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This article focuses on the Season Five episode.
For the Season One episode, see "The Price of Gold".
For the special, see "The Price of Magic".

Did you really think it would be that simple, dearie? If you want that sword, you're gonna have to pay the price.

—The Darkness, under Rumplestiltskin's appearance, to Emma Swan

"The Price" is the second episode of Season Five of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Andrew Chambliss & Dana Horgan, and directed by Romeo Tirone. It is the ninetieth episode of the series overall, and premiered on October 4, 2015.


In an effort to protect Emma, Regina steps up in a surprising way that will test her mettle as a force for good. King Arthur and Queen Guinevere throw a royal ball to welcome the heroes to Camelot, but when the celebration takes a deadly turn, David and Robin must leap into action or lose a crucial asset in the fight to save Emma. Back in Storybrooke, Hook deploys a tried-and-true technique in hopes of bringing Emma back to the light while the heroes discover that some unexpected baggage has followed them home from Camelot.[2]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

King Arthur and Queen Guinevere announce that they will throw a ball for their Storybrooke guests. They find Merlin is imprisoned in a tree, according to his prophecy, only the Savior can free him. But, the Storybrooke transplants worry that Emma will become darker if she uses her magic, so Regina lies to King Arthur and says that she is the true Savior. Regina and Emma search Merlin's tower for clues but run out of time as the evening's ball approaches. Before the dance, Percival visits Regina and woos her with a necklace to wear and she puts it on, but later decides that she cannot go to the ball, claiming that she needs to continue her research to free Merlin. When she later admits that she does not know how to dance, Mary Margaret helps her find a suitable gown while David teaches her how to dance.

At the ball, everyone makes their grand entrances and the couples dance. At David's encouragement, Henry introduces himself to a girl and shares his iPod Nano. Leroy convinces Belle to stop worrying about Rumpelstiltskin and gets her to dance. Percival reveals that he saw Regina slaughter his family as a child, outing her as the Evil Queen. Observing her through the enchanted necklace confirms suspicions. Percival kept this from Arthur because he would have prevented him from killing Regina. Percival attacks Regina. Robin steps in and fights him, only to be stabbed in the process before David kills Percival. Regina is desperate to save Robin, but her magic does not work due to an enchantment spell placed on Percival's sword. This prompts Regina to ask Emma to help save Robin by using her magic, but Hook does not want Emma to trigger her dark side. King Arthur does not blame them for Percival's death, saying that his action was inexcusable. Arthur suspected Regina's identity but says that Camelot is a place of second chances. He confesses to Guinevere that the new arrivals are suspicious, but they are his only hope of freeing Merlin and finding Excalibur's missing piece. Emma decides to help Regina despite the risk. The magic triggers Emma's Rumpelstiltskin vision, who warns her of a price to save Robin's life. Emma ignores the manifestation and uses her magic to save Robin. But the process triggers her darkness, as forewarned by Hook, with Emma's hand resembling that of a Dark One.

The new curse has the residents fearful of Emma. The Dwarfs attempt to escape the town; Dopey steps over the town line and is immediately turned into a tree. Hook asks Belle for advice on how to deal with loving a Dark One. Belle tells Hook, "It's far easier to hate the Dark One than it is to love one." At the marina, Henry summons Emma and apologizes for whatever happened in Camelot. Emma explains she doesn't blame him. Regina tells Henry to get far away from Emma, then tries to convince Emma that she could save Storybrooke. Emma disagrees.

The Storybrooke residents discover that Arthur and the Camelot empire was transported back with them. David admits to Arthur that Emma had been the Dark One all along. While Robin helping the displaced Arthurian, a ghostly, winged entity grabs him in the woods and takes him away.

Hook summons Emma because he loves her too much to stay away. Emma brings Hook to her new house, where he notices a locked door. Emma attempts to seduce Hook; but when true love's kiss fails to break the darkness's hold on her, he rejects her. Emma is mad that he cannot accept her for who she is now. He is angry at her for keeping what happened at Camelot a secret. Emma says giving it away would be "no fun."

Belle learns the monster that took Robin was a Fury. Someone did not pay the price for saving Robin in Camelot. The monster has arrived to collect Robin's soul as payment. It will return to the Underworld when the moon reaches its zenith but can be stopped if someone gives their life in his place. Regina confronts Emma, believing that she summoned the Fury, but Emma reveals that Regina was the one responsible for its appearance. That night near the pond, the Fury pulls out Robin's soul. Charon appears as the moon reaches its zenith. Regina sacrifices herself for Robin. Mary Margaret, David, Leroy and Arthur join her. As all five band together, they pull Robin from the Fury, which disappears back into the underworld with Charon. While everyone celebrates this latest victory at Granny's, a worried Mary Margaret notes that if they win, Emma will lose. Henry introduces himself to Violet again and shows her what a jukebox is, and plays the same song he had played in Camelot, which, somehow, seems familiar to her. At home, Emma opens the locked door and goes downstairs, at the behest of Rumplestiltskin's manifestation, revealing the stone with the sword Excalibur in it. Rumplestiltskin says she can make it whole again and use it to vanquish all the light forever. Emma tries to pull the sword from the stone but the sword's magic repels her. The Dark One taunts her, and tells her that to complete the task, she will have to pay the steep price.

