Once Upon a Time: “The Broken Kingdom” Further Thoughts

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This week’s Further Thoughts are, like last week, a bit shorter as I was able to cover a lot in my Nerd Machine review. A lot of this is basically reliving the glorious moments of my favorite episode of Season 5 thus far. I loved every single moment!!

The Meadow Kiss:

I don’t think I will ever grow tired of watching or discussing this beautiful scene. It’s the most gorgeous, romantic, fairy tale perfect moment I have ever seen Once Upon a Time! I spoke a lot about the symbolism of the pink blossoms in my review, but I stumbled across this amazing post on tumblr which has some additional, and very apropos thoughts. Bravo to justalilblondemama for your research and thoughts!!

flower symbol

I am also reminded of a paper I wrote in college about the symbolic use of nature in Pride and Prejudice. In that I discussed when the characters are outdoors they are more free and honest with their feelings, as opposed to when they are inside where they are more repressed. This feels quite similar to the way this scene played out. Away from the confines of the castle she is able to breathe again. Outside, Emma is honest and able to share and trust Killian, helping quiet the darkness inside of her. Moreover, this further reiterates the difference between the ways the flowers are presented for Emma and Killian and Arthur and Guinevere. Inside the castle tower, Arthur creates a bouquet for Guinevere with the sands of Avalon and takes always her freedom to choose. Inside the castle she is living a repressed, false life.  But for Emma and Killian they are outside in a glorious meadow created by nature, where they both are choosing to believe and trust in each other and their love. It is no wonder, this special moment garnered such stunning direction to match the beauty of what this means for this true love couple.

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Lovely Parallels:

Speaking of Pride and Prejudice, although the Captain Swan moment was unique and lovely, I could not help but be reminded of the scene from 2005 version with Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen, also known as one of the most resplendent films in history. The scene where Darcy walks across the meadow towards Elizabeth and the two share a romantic moment as the sun rises behind them is simply glorious, and when the sunlight was peaking through the trees behind Emma and Killian it was so reminiscent of the Darcy and Elizabeth moment. The sunlight represents love, renewal of feelings, and a promise of fidelity. The sun always rises each day, and the love for these couples remains as constant.

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This scene on the meadow was also reminiscent of another sweet, beautiful fairy tale like moment. When I watched the show with my Mom it was the first words out of her mouth. She said “It’s just like Pushing Daisies.” And she was right. Both pan to a felid of flowers as a couple shares a sweet romantic moment. I still miss this show every day.


The Look of Love:

Jennifer Morrison is such a remarkable actress for many reasons, one of these being her consistency. She does gestures and expressions consistently for Emma. Any time Emma is rendered speechless and her love is as clear as the look on her eyes, so gives an expression where you can see her try to say something but simply cannot, so she lets her eyes (and often her lips) do the taking. We have seen this many times, but was there any more beautiful than the one on this episode. Similar to Jennifer, Colin is also a brilliant and consistent actor with his portrayal of Killian, and I think we all swoon anytime he arches his eyebrow. This moment in particular is wonderful because it is a combination of recognition of what she means with her words “Now that we’re alone,” and love, as his affection for her is shining right there in his eyes.

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Unity in Speech:

Although they have done it before, this episode seemed to be the first time that both Emma and Killian used so much dialogue that referred to them as not only a united couple but one that has a future together. We can see that they are not only together (which we already know), but for the first time on both their parts that they want this to be forever. “We” can get back to the white picket fence life. I will never stop fighting for “us.” Emma and Killian are strong individuals but together they are unstoppable and more importantly they are united and joined by the bonds of love, and want to be forever!

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Gentle Affection and Passion:

One of things I have always loved about the development of the Captain Swan relationship has been the gentle, tender affection between the two as well as the intense passion they share. They are the ideal combination of the two, and what I find true is that you can see the passion they share in these gentle signs of affection. There were so many in the episode- his soft touch of her arm, the way she strokes his hand, the way they hold hands, the tilt of their heads to deepen their kiss, and finally the way Emma puts his arms round his neck, pulling him closer in that last final moment. All of these feel like they are saying “I love you so much and I always will. Let me hold you forever. I don’t ever want to let go.”

