Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Once upon a time 5A: Camelot Plot, Merida, familiar faces and the Underworld.

Hello Everyone,

Those of you who know me personally or have just read my previous post in June, you will know how much I love Once upon a Time and with Season 5A drawing into a close until March, I have only a couple of words to summarise my feelings towards this winter season finale; curious, intrigued, uncertain and out-of-body, to name a few. This review is super long as always, because I review the whole season and not just an episode at a time, so as of 5B I think I will start to try to do an episode at a time so expect a review each week for this show as of March. For now, here is the half of the review specifically looking at Merlin, Arthur and the Camelot plot, Merida, the return of Red and Mulan plus what we may expect from season half B.

Let's bring you up to speed...
If you haven't already you can read my previous post about Season 4 finale as well as the season 5A winter finale on Zelena, Regina, Dark Swan, Hook, Rumple, Belle and Robin Hood. Give yourself a couple of minutes to read through those OR please come back to this post once you've watched season 4 and 5A.
Do not read any further if you have not seen it already as this contains many spoilers.

Season 4 began with Emma being "sucked up in a vortex of evil" and our sorcerer's apprentice ushering his final words "find Merlin, he is the only one that can help you now". So naturally, we're given the quest to cross realms and dwell into the Arthurian Kingdom of legend that is Camelot and it is not the place you expect it to be.
We arrive in the Enchanted forest where we meet our first new character, the Queen of DunBroch, Merida.
I first need to discuss how I have no seen Brave, I tried very hard to watch it but honestly, I just did not enjoy the start I do not know exactly why whether it's the film, because of my mood or something along those lines. I can not make an honest comparative between the animation and Once upon a times version of her, what I can say, however, I love Merida! Out of all the new character's that they have introduced this season she is one of the favourites, feisty, fierce and, of course, Brave. I find her very entertaining to watch and in particular when she is around Emma, due to their first unfriendly meeting in the forest as well as Emma abducting her in Storybrooke to train Rumple to be brave. Within the first meeting, we saw the Darkness have a stronger hold of Emma as she was accidentally causing harm when she didn't mean to, ripping Merida's heart out to take the will-o-the-wisp from her so she can find Merlin. However, with the appearance of Emma's family, Merida was saved and free to continue her quest to save her brothers, proving to DunBroch that she is their rightful queen.

Now it's already been argued, with the return of Ruby (Red Riding Hood) and Mulan, are you on ship BraveWarrior or RedWarrior? For me personally, RedWarrior, I'd say the relationship between Mulan and Merida, if it is anything, is either sisterly or mother-daughter relationship, especially with Mulan acting as a mother role when it comes to training Merida in battle and agreeing with the father to protect her from entering the battle. Furthermore, the cute sweet smile Red gave Mulan when inviting her to join the hunt for others like Red, who could turn into Wolves, not to mention when they first met, could already feel the chemistry, then again it is Ruby! If you haven't seen her, well, I pity you cause she is fabulous; did I mention I am so so happy to have her back?
Just look at her, that skin that hair and the smile! I feel like Aladdin. I hear you may ask, where has she been you may ask? She went to find others that could shift into wolves, as does she but we saw in the last episode that this quest to find others has not yet been completed, due to her being captured and kept in the form of a wolf by an old witch. Mulan to the rescue (by accident, but that obviously means it's fate!) and just like that, we have our beautiful red back in our sights. Her reappearance happened in the second half of the two-hour special, which can I just say that this half should have come first. The big ending to the first half, with Hook being turned into a Dark One I feel really tinted and made the return of Red less exciting. So much so, I had to take a week off and not watch the second half because I couldn't cope with that big cliffhanger, as much as I wanted to see Red return.
As she failed to complete the task, Red has decided to seek the help of, who better to invite than Mulan? Oh yes, Once upon a time will have its first Lesbian-Bi-Gay relationship and I completely support RedWarrior. (again look at her smile and the captivation on Mulan's face then please tell me you haven't already swooned and fell in love with the idea of these two? Or just Ruby on her own!)
We left these lovelies with Ruby/Red riding off with Mulan in search of others like her, meanwhile, Merida called upon the spirit of her father (which was awesome!) and she found out that it was Arthur, who killed her father on the battlefield and her next quest: to avenge his death.
Never thought a person could be so happy to see someone declare they will chop off King Arthur's head but looking in the mirror, there I was with a team Merida grin on my face.

