Since its earliest inception, Once Upon A Time (OUAT) has provided us with a little bit of fantastical escapism each Sunday night for the past five years. It has brought tears of pleasure as well as some heartbreaking moments. When we left the residents of Storybrooke, they had just returned from a valiant rescue mission bringing Hook back from the underworld, defeating Hadees and mending the broken sisterly relation between Regina and Zelena. However, Robin Hood’s soul was destroyed (literally) in the process.
In the season six premiere we begin by Rumplestiltskin entering Belle’s dream and meeting someone named Morpheus. In mythology, Morpheus is the Greek God of dreams, who has the ability to mimic any human form and appear in dreams. He takes Rumple on a journey through Belle’s dream to see if he can win her heart back. This proves difficult when Morpheus reveals his true identity as Belle and Rumple’s unborn son who has a grudge against his father already. Belle becomes aware that she is in a dream and their son kisses her with true love’s kiss to wake her from the sleeping curse. If you’re like me, I still root for Rumbelle to come together and live happily ever after, but if we’ve learned anything through this series, happiness comes in fleeting moments. We may see a large character story arch between Rumple and Belle that will last at least to the mid-season finale, if not to the end of season six.
Regina deals with an internal crisis between the light and the dark within herself throughout season five. At the end of the finale, she decides to destroy the dark half by using Dr. Jekyll’s serum to divide herself in two. She promptly crushes the Evil Queen’s heart, but unfortunately the Evil Queen is still alive. It’s not until the end of the season six premiere that she comes back to call on Zelena for some “sisterly bonding” time. The question that plagues me:will Zelena join forces with the Evil Queen, breaking everything that she and Regina have built together, or will she stand steady and not give in to temptation? I have a feeling that we may see Zelena and the Evil Queen joining forces.
The Charmings were busy in the premiere checking out the new residents who came with Hyde. They are in the shadows still and have not identified whether they are here to help or hurt (I’m sure we will meet characters on both sides). They didn’t have much time in the opener, however–I’m sure we’ll see much more of a story arch between Snow and Regina helping her to sort out how to respond without the Evil Queen inside her.
Then we come to Emma. As the show opened we see Jafar come to torment Aladdin who was introduced to us by Jafar as a Savior just like Emma. However, we see that something is really physically wrong with him. We didn’t see more than that in this episode, but there are echoes of Emma beginning to deal with her hands shaking and seeing visions. It could be that her internal struggles as being the Savior has taken its toll on her body and mind. She has a rather unsettling exchange with Hyde about the problems she is facing and then she meets a seer who tells her these visions are showing her what is to come. Her story arch seems to be the most cryptic, but very intense and intriguing. She will have to once again believe that what’s inside of her is pure and meaningful. She will have to fight the battle inside before she can fight the battles in Storybrooke.
I’m extremely excited and looking forward to seeing how all of this comes together as the season progresses. Once Upon A Time has excellent writers who know how to put us on the edge of our seats, making us fall in love with each character despite the light or dark they posses. I give this opener a score of a 7 on a scale from 1-10 (10 being highest). I’m hoping to see more character development between Aladdin and Jafar and how they relate to Storybrooke. All-in-all a great start to season six!