ONCE UPON A TIME 6.07 Recap: Has the Evil Queen Gone Too Far?

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Last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME showed us just how evil the Evil Queen can be. With a fantastic episode, featuring Snow White and Prince Charming in a storyline that was actually interesting, the ABC hit show proved that it has gotten back to its groove from seasons past. “Heartless” showed that the Evil Queen is just cruel and… well… heartless in her crazy quest for revenge against Snow White.

Snowing. I’ll be the first to say that they usually bore me to death. I used to really like Snow White and Prince Charming in the first couple of seasons, but for the past two to three seasons, they have both been pushed to the back burner and seemed to have made that spot a permanent residence. They hadn’t had any interesting storylines for a while now, so last night’s episode was truly a breath of fresh air for these two. It really felt like a season 1 episode and it was such a joy to see Snow when she had just escaped her kingdom and was still trying to learn how to be a badass. I admit I liked the flashbacks a lot more than the present day storyline, but that was mostly because I love that part of their story together, when they were still getting to know one another and Snow was still a bandit and a fugitive. To see them realize that they had actually met before and saved each other’s lives, but just hadn’t seen each other’s faces then was so touching and brilliantly executed.

Now back at the present, the Evil Queen is obviously out to get them and her new plan actually works. When she threatens them to give up their hearts or she will make everyone in Storybrooke drink water from the River of Lost Souls, they are put in an impossible position. Either way they lose, so they just have to choose if they’d like to save the town or save themselves. Knowing them like we do, we all knew it was a no brainer that they would eventually sacrifice themselves. But then the Evil Queen proved that she is ruthless and even more cruel than we thought, because she managed to alter the sleeping curse in order to fit Snow’s and Charming’s very special case of a shared heart.

She put the actual curse on their heart, so that when they use a true love’s kiss to save each other, the one doing the saving falls under the curse, while the cursed one wakes up. That way, they will never be able to be together again. So way to go, Evil Queen. You got what you wanted.

The worst ship of the year. Speaking of the Evil Queen, can we officially declare that she and Rumplestiltskin make the most bizarre, icky ship to ever grace this show? Every time they’re on my screen together – making out *shudders* – it feels like a car crash. I am completely horrified and yet, I can’t look away to save my life. I have no idea where this partnership (relationship?) is going, but I really, really don’t want to see them together. It seriously gives me the creeps.

I loved that Zelena saw them and told Belle everything just to spite the Evil Queen, but that caused Belle to confront Rumple and that was glorious. I still hope that she never, ever gets back together with him, but seeing Belle standing up for herself and her unborn child was awesome.

Captain Swan. I just had to squeeze this in because that vault scene was just so fantastic and made my heart nearly burst with rainbows and little hearts. Hook and Emma are a testament that a relationship can work and that we don’t need contrived drama just for the sake of drama to keep them apart. Their relationship has its faults, yes, but they have amazing writing on their side and showrunners who are not afraid to let a couple stay together and face adversity together. Other shows should really take notes from ONCE UPON A TIME on how to handle a relationship between two characters after they get together. Yes, ARROW, I’m looking at you.

Just a final comment before I go: I am so glad they didn’t kill the dog in the Enchanted Forest. So glad. Wilby lives!

A new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME airs next Sunday, November 13, at 8/7c on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Sneak Peek: Henry’s Anger Towards Hook

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Emma invited Hook to move in with her at the end of last week’s ONCE UPON A TIME and while the lovebirds might be happy about the arrangement, one person isn’t. Specifically, Henry doesn’t seem to be pleased about Emma’s beau living with them. Enter the Evil Queen, who encourages Henry’s anger and jealousy towards Hook and — in the sneak peek below — reveals Hook’s secret to Henry: that Hook had kept the scissors that can remove Emma’s fate and sever her “savior-ness”.

Meanwhile, Emma spends the upcoming episode trying to convince Aladdin to work with Jasmine to help Agrabah, while Regina teams up with Snow and David to free Archie from Zelena.

Finally, in flashbacks to the past, Hook finds himself kidnapped by the mysterious Captain Nemo and held captive inside his legendary submarine, the Nautilus.

Don’t miss an all new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME tonight (October 30) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME 6.05 Recap: Secrets, Sacrifices and Lies

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Last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME continued the trend of incredibly solid episodes it has been pulling off since season 6 started a few weeks ago. With the exception of the the second episode, this season has been pretty fantastic and – despite my initial reservations, the Evil Queen is doing wonders for this show.

Lana Parrilla continues to be absolutely breathtaking in her job, and I admit I almost forget that the Evil Queen and Regina are played by the same person. Regina is so serious now and so intent on helping, while the Evil Queen is just delightful. Even though she is evil incarnate, she is just light and funny and sarcastic and I would seriously watch an hour of the Evil Queen being fabulous. Now that she has paired up with Zelena and is slowly turning the Wicked Witch back to the dark side – which is her best, most entertaining self – those two will be a force to be reckoned with.

That SPA day scene was just so entertaining – especially with them discussing if they had ever been involved with the Dark One – that I just had a ridiculous grin on my face for the entire thing. Even though Archie had been kidnapped and forced to be a babysitter to little Robin, they put him in a spot that allowed the two villains to be fantastically funny.

That said, I just absolutely adored the Agrabah flashbacks. It has been a solid 20 years since I last saw Alladin – and I was never much of a Disney girl – but I remember that Alladin was one of the movies that I actually really liked. Seeing Jasmine and Alladin in those outfits made me feel like I was 8 years old again and that the cartoon I watched as a kid had just come to life. And that is the biggest compliment I could ever give them.

The way they connected both stories was really well done and I was actually surprised to find out that Alladin did give up his powers. For a moment there, I actually believed he was dead and, to be honest, I don’t know what is the worst for Emma – him being alive or dead. Because if he were dead, that would mean she was really destined to die. But if he gave up his powers and then Agrabah fell, then that means that if she were to do the same, Storybrooke is doomed. Poor Emma just can’t catch a break.

But what I really loved in this episode was that Emma finally came clean and told her family everything. Those quiet family moments are what make this show great and we were sorely missing those lately. Maybe that’s why I like this season so much. Of course, the Evil Queen forced her hand, but this is the Emma that has grown and evolved since season 1. This was the Emma that we had last seen in the season 5 finale – not that scared, I-can-do-everything-by-myself shadow of a character we had been treated to in the past four episodes. So kudos for that.

But it’s like they can’t have one single moment of happiness. I love my CaptainSwan. I really do. I’ll be honest and confess that they’re the reason I still stick around, five years later. But they’re just repeating the same tired old formula every single season. When one of them has a breakthrough and takes a step forward, the other goes and does something incredibly stupid and takes ten steps back. And I get it. I really do understand why Killian did what he did, but my god, man, what part of the “let’s not keep secrets from each other anymore” memo did you not understand?

Why, why would you lie to Emma? I know you’re afraid to lose her, but you’re missing the bigger picture here. You’re risking an entire town and all the people in it. God only knows what may happen if you force Emma to give up her powers. But then again, why does everyone always take a villain at their word? Who says that those visions are actually true?

I don’t know. What I know is – there’s no more ONCE UPON A TIME if they kill the Savior, so they are going to figure something out. And Emma is not giving up her powers because she would never sacrifice Storybrooke just to save herself. So it’s going to be okay. There may be a bumpy ride ahead, but our girl Emma will be just fine in the end.

And on a last note, I absolutely loved that touching moment between Emma and Henry in the crypt. It had been a while since we last had such a great scene between Jennifer Morrison and Jared Gilmore, but they really knocked it out of the park. It felt like season 1 all over again.

ONCE UPON A TIME airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME Recap: The Evil Within

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Last night’s ONCE UPON AT TIME took us back to its roots. In one of the most solid episodes we have had the pleasure of watching in at least a season and a a half, “Strange Case” had an old school kind of vibe and it felt so much like a season 1 episode. It was well balanced, had plenty of action and drama and just the right amount of screen time for its ever expanding group of characters. But mostly, it was just fun.

Back to school. Finally we got to see an interesting storyline involving Snow White. She has basically been in the back burner for a couple of seasons now, mostly going along for the ride, but we saw Snow taking control of her own life again and making an effort to have things go back to normal – or as normal as they can be when one is a fairytale character and lives in Storybrooke. But we got a really awesome glimpse of the Charmings family life in the beginning of the episode, with Charming being an endearingly obnoxious jealous dad and the family just having breakfast together, which was just great to watch.

That first scene was just so incredible and light and it made me smile so big, because this is what they have always wanted. The entire family together as Emma, Snow, Charming, Baby Neal and Henry gathered in the kitchen as they got ready for the day. Not even Regina’s arrival with Jekyll broke the spell of that entire feel good first moment of the episode. That one scene has been six years in the making and it was incredibly overdue and such a joy to watch.

But when Snow gets to school, things aren’t as they used to be. For starters, little Henry is now a teenager and even has a girlfriend, so that was her first reality check. Time has passed and things have changed. When the students don’t respond to her lesson as they used to, she is crushed. It takes Jasmine – and hey, we all knew that was Jasmine, right? I can’t even remember the name she used right now – telling her that she needed to let go of the past and adapt to the new normal, for Snow to get in the groove of how things are now. Embracing her true self is liberating and she delivers a kickass lesson to her students as badass Snow White. Brilliant subplot, brilliant delivery and brilliant dialogue. I loved every single thing about this plot and I can only hope they keep it up.

Jekyll, Hyde and the Evil Queen. First of all, the Evil Queen is delightful. Can we please keep her forever? Lana Parrilla is doing such an amazing job at separating both characters and she is just plain funny as a full on evil villain. There is a lightness to her voice and every single line that completely contradicts the despicable things she is capable of doing and it’s just amazing. Standing ovation to Parrilla for her outstanding performance.

Now, let’s talk about the abrupt end of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde storyline. Although, now that it’s over and it’s clear that they couldn’t really go any further than that, I admit I’d had the impression that they would play a larger role at least until the midseason finale. However, their story served its purpose to highlight that Regina is pretty much screwed. Despite having separated the evil and good parts of herself, this particular storyline showed us that there is no way to separate both parts completely. Jekyll was still capable of evil, just like Regina will have to live with the possibility of the evil within her rearing its ugly head again.

What became clear, however, is that there is no way to defeat the Evil Queen – at least not without losing Regina as well. The serum that Jekyll created was lost forever and it took Hook killing him for Mr. Hyde to die as well. When Jekyll turned on Belle, she asked for Killian’s help using a mermaid shell he had given her earlier that day. As it turns out, the good scientist was also a villain and tried to kill Belle in order to exact his revenge against Rumplestiltskin. When Hook pushed him into a spear that ran him through, his doppelganger, Mr. Hyde, also perished. That only showed them that in order for the Evil Queen to die, Regina will have to perish as well.

That led to an incredibly touching moment between Emma and Regina, where they mirrored the request Emma made at the beggining of season 5 – Regina asked Emma to sacrifice her, if push comes to shove. Emma promised her that she will do everything in her power to prevent that from happening because that’s what family does. This was just so beautiful and touching and it showed us how far these two amazing women have come.

Rumbelle. Look, it hurts me too. While I was never a Rumbelle fan, the child in me mourns for one of my favorite princesses. This relationship has come to a point that it’s completely toxic and abusive and I can’t see any way for them to even think about getting back to the way they were. Even though Rumple might be trying to change, he just can’t. He goes about it all wrong and, in an effort to protect Belle, he traps her in the Jolly Roger with magic, so she can’t leave. But that wasn’t the main problem here.

That final scene between them – after Hook has saved her from Jekyll – where Rumple is basically threatening her that she will go back to him whether she likes it or not, that was the final nail in this ship’s proverbial coffin. Because you know what – that is not okay. If you love someone, you don’t use threats or force or anything that may harm them to make them get back to you. What Rumple is doing has all the telltale signs of an abusive relationship. And when Belle tells him she will never go back to him because she has always seen who he really is and apparently he can’t change, he tells her that she will get back to him no matter what.

I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind a ship that promotes this kind of behavior. At this point, I don’t think Rumplestilskin can be ever be redeemed because – even though he tries to put his love for Belle first – he will never give up his power. And no matter what happens, he will always put that power first and that is not what a healthy relationship is supposed to be about. I really, really hope that Belle stays as far away from him as possible and that Emma and Regina can help her protect her baby boy when he’s born.

Jasmine. So we all knew it was her, right? While we only caught a glimpse of what their storyline is going to be about, I admit I am so curious to watch this unfold. So Jasmine apparently is looking for Alladin in Storybrooke, so that opens so many exciting possibilities – especially for Emma to understand what being a Savior is all about. Also, it has been a solid twenty years since I last watched Alladin, but is there a possibility that the Oracle is actually Jafar? Have you taken a look at that staff she keeps walking around with? I saw that theory last night on Twitter and I actually think this could be a possibility.

Overall, though, this was such a great episode. It had been a while since I finished an episode of this show and had that omg, I want more feeling.

A new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME airs next Sunday, October 23, at 8/7c on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME: Learning More About Dr. Jekyll’s Serum

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Dr. Jekyll’s serum is a big focus of this week’s ONCE UPON A TIME. In flashbacks we learn that Jekyll is working on his serum in the past — the serum to separate a man’s personality into two: good and evil. He wants admission into the Scientific Academy in his land in order to finalize his work, but one of the high-ranking members doesn’t seem eager to grant it, despite the support of the man’s daughter. Apparently the members of the Academy think that Dr. Jekyll’s work is too dangerous and should be stopped. So Jekyll turns to Rumplestiltskin for him in completing his work. But as with everything involving Rumplestiltskin, Jekyll learns that his help comes with a hefty price.

Meanwhile, in modern day Storybrooke, the Evil Queen and Mr. Hyde continue on their quest to steal Jekyll’s serum. They head to Mr. Gold’s shop (where he debuts his new hair-do) and Hyde asks him for a cameo necklace. Mr. Gold wants to know what he’ll get in return, but Hyde responds “nothing”. And that’s when Gold learns something very important — Hyde can’t be killed. At least not with Gold’s magic. Which could mean he’ll be forced to help him.

Elsewhere in the episode Snow looks forward to her first day back in the classroom as a teacher. We’re also going to meet Karen David’s new character (see photos below). She’ll be playing Princess Jasmine/Shirin and it seems that in Storybrooke she’ll be working alongside Snow at the school. Meanwhile, Emma looks forward to Hook moving in with her, but Hook finds that he has to protect Belle from Mr. Gold, who has made sure she can’t leave the confines of the Jolly Roger. Will this put a crimp in Hook and Emma’s?

Don’t miss an all new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME tonight (October 16) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME Recap: Long Live The Queen?

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The Evil Queen is back.

And that was easily one of the very best parts of last night’s episode. She is funny, sassy and ruthless in all her evil glory. “A Bitter Draught” told the story of the Count of Monte Cristo, who – in this tale – was hired by the Evil Queen to kill the Charmings back in the Enchanted Forest.

Consumed by his need for vengeance, he was an easy pawn in the Evil Queen’s hands, but before he could fulfill his contract, he escaped to the Land of Untold Stories. Now that he is in Storybrooke, however, his story will inevitably play out – especially with the even more evil version of the Evil Queen holding his heart captive.

Craig Horner played the role of the vengeful Count perfectly, which just made me miss LEGEND OF THE SEEKER even more. He arrives at Granny’s and leaves a note with Henry, addressed to the Charmings. It seems like an innocent enough invitation, but Regina immediately recognizes the Count’s M.O. And that started a running gag that was present through the entire episode, with Regina apologizing for having hired him to murder Snow and Charming in the first place. Their delivery was so on point in every scene that it had me laughing out loud every single time.

To make a long story short, the Evil Queen has the Count’s heart and has ordered him to finish his job and kill Snow White and Prince Charming. Even though the Count has already seen the error of his ways, he doesn’t have the strength to fight against the Evil Queen’s bidding and he has no choice but to keep trying to murder them. In the end, it all boils