Once Upon a Time uses flashbacks as a bridge to connect what happened in the past with what’s happening in the present and sometimes, the future.
In the episode titled “Nimue” viewers got to see the origin of the most feared entity on the series: The Dark One. It also answered the question of how Merlin got his magic. A holy grail gave Merlin his magical powers as well as immortality. Merlin also fell in love with a villager named Nimue. And because Nimue was not immortal, the couple decided to do something about it. Once Upon A Time’s take on Merlin portrays him as not only a magician but a gallant hero. It was refreshing seeing him as a young man in love. But unfortunately, most great love stories are also ripped with tragedy.
In her quest for immortality, Nimue is killed. However, as she successfully gained immortality, she survived her murder but at a heavy price. She became the first Dark One. Nimue’s story is similar to Emma’s. She was a good person who was a victim of circumstances beyond her control. All she wanted was to be with the man she loved but events deemed this impossible. Having committed a murder herself, Nimue’s heart darkens to the point of no return. Merlin was determined to ensure that the same fate would not befall Emma.
This season of Once Upon A Time has shown Emma fighting against her Dark One destiny. And like Nimue, it seems as though hers and Hook’s love story will end the same with Emma giving into the darkness. Emma gets a glimpse of all the Dark Ones before her and she also meets Nimue.
By episode’s conclusion, it shows Emma Swan, Savior, becoming Emma Swan, the Dark One. Will she be able to come back from the darkness?
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.