In the heart-wrenching season four finale of Once Upon a Time, we watched as Emma was forced to absorb and be whisked away by the darkness. This left viewers to suffer through the summer wondering, “Where in the world is Emma Swan?” Now, we’re back and ready to start the next round of Storybrooke Sound-Off!
- Emma finds herself in the Enchanted Forest and begins her search for the only one who can get rid of the darkness inside her: Merlin. The only way to do so is through the help of the will-o’-the-wisps. In order to find one she teams up with Merida, who is trying to save her kidnapped brothers and take her place as the rightful queen of …Scotland? In the Enchanted Forest? Emma also struggles not to give in to the darkness, which manifests itself as Rumpelstiltskin.
- Meanwhile in Storybrooke, the gang tries to find Emma as they begrudgingly try to get Zelena to help. But can she be trusted?
- There’s also a third plot that pops up occasionally in which King Arthur tires to fulfill one of Merlin’s prophecies and apparently needs our heroes (and villains) to do so. There will be more on this in future episodes, presumably.
The most notable thing to talk first about is appearance of Merida, played by Amy Manson.
Now, Merida as a whole has been met with mixed reactions since Brave released in 2012. Some people find her annoying while others really like her. Once Upon a Time will probably cause viewers to react similarly to its version of the red-headed princess. On one hand, she did try to lead Emma on and make her think she would get the wisp once Merida was done with it. However, her motives are quite understandable since she is just trying to protect the one thing OUAT revolves around: family. That, and she does not trust “witches” (with good reason). But, then again, any trouble caused by the witch in Brave was brought on by Merida herself and she did ultimately benefit from the experience. So, the justification of Merida’s mistrust of magic users is arguable.
I will admit, upon hearing about Merida joining the show for season five, I groaned a little. Something that has troubled me – and many other Oncers – is that the series seems to be leaning more toward Disney crossovers, rather than fairytales like it did in its beginnings. I can understand why they decided to make the switch, but I do miss the good old fairytale days of the show’s beginnings. Still, I did end up liking the stubborn lass more than I was expecting and I definitely look forward to seeing how the world of Brave and The Sword in The Stone will be incorporated into the show.
The next highlight was Emma’s struggle throughout the episode to resist the darkness. Of course, it did not seem likely that Merida would be killed off, but Emma giving in to the darkness seems much more shaky. It is, after all, something she has struggled with since the previous season but this time the urge is much stronger. The darkness itself states that all dark ones try to resist it at first but all inevitably succumb. That and we already got a sneak peek of Emma’s wicked self a while back. It was also very nice to see how the search for the savior brought everyone together, despite some character’s problems getting along with each other at the beginning (especially Hook). Last but not least is Zelina’s desire to run away with her child. I assumed that she only wanted to use it as a pawn against Regina, but she actually seems to care for it.
- The What the Heck Moment: When the heroes returned to Storybrooke. Coming back in their Enchanted Forest outfits? It was all good, until not even they knew what they were doing in them.
- The Magic Moment: The crew’s reunion with Emma. It was great to see Emma about to succumb to the darkness only to be saved by the people she loves most. Plus the Captain Swan feels.
- The Whoa Moment: Dark Emma at the end. She definitely comes off as a force to be reckoned with!
This episode, being the season premiere, left a lot of questions and many things to look forward to. It This includes everything from the search for Merlin to the reveal of the latest Dark One. Still, we’ll keep the questions to a minimum.
- Brave is part of the show now. That means we will see some CGI bears eventually. Yay or nay?
- Are you excited for Dark Emma?
- What will become of poor Sneezy? Do you think they’ll put him up as a decoration at Granny’s?
- What about Gold? How will he react to no longer being the Dark One?
- Will Scarlet is confirmed not to be a “regular” anymore. Does anyone care? Was Will a missed opportunity?
What are you thoughts on the first episode of Once Upon a Time season five? Sound off below!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes