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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 5 E 10 Broken Heart

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Season 5, Episode 10:

Broken Heart

In a Camelot flashback, Hook becomes a Dark One and his lust for revenge against Rumplestiltskin is reignited. When Emma and Hook disagree about their best course of action, the final pieces of the puzzle are revealed as events in Camelot catch up to the present, resulting in a charged confrontation between the forces of light and dark.


  • Ambiguous Syntax: Merlin uttered "The Dark One[s/'s] found me already". In those few split seconds, it kinda makes you wonder what does Merlin mean? The Dark Ones found him or The Dark One [has] found him.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Emma wiped everyone's memories of Camelot in order to prevent Hook from being corrupted. Now that he remembers, he's slid back into evil.
  • Arrow Catch: Hook proves just as good at this as any Dark One.
  • Badass Normal / Took A Level In Bad Ass: Rumpelstiltskin overcomes his cowardly tendencies by being willing to fight Captain Hook, without the comfort of magic or magical devices.
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  • Black Humor: "Rumple" pointing out to Hook that Merlin's heart is the oldest in the realm and they should "cut it open and count the rings." Also, him telling Hook if they work together he can help him...kill "himself" (the real Rumple).
  • Back from the Dead: Hook summons all of the previous Dark Ones from The Underworld.
  • Baddie Flattery: After Hook lays into Emma for what she did to him, and first proclaims his intent to do whatever he can to hurt her and take from her what she cares about, Zelena observes, "Oh, I like you as a Dark One." As a sign of how far he's already fallen, he doesn't seem bothered by this at all (though he doesn't respond to her flirtatiousness either).
  • Call-Back: When Merlin and the others find out Dark Hook has left the Dark One's vault, he comments on what he had stated in "Nimue", that of the possible futures he saw one of them involved Emma succumbing to the Darkness and him dying—specifically that "this is the darkest of paths I foresaw". Not only does this episode reveal he does indeed die (just not during the trip to claim the Spark, and thanks to Dark Hook, not her), but by the end of the episode things have become the darkest they've ever been, with Hook opening a portal to bring all the past Dark Ones to Storybrooke in the flesh. The next episode (and the latter half of the season) will also lead to some very dark places, including literally and physically.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Zelena uses her anti-magical binder to subdue Emma.
    • As he's turned into a Dark One, Hook has flashes to his encounters with Rumple and Emma as Dark Ones.
    • Hook challenges Gold to a fight on their ship, to "finish it where it started."
    • The cloud of magic flowing over Camelot looks much like the shot of magic coming to Storybrooke back in the season 1 finale.
    • Just before everything goes south, Merlin sends Lancelot off to find his mother, the Lady of the Lake (as revealed in the Season 2 episode of the same name).
  • Cruel Mercy: In an echo of their first encounter, Gold spares Hook, stating aloud what was implied by Hook: that he leaves him alive, knowing he had lost what he wanted so badly, but with the added twist of having lost to Gold, and knowing that for the rest of his life. Also, Hook's plan for Emma is for her to have her heart broken and lose everything she cares about, just as happened to him.
  • Evil Is Hammy: After being turned into a Dark One, Hook takes on some of Rumple's old style of talking and gestures and lives it up even more than his pirate days.
  • Evil Is Petty: Hook's reasoning for going off the deep end rather quickly? He's offended that Emma couldn't trust him to give him Excalibur. Although "Rumple" had been working on his need for revenge already, and he had also lost his trust in her because she made him a Dark One, even though he pleaded with her not to because he wasn't strong enough to resist the darkness again. So this may have acted just as an excuse for him to do what he already wanted to.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Regina warns Zelena that as bad as she may think she is, Regina spent years doing far, far worse.
