'Once Upon A Time' Season 5 Will Feature A "Broken Kingdom" & Putting It Back Together Might Get Complicated

We've got about six weeks left before the premiere of Once Upon A Time Season 5, and we simultaneously know a whole lot and nothing at all, really. Thankfully, one of the series' executive producers, Adam Horowitz, is kind enough to gift us all with teasers in the form of script title pages via his Twitter account every once in a while. While there's only so much you can safely assume from the title of a single episode, if anything at all, we have to assume it conveys a bit of information about what's going down from week to week even vaguely. At least that's what I'm telling myself so that I can feel less like a loser as I do some navelgazing over the title of Season 5, Episode 4: "The Broken Kingdom".

The episode follows the season premiere, "Dark Swan", and episodes two and three, titled "The Price" and "Siege Perilous", respectively. If you put the known titles together and try to form a narrative around them, you could probably assume that the season starts with Emma as the Dark One raising all kinds of hell, then follows with an incredible sacrifice that would need to be made to save her, a heroic rescue mission to restore her to her former self, and the "broken kingdom" in question could likely be the aftermath of that rescue mission. Then again, I'm probably getting ahead of myself here, since we've already been promised that the Dark Swan storyline will be slow burn and last at least the first half of the season. But who's to say we were told the truth, anyway?

There have been several kingdoms over the years on Once, from the Evil Queen's (and later Snow White's) to King Midas and, as we'll discover in Season 5, King Arthur's in Camelot. Determining which of those kingdoms is the "broken" one in question is a difficult task, and I'm of two minds on the matter. Since we're headed to Camelot to find Merlin and Emma is likely already there as the Dark One, her destructive ways could lay waste to the place, especially when the Storybrooke crew arrives, ready to fight for her. That's certainly the most obvious explanation, but what if the title is more metaphorical than anything else?

After all, Storybrooke is made up of people from the former Evil Queen's kingdom back in the Enchanted Forest, and while they're living in the "real world" now, they could technically still count. They're broken because their Savior has made the ultimate sacrifice and now become the most evil figure in existence. I'd say that could destroy a kingdom, right?

Whatever happens, we've got a long wait to find out, but that doesn't mean I won't be thinking about it nonstop for the next couple of months. Thanks a lot, Horowitz.

Image: ABC