Original Airdate: September 25, 2016
There are many stories happening simultaneously as always, but three stand out the most. So this review will be dedicated to those three storylines. The first is our favorite savior, Emma, who is experiencing PTSD-like symptoms upon returning to Storybrooke. It appears that she is triggered by any clanging sounds or moments where she has to be a savior. Instead of being able to act, she suffers from visions and hand tremors. In typical Emma fashion, she won’t tell anyone what’s going on, even though literally everyone sees that there is something wrong.
She does eventually confide in Archie, who is sent to find Emma by Snow and Charming. Emma is confused by not only her weird symptoms, but also a lovely exchange with our newest villain, Mr. Hyde. Upon being imprisoned, Mr. Hyde reveals to Emma that he knows exactly what is happening to her. She decides to visit him in his prison cell, where we learn that he may be very powerful and somehow knows pretty much everything that is going on. He tells her to find “the red bird” for answers — which may be where our other savior comes in.
So, the beginning of the episode introduced us to the new Jafar, Aladdin, and some mystery girl, who we will talk about soon. Jafar refers to Aladdin as the savior, so there’s definitely some good stories to come soon. Back to the present, Emma goes in search of the red bird (which has to be Iago because what other red bird is there?) and finds the mysterious girl from the beginning of the episode. The girl says that Emma is experiencing visions of her future, in which we all learn that Emma is going to battle an unknown enemy and be killed.
Here’s where things get weirder: the girl says she is an oracle and that Emma’s future is sealed. However, there are hints from both the girl and Mr. Hyde that it is possible to rewrite what hasn’t happened yet. My prediction is that Emma will have to befriend Aladdin, learn how to be even more of a savior, overcome all her remaining fears, and destroy this unknown archnemesis.
Our second important storyline is Regina and Zelena’s ever-growing relationship. Now that they have accepted each other as sisters, Zelena has turned over a new leaf (for now). She wants to be there for Regina in her tough time — as she is still emotionally unstable from losing Robin — but can’t quite figure out how to reach Regina. Zelena doesn’t help her case when she misplaces the feather that Roland gave her to give to Regina to remember Robin by.
After several failed attempts to help Regina, Zelena is finally rejected for good when Regina reveals that she blames Zelena for Robin’s death. That’s going to be a hard one to get over. The relationship has been damaged, and it’s going to be a long road back again. To make matters worse, the end of the episode features the Evil Queen paying Zelena a visit. My best guess is that these two will have some fun together, as Zelena told Regina that she ripped the part of her out that related closest to her.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Finally, the best story of the night goes to Rumple and Belle. Rumple follows Mr. Hyde’s instructions to go to a place where he can reach Belle in her dreams. He is met by the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus, and is able to get inside Belle’s dreams. Rumple’s goal is to get Belle to fall in love with him all over again so he can break the sleeping curse. What appeared to be a tricky task became a series of beautiful, emotional, tear-jerking scenes that mirrored earlier episodes and one of my favorite movies, Beauty and the Beast.
Like earlier episodes, Rumple gets Belle to fall in love with him in the exact way Belle and the Beast fall in love in the original film. Belle wears the gold dress, the song “Beauty and the Beast” plays in the background, and Rumple and Belle dance as they rekindle their love. I wish we had more scenes like this because they did an excellent job of recreating one of Disney’s most iconic fairytales.
Eventually, Belle realizes that all this has happened before and knows she’s being tricked. Rumple tells her the truth, when Morpheus pops back in. He tells Belle that he has been testing her and needed to make sure she wouldn’t fall for Rumple’s lies again. Morpheus turns out to be their unborn child, so things got weird and don’t make any sense. Rumple wants to go back to Storybrooke with Belle, but she refuses to have a life that includes him.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
The biggest question to come out of the premiere is: will any character have a happy ending by the end of the season? Too many questions have come up again with no previous ones being answered. It will be another interesting, exciting, and confusing season of Once Upon A Time. Yet again, I have little idea of what’s happening or where it is going, but I can’t wait to see what happens next.