7 Ways 'OUAT's Emma Swan Can Avoid The Dark Side

Poor Emma "Savior" Swan has had quite a bit to deal with during the past couple episodes of Once Upon a Time. Not only has she continued to wrestle with forgiving Snow and Charming for seemingly sacrificing Maelficent's baby (they thought the baby was a dragon, OK?) in favor of avoiding a cursed birth, everyone and their brother seems to be harping on the fact that Emma is doomed to spiral downward into that scary canvas known as "the dark side." It didn't help things when "Sympathy for De Vil" saw Emma become the catalyst for Cruella's demise (whoops) when she utilized her magic to force the villain off a cliff in order to save Henry.

During Sunday's episode, "Best Laid Plans," we witnessed the revelation that Maleficent's daughter not only survived being banished to a deadly vortex by Snow and Charming (again — they thought she was a dragon!), but she ran into Emma as a child and the two became best friends. You know, at least until Emma disconnected herself from Lily's constant run-ins with the law. As fate is a ubiquitous theme in Storybrooke, it came as no surprise (not for me, anyway) that Emma and Lily's connection was anything but happenstance. Apparently the girls' fates are destined to remain entwined, with Emma's life mostly bathed in light as the Savior and Lily's in darkness. After an awkward reunion and subsequent face-off (apparently Lily knows all about Storybrooke and the vortex, and is understandably out for revenge and whatnot), Emma had ample opportunity to slay Lily just as she had Cruella. With prompting from — of all people — Regina, Emma spared Lily's life and even offered her the opportunity to ride along while she and Regina went to rescue Robin from the manipulative hands of the Zelena.

Sparing a potential enemy's life doesn't seem very "dark" to me, but we all know that if Rumple has his way, that's exactly where Emma will end up. I, for one, would hate to see our favorite Savior end up in peril, so I constructed a list of ways Emma can avoid going a villainous route.

She Needs To Go Have More Date Nights With Hook

As an avid shipper of the Emma/Hook coupling (I mean, really, who isn't?), I feel like a few date nights with her handsome ex-villain would help Emma deftly avoid any evildoing.

She Needs To Keep Hanging Out With Regina

I know Regina hasn't exactly foregone her villainy, but she has her moments! She also seems to have taken a likening to Emma, which could help both ladies stay on the path of the straight and narrow.

She Needs To Make Friends With Rumple

Nobody wants to see Emma turn dark more than Rumple, but maybe he'd have a change of heart if they became friends. He's pretty lonely without Belle around, so he could certainly use someone to grab coffee with.

She Needs To Stop Losing Her Temper

I understand battling villains and hearing about how you're "doomed" all the time is stressful, Emma, but violence is not the answer!

She Needs To Get More Sleep

Does anybody other than Sleeping Beauty ever sleep in fairytales? I think they probably should.

She Needs To Forgive Herself

During "Best Laid Plans," Emma seemed to feel guilty for Lily's ill fate. It's not your fault, Emma! Give yourself a break.

She Need To Forgive Her Parents

At the risk of being redundant, I'll say this once more: They really, really, really thought that baby was a dragon!

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

Images: Jack Rowland/ABC; Giphy (7)