Just in time for season 6’s premiere on Sunday!
Season 6 poster: Long live the Queen!
Spoiler-lite…ish. It’s on Netflix for viewing before the new season!
Season 5 of Once follows the same pattern the show has been following since Season 3, when they began to split the season into fall and spring story lines, or A and B. Season 5A follows Emma’s descent into darkness as the Dark Swan, as well as the heroes’ escapades in Camelot with King Arthur and Merida from Brave. Season 5B follows the heroes’ descent into the Underworld (Greek mythology) to rescue a dead loved one and on their journey confront Hades.
The first half of the season is incredibly interesting. Since the end of the first season, I’ve really wanted to see a season that focuses on Emma going dark, because there’s so much to work with. Who would be the anti-Emma? What would be the goal and point of her evil scheming? I was mostly happy with how the story was handled, because honestly, Emma could go dark, but she seems like she’d be a means-to-an-end kind of dark. Emma is fiercely loyal, especially now that she has found her son, her family, friends, and even love. I was impressed with how they handled her fighting off the temptations of being the Dark One while also giving us what we wanted to see; the Dark Swan.
The other parts of Season 5A were interesting but not as much; Camelot was an interesting place, but mostly for the scheming occurring surrounding Merlin and broken Excalibur. I liked Merida and her inclusion in this season, but honestly she was not my favorite part. I think I mostly had an issue with her inclusion because it seemed like every chance, when you thought she had gotten on her way to saving her own kingdom, she’d get dragged back in to all of the plotting in Camelot and Storybrooke. It almost felt like lazy pandering to Brave loving fans. King Arthur made for a compelling character, since we are so used to the complete hero archetype when he is involved in a story. Seeing a different take on his character was nice for a change.
Season 5B sees the heroes journey into the Underworld to save Hook, and the first episode hits with a few tear jerking moments right off the bat. Emma wakes up in her yellow bug accompanied by none other than Neil, as a way to basically give us an explanation (and a warning!) for why Neil is not in the Underworld. The way the conversation is handled, though, is so well done that upon trying to start this part of the season I had to pause because I needed to find tissues. Neil was such a wonderful character, with great chemistry with Emma, and seeing him again in this context is a great way to kick off 5B. That isn’t all of the tear jerking for this episode, since the Underworld gives us a great opportunity to see other beloved and departed characters, and toward the end of the episode we get to see just how far Regina has come since her days as the Evil Queen.
Their time in the Underworld is interesting, with every chance that they try to get to escape being cleverly blocked by Hades. The God of the Underworld, Hades, is marvelously played by the amazing Greg Germann, and I must say his performance is fantastic, even if the writing is a bit shoddy at times in regards to his story. Just like every great villain on this show, he does have a fantastically relatable side, and for about half of an episode I found myself rooting for him. Unfortunately, though, he goes on to kill (and this time by kill, they actually mean completely there’s no way to come back from it, kill) a beloved character and so he meets his end from an unlikely place.
What seems like the end of the season is actually not, since there are two episodes after Hades’ demise. Two episodes are not, unfortunately, adequate time to fully introduce and set us up for a new season, but they try their best to do so. Henry of course runs off to try to destroy magic, because he’s thirteen and acts irrationally (although his season-long chorus of “Oh hey, moms,” every time he runs into Regina and Emma together is fantastic), and his parents have to try to find him. He sets off catastrophe, the rest of the heroes end up in a completely unknown and new land, and we get a brief introduction to a new villain who may or may not be one of the new villains for season 6. Several villains have turned good over the course of the show, even one surprisingly so, and yet we are about to see the return of one incredibly loved Evil villain, which is beyond exciting. I think a lot of fans have missed her, since her performance in the role is so amazing.
The idea of a new land is interesting as well, because at this point in the fifth season, trying to bring in new characters from the Enchanted Forest would take a lot of explanation of where they’ve been the past few years. The set up provides us with lots of new material to explore, including my personal favorite, Aladdin, which I cannot wait for. Oded Fehr is playing Jafar, and from the extended Comic-Con premiered clips, you can see that he is perfect for the role. The sixth season seems to be focusing on the idea of Dark Ones and Saviors, and should be interesting to watch. I’m hoping for a bit less repetitiveness, since this show runs into that problem occasionally, but I’m definitely looking forward to Sunday’s premiere.
Check out the two Comic-Con clips below!