The Dark Swan Analysis – Once Upon a Time – Main Show – 292



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The Dark Swan Analysis – Once Upon a Time

Episode Number: 292

Show notes can be found at:

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What we saw on the TV episode


What you didn’t see. Oncers watching filming and the table to make Sean and Bex taller.


Here is Belle with the Beauty and the Beast crystal case of the rose we were talking about


What we saw on the TV episode

What you didn’t see
The group of Oncers at dusk watching filming


The group of Oncers watching filming at around 11:00PM (Including us – The real, real Oncers) 🙂


All the dismembered limbs in Star Wars

the dark swan analysis ouat missing limbs star wars

Excalibur and the Dark One Dagger are separate for a reason. Listen to the movie attendant and Leave it alone!

Email points:

From Aleana

Perfection! Jennifer Morrison was bloody amazing as The Dark Swan at the end. Just wow, I felt her icy presence. They way she turned ever so quickly to Sneezy and asked “who are you?” are then turned him to stone, that was excellent. Overall, what a beautiful episode. I want more 🙂

The opening scene is intriguing. I do love how they showed the animated Sword in the Stone, love that movie. Very cool twist, the Dark One’s dagger is the extension of Excalibur, I never thought of that. Wow, so cool. That’s maybe why Merlin might have said, don’t take out the Sword from the Stone.

I adored Merida, Amy Manson has done utter justice to her. Her accent is gorgeous and it’s her real one which makes it even better! I can’t believe King Fergus has passed, I really loved him on Brave. Her poor, wee brothers, I hope there as adorable as they were on the movie. Loved the nod to the movie about her mother being a bear 🙂 I loved Merida’s mannerisms and her quick, snappy dialogue, very reminiscent of that from the movie. I also like how she thanked Emma for showing her the darkness, that was meaningful because we all have darkness.

Loved how they incorporated the will-o’-the-wisp into the storyline. I’m very pleased with that. Loved all the Wizard of Oz references, I adore that movie. Loved that the tornado took away Granny’s!

Regina and Hook both had quite funny lines.

Emma in the Enchanted Forrest was great, I really saw her struggle with darkness in the way she moved her eyes, truly expressive.

I understand why Hook was so adamant about wanting to save Emma, I’m glad it all worked out. I also am very happy, everyone, for once is coming along, they finally addressed that. No more sidelining of characters, hopefully 🙂

I am a major Beauty and the Beast fan of the Disney Animated Classic, it’s a major part of my childhood and the way the Rose Jar was utilized really pleased me.

Zelena was wicked! She and her sister do have something in common, wanting love. She now has a son and I think that’s going to make her happy so hopefully they can work out their problems or maybe she can go “somewhere over the Rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby…”

From Chris

Hi Jeff and Colleen,

First the obligatory Star Wars references:

– Nice Force choke, Emma.

– For all the times he tried to convince Emma to use her power, Rumple should have just been named Palpatine in this episode.

Now for a few other similarities to other works:

For anyone familiar with the show Dexter, Rumple now seems to be filling the role of Emma’s “Dark Passenger” which was the name Dexter gave to his internal impulse to be a serial killer.

When I saw Emma’s outfit at the end of the episode, I immediately thought of Pinhead from the Hellraiser series. I highly doubt that was what they were going for but it fits because it’s tough to get much darker than Pinhead.

Keep up the great work!


From Chris from NC

Hey yall!! Its good to be back!!
This was a great episode, i didn’t like it as much as last years premier but still good. Before my top 5 i have one gripe, I grow tired of all the ret-coning they do with Emma, you mean to tell me all this time she never said anything about a mysterious man telling her she would have the opportunity to remove Excalibur? Doubtful.But, enough negatively. My top 5

5) The Storybrooke gang as im calling them…. Im so glad they finally gave more information about the wand that the apprentice used to imprison the author, although i do question why it was crafted with light and dark… Maybe Merlin isn’t as benevolent as we’d like to think. Im sad to see the apprentice go. Timothy Webber is amazing and i hope to see him again in flashback. I cant believe they needed Zelena to them how the portal worked. They should know this. Hooks reaction to Henry breaking the quill was probably my favorite part of the episode!! He literally face-palmed 😂. Zelena is playing a much bigger role then i expected, which im glad of. Rebekah Mader is amazing!! It was hilarious that they call out their own continuity error with Robin realizing Regina was Zelena but not realizing it with Marion. I don’t understand at all

4) The Rose from Beauty and the Beast!! So many feels!!

3) Camelot…. I love the reveal that the dagger was made from Excalibur. I can wait to learn more about Camelot. Having Lancelot back is nice.

2) Merida….I think they did such a good job with Merida, and the actress playing her did phenomenal, although i feel her hair should be bigger 😁. Her and Emma play really well of each other. I think she will be a great asset to the show and i hope she sticks around for a long time.

1) Dark one Emma….Seeing Emma come out of the dak one pit was so amazing, and her having dark one Rumple as her “Darth Sidious” is so fun and i love that they did it this way. Its a relief that Emma was trying to fight the darkness. True to her character in my opinion. The reunion between Emma and the storybrooke gang was awesome, so glad they talked Emma out of killing Merida. Emma giving Regina the dagger was tear worthy. I love where their relationship has come. The ending was a downer, im disappointed that they are re treading the same story with lost time and memories. Dark one Emma looks great though… This is gonna be fun!!
I give this premier 8.25/10 onion rings
-Chris from NC

From Janice

Hello, Jeff and Colleen,

I’m not sure you remember me, it’s Janice Marie, (If you need help remembering, I’m the girl you’ll wished “Happy Birthday” to on November 8th, the night that recorded for one of your main shows for season 4). It has been a loooong while, haha!

I just wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on the season 5 premiere of “Once Upon a Time.”

-McKenna Grace at little Emma, super cute! I can totally see her growing into Abby Ross, who grows into Jennifer Morrison. Amazing casting as always.
-The BIG REVEAL of the Dark One dagger turning out to be the last piece of Excalibur…. WHAT!!!!! Probably the BIGGEST plot twist since Darth Vader revealing he was Luke’s father!!!
-I’m not sure that I can trust Merlin. He doesn’t seem like a good guy to me. He looks, to me, like he had something to do with the creation of the Dark One dagger, etc.
-Did you guys notice that Henry was protecting Roland inside Granny’s diner? Oh, my goodness!!! It was just too darn cute, I felt as though I was going to get ADORABETES!!!!
-Lastly, seeing Dark One Emma at the end of the episode!!! She looked AMAZING!!! I love that he voice was significantly low for the part!!! Amazing acting choice that Jennifer made there. (Also, everyone looked STUNNING in their Camelot attire, ESPECIALLY Henry, who looked like a sort of a knight-in-training)

In my opinion, this was one of the strongest season premieres that the show has had so far.

Keep up the great work! It’s good that Once is back but it’s EVEN GREATER that your podcast is back and I get to listen to you guys again after MONTHS of hiatus.

Your biggesy fan,

Janice Marie

From Trace

Welcome back Colleen and Jeff!

Few things before I dive into this excellent season premiere! I was having a terrible Monday…but…there you were! So nice to have you back, and hear the 2 of you again chatting about a new season…it just turned my day around, thanks so much for that. And, a shout out to both of you!! One of the reasons I love your podcast is because you’re a great couple, and it comes through. I heard you sent gift baskets to other podcasters and it made me smile!! Proves why I tune in and listen to you twice every week-that was so great-you 2 are awesome! Ok, Roney love fest over… let’s get into the Dark Swan!

OMG…OMG!! This was so great and so worth the wait! First off, let’s get to the elephant in the room…we had a mind swipe again…not sure why everyone is groaning tho…it’s a OUAT trope yes, but it works here so well!! We can’t keep flashing back to the enchanted forest pre curse, we’ve done that for 4 seasons and we’re out of adventures there. This new time jump and mind swipe allows us to continue the flashbacks we love, and now we see all new adventures. We can see the story unfold about how and why Emma went dark in Camelot thru the eyes of our favorite characters. This is what we all love about the show right?!! So chillax everyone and just enjoy…it’s going to be great!

I think Merlin’s visit to Emma in the theatre was for-shadowing to our entire group, that doing the right thing doesn’t always get a good result. I think were going to see our cast of hero’s doing what they all think is right thing to save Emma, yet…didn’t turn out so well as we see the last 5 minutes of the episode, (which was delicious by the way!) J-mo played the dark swan so great! I cant wait to find out what she means by “you failed me”. Colleen, loved your theory on the grey relating to a swan-her smoke was even grey if you noticed when she poofed away at the end. I have my theories but Ill wait a few episodes to see things unfold. The dagger is part of excaliber…? Oh, that was brilliant!! Leroy’s speech was super cute and poignant to say the least. Merida was perfection, Emma catching arrows was one of the best scenes, as was her taking Meridas heart-so compelling. Naughty Rumple being the devil on her shoulder, so great. Emma giving Regina the dagger, big feels. Zelena does wicked like no other-awesome. I could go on and on-I loved everything about this episode and can’t wait for Sundays!!

Things that made me go hmmm…I loved the knod to Beauty and the beast with the rose, but now she’s got this giant glass rose to hall around, and not practical at all in a tornado. And why didn’t Blue go along? You’d think she’d be a great asset with her knowledge and power! Just sayin. Where is Lilly? That should be a great confrontation, I hope we still get to see the whos her daddy drama unfold here. Why did they bring Zelena? Lock her in the cell with a protection spell and let her be to meditate for awhile. If she gets near a knife again who knows what would happen! Oh, way to peer pressure a teenager Hook! I get that he’s desperate to save Emma, but let’s hope he’s learned from that epic fail. He’s so cutie cute I’ll forgive him for that!

Big love oncers!! Glad to be back and can’t wait to hear all your emails and theories-it helps me get through the week! Talk to you all next week! Trace

From Dan Hyatt

Greetings Colleen and Jeff!! So glad to venture to Storybrooke again with you two! Here are my thoughts/comments on the show!

(1) The main plotline sounds so much like a Charlie Daniels song, “The Devil went up to Storybrooke, and he’s looking for a soul to steal. He found Swan, he’s a son of a gun, and he’s willing to “make a deal”!!!”

(2) Emma’s hooded clothes reminded me (colorwise) somewhat of leaked photos of what “Old Luke” will look like in Episode VII, light shaded/ off white.

(3) I agree Jeff, the Dark One SOOO reminided me of Palpatine from Episode III. . . . “DO IT!!!”

(4) I’m sorry, but “Merlin’s Wand”?? Will at some point will we see any Harry Potter references, any Hippogriffs??

(5) Disney reference. . .. getting lost in the woods. . . walking around in circles. . . . Was that the same forest that Pooh and Piglet got lost in??

(6) Another Harry Potter reference, the sword in the stone reminded me of the Griffindor sword that Harry pulled out of the hat in the 2nd movie. . . .same red ruby stone on the hilt, and writing on the blade.

(7) Did I hear a “Wilhelm scream” when Emma choked the peddler? 😉

(8) Finally. . .. back to the 80’s. . . .Dark One giving Emma “a taste”. . .. Hewey Lewis and the News everbody, “I want a new drug! One that won’t make me sick. . . . One that won’t make me crash my VW Bug. . .. or make me feel three feet thick!!!”

Can’t wait for the next episode!! Hold on to your hats “dearies” … we’re in for a bumpy ride!!

Peace Always,

Dan Hyatt, Boston MA

From Brad

Alright guys, we’re back for season 5! So sit back, relax and don’t let anyone ruin you chi.
Now, unto the things I learned this week on the episode, The Dark Swan.

#1. Even a wizard needs a part
time job.

#2. Mr Gold is actually just in a
deep sleep after suffering
from decades of insomnia.

#3. Always be sure to secure the
condiments before traveling
to another realm.

#4. Oftentimes a good gut punch
is required BEFORE showing

#5. When you’re hungry for
power, break yourself a piece
of that Ex-cali-bur.

#6. After twenty eight years in
Storybrooke, still nobody
knows the name of the man
with the mop.

#7. Sneezy likes to wear woman’s

#8. Dr. Whale should seriously
recommend that everyone in
Storybrooke start taking
Prevagen immediately to
boost memory function.

#9. Rumple is not a fan of the
Scottish accent.

#10. Whiplash is a common side
effect of “wee magical love


When Rumple became the Dark One, did Zoso appear in his mind to temp him?

What’s the story about how Lacelot is still alive? Up to this point, we were led to believe that Cora had killed him.

When Bae and Rumple spoke of forces greater than themselves who conspire to make things happen, could that greater force have been Merlin? Both he and the Apprentice knew the fate of Emma and Lily. So why not every other person in all the realms?

That’s all for now



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