Once Upon a Time: Being Evil Makes Your Hair Greasy and Other Stuff I Learned from the Season 5 Premiere

ONCE UPON A TIME - "The Dark Swan" - Immediately after becoming the Dark One, Emma disappears and the heroes must band together to save her, but first they have to find her, which will require the help of an unlikely ally. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, Emma struggles to resist her dark urges as she searches for Merlin in the hope that he can stop her transformation. Along the way to Camelot, she gets help from the plucky and brave warrior princess Merida, as well as King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, in the adventure-filled season five premiere of "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Jack Rowand) JENNIFER MORRISON

Your favorite television series about fairytale characters who make exceedingly poor life choices is back, my friends! This week on Once, the newly crowned “Dark Swan” Emma, and her rapidly changing beauty regimens, took center stage as our cast of not particularly heroic heroes and not all that villainous villains banded together to engage the Fates in an epic battle for the former “Savior’s” soul. Also, the only place to get food and beverages in Storybrooke up and moved to Camelot, which means everyone left back in Storybrooke will probably starve and die. So, it’s a really good thing all the main characters are already accounted for and/or in a coma!


Oh, and the writers’ most favorite plot device reared its frustratingly fuzzy little head for a third time since the series began.


Let’s review, shall we?

Creepy Movie Ushers Are Creepy!

kid and usher

The year is 1989 (copyright Taylor Swift). Little Emma has gone to the movies by herself to see the surprisingly snoozy Disney film The Sword in the Stone, probably because the much better Disney film that actually did come out that year, The Little Mermaid, was already sold out. Also, the writers want to remind us that Disney once made a crappy movie about Camelot so they can justify the series inevitably spending so much time there this season.


While in the theater, Little Emma steals a candy bar from one of the patron’s purses and is caught by a movie usher, who knows her name . . . probably because the little tot is known for frequenting this particular theater and seeing the worst movies that happen to be playing there at any particular time. The usher could really care less about Emma’s purloined junk food. Instead, he instructs Emma to never remove the REAL Excalibur from its stone when she has the opportunity to do so.

What a lunatic! Who the heck hired this guy? I mean, he’s clearly not one of the best ushers the theater has to offer, which is why they made him usher such a bad movie.

“STRANGER DANGER!” Little Emma screams, as she dashes out of the theater.

scared emma

Or at least, that’s what she would have done, if she had good parents who taught her about these sorts of things, as opposed to her actual parents, who stuffed her in a tree and abandoned her for the first 28 years of her life . . .

ouat 4.2 snow baby

That said, Creepy Usher may have actually had a point, seeing as how back in Camelot, some guy who isn’t King Arthur tries to extract Excalibur from the stone and it causes him to turn into a smelly fart and die.


A close approximation of what happened to “Galavant” the series.

fartKing Arthur takes his turn next, and I instantly dislike him for reasons I can’t quite pin down. In fact, I dislike Once’s King Arthur so much that I am literally chanting, “Please turn into a smelly fart. Please turn into a smelly fart,” the whole time he’s struggling with the sword.

your turn

He doesn’t though, and I’m super disappointed.

King Arthur is disappointed too (probably because he doesn’t realize how close he came to become a smelly fart because, if he knew that, he’d be elated). But actually, King Arthur is peeved because someone went and ate half of Excalibur, or at least that’s what it looks like to him.

In actuality, half of Excalibur is actually in Storybrooke, playing the role of “Dark One Sword.”

The budget for this show must be getting tighter, because even the props have to pull double duty . . .

Save the Savior, Save the World!

bring back

Back in Storybrooke, Regina is super pissed at Emma for saving the No Longer Very Evil Queen’s Life and, in the process, usurping Regina’s role for the season as the Villain Who Does Terrible Things to Everyone But Is Still a Fan Favorite Because She’s Just So Darn Sassy and Wears a Lot of Eye Makeup.

so stupid

To prove to fans that Regina is still sassy even though she is no longer the Resident Evil of her group of friends, Regina mercilessly insults Captain Hook, calling him Guyliner, when he tries to use the Dark One Sword/Excalibur to summon Emma back inside his pants where she so obviously belongs.


