With the Savior now taken over by darkness, it's up to the residents of Storybrooke, heroes and villains alike, to bring her back to the light. Elsewhere, the new Dark One is constantly haunted by the voice inside her and encounters Merida; a feisty and strong-willed princess who prevents Emma from defeating the evil inside her.
Granny's Diner is shown in the forest.
In The Characters' Past
In a movie theater in 1989 Minneapolis, Minnesota, a young Emma is watching The Sword in the Stone, but while she enters the next aisle over she swipes a woman's candy bar. Emma is then approached by an adult male usher, who tells Emma "Don't do it," and thought he was going to reprimand her, but instead, he offers her advice by saying, "When you do something that you're not supposed to do, even if you're doing them for the right reasons, bad things will happen," a reference of things to come for Emma. He also mentions that she'll have the opportunity to remove Excalibur from its stone, but he warns her not to touch it. Emma turn and noticed the person has disappeared.
In Camelot before Emma's Arrival
King Arthur and two of his knights, Sir Lancelot and Sir Percival, arrive to the location of the stone with Excalibur within it. However, they find that Sir Kay has found it first and as he tries to pull the sword out, he is immediately turned to ash. Despite this, Arthur proceeds with his mission and manages to successfully pull the sword out, however, the tip is missing. Realizing that he cannot present his possession of the sword if it isn't whole, he vows to seek out the missing piece, which is then revealed to be the blade of the Dark One's dagger.
Just moments after Emma vanished after harnessing the powers of the Dark One, leaving only the Dagger with Emma's name on it, everyone is left stunned and bewildered, and as expected at odds with each other. While Regina was furious over what Emma had done, Mary Margaret still believed that Emma had good in her and believes she can be saved. Hook, however believing that he can bring Emma back because of his feelings for her, pushed Robin aside and took the dagger to summon her back, but to no avail. Regina then told everyone, including a angry Hook, that "She’s not in our world." This bickering would continue between Regina and Hook, who was adamant about going to the Enchanted Forest to find her. Later on at the Apprentice's home, they learn that he was too weak to help them, but he had a wand that was given to him by Merlin that would help, which contained all the light magic but could only be wielded by two sides of the coin, the light and the dark. As Regina picked up the wand to cast it, it did not work as Hook pointed out to Regina that her powers have gone soft, and that they needed someone "wicked," in other words, Zelena.
Regina and Robin Hood stops by the hospital ward to see Zelena, who taunts the couple as usual after they enter. Zelena agrees to help if she could see the wand, but need something meaningful to Emma, since Zelena is the only one who can use the wand. Zelena also needed Regina's permission to let her have full reign over her power, but Regina refuses to let her reclaim it. Later at Granny's, Hook and Henry formulates a plan to release Zelena. When Hook goes to Zelena's cell in the hopes of convincing her to help, Henry distracts the nurses. However, their plan backfires, and Zelena breaks free from the cell after she cuts off her hand to remove the magic cuff and then restoring her hand once that is accomplished. Regina becomes more furious over this because she knew that Zelena is after Robin Hood since he was the "key to everything," and wants to trade him for the wand, which could take her back to Oz. As Zelena opens a portal, which is a green cyclone. Regina shows up and takes advantage of Zelena's weakened powers to put the cuff back on her wrist, as well as redirect the portal to take them to The Enchanted Forest using Emma's blanket. The cyclone immediately heads towards Granny's diner, and transports everyone to the location of Emma's whereabouts.
In the Enchanted Forest
Emma emerges to the Enchanted Forest through a the Vault of the Dark One, and she finds herself haunted by the voice of the darkness inside of her, which has manifested as a personification of Rumplestiltskin. She struggles to resist, and vows not to hurt her family. Then, Emma runs up to a peddler, only to have her become consumed by Rumple's guidance, eventually to the point of using the dark magic to nearly kill the peddler. Rumple guides Emma with her transportation, where she locates a will-o-the-wisp. As she chases it, Emma comes upon a red-headed archer named Merida. When Merida sees the wisp, she nabs it and places it in her bag. After Emma physically stops her using her dark magic by mistake, Merida aims her arrow at Emma. Emma tries to convince Merida that she needs it to take the magic to Merlin. Merida, being reluctant to trust Emma, decides to go with her but keeps the wisp in her bag. Merida informs Emma that more wisps can be found at the Hill of Stones, so Emma and Merida heads towards the direction of this particular location.
Emma learns that Merida needs the wisp in order to find out what happened to her younger brothers', and restore her family's kingdom. After they both make camp for the night, the manifestation of Rumplestiltskin tries to guide Emma into betraying Merida once they reach the home of the wisps. Merida, who overheard the conversation, is convinced that Emma can't be trusted, so she races off to the Hill of Stones by herself. However, Emma follows her and is encouraged by the manifestation of Rumplestiltskin to rip her heart out. Merida begins shooting arrows at Emma, but she soon discovers that they are no match for Emma's new powers, who catches each of them with her hand as the manifestation of Rumplestiltskin continues to persuade her to remove Merida's heart. Finally, the manifestation of Rumplestiltskin succeeds, but before Emma could crush Merida's heart, Hook appears with both of their comrades and stops her. Once everything has settled down, Mary Margaret hands Emma the dagger; however, Emma, believing that carrying the dagger would be too much power, wants someone else to possess it. She decides to give the dagger to Regina, since she would be the only one capable of killing Emma. Moments later, King Arthur and some of his knights arrives on horseback in order to proclaim that they have been awaiting Emma's arrival. Arthur believes that Emma would be able to reunite Merlin with them, and everyone involved joins forces on their quest en route to Camelot.
Six weeks after, the group enter Camelot, they awaken in Granny's Diner where they are wearing Arthurian attire, however they also find that their memory ends with them entering into Camelot, and to make matters worse, Emma has also embraced the darkness, acquired the Dark One's Dagger and vows to make them pay for not saving her from the Evil.
- Its revealed that the darkness does have a mind of its own; this explains moments where Rumple seemed to e talking to himself.
- Until The Brothers Jones, the Apprentice's death remained unconfirmed.
- Merida's hotheadedness ends up nearly her undoing; she keep attempting to fire arrows at Emma, despite clear signs she was fighting off the urge to harm her.
- Ginnifer Goodwin as Mary Margaret Blanchard
- Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan
- Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills
- Josh Dallas as David Nolan
- Emilie de Ravin as Belle French
- Colin O'Donoghue as Hook
- Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills
- Rebecca Mader as Zelena
- Sean Maguire as Robin Hood
- Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold
- Lee Arenberg as Leroy
- Liam Garrigan as Arthur
- Beverley Elliott as Granny
- Keegan Connor Tracy as Mother Superior
- Gabe Khouth as Mr. Clark
- Amy Manson as Merida
- Raphael Alejandro as Roland
- Michael Coleman as Happy
- David-Paul Grove as Doc
- Andrew Jenkins as Percival
- Lee Majdoub as Unknown
- Unknown baby as Prince Neal