  • Evil Plan: Dark Hook's, it turns out, is simply to not let Excalibur cut the darkness out of him, instead killing Merlin so that he can cast the Dark Curse to get back to Storybrooke and get his revenge on Gold. But in return, he'll also use this same plot to give all Dark Ones what they want: the ability to come back in the flesh so they can snuff out all light magic.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Averted, if only for the moment: Hook agrees to let Zelena go her own way in Storybrooke and do as she wishes, as long as she doesn't get in his way. Considering she was the one who freed him and restored his memories, it shows he does still retain some honor, or at least a willingness to repay a favor, while his declaration to hurt Emma and everyone she cares about (which includes Regina at this point) is something Zelena would absolutely support, so it comes across more as there being a mutual advantage in them not turning on each other. However, the other Dark Ones made no such promise to her...
  • Fair-Play Villain: Before their duel, Hook uses his powers to fix Gold's limp leg to give him an even chance "just so your loved ones won't claim I took advantage."
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: After Charming brings up the Lady of the Lake, Merlin sends Lancelot off to get magic from her to help stop Hook. It was said to be a two-day journey, well beyond the reach of the curse, and this is shown in a invokedDeleted Scene where Lancelot watches the curse arriving...but he is never seen again, so any aid he got from his mother would seem to have been too late or of no use.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Gold ends up defeating Hook by using part of his own ship against him.
    • Zelena was the one who gave Hook back his memories. But by doing so, she's now enabled him as the Dark One to summon back all the Dark Ones to snuff out all light in Storybrooke. Which includes her innocent baby. And she, like everyone else, can't escape.
    • Arthur would never have ended up in Storybrooke and lost everything if he hadn't worked against the heroes, thus leading to Merlin being tethered and everything that followed with Hook and Emma.
  • Honor Before Reason: Emma brings the last of the squid ink to Gold to help him win against Hook, at least long enough so that she can get the dreamcatchers back. He refuses, even though she calls it a suicide mission, because he wants to win the right way if he's going to, with honor. And it turns out he's right.
  • Hope Spot:
    • In the past, several: both when she gets him to focus on their love so that "Rumple" disappears and when they rejoin the others at Granny's, it seems Emma has gotten through to Killian...only for it to turn out to all have been a ruse so he could kill Merlin and enact the curse.
    • In the present, Gold succeeds in defeating Hook and goes to the well. Belle appears as promised, seemingly saying she is ready to try again with him...but despite agreeing his heart is pure and he has become the man she always wanted him to be, she turns him down, citing how many times he had broken her heart and her trust, and that until she has had the time to heal and get over it, she can't consider getting back together.
  • Insult Backfire: When Regina rips into how Zelena killed Marian, took her place and used Robin to get a child in the first place as making her a twisted woman, she laughs, "Is that a compliment?"
  • Irony
    • Merida happens to get caught in the curse because she is riding back to Camelot to get her revenge on Arthur.
    • The sword is put back in the stone by Hook, and sent back to Camelot. Arthur only has a few moments of staring at it, wondering how it got there (and likely beyond his ability to remove, now) before the curse arrives.
    • Emma, one who hated having her life out of her control, ends up inflicting this on Hook—including literally, when she gives him an order without meaning to while holding Excalibur. On a related note, she refused to reforge Excalibur so she could save him...but in the present, when it has been reforged so as to destroy the Darkness, this also makes it no longer able to control Hook, so now she and Storybrooke are at his mercy.
  • Killed Off for Real: Sadly, Merlin. And in a way that may have fueled the worst curse of all, considering the age of his heart.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the new curse is enacted. Merlin thinks it won't work after Hook rips out his heart as it can only be enacted by the crushing of the heart of the person you love most. At which point, Nimue appears and Hook points out that because all the past Dark Ones are in him, by crushing Merlin's heart, Nimue is doing the same and thus, the curse works.
  • Love Redeems:
    • Regina and Robin are hoping that her child's love will do this for Zelena.
    • Emma tries to pull this with Hook but it doesn't work.
  • The Power of Trust: In the past, Emma fails this test with Killian, partly because of what he told her as he was dying, partly because of her usual fear of losing those she loves. In the present, she passes when, after being read the riot act by Henry for what she did to everyone, and left in the binder by her family, she takes him into her confidence and works with him to get the dreamcatchers back—which bears fruit in Henry agreeing to remove the Power Nullifier cuff so she can restore everyone's memories.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Regina finally calls Zelena out on what she did to Robin, saying she "deceived Robin in the most vile way imaginable".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Henry gives a harsh one to Emma on how he no longer trusts her as she took on everything herself and didn't care who she hurt. It serves to motivate her in changing her attitude and working for redemption.
    • And Hook gives a nasty one to Emma on how he's stronger than her to control the darkness in him when she's too weak to do the same, and castigates her for driving everyone she loves away so that "the villains don't have to do anything". This one merely serves to twist the knife.
    • Regina delivers a pithy one to Zelena about murdering Marian and raping Robin.
  • Redemption Rejection: When Zelena comes for her baby at the hospital to find her gone, Regina tries to convince her that the insanity of their hateful feud has to end. Zelena, with genuine tears in her eyes, agrees but says she doesn't think that's possible. Regina refuses the rejection.
  • The Reveal:
    • We finally learn who really cast the curse and why, and why everyone forgot what happened in Camelot.
    • We also find out that the lake near Storybrooke contains a portal to the Underworld (foreshadowed by the Fury calling Charon there to take Robin Hood away in "The Price") and "always did". This makes previous scenes where the dead were discussed there, such as Emma and Regina's talks with amnesiac Henry in Season 3, more meaningful and suggestive.
  • Shout-Out: In the episode's only scene with Merida, when Emma asks her to stop from attempting to shoot her, Merida suggests doing an arrow to the knee instead.
  • That Man Is Dead: Said word for word by Dark Hook, followed by: "He died when you turned him into a Dark One."
  • Trash Talk: As soon as the past Dark Ones have manipulated Killian into doing their bidding, "Rumple" wastes no time in dismissing and insulting Emma as incompetent. Ironically, prior to this he had seemed to both admire her and encourage her in her plotting in Storybrooke, but that took place after her clever usurping of the Dark Curse, and was when the past Dark Ones still had hope she could be convinced to use Excalibur the way they wished.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Emma and Hook's relationship as the Dark Ones certainly gives off this vibe, with some Slap-Slap-Kiss added (especially the scene before they made it back to Granny's Diner). There's also a hint of this implied in the way Zelena flirts with Dark Hook, but it's not reciprocated.
  • We Need a Distraction: Emma wants Gold's fight with Hook to be this, so that she can get the dreamcatchers back and restore everyone's memories. Subverted in that when she does get them back, she realizes they were the distraction, since the duel gave Hook what he needed to open the portal while they were occupied.
  • Wham Episode: Merlin's true fate, how and why Hook succumbs to the Darkness, why the curse was enacted and everyone's memories were taken, the Dark Ones' true plan for snuffing out the light...huge. Oh, and Belle breaks up with Gold yet again. (From his point of view, though, this is equally as much a wham as anything else that happens.)
  • Wham Shot: The boat carrying all the past Dark Ones, now given flesh and ready to unleash chaos on Storybrooke.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Emma gets it from everybody when the truth about turning Hook into a Dark One gets out.
  • Where It All Began:
    • Hook quotes this as he challenges Gold to a duel on his boat.
    • Merlin's last message, that Nimue holds the key to destroying the Darkness, also implies going back to this for the Dark One, in one form or another. Emphasized by the fact that when Emma speaks to Gold about her, he tells them the information they may need would be in "the Dark One Chronicles", which would have been started by Nimue herself.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After defeating Hook, reclaiming Excalibur, and doing the heroic thing by not killing him, Gold goes to the well, and Belle shows up. Is she accepting him back? Nope, not yet. Maybe not ever.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Aside from the curse, which, as usual, can't be stopped, only modified with a forgetfulness charm, Dark Hook's plan works no matter how his duel with Gold works out: whether he kills him or not, he gets the blood needed to open the portal to the underworld. The only difference is whether he gets his revenge or not.

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