"Siege Perilous" is the third episode of Season Five of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson, and directed by Ralph Hemecker. It is the ninety-first episode of the series overall, and premiered on October 11, 2015.
In Camelot, the heroes feverishly work to free Merlin. Determined to help Emma, David embarks on a quest to retrieve a magical relic that Regina could use to communicate with the imprisoned sorcerer, but, when David leaves, Arthur insists on joining him because the dangers ahead are greater than he can imagine. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret discovers the fate of her old friend Lancelot. Back in Storybrooke, Arthur seeks David's help to catch a thief who threatens the safety of the citizens of Camelot. Across town, Emma reaches out to a conflicted Hook as she sets about her plan to draw Excalibur from the stone.
The Storybrooke residents attempt to find a way to free Merlin. David comes across the Crimson Crown, a special toadstool, in a book. The Crimson Crown, which will let them communicate with Merlin, is in Brocéliande. David volunteers to go after the item, with Arthur joining him. Before they set out on their quest, Arthur corrects David's assumption that the different seat at the Round Table belongs to Arthur. Arthur explains the vacant seat belonged to Lancelot until the knight betrayed him. David explains to Arthur why he knows the story of the love triangle that involved the King, Guinevere, and Lancelot. When Arthur asks how Lancelot is, David has to deliver the bad news that he is dead.
Meanwhile, Regina tells Zelena that she can't take Robin's child away from him. Regina says Zelena can't keep painting herself a victim but promises to keep her baby safe, but can't say the same for Zelena.
As they reach a bridge that can only one person can use, David volunteers to snatch the toadstool. As he attempts to return phantom knights obstruct him and drag him underwater. Arthur pulls David to the surface and helps him get back to dry land. Once there, they discover that the toadstool is no longer in David's bag. After returning empty-handed, Arthur offers David a seat at the Knights of the Round Table. David is offered Lancelot's seat (the Siege Perilous) instead of Percival's. Later that evening, Mary Margaret comes across a very much alive Lancelot, who warns her Camelot is "not what it seems" and insinuates that King Arthur is evil. Guinevere joins Arthur at the Round Table. Arthur adds the lost toadstool to the knight's magical reliquary. While it brought Arthur no pleasure to lie to a good and nobleman, he tells Guinevere that he must put Camelot first.
In the mines, Emma interrupts the dwarves' work by taking Happy's pickaxe. The infuriated dwarves interrupt David, Mary Margaret, and Regina from researching The Crimson Crown. David blames himself for not saving Emma. Arthur tells David that key items from his camp, including a magic bean, is missing. After stopping at the pawnshop, David and Arthur search the Camelot camp, where David asks the campers to drink from the Chalice of Vengeance. This points him in the direction of the thief, revealed to be Arthur's squire, Grif, who takes off on horseback. David and Arthur chase Grif in David's pickup. David gives Arthur a crash course lesson in driving as he takes a piece of wood, using it as a makeshift joust, and knocks Grif off his horse. Grif later wakes up in the Sheriff's jail. Grif admits he was tired of how he was being treated, causing him to want to hurt the King. At the camp, David recognized the Crimson Crown on the ground and took it to Regina, who had also seen the question mark that she had handwritten on its illustration back in Camelot.
At Emma's basement, Emma takes the pickaxe and tries to break Excalibur out of the rock. The pickaxe breaks. Rumplestiltskin's manifestation tells Emma a true hero needs to pull out the stone. Over at Granny's, Hook and Robin look at Zelena's sonogram when Granny hands Hook a meal, which he knew came from Emma, who wants to meet him on board the Jolly Roger for a lunch date. Hook, unimpressed, tells Emma that she wasn't the real Emma he knew and loved. Emma explains she was doing this to test if he still loved with her, vanishing the moment he says that he loved who she had been.
At the Storybrooke Sheriff station, King Arthur found out that the heroes lied to him about Emma was the Dark One when they first entered Camelot and lied about the magic bean. He plans to turn Storybrooke into the New Camelot and believes that it is now impossible to return home. It's also revealed that Grif was Arthur's minion. To make sure that no one finds out his plans, Arthur convinces Grif to drink a vial of Agrabah Viper poison. Grif does that and disappears.
Back at the diner, Hook enlists Robin into a plan to check Emma's house and see what she had in the basement. Belle notices her restored rose's petals, a sign that Mr. Gold is waking up. When she returns to the pawnshop, he's not there. At home, Emma has taken Gold - and Hook's sword - since it was the last item that Gold touched when before he became the Dark One, which is what is needed to heal him. Emma wakes Gold up, by performing a healing spell, destroying the blade. She reveals that his heart is a blank slate and promises to make him the purest hero. She hints that she wants him to pull Excalibur out of the stone, to vanquish the light.
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These scenes are included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fifth Season.