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Deleted Scenes

"Savior Remains" (Scene 1-2A)

This scene is included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fifth Season.

In the morning, Regina, while walking on the street, sees Emma's yellow bug near the sheriff's station. As she walks in, she calls for Emma, but one one answers. After she sees her red leather jacket on a chair, she becomes upset and her phone rings. It's David, who tells her that he hasn't found Emma either, but now they have a bigger problem.

Emma and Hook: Alternate

An alternate version of the scene where Hook meets Emma by the yellow bug. Emma is wearing one of her signature black Dark One coats; the same coat that she was wearing at the docks earlier in the episode (in the actual episode, she is wearing a simple black dress). She walks towards Hook with a sinister grin on her face and pulls him in close to her, but Hook is not impressed.[3]



Guest Starring



  • Unknown baby as Prince Neal
  • Kat Pasion as Party Goer[4]
  • Morgan Tanner as Party Goer[5]
  • Liz Tookey as Party Goer[6]
  • Unknown as Charon



Production Notes

  • The new courtyard in the King's castle in the Season Six episode "The Other Shoe", and the courtyard in the Prince's castle in the Season Seven premiere "Hyperion Heights", are both recycled from the CGI model for the Camelot castle (itself recycled from the other courtyard in the King's castle in "The Price of Gold"), which can be seen from the identical design of the architecture.[11] The area by the stairs in both castle courtyards were also recycled from the Camelot castle, which can be seen from the almost identical design of the windows and balustrades.[12]

Event Chronology

Episode Connections



Fairytales and Folklore

  • PAUSE AND READ: The book that Belle uses to identify the Fury seems to be an alphabetical guidebook on mythological creatures. The following monsters and creatures (barely readable) are listed:[25]

Popular Culture

  • Regina mentions Club Med, a chain of all-inclusive resort villages around the world, with her line, "I should be figuring out how to free Merlin, not fox-trotting my way across Club Med-ieval".
  • ♫ MUSIC: The music played by Henry on his iPod and on the diner's jukebox is "Only You" by Yazoo.

Props Notes

Most Honored Guests
Lady Emma
Lady Mary Margaret
The Savior
Henry Daniel Mills
Captain Killian Jones
Prince James
Robin of Locksley
Lady Belle
The Widow Lucas
Lady Violet
Sir Lancelot
Sir Gawain
Sir Geraint
Sir Percival
Sir Bors the Younger
Sir Lamorak
Sir Gareth
Sir Bedivere
Sir Galahad
Sir Tristan
Le Roy [sic]
Rolande [sic]
Sir Breunor
Sir Karadoe
Lady Dadelcune
Sir Daniel
Lady Felice
Sir Hector
Sir Hector De Maris
Sir Elyan the White
Sir Haberio
Sir Galehault
Sir Galeschin
Sir Geraint
Sir Gingalain
King Leodegrance
Sir Lionel
Lady Darse
Lady Elisabeth
Lady Konstance
Lady Francoscoe

Costume Notes

Filming Locations


  • King Arthur's herald incorrectly announces him as "His Royal Highness, King Arthur", and not the proper title of "His Majesty".

