Once Upon a Time: Sparkly Assholes Unite! (S5 E7 Recap)

merlin and emma

“Hey, I know we’re in a rush to save the world from Evil and all, but, you wouldn’t happen to know if there was a porta-potty around here somewhere? Being the Dark One gives you the worst gas ever.”

If there is one thing we’ve learned from watching five seasons of Once, it’s that Assholes aren’t born, they are made. Sure, there may be some people with higher assholey potential than others, who suck just a little bit more than your average human. But if you want to become a 100% Bonafide SUPER Asshole, you are going to have to make some really crappy choices in your lifetime . . . or you could just drink some bad tap water. Same difference.


It’s Origin Story Time, Once-ies. And this week it’s Sexy Merlin’s turn to have a Bad Romance (© Lady Gaga) that results in the Birth of All Things Evil, and also his spending 1,000 years as a tree. And you thought your last breakup was shitty . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Love Means Never Having to Say Drinking Your 500-Year-Old Tap Water Turned Me Into a Fart/Sparkly Asshole


You smell like poor life choices and an eternity of agony.

Once upon a time (See what I did there?) Sexy Merlin wasn’t a wizard. He was just some thirsty dude, chilling with a random friend of his, who had the audacity to be older and much less attractive than Merlin. While stomping through the desert, Merlin and his friend find what appears to be a cup filled with some piss warm tap water in it. Less Attractive, Older Friend is very excited about this, being stuck a desert and all, so he immediately drinks from the cup.

P.S. This “cup” just happens to be the Holy Grail. And because the Holy Grail is shallow and narcissistic, it isn’t about to let some not particularly attractive guy become the chosen-one wizard who just so happens to be super important to the plot of Season 5 of Once Upon a Time. So instead, the Holy Grail decides to turn Less Attractive, Older Friend into a fart . . . and not even a cool purple fart like we’ve seen on this show in the past, or a sexy black fart like the one Dark Emma occasionally turns into this season. This is a plain old grey fart fit for unattractive older folks.

Merlin is momentarily bummed about the whole “my best friend is now a fart” thing, but not bummed enough not to drink from the same cup that just killed his friend. (Oh the benefits of knowing that you are sexy, and, therefore, destined to lead a charmed life.)

cup found holy grail

Not only does Merlin not turn into a fart from drinking the tap water, it makes him immortal, so he never has to worry about becoming older, or fatter, or unattractive like his dearly departed pal. Also, he doesn’t have to hang out in the desert anymore, because it’s magically been converted into a forest.


Fast forward to a few hundred years later, when Merlin meets a hot chick named Nimue and falls in love for the first time ever. (Yeah, because we are supposed to believe that a guy who looks like THAT kept it in his pants for half a millennium, saving himself for “the right one.”)


“Hello, Sexy Merlin, please take my flower . . . and yes, I absolutely intended that as an ABC-approved euphemism for sex.”

Though Nimue is excited about having a new hot boyfriend to whom she can give her flower (wink, wink), she’s kind of bummed that some bad guy (named Vortigan? Gorgonzola? Probably Vortigan, because Gorgonzola is a type of cheese . . .) torched her village while looking for some cup. I smell foreshadowing . . . I also smell cheese, possibly Gorgonzola.

Merlin eventually proposes to Nimue, but not before he tells her he’s a wizard who’s perpetually young and sexy. “But it’s gotten boring being so much better looking than everyone else all the time,” Merlin explains. “So I’m going to turn the Holy Grail into a sword and use it to cut off my wizardly sexiness so you and I can grow old, decrepit and ugly together. Sound like a plan?”


“Silly boy,” Nimue responds. “You think I like you for your personality? Why go through all the trouble of making a sword to unsexy and unmagic yourself on my account when I can just drink the 500-year-old tap water and become forever sexy and magical too?”


“What you are saying right now kind of makes me think you have the potential to be not such a good person,” Merlin muses. “And seeing as how I’m a 500-year-old virgin, being not such a good person is kind of a dealbreaker for me. But I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear you correctly because it is absolutely essential to the plot that having the audacity to actually want to get laid after 500 years of monk-like celibacy inevitably brings about all the evil on the planet.”


“Cool, let’s go find the Holy Grail so I can drink from it and be hot forever . . . er, I mean, so you can make that sword thingy,” Nimue says, as the two head to the ruins of Nimue’s old village, where the Holy Grail and it’s clearly contaminated, never evaporating, has the ability to turn old ugly people into farts, water is hiding.


Nimue drinks the tap water while Merlin is distracted by shiny objects, but she doesn’t tell him about it, so he forges Excalibur using the Holy Grail, the gross tap water, and the “Flames of Prometheus” to cut the sexy right off of himself.

too sexy

Evil Gorgonzola (it just sounds better than Vortigan, so I’m sticking with it), however, wants Merlin to stay sexy just as much as Nimue and us fans do, so he appears to stop Merlin from self-mutilating and steal Excalibur. A fracas ensues, and Nimue gets caught in the crossfire, or should I say the cross-stabbing. It’s all very dramatic and tragic seeming .  . .

But then Nimue pops up and is all, “Just kidding! I’m too sexy for this stab wound, and for dying, because I’m immortal now, just like you!”

She then crushes the heart of Evil Gorgonzola, thereby making him more like grated cheese.

Nimue’s punishment for making grated cheese out of Evil Gorgonzola is that she now has to be a sparkly asshole for all of eternity. She also loses most of her awesome hair. But her eyebrows are more normal-looking than Evil Emma’s, so at least there is that . . .


Nimue doesn’t want to be the only one who has to spend an eternity being unsexy, so she breaks Excalibur, thereby creating the Dark One sword. She also turns Merlin into a tree . . .

you destroyed stab it

And the rest, as they say is history. . .

Emma Swan Cops a Feel, Finds Mojo Inside Some Lady’s Boobies

spark thing

Back in slightly more present day, Merlin tells Emma that if she goes to the spot where the wizard first forged Excalibur and plucks the Flames of Prometheus from Merlin’s Evil Asshole Ex Girlfriend’s boobs, Emma can defeat her inner asshole. Captain Hook is kind of jealous that Emma gets to spend the day fondling the boobs of someone who isn’t him. So he gives Emma the ring he always wears around his neck, to ensure that while she’s getting to second base with that evil asshole, she’ll be thinking only of the guy with the hook for a hand.

gives her ring


Oh, and the two also exchange “I love yous” for the first time, so there’s that . . .

Emma and Merlin encounter First Asshole in the History of All Assholes, Nimue, in the forest . . .

all dark ones

. . . and she does a pretty good job of convincing Emma to murder Merlin. But then she screws it all up by telling Emma that she’s nothing without her newfound inner asshole power. Bad move, Nimue! It seems like becoming a Sparkly Asshole has really put a damper on your social skills.

never nothing dont need

After Emma has her girl power moment, she touches Nimue’s boobies and pulls out the fire she will need to defeat her inner asshole. Wait to go, Emma!

Then, Merlin randomly disappears from the forest for . . . reasons . . .

In Which Zelena Screws Over Everyone . . . Again, and Arthur Continues to Stomp Around And Cry Like An Angry Toddler with Poopy Pants

zelena plan in

Meanwhile, Zelena tells the rest of the Once crew that she knows a way to get into Arthur’s castle and steal Excalibur. Everyone totally believes her and trusts her instantly, because they are all a bunch of morons.

eye roll zel

Of course, it ends up being a trap, Zelena having been in league with awful King Arthur all along.

hi guys hell no

Apparently, though I am not sure how, Zelena figured out how to use her newly restored magic to make the Excalibur sword control Merlin. So, Merlin gets magicked to Camelot to give King Arthur a chance to whine and complain to him about all the bad things that happened to him ever . . .

another castle

“Wahhhhhh! It’s not faaaiiiiiiiir! I was supposed to be faaaammmmouuuus. You said I’d be faammmouuus. You lied to meeeeeee. Also, my beard is itchy, and I have to go potty,” says Arthur.


Then, presumably more bad things happen. But we don’t get to find out about them yet, because the episode is almost over and we have to go visit present day where . . .

There Ain’t No Party Like a Dark One Party . . .

all together now

Did you ever have one of those days where you just want to invite two or three of your close friends to your house for an intimate gathering, but one of those friends invites a couple of her friends, and those friends tell their friends, and before you know it, there’s an all out rager at your house, and one of your next door neighbors has just called the cops?

This is totally what happens whenever you invite Dark One Rumpel to your house . . .

hehe rump

. . . a lesson Asshole Emma with her Weird Eyebrows learns when she’s just planning to have a quiet evening at home with her new bestie, Dark One Rumpel, uniting the Excalibur Sword with the Dark One Sword and bringing about the Apocalypse, as one does  . . .

Then, all of the sudden, her basement is filled with wall-to-wall Dark Ones doing what Dark Ones do, twerking, leering, mutilating puppies, drinking all of Emma’s tequila and totally messing up her bathroom.

This is going to be an Apocalypse party for the record books, folks! Until next time!

all the dark ones

If you look closely you can spot Donald Trump in the crowd, also Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber . . .

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TV Show: Once Upon a Time

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