Camelot is not as it appears in the legend or at least, not in Once Upon A Time. Of course not! Instead, we have King Arthur and his incomplete Excalibur, a drugged up wife because Guinevere was no longer in love with him and our spoilt little king couldn't have that, furthermore, his men won't even follow him into battle, so what was Arthur good for again? All he did was pull a sword out of a stone and he let Merlin down massively, he was supposed to be the son of Merlin, instead, he turned into a monster after allowing power to go to his head. If you haven't noticed already, Arthur is a horrible person and no one likes him, just to clarify. He goes to extreme lengths to find and reunite Excalibur, Guinevere began to feel unappreciated by Arthur, who previously promised her when he became King she would be his beloved Queen and would always fill the kingdom with Middlemist flowers for her birthday. However, he became obsessed with trying to find the sword so he could be the "rightful" king of Camelot, to his dismay as he pulled it out and realised it was incomplete, his obsession for power and to be the right king continued, leaving Guinevere to feel unloved and falling ever more deeply in love with Lancelot as they quested together to find the missing half of the sword; The Dark One Dagger. In Arthur's panic to keep Guinevere, he sprayed her with a sand which "fixes anything that is Broken", when Guinevere say he needs to choose between "his quest" or his marriage, otherwise she will follow her heart.
In Arthur's panic, he throws the sand over Guinevere and the rest of Camelot Kingdom, so they all follow "their king" and never leave his side.  Arthur as far as bad King's go is definitely one of the worst, the writers really twisted what we knew again about the legends and stories, which was quite nice to see a whole other perspective on it. However, unlike Peter Pan I didn't dislike him to an extent where I was relieved he was gone, Arthur was just like a tiny fly that you were first originally trying to help escape the room, however, it began to annoy you more and more by constantly sniffing around your food, landing on it so you couldn't eat it, constantly rubbing his hands or fly like legs together with greed as if he hit the jackpot; Arthur is a fly. He was not a villain, he was just a very corrupt, power hungry king who lost his kingdom and became obsessed with keeping it; still he was annoying and it was a relief to see him behind bars.
I still have a lot of questions though because the last time we saw Arthur, The Charming's locked him in a police cell and took Excalibur from him, he burnt the toadstool so they couldn't communicate with Merlin etc.  because he didn't want them to discover or find where Excalibur was or why they needed it to relinquish the darkness, because Arthur felt without the sword he wouldn't be king. Anyways, explained all that now! Where did Arthur go? Did Guinevere ever get freed from this sand and end up being back with Lancelot? What will happen to the kingdom now they have no Arthur to lead them? What happened to Violet and Henry? They did not wrap up the plot of Camelot too well in my personal opinion because I still have so many questions, perhaps only Merlin can answer them.

