Once Upon a Time is back! At the end of last season Emma took in the darkness of The Dark One. This season we get to watch as Emma attempts to fight this new force that lives inside of her. But as we saw in this premiere it appears that her battle is going to be a futile one.
The episode opened with a young Emma seeing a movie and stealing a chocolate bar. Out of nowhere a man appears and instructs her that bad things happen when you do things you shouldn’t. He gives her a warning to not pull out Excalibur when she is given the opportunity in the future then he disappears.
This is in an interesting scene because it again shows us that Emma’s life has always had some element of the fairytale world involved in it. She may have been sent away but these characters keep following her around. The Snow Queen knew her as a teenager and now this man shows up to talk to a younger version of her. This makes me wonder how many other things Emma is supposed to take part in, in some fashion.
We then jump to Camelot to the point where Arthur takes the sword from the stone. When he pulls it out he discovers that it is broken and the broken portion is missing. He decides to hide this from the people of his kingdom.
A quick side note about this scene. When Sir Kay tried to remove the sword he was turned to dust because he was not destined to take the sword. From what I remember of the original story those who tried to take the sword but were unworthy were just unable to remove the sword. In true Once Upon a Time twist if you try to take what is not yours you cause your own demise.
This makes me wonder about Emma and her destiny in connection to Excalibur . We know that The Dark One cannot die. So if she tries to steal or take the sword it can’t turn her to dust like it did to Kay. But can it still give out a punishment to her? Does it somehow take out the light inside of her, making her have to embrace the darkness? Is this part of the reason that she ends up embracing the darkness instead of fighting it?
When Arthur pulls out the broken sword we quickly learn that the broken portion is actually the dagger of the The Dark One. Excalibur is generally seen as a tool or weapon for good. Arthur is a human king but he is still considered a pretty decent guy. Excalibur’s magic is considered light magic. So what does it mean that part of this light magic item now houses and controls the darkest magic there is?
What can it mean for those who wield it? Do their power rely on each other? Who broke it in the first place and why take a portion and house pure darkness inside of it? Does this have any effect on those who use either portion? Can one turn the other dark and vice versa?
I do not have many theories right now but I am sure that this is going to play a major role in Emma’s fate this season. Maybe bringing them back together will somehow help Emma be able to fight and win her battle with the darkness.
After this revelation we are taken back to the moment right after Emma has disappeared. Hook attempts to use the dagger to bring Emma back to them but he is unable to do so. Regina tells him that is because Emma is no longer in their world. Which means they will need a portal to find Emma.
Hook goes into desperation mode. Everyone is upset but Hook is the most upset out of the whole group. He starts running to idea after idea. They go to the apprentice who gives them a wand that will help but needs dark magic to balance the light magic to wield it. While they all are trying to figure out a way to get Zelena to help them Hook approaches Henry. He asks Henry to rewrite the story with the quill but is dismayed to learn that Henry broke the quill. He then recruits Henry to break out Zelena which of course completely backfires.
Hook is going to have to settle down and get his head on straight. He is not thinking right and doing things that are dangerous and have zero chance of working as they should work. He should have known that going after Zelena would not work out. But he is in a haze and that is going to cloud his judgement throughout this season.
They do end up getting to Emma and helping her to not hurt Merida but it is quickly clear that Emma can’t do this alone. When Emma hugs Hook and finds comfort in his arms the phantom voice of darkness disappears. Emma needs someone strong to lean on and help her stand up for what she believes in right now. Hook has to tamper down his emotions a bit or else he is going to be no help to Emma. He can’t be making desperate decisions and running around without thinking. That is only going to make things worse.
Emma ends up in The Enchanted Forest where she meets the voice of the darkness inside of her. The voice takes the form of Rumple when talking to her. It tells her that fighting the darkness inside of her is a waste of time. It tries to give her a tutorial of what she is required to do now. She refuses to listen at first
I like that this voice is personified. We have watched many characters in this show struggle with the darker side of themselves. But it is always from the outside. We don’t see or hear the voice that is tempting them. This side of Emma is going to be a big deal and I like that the darkness has now has its own character. It will be interesting to watch as the two become intertwined and become less of separate entities throughout the season.
Emma is determined that she will not let the darkness consume her. She refuses to use the powers saying she will not hurt anyone. But we quickly see that this struggle is going to take more then her resolve to win. She has no control over her powers. She accidentally chokes a man who refuses to help her without payment.
Emma has never been one who has had complete control over her emotions. She can’t tamper her anger and her fear. Her power is so great that it takes barely a nudge for her to lash out and use it. Emma is going to need her family and friends to lean on.
It is interesting that the voice disappears when she is hugging Hook and Henry. For a moment when she is wrapped up in the love of those who love her she is safe and can’t hear the voice. But as soon as they part the voice is back. Emma is an independent woman who hates needing others. She is going to have to learn to accept this help. Though we do see at the end of the episode that they do fail in keeping Emma from accepting this dark side of herself.
The last scene is everyone waking up in the diner back in The Enchanted Forest. And in true Once Upon a Time fashion they have no memories of their time in Camelot. This shows thing is telling one story in present and filling in blanks through flashbacks. We are going to get to see how Emma loses her battle with her dark side. The juxtaposition of seeing how far she has fallen and watching her fight at the same time will be interesting.
I am excited for this season to watch as our characters take on completely different roles then we are used to seeing them play.
“I want you to start behaving like The Dark One!”- Darkness’s voice- The darkness is not happy that Emma is unwilling to play her new role. Can anyone actually fight and win against this darkness? Or is this a role that has to be filled no matter what?
“Use your anger,”- Darkness’s voice- As I stated before Emma has little control over her emotions. Her magic is connected to these emotions. Does anger play a part in her losing her battle with the darkness?
Where is Merlin?
Why is he missing?
Why is the dagger part of Excalibur?
Who broke it?
Why did they make part of it something so dark?
What role will this play in helping or hurting Emma? Who was it that came to Emma when she was younger? One of the knights of the roundtable?
Why isn’t she supposed to take Excalibur?
Does this play a role in her losing herself to the darkness?
How long does Emma fight the dark inside of her before losing?
Why did she come back with everyone?
What is her plan now?
Will Rumple wake up?
If he does can he help Emma?
Can there ever not be a Dark One?
Is there a counterpart to this Dark One idea? Someone who is pure light?
Was this somehow Emma at one point?
What role will Zelena be playing in all of this?
Will the baby change Zelena at all?
Will we see Merida again?
Will Maleficent and Lily be bak and if so will they help Emma?