When we last left off with our favorite fairy tale characters, Rumple fell into a coma after being freed from the darkness, Zelena sat pregnant in a cell, and Emma saved Regina and the rest of the town from the darkness only to disappear and leave the Dark One’s dagger behind, freshly etched with “Emma Swan.”
Once Upon A Time’s fifth season premiere, aptly titled, “Dark Swan”, picks up right where the finale left off with Emma’s loved ones trying to figure out how to get her back. Meanwhile, the Dark Swan rises in the Enchanted Forest with a devil on her shoulder in the form of Rumple. He wants to teach her all about the Dark One’s powers so she can embrace her inner villain, but Emma’s much more interested in finding Merlin so she can get rid of the darkness once and for all.
Since the beginning of the series, the show has focused on the battle between good and evil and we’ve seen several characters explore both sides of the spectrum. As much as Emma wants to be good and protect the people she loves, the power of the Dark One coursing through her is hard to resist. We get to see her struggles and through Rumple, as well as brief, compelling flashbacks, we learn intriguing details of what it means to be the Dark One and why the connection to Camelot is so strong.
As Emma’s doing her thing, Team Hero once again finds itself needing a member of Team Villain in order to succeed. In this case, that villain is everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) Wicked Witch. Like her one-time mentor, Zelena’s assistance comes with a steep price. We can’t go into much more detail than that, but we can say that the premiere left us excited about watching this storyline unfold. The show is back to focusing on its core cast and turning the leading lady into a potential villain seems to have breathed fresh life into the series that lost its footing last season.
Onto the good stuff: Here are a 10 teasers plus some bonus dialogue to tide fans over until the show returns in five short days:
1. The Dark Swan isn’t the only new version of Emma we meet in the episode. A young Emma gets a surprising warning.
2. Look for some familiar faces to enlist in the latest big adventure and someone surprising steps up to be the sheriff in Emma’s absence.
3. For those who may have doubted how Robin feels about Regina, a scene in the Charming loft puts those questions to rest.
4. When one plan fails, a determined Hook recruits Henry for a rogue mission behind Regina’s back.
5. Snow is in full Mama Bear mode when it comes to saving her daughter and she plays (aggressive) mediator to those who don’t see eye to eye.
6. Rumple’s in a coma, but there’s still a lovely Beauty and the Beast moment for Belle.
7. It’s hard to say which character introduction is the best: Merida or Arthur. One leads to a moment that left us gasping.
8. Regina faces a tough choice with a lot of personal consequences. Watch her take a page from someone else’s book when it’s time to act.
9. During a tense moment, Hook’s faith in Emma continues to shine. But will he be too late to curb her dark impulses?
10. The final scene of the episode: WOW. (Prepare to ask Zelena for her time travel spell to get to episode 5×02.)
Some of our favorite lines:
“Do you like knitting?”
“I guess that’s my cue.”
“You can’t be surprised your family’s troubled.”
“Did you ever hear the phrase slow and steady wins the race?”
Once Upon A Time returns Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c on ABC.