Oncers Unite! – Once Upon A Time Season 5 Primer

ONCE UPON A TIME - ABC's "Once Upon a Time" stars Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan. (ABC/Tyler Shields)
ONCE UPON A TIME – The Dark Swan arrives! – ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” stars Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan. (ABC/Tyler Shields)

If you know that Rumpelstiltskin is really the Dark One and the Evil Queen’s name is actually Regina, if you know that Peter Pan is evil and Captain Hook is misunderstood, if you know that Elsa and the Snow Queen are actually two different people, then you’re probably a Oncer – a fan of the hit television show Once Upon A Time. Created by Edwin Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, this show began by telling the story of fairytale characters trapped in the little town of Storybrooke, Maine waiting for the savior to set them free.  That savior came in the form of Emma Swan – daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.

However, a lot can happen in four seasons of television.

Now the tables are turned as the Dark Swan emerges!  In order to save her family and the entire town of Storybrooke, Emma Swan sacrificed herself to the power of the Dark One and became the Dark Swan.  Although don’t call her that or she might likely rip your heart out.  As you can see from the Season 5 sneak peek (above), the show picks up right where we left off in Season 4 – literally right after it is revealed that Emma is the new Dark One.  But how did we get to this place?  If you missed out on the second half of Season 4 here is what happened.

Teaser image for Season 4
Teaser image for Season 4

Season 4 was basically divided into two “mini-seasons.”  The first half focused on our Frozen friends making their appearance in Storybrooke.  Elsa and Anna eventually joined forces with the heroes to take down the Snow Queen, but behind it all was Rumpelstiltskin.  He tried to have it all.  He tricked Belle, stole Hook’s heart, and misled everyone.  But at the end, his machinations became undone.  Belle cast Rumpel out of Storybrooke and banished him to the real world.

The second half focused on not just Rumpel but the Queens of Darkness (Ursula, Maleficent, and Cruella De Vil) who band together to write their own happy endings. They’re tired of losing all the time and they are determined to find the “author” who created their stories so that they could be changed.  In a series of betrayals, twists, and turns, we find Rumpel with a blackened heart having been so consumed by darkness that he nearly dies.  Emma finds out that as well as being the savior she has the potential for evil, and that evil was transferred to her childhood friend Lily.  Maleficent is Lily’s mother and instead of truly being evil, she was seeking revenge for what was done to her child by Mary Margaret and Charming.  Ursula ends up reconciling with Hook who stole her voice from her father Poseidon.  And Cruella, who actually IS evil and as mean as her namesake, falls to her death after a battle over Henry.  In the end, the Apprentice who was in charge of the Sorcerer’s Hat, frees Rumpel from the evil that consumed him by placing the evil inside the hat, but the evil escapes and only by offering herself to the darkness does Emma prevent the evil from spreading.

ONCE UPON A TIME - "The Dark Swan" - Look who's coming to Storybrooke! (ABC/Jack Rowand) AMY MANSON
ONCE UPON A TIME – “The Dark Swan” – Look who’s coming to Storybrooke! (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Season 5 looks to be fun-filled and exciting as we are introduced to Merida (of Brave fame) as well as the characters from Camelot as our heroes go in search of Emma.  From the notes for the season premiere, it seems that Emma hasn’t fully evolved into the Dark One yet and is searching for Merlin to help her prevent her descent.  Will she succeed? I guess there is only one way to find out!

Season 5 premieres tomorrow, September 27!

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