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The last moment especially makes me think of this beautiful quote:

“I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”- James Joyce

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Family Dynamics:

I just had to mention this adorable scene between Emma, Killian and Henry again. They are going to have such a cute family dynamic- heck they already do. Emma will be the supportive but cautious mother. Killian will be the playfully teasing “That’s my boy” kind of step dad. It’s all kinds of adorable and sweet and I hope we see more Captain Cobra Swan scenes in the future because they’re golden.



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Wedding Foreshadowing:

The wedding foreshadowing seems to be in overdrive this season, first with “The Price” and now in “The Broken Kingdom” and I do not believe we are reading too much into it. We are seeing things that are common marriage, wedding and happily ever after visuals and aspects. Emma and Killian ride off into the sunset, she is wearing a white dress and cloak with a long train, she holds a flower (while they are surrounded by flowers) while they kiss after promising to always fight for their future together. I think the question is not if Emma and Killian wed, it’s only a matter of when.



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“Hearts that beat as one”:

I found Arthur’s line to Snow and Charming about himself and Guinevere  so interesting. He says, “You’re not the only couple whose hearts beat as one,” and it makes me wonder if this is a foreshadowing clue. We know that Snow and Charming share a heart, but we also know that what Arthur is claiming about him and his wife is far from the truth. And I doubt it will ever be the case. I wonder if it is a hint that Emma and Killian may end up sharing one. It is just interesting that we hear this line in the episode where Emma shares her burden with Killian and it helps her quiet the darkness. The love they share can defeat anything, it seems like the possibility that they may share a heart even more likely.

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Lancelot’s Fate:

The fact that we have not seen Lancelot in Storybrooke is alarming and I hope his character has not died, mostly because I really love him. His love for Guinevere feels true as he was able to tell she was not herself and under a spell, something only a true love would be able to recognize. I already adored him because without his (and Ruth’s) actions Emma would never have been born. I hope nothing has happened to this gallant knight.


Is Arthur the rightful ruler of Camelot?:

What I find intriguing about Merlin’s prophecy that Arthur is the one to pull Excalibur from the stone and be the rightful ruler of Camelot, is that it is only from Arhur’s perspective. Right now we have only heard Merlin say his warning to Emma as a child. As far as his other prophecies they are all though Arthur. Did he misunderstand or assume things? Is Arthur even the rightful ruler? He is not acting very kingly because a true ruler would not have to use magic to fix his kingdom.  Could Merlin’s prophecy be referring to somebody else?

6 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time: “The Broken Kingdom” Further Thoughts

  1. This is without a doubt my favorite thing you’ve ever written. Wow wow wow, Marianne. Unreal. I want to read this post 100x over and over again. Excellent job, darling. Truly excellent. I can’t compliment it enough.


    • Wow!! I was not expecting that reaction, but thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is funny- things you know or feel are good but not your best sometimes really resonate with others in an unexpected way. Thank you ❤


  2. I look forward to reading these every week! They are absolutely beautiful and well thought out!
    I’m glad someone else thought of Pride and Prejudice during the meadow scene. It’s of my favorite movies and one of my favorite moments of the show so far!
    As for the Merlin prophecy, there actually is an answer to that question. Merlin never told Arthur he would become king. I completely missed it when I watched the episode, but the answer is there. Here’s a link to the scene with subtitles: http://youtu.be/iR1AKpGr_8c


    • Thank you Karlie!! Pride & Prejudice is in my top 5 favorite films and books of all time, so I love to find parallels. Got to love Jane Austen! That is a good catch on the scene with Arthur. I find it interesting that both he and everyone else could have been laboring over a misapprehension this entire time!


    • I did notice. I believe she has done this before. She definitely did so when they danced and I think it is a lovely and subtle way of showing that she does not treat his hook any different than if it was a hand. It’s a beautiful thing for viewers who may use similar things in their lives to relate to 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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