‘Once Upon a Time’ (Season 5): The Dark Swan Rises

Dark Swan

Since the debut of Once Upon a Time back on October 23, 2011, the fairytale characters that we have all known since we were children have traveled through countless realms, including the Enchanted Forest, Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Arendelle (from the animated film Frozen) as well as an alternate version of the Enchanted Forest and the hidden town of Storybrooke, Maine. Now with the premiere of the show’s fifth season, which aired last night on ABC, those characters will experience the worlds of Camelot and Brave (yet another Disney animated film).

The connection with the world of Camelot was made clear at the end of last season not only because of the Sorcerer’s hat – wielded by Mr. Gold – but also by the introduction of the Sorcerer’s apprentice. When the Darkness was inadvertently released by that apprentice in an attempt to save the life of Mr. Gold, Emma stepped in so the evil contained within the Darkness would not take Regina, who was finally on her way to her happily ever after.

As the premiere episode opened, it was clear that the world of Camelot will continue to play an important part in the new season because of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and Excalibur. When Arthur pulled that sword out of the stone, though, it was missing a crucial piece…and that piece is the dagger which now controls Emma (the same dagger that controlled Rumpelstiltskin and all of the other “Dark Ones” preceding them).

How the world of Brave will play out in the show, beyond the season premiere, is hard to say, but they wouldn’t introduce Merida, having her play such a crucial part in the first episode of the fifth season, without having a purpose behind it all.

NOTE: Did any of the Outlander fans out there notice the standing stones circling Merida and Emma as they fought over the wisp before many of the Storybrooke heroes and villains arrived to stop Emma from crushing Merida’s heart into dust? I did!!

And how about that neat little trick that Regina pulled on her evil – nee wicked – sister Zelena where the wand from the apprentice is concerned. It was quite fun watching Regina get the better of her sister, wasn’t it? And then there was the Oz-like tornado transportation of Granny’s Diner to the world of Camelot. Did you guys figure out the connection of the diner in the title shot at the beginning of the episode with the transportation of the diner near the end of the show?

But most disturbing of all, was the “six weeks later” return of Granny’s Diner to Storybrooke with all of the characters in tow – albeit dressed in Camelot attire – and Emma in full Dark Swan persona. Just what happened during that six week period – their memories were all wiped out (really, we have to go through that yet again?!) – so it will be a big game of put the puzzle pieces together as the new season rolls out.

What are your thoughts on the new season? What do you think happened to all of them during those six weeks in Camelot? And, just how evil is Emma going to be as the Dark One? Please share your thoughts below.

‘Once Upon a Time’ will air the next episode of its fifth season on ABC on Sunday, October 4 at 8/7c.