SPOILERS AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Everything is not as it seems. Or rather, everybody. This week on Once Upon a Time, we have angry dwarves, magic mushrooms, the dead, and a traitor in the midst. If you haven’t caught up on this most recent episode, stop here. Read the rankings from last week’s episode, then go watch this week’s episode. Then come back and we can pick up where we left off.
If you are caught up, hooray! Let us soldier on. Here are the top 10 character rankings for “Siege Perilous.”
10. Belle French
Last episode’s rank: 4
It’s always been my personal opinion that she could do so much better than her husband and this episode almost confirmed it in my mind. When she was given the infamous rose earlier in the season, I thought it was a bit ridiculous, but I held out hope that she would still be awesome. Last week, when she comforted and drank with Killian, I was excited by the promise it held.
This week, it seemed like her entire role was to search the pawnshop for something Rumple touched before he was the Dark One (so, like, from forever ago). She was reduced to the inferior wife waiting for her husband to wake from a coma. And I get it, she loves and misses her true love, but we know she has so much more potential.
The only reason she makes the ranks this week is because of a silly line.
Belle’s line of the week: [About a goblet] “It’s not magic though .it’s just a souvenir from Doc’s birthday party. It says Doctoberfest on it.”
9. Zelena/Wicked Witch of the West
Last episode’s rank: N/A
Zelena makes a small appearance this week, but she certainly makes an impression. Actress Rebecca Mader has an off-puttingly charming way in portraying the witch’s specific brand of crazy.
The future of her and Robin Hood’s child is going to be one of the most anticipated results of the season, mostly because Zelena, like any mother, is intent on keeping her baby while everyone else is intent on keeping the baby away from her. Her conversation with Regina in this episode only proves that. Who knows how long Zelena will have to pretend to be her sister’s mute handmaiden?
8. Regina Mills/Evil Queen
Last episode’s rank: 1
Lack of screen time is the most prominent reason for Regina’s fall this week. When she does appear, she’s excellent. When confronting her half-sister about the future of her child, she’s perfectly frightening, reminding viewers exactly who she is when she wants to be.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Evil Queen is quite adamant in working with her former enemies in order to maintain her facade as savior. She’s never been one to advocate teamwork, but Regina’s now the top proponent for it in order to get back home. A+ for working together.
7. Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin
Last episode’s rank: N/A
Rumple’s ranking comes in two parts because actor Robert Carlyle is effective playing two different roles at once. The devil on Emma’s shoulder, the Dark One figment of her imagination, has been constantly sassy, just as he was in the first couple of seasons. His taunting is amusing for us as viewers, but the personification of the Dark One in someone other than Emma, the person it’s attached to, further describes the dichotomy of good and evil being displayed.
The second part of his ranking is a bit more monumental. Finally coming to from his magically-induced coma, Rumple learns that he’s going to play one of the biggest parts in the new Dark One’s plans. With his heart a clean slate, he basically gets a second chance (or third? Who knows at this rate.) at being a hero. And, as we can tell from other former villains in these ranks, the possibilities are endless.
6. Robin Hood
Last episode’s rank: N/A
We welcome Robin back into the ranks after a brief hiatus. While Charming and Arthur are off being bromantic in the woods, Robin and Hook are buddying up. When he last appeared in the ranks, I said he was a damsel in distress, caught in a love triangle between two sisters. And while nothing has changed on that front, he now has Killian to commiserate with. Both have romantic straits that need to be sorted out and neither are sure how to deal with them. At the end of the episode, there’s promise of even more instances of teaming up in the future: Killian, the “former” pirate, asks Robin, the “former” thief, for help in breaking into a secret room in Emma’s house.
5. Mary Margaret Blanchard/Snow White
Last episode’s rank: 9
Congratulations, Mary Margaret. Ranking the highest she has this season so far, she finally is starting to be something more than just the mother figure of the show. Sure, she still has her moments, which naturally are bound to happen. But her compassion and complete faith in her husband when he breaks down is relationship goals.
Snow doesn’t rank higher this week because her reaction to seeing Lancelot – the man who married her and Charming whom she thought was dead – is simply to bounce the unhappy baby in her arms and express her joy quietly in a dark hallway. And when Lancelot tells her that the Dark One isn’t the only villain in Camelot, she doesn’t really do anything. At least tell Charming. Come on, you guys share a heart. Doesn’t that mean you have to share all your secrets too?
4. Killian Jones/Captain Hook
Last episode’s rank: 5
Aforementioned friendship with Robin aside, this episode was not kind to the pirate. Not only is he still trying to figure out a way to save Emma from herself, he has to have his emotions and trust played with in a perverted reenactment of their first date aboard the Jolly Roger. And when Emma tries to compare her current situation to the state he was in when he first got his hook, Killian’s impassioned speech is heartfelt and heartbreaking.
Needless to say, when he revoked his love of her, viewers everywhere broke as much as he did. It’s unfortunate that none of it got through to the Dark One, who had only created the scene to get something for her own gain.
3. Emma Swan/Dark One
Last episode’s rank: 2
If you’ve been reading along with the rankings for this show, you’re probably smart enough to figure out I have a soft spot for Emma. And if this is the first time you’re reading one of these, hi, welcome, I have a soft spot for Emma Swan. Jennifer Morrison has been nothing but excellent in her portrayal of the Dark One, but she slipped this week.
Emma Swan is a character who, for three decades, believed she wasn’t good enough for even the scum of the earth. Over the series, the audience has seen her learn to accept the love of others. They see how open and vulnerable she’s become, especially in the presence of Captain Hook. This week, while trying to manipulate him, Killian tells her that he doesn’t love her any longer. The Dark One, the stronger of the two persons we can assume are fighting for control, wins over and shows little emotion at his words. But Emma Swan would be utterly heartbroken about it and, at least to me, that didn’t really come through in Morrison’s acting. She still ranks high on the list because I have a soft spot and Emma really is an excellent character.
2. David Nolan/Prince Charming
Last episode’s rank: 3
This week’s episode was very much focused on David and his blossoming friendship with Arthur. It’s pretty good, seeing as they have so much in common: both started out as commoners and rose through the ranks; both are married to apparently very talented archers; and both want what’s best for their people.
David is the proud owner of probably four out of the five best moments in this week’s installment. He finishes a chase scene between a horse and a pickup truck by jousting. He fights off undead knights for a magic mushroom. And he’s awarded the most prestigious place at the Round Table, a seat meant for the most pure and loyal of all knights. The only issue I had with him this week was his contradicting knowledge of his new friend’s legend. So David knows about the love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere, but he doesn’t know that his bud started off as a servant? C’mon.
The sweetest and one of the most heartbreaking moments this week is when, in the sheriff’s office, he despairs over how to get his daughter back. His dynamic with Emma has always been one of the most adorable on the show, and it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out for the rest of the season.
1. King Arthur
Last episode’s rank: 10
Despite being medieval, Arthur can hold his own. He can drive surprisingly well, he’s witty, and he will do anything to keep his kingdom and subjects safe. He’s not too bitter about the whole Lancelot-Guinevere fling once the Storybrooke folks come to town. Plus, he awards our favorite Prince Charming with the Siege Perilous, the most prized and sacred seat at the famous Round Table. All good reasons for Arthur to top this week’s ranks, right?
Arthur’s quote of the week: [About Lancelot] “I wished him happy. Just not with my wife.”
But the main reason Camelot’s righteous king jumps from the bottom to the top this week because he’s anything but. Last week, I said he was shady and guess what? I was right. Though the entire episode has David and Arthur bro-ing out in Camelot and Storybrooke, viewers find out that the king is trying to turn the Maine town into a new Camelot. He steals the magic mushroom in the past and basically forces his completely loyal squire to poison and kill himself in order to achieve his ultimate goal.
Arthur’s second quote of the week (because he can’t be a villain without having a few good one liners): “I heard someone say a woman is right. Always a safe assumption, isn’t it, David?”