The fifth season of Once Upon A Time certainly is not resting on its laurels: this season has turned everything upside down by turning heroes into villains and villains into heroes.
Take Regina (Lana Parrilla), for example: once only known as the horrifying evil Queen, she's found redemption and took the reins this season as the town's savior. Then there's the legendary King Arthur (Liam Garrigan), who isn't as much of a hero as his stories painted him; in fact, he's downright dastardly.
Of course, there's also Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), once the town's savior, and now perhaps its downfall, now that she has become the Dark One.
But perhaps the most surprising turn of all is that taken by Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), aka Rumpelstiltskin, who has to overcome his cowardice and become brave.
Of course, Mr. Gold becoming brave is all part of Emma's plan to turn Mr. Gold into a hero so that she can force him to pull Excalibur from its stone, unleashing all the powers of darkness and extinguishing any light that's left inside her soul. She's also captured Merida (Amy Manson) and forced the Scottish lass to help Gold find his inner bravery.
In next week's episode, "Dreamcatcher," Merida does her best to convince Gold that he can become brave, but he's not buying it: before he was the Dark One, he was very much the coward. A new preview released by ABC of next week's episode shows this training in process.
This clip also shows the Storybrooke citizens, now led by Regina, still trying to figure out what Emma's end game is. However, there's also one key scene in this preview that offers hope that Emma is worthy of saving: at the end of the preview, we see tears streaming down Emma's cheek, in what, viewers will hope, is regret—and this is after she's embraced her powers as the Dark One. Perhaps there is still light inside Emma after all. And that means that her friends and family can save her.
"We're going to see her go through that struggle and that journey to fight within herself to make that decision," said Jennifer Morrison to Entertainment Weekly. "There are things that she's faced with where her instinct now is incredibly dark and incredibly violent, but then there's still that part of her that wants to overcome that—and then that part of her that wants to overcome that is then going to come against that darkness inside of her, and there's this internal struggle."
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays on ABC.