When we last left Storybrooke, Emma was whisked off into the sky in a swirling cloud of blackness. The dagger that controls the Dark One now bears a new name on its blade. It reads: Emma Swan. What’s next for the heroes and villains of Storybrooke, the Enchanted Forest and other far off lands? Let’s find out in the Magical Moments recap for the Season 5 Premiere “The Dark Swan” episode of Once Upon a Time (original airdate September 27, 2015).
Ushering In a Warning: In 1989 Minneapolis, a young Emma Swan swipes a box of candy at the movies. An usher, who happens to know her name, warns her that bad things happen whenever you do something you’re not supposed to do. One day, Emma will have the opportunity to remove Excalibur from its stone. This is not something she should do.
Young Emma Gets a Warning|Emma is warned against taking Excalibur.|After sneaking into a movie, a young Emma is approached by an usher, who warns her not to take Excalibur from the stone or bad things will happen. From the Once Upon a Time season 5 premiere episode, "The Dark Swan."
Home of the Brave: In the Enchanted Forest, a vision of Rumplestiltskin is there to be Emma’s guide. That’s not going to work for her. But she may not have a choice as she experiences her first taste of darkness. Rumple tricks her into using magic in her quest to find Merlin. While chasing the Will-o’-the-Wisp, Emma encounters a brave warrior princess.
Emma Meets Merida|Merida initiates a fair fight with Emma.|As Emma (Jennifer Morrison) chases the wisp, she realizes she isn't alone and meets Merida, who is also after the wisp. When Emma accidentally uses magic, Merida initiates a fair fight. Emma refuses and bands together with Merida. From the Once Upon a Time season 5 premiere episode, "The Dark Swan."
Witch Way to Turn: In present day Storybrooke, Emma’s friends and loved ones must figure out a plan to save her from the vortex of evil that consumed her. The Apprentice produces a gift from Merlin that can help just before he dies. The wand can only be wielded by someone who has light and dark combined inside them. Regina is a little too good these days, but someone else isn’t.
Change of Heart: Merida needs the Will-o’-the-Wisp to save her kidnapped brothers. She knows that Emma has thoughts of betraying her. So she sneaks off without her. Merida whispers into the Will-o’-the-Wisp at the Hill of Stones. The vision of Rumple tempts Emma to kill her. It’s hard to resist. Emma rips out Merida’s heart. She’s about to crush it when her friends and family arrive.
Emma Rips Out Merida's Heart|Merida takes the wisp and Dark Swan emerges.|When Emma (Jennifer Morrison) witnesses Merida taking the wisp, Merida fires arrows at Emma, who catches them. With Rumple's (Robert Carlyle) encouragement, Emma rips Merida's heart out. The heroes and Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) arrive just in time to convince Emma to turn away from the darkness and to return Merida's heart. From the Once Upon a Time season 5 premiere episode, "The Dark Swan."
Art Appreciation: Emma gives Regina the dagger to watch over her and destroy her if necessary. She sees all the people who have come to help her as they file out of Granny’s newly-relocated diner. The reunion is cut short when King Arthur of Camelot arrives with his knights. Merlin had prophesized that this group would arrive to reunite them with their missing sorcerer.
King Arthur Meets the Heroes|Merlin predicted the Saviour was coming.|The heroes gather at Granny's in Fairy Tale Land when they hear the approach of horses: it's King Arthur, Percival and the knights. King Arthur reveals that Merlin predicted the Saviour's arrival. From the Once Upon a Time season 5 premiere episode, "The Dark Swan."
Forget About It: Six weeks later, Granny’s Diner and everyone who had flown off in it are back in Storybrooke. The last memory anyone has is when they were entering into Camelot. Emma, wearing an outfit of black, reveals that they all failed in their mission to release the darkness inside her. She claims there is no longer a savior in Storybrooke.
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The Heroes Lose Their Memories Again|They arrive back with no memory of what happened.|Sneezy and Sleepy enter Granny's Diner to find the heroes back from Fairy Tale Land six weeks later. David (Josh Dallas) and Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) come to realize they have no recollection of what happened. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) appears fully transformed into the Dark One and informs them they will be punished. From the Once Upon a Time season 5 premiere episode, "The Dark Swan."