So much just happened on the Nov. 8 episode of ‘Once Upon A Time.’ Merlin’s backstory (and Excalibur’s) was full of heartbreak, betrayal and jaw-dropping moments!
Once Upon A Time is building up to one epic climax. On the Nov. 8 episode of the show, Emma and Merlin went on a quest to rid her of the darkness, Merlin’s backstory was finally revealed, Arthur’s reign of terror continued and someone put Excalibur back together!
Emma had both the dagger and the sword, but there was so much more behind these two things than anyone could ever imagine. In the early days, Merlin and a friend were trekking through the desert desperate for water. Merlin continued to see a light and ran after it. It was the Holy Grail! When his friend grabbed it, he turned to ashes. When Merlin grabbed the grail, nothing happened. He was able to drink from it. When he put his hand down, he realized he had magic. The desert was no more — only lush greenery and forests.
He eventually met Nimue. She wanted revenge against a man who had hurt her and her village — it was the original Dark One. They fell in love, and Merlin wanted to spend eternity with her. Nimue wanted to drink from the Holy Grail so they could be together forever, but he was ready to give it all up for her. He gave her a ring made out of a rose stem that he turned to gold. Unfortunately, the Dark One had other plans.
When Merlin took Nimue back to her village, it was in ruins. The Dark One was searching for the Holy Grail, and Nimue was the one who had it. Merlin took the flame from the first fire and made Excalibur using the Holy Grail. The Dark One showed up, and Nimue tried to fight him off, but she was killed.
All hope seemed to be lost for Merlin until Nimue pulled out the Dark One’s heart. She had drank from the Holy Grail! Merlin pleaded with her not to crush the Dark One’s heart or she would be come the most powerful dark being. She crushed the heart and then severed the sword in half.
Darkness & Fire
Back in Camelot, Hook was PISSED at Merlin. He didn’t think Merlin was helping Emma at all. I mean, he had nothing to show for it. Merlin was taking his sweet time and warned everyone that the amount of power that Emma had was a “weight on the soul.” Fortunately, love could help. Cough, Hook.
Hook did help with that. Before Merlin’s journey, Hook and Emma shared one romantic moment. He gave her the ring around his neck as a promise that she would return to him — as Emma. She said “I love you” before she left. I can’t even deal.
Merlin and Emma were on a quest — to find the spark from man’s original fire. Well, Merlin knew where that was. Merlin warned Emma that she would have to face the original Dark One, the only person that had the power to kill Merlin. If Merlin died, Emma would become the most powerful Dark One EVER.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang was trying to get inside the castle. Zelena knew a way in. All she asked in return was her magic. Arthur wasn’t going to allow them back inside Merlin so easily. He made a potion that would definitely hurt the gang if it touched them. Snow watched over Zelena at the entrance. Snow was stupid and thought Zelena was being an actual decent human being. She kicked Snow unconscious and tied her up.
Merlin had brought the dagger with him and Emma. She needed the power it had. The dagger brought back the original Dark One a.k.a. NIMUE! When she tried to attack Merlin, Emma protected him. Nimue stressed that Emma had to protect herself. Emma suddenly found her hand on Merlin’s throat, with Nimue telling her to finish him off.
“I’m not nothing. I’ve never been nothing. The power you have I don’t need!” Emma screamed at Nimue. She pulled out Nimue’s heart instead. The spark Emma needed was in Nimue’s heart. She couldn’t crush it — yet.
On their way back, Merlin revealed that he had created with dagger with his apprentice (!) to prevent Nimue’s reign of terror. Then she put him the tree. That’s cold, Nimue. Emma asked if the darkness could possibly be used for good. Merlin said no one had been worthy of having so much power. Their next step was to find the other half of Excalibur.
Well, the gang was pretty close to getting it. They found Arthur and the sword, but Zelena showed up to ruin the party. She was working with Arthur and tethered the sword to Merlin. That’s when Arthur summoned him. He said Emma had passed the test, and he had what he needed to unite Excalibur. Arthur refused to give Merlin the sword in hopes of achieving more glory.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma had the dagger and the sword. Nimue and Rumple were both there. She took the ember from Nimue’s heart and started the fire. Emma united Excalibur! Then she remembered what Merlin had said in the movie theater about leaving the sword along. Everyone was telling her to take the power in the sword — and she took it.
Oh no, Emma! How did you get to this place? Did she KILL Merlin?!
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s Once Upon A Time? Let us know!
— Avery Thompson