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‘Once Upon A Time’ Recap: Merlin Is Freed & Emma Betrays Henry To Do It

Sun, October 25, 2015 9:45pm EDT by Avery Thompson 1 Comment

‘Once Upon A Time’ is slowly revealing how Emma came to embrace the darkness. Unfortunately, on the Oct. 25 episode, we learned she was willing to betray Henry to get what she wanted.

Darkness is a dangerous and heartbreaking thing. Emma’s loved ones are learning that the hard way. On the Oct. 25 episode of Once Upon A Time, Merlin was freed by Emma at Henry’s expense, Henry and Violet went on their first date, Merida began her quest to turn Rumple into a hero and Regina called Emma out for her betrayal.

It’s not a Once Upon A Time episode without a flashback. Back when Merlin wasn’t a tree, he was pleading with the Dark One to stop the madness. This Dark One was masked, so we have no idea who this person was. The Dark One had destroyed the only woman Merlin had ever loved. Merlin tried to kill the Dark One with the dagger but stopped and collapsed.  The Dark One lifted one of Merlin’s tears onto the dagger, and that’s when Merlin turned into a tree. Way to kick a guy when he’s down, Dark One. Emma saw all this go down in a dreamcatcher.

Regina was worried about the decision to trust Arthur. She was wary about handing over the dagger to him, but Snow and Charming, under Arthur’s spell, were adamant Regina follow through. Emma walked in and told Regina that Arthur planned to kill Merlin with the dagger. They needed to free Merlin and then worry about Snow and Charming. Emma wanted to use dark magic to get the job done, but Regina was understandably not so sure about that.

Meanwhile, Violet and Henry bonded in the stables. He wanted to be a hero so badly. Her knight in shining armor. But an encounter with Violet’s dad put him down in the dumps. His moms found him in the woods trying to practice being a knight and gave him the little boost of confidence he needed.

Hello, Merlin

Violet and Henry had their first date at the diner, and it was just about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. Henry had everything set up so perfectly. However, Violet ruined everything by saying she didn’t feel the same way about him. Poor Henry.

Regina and Emma were busy trying to find the last ingredient to the spell that would free Merlin. It ended up being a single tear. Regina reflected about how her mother killed Daniel. When Emma tried using it, the potion didn’t work. Regina had moved on — it wasn’t pure heartbreak anymore. Henry showed up devastated over his date with Violet. His tear worked.

Unfortunately, Arthur showed up to crash the party. Emma used the potion and the dark magic to free Merlin, despite Arthur’s pleas. “I’ve been waiting for you, Emma,” Merlin said when he was freed. He also made sure to tell Arthur how “disappointed” in him he was. You and me both, honey.

Merlin lifted Arthur’s spell off of Snow and Charming. He revealed he could lift the darkness from Emma, but there was just one thing. Was Emma’s heart truly ready to be freed from the darkness? Dun, dun, dun.

The Ultimate Heartbreak

In present day Storybrooke, the gang finally realized that Griff was gone. Shady Arthur knew where he was, but he wasn’t telling anyone. To get everyone’s mind off everything that was going on, Henry proposed a dance. But it was really so he could ask Violet out.

Emma was being really sneaky with Rumple and not telling him exactly why she needed him. He tried to tell her that being the Dark One would cost her the ones she loved, but she didn’t want to listen. After he left with Merida, who was trying to turn him into a hero, it was clear that Emma was having second thoughts about everything. She went to her shed full of dreamcatchers and cried.

Henry went to Emma for help with Violet. Despite everything, she was still his mother. He wanted her to show him that the mom he loved was still inside her. He asked her to help him find Violet’s horse. They later found the horse at the pumpkin patch.

This was also a little ploy by Henry so the rest of the gang could go to Emma’s lair. They saw Excalibur and knew Rumple had been there. As they walked out, they found a dreamcatcher. Regina snapped that thing right up. She looked through it and saw a memory from Camelot. Violet actually did have feelings for Henry, Emma had taken out her heart and forced her to break Henry’s heart so she could free Merlin! OMG.


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Regina confronted Emma about it and told her that Henry saw what she did. Emma said she didn’t have a choice and it was the only way to free Merlin, but her excuses fell on deaf ears. She had betrayed Henry and let the darkness get the better of her.

HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s Once Upon A Time? What do you think happened in Camelot? Let us know!

— Avery Thompson