International Titles



  1. Sunday Final Ratings: ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Adjusted Down, ’60 Minutes’ Adjusted Up + ‘Sunday Night Football’. TV by the Numbers (October 6, 2015). “Once Upon a Time (ABC) (...) 5.38”
  2. 2.0 2.1 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, October 04, 2015. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#502) "The Price".”
  3. Once Upon A Time shoots scenes for episode 502 in Steveston in July with several cast.. Canadagraphs (August 24, 2015). “A little while later though, another scene around the corner, out of sight of the majority of fans was 1 with Jennifer Morrison dressed as Dark Emma and Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook. In the scene Emma walks towards Hook with a sinister grin on her face & they meet beside Emmas bug and she pulls him in close to her. The body language of Hook in the scene gives the impression he isn't impressed with whatever Emma is doing/saying. I did not hear any of the dialogue, so my interpretations COULD be off... so don't take what I saw/interpreted as fact.”
    Gittins, Susan (July 22, 2015). SHOOT: ONCE UPON A TIME's Captain Swan (Colin O’Donoghue & Jennifer Morrison) Goes Dark. Hollywood North Buzz. “Once Upon a Time shot a scene of Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) meeting Dark Swan (Jennifer Morrison) near her yellow VW bug this afternoon.”
  4. KAT PASION - SAG-AFTRA. da Costa Talent. Retrieved on December 27, 2018. “Once Upon A Time- Eps. 502 – Dancer”
  5. KAT PASION - SAG-AFTRA. da Costa Talent. Retrieved on January 31, 2019. “Once Upon A Time- Eps. 502 – Dancer”
  6. LIZ TOOKEY - ACTRA, - CAEA, - UBCP/ACTRA. da Costa Talent. Retrieved on January 31, 2019. “Once Upon A Time- Eps. 502 – Dancer”
  7. File:502Title.png
  8. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (July 20, 2015). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler -- hope to see ya 9/27 for season 5!" (screenshot)
  9. King's castle: File:104Waltz.png
    King Xavier's castle: File:216RoyalCourt.png
    Prince Eric's castle: File:306Waltz2.png
    Camelot castle: File:502BallBegins.png
  10. King Xavier's castle: File:216AllHailRegina.png
    Prince Eric's castle: File:306Arrival.png
    Camelot castle: File:502BallBegins.png
  11. Camelot castle:
    King's castle:
    Prince's castle: File:701Ball.png
  12. Camelot castle:
    King's castle:
    Prince's castle:
  13. TwitterLogo.svg @AndrewChambliss (Andrew Chambliss) on Twitter (October 4, 2015). "with a nice little nod to the Han/Leia "I love you" from Empire Strikes Back" (screenshot)
  14. Scneticer, Mark (May 28, 2014). Season Finale Awards: 'Once Upon a Time' creators dish on Hook, Elsa. Entertainment Weekly. “For us, we kind of look at Captain Hook as our Han Solo. We say he's Han Solo with guyliner.”
  15. Lana Parrilla and Sean Maguire Dance Rehearsal. YouTube.
    Dance Rehearsal with Lana Parrilla and Andrew Jenkins. YouTube (November 14, 2015).
  16. TwitterLogo.svg @thereelbeverley (Beverley Elliott) on Twitter (October 4, 2015). "While we were waiting to shoot the dancing scene,…Hook asked me, Granny to dance. My heart fluttered" (screenshot)
  17. LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME: Air Date: Sunday, March 25, 2012. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#117) "Hat Trick".. The Futon Critic. “Guest starring are (...) Donald Adams as vendor”
  18. TwitterLogo.svg @RegalPixieDust (Shaybelline) on Twitter (March 25, 2017). "In episode 5x02 when Robin was injured on the table, Sean made up silly songs to make everyone giggle #DutchComicCon" (screenshot)
  19. File:502ThereItIs!.png
  20. File:511FerrymanArrives.png
  21. File:502TheWrongDress.png
  22. File:410DeserveToDie.png
  23. File:502DopeyIsPleased.png
  24. File:502Search.png
  25. File:502AFuryFlipped.png (tilted screenshot)
    File:502AFury.png (original screenshot)
  26. File:ManuscriptsVariousEpisodesConceptArt.png
  27. File:502SomeOtherPerks.png
  28. James Perse Blouson Tank Dress as seen on Emma in episode 5x02 "The Price" ($265) (Tumblr). Once Upon a Time Fashion and Finds (October 5, 2015). Archived from the original on January 31, 2019.
  29. File:502Dancing.png
  30. File:314DidntWork.png
  31. File:504GuinevereSad.png
  32. TwitterLogo.svg @CoyneTowers (Coyne Towers) on Twitter (July 28, 2015). "After Emma's house #OUAT will be filming Leroy's van @ the town line in Burnaby Lake Park" (screenshot)
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Gittins, Susan (July 24, 2015). SET: ONCE UPON A TIME's Camelot Set in Burnaby's Central Park. Hollywood North Buzz. “Update: Team Emma at Camelot. It turns out Merlin is in the tree. / Once Upon a Time wrapped on its Camelot set in Burnaby's Central Park yesterday and the set will be dismantled until needed for the next shoot. Crew added what looks like the trunk of the Great Tree of Avalon for filming. King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and his Knights were spotted at an earlier version of set on Tuesday, July 14th, and there may have been other occasions. Set for the night shoot on the pond is below. Who was spotted? Outlaw Queen — Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) and Regina (Lana Parrilla) – and The Charmings – Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin). There are big spoiler photos out there but I left before filming started.”
  34. Alright, one more time: Lana, Sean, Ginny, Josh, Liam (Arthur), Joana (Guinevere), Lee, and Raphael filmed in Burnaby Park today.. RudeFlamingo (||Gabi||) on Twitter. Archived from the original on September 10, 2018. (screenshot)
  35. FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Once Upon A Time July 23, 2015 (July 23, 2015).  "Once Upon a Time set photos from Central Park, Burnaby, BC (Storybrooke) taken on July 23, 2015."