Following post contains SPOILERS from the Season 5 premiere of “Once Upon A Time”:
Ever since Emma Swan was swept away during the season 4 finale of ABC’s “Once Upon A Time,” we’ve been awaiting the arise of the new Dark One. The Season 5 premiere didn’t disappoint as we see Emma’s loved ones in Storybrooke willing to do anything to find her.
The episode opens with an introduction to the Knights of King Arthur’s Court, including Sir Lancelot, who were searching for Excalibur. They notice something amiss — someone got there before them. When the sword is pulled from the stone, we see a familiar pattern — the end of the legendary sword is the blade of the Dark One’s dagger. The dagger that now bears Emma Swan’s name.
Captain Hook, desperate to find Emma, wants to summon her with the dagger, only to be told by Regina that it won’t work. Emma is not in their world anymore. Hook’s hopes that Henry (the new Once Upon A Time author) could rewrite the story and restore Emma’s goodness were quickly dashed when he learned Henry broke the magic quill last season. Hook even resorts to freeing Zelena (The Wicked Witch of the West).
Regina, knowing Zelena’s true nature, tricks her when she opens a portal to return to Oz and transports Snow White, Prince Charming, Henry, Hook and a few others to find and save Emma. Granny’s Diner goes airborne much like Dorothy’s house and enters the swirling vortex.
We see Emma in The Enchanted Forest, fighting an internal struggle between good and evil as Rumpelstiltskin takes form as the worst conscience ever trying to get Emma to embrace the evil and turn herself over to the darkness. Emma sets out to find a magical wisp that can take her wherever she wants to go — such as finding the only person that can destroy the darkness inside her — Merlin. She comes across Princess Merida (from Disney’s “Brave”), who is also seeking a wisp to find her three kidnapped brothers. Merida offers to take Emma along and promises her the wisp when she’s finished.
Prodded by Rumpel to keep the wisp for herself, Emma is coaxed into snatching Merida’s heart and is in the process of crushing it when the Storybrooke gang arrives. Seeing her loved ones, she overtakes the darkness and they set out to find Merlin. On their way, the are met by the Knights and told a prophecy had foretold their arrival. They are escorted to the shiny turrets of Camelot.
Six weeks later, we see the group sans Emma drop back into Storybrooke dressed in Renaissance duds. They have no memory of the last 6 weeks and when the door swings open, we get our first glimpse of Emma, who has now fully embraced the darkness.
You went to Camelot to get the darkness out of me and you failed. — Emma Swan
With all the action in this premiere, I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds.