***Warning this recap contains spoilers – if you have not seen tonight’s episode of Once Upon A Time, do not read, turn around and just walk away!! For the rest of you, go ahead and click below to to read away!***
Poor Merlin, its seems this guy just can’t catch a break. First he was stuck in a tree for Lord knows how long and know we find out that the OG Dark One that put him there was actually his true love Nimue who like Darth Vader choose the Dark Side over love.
Let’s talk about Merlin, since this whole episode was basically Merlin 101. The hour started out showing just how Merlin got his magic. Turns out our OG Wizard got his powers from one Holy Grail over 1,000 years ago. After some time helping other people get their happy ending, Merlin meets a fair maiden who is looking for revenge against some evil dude who burned her village, but her revenge isn’t vindictive, it’s to plant what is left of the middlemist flowers so they will live on. Naturally Merlin grants this wish and in turn falls in love with the maiden, named Nimue.
After years of helping other people, all Merlin wants is to marry and grow old with his true love, but alas he is immortal. However, there might just be a way to fix that, by cutting the magic out of him. Turns out Merlin actually forged Excalibur from the Holy Grail, but before he managed that little trick, Nimue had taken a sip and since she didn’t turn to dust, she is now also an immortal magic wielder. We find this out when “evil what’s name” kills her and as Merlin is there weeping she rises up and rips out evil dude’s heart. It became clear pretty fast that Nimue can’t ignore the darkness or the power to “avenge” her lost village and crushes her heart which in turn gives her that Dark One crocodile glow. In order to prevent Merlin from using Excalibur to cut away her darkness, D.O. Nimue is the one to break the sword, which Merlin then forges main part in the stone and tethered the dagger sized portion to the Dark One’s soul.
In present-ish day Camelot, Emma and Merlin took a field trip to summon Nimue and get some spark. Merlin saw two outcomes from this trip; either it works or Emma gives in to the darkness and he dies. After a battle of the Dark Ones, Emma was victorious and got the spark needed to re-unite the dagger and Excalibur, only problem, they need Excalibur. Which leads to Hook & Co. job, they need to break into Camelot and borrow it from King
Dickweed Arthur. Only problem, they trusted Zelena to lead them in, who had sparked a little deal with Arthur: if he removes her magic blocking cuff, Zelena will turn Excalibur into the anti-Dark One dagger where instead of controlling the Dark One, Excalibur will now control Merlin. So way to go, Zelena, you just screwed everyone over, not that you care.
In real present day Storybrooke, Emma managed to put a broken Excalibur back together while Nimue and past Dark One’s cheered on, but something tells me her reasons are not to really strike out all the light magic.
“The Dark One is immortal, Emma isn’t. Bring her home to me” – Hook to Emma
“I am not nothing, I was never nothing” – Emma to Dark One Nimue
“If Sir-Castic would let me speak…” Zelena