Jennifer Morrison told me that Emma feels “free,” not having to serve as Savior, with the Darkness now consuming her. The question is: Does that mean Dark Emma is aloof, disinterested or, worse, cruel to those she loves? Morrison champed at the bit (and studied up) to tackle this dark detour; let’s just hope Dark Emma doesn’t add to the body count she started with Cruella.
Colin O’Donoghue has been deflecting suggestions that Hook, once very much a villain himself, might see in Dark Emma the most perfect girlfriend ever — which is, you know, kind of a shame. While the hope is that in the end the pirate will play a role in “saving” Emma, it’d be nice (and logical) to see him, if even for a fleeting beat, have his interest roused by her bad girl ways.
With Emma lost to the Darkness, will Regina step up and serve as the new Savior? That’s been the buzz. And while it’d be an interesting about-face to see Storybrooke’s female yang save its yin, that runs the risk of sanding off the last of Regina’s deliciously rough edges. Let’s hope that it’s not only light magic zapping around during this rescue mission.
The heroes who should be most traumatized by Emma’s dark turn are her parents. So regardless of Regina’s likely large role in the rescue to come, I had better see the Charmings be equally active players, ideally joining in any jaunt to Camelot (Snow/Lancelot reunion!!) to track down the mystical Merlin.
Rumples’s fate is perhaps the biggest land mine Once has to tiptoe around during this arc. To date, we have only known Rumple as a host for the Dark One. And while there would be some “fun” to be had in seeing him emerge from his coma as a kinder, gentler man, this character has always been best when stirring the pot. (Harken back to Season 1, when he regularly butted heads with Regina.) If Rumple hasn’t reunited with the Darkness by the close of Season 5, I’d be a bit disappointed.
Emilie de Ravin quipped to us that Belle is doing “a lot of journaling” as she waits for Rumple to regain consciousness. OK — one, let’s hope that doesn’t last any longer than an episode-and-a-half. Two, it’d be great to see her put her book smarts to use (as she did in Season 4B) and help the gang divine the location of Merlin. (And do a lot less off-screen babysitting of baby Neal.)
Running covert “operations” with his moms is fine and all, but folks, it is time for the lad to dabble in the things kids his age do, with kids his age. Surely there’s a plucky lass (Heidi?) in Storybrooke to help him get through Emma’s rough patch.
…AND THE REST
I get that it’s a sprawling cast, and that having a past character resurface is forever subject to “actor availability.” But to serve whatever organic purpose — and also to remind us that these Storybrooke originals still exist — it’d be great to see Ruby again, or Dr. Whale (David Anders now stars on iZombie, also a Vancouver production), or even Archie. Such blasts from the past remind us of Once‘s deep, storied roots.