“Nimue” | Once Upon A Time
This was a heavy week in the world of television, but nonetheless it was filled with some riveting moments left and right. However, there’s no way anything could’ve surpassed the brilliance behind Once Upon A Time’s “Nimue”. The series often does the best job of giving viewers lasting inspiration to hold onto, and the material we were given this week is bound to stay with some of us forever.
Jane Espenson is one of our favorite writers when it comes to Once Upon A Time, and this may have been the most beautiful episode she’s ever written. We don’t know what could’ve caused Emma to turn dark. We also don’t know what she’ll do with the dagger now that she’s reunited the two pieces together, but we do know that if there’s still a war going on in her head, she’ll fight through it. It’s interesting that when Nimue states she’s not dead yet, she points to Emma’s head and says she can always find her there. The clear distinction the episode made with the head and the heart is perhaps one of the most profound messages the series has ever shared. A person is at their best in their heart, there’s a great amount of love which resides in there, and it’s why we’re able to forgive and do good. It’s why righteous paths are chosen more often than not. However, the mind is a constant battlefield — when one war’s over, another one begins. Sometimes it’s difficult to control it, but it’s not impossible; it’s our own personal game of chess up there, and we have the strength within us to call the shots. The darkness that’s present this season pretty much equates to the negative voices we all hear on a daily basis: not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, etc. Emma’s story shows viewers all we need is the courage to choose: courage that’s already been gifted to us and waits for us to make the choice to take a risk. Negativity is a kind of darkness with immeasurable power over our beings, and if we lose ourselves by giving into what we’re told, we lose the light that tells us who we are. It’s inspiring to see such a riveting character fight so hard to prove that she’s somebody. Emma’s battle with darkness brilliantly revolutionizes the idea that it’s important to fight for the little girl/boy inside of us. We’ve all fought so hard to become the person we are today and there will always be people attempting to diminish that. Negativity will always tempt us to take the easy way out and succumb to whatever battles we face, but if we remember who we are and continue pushing back, it’ll one day be easier to face our demons. What’s so brilliantly beautiful about Emma’s story is that she grew up believing she was unloved and unwanted, and if a little girl like that can flourish into a woman with sheer selflessness and a desire to be good to people, then so can anyone else. There’s hope. We are not who the negative voices say we are — we are who we choose to be. Villains or rather bad guys in the real world seem to believe that their choice to be vile and impassive makes them powerful, but the reality is it takes it more strength to feel and be vulnerable. It takes more strength to choose to forgive, and to see the good in someone rather than to seek revenge and darkness. Thankfully, Emma Swan’s character is a beacon of hope that continuously reminds viewers of how much bravery resides in even the most broken souls who know their true value.
If there’s one thing Emma’s taught us, it’s that when the world tries to tell you who you are, you fight back with the truth. The confrontation with Nimue paid beautiful homage to Emma’s most noted quote: “People are gonna tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, “No, this is who I am”. You want people to look at you differently? Make them! You want to change things, you’re gonna have to go out there and change them yourself, because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.” Although Emma’s learned that there are indeed fairy godmothers in the world, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s continuously made right choices even when they were difficult to. And that’s not nothing. Emma Swan is the Storybrooke savior, the sheriff, a daughter, a mother, a lover, and a hot chocolate + cinnamon fan. However, beyond that, she’s a being the world’s tried to constantly break, and she’s risen above fighting for what she rightfully deserves. Power is nothing but empty promises and contentment — it’s a need to control everything around you in a cowardice attempt not to fight through battles honorably. It’s nothing compared to the love and purity that overcomes a person when they’ve committed a noble act. Selflessness is a kind of magic even those without special powers can experience the beauty of. There’s something indescribable about doing good, and Emma’s an example of someone who’s done it because it’s something she would’ve wanted when she was a child. She’s reunited families. She’s brought happiness back into the lives of people who never knew they could experience something so marvelous. The greatest strength is found in the choice to give back when all the world’s done is taken from you. The strongest and most noble figures in literature have always been the ones who’ve seen the most heartbreaking troubles — they are the same people who’d give everything they’ve got just to make another’s life easier.
For more on Jennifer Morrison’s performances through all this — check out This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance.