ONCE UPON A TIME Zelena’s Baby Came Prematurely


Episode 508 “Birth”

In this episode, there were multiple episodes of people getting frozen, a nasty cut, and a bonus Dark One!



In Granny’s Diner (circa Camelot), Emma arrived with the Spark of Prometheus in a box. Henry and Granny were there. Henry told Emma that the others hadn’t arrived with Excalibur yet. So Emma, fearing the worst, told Granny to close up shop. Granny came out of the back room with a crossbow and tossed a key to Henry to lock the front door. But mid toss, Henry and Granny froze in place and the key froze in midair. Out came Merlin. Arthur ordered him to retrieve the dagger and spark from Emma to reforge Excalibur or kill the others.

The uncommon "stiff" performance. (ABC/Jack Rowland)
The uncommon “stiff” performance. (ABC/Jack Rowland)

Outside, Emma was trying to light a fire from the spark. It wasn’t working. Then imaginary Rumpelstiltskin showed up and told her that it doesn’t work since she wasn’t ready to give up the darkness. Henry came out and tried to motivate her by informing her that he and Killian had been trying to find Emma her own house when they got back to Storybrooke. She decided she wasn’t ready to give up the darkness because there was one more thing she wanted to do.

Emma went out to the woods where the others were chained up to trees. Emma said she would give Arthur what he wanted if he released the others first. He threatened to sic Merlin on her if she didn’t comply immediately. But then Zelena offered to face Emma instead. She gave Emma the choice of who would die first. Emma then offered the spark. When opening the box to see if it was real, magic bands shot out and tied Zelena to a tree.

Next was Merlin’s turn. After a Force battle a la Yoda and Count Dooku (minus the lightsaber battle afterward) which knocked Emma to the ground, Merlin grew a vine from a tree to choke Mary Margaret. Emma urged him to fight Arthur’s control. She said that if he couldn’t control the darkness, then no one could. He made the vine disappear. Before Arthur could regain control over Merlin, Killian got out of his bondage and punched Arthur and disarmed him of Excalibur. Arthur freed Zelena and they disappeared. Emma healed a cut on the side of Killian’s neck where Excalibur cut him in the struggle. A bit short for a magic battle than what I would normally expect, but eventful.

"We've got a Merlin." (ABC/Jack Rowland)
“We’ve got a Merlin.” (ABC/Jack Rowland)

Outside of Granny’s, Regina approached Emma and asked about her not being able to kindle the flame. She figured Emma had some mental barriers keeping her from realizing why she couldn’t get rid of the darkness. So she grabbed the dagger and commanded Emma to dig deep to find the answers. Emma, to say the least, was not comfortable. The others stopped her. Then Emma went away into the woods.

Killian found Emma sitting in the woods and sat down with her. She confessed to being scared to let go of the darkness because once she does, the future between the two of them would begin. Hmm … cold feet? Commitment issues? One kiss, though, and the Promethean flame started up.

Back in Storybrooke, Arthur was in prison being treated to a brief episode of bad cop/bad cop by Killian. He claimed not to know anything as Emma had wiped his memory as well. As much as Killian wanted to believe there was still hope for Emma, Regina and Mary Margaret felt that he was being manipulated. When Killian mentioned Emma hadn’t used Excalibur yet, Regina posed that there must have been one missing element she still needed.

So Killian went to Mr. Gold’s shop to talk to Rumpel about what Emma would be thinking and whether or not it was really about him. Rumpel told him that it’s all about what she has done. The Dark One would always make an excuse. Killian would have to find out what Emma is trying to atone for. And if Killian couldn’t find Emma, then he would need to give her a reason to find him.

Calling out Emma’s name, Killian threw himself off the library roof. Part way down, he disappeared in a cloud of black smoke and appeared again on the street with Emma. After some exposition about the sad stories behind his rings and telling Emma that he loved her, he convinced her to tell him what was so secret. She said she would have to show him. They ended up at Emma’s place. She claimed that everything she did was to keep them together. She then kissed him, and he passed out from poisoning.

Sitting in her cell while reading Hansel and Gretel, Zelena, at full term (after only two months of pregnancy), went into labor. On the way into the delivery room, she told Regina and Robin that she blamed Emma’s onion rings for the advanced pregnancy. In the labor room, they were met by Dr. Frankenstein Whale. In came Belle and Mary Margaret. It seems the spell required the tears of a newborn child. So they vowed to protect the baby from Emma.

Zelena gave birth to a girl. Then Emma showed up and tossed the doctor against the wall like Zelena had done previously. Regina said she wouldn’t be taking the baby. Emma said she wasn’t there for the baby. In a puff of black smoke, she and Zelena were gone.

Killian woke up chained up in Emma’s dungeon basement and Zelena was also there. Emma told him that she was going to use Zelena as the vessel to hold the darkness of the Dark One, then kill her with Excalibur to banish the darkness. She also said that Merlin couldn’t help anymore, but wouldn’t say why. The only way they could escape Emma is with Zelena’s magic which was suppressed by the magic band on her wrist. Killian’s hook was still enchanted from when he tried to kill Zelena previously and was able to cut off the band. The first thing she did was change her wardrobe. Then she freed Killian.

Regina, David, and Mary Margaret showed up at the house. When them confronting Emma turned heated, she froze them in place with Excalibur.

Zelena and Killian escaped the basement. After debating what to do, Zelena escaped out the back. Killian stayed to try to find the squid ink Emma stole from Rumpel. Just as Emma walked in on him, he found it behind a picture frame. He used the ink to freeze Emma in place, and he demanded she tell him what exactly happened in Camelot. Zelena walked back in and said she had some ideas as to what happened. And she stabbed Killian in the chest. It didn’t hurt or kill him. Zelena found a dreamcatcher outside and showed it to him. It showed a flashback to Granny’s Diner outside Camelot.

In the vision, Emma lit the flame and started to reforge Excalibur when Killian collapsed with the cut on his neck returned. Merlin said that a wound from Excalibur can’t heal. So Emma wanted to use the flame to free Merlin from the sword and use it to heal Killian. Merlin warned that it would be the last step in the path to becoming the Dark One. In a puff of smoke, she disappeared with Killian and reappeared in a field of pink flowers (keeping with a season-long theme). Despite his urging her to the contrary, she performed the spell. Merlin’s name disappeared from the blade and was replaced by Killian Jones. He then vanished, Emma became the Dark One, and Killian reemerged from the black ooze in the Dark One’s vault.

Back at Emma’s house, Killian was not pleased at finding out that he is also a Dark One. Zelena erased the spell that hid Killian’s name on Excalibur. She asked him if he wanted to see what happened next. He said he did, but first they needed to take care of Emma.

That awkward moment when you realize you're a living embodiment of evil. (ABC/Jack Rowand)
That awkward moment when you realize you’re a living embodiment of evil. (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Overall, it was one of the best episodes they’ve had so far. And that’s saying something. I liked the twists and surprise reveals. I just wish it wasn’t followed by the exact opposite right afterward. But that’s for another article.


Daniel C. Handley

Dan Handley was raised a Trekkie, fell in love with "Star Wars" at an early age, and became obsessed with comic book superheroes. He spent his youth dreaming of how to get real superpowers, starships, and so on.

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