Tonight on ABC their fantastical series Once Upon A Time returns with an all new Sunday September 27, season 5 premiere episode, called, “The Dark Swan” and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode in the fifth-season opener, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) seeks help from Merlin (Elliot Knight) as she tries to fight her new dark urges in the Enchanted Forest
On the last episode, part 1 and Part 2″ – The Author proved to be a formidable wild card and forged an alliance with Gold. Emma, her parents, Hook and Regina scrambled to stop them, but when Gold and the Author turned the tables on heroes and villains alike, the prospect of any happy outcome appeared worlds away. Henry discovered he had big shoes to fill as he stepped up to save his family before the story’s final page was turned. It’s a race to the finish, and everything culminated with a shocking twist that left the residents of Storybrooke reeling. 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, “in the fifth-season opener, Emma seeks help from Merlin as she tries to fight her new dark urges in the Enchanted Forest, and she gets some assistance from Merida, King Arthur and his knights. Meanwhile, Emma’s loved ones unite and try to save her.”
Tonight’s season 5 premiere 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 8:00 PM EST!
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
#OnceUponATime starts now. #TheDarkSwan will rise. We start at a movie theater with a young girl looking at a woman who gets candy and popcorn. She steals the candy from the woman and an usher is there and tells her don’t. He says her name, Emma, and says he knows many things about her and tells her not to do it. He says when you do things you’re not supposed to, bad things happen. The Disney Camelot movie is playing. He tells her she’ll have a chance one day to remove Excalibur from the stone and tells her not to do it.
On screen, we see an animated young King Arthur do just that. The opening credits such a white clapboard house with a flickering light in a lower window. Next, we see a lush green valley with rocky peaks beyond. Three men ride on horseback. Arthur and Lancelot dismount at the edge of a lake and they spot that someone is already there. Excalibur is in the stone and Sir Kay is there. Arthur cautions him not to take it but he says he will take it and be the greatest king and doesn’t care about the prophecy. He grasps the handle and tries to pull out the stone then is reduced to a pile of ashes.
Lancelot tells Arthur – your turn. He grasps the sword and slides it from the rock. He notices the pointy end of the sword is missing. It’s carved at the bottom and looks a lot like the carving on the dark dagger. Arthur says they have a new quest – to find the rest of it. We see the dark dagger and it matches the sword. Emma Swan’s name is on it. The Storybrooke gang are where they saw Emma disappear. Hook grabs the dark dagger and tries to summon Emma. Regina calls him guyliner and says he should know the rules. Since Emma didn’t come, that means she’s not in their world.
A portal opens in another world full of dark slime and a figure emerges from it. When the slimes falls away, we see Emma dressed in a gray wool tattered cloak and a grey gown. She wonders where she is and hears someone whistling. It’s Rumple. She says he’s in a coma in Storybrooke. He says Gold is and she asks what he is. Rumple says he’s many things – the voice in her head, the Dark One’s powers inside her and inside all the Dark Ones. He transforms into a Gorgon and breathes fire at her. He transforms back and asks if she’s ready to learn to be the Dark One.
Emma says she’ll never embrace those powers and the Dark One that looks like Rumple says they all say that. Emma says Merlin can’t be far from there. She says she’ll never hurt those she loves. They go to the apprentice and he tells them Emma is in the EF and he’s too weak to take them. He conjures a wand and says it was a gift from Merlin to the sorcerer and it can help them. He says all the light magic is in there. He says it must be wielded by both light and dark. As he speaks his last words, the wand falls to the floor. He’s either dead of unconscious.
Regina grabs it up and tries to use it – nothing. Hook says she’s embarrassing herself. He says it needs darkness and she’s gone soft. They argue and he says she doesn’t have blackness. He says she’s done too much good and they need someone wicked. Regina says no way can they use her deranged sister. Hook reminds her Emma sacrificed herself for Regina and says she owes Emma. In the EF, Emma comes upon a peddler with a cart and she asks directions to Camelot. He asks for silver and she says she none then loses patience and her power chokes him.
Rumple is there and says she’s the one doing it. She sees her hand grasping and shakes it. The man falls and runs off. Rumple asks if she enjoyed her first taste of darkness. Belle sits at Gold’s beside. He’s unconscious. Blue says to go help the others but Belle says if he passes, she wants to be with her. Blue conjures a rose linked to her Beast – just like in the animated movie – and says while there are petals, he’s alive. They come to Zelena for help. She tries to flirt with Robin. He says something happened to Emma. In the EF, Emma tells Rumple to leave her alone.
