Tonight on ABC their fantastical series Once Upon A Time returns with an all new Sunday November 8, season 5 episode 7, called, “Nimue” and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode, Arthur (Liam Garrigan) may lose Excalibur when his castle is stormed as part of mission designed by Merlin. (Elliot Knight)
On the last episode, Merida went on a quest to save her brothers and brought Belle with her in a Camelot flashback. Meanwhile, a spell that opened communication with Merlin was found in Storybrooke; and Emma ordered Merida to kill Belle, prompting a heroic fight from Gold. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the ABC synopsis, “Arthur may lose Excalibur when his castle is stormed as part of mission designed by Merlin. Meanwhile, Emma joins Merlin when he faces an old adversary; and in a flashback, young Merlin falls in love with a refugee after he’s given magic and immortality.”
Tonight’s season 5 episode 7 looks like it is going to be as magical as ever so make sure that you tune in to our live coverage of Once Upon A Time at 9:00 PM EST!
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#OnceUponaTime begins with Emma and the dark blade and Excalibur. Her dark tormenter tells her that those two halves represent power and history. He says Excalibur’s power was born eons ago and she is about to fulfill that power. We see 1000 years ago, when Merlin was young, he’s in a desert with another man. They spot what they think is a mirage but it’s really a silver and golden cup. His companion thinks it’s a gift from the Gods. He grabs it and turns to dust in an instant. Merlin is horrified.
Merlin says he must drink or die. He asks permission of the heavens and then kneels. He goes slowly and touches it. He’s not destroyed. He drinks from the cup and gives thanks. Is it the holy grail? Where his hand rests, grass begins to bloom in the desert and he says – I have magic. An oasis of lush grass blossoms all around him and a forest of trees. In the distance is a tower. Back in Camelot, Merlin told Emma’s loved ones that he could unite the blades – Excalibur and the dark dagger.
Robin says they are in open warfare with Arthur so this is a challenge. Hook rants that Merlin is giving them no specifics. Hook rants that Emma is weaving dream catchers to steal people’s memories instead of sleeping. Merlin tells Hook he knows what it is to lose someone to the dark power. 200 year ago, we see Merlin healing people in a village. A woman is there and Merlin asks if she’s come to see him. She says a masked man named Vortigan rode into her village. She says she fled and he burned it.
Merlin offers to help and she asks for revenge. She tells him all she had were seeds for the Middlemist flower and says she wants them to live on to spite him since they are not known anywhere else. He says they can plant them and she thanks Merlin. She puts them in dirt and says they will bloom in spring. He says no need to wait and magics them into full bloom. She’s thrilled. She asks if he can see the future but he says he can’t see hers for some reason.
He asks her name and she says Nimue. In Camelot, Merlin tells Emma he can make Excalibur whole and asks her to come with him to get a spark from man’s first fire called Prometheus. She asks why he looks dire and he says they have to deal with the first Dark One. Emma says she just got rid of Rumple in her head and he says this is the one from whom all the dark evil was born. Emma asks if they’ll win and he says he sees two paths – on one she succumbs to the darkness and the other she triumphs.
Merlin says the Dark One can kill him. Emma is stunned to hear that on the bad path, she would kill Merlin and he says everyone would be at the mercy of the ancient Dark One. Emma prepares for the journey and Hook tells her goodbye. She says if they succeed, they will be done with darkness. He kisses her and takes off a chain with a ring around his neck. He says that ring is the reason he’s alive and she says she can’t die today since she’s immortal now.
He says the Dark One is immortal but Emma is not. He says it’s a reminder of the handsome pirate who’s waiting and loves her. She tells him she loves him too. She puts the chain around her neck. Merlin waits and says it’s time for them to go. Years before, Merlin sits by the Middlemist flowers when Nimue approaches. He says there’s a man he’s thinking of helping who wants to be with the woman he loves but there is an obstacle.
He tells Nimue he found the Holy Grail and he drank from it and that’s how he got his magic and eternal life. He says that was 500 years ago. He says if he married her, he would have to watch her grow old and die and says he’d prefer to live a mortal life with her. Nimue says she can drink from the Grail and they can be together forever. He says immortality has a cost. He proposes taking the Grail, making it into a sword that they can use to cut way his magic so he can live a mortal life with her.
He twists a vine into a ring and puts it on her finger. It turns to gold and he tells her he would give anything for her. The masked dark one lurks nearby and listens. Zelena rolls her eyes as the others plan on how to steal Excalibur. She gestures and Regina gives her the voice back. Zelena says their plans are dumb and says they need to sneak in quietly. She says she plotted an escape while she was there and say she knows a way out.
Zelena says she wants her magic back in exchange for helping. She takes them to an abandoned tunnel that goes to the courtyard. Regina tells her if they make it out safe, then they can talk about restoring her magic. They live Mary to guard Zelena and Robin, Regina, Hook and David head for Camelot via the secret tunnel. Arthur works on a potion while he rants to Gwen about the people who came from the sky. He takes a helmet and pours some of the potion on it and it dissolves to a puddle.
He tells the guards to throw the potion on the invaders and says this is war. Gwen looks stunned. Emma and Merlin are on the walk to find the fire and she says she’s worried that she has embraced her powers then says she hurt her son Henry recently. She says she thinks the darkness is winning then asks if they’re hope. He says there is and says they can make it up the mountain to the flame, but wonders if he’ll make it back down.
In the past, Nimue took Merlin to her village that had been burned down. She shows him where her house was and he says she may have survivor’s guilt. She says it’s not guilt, it’s anger then says if she had magic, she would strike down those who do harm. He holds her close to comfort her then sees cups on the ground. Merlin says he thinks the Dark One was looking for the Grail. He asks her to make sure it’s safe – it’s in her pack. He does a spell and says the Dark One is close.
