[Once Upon A Time] #501 - The Dark Swan

3:39 AM Joseph Aberl 0 Comments

After the last season finale ending with Emma Swan disappearing into a mist and her fate as the new The Dark One up in the air, we finally have our answers that somehow manage to lead into even more question. Once Upon A Time always was quite effective at  making its plot get more twists throughout one single episode and that is something they still are quite masterful at. The only question is if the premiere of Season 5 can keep the momentum running by turning our main protagonist into the villain and if it is any good to continue watching?

You know the drill at this point. Here is the warning for any potential spoilers that you will see in this review. If you haven’t watched the episode yet then continue reading at your own risk, as there will be spoilers.

We start off the episode with a flashback of young Emma stealing someone’s chocolate while watching a Disney film, and yes it is in fact The Sword in the Stone, until suddenly a man tells her she should not try to pull out the sword. While we still do not know who this mysterious person is, I have a feeling it could potentially be in fact Merlin, as we see him shortly on screen and it would be an interesting twist on the character. Still, after this bit of foreshadowing we actually follow King Arthur himself and see that Excalibur actually turns those not worthy into dust. After he pulls out the sword he realizes that a bit off it is broken off, which kind of made me laugh a bit, but even more interesting that the missing piece is what turned into the blade used to control the Dark One.

Later on we follow Emma, who is being haunted by the Dark One taking the form of Rumpelstilzkin, but shortly even that of a fire-breathing pig, which was an interesting look at the different incarnations of the Dark One. Here she is on the hunt to find Merlin through a Will O’ Wisp, which is then taken by Merida from Pixar’s Brave. Yes, we are actually meeting a character from Pixar and it makes me wonder if one day we will also see Buzz or Woody make an appearance in the future. Still, Emma trying to fight her inner darkness and talking to herself was interesting, as it allows us to see her slowly being consumed by the darkness with her even force-choking a man.

On the side of everyone else, we actually see what has happened to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, who gives them a wand and the possibility to find Emma. Naturally, with everyone desperate to find her, we find out that someone with darkness in their heart is the only one who can teleport them, but as the Evil Queen hasn’t really been that evil in quite some time so they need to ask the Wicked Witch to help them. Naturally, it never goes well asking her and after her trying to return home to Oz, she gets beaten by Regina and we have a small nod to the original Oz story, which was nice even if their destination was a different one in the end.

As great as the build up was and seeing Emma actually shortly gives in to her darkness, but is saved by her family. As King Arthur finds them we suddenly jump into the future, or six weeks to be exact, which I personally find odd as it was a story element they have already used before. Everyone cannot remember what had happened over the course of the last six weeks as suddenly the Dark Swan enters the room and they find out that they all have failed. My guess is we will be following those past few weeks รก la Lost with flashbacks showing us what had happened, but I wished they would have stayed in Camelot a bit longer than just the ending of the episode to immediately return to Storybrooke. Still, in total it was a fun episode with some great moments and I am curious what will happen to Emma and her family from this point forward.

What did you think of the episode? Leave a comment below!