The Dark Swan Recap

Minneapolis, 1989

A young Emma goes into a movie theater and steals a candy bar from a patron. A man in an usher's uniform addresses her by name and tells her "don't." She apologizes and the man says that he isn't talking about the candy car. The man warns that bad things happen when someone does something bad, even for good reasons. He says that she will one day have the opportunity to remove Excalibur from the Stone, but he has to leave it alone. The man disappears and Emma looks around, puzzled.

The Enchanted Forest

Arthur, Percival, and Lancelot gallop across the land. They finally arrive at a lake and see the Stone... and Arthur's half-brother Kay standing next to it. He insists that he's entitled to be king despite Merlin's prophecy, and grasps the Sword before Arthur can stop him. When he touches it, he dissolves into ash. Arthur hesitantly grasps Excalibur and pulls it out... and discovers that half is missing. Arthur says that all the people need to know is that they have a new king, and says that they must quest to find the missing half of Excalibur.

Storybrooke

Everyone stares at the Dark One's dagger, with Emma's name on it. Regina points out that Emma was sucked up in a vortex of evil, and hook picks up the dagger. He calls Emma to him using the dagger, but nothing happens. Regina says that it isn't working because Emma isn't in the world anymore.

The Enchanted Forest

The black essence of the Dark One reforms in the well in the Enchanted Forest, and Emma emerges from it. Rumplestiltskin appears, whistling, and says that Gold is in Storybrooke in a coma. He's the voice in Emma's head, and represents the Dark One's power. Rumplestiltskin asks if Emma is willing to begin, and says that he's her guide until she embraces her power. Emma refuses to embrace the darkness, but Rumplestiltskin says that all of the Dark Ones eventually give in. The only way to be stop is to be stopped. When Emma walks away, Rumplestiltskin warns that she can't walk way. She says that she's going to find Merlin so he can destroy the Darkness, and refuses to hurt the people she loves.

Storybrooke

Hook and the others tell the Apprentice what happened. The Apprentice says that she is in the Enchanted Forest, and he is too weak to take them there. He conjures a wand and explains that it's a gift from Merlin. In it is all the light magic, but it must be wielded by both the light and the dark. The Apprentice passes out and as Mother Superior tends to him, Regina picks up the wand and tries to activate it. Nothing happens, and Hook says that she's gone too soft to wield the dark. The pirate says that they need someone wicked, and Regina refuses to turn to Zelena for help. Hook says that it's worth the risk because Emma sacrificed herself to save her.

The Enchanted Forest

Emma comes to a peddler, who demands money for directions to Merlin. When he bargains, Emma snaps and unconsciously levitates him into the air, choking him. Rumplestiltskin appears and says that Emma is doing it. After a moment she breaks the spell and the peddler runs off.

Storybrooke

Mother Superior goes to the pawnshop where Belle is sitting with the comatose Gold. Belle says that she wants to stay with Gold if he dies, and Mother Superior conjures a rose and explains that as long as it has petals, Gold lives.

Regina and the others go to Zelena's cell in the hospital and ask for her help. Zelena suggests that Robin was looking for an excuse to see her, but Regina orders her to back off and they tell Zelena that something has happened to Emma.

The Enchanted Forest

Emma continues through the forest, and Rumplestiltskin points out that she's lost. He explains that there's a magical force that can lead her to wherever she wants to be. Rumplestiltskin tells her to summon the image of Merlin's location and describes it, and she finds herself there. He admits that he tricked her, and points out a will-o'-the-wisp and says that she has to catch it to find Merlin.

Storybrooke

After they describe the situation, Zelena insists that the child is hers and hers own. Zelena agrees to help and asks to see the wand. Regina hands it over and Zelena says that they need something meaningful to Emma so it will lead her to them. However, she says that Regina's magic isn't powerful enough. Zelena offers to help... if they remove the bracelet suppressing her magic. Once Regina leaves, Zelena advises Hook to convince her because she's the only way to find Emma.

The Enchanted Forest

A woman carrying a bow grabs the wisp and runs off, and Emma pulls her back with magic. The woman, Merida, draws an arrow and figures that Emma is a witch. Emma insists that she wants to be rid of the Dark One's magic, and Merida says that she knows what it feels like to be cursed. However, she needs the wisp for her family and offers to fight for it. Emma refuses to fight because she would give into the darkness, and tells Merida to leave with it. Merida offers to help her, explaining that the wisps are born in the Hill of Stones. Once she delivers the wisp to her family, a day away, she can come back and take Emma to the Hill. Emma agrees and they set off.

Storybrooke

At the diner, Hook tells Henry to use the pen to write the Darkness out of Emma. Henry says that he broke the pen because it was too powerful, and the pirate says that there's still a way to help Emma... if Henry disobeys Regina and helps break Zelena out of her cell.

The Enchanted Forest

Merida and Emma proceed through the woods and Merida says that she doesn't have time for slow. The United Clans kidnapped her three brothers, because they no longer approved of Merida being the Queen after her father died. She needs the wisp to take her to her brothers, and then she'll give the clans war. Merida trips over a stone and she reluctantly agrees to make camp for the night.

That night, Emma tries to sleep without success and Rumplestiltskin tells her that Dark Ones don't sleep. He warns that the wisp can't be shared while Merida's heart beats. Emma realizes that Rumpelstiltskin led her to Merida so she would betray her... unaware that Merida is listening.

Storybrooke

Henry uses Regina's standard password to get into the hospital. The boy has another idea and goes to the desk. He spills his pop on the nurse and Hook sneaks in, takes the key, and goes to Zelena's cell. She realizes that he's on a rogue mission, but Hook wants assurance that she isn't going to do anything unexpected. He uses Regina's potion to try and take out Zelena's heart, but a protection spell repels him. She grabs his knife and then cuts off her hand. Once the bracelet is off, Zelena reattaches her hand and teleports away as Henry arrives.

Hook and Henry soon break the news to Regina and the others at the mayor's office. He suggests that she doesn't want to find Emma because then she'll have Henry to herself. However, Mary Margaret tells them to stop arguing and insists that they're going to find her daughter. Regina says that she knows who Zelena is after.

Regina goes to the loft and tells Robin that they have to leave. When he kisses her, Zelena drops the glamour to reveal herself, and says that Robin is the key to everything for her.

The group walks down the street and finds Zelena waiting, holding Robin in a spell. She says that she'll trade him for the wand, so she can use it to go back to Oz so she'll be alone with her child. The others tell Regina to refuse, but she hands it over. Zelena releases Robin and uses a trinket from home to summon a tornado portal. There's a flash of light and Zelena collapses. Regina grabs the wand and puts the negation bracelet back on her sister, and explains that she knew Zelena would weaken herself opening the portal. She tells the others that they're taking the portal to Emma.

The Enchanted Forest

The next morning, Emma discovers that Merida has slipped away. Rumplestiltskin warns that if Merida gets to the Hill first, it's all over. Emma insists that she's not going to kill Merida, and orders Rumplestiltskin to describe the Hill first so she can teleport there.

At the Hill, Merida whispers to the wisp and releases it. Emma arrives and Merida draws on her, saying that she heard everything. Rumplestiltskin taunts Emma, telling her to kill Merida.

Storybrooke

Everyone gathers at the diner and ties up Zelena as the tornado approaches. Regina takes out Emma's baby blanket to use to home in on Emma, and waves the wand over the blanket. Leroy, Doc, and Happy run and insist on staying. Leroy says that they're tired of being sidelined, and refuses to turn his back on Emma again. The tornado hits the diner and pulls it up into the sky.

The Enchanted Forest

Merida shoots at Emma, who catches the arrow. Rumplestiltskin tells Emma to use her anger, and Emma insists that she'll talk to Merida. Merida doesn't believe her and keeps shooting, and Emma catches every arrow. She finally pulls Merida to her magically and removes her heart, and Rumpelstiltskin tells her to crush it. As Emma starts to do so, Hook and the others arrive and tell her to stop. Emma says that it's the only way to protect them, but Regina warns that she'll let the darkness consume her. Mary Margaret takes out the dagger, but Hook says that it has to be Emma's choice. Emma insists that the Dark One destroys everyone near it, and she can't do that to Hook and her family. Hook says that it's not her speaking and says that heroes and villains have united to save her. After a moment, Emma puts Merida's heart back and falls into Hook's arms.

Merida goes to the wisp and Emma thanks her for understanding. In turn, Merida thanks her for showing her the Darkness because she has it in herself as well. She was going to kill the Clans, but now she'll show them mercy and heal her divided land. Once she follows the wisp, Mary Margaret and David insists that they had to be there, and Mary Margaret gives Emma the dagger. They're confident that she can control herself, but Emma refuses. She sees Rumplestiltskin watching her, and says that someone needs to watch her. Emma gives Regina to the dagger, asking her to save her or do what no one else will do if she can't save her. Henry insists that it won't come to that, and Emma hugs him.

The group goes back to Granny's diner in the middle of the forest. Granny, Belle, and the dwarves come out, just as Arthur and his knights ride up. Arthur says that they've come to find Emma, and explains that Merlin prophesized their coming many years ago. The king says that Merlin has been missing, but Emma is destined to reunite them with the wizard. He then invites them to Camelot.

Six Weeks Later

Sneezy and Dopey are out on police patrol when there's a flash of light. They discover that the diner has reappeared, and Regina says that they were just walking into Camelot. They're wearing medieval clothing, and they realize that they've lost their memories. Emma steps forward, wearing the Dark One's clothing, and says that they failed to remove the Darkness from her. When she sees Sneezy and realizes that he's the sheriff, she turns him into stone and says that there's no savior in the town. Regina tells her to stop, but realizes that she's lost the dagger. Emma puts it to her throat and says that no one will touch it but her, and that they're going to be punished for what they did to her. Hook asks why she's doing it, and Emma says that she's the Dark One before teleporting away.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 28, 2015