'OUAT's New Dark One Is Rather Demanding

In exactly one week, the day we've all been waiting for will finally be here: the premiere of Once Upon A Time Season 5. After a seemingly interminable hiatus, we'll finally get back to Storybrooke... and then promptly out of it and across realms, back to the Enchanted Forest, and more particularly, to Camelot. The episode title, "The Dark Swan", gives us all a pretty good idea of the focus of not only the premiere, but likely much of the first half of Season 5, and I honestly can't wait. I've been looking forward to seeing Emma and Regina switch roles for months, and while we pretty much knew already that Regina would play the hero while the former Savior remains on the dark side, it's all but confirmed after watching the new promo for the first episode.

In the relatively short clip, there's only one thing of note: Emma as the new Dark One encountering Regina and making one simple request: "I saved you, now save me." We only see the women's faces for a split second, but that's all it takes to realize that things are pretty serious and getting Emma out of this situation is going to be far from easy.

I can't decide if Emma is pleading or attempting to manipulate Regina — maybe it's a bit of both. As for Regina, she doesn't seem too pleased about whatever's being asked of her, or at least that's how it seems at first glance. Given that we see a bit of the dagger in the clip, my guess is that Emma is asking Regina to take the dagger from her and guard it. By being in possession of the dagger, Regina holds all power over Emma. In essence, Regina is therefore the only one that can save Emma... from herself. She can prevent Emma from hurting other people or herself by commanding her not to, and that's a massive responsibility (and yet another gesture of how Emma trusts Regina over all others).

Executive producer Eddy Kitsis explained it best, telling Entertainment Weekly, "You want to trust the person who has your best interests at heart, but in the same respect, who would you say has the ability to unplug the machine? Meaning who’s the person that’s going to make the right decision at the right time? Emma’s the Dark One, and so who she gives that knife to … Or who takes the knife has a lot of meaning and emotion, but also some practicality to it." Well, that clears that up.

It's unclear how Emma gets possession of the dagger to begin with, given that it was left on the streets of Storybrooke after she disappeared into thin air. However, that hardly matters. What does matter is that it's up to Regina now to be the hero, to lead the way. I have 100 percent faith in her, and I can't wait for her to prove to everyone else that they should, too.

Image: Jack Rowand/ABC