“She’s obviously no longer in Storybrooke, Mr. Metrosexual,” Regina scoffs. “Another entire season spent in this dull town would be the death of this show. I mean, think about it, there is only one place to eat here. And all the books in the library are picture books, which is why nobody in town knows how to read. Emma is clearly someplace more exciting, so we have to go there this season.”


The crew go to visit Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey (a.k.a. the Sorcerer’s Apprentice) on his deathbed in hopes that they can steal his frequent flyer miles to go on a much needed vacation to “Wherever the F*&k Emma Landed Last Season.” Unfortunately, Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey has no frequent flyer miles (probably because he is Old, Dirty, and Homeless-Looking, which, in this day and age, pretty much guarantees you a spot on the “No Fly List.”) What Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey does have though is some other sword or wand-looking kind of thing that can create portals to different lands a la Harry Potter.


“There’s a catch,” explains Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey. “This wand-looking thing will only transport you to ‘Wherever the F*&k Emma Landed Last Season’ if it’s wielded by a real asshole.”

Then Old Dirty Homeless-Looking Mickey tosses the wand-looking thing to the floor and dies, and nobody seems to care all that much, especially since he’s already provided the plot-advancing information that was pretty much his entire purpose for being in this episode.

“I’ll do it. I’m a huge asshole,” Regina exclaims excitedly.

ouat 4.1.a regina mirror

She waves the wand-looking thing in the air, and nothing happens.

“You are a huge asshole, Regina, but apparently, no longer a big enough asshole to take us to Wherever the F*&k Emma Landed Last Season,” Hook announces, before sticking his tongue out at Regina and blowing a raspberry in her face.

hook intest

So much animosity between these two this season. It must be because they both desperately want Emma back in their respective pants, where they each believe she clearly belongs.

Hooked on Phonics Didn’t Work for Hook . . .

It’s all good, though, because Hook has an even bigger asshole than Regina in mind to wield the wand thingy. It’s the Wicked Witch, Zelena, of course. “I mean, yeah, this woman spent an entire season trying to murder us all, but we can totally trust her,” reasons Hook.


To break a serial killer out of a maximum security prison/insane asylum (see earlier note about props and locations having to pull double duty on this show due to budgetary constraints), Hook decides to (1) not tell any of the other adults on the show what he’s doing AND (2) get a 13-year-old boy to mastermind his plan for him, thus proving that Hook must be spectacular in bed, because there is no way Emma keeps him around for his “beautiful mind.”

ouat 4.2 hook squee

(Though, in Hook’s defense, apart from Henry, I don’t believe he actually has any other male friends on the show who have gone through puberty. Where are all those pirates from Peter Pan when you need them, right?)

really desp

Hook and Henry’s plan to break Awful Zelena out of prison basically involves spilling coffee on her guard and “winging it,” which is pretty much exactly the kind of Master Plan for Committing a First Degree Felony that you’d expect to come from a 13-year-old boy.

ouat season 3 henry doesnt lie

Not surprisingly, Zelena ends up screwing Hook and Henry over, by using them to help her break out of jail, tricking them into giving her her powers back, kidnapping useless Robin Hood, stealing the wand-looking thing, and then trying to use it to beam herself back to Oz, as opposed to Wherever the F*&k Emma Landed Last Season.

fly like

Fortunately, Regina shows up just in time to re-route the Harry Potter portal thing from Oz to Wherever the F*&k Emma Landed Last Season using Emma’s poo-filled baby blanket as a sort of portal GPS. Then, everyone runs into Granny’s restaurant so they can take it with them on their vacation, just in case there aren’t any passable places to eat in Camelot. Grumpy the Dwarf insists on coming, too. He says it’s so he won’t be left out of the adventure, but I think he really just wants to not starve and die in the soon-to-be foodless Storybrooke.


“Are you seriously taking the newborn with us?”

Belle’s cool with dying though, provided she can do it by comatose Rumpel’s side (This is totally understandable, since, even in a coma, Rumpel is still probably the third most interesting character on this show). Blue Fairy is not OK with this, though. She knows that Belle is a series regular and has to go wherever the rest of the cast goes, because it’s in her contract. “Here, take this rose enclosed in a huge glass case with you to Wherever the F*&k Emma Landed; it will tell you whether or not Rumpel is dead,” Blue Fairy explains.

“Um, can’t you just like text me if he dies, or something? This glass case is . . . um . . . not very compact.”

looking at it

“I would text you,” Blue Fairy explains. “Except, I can’t, because I’m illiterate, like everyone else in this town, because YOU couldn’t be bothered to put books with actual words in them in the library.”


“Oh . . . right, I keep forgetting that,” Belle responds. “See ya later, Blue Fairy. Try not to die, Rumpel!”

ther ose

Then, she goes into Granny’s restaurant with the rest of the main cast, and they all fly to Wherever the F*&k Emma Landed Last Season. Spoiler alert . . . It’s Camelot.

Schizophrenia Is the New Black Dark One


Emma appears to arrive in Camelot by popping out of a sewer in a puddle of black goo, like she’s one of the bad guys from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Traveling in black goo makes Emma’s hair super greasy, cleaves all the makeup from her face, changes her clothing, and just all around makes her look vaguely homeless. But we shouldn’t judge her for this, because I’m sure you all would have greasy hair and look vaguely homeless too, if you came out of a sewer.

Immediately upon arriving in Camelot, Emma seems to be having a detailed conversation with Rumpelstiltskin, but since he’s back in Storybrooke in a coma, she’s basically talking to herself the entire time, as people who have greasy hair who look vaguely homeless tend to do. Apparently, in addition to poor personal hygiene, schizophrenia is a side effect of being “The Dark One.”

never emb

Being The Dark One isn’t all bad though. It allows Emma to do cool things like wave her fingers in the air and make people levitate and/or fall down whenever they are mean to her. It’s kind of hilarious, really.

uh oh

Sassy Scottish Gingers Are Sassy!


One of the people Emma makes levitate and fall down is Merida from Brave. She does this to Merida because Merida keeps trying to shoot her with a bow and arrow, also because she and her multiple personality disorder find Merida’s Scottish brogue super annoying.


But the real reason Merida pisses off Emma is that she took from her this blue blobby thing called a “wisp” that supposedly will help Emma find the Wizard Merlin, who will stop her from embracing her Dark One Powers and, consequently, turning into the Biggest Asshole on the Planet. Merida apparently needs the wisp too . . . to save her little brothers, or the world, or something.

Merida and Emma eventually get into a fight over the blue bloppy thing, and this results in Emma pulling out Merida’s heart. She’s going to crush it and kill Merida, until Hook arrives in Granny’s restaurant and reminds her that Merida is a beloved Disney character who the writers won’t allow her to murder.

heart pluck

Emma reluctantly puts Merida’s heart back in her chest. Then, she instructs Regina to hold on to Excalibur/The Dark One Sword that controls her.

look at regina

look at emma

“Promise me you will kill me if I turn into The Biggest Asshole on the Planet,” Emma tells the more intelligent of her two lovers, Regina.

“I can’t, because you are the lead character on this show,” explains Regina.

“I know,” replies Emma with a shrug. “But it sounded good for me to say that, so I did.”

ONCE UPON A TIME: Being Evil Makes Your Hair Greasy and Other Stuff I Learned from the Season 5 Premiere

Then, King Arthur arrives to take the whole gang into the Camelot castle, vowing to help them find Merlin so he can un-Asshole Emma. Hooray!


Camelot: The Best Place You Will Ever Forget


Six weeks later, Granny’s returns to Storybrooke, and everyone is dressed in Medieval clothing with no clue as to what the heck happened to them in Camelot. It’s the first five minutes of every Hangover movie basically.


But something REALLY BAD must have happened in Camelot because Emma stalks in, and she’s totally The Biggest Asshole on the Planet Now. We know this because she’s wearing an evil bun in her hair and her eyebrows look kind of weird. “I hate you all now, and you are all going to die,” she explains conversationally, before turning Sneezy the Dwarf into a stone garden gnome just for fun. “P.S. I took back my sword. Later, losers!”

looking for this

im the ak one

So, what happened in Camelot that made Emma decide to put her hair in a bun and over pluck her eyebrows? Tune in next week to find out, Oncers!


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TV Show: Once Upon a Time

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