wrapped its Season 5 premiere, onetime savior Emma Swan had gone “full Dark One” — which a summer’s worth of promos told us was coming. The huge questions the opener left us with, though, are
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Upon offering herself to the Darkness in the May finale, Emma was transported to a different realm, where Rumplestiltskin, as a familiar manifestation of all Dark Ones before her, nudged her to embrace her new fate. Emma though was resolved to find Merlin and rid herself of this curse, and to that end found herself butting heads with brave warrior Merida, to gain control of a Will O’ the Wisp.
Meanwhile back home, as Regina, Hook, the Charmings et al sought a way to track down Emma, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice produced a wand that could summon a portal. Alas, Regina’s good deeds in recent times have rendered her magic not dark enough, so a favor was needed from wicked Zelena. When Regina refused to meet her pregnant half-sister’s terms, Hook conspired with Henry to privately negotiate with the wicked one, only to see Zelena steal the pirate’s blade and no less than
lop off her hand/remove the magic-depleting cuff, and then escape to conjure the portal herself.
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Luckily, Regina rightly suspected that Zelena in doing so would not sustain enough power to actually use the portal. Instead, Regina gathered a group inside Granny’s (a couple of always-forsaken dwarfs, as well as Zelena, included) and sent the entire structure through the portal, where on the other side they promptly found Emma and stopped her from crushing Merida’s ticker. After Emma left Regina in charge of the dagger, King Arthur and his knights arrived on the scene to claim that Merlin foretold of this encounter, and invited the strangers to his castle. But the instant that everyone waltzed through its royal gates….
They were back inside Granny’s as the diner crash-landed back in Story- brooke, with everyone dressed in fancy garb. Just as they learned that they’d been gone six weeks — of which they have no memory! — a frosty-haired, leather-clad Emma strutted in to announce that she had become the Dark One, because they
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In the slideshow below (click here for direct access),
co-creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis answer burning questions about the missing memories, Emma’s animus, comatose Rumple and more.
This show is getting so repetitive. A new realm, someone’s evil, missing memories, wash rinse repeat.
I seriously groaned the minute they said they couldn’t remember anything again
Me too. Big eye roll moment for me. I mean seriously, again?!?
yeah, when Charming mentioned they lost their memories, and Snow added “Again”. That line alone should have reminded the writers that they have gone to the missing memories well too many times.
This is the only show I’ve ever watched live since day one, so I’ll always put up with whatever it throws at me. But I agree completely, the “we lost our memories” schtick is getting very old. They need to start branching out the storylines a little better. They keep stumbling into the problem of leaving most of the established characters with nothing to do and running out of ideas for newly upped series regulars (Red and the Knave come to mind as I don’t recall either of them having that huge of an impact, if they did it was for an episode or two). Snow and Charming hardly do anything anymore (Charming had what, one line in the premiere?). I also felt that Henry’s “I broke that pen because power is bad and I want to be good…so I’m going to help Hook ignore my mom’s wishes and break out Zelena!” seemed off. Other than that, digging Emma as the dark one (not on board with Merida yet, though I’m enjoying it way more than Frozen)…but the amnesia card didnt need to be played again.
And did anybody else get the feeling the “No dwarves allowed, adults only” line is going to miff someone off?
That was a great opener what happened that past six weeks? So many questions can’t wait for the answers!
rumple talking to Emma about Merida’s accent was funny
I knew Regina would figure out a way to get everyone through the portal now but did the baby have to come? I wonder how Mulan and Ruby will come back into all this too? Looking forward to this season I like the Dark Swan!
Other than they continue to make the show how many characters can we cram in one season not bad really sets the foundation of the season. Emma having Rump as her guru guide/ voice in her head really is like avatar last airbender. Jennifer really portrayed the do what you have to conflicted angst down to a t. Surprised the dark one dagger is part of excalibur if that’s the case I wonder what Merlin was planning when he halved the sword and when her warned five year old Emma about it probably won’t end well. Finally the ending honestly these guys have been memory whipped more than the civilians in the men in black movies and dark one Emma looks a lot like an 80’s rock star. All in all decent start.
I think they had an interview on tvline that Jennifer said they wanted her to be kinda David Bowie with her dark swan look
Her pre-transition coat looked very Ziggy Stardust! :)
Do you think merlin was warning emma not to become the dark one or try and connect the sword and the dagger?