"Dad Duty" (Scene 2-3)
"Eating Feelings" (Scene 13)
At the campsite, Mary Margaret and Guinevere discuss the people of Camelot being good people, but also on edge because of the changes. Guinevere suffers from not being able to remember what happened, but Mary Margaret jokingly says that they've been through this so many times and now they get used to it. Then they discuss Emma, who send everyone from Camelot to Storybrooke. Mary Margaret becomes upset and says that Emma surely must have good reasons to pull their memories off, which Guinevere answers that maybe it is because they are too horrible memories to live with, and that deep down inside, that's how she feels, like something went "really really wrong."
"Trivial Pursuits" (Scene 22)
After Emma takes Hook's sword from him, she teleports back to her basement, where she sees the Darkness, in the form of Rumplestiltskin, before her. Emma tells him to go away, but Rumplestiltskin continues to mock her off and tells her to go get that hero.
- The title card features Brocéliande.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on July 30, 2015.
- In Arthurian Legend, Siege Perilous is a vacant seat at the Round Table reserved for the knight who would one day be successful in the quest for the Holy Grail. The chair was fixed from stone by Merlin and is so strictly reserved that it is fatal to anyone else who sits in it.
- Jeffrey Kaiser is credited in the episode's press release, despite the fact that he's not in the episode and Leroy states that he is still a tree.
- The herb that Regina is trying to find for a potion to free Merlin, is called witchbane. During the middle ages, witchbane was a nickname for the rue herb, because people carried them to ward off witches. In magic lore, the rue herb is often used in spells of protection against witchcraft and bad luck. It can be used for hex breaking and warding off the evil eye, and is a classic herb for protection magic and to increase one's psychic powers. It is also used in some love spells.
- The line about Merlin in the tree – "When we snap off a twig and it turns into a finger, who's crying then?" – was pitched in the writers' room by Andrew Chambliss.
- The design of the Storybrooke Sheriff's Department has undergone a notable transformation since the previous season: The fire exit, which used to be located right next to the sheriff's office space, has been moved several meters to the right, and a kitchenette has been built between the office space and the fire exit.
- Giacomo Baessato, who plays Grif, also plays Rip Van Winkle in a deleted scene from the Season Three episode "Nasty Habits".
- The scenes between Emma and Hook was supposed to happen on the deck of the Jolly Roger. However, for budget reasons, their scenes were moved to inside the ship.
- The sentiment of Arthur needing the Round Table to remind him to be humble was inspired by T. H. White's The Once and Future King.
- In the Arthurian Legend, Grif's original name is "Giflet", and one alternative form of this name is "Griflet". Jane Espenson decided to change it because it "sounded weird".
- The Camelot flashbacks take place after "The Price" and before the flashbacks with the group from Storybrooke in "The Broken Kingdom. (For more details, see the Camelot timeline)
- The Storybrooke events take place after "The Price" and before "The Broken Kingdom". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Emma glamours herself to appear as a regular person as opposed to the Dark One. Zoso glamours himself in the same way in "Desperate Souls".
- Emma first began to see the manifestation of Rumplestiltskin in "The Dark Swan".
- The Storybrooke heroes learnt that Merlin was trapped in a tree in "The Price".
- Regina began to pose as the savior in "The Price".
- The dwarves first posed their concerns about the newly-dark Emma in "The Price".
- David expresses his regret over not trying to stop Emma from absorbing the Darkness, which occurred in "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
- Leroy and Happy reference Dopey's transformation into a tree, which occurred in "The Price".
- This is the third time someone tries to use Happy's pick ax on a magical object. Greg used Happy's pick ax to enable the trigger in "And Straight On 'Til Morning", and John attempted to break Pandora's Box using Happy's pick ax in "Dark Hollow".
- Emma first tried to remove the sword from the stone in "The Price".
- Regina first rendered Zelena mute in "The Price".
- Zelena tried to go back to Oz in "The Dark Swan".
- Zelena was discovered to be pregnant with Robin's child in "Lily".
- Regina points out that Zelena had a second chance, and a second second chance, referring to events in "A Curious Thing" and "Kansas".
- David stabbed Percival to death in "The Price".
- David tells Arthur about Lancelot's supposed death, which was mentioned in "Lady of the Lake".
- Hook found the locked door in Emma's house in "The Price".
- Emma and Hook relive their first date, which took place in "The Apprentice".
- Belle discusses Mr. Gold's coma, a condition he succumbed to in "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
- Emma says to Hook that she's "an open book" if he is willing to trust her. Hook previously referred to Emma as an open book in "Tallahassee".
- Hook recounts his relationship with Rumplestiltskin from before he was the Dark One, which occurred in "The Crocodile".
- The sword that Emma takes from Hook's ship is the one he threatened Rumplestiltskin with in "The Crocodile".