She says he can kill him but Merlin says if he uses magic to kill, darkness will take root inside of him and nothing is worth that. They run off. The tunnel leads them into the castle and they see the guards with a nasty looking caldron of smoking potion. Regina says Zelena seems to have told them the truth so far. Zelena sits crying while Mary watches over her. Zelena bawls and says Regina always win and is going to take her baby. Then she acts like she’s in pain.
When Mary checks on her, Zelena kicks her and knocks her out then says – there’s no rest for the wicked. Merlin and Nimue have the Grail and he says this will give him the life he wants – a shorter life, with love and meaning. He sets it by a fire and begins to work magic. Some of the fire comes out and lights on the Grail. Merlin’s magic elongates it into a sword with a ruby on the hilt and intricate etchings. Then Vortigan is there just as Merlin grabs it.
Merlin says there is no more Grail and tells him to leave them be. Nimue says he wants the sword and the Dark One grabs her. Nimue fights him off then rips off his mask. The Dark One stabs her and she tells Merlin she’s sorry then she dies. Merlin holds her as she dies. Back in Camelot, Merlin and Emma make it to the site of the flame and he says the first Dark One took the fire after he killed Nimue. He says it’s a single spark. Merlin hands her the dark dagger and she’s surprised that her family let him take it.
He says he didn’t ask. He says she has to use it to call to the first one. He says to call on the spirit of the first dark one and she looks at the blades. The names shift past hers and Rumple and then he’s there in front of them. Merlin says it’s not a him. Emma sees the name Nimue on the blade and the Dark One takes off her mask and there is Merlin’s love. When Nimue died, Merlin flipped out and says that power was not meant to be a weapon.
The Dark One threatened Merlin but Nimue ripped out the Dark One’s heart. She says she drank from the Grail when he wasn’t looking. Merlin tells her to spare the man whose heart she holds in her hand. He says if she kills him, she’ll turn dark. She says that man killed her family. Merlin says he cares about her, not Vortigan. He says if she does it, they will lose everything. Nimue crushes the heart. Vortigan dies and the first fire goes out.
Nimue’s flesh begins to change. She turns a greyish green and looks like Gold did. She grabs up the sword and says not to think about cutting away anyone’s magic. She breaks the sword in two and then drops it. Merlin kneels in anguish. She says she’s sorry. Merlin says he’s the one who’s sorry. Now, Nimue is there in front of Emma and Merlin. She tells her she knows Emma and says she’s so pretty – she says the first Dark One and the newest standing as sisters.
Turn out Vortigan wasn’t a Dark One, just a demon of a man and when Nimue killed him, she turned to the first Dark One because she had Grail magic in her. Merlin tells her he’s thought of her every day. Nimue says it’s his last day and then Emma has to throw her back to stop her from killing Merlin. Nimue tells her that you have to kill someone who loves you if they threaten you. Emma chokes Merlin and Nimue says they are all one. Merlin says Emma can find it.
Nimue says he doesn’t understand their power. Nimue tells her to kill him or go back to being nothing. Emma stops and says she was never nothing. She says she doesn’t need her power. She grabs the dark dagger and compels Niue to hand over the spark. Nimue tells her the sword she will make has more than one purpose and tells Emma she will be there for her when she needs her. She says – I’ll be right in there – and taps Emma on the head.
Merlin asks Emma how it felt to take the right path. She says it feels damn good. Emma is happy she could hold out and not do bad. Merlin tells Emma how he put Excalibur into the stone and he created the dagger to control Nimue to protect others. He says Nimue got it and put him into the tree with the curse. He says she began wearing Vortigan’s mask. Emma tells him that Nimue still loves him even though it was twisted up.
Emma asks if you can have the darkness and use it to protect people. Merlin says perhaps one person can hold that much power one day but it’s a lot to ask of one person. Regina, Robin, David and Hook break into the throne room and Zelena is there with Mary as her prisoner. Regina is ready to attack Zelena but Robin says she can’t because of the baby. Zelena has the spell book of Merlin and works a tethering spell. She magics Merlin’s name onto it so Arthur can use it like a dark dagger.
The others try to talk reason to Arthur but he won’t listen. Merlin and Emma walk in the woods talking and then Merlin is gone. He had to answer Arthur’s summons. Arthur tells Merlin to stop the others from attacking him. Merlin tells him that Emma passed the test. Arthur scoffs. Merlin says they can unite Excalibur but Arthur says he won’t let him have the glory. Merlin says Arthur has lost his way and is not the man he was supposed to be. Arthur calls himself a half man with a half sword.
Merlin says he was meant to be like a son to him. Arthur says he never was that and Merlin lied to him about him being a legendary king. Merlin says Arthur will fulfill the destiny and says the future is in Arthur’s hand. He says give him the sword and everything can be repaired. Arthur says no then compels Merlin to be quiet. He tells Merlin to make the intruders leave. Merlin vanishes them away all except Zelena who is smiling smugly.
Now, in Storybrooke, Rumple tells Emma to unite the sword and dagger. She asks why he’s there. Nimue is there too. Nimue tells her she can use the sword to destroy the light instead and says we are all proud of you. All of the past dark ones are there and Rumple smirks at Emma with pleasure. Emma pulls out the spark and sits it in the cauldron. She draws the flame higher with her magic and then puts it into her hands. She makes a ball and plunges the sword and dagger into it and makes them one.
She pauses before grabbing it then thinks back to Merlin warning her to leave the sword alone. She says he told her not to do this when she was a girl. Nimue says she’s a woman now. All of the dark ones whisper at her to take the power and she gives in and grasps the sword. She looks evilly pleased.