Although I still love my show, I did find the season opener a little disappointing. I hope is was a fluke and the rest of the season is epic. That being said, I am intrigued by the Excalibur/dagger connection and am curious to see what that will be all about. Usher (Merlin?) clearly warned young Emma away from the sword. Does he NEED her to stay the Dark Swan? And am I crazy, but didn’t Charming have some sort of Excalibur encounter in an earlier season, and wasn’t it “whole” then? Also, what happened to Zelena? Last we saw her, she was tied up in a portal-bound Granny’s. yet she didn’t seem to come through to the other side with them, along w/ the other dwarves. Did the dwarves leave Granny’s at the last minute with a re-cuffed Z to re-incarcerate her? I DO hope they stop w/ the Z disguising herself as fill-in-the-blank, as that trick is cheap and gets boring quickly. I am glad OUAT is finally back, and I am looking forward to BETTER episodes in the upcoming weeks.
1) That was a fake Excalibur Charming led Snow to in Season 3.
2) Zelena came through with them, can be seen walking into Camelot.
Thanks, Matt. I didn’t notice her come back though…did I miss that too? Or is Z still in Camelot?
Yeah, she did come back through. Was wearing a light green dress or something…
Agree with you re. the ep – I found it disappointing too. The promo for next week looks interesting at least.
Thanks Aly…I’ll have to rewatch to pick up what I missed watching live.
Yep, she’s standing next to Henry in a pale dress.
She was there when they arrived back in Stieybrooke.
The husband is riveted on Dark Swan, “This is the show that should be winning Emmys!” So, it is all a matter of taste, I guess. I find it a fun show.
I’m hoping we get at least a glimpse of Morgana because she is my favorite part of the king author story
I kind of have a small feeling that Morgana is either going to be related to Regina or be Regina
Going to be honest. That had to be THE WORST written episode in all ouat history.
Definitely not the worst of all, but certainly the worst season opener.
Maybe they should have pushed for a 2-part opener.
And if they EVER lose their memories again, I’m quitting. Why can’t things just happen? Why do we need to be flashing back to them?
THIS regarding flashbacks. What’s wrong with telling the story chronologically? When they were walking into the castle I was thinking it was a good spot to end. Then the time jump happened, GAH!
Since the poll shows the vast majority loved the premiere but the comments are mostly critical, I just wanted to add some positivity and say that I LOVED the Once premiere! Hook, Emma, Regina, Zelena, Rumple, and Merida…all amazing in the 1st ep! Very excited for this season to unfold.
Honestly, I think this was the worse season opener that this show’s had. It was sluggish and boring to me, and the thing that had me most excited was the promo for next week.
I am interested in meeting Merlin properly. Merida seems like a cool character so far too. And it was great seeing Robert C as the Dark One again – he’s such a fabulous actor. Regina had some great one liners, and Lana’s hair (and everything…) looks gorgeous.
I was sad we didn’t get to see more of Snow and Charming’s POV, seeming as this is their daughter. And the whole ‘Granny’s Diner is off with everyone aboard’ was rather cheesy. Why the hell did they bring Roland and Baby Beal along??? Seems very unsafe.
I could have done with more ‘everyone back in Storybrooke, searching for Emma’ and less ‘Emma in the woods’, quite frankly. The impact would have been better if we saw her later in the ep, plus given other characters more than just one or two lines to say. And unfortunately JMO is continuing her acting choices of last season when it comes to Dark Emma – that is, no emoting whatsoever. I think Rumple and Regina (and many of our other villains) have shown emoting makes for an interesting villain…it’s down to WHAT emotions you show, rather than whether or not you show them at all. Dark Emma just says everything in a monotonous voice, and a distinct lack of facial expressions. JMO CAN be a good actress, but I had my doubts over her acting choices for this arc last season, and this first ep has done nothing to ease mind.
Ok, first off, THEY didn’t stop Emma from crushing Merida’s ticker, KILLIAN did. Matt, I expected better from the only reporter I trust to cover OUAT accurately. Second, the promo for 5×02…good grief. After Adam and Eddy spent so much time in the wake of SDCC clearing up misconceptions and rumors (put forth mainly by the actress and a ridiculously biased entertainment outlet) that Regina was the new Savior this season (hell Adam & Eddy even stated outright this wasn’t true in their interview with Matt!) THAT was the promo they decided to go with? Then again, what did I expect from the Once promo team? They never bounced back from those horribly and embarrassingly awful season three promo pics.
don’t take it personally those two yahoos are notoniously known for not living up to what they say.
I love how being evil causes bad hair, unless you’re Regina!
False: the bouffant in the 2×09 flashback was not cute, and the ridiculously high ponytail is seriously unflattering (think 2×02 or 3×02).
Can someone please explain me what land was the one Emma went to? Is it Camelot, the Fairytale Land, Oz or everything is in the same realm? I’m confused. Thanks!