- Emma asks Hook if he remembers when they were in the storybook and she taught him how to swordplay, which took place in "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
- David says that his father drank his life away; something that was first touched upon in "White Out".
- David says that his brother accomplished nothing but evil; a reference to the events in "Tiny".
- David says that he doesn't want to only be remembered as the man who kissed a sleeping princess awake thirty years ago; referring to the events in "Pilot", "A Land Without Magic" and "Lost Girl".
- Arthur's past with Lancelot is revealed in "The Broken Kingdom"
- Arthur's habit of 'fixing things' began in "The Broken Kingdom".
- Mary Margaret learns that Lancelot is alive, which debunks the notion that he was already dead in "Lady of the Lake."
- Arthur asks his squire to drink a poison of the Agrabahn Viper, a magical species first seen in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree".
- Belle notices the petals of the rose in a jar are reforming into the rose, which was given to her by Mother Superior in "The Dark Swan".
- Emma talks about Mr. Gold's heart now being a blank slate, which was discovered in "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
- Emma's plan to turn Mr. Gold into a hero, is implemented in "Dreamcatcher", and succeeds in "The Bear and the Bow".
- Mr. Gold is freed from captivity, and reunited with Belle, in "The Bear and the Bow".
- The Unquenchable Flame, used by Arthur and David in Brocéliande, is said to be a part of the burning bush itself.
- While working down in the mines, the dwarves whistle the song "Heigh-Ho" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Fairytales and Folklores
- This episode features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and Giflet from the Arthurian legend, Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, Robin Hood from the ballads, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz story.
- This episode features Brocéliande, a legendary forest in France that first appears in the 1106 verse chronicle Roman de Rou. It has also appeared several times in Arthurian romance.
- In this episode David has a line where he says that he doesn't want to be remembered for kissing sleeping princesses. Prince Charming is a character archetype found all over fairytales one that generally has no deep characterization or personality, and is almost a prop for the action around him. David is saying he wants to be more than this.
- Emma's line, "You guys sure you don't want me to just wiggle my nose and get him out of that tree?" refers to the classic ABC sitcom, Bewitched. The main character, Samantha, is a witch who employs a distinctive "wriggle" of her nose to use magic.
- The song playing in Granny's Diner when Hook and Robin Hood are discussing about Zelena's sonogram is "Good Love" by The Murmaids.
- The souvenir from Doc's birthday party says "Doctoberfest". This is a reference to Oktoberfest, a beer festival held annually in Munich, Germany.
- "The Night That You Left" by Phil Parlapiano is playing in the diner when Hook asks Robin Hood how to break into Emma's cave, and when Belle notices that the last petal of the magical rose is falling.
- One of Merlin's books, the one that Regina opens in Merlin's tower (seen upside-down) is a facsimile of page 392 of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, a work of Protestant history and martyrology by the sixteenth century English historian and martyrologist John Foxe, published in 1563. The opposite page and two other pages also seem to be taken from the book: While the text mostly illegible, the pages have the same layout as Foxe's book (two columns separated by a vertical line).
- The illustration of the magical toadstool says vermiculus coronum, which is Latin for "crimson crown".
- The book about the Crimson Crown, which Regina is reading, (note that a few words are illegible on-screen, but can be read on a prop page which was auctioned off on eBay in March 2019; the illegible text is set in fuchsia), says:
its essence a moste
pernicious poison that brings
to pass an intemperate
humour and can lead to the
demyse [sic] o' the wight if
remedye [sic] is not administer'd
There are other properties
The Crimson Crown has
Some associate this fungus
There are a number of other
appearance of a ring of
ground is cause for either
rejoicing or alarm. In The
Southern Lands, these
circles are known as fairy
rings – and they are where
the Fae come to dance and
cavort after a rainstorm.
Moreover, like many other
In the Western Mountains,
Enchanted Forest and the
wetlands to the East, these
rings are associated with
sorcery and malevolent
magic, and travelers are
well-advised to steer clear of
- Some of the text, is adapted from Witchipedia.com's article "Magical and Spiritual Considerations", about the toadstool fly agaric. The original text reads thus:
- "Magic mushroom has masculine [sic] and is aligned with the planet Mercury and the air element. It may be used as a fertility charm. Some use this mushroom to aid with astral travel. However, it should be noted that using chemical assistance is never advised and can be dangerous. Some associate this fungus with Dionysus, mainly because of its intoxicating potential."
- "In Holland, these rings are believed to be left when the Devil sets down his milk churn - once he picks it up, there's a big circle left in the grass. In some countries, such as France and Austria, these rings are associated with sorcery and malevolent magic, and travelers are well-advised to steer clear of them."
- "In many areas, the appearance of a ring of mushrooms on the ground is cause for either rejoicing or alarm. In Great Britain, these circles are known as fairy rings - and they are where the Fae come to dance and frolic after a rainstorm. However, like many other locations associated with faeries, humans who dare to enter such a ring may find themselves asleep for a hundred years, or worse yet, whisked off to the land of the wee folk, never to return."
