We're finally back Oncers! Before we start unpacking this season premiere, lets revisit where we last left our heroes at the end of Season 5.
The biggest question facing our heroes as we head into Season 6 is can they achieve a happy ending and what does that actually look like? Is it domestic bliss for Captain Swan? A united Charming/Swan/Mills clan? During the OUAT special: Evil Reigns Once More, EP's Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz commented that "we need to start to question what is a happy ending. We think of it as a definitive moment and then we pull back and we say 'the end.' But perhaps, a happy ending is something you have to live every day."
Regina will have to come to terms with the worst parts of herself and determine if she can truly separate out the darkness. The Evil Queen wants to punish Snow and Emma. This Evil Queen makes the Other Evil Queen look like Jiminy Cricket, according to Kitsis.
We got a glimpse of The Land Of Untold Stories at the end of Season 5, a mash up of different worlds, featuring stories like Aladdin, The Three Musketeers and Paul Bunyon. OUAT has spent the last several seasons in different lands -Oz, Camelot, The Underworld, etc. - and it is now time to bring the story back home to where it all started: Storybrooke.
This season we look to return happiness to the character's that have lost hope. Let's dive in!
Check out our review of the season premiere by clicking NEXT below.
We open the Season 6 premiere on Agrabah; we see a desert and an isolated house. A man comes rushing in looking for The Savior (another Savior!). The Savior is hunched over, hand trembling (remember this). A girl (who definitely does not look like she is from Agrabah) says he is not seeing anyone today. Jafar comes riding in in all his glory on the magic carpet, serpent staff and all. He promptly obliterates the young man when he steps to him. He then addresses the hunched over Savior as, you guessed it, Aladdin. Aladdin asks for death, Jafar wants to savor it stating that it took Aladdin becoming a hero to completely come apart. The most important part of this scene is the end. Jafar says menacingly: You give and give and for what? You never hear that the Saviors lived happily ever after. This will prove to be important as the episode continues on. Fade out to the opening title scene!
"Nothing More Dangerous Than An Untold Story"
Meanwhile in Storybrooke, we open to see Hook and Emma (Captain Swan) engaged in some hot and heavy making out on her couch - complete with Emma being concerned her parents will walk in. This Domestic Bliss Moment is interrupted by the table rocking - and it isn't their make-out session - it is the ship from The Land of Untold Stories flying overhead. The heroes band together to follow the ship to a clearing, where Hyde appears and says Storybrooke is now his town, courtesy of the Dark One(in order to save Belle from eternal sleep). Emma and Regina try to fight Hyde to no avail. He gives them a warning that nothing is more dangerous than an untold story. Uh oh.
The heroes examine where the ship carrying the passengers from The Land of Untold Stories crashed. Charming exclaims "Let's get salvaging" (he really doesn't have much to do this episode), and we see the heroes search the crash site. It seems the foreshadowing from Agrabah has now caught up to us, we see Emma have a flashback (very Lost-eque) of a battle and we see her have a crazy hand tremor, similar to Aladdin. When faced against Hyde again to capture him, Regina confronts hide while Emma is supposed to magic him to trap him. Unfortunately, Emma has a case of the flashbacks and tremors again, causing her to hesitate and Regina to nearly get the life choked out of her. Regina questions Emma but she denies that anything is wrong. They take Hyde into custody, but before he is dragged away he tells Emma that he knows about the tremors. She asks him what he knows and he responds, "more than you." She's hooked and needs answers. (No pun intended!)
The Land of Morpheus: Belle's Dream World
What has become of our dear Rumbelle? Rumple meets up with (a handsome) Morpheus who tells Rumple he has an hour to get Belle out of dream land before she is lost to it forever, potentially harming her and their unborn child. Basically, he has an hour to make her fall in love with him again. Is it that easy folks? We see Belle in the castle where they first met and their tale first began. Rumple begins to work his charm and the start to dance to "Tale As Old As Time"(this is where I fainted), complete with Belle's drab servant dress transforming into the iconic gold gown. Swoon. Eventually they kiss, and Belle seemingly remembers everything - all the broken promises - and backs away from him. Rumple tells Belle that for her, he would be the best man that he could be. But it doesn't work. She can no longer do this again because them being together only causes heartbreak.
Morpheus appears and says he is glad she did not fall for his attempt to persuade. He then reveals that he is going to wake her up with true love's kiss because HE IS RUMBELLE'S SON. He kisses her on the forehead gently, and we see Belle wake up. True Love. Rumple says we can discuss at home thinking he is in the clear but she advises him that she will be taking her son's warning to heart and will not make a home with him. What do we think about the Morpheus reveal, Oncers?
Regina has a slew of family connections this episode. Let's break them down. First up, we have the complicated sibling rivalry made extra complicated by the fact that Regina's true love was basically sacrificed because of Zelena - oh and he is also the father of Zelena's baby. Totally normal family issues. In the understatement of the year, Zelena asks Regina if she is still angry and Regina response "Of course not", with a flash of anger that washes across her face. This eventually leads to a confrontation between the two sisters, where Zelena states she is leaving and taking the baby with her. Regina, torn apart over Robin's soul, has a heart to heart with her son Henry (there he is!). Henry says that he thinks that there is a special place for a hero after they are gone and does not believe that Hades is right about Robin's soul (future plot point?).
This heart to heart is followed up with a touching moment between Snow and Regina. Regina discusses over a montage of our heroes that her life is not just one story, but many. She is a villain to some and to others, a hero. She hopes that she has a new story where she chooses to believe that this story will have a better ending than the last. They walk away together arm in arm. As they walk away, Robin's feather lands softly on the bench. I am really digging the Regina/Snow dynamic. Let's hope it can last.
Cut to the EVIL QUEEN and Zelena having a sisterly moment over appletinis. Can't wait to see the Evil Queen back and more fierce than ever.
The Savior Curse
Throughout the episode we see Emma try to figure out what the visions and termors mean. Hyde tells her to follow the Red Bird for answers. This leads Emma to the forest where a young girl (from the beginning scene with Aladdin), reveals she is the Oracle and Emma sees an extended version of the Savior sword fight. She is fighting a cloaked figure, when her hand trembles, she loses her sword and is run through. The vision ends and the Oracle tells Emma that what she saw is a small piece of the end of her story. "You can change the path to your destination, but the destination is the same." She will die. But really? Is our Emma Swan in mortal danger?
Emma then promptly returns to Hyde demanding the answers we are looking for: Who is the cloaked figure? What else does he know about her "destination"? Hyde explains the Savior concept and he has dealt with other Saviors before her; there is always a villain to bring them down. While he did state that he did not know who her villian is, he did say it could have come with him from The Land of Untold Stories. Emma, clearly shaken, goes to meet Hook for a drink, where she lies to him once again about being okay.
Verdict: Once did a great job of bringing back our favorites and giving us a flavor of what life could be like for them in Storybrooke but still acknowledged we have a Big Bad looming, the Evil Queen. Once set up the Land of Untold Stories nicely as well as threw us a curve concerning Emma and her Savior status. The dynamic between the heroes is being fleshed out and the relationships are the focal point of this season. I am especially concerned about Emma but I am very excited to see the new stories that are coming our way from The Land of Untold Stories.
Join us again next week as we review episode 2!
Once Upon A Time airs every Sunday night at 7/8C on ABC.