How I understand it, Fairytale land is the country (they call it realm in the show) and Camelot is like a city, within FTL. So, they are in the realm we are used to seeing, but in a different part.
The enchanted forest, Arendelle and Camelot are in the same realm.
It’s like following a Lost formula. It’s repeative, predictable. They forget about some characters, write off others to write for new favs (Zelena). Time jump and Dark Swan is lame.
well they did introduce alternate universes last year or at least some variant of it.
“The lasagna might be fake…” The husband, “Ohhh, that’s too bad.” The Bosses need to keep the guy fans fantasies intact.
I can’t wait to see where this storyline goes, especially since I’ve always enjoyed the whole Camelot and Knights of the round table legend.
I like the twist with the sword in the storm that its other half is the Dark One dagger.
I loved it. I love every season, and this premiere did not disappoint!:-)
Did anyone mention the dagger/Excalibur connection? LOVE that! Can’t wait to servo wit develops.
Solid premiere. I prefer “generic Dark One voice in Emma’s head” to the Rumple character who’s irredeemable IMO. Good device to keep Carlsisle around while the character is out of commission. Hilarious that Regina is “too good” to use dark magic now. Didn’t love the 6 week jump or all of Granny’s getting transported, but I understand them as plot devices. Glad there were some cute Captain Swan moments among the chaos. That’s all I need, tiny sweet CS moments to keep the burn slow and steady. Excited to see what Camelot brings.
I loved it. Even squeezing in Merida, I didn’t mind as much as the Frozen arc. Seeing where they go from here and the flashbacks to FTL & the lost weeks and Emma going full on DarkOne should be interesting. I’m guessing it has something to do with Emma pulling the sword out of the stone. And I wonder how that guy at the theater knew she’d be there to warn her when she was just a child. Maybe we are gonna see some more time travel too?
The only question I was left with, is whether this will be an entire season arc or split A/B stories like the past couple seasons? Anyone know?
Hook was willing to risk whatever to get to Emma, and i loved the Henry and Hook dynamic.
Hook and Emma’s love shining through, When Emma hugged Hook and Henry – she saw that DO Rumple was gone, thats huge. Its their love and Emma’s love for them is her strength and weakness.
Chilling scene of Emma touching Snow’s face and the end scene.
I enjoyed watch Merida and Emma scenes, and also Emma and Rumple (however much i dont like Rumple, he is entertaining as the one in Enchanted Forest)
Liked it over all but the pacing felt off. We had a whole lot of characters crammed into one hour and not enough emotional OMG Emma’s the dark one!!! reactions from our core, especially Snow and Charming. Absolutely loved the tornado portal taking Granny’s Diner to the enchanted forest, but like others I question the wisdom in bringing a baby and a 5 yr old (or however old Roland is now) along for the ride. I was a little annoyed with Hook this episode. I get that he’s desperate to find Emma but he came off as kind of a jerk. I hope he won’t be like that all season. Loved Merida and thought she fit in well with the OUAT story rather than overpowering it like Elsa/Anna did last year. Did not like the time jump/amnesia thing AT ALL. I groaned so loudly at the tv. Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? Can we not tell a story in real time? I know the Neverland arc was kinda bad but I chalk a lot of that up to the completely unimaginative scenery.
I thought it was well done, although the ending scene wasn’t my favorite, since I’m still not sold on them actually letting Emma go full dark. Not something I really want to see. But I loved the Camelot scenes, especially the interaction between Emma and “Rumple,” loved Merida, and adored that Killian was able to stop Emma from killing Merida without resorting to controlling her with the dagger.
Agree with the “meh” reaction of a lot of others here. For all of OUAT’s problems, they usually do a solid season premiere, but this episode was kind of bland. The pacing was off and nothing was allowed to have much emotional impact, because they crammed in so many new plot points/characters. The stuff with Emma and Not!Rumple was interesting, and I like the idea of exploring the Dark One’s history (which I’ve been waiting for since Season 1). Nothing else really stood out. Zelena is already majorly irritating, and it’s only the first episode.
Thanks, Matt, for asking about Belle leaving Coma!Rumple’s side. Let me get this straight: Belle is too important to sit the sidelines, so we then have her in the background for the rest of the episode…sitting on the sidelines (with no dialogue). Also, I don’t really like the way the writers seem to now equate “strength” for Belle with going on “adventures”, instead of the emotional strength we saw from Belle in Season 1-3. Would it kill Adam & Eddy to give a little bit of hope to Rumbelle fans? Here’s to hoping that Belle and (a hopefully soon-to-wake) Rumple get more than 30 seconds of screentime together in subsequent episodes.