- The spell book that Regina is closing in the beginning of the scene where she talks to Zelena, is the same book that Belle and Merida bring to DunBroch and use to perform magic in "The Bear and the Bow".
- The bottle of poison that King Arthur orders Grif to drink is among the magical things in the reliquary when David opens the chest earlier in the episode.
- The mushroom prop used for the Crimson Crown was later used for the toadstool that Drizella attempts to poison Henry with in the Season Seven episode "Pretty in Blue" and the one that Rapunzel uses to poison Cecelia in the Season Seven episode "One Little Tear".
- Robin's sonogram of Zelena's baby is green.
- If you take a look at the dinner table as it transforms, you can see that the diner take-away that Emma had Hook bring to the Jolly Roger is grilled cheese with onion rings, the same food that Emma sent Hook to buy for her in the Season Four episode "Unforgiven". Emma's love for Granny's grilled cheese has also been referred to in the Season One episode "Red-Handed" and the Season Four episode "Darkness on the Edge of Town".
- Two banners in the room with the Round Table show a tower. The same tower motif is on Snow White's wagon in Isaac's alternate reality in the Season Four episode "Operation Mongoose Part 1.
- The skull of a saber-toothed cat is lying on the table in Merlin's tower. The same skull can be seen in the tower when Merlin tethers Nimue to the Dark One Dagger hundreds of years earlier in "Nimue".
- A chest covered in rust is sitting on a shelf in Merlin's tower. It has the same design as the silver chest used by the Evil Queen to store Rocinante's heart in the Season One episode "The Thing You Love Most", a chest which she later retains in the Mayor's office.
- Pinned to a billboard at the sheriff's station is a piece of paper with the name Melissa Lew, a reference to a production staff member on the show. It reads:
Date Missing: 6/7/00
Melissa was last seen on the night of June 7.
A $29,000 reward is being offer for the return or recovery of Melissa Lew.
- Strangely, the wanted poster says that Melissa was 27 years old when she disappeared on June 7. in the year 2000, but if she was born on April 10. in 1976, she would have been 24 at the time. Also, the poster contradicts itself by claiming that she was last seen in 2009, nine years after her disappearance.
- A poster on the billboard says, "Storybrooke Sheriff's Department invites you to attend the Bike's Safety Fair."
- One of the coats of arms in the room with the Round Table is a griffin, a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet.
- The bottle candle sitting Emma and Hook's lunch table aboard the Jolly Roger was cleaned up and modified for the Season Seven episode "Eloise Gardener", where it can be seen sitting on a table in the Perp's house.
- As David and Arthur are chasing after Grif, they drive past a billboard advertisement for The Rabbit Hole.
- Regina is wearing a Rebecca Taylor Women's Sleeveless Lace Cropped Top (no longer available).
- Mary Margaret is wearing a 3.1 Phillip Lim Sleeveless Pleated Tank Top (no longer available).
- A member of King Arthur's court is wearing Prince Phillip's chest plate from Season Two and Three.
- Belle is wearing a Kenzo Box Pleat Skirt (no longer available). She wore the same skirt back in the Season Two episode "The Crocodile".
- Belle's wedding hat from the Season Three finale "There's No Place Like Home" is lying on display behind the counter in the pawnshop, seemingly for sale.
- To wake Mr. Gold from his coma, Emma needs an object that touched him before he became the Dark One. When Hook tells her about how he threatened Rumplestiltskin in "The Crocodile", he shows her a sword, telling her that he took this cutlass and held it to Rumplestiltskin's head. However, the sword that Hook shows to Emma, is not the sword that he threatened Rumplestiltskin with. The sword that he used to threaten him had a golden handle. When Hook and Rumplestiltskin met again in "The Crocodile", several years later, Rumplestiltskin takes the same sword from Hook and duels him with it. When he vanishes into thin air after cutting off Hook's hand, he takes the sword with him. The sword that Hook shows to Emma, which Emma uses to wake Mr. Gold, has a black handle with a completely different design, and is the one he carried after the other sword was taken from him. This can be seen in episodes like "Queen of Hearts", "Lost Girl" and "The Jolly Roger". This means that the sword Emma uses to wake Mr. Gold from his coma never touched Rumplestiltskin in the past at all, but the spell still works.
|Finnish||"Tyhjä tuoli"||"The Empty Chair"|
|French||"La Couronne Pourpre"||"The Crimson Crown"|
|German||"Der neue Ritter der Tafelrunde"||"The new knight of the Round Table"|
|Italian||"Il seggio periglioso"||"The Perilous Seat"|
|Portuguese||"Risco de sítio"||"Risk of siege"|
|Spanish||"El Asiento Peligroso"||"The Dangerous Seat"|