Ginnifer Goodwin; Jennifer Morrison; Lana Parrilla; Josh Dallas; Emilie de Ravin; Colin O’Donoghue; Jared S. Gilmore; Sean Maguire; Rebecca Mader; Robert Carlyle
Elliot Knight; Liam Garrigan; Lee Arenberg; Beverly Elliot; Keegan Connor Tracy; Gabe Kouth; Amy Manson; Meghan Ory; David-Paul Grove; Faustino Di Bauda; Jeffrey Kaiser; Michael Coleman; Mig Macario; Raphael Alejandro; Timothy Webber; Sinqua Wells; Andrew Jenkins; Lee Majdoub
Season 5: Episode 1
The Dark Swan
We begin with a bunch of little ones, including tiny!Emma watching The Sword In The Stone. Tiny Emma steals some candy and is immediately caught by an Usher, who knows exactly who she is, both in the real world and the Enchanted one. He tells her that one day she’ll be able to remove Excalibur from the stone but she shouldn’t, even if she thinks she’s doing it for the right reasons, it’s going to end poorly.
Tiny Emma is freaked out on several levels.
We then jump to Camelot where Arthur and Lancelot have just found Excalibur. Kay beat them there, however, and is intent on pulling the sword himself, as he has no desire to be ruled by Arthur. Unfortunately when he tries he gets poofed out of existence, or at least we think he does, and Arthur pulls the sword out instead.
However, the sword’s not fully intact. Because the other half is the Dark One’s Dagger (henceforth known as the DOD), which Emma just got sucked into via a ‘Vortex of Evil’ per Regina. Everyone’s freaking the hell out and are trying to figure out where the hell Emma is. Regina, as usual, figures out that Emma’s not in this world.
The gang heads to Blue’s where the Apprentice is dying and tells them that he has a way for them to get to where Emma is but they need light and dark magic to do that. Regina thinks that means her but she’s wrong: while she’s still a fierce beast, she’s also done too much good and has too much love in her. She’s just not dark enough.
Regrettably that means her sister, Zelena, is their next best bet. Regina is absolutely not down with that.
Meanwhile Emma is having a breakdown in the Enchanted Woods, complete with Rumplestiltskin hallucinations, and uncontrolled magic happening all over the place. According to Rumple, she needs a willow o’ wisp to find Camelot, where she can find Merlin, the only one who can reverse the curse of Dark Magic on her. She almost catches one when she runs afoul of Merida, who needs the wisp to find her brothers; who’ve been kidnapped to force Merida to step down as queen. Merida’s…not pleased.
Over in Bad-Plan-Ville, Henry and Hook decide to break Zelena out behind Regina, Snow and David’s backs.
It predictably goes as absolutely and utterly wrong as you’d expect.
Regina, rightfully, reads the idiot duo the riot act after Zelena escapes, but listens to her daughter when Snow begs them to put their respective shite to the side so they can find Emma. Regina immediately knows where Zelena will go, after Robin, and heads over there.
Too bad Zelena’s already there, and in a kidnapping mood. She takes Robin hostage in exchange for the Apprentice’s wand so she can open a portal back to Oz for herself and her baby. Zelena’s afraid that Robin and Regina will take the baby from her when the time comes and will do anything necessary to keep that from happening.
Regina gives in, getting Zelena to release Robin, but because Regina is, and will always be, the smartest person on the show, she came prepared with magic suppressing handcuffs to slap on Zelena’s arse and uses the portal to find Emma.
Merida and Emma make a deal to join forces to save Merida’s brothers and Emma’s sanity, but Merida overhears Emma having a convo with Hallucination!Rumple and decides to leave her behind. This does not go over well and when Emma confronts her over it, Merida tries to murder her, all this does is push Emma over the edge.
It’s a good thing that Regina and Snow were able to open the portal, gather everyone at Granny’s and use the portal, and Emma’s baby blanket, to get to the Enchanted forest in time to stop Emma from crushing Merida’s still beating heart.
Everyone sort of explains to everyone else what’s happening; Merida and Emma brush off their mutual murder attempts and become buds; Emma gives the DOD to Regina because Emma’s smart enough to know that Regina’s a: the smartest person on the show and b: the only one who’ll kill her if shite gets real and then Arthur shows up to take the gang to Camelot.
Apparently, though Merlin’s been missing for some time, he prophesied the Storybrooke crew’s arrival and told Arthur that they would be able to bring him back.
We jump to Storybrooke to see that everyone’s been transported, violently, back. The dwarves show up and tell everyone they were gone for 6 weeks but for the gang they were just walking into Camelot, yet everyone is dressed as if they’re part of the Camelot royal court and no one remembers anything.
Who shows up looking like a leather clad albino of doom and tells them they failed to save her. And apparently they failed utterly: when Sneezy annoys her, she turns him into stone and when Regina (who she still has more chemistry with than every male character they’ve thrown at her and vice versa) begs her to stop she threatens her with the DOD. She tells them that she’s the Dark One now and for what they’ve done to her they’re going to be punished and then bamfs off in a cloud of black magic and quiet crazy.
Everyone craps their pants.
As they should.
I give the season premier 3 out of 5 poisoned apples.