Oh, and I can’t believe they’re doing the “we can’t remember anything” thing again. Really?
Are they going to show what happened between the Red Queen and Will Scarlet and why he came back to Storybrooke after Wonderland?
Re: OUAT.. I like the show, I do. But it would be great if they would do away with the amnesia gimmick. It’s just over-used here.
Meh. I liked it and I didn’t. I agree with a lot of other people the loosing the memory thing is very blah for me. I wasn’t a fan of them turning Emma into the dark one precisely because it was the most predictable thing to do. with that said it is interesting to think what happened in the blacked out period that turned Emma dark, and I enjoyed the Camelot and Brave arcs. there is enough there for me to blissfully ignore the mundane trite story telling and focus on the interesting part.
I was happy for the premier of the season opener, but I am not sure how I rate this. I could not do the poll, but for sure I would not have given it awesome. I am a mother, so as other commenters have said, what was Snow thinking bringing the baby through the portal. Not only was that wrong but when they all returned back to Storybrooke, six weeks was suppose to have passed but that baby looked the same size in Snow’s arms as it had when they were walking into Camelot. Also, I know that Killian talked EMMA down from killing Merida but why not Henry who stood back and said absolutely said nothing to her. He has always been able to talk to her and reason with her because of their love for one another, as Mother and Son. So I will continue to watch but I was really shaking my head by the end of this first show.
Sorry Pat, but the show has made it clear that they care to explore Emma’s relationship with a reckless man then focus on her relationship with her son who she has barely been in his life. It is absolutely ridiculous because Emma’s relationship with Henry is the most crucial relationship on the show. Also remember, Regina successfully also talked Emma down from killing Lily in “Lily”. So for the PR to say only Hook understands Emma and darkness is ridiculous when we have Emma saying that Regina is the one that truly understands her. Elsa even said that Hook doesn’t understand Emma. But the show is going to ride and die with CS so….
But all familial/friendship relationships have taken a back seat to romantic cliché relationships.
So we have Hook saying that Emma specifically saved Regina for Regina. Can someone tell this to Jennifer Morrison to lay off, “She did it for the town” foolishness? I don’t see the need to devalue the Swan Queen friendship. Thank you.
The back and forth between Hook and Regina shows so much chemistry, I always loved the concept of Hooked Queen since season 2 and think the show really dropped the ball in not doing a villain/villain relationship but wanted to do a cliché relationship with bad boy/good girl with Emma and Hook. We already have Rumbelle for that. Anyway, both are brunettes that lost their true loves right before them. Both can snark (Regina does it better though).Regina/Hook are more kindred spirits than the garbage PR tries to do to sell Captain Swan. The chemistry between Lana/Sean is nonexistent.
So we are suppose to actually believe that Hood recognize that kissing Regina was actually Zelena in two seconds, when he only dated Regina for 4 days? But he couldn’t tell Zelena wasn’t Marian when he was shagging and shacking with her for over 6 weeks? Nice try to try to sell us that Robin “knows” Regina but it is ridiculous and the attempt to repair OQ is laughable.
Btw, it is a shame that people think Hook endangering Emma’s son life again is romantic, but the writers chose to go that route and people are eating that up. Here is another horrible deed that Hook done that Emma would never know about and it is alright for Hook to be a jerk and make stupid decisions because he is “so in love”. There is nothing cute about recruiting teenagers to go against a powerful witch and I hate that they are throwing Henry under the bus to prop the precious prince Killian again. I fail to see what Emma sees in someone he is a narcissistic liability in magical crisis.
A&E were self aware to confirm that there would be no new big curse because it is repetitive, but then they decide to go with another memory wipe. What wonderful master storytellers they are. Seriously, the show should explore the side affects of memory wipe and brain damage for the amount of amnesia that happens on the show.
Nice twist on the Excalibur/dagger. Merida was good. The deliver of “Dark Swan” was lackluster.
Ok, so as I understand it now, Emma is on the “bad” team and Hook and Regina are on the “good” team. Not sure where Zelena stands, but I was really hoping she would pop back off the Oz and stay there.
I assume this season’s flashbacks will be to the missing time in Camelot. They’d better be at least.
I always like how every season there is 0 time that passes between the last episode and the next season’s first (certainly 0 this time), but there is not an explanation about Henry’s obvious growth spurts in those 0 minutes. You can’t stop a kid from growing, I guess.
“I assume this season’s flashbacks will be to the missing time in Camelot.”
It very clearly says that is the plan in the article here.
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