Once Upon a Time @ Comic-Con: Dark Swan's Fate, a Brave Newcomer and More Season 5 Scoop

Fresh from her trip to [wherever the heck she ended up in the season finale], new “Dark One” Jennifer Morrison was joined by her Once Upon a Time co-stars Saturday for the ABC drama’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where moderator Yvette Nicole Brown got everyone to ponder what the future might hold for each of their characters.

“A lot of Season 4 was about her confidence being shaken,” Morrison said of Emma and the secret that Snow and Charming kept about her origin. “It cut her belief in herself.” Moving forward, Morrison said, “She’s going to face the darkness in herself … instead of repressing it.”

Speaking of Emma’s darkness, the panel featured a super-disturbing clip of the new “Dark One,” now in captivity in another world. Watch it below:

On the topic of why Emma succumbed to darkness in the finale, Morrison said, “If Regina were the only person in danger, [Emma] still would have made the same choice … but the darkness was threatening the entire town. If that darkness wasn’t tethered to one human being, it would have destroyed the whole town.”

Now for a rundown of the panel’s biggest and best reveals:

Brave Brave‘s Merida (played by Amy Manson) will be a featured character in Season 5. The audience was treated to a brief clip of the red-headed heroine during target practice.

* Discussing Regina’s apparent infertility, Lana Parrilla said she believes “a potion can change that.”

* The 100th episode, though shrouded in mystery, will be Season 5’s spring premiere. “We want to make it very special,” executive producer Eddy Kitsis said. “We’re hard at work not telling you anything right now.”

* Robert Carlyle teased a “slightly different” Rumpelstiltskin in Season 5: “He’s lost his mantle as the Dark One, but that’s not to say he doesn’t have the same kind of trickery about him. … And Mr. Gold is presently in a coma, so he’s not doing too much.”

* When asked about Robin Hood’s true love, Sean Maguire didn’t hesitate before saying, “He’s pretty madly in love with [Regina.] … [Zelena’s] just a meanie, and rather deceitful.”

* On the topic of Hook’s redemption, Colin O’Donoghue explained, “He found love with Emma, so he’s desperately trying to hold onto that, be the better man and keep her heart safe. But he has been a villain and his girlfriend’s nasty now… in a good way. He really struggled with staying on the right path, so it’ll be interesting to see where he goes now.”

Who are you more excited to see in Season 5, Dark Swan or Merida? Drop your hopes (and fears) for the future below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Diane says:

    Lana was really sweet about the Swan Mills/Charming Family dynamic I loved it!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I am so excited for Dark Swan and hope she does some more heart crushing on the show. I want to see them go all out and give Morrison something to sink her teeth into.

  3. abz says:

    Thanks for the scoop, Andy. Guess this will give me a reason to check out Brave before the show starts. I really want to see that Dark Swan clip. Hopefully, it’ll pop up online somewhere soon. I want Hook to stay on the good path. Maintain his progress and still continue to try and be better. I hope they tone down the Regina/Robin angst this season. Not a huge fan of Robin or Sean Maguire’s acting, but he’s a series regular, so I gotta get used to it. I just hope it’s better written. I wonder what they plan on doing with Zelena post-pregnancy, especially not that Mader’s a regular. I don’t know how likely a redemption arc would be for her or how well it will be done. Also is Henry still 13 years old on the show? They’re going to need to time jump at some point down the line because the actor is growing really fast.

  4. Kat says:

    I really, really hate the makeup they put on Emma for the Dark Swan look. Sure, writing and performance is more important (though I have a lot more faith in the performance being good than the writing). But it’s actually distractingly bad. It also makes no sense from a storytelling perspective. Rumple as the Dark One looked totally twisted and barely human anymore which makes sense. Emma apparently time traveled to the 90s and put on some body glitter and got her eyebrows and hair frosted. So it makes no sense from a storytelling perspective (becoming the Dark One apparently transforms your eyebrows only) AND it looks cheap and terrible.

    • abz says:

      Perhaps it’ll look different when we see it on screen. After all, remember how the Queens of Darkness looked in their promotional photos. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Ursula’s costume, she and Maleficent and Cruella looked much better on screen than in those photos.

      • Kat says:

        We did see it on screen, they showed a clip of her. It looked terrible.