He says she’s going in circles and he can help her but she says she won’t use dark magic. He says to just ask and she can find Merlin. She asks and Rumple says a magical force can lead her wherever she needs to be. He says to imagine a mirrored lake, tall tree, and a blue sky above. He says to picture it and then she’s there. She tells him to go away and he points out a blue wisp flying around and tells her to catch it to find Merlin. Robin asks Zelena for help to rid the world of darkness. Zelena agrees and says she will help rid Emma of the darkness. She reminds them she’s powerless with the bracelet on her arm.
Regina gives her sister the wand. Zelena says they need something that belong to Emma, meaningful to her. Zelena says Regina’s magic isn’t powerful enough and they need to take off her bracelet. Regina says never and she and Robin walk out. Zelena tells Hook she’s the only way to find Emma. In the EF, Emma chases the blue light but someone in blue catches it and puts it in her bag – it’s Merida who aims an arrow at Emma. Merida calls her a witch and Emma says she’s cursed, not a witch. She says she needs the will-o-the-wisp to get rid of it.
Merida says be glad she’s not a bear and says she needs the wisp for her family. She tells Emma she’s willing to fight for it with no magic and holds up her fists. Rumple tells Emma to break her neck. Emma says to take it and go – she won’t give in to the darkness. She introduces herself to Emma and Merida says she can help her. She tells Emma the wispies are born in a magical place about a day’s trek and says they can go together to seek help. Hook finds Henry in Granny’s and he tells Henry to write the darkness out of Emma. Henry says he broke the quill and says it’s too much power.
He tells Hook is mom would want him to be good. Hook says – so you won’t break any rules – then tells Henry there’s a dangerous way to help Emma that Regina wouldn’t like. He says he’s not a kid and doesn’t need permission. Hook says Zelena is their best hope and they need to break out the wicked witch. Merida keeps a blistering pace and Emma asks why she needs it. Merida says savages kidnapped her brothers. She says her father was king and then when he died, the clans wouldn’t accept her as queen. She says she needs to save her brothers.
She trips over a stone and Emma offers her a hand and says she won’t help with no sleep. They agree to make camp. Emma rolls over and Rumple is there – he says Dark Ones don’t need sleep. He says he spun straw to pass the time and says she needs a hobby. He asks if she likes knitting. Rumple explains the wisp can only have one owner and says if Merida whispers to it, she has to rip out her heart to reclaim it. Merida listens and hears Emma telling Rumple that he set her up and led her to Merida and wants her to betray the girl.
Henry spills a soda on the nurse attending Zelena and Hook slips in and grabs the room key. He opens Zelena’s room and says he wants her help with the wand. She says she likes that he’s going rogue and tells him to take off the bracelet. He demands a promise from her that she won’t do anything she shouldn’t. He pours out a spell on his hook to take out her heart. He’s thrown back and Zelena says she put a protective spell on hers. She grabs his knife, hacks off the arm with the bracelet, pulls it off then magically reattaches the arm. She tells him he should have listened to her sister and poofs away.
Hook and Henry have to go tell the others they let Zelena out. Hook says at least he tried to help Emma and says maybe Regina doesn’t want Emma back so she can keep Henry to herself. Mary says they will put their nonsense aside and focus on Emma. Regina says she knows exactly who Zelena is after. Regina goes to Robin and says Zelena is out and they have to go. It’s Zelena and he realizes it’s not Regina. He asks what she wants and she says she wants him and he’s the key to everything for her. The gang finds Zelena and she’s got Robin tethered to her by magic.
She tells Regina she’ll trade Robin for the wand and says she’s sick of losing to Regina. She rubs her tummy and says she has someone to love only her and won’t let anyone turn the baby against her. She says she’s going over the rainbow where she can’t follow. She says she was feared in Oz but says she’s free there. Hook tells Regina she can’t hand over the wand. Robin is choking on magic and Regina says she has to. She hands it to Zelena who pulls out a necklace to guide her to Oz. She lights up and storm clouds come towards them.
