The writers revel in Arthurian legend as a matryoshka index. In that spirit, we perform an act of Gonzo Analysis®. And Hook stops just short of screaming, “Now kiss!”
Michael’s “Always… no, no… never… forget to check your references.”
“The Broken Kingdom” is an allusion to the Fisher King myth, of which Camelot became an example.
The Sword in the Stone
A young Kay, later Sir Kay, later dust in the wind, bullies Arthur and tells him a stable boy will never be king. Which is fairly similar to their classic animated relationship.
The Grateful Dead
Technically, this should have been in the post on 5×01 “Dark Swan,” but I totally missed it. Percival’s arms reference the cover of Steal Your Face. That he died in 5×02 “The Price” is kind of funny uh-oh.
“Come Sail Away”
Killian: “Come on, love. Let’s sail away.”
Random, right? I can’t even believe I’m linking a Styx video on my blog. But the dialog could scarcely be more aggressive about it. I went looking for an old MST3K clip to articulate my feelings about them, and, um, well…
Mystery Science Theater 3000
This is from 506 “Eegah.” Joel and the bots discuss the slow encroachment of hell into the world.
They mention Styx specifically. Once has already given us Charon, the ferryman 5×02 “The Price,” this season. And I bet we’ve seen enough Hercules to know where this season’s going.
The Secret of NIMH
Violet’s horse is named Nicodemus. This’ll come up again. They’ll make it explicit. I promise.
The Dark One removes Merida’s heart and releases her from a non-lethal bumper crucifixion so that she can train Rumpel.
Emma: “I need you to make him BRAVE!”
The Fellowship of the Ring
This could probably be referencing a lot of stuff. But the angles and movement heavily suggest Gandalf in the library at Minas Tirith. I get the feeling it’s also a nod to Once trash who do stuff like these blog posts.
Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin
Arthur’s translating “The Carmarthen Scroll,” a fictionalization The Black Book of Carmarthen. The oldest surviving Welsh text contains references to Merlin and Arthur. Legend even has it Merlin was born outside Carmarthen.
There were a lot of specific episode references as well.
“The Cricket Game” (2×10)
We fade in on Emma compulsively carving dream catchers. In season two, they were show to be able to see into people’s memories. Given the title of Sunday’s episode, I reckon this will come back into play.
“The Apprentice” (4×04)
In the first real Rumpelstiltskin scene of the season, we revisit one of the Dark One’s most devious declarations: “Love is a weapon.”
“Heroes and Villains” (4×11)
We learn how Rumpelstiltskin came to possess Merlin’s Gauntlet. It allegedly that leads to someone’s greatest weakness. So far that’s always the Dark One Dagger.
Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments
King Charming wrecks in the face of Snowing OTP! Hook totally ships Purple Prose!
King Charming / Snowing
Initially it seems like David is so immediately enamored with and loyal to Arthur, he’s willing to betray his own wife. Snow tells him they cannot trust Arthur with the dagger, but David defends Arthur. Mary Margaret calls him on it: “So that’s what this is about. You haven’t met a king in a while. And you’re starstruck.” David gets defensive, but in the next scene, he’s offering the dagger to Arthur (to the general horror of OUAT fans) in direct opposition to Snow’s wishes.
However, Arthur was not accounting for Snowing being OTP (frankly, we had forgotten too). David only plays Arthur’s special chair lad to test his motivations. And when Arthur proves less than pure of heart, David and Mary Margaret are realigned against Arthur. That is until Arthur’s guard frees him and Arthur Avalon-dusts them into submission.
Killian is like the perfect partner in Camelot. Maybe too perfect…something is going to go terribly wrong no doubt. This is the kind of wonderful sweetness that gets a character killed.
So he starts by not over-reacting when Emma nearly fireballs him when aiming for head-Rumple. He merely tells her to calm down, reassures her it’s just him, and embraces her. Later, when she becomes semi-catatonic, he and Henry take her away from the castle to rest. Henry’s great idea for a resting spot is Violet’s family stables. When he reveals he’s got a girl…friend….Killian nearly grins his eyebrows right off. Finally, he gets Emma to trust him for a galloping horse ride to get her mind off head-Rumple, and it totally works. It ends in a field of pink roses and CS make outs.
Purple Prose (Henry + Violet)
Henry has to reveal his new girl friend to Emma and Killian when he decides Violet’s family stable will be a good resting place for his mom. Emma is both pleased and concerned with the news of Henry’s first crush. Killian, on the other hand, is over-the-top excited. He ships them so hard.
Arthur / Guinevere / Lancelot
This particular love triangle leaves me cold. Child Arthur and Gwen are so saccharinely sweet, I can’t even. Lancelot is terribly nice in planning a birthday party for his neglected queen, and she does kiss him after he nearly dies, but I’m not quite seeing that love as reciprocal. However, once Arthur traps her in the relationship with the Avalon dust (magic Roofies), of course we all want her to be with Lancelot. He at least respects her enough to let her make her own decisions.
But, really, the whole thing just makes me want to throw in with a new ship altogether…
When Lancelot is thrown in the dungeon, he hears the voice of fellow prisoner Merida. Now that they are both enemies of Arthur, they shall be fast friends. And I’m hoping, perhaps something more.