        • abz says:

          Oh my bad, I thought you were referring to the promo photos. I haven’t been able to find the clip yet online, so I haven’t seen it.

          • Kat says:

            EW has a clip up. It’s also on places like tumblr and spoilertv, but EW is a more “official” site, if you prefer.

          • Kat says:

            Jen’s performance is great, for the record, I just find the look to be so bad it took me out of the moment completely.

          • abz says:

            Thanks, I just saw the clip. Yeah, I get what you’re saying. The eyebrows are definitely strange. That’s the main odd thing that really stood out to me. That and the fact that Emma’s hair is slicked back and tied up. I think I’ve gotten used to Emma’s long blond wavy hair. It’s a different look for her which I guess makes sense given this shift in her character and this new additional role she’s taking on of being the Dark One. JMo was still great and I’m definitely looking forward to it. Bring on the Dark Swan!!

    • Jackie says:

      I completely agree! The makeup was indeed distractingly bad. It looked really cheap. The glitter was cheap and the eyebrows looked like they just swiped white face paint over them. I hope that was simply for that video and not something that will be on the actual show because it was TERRIBLE.

      It didn’t make me excited about the Dark Swan arc, it made me worry about it even more. It was unpleasant to me. I don’t want to watch Emma be evil, I simply don’t. I hope it’s a short-lived arc.

      And now they’re bringing in Merida plus all the Camelot characters? Too many guest stars yet again!

      • abz says:

        They’ve been hinting at the Sorcerer for like almost a season now and then they revealed it was Merlin. Did you not expect them to bring on Camelot characters to flesh out Merlin’s backstory and the whole Dark One plot? For me, this is the kind of show where guest stars don’t bother me much. I welcome it because they’re fun and this show has a large amount of source material to pick and choose from and characters I’d still love to see. I like the balance of new characters and old characters every half season. The first few seasons understandably focused a lot on the core cast, but four seasons in, I really don’t need to see much more backstory on them. Sure, I don’t mind more backstory on characters with underdeveloped history like Hook, Emma, maybe even Belle too if it’s interesting, but I don’t really need to see much more Snow, Charming, Regina, or Rumple backstory. I’d prefer they develop them more in the present and have them be apart of other people’s flashbacks and balance it out each half season with new characters. But of course that’s just my opinion. I know many people feel differently.

      • Britt says:

        Agreed! I hate this plot. I have no desire to see someone so good and lovely and strong be so horribly evil and soulless. It’s nothing but painful to watch

  5. ninergrl6 says:

    I’m excited for all of it! While I don’t think the already-crowded cast needed the addition of Merida, some of the speculation I’ve already seen about her connection to the other Storybrooke residents (Rumple’s mom or *somehow* the child of Robin & Zelena) has me really intrigued. The Dark Swan idea has a lot of storyline potential, even though I’m my heart I just want Emma & Hook to flirt endlessly & watch Netflix together. I hadn’t even considered Hook potentially being drawn back into his villainous behavior as a consequence of Emma going dark. I *really* don’t want that to happen but it’s certainly an interesting internal conflict for the character.

  6. Lysh says:

    I don’t think this show needs anymore new people, but that’s pretty surprising and exciting about Merida.

  7. lrdslvrhnd says:

    All they need is a good loud church bell to free Emma from the Venom symbiote…

  8. Adding the characters from Brave to the show is cool.

  9. abz says:

    So, I read a few theories and apparently a big one is that this Merida character might be Rumple’s mom.

    • DigificWriter says:

      The casting sides for Rumple’s mom were a red herring to hide the fact that they were actually casting for Merida.

  10. Eli says:

    Bring back Cinderella

  11. Lauren says:

    Medea from Atlantis. Mason can not act. LOL

  12. Hodan says:

    I hate Darth Emma’s new look. However, it looks like Jennifer Morrison is having an awesome time playing this new side to her character and I can’t fault her for that.

  13. Laura says:

    I just wish we could have Red back. I miss her character!

  14. rachelle says:

    Omg! That was awesome. I can’t wait to see how evil Emma can get. Plus, I’m sooooooo excited for Merida! Is it crazy to hope we get to also see her cute little baby brothers? I’ll take them in human or cub form!

  15. K melendez says:

    Can’t wait to see season 5 the dark swan but also excited that Merida is going to be in the cast. Can’t wait to see how she (Merida)is portrayed. Love all the twists for every character.