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‘Once Upon A Time’ Premiere Recap: Emma Embraces The Darkness

Sun, September 27, 2015 9:01pm EDT by Avery Thompson 3 Comments

‘Once Upon A Time’ season 5 is here, and everything has changed. Emma is the new Dark One, and the final few moments of the Sept. 27 episode proved just how much power the Dark Swan has.

Once Upon A Time is changing things up in season 5. The Savior is now the Dark One, and the stakes are higher than ever. On the Sept. 27 episode, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) battled giving into the darkness, Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and the gang stopped at nothing to find Emma, new faces appeared and the last two minutes of the premiere showcased a whole new Emma.

Once started off in Minneapolis 1989. The Sword in the Stone was playing in the movie theater. Tiny Emma stole a candy bar from a woman, and then a guy with a swoonworthy British accent came up to her. She thought it’s because of the candy bar, but it was so much more than that.

“When you do things you’re not supposed to do, even if you’re doing them for the right reasons, bad will happen,” he told Emma. Basically, he was alluding to her sacrificing herself for Regina. He also mentioned that she’ll have the opportunity to remove Excalibur from its stone, but he told her not to touch it. 

Over in another land, Lancelot, King Arthur and his men were looking for Excalibur. When one guy tried to pull the sword out, he literally EVAPORATED. Arthur managed to pull it out without disappearing but half the sword was missing! He was determined to find the other half — which was also the dagger!

The Light & The Dark

Over in Storybrooke, Emma vanished after harnessing the powers of the Dark One. Regina was furious over what Emma had done. Snow still believed that Emma had good in her, and she would be able to be saved. Hook took some iniative and grabbed the dagger to summon her back. But it didn’t work. That’s when Regina realized, “She’s not in our world.”

Emma was actually in the Enchanted Forest, and she looked ratchet. As expected, Rumple was there creepily waiting. He wanted to her “guide” to becoming the Dark One. Emma was trying to resist the evil temptation, but it was definitely difficult.

“I’ll never hurt the people I love,” she said. “The people that love me.” Oh, god. Foreshadowing much? Hook was adamant about going to the Enchanted Forest to find her. However, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice was too weak, but he had a wand given to him by Merlin that would help. The wand all the light magic but could only be wielded by two sides of the coin — the light and the dark. Regina picked up the wand. When she tried to cast it, absolutely nothing happened. After a while, Hook told her to stop embarrassing herself because she’d gone “soft.” Yikes. They needed someone “wicked,” which meant only one person — ZELENA!

Belle was still watching over Mr. Gold. She wanted to be by his side if died. The Blue Fairy handed her an Enchanted Rose, and as long as it still had petals, he was alive.

Wands, Deals & A Fiery Red Head

Emma was really trying to contain the darkness that was boiling up inside her, but she was nearing the edge. She started to realize what kind of power she had when she ran into a simple bystander and nearly killed him. She was desperate to find Merlin, and Rumple wanted to help (sort of). He helped her experience her first transportation. But she needed to get her hands on a whisp, but super sassy Merida was after them too. All the whisps were born in the Hill of Stone, so that’s where they headed!

On their way, Rumple told Emma that the only way she could get a whole of the whisp was to betray Merida. Unfortunately, Merida heard their entire convo, and she wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

Regina and Robin took the miserable trek to see Zelena. She was on her A-game, taunting them as soon as they walked through the door. After a bit of squabbling, Zelena agreed to help if she could see the wand. In order to use it, the gang needed something meaningful to Emma. And only Zelena could make it work — all she needed was for Regina to let her have full reign over her power. Regina wasn’t to go there.

Well, Hook and Henry had other plans. Hook went to Zelena’s cell while Henry distracted the nurses. He was trying to get some ducks in a row, but it didn’t go as planned. Zelena ended up CHOPPING OFF HER HAND to get that magic cuff off. Damn, girl. She got it back, of course. The she disappeared without a trace.

Regina was pissed at the turn of events. But they didn’t have time to waste. Zelena was after one person — ROBIN. He was the “key to everything.” She was willing to trade Robin for the Apprentice’s wand. All Zelena wanted to get miles away from Robin and Regina — that meant Oz. Zelena opened the portal, and that’s when Regina stepped in. Since Zelena was weakened, Regina was able to put the cuff back on. They weren’t taking the portal to Oz, they were going to the Enchanted Forest!

The Dark One Cometh

The gang headed to Granny’s diner and waited for the cyclone to take them to the Enchanted Forest. Zelena and the dwarves were tagging along. It was basically one huge party.

Before they arrived, Merida ran off to the Hill of Stone. Emma couldn’t let her whisper to the whisps or she’d never find Merlin. Rumple taunted Emma to kill Merida and rip her heart out. Merida took aim, and Emma caught every single arrow. The last one she dropped and summoned Merida. She pulled Merida’s heart out and was thisclose to crushing it when Hook stopped her.

First things first, the dagger. Snow wanted Emma to have it while Emma thought it was too much power. She wanted someone to watch her. That’s when she handed the dagger to Regina. “I saved you, now save me,” she said. If she couldn’t be saved, Emma knew Regina would be the one strong enough to kill her. Emma seemed better with her family and friends around. Emma and Hook held hands! Like, it was the perfect GIF-able moment for the Captain Swan fandom.

King Arthur and his crew showed up. Apparently, they’d been waiting for Emma. Arthur believed that Emma would be able to reunite Merlin with them. Since everyone wanted to find Merlin, Emma and the gang followed them to Camelot.

Six weeks later, Granny’s Diner and the gang were back in Storybrooke, complete in Arthurian attire. All the memories of the past six weeks were gone. Emma showed up looking all kinds of fierce. Like, FIERCE WITH A CAPITAL F. “You went to Camelot to get the darkness out of me, and you failed,” she spat.

The savior is gone. The Emma we know and love is gone. Or she’s at least trapped underneath all that darkness. Regina no longer had the dagger either — Emma did. She told them all they were going to be punished for what they did to her.

Hook asked her why she was doing this. “Because, I am the Dark One,” she said. BOOM.

HollywoodLifers, what did you think about the Once Upon A Time finale? Who do you think will be the one to pull Emma back from the darkness? Let us know!

— Avery Thompson