the date where Hook’s hand was purportedly “evil” and he became a patsy for the Dark One? Sometimes the self-referential stuff is the best.
The Once and Future King
The notion that Arthur needs a two ton table to remind him to be humble comes from this version of the story.
Arthur’s squire, Grif, is a canonical character that was one of Arthur’s earliest allies and chief advisors. It’ looking like the more truly pure and loyal a character was, the more likely he will be to die, and die early, in this arc.
Folklore of the Sea
Not really an explicit reference, but black trunks were believed to bring bad luck aboard ships. So when they brought out the reliquary and it was jet black, it was obvious it was shady.
Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments
Quest, ho! It’s time to declare a new ship: King Charming! And it was the best ship of the episode by far.
David declares it’s questing time when the womenfolk need a super-magic toadstool to talk to tree-Merlin. Arthur invites himself along, and since he’s king, David allows it. On the way, Arthur literally carries a torch for David. They walkabout in the atmospheric darkness of the forest and share admirations of their wives to cover their clear attraction to each other. Arthur suggests having their women compete with bows and arrows, and when David shoots that idea down, Arthur suggests, “Perhaps there are better ways for me to show off.”
When David is beset by undead water knights, Arthur comes to his aid. Back in Camelot, David is awarded the special tall chair for the knight with the purest heart. Arthur gives that seat to all his knightly lovers–see former seat-holder, Lancelot.
Oh, Killian, let go of the hate. Nevermind, Emma’s just using you anyway.
So Emma plays with Killian’s heart to get her hands on the cutlass that touched pre-Dark One Rumple’s neck. She plays with audience hearts too by using the set up of their first date. BUT recall that in that episode, Hook had to fight his own darkness in the form of his “evil” reattached hand. So inversion here, though Emma’s using her darkness, not fighting it.
Emma: “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: “I loved you.”
Of course, that’s Hook’s conflict. He hates the Dark One habitually. He loves Emma…but unconditionally? Apparently not if she’s the Dark One. So the question of the scene and of his inner turmoil is whether the Dark One is still Emma.
But don’t worry. Spoilers for 5×04 have surfaced that are causing the Captain Swan shippers to explode with glee.
Robin not only will throw himself in harm’s way for Regina, he’ll also make her tea. And be lovely and reassuring.
Also, Robin confides in Killian that he’s excited about the baby. But he does NOT want Regina to know that. Hrm.
OMG THE ROSE THE ROSE!
Belle, who has been holding vigil via rose, heads into Granny’s for a spot of dinner. While in there, the rose drops all its leaves (ack!) but then magically restores them (WHA?!). Belle hightails it for the pawn shop to hopefully greet an awake Rumple. BUT HE’S GONE! (He’s in Emma’s hands now. They’ll never escape the Dark One.)
David is feeling helpless in the fight to save Emma. The women are all about unlocking the magic, but David’s got nothing to swing a sword at. Mary Margaret reassures him as best she can that he’s still her hero. They kiss.
But then we get to see both Prince Charming and Sheriff David parallel quest. In Storybrooke, he finds the mushroom (signalling that Arthur pickpocketed from him) and brings it to Snow and Regina. Snow shows her love and appreciation: “David, you did it.” David’s manhood is reaffirmed.
Regina continues to devote all her time to saving Emma.
Regina (to Snow): “You are occasionally genius!”