The following blog contains spoilers from Episode 8 and 9 of “Once Upon A Time”
This two-part episode gives us insight into Emma’s plan and the secrets she’s been keeping. Making Excalibur whole again wasn’t just to harness dark magic, it was to save her one true love.
Back in Camelot, King Arthur cut Hook with Excalibur when Emma came to save him and her family. The small cut isn’t what it appears to be though. As Emma soon learns — A wound from Excalibur can never be healed. To keep Hook from dying and despite warnings from Merlin, Emma tethers him to Excalibur, creating a second Dark One. Hook, however, wanted nothing more than for Emma to return to her old self and begs her to let him go. He knows he can’t handle the Darkness like she can.
This was the whole reason that Emma kept the darkness and wiped everyone’s memories. She has been trying to find a way to rid herself and Hook of the darkness. Emma decides she needs a vessel to put the darkness into and chooses Zelena, since she’s already proven she’s wicked. But, there’s one problem — Zelena is pregnant. So, what’s a Dark One to do? Why, speed up the pregnancy, of course! Everyone fears Emma is after the baby, but once she delivers, she zaps Zelena back to her house.
Once there, Zelena discovers the dreamcatcher into which Emma stored everyone’s memories from Camelot and returns them. Hook them realizes that, while saving his life, Emma has made him the Dark One against his will. And he’s no exactly filled with gratitude.
In the second hour, “The Bear King,” we see the return of Merida and Mulan (!) who has lost her way after losing Aurora. The episode centers around Merida’s family and her father’s magic helm. Zelena and Arthur are also seeking the helm, which is believed to have the power to have men fight your battles for you, something that destroys Merida’s perception of her father.
Along the way, Mulan frees Ruby and Merida fights Arthur. They find the helm, and discover it was never enchanted.