Zelena smiles then she’s knocked back and Regina rushes and puts the bracelet back on her. Regina says she knew she could open the portal but it would weaken her. She says they’re going to take her portal to Emma. In the EF, Emma realizes Merida has tricked her and gone on without her while she was foraging. Rumple says Merida is doing what Emma should be – taking care of herself first. Rumple says he needs to kill Merida and she says she won’t. She asks what the hills look like so she can magic herself there. We see Merida whispering to the wisp within a circle of stones.
Emma comes up to her angry and asks if she knows what she did. Merida takes aim with her arrows. Merida says she heard everything. Emma says she can explain. Merida says to turn around and go. Rumple says to kill her and Merida says not to test her. Rumple says to rip her heart out. In Storybrooke, the storm rages from the portal that Zelena opened. A green twister approaches the town. They tie Zelena to a chair and Regina pulls out Emma’s baby blanket to take them to her. She magics the blanket and it glows. Leroy runs in with the others and Regina tells him to get out.
The dwarves want to come and says they’re sick of being sidelined on the adventures and they tell Snow they won’t turn their backs on her. Granny’s is lifted off its moorings and pulled up into the funnel. They tell everyone to hang on tight. David and Mary have their son with them and Robin and Roland are there too along with Granny, the dwarves, Hook, Regina , and Henry. In the EF, Emma says she won’t kill her and Merida lets fly an arrow at her heart. Emma catches it and Merida runs to hide. Emma insists she can talk to her and Merida shoots her again and again and she catches the arrows.
Emma tells her to stop while Rumple goads her to kill Merida. Emma calls her forward with her magic and yanks out her heart. Rumple tells her to crush it and she starts to but then Hook runs up and tells her to stop. She says it’s the only way to stop Merlin. Regina says she’ll let the darkness consumer her. Mary pulls out the dark dagger but Hook says it needs to be her choice. Rumple says they don’t understand and she repeats his words. Emma says if she doesn’t find Merlin, the darkness will destroy all of them. Hook appeals to her and she says she can’t hurt him.
Hook says heroes and villains are together for her and they can overcome this with her. Merida looks bad but then Emma shoves her heart back into her chest. Emma leans on Hook who holds her tight. Merida rushes out of sight. The wisp flutters and Merida looks for it. Emma asks if she’s okay and Merida says for someone whose heart was outside her chest, it’s grand. Merida thanks her for showing her the darkness in Emma and says it reminds her she has darkness too and says maybe she needs to show the men who took her brothers mercy – after she gut punches them.
Emma tells her parents it’s too dangerous for them to be there. Hook tells Emma she doesn’t look like a crocodile and Mary hands her daughter the dark dagger. Hook says if it falls into the wrong hands, it can be a disaster but she says someone needs to watch her. She takes the dagger and hands it to Regina who asks if she’s serious. Emma says – I saved you, now save me and if you can’t, do what needs to be done. She tells Regina she’s the only one who can look past her feelings and destroy her. Henry vows it won’t come to that and hugs her.
Emma asks how they got there and Hook says easier to show her and takes her hand. She sees they have Granny’s who comes out and says the fryers aren’t working but the backup generators are on. Emma is surprised to see all the people who came along. They hear hoofbeats and she tells the others to stand back. She asks the riders who they are – it’s King Arthur who says he came to find them. He says Merlin prophesized their coming. Emma asks where Merlin is and he says he’s missing but not for much longer. Arthur says it’s her destiny to reunite Merlin with them.
He tells them all to come to Camelot with him. They arrive to trumpeted fanfare at the gates of the castle. Zelena is also along for the ride, as is Belle. Hook holds Emma’s hands sweetly. The doors open and they see the golden majesty of Camelot. Six weeks later, a couple of the dwarves drive around Storybrooke and they call each other sheriff. Then there’s a flash of magic light and Granny’s comes crashing down. They rush in and ask the others why they’re there. Regina says this makes no sense, they were just walking into Camelot. They tell them they were gone for six weeks.
All of them are dressed in regal garb and all are there but Emma. Then she comes in wearing a dark dress, red lipstick and with white hair. She tells them they failed to get the darkness out of her. She walks up to one of the dwarves who sneezed and turns him to stone. She says there’s no savior in this town anymore. Regina goes for the dagger but it’s in Emma’s hand. She says – no one will touch this dagger but me then says they will all be punished for what they did to her. Hook asks her why she’s doing this and she looks at him and says – I’m the Dark One. She disappears in a puff of black smoke.
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