'Once Upon a Time' recap: 'The Dark Swan'
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What happened during those six weeks in Camelot? I’m glad you asked because tonight
took the first step in peeling back the layers of that mystery. And of course, like all good Enchanted Forest stories, it involved a ball.
But before we get to the ball, we need to start with the dwarves, who have taken their paranoia (and anger) to the next level. They drive to the town line and debate crossing it, because there’s a new curse that Emma’s put on the town, and they want to see what it actually does. They’re also relatively sure that, even with all the evils that have shown up over the past few years, Dark Emma is something that they can’t really conquer. Snow, Charming, and Regina come and stop them, though that doesn’t do much. In fact, the only thing it does accomplish is Leroy making it perfectly clear that no one sees Regina as anything that can help them. Dopey draws the short straw, and then we’re two dwarves down when he turns into a tree. (I should mention that the dwarves have also got Sneezy strapped to the car like a Christmas tree because a dwarf never leaves a man behind.) Two dwarves down causes Regina to quip, “Well that’s new.” So say we all, Regina. So say we all.
Flash back to six weeks ago, when our heroes first arrived in Camelot. They meet Guinevere, and introduce everyone to Merlin — or rather, the tree that Merlin is apparently stuck in. Arthur’s curious about why they want to free Merlin so badly, and Charming tells him that they need him to save their home from the Dark One. Well, Merlin can help fix that! Once they get him out of the tree, of course. And hey, isn’t someone here the Savior? This is where Regina asserts herself as such, using the dagger to silence Emma. Emma is not pleased.
Here are the things we’ve learned about Emma as the Dark Swan so far: She’s got a brand-spankin’-new wardrobe, brand-spankin’-new hair, a brand-spankin’-new attitude…and she can apparently be summoned like Beetlejuice. At least, that’s how Henry gets her attention. Emma assures her son that he didn’t fail; it’s only everyone else that did. We also find out that the reason why no one actually remembers their time in Camelot is because Emma erased their memories. Always thinking, that Dark Swan. Emma scoffs at the idea that Regina can be any kind of Savior, which is not really helpful to Regina’s psyche, and when Regina vows that she’s going to undo the memory wipe AND the curse, Emma laughs it off. The curse wasn’t meant to be broken by a Savior, and anyway, they’ll have bigger things to deal with soon. Meanwhile, it appears that when the Storybrooke Sheriff Squad returned last week, they didn’t quite come empty-handed: Camelot’s knight came along too, as well as some of his subjects, who are currently lost in the forest. Anyway, they also have no idea why they’re here. All Arthur knows is that someone brought him here and cast a new curse. Regina determines that Emma brought half of Camelot here for a reason, but that they’re not what the town should fear. Something worse is coming their way…they just don’t know what.
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Later, while they’re in the woods looking for Arthur’s men, Robin notices that Regina’s a bit off. Emma’s words have shaken her up, and she’s worried that she can’t be the good person she thinks she’s become. “I need to prove to them that I can be more,” she tells Robin, desperately trying to believe that she has any kind of worth to her. The good news is that in the forest, Arthur finds Guinevere while everyone is putting up tents. (Welcome to
: the only place you’ll be able to see things like King Arthur pitching a tent.) He’s lost Excalibur, as it was missing when they arrived, and I feel like people (especially Charming) should be more worried about this. But then again, they don’t know the dagger connection. Robin goes to collect some firewood and is immediately captured by evil spirit that definitely does not belong in Storybrooke. Charming, Snow, Regina and Arthur chase after the evil spirit while Regina tries to fight it with magic, but the thing is too powerful for her to take on alone. Regina ends up defeated and loses her love in the process.
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