Merlin and Nimue I have to say, out of all the Camelot characters these two are my favourites; Even Nimue as a dark one, there is something about her darkness being the very thing I love, we'll get there. The love Merlin feels for Nimue is clear to see on screen and probably one of the purest, he is constantly concerned about her from when she first meets him with her run down, burnt village and the flowers from that village to the very end when they meet in the forest with Emma. Nimue and Merlin at the very beginning those many years ago, she was the first one which Merlin could not see and the first one he was uncertain of, he grew a level of intrigue for her then and there, it was written on his face that he was captivated by her beauty and her ideas of planting flowers to spite the man who ransacked her village; the smile that swept across his face was beautiful. We could say that his lack of ability to see the future is simply because she is the other half of him, often those who complete us we can not always see their futures perhaps because they are apart of ours. Our future is possibly one which we are not to see, unless we see the future of the man or woman who is to kill us, at least from my understanding of how fortune telling works right? Just as he is intrigued by her, we can see she has the same intrigue towards him, but there was always something darker and we could see that with the way she says "she wants revenge". No part of me is certain to how much however, I can trust the tiny inch of darkness within her; as soon as Merlin mentioned the Grail she wished to spend eternity with him, with the same level of power and magic, a part of me feels that she decided to manipulate Merlin to gain this power when he discussed cutting his magic and spending just his mortal life with her. Nimue did not seem 100% keen on this idea to start with, although she played a long with it and as we saw, she drank from the Holy grail despite what Merlin said and I do believe that was because when she knew Vortigan was around and she wanted her revenge. However, it is still clear that she really did love Merlin, she still supported his ideas and perhaps, originally she did intend to just spend a mortal life with him, but with the threat of Vortigan she wanted to be protected from being killed and she also knew she would live an eternity with Merlin. When she had Vortigan's heart in her hand, she became filled with revenge and hatred.
Can we just take a second to also appreciate her engagement ring though please? Like Merlin made it and that is the most sweet, sentimental engagement ring even if it is made out of a vine, however to be fair I am quite easily pleased when it comes to jewellery, I like it to be simple when it comes to rings. I believe Nimue was on a similar level to Rumple during her time alive as the dark one, consist arguing between her love for Merlin and her love for power, we can sense this struggle when she is born into the Dark One, she spends the rest of her life convincing herself and dressing it up as vengeance although she most definitely knows she made the wrong decision; she places Vortigan's mask on and his cloak, creating the standard dress-code for all dark ones.
I have to say, I really want one of these cloaks so stylish and cosy looking, even if it makes everyone look like a monk. Nimue's soul was tied to the dagger, along with all other Dark ones that passed after her, as Rumple said at the beginning, it is the darkness that is within all Dark One's speaking through the body or spirit of one previous. Curiously, the same does not happen when Merlin dies however, assuming this is because Merlin was not tied to Excalibur when he died instead we had the birth of another dark one, Hook (who did not appreciate the dress code). Furthermore, lets just quickly talk for one second about how Rumplestiltskin and Nimue had the shiny skin, where as Hook and Emma did not. Usually, the Dark one's also wear this almost reptile skin, however Hook and Emma didn't due to the fact that at the root of it all, darkness had not taken full power, it could be argued that Hook did embrace the darkness and was perhaps one of the most scariest of all (I have already expressed feelings on Rumple in previous post, sorry Robert you were scary to start but we've seen your soft side since then) however, in the end he did take the blade and sacrificed himself to rid the darkness forever or so he thought. Unfortunately, being double crossed by Rumple as always and even he was aware of it, because if you watch back you see he pointed out Rumple before he passed away (I can't even talk about his death, ever again!).
Merlin as a character alone was depicted and portrayed very well, we got the sense of high morals and wisdom, the kind heart, consideration for others down to a tea and when he loved it was obvious that he loved deeply. Almost a close second favourite wizard to Dumbledore of course, though not necessarily on the same level. Merlin's deep care and love for Nimue is reflected through and through, even towards the end before he goes because Hook and Nimue kill him, there were a lot of parallels between Emma and Merlin from when Nimue and Hook both turned dark, "if you crush his heart, you will ruin our happy ending" sort of deal, which I really liked, it shows that although filled with power both Merlin and Emma did not allow it to go to their heads, they still fought for the person or people they loved just in different ways. Furthermore, as Merlin dies his eyes turn to Nimue as her being the last one he saw before he passed with tears in his eyes, we could argue this was down to shock and not heart felt loved, but I'm going to go with love and in his last moments Merlin wanted Nimue to be the last thing he saw.
Although Nimue was admittedly dark throughout, perhaps you can argue that even before she became "immortal" she was still slightly dark, personally her character was incredibly enjoyable and fiery, which I quite admired. Even at the end however, she still could openly admit that Merlin was the person she loved most and perhaps, you could argue as she had many opportunities to kill him, the time she turned him into a tree, which linked well with when someone tried to cross the town line they also turned into a tree (could see Nimue in Hook's dark Curse). To the time she split the blade into two although she could have just killed Merlin then and there with Excalibur. She was a very scary and yet powerful dark one, you could see it through her actions and the way she could control Emma just as Rumple could and like Rumple, her love for that power and revenge admittedly overpowered her love for another person. Her character along side Cora, Peter Pan, Cruella and many others that are in the underworld including all other Dark one's is something eager to anticipate next season, if that happens.
Finally, my last point of what to expect from Season 5B and the underworld. Do not fear, the writers have promised us that actually the underworld season 5B is NOT solely about finding Hook, Co-creator Ed told Hollywood Reporter magazine alerted us
We have finally found Emma's true love and she really is going to fight to save him, Hookers everywhere are praying for his return; bring him home to us Emma. 

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