OUAT Thoughts and Review: “Nimue”


Long before there was Rumplestiltskin, there was the very first Dark One.

This week we got to learn the origin of that Dark One along with seeing Emma come face-to-face with it when Merlin takes her on a quest that could bring her one step closer to returning to her old red-leather-jacket-self.

Meanwhile, her loved ones must help take Excalibur from Arthur with the help (term used very loosely) of an unlikely source.

Check out the headlines from this week’s episode, “Nimue,” along with quotes, random thoughts, and this week’s Most Valuable Resident.

Let’s begin!


The First Dark One: Centuries ago, Merlin gained his power after drinking water from the Holy Grail. A few more centuries later, Merlin is immortal and healing those who come to him.

One day a woman named Nimue comes to Merlin after her village was destroyed by a man named Vortigan.


Nimue and Merlin fall in love causing Merlin to want to get rid of his magic in order to be mortal with Nimue. The only way is to remove his magic by turning the Holy Grail into the sword to cutaway Merlin’s magic.

Nimue doesn’t quite agree because she thinks the power is good, a cause for concern when they come face-to-face with Vortigan. The masked figure tries to take the now transformed grail from Merlin, but Nimue gets in the way and is ‘killed’ by Vortigan.

Not so fast, because when Merlin wasn’t looking she took a drink from the Grail also making herself immortal. But unlike Merlin, Nimue uses the power for evil and kills Vortigan and turns herself into the very first Dark One. Thus, a love story completely shattered.

Operation Excalibur: During the missing time in Camelot, Merlin has a chance to get rid of Emma’s Darkness. The first step is to take Excalibur from Arthur and unite it with the dagger.

Regina, Robin, Hook, and the Charmings fail to figure out a plan with Arthur as their new enemy. However, Zelena has an idea that could get them into the castle, only she wants her magic in return.

Zelena leads them to a secret entrance into Camelot. When the get to the castle (and Arthur) they discover that Zelena double-crossed them and helps Arthur cast a spell on Excalibur that can summon Merlin.

When Merlin appears, he tries to convince Arthur to be the hero he was prophesied hero to be if he hands over Excalibur. Instead, Arthur uses Merlin as his slave to do his bidding and send the Storybrooke folk away.

Emma and Merlin’s Grand Adventure: While everyone else retrieves Excalibur, Merlin first takes Emma on a quest to summon the first Dark One in order to take an ember that will can join Excalibur and the dagger together and save Emma.


There’s one problem: Merlin may not survive if Emma embraces her darkness and kills him. When Emma gets the chance to come face-to-face with the first Dark One—Emma learns that Merlin’s lost love, Nimue, was that Dark One.

Nimue forces Emma to kill Merlin, but Emma fights against the darkness to stop and take the ember from Nimue so her and Merlin can finally unite dagger and sword. Unfortunately, Arthur stops her with his own plans for Excalibur.

In Storybrooke: Emma begins her plan to join Excalibur and dagger together with the voices of Rumple and Nimue in her head. Just as Emma is about to join them, she recalls, yet again, the warning Merlin gave her as a child to not mess with Excalibur. While Emma hesitates for a second, the voices of the past Dark Ones in her head get in the way and she does it anyway.


  • Did Merlin create the Enchanted Forest?
  • Plot hole: We know that Rumple was the Dark One for about 200-ish years. How did Merlin know original Dark One is he only became Merlin when Rumple was Dark One?
  • I may not always be on Team Captain Swan, but that Emma/Hook moment was pretty cute.
  • No Storybrooke…again.
  • Nimue’s Dark One get-up reminds me of those Avatar creatures.
  • There were a lot of parallels between Charming and Merlin’s ‘Find the moment’ speeches.
  • Zelena may not be the nicest character, but you can tell just how much Rebecca Mader loves playing the wickedness in her character which is fun to watch.


“I do love hearing a sensible person talk.”–Zelena

Snow: “It’ll be fine. We’ll chat. I’ve got plenty of pregnancy tips.” Zelena: Good lord. This is worse than being in my cell.”

“Tell your timbers to stop shivering, pirate”–Regina

Most Valuable Resident: Elliot Knight (Merlin) We haven’t had a lot of time with Merlin since his arrival, but in this episode we learned a whole lot more about him. The heartbreaking looks on his face after Nimue was turned into the Dark One were enough to understand Merlin. It also made me even more excited to see where his story goes from here.

Review: 3.5/5 Once again, there was very little time spent in Storybrooke which is disappointing. However, there were parts that had merits, including learning more about Merlin’s past. I was half expecting the Nimue twist, but I was still shocked by how it went down.

Next Week: The two-parter has arrived. Looks like Emma’s big plan may finally be revealed, but at what cost? The episodes also include the quest with Merida and the returning Mulan and Ruby! That’s next week in “Birth” and “The Bear King.”

Were you expecting the Nimue twist? What evil stuff do you think Arthur has planned with Merlin? Are you now more than ever confused how Emma got so dark?

Sound off in the comments or let me know via Twitter.


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