When it comes to episode titles on many tv shows, a lot of times they tend to foreshadow what the episode will be about, whether it is very subtle or in your face obvious. A lot of the time it is hard to tell what is coming but then you look back and it is painfully obvious what the title was giving away.
During hiatus, the show runner for Once Upon a Time, Adam Horowitz, likes to tease fans with the script of an episode plainly showing what the title will be. So far, we have been given five different episode titles.
Episode 5.01 - The Dark Swan
This title is pretty obvious. As we saw in the season finale, Emma had taken up the mantle of the Dark One. This title is a little on the nose for me, as it has just taken her last name "Swan" and traded it for "One" in the title of "Dark One". However, it does make sense and it does open up the season with the verification that yes, Emma will be dark.
Episode 5.02 - The Price
This is kind of ambiguous. One of Rumpelstiltskin's famous sayings on the show is "All magic comes with a price." Perhaps this is when the group has to figure out how to get Emma back, and the price of that is what is figured out in this episode. It could also be referring to how dark Emma truly has become. Either way, whenever that saying comes into play, it is always very dangerous for those involved.
5.03 - Siege Perilous
One of the other stories coming to Once Upon a Time this season, aside from the Dark Swan saga, is the group from Camelot. In Arthurian legend, Siege Perilous is the seat left empty at the Round Table for the knight who could bring the Holy Grail to them. In the story, it was Sir Galahad, but perhaps because the previous episode was called "The Price," it was one of the people left in Storybrooke who was able to find it, as they need Merlin's help to get Emma back to her normal self.
5.04 - The Broken Kingdom
With the return of Sinqua Walls as Lancelot, it seems as though this might be one of the episodes that is heavily set in flashback. Those are used frequently on the show to connect things from the past to what is going on in the present. In King Arthur lore, what ultimately happens to help bring about the downfall of Camelot is that his friend Lancelot and his wife Guinevere fall in love. That was hinted at in Season 2 as the reason that Lancelot was exiled from his home. Perhaps we will see part of the downfall in flashbacks to the once beautiful kingdom.
5.05 - Dreamcatcher
Dreamcatchers were actually first introduced back in Season 2. It was what connected Emma to her ex, Neal, and also was one of the first things she used her magic on to communicate with Pongo. They are believed to capture bad dreams and only leave you with good, so perhaps they use it to capture the essence of the Dark One from Emma. After all, Emma becoming evil was Snow White's nightmare.
This episode is also reportedly where this behind the scenes photo is supposed to be from:
So perhaps it may only be giving Hook a good dream of how he wants things to be with Emma, and not that she is returned to being good.
I know that I don't want Emma to return to being the savior too quickly because I think it would be fun to have her be a bad guy for awhile, but I also don't want them to drag it out too much either. I am kind of conflicted about this honestly. Hopefully the new season will provide more answers than questions, but knowing the writers, there will always be more turns along the way.
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, September 27th to ABC.
[Source: Carter Matt]