OUAT Thoughts and Review: “The Dark Swan” Season 5 Premiere


The season five premiere of Once Upon A Time has finally arrived and there was no short of activity. There were some knights, a wicked witch and a new land for Storybrooke to discover.

But, how did Emma’s new turn as the Dark One change the character we’ve grown to love over the past four seasons?

It’s time for an all new recap for the season 5 premiere, “The Dark Swan.”

Check out below for a recap, quotes, random thoughts, and OUAT’s Most Valuable Resident for the episode. 

In Camelot: After gallivanting through the beautiful Camelot, Arthur and his knights arrive at Excalibur. Arthur succeeds at getting the sword from the stone (movie pun), but the sword is missing the end which happens to match be the Dark One’s dagger.

Years later, Emma is returned to the vault of the Dark One and is greeted by Rumple a.k.a. the Jiminy Cricket conscience from hell.

Rumple tempts the darkest from Emma, but leads her to a way to get rid of the dark..the Will O’ the Wisp. However, when Emma finds it she meets Merida who is also looking for the Wisp to save her brothers who were kidnapped. A bond doesn’t last long, when Merida believes Emma

In 1989: A young Emma goes to the movies to see The Sword in the Stone (coincidence?) and is confronted by a man who tells her that she will be tempted to take Excalibur and should not take it (huh?).

In Storybrooke: After Emma disappeared, Hook and her family are desperate to get her back. They are given a wand by the Apprentice that can only be wielded by someone of dark magic. When Regina’s magic won’t work, they are forced to go to Zelena.

With a bit of trickery on both ends, Regina gets Zelena to open a tornado-type portal for Regina and crew to get to Emma in Camelot with the help of her baby blanket.

All Together Now: Rumple continues to tempt Emma to kill Merida so she can get the Wisp to help her. Emma rips out Merida’s heart, but when Emma’s loved ones arrives she goes against temptation and lets Merida live.

Emma greets everyone at Granny’s new location in the Enchanted Forest and welcome new visitors Arthur and Co. He tells the tale of how their arrival is the answer to Merlin’s prophesy and how they will bring the lost Merlin back. Arthur invites them to Camelot so they can all search for Merlin together. But then…

Six Weeks Later: Everyone returns to Storybrooke in Granny’s all dressed up with no memory of what happened after they arrived at Camelot.
Soon they are greeted by a silver-haired, very angry Emma, who has embraced the darkness during the missing time and has taken control of her dagger, which had been given to Regina for safe-keeping.


  • Another great casting for little Emma. How cute was she?
  • Most of the episode was basically a who could think of a sassier comeback: Hook or Regina. I call it a draw.
  • In Rumbelle news, so Belle can be with comatose Rumple, but still help the others save Emma, the Blue Fairy gives her a Rose that will remain in bloom for as long as Rumple is OK.
  • Anyone else find it adorable how much Roland clinged to Henry as Granny’s went airborne? I love the brotherly bond that has had zero words so far.
  • You’d think there’d be more consequences for the amount of times those Storybrooke people have lost their memories.


“Put that thing down before you hurt yourself, Guyliner”–Regina to Hook

“You’re ruining my chi.”–Zelena

“Just be glad you’re not a bear…oh, nevermind.”–Merida, referencing Brave

“What’s she saying? Accent’s a bit much, no?”–Rumple about Merida

“Secure the condiments”–Granny, before the restaurant took a ride through the portal

Grumpy: “…Not even in the face of certain death.” Happy: “Certain?”

Most Valuable Resident: Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison). Emma went through a lot in the premiere. She became the Dark One, tried to control her dark thoughts, and then had a big transformation (and makeover) that took everyone’s memories and back to Storybrooke. Emma dealt with a lot and Jennifer Morrison kicked ass with it from her first to last scene of the episode. This is going to be an interesting season for her and I’m excited to see where it takes her.

Review: 4.5/5 The season premiere had a lot to offer with the intro of Camelot and Merida, Emma’s dark story and everyone uniting to save her. I’m loving the concept of trying to piece together a puzzle a la Wicked Witch arc, but even more the idea of more characters joining in on the adventure is even more fun to watch. This premiere made me excited for more.

Next week on Once Upon A Time: It’s time to learn more about Dark Emma and why her family’s memories were erased when they returned to Storybrooke.

What are your thoughts on the season five premiere? Any theories about why their memories were erased…again? 

Sound off in the comments below or via Twitter.


3 thoughts on “OUAT Thoughts and Review: “The Dark Swan” Season 5 Premiere

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