The fifth season of Once Upon a Time wrapped on Sunday with a two-hour finale consisting of the episodes “Only You” and “An Untold Story.” Our heroes have rescued themselves from one catastrophe, only to land in yet another. Meanwhile, the hints for season six are promising…especially if you’re a literature nerd.
Spoilers ahead, dearies.
Regina is mourning the death of the second love of her life, Robin Hood (cause when will she catch a break?!), but because this is OUAT and our heroes live in Storybrooke, there is no time to pause. Rumple, anxious to wake Belle, uses a spell to tie all of Storybrooke’s magic to the remaining piece of the Olympian Crystal. He needs every shred of power he can get, and a desperate man will do desperate things. Fed up with how everything has gone
this season lately, Henry steals the Crystal intent on destroying it and everything tied to it. After all, magic has caused nothing but pain for both his mothers. He and Violet flee to New York, with Regina and Emma hot on their heels.
While they’re gone, Zelena opens a portal to let the residents go back to the Enchanted Forest, just in case something happens to Storybrooke. But with the town’s magic further and further away, the spell backfires and she, David, Hook, and Snow are sucked through the portal into a land they don’t recognize. They come across a mansion where they are captured and held captive by Mr. Hyde. They are rescued by Dr. Jekyll, who explains that they are in the Land of Untold Stories—a place where people who have fled their native lands can find refuge.
In New York, Henry and Violet are following the trail left by Neal when he was trying to find a way to get rid of magic. They discover a second Holy Grail in the library that can do the job for them, and during a fight between his parents and his grandfather, Henry does just that. They break the news to him that he’s just ruined their only chance at getting the rest of the family back from the Land of Untold Stories. Luckily, his mistake doesn’t last long. They are able to restore magic and reopen the portal—but it brings Mr. Hyde in, too. Mr. Hyde has stolen Pandora’s Box from Rumple, and the two of them make a deal: Belle in exchange for Storybrooke.
During both episodes, Regina has been having something of an existential crisis. She feels torn between her two selves: The Evil Queen, and Regina. She feels that she is cursed, doomed to suffer, as all the men who have loved her have died. And yet she cannot act on her feelings as the Evil Queen would have. Jekyll gives Regina some of the serum he created that allowed him to separate his good half from the evil half, and Regina injects it, hoping to rid herself of the Evil Queen forever. She tears out the heart of her second (fabulously dressed) self and crushes it. The Evil Queen appears to be dead, but in the last scene she reappears, swearing vengeance upon her good half.
A Look Forward
While the finale had both strengths and weaknesses, what caught my attention were the major hints for season six.
1.) Big Bads: We’ve got old Rumple back, and it’s obvious he’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants. We also have the mysterious and powerful Mr. Hyde, who is pure evil, as well as the Evil Queen.
2.) Best of both worlds: While Regina is a compelling and interesting character, part of what made her captivating in the first place was her role as the Evil Queen. Now we have both of them together on the same screen, and I think the potential there is amazing.
3.) We’re not just talking fairy tales anymore: While OUAT has obviously strayed from strictly “fairy tale” territory in the past (Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, etc.), this is the first time that they have completely opened the realm of possibility to science fiction and classic literature. When Henry and Violet were in the library, they came across numerous storybooks, just like his. We caught glimpses of some of the pictures, one of which was Don Quixote charging the windmills/giants of La Mancha. That, coupled with the idea of the Land of Untold Stories, could mean that we’ll see anything and everything next season. I’m hoping for a bit of Spanish folklore, and maybe some H.G. Wells…
Until next season, dearies.
-The Collected Mutineer