There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

When last I wrote about Once Upon a Time, I was not happy. The Queens of Darkness ended up pretty boring. Rumplestiltskin was allowed to be the bad guy yet again and still lives, which is frustrating since I think his death should’ve been when he took out Pan. I was super pissed off about the Zelena storyline which still makes little to no sense and bothers me. I was grumpy. So I was not sure if I’d be watching this season. But then they said they were going to Camelot. I grumbled. I started hearing about their plans for Emma as the Dark One. I grumbled some more. And then I added it to my new DVR and said fine. We’ll see. I think this was a fairly good premiere, and I’ll give that to them. It set up what will certainly be a major storyline for the first half, and a new mystery, and they involved some more characters in it this time which I like. Previously on Once Upon a Time, a lot of stuff happened. Emma turned into the Dark One to save Regina. Zelena’s pregnant with Robin’s child. For some reason Gold is still alive even though he’s not the Dark One. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice says they need to find Merlin. That’s about all that’s necessary.

The last we saw Emma, she turned into the Dark One and disappeared, and her new dagger was left before. Quickly though we see her as a little girl, hiding alone in a movie theater watching The Sword in the Stone. An usher comes up and we know this is Merlin because of casting, but let me just say, you’re looking mighty fine Merlin. Also Camelot is made up of knights of many┬áraces? I heartily approve! He warns Emma that one day she’ll want to take Excalibur and she shouldn’t do it. In a flashback to Camelot, we see that Arthur pulls the sword from the stone, but it’s been cut in half. The other half is the weapon of the Dark One, which makes sense for this world, so I’m with them. Emma’s disappeared because she’s been transported back to the other world. I’m not entirely sure why, outside of the fact that’s where they wanted the cast to be this season, and I’m fine with it. She sees and hears Rumple, who is actually just the expression of the Dark One’s power in her. See this Rumple I actually enjoy. I like him being wicked and evil and funny. If they kept him dead with Pan, they could still have used him like this in flashbacks. I’m just saying. Anyway, she has to find Merlin, because he’s the only person who can help her purge the darkness inside.


Emma meets up with Merida, randomly, because they want to get money off Brave as well as Frozen. At least we probably won’t have an entire season of just Merida like we did Frozen? I’d like to say it’s a little silly they made her hair and clothing that exact. Ariel at least had reasonable colored red hair. This is so very fake and it looks like she’s wearing a costume for Halloween. She needs to use this wisp to help with her kidnapped brothers, and Emma needs the wisp to find Merlin. The two try to team up and then fight, and Emma’s very tempted to give in to her dark side. She pulls out Merida’s heart, but just as she’s about to crush it, her family arrives!

How did they get there? Well that took a lot of effort first. They realized Emma was no longer there because Hook couldn’t call her with the dagger. The sorcerer’s apprentice gave them a special wand that needed to be used by both a dark magic user and a good magic user. It looks like Regina’s officially turned over to good (yay) because her dark magic will not work. I am so pleased, see now this is a redemptive arc that’s been worked at hard and pays off. They suggest Zelena might be the only other option, being as wicked as she is. She wants to be set free in exchange. Hook and Henry sneak in to try and make a deal with her, but she just uses Hook to get herself free. She plans on using the wand, after trading it for Robin’s life, to transport herself and her baby to Oz. She doesn’t want to give them the chance to take her baby from her, since Zelena’s obsessed with someone loving her. She’ll likely end up just like her mother in the end though, they were always so controlling. But Regina figured out opening the portal would drain her and they need white magic and a thing of Emma’s anyway. Voila, it’s done, Zelena’s back in custody, and it’s time for them to head after Emma.


They hunker down in Granny’s because they need to take a twister, like The Wizard of Oz, back to their world. That means Granny is coming along with Belle and a few of Snow White’s dwarf friends (including Grumpy, yay!). Plus baby Neal (??? seems dangerous) and little Rowan (??? also dangerous) but I guess they can’t leave them behind. So they do arrive in time to stop Emma and assure her that they have faith in her goodness. They will help her find Merlin. Hook talks her down, and she gives Regina her dagger to keep, saying she trusts her to do the right thing. I love the way this friendship has developed, it’s just so amazing. King Arthur finds them and says he’s been sent there by Merlin, who prophesized they’d come. They go to Camelot … and then six weeks later Granny’s comes back to Storybrooke. They’re all in period piece clothing but have no memories of the last six weeks. The only difference is that Emma’s full out the Dark One now, devoid of kindness and love, and she has the dagger. She says the savior is gone and they’ll be punished for whatever happened in Camelot in those six weeks. And now we have a story on our hands!

So that was pretty neat. I thought the pictures of Emma as the Dark One were kind of silly in the photo shoots, but here the look really works for her. Her hair is basically white and very severe, and she lacks make up. Her toneless voice is pretty creepy too. I look forward to finding out what made her hate them this much and seeing how they’re going to get her back. Plus Camelot! And Merlin! They found my weak spot, Arthurian Legend, and now I’m screwed. This was good acting all around and I’m much more interested in this storyline than I was for most of last season. Merida kind of seems like a throw away, like a “hey look it’s her you remember that movie right with the bears ha ha.” But I wasn’t really impressed with her, so if she’s sticking around, hopefully there’s more to it. Don’t let me down, show.


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