Once Upon A Time: Recap of Season 5 (Part 1) #OUAT

Alright, Oncers.
It is almost that time of year again when our wonderful show comes off hiatus, and our fandom rejoices.  But...we still have five days left, so to fill the time, here's everything that happened in season 5.

As with seasons 3 and 4, season 5 was split into two half-arcs, with two very new and interesting plotlines.  Because there is so much to cover, I'm going to do this recap kin two parts, starting with 5A.  
So 5A brought Camelot.  And Dark Swan.  And Merida/Brave.  It was a lot to take in, so I'll break it down.  
Camelot introduced us to King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and Merlin, who are the most well-known characters from Arthurian legend.  We also got Percival, were reintroduced to Lancelot, and a Once Upon A Time original character named Violet, who became Henry's first serious love interest.  

Thoughts on King Arthur (and all relative storylines):
So the show's creators threw us for a bit of a loop here, by making King Arthur a villain.  Well, sort of.  Arthur did some horrible things - using the Sands of Avalon on Guinevere to force her in to staying with him, using it on Charming and Snow, forcing Merlin to be his slave, killing Percival for his own personal gain. But the thing is, I don't really think Arthur was so much of a villain as a very misguided ruler.  He was driven mad, not by his need for power, but his desperation to fulfill a destiny that was laid out for him since he was a child.  His entire character reminded me of the character Macbeth - driven mad by external forces and internal struggle to the point of his eventual downfall. 

Thoughts on Guinevere and Lancelot:
We didn't get a ton on these two, but enough to form opinions.  I think Lancelot and Guinevere were better together, not because Arthur manipulated and ignored her (well that too) but because Lancelot allowed Guinevere a freedom Arthur never did, even as children.  In the show, she might have appeared weak, but she wasn't.  Especially not with Lancelot.  But Guinevere had her future decided for her from the time she was about 8 or 10.  Arthur literally told her they were gonna get married in a prophecy, and that sets about expectations and limited choice.  This storyline also had the most unanswered questions for me.  Like, is Guinevere still under the spell of the Sands of Avalon or what?  Also, and this is a little 5B spoiler, what was her reaction to Arthur's death?  Did she grieve, was the spell broken?  Who's gonna rule Camelot now?  What gives?

Thoughts on Henry and Violet:
Okay, so Henry's growing up so. Obviously, it's time to introduce a love interest.  Their meeting and connecting was cute; it was all teen angst, first crushes, something younger fans can relate to, and slightly older fans can be nostalgic over.  But it wasn't necessary.  I felt like the storyline itself was included out of obligation a little bit.  It didn't get enough attention for me to really be drawn in and the episodes where it was a focus meant connecting it to more prominent storylines rather than keeping it separate.  Overall, I liked it, but I'm not attached to it yet, and I'm kind of hoping Season 6 fleshes it out a little bit more because there's definite potential in Henry and Violet's relationship and storyline. 

Thoughts on Dark Swan:
This was an interesting concept, and Jennifer Morrison played the part well.  5x08, which was a Dark Swan heavy episode, was probably my
favorite episode of the half season.  It was gripping, heartbreaking, and it had that really awesome twist with Hook becoming the second Dark One.  My one issue was this:  Emma wasn't the villain.  She was more of an anti-hero.  I would've loved to see Emma be dark the way Hook was.  Emotionless with the exception of rage.  Wreaking havoc on Storybrooke, and Snow and Charming struggling to reach her the way Bae/Neal struggled with Rumple in season 2/3.  we didn't get that, but Hook made a pretty awesome Dark One. 

Thoughts on Merida:
Merida was perfectly cast, and her storyline was interesting, but again, it didn't seem necessary.  All of her episodes were a separate entity - they did not really tie into the rest of the plotline.  If I'm honest, I thought she'd be done after her one appearance in 5x01.  Glad she wasn't, because she was awesome, and when they made her relevant, connecting her to Rumbelle, and having her heart stole by Emma, it was great.  My conclusion is this.  The Merida storyline was very enjoyable, but it could've been placed somewhere else.

Anyway, so ends my recap Part 1.  Part 2 is coming soon, but in the meantime, comment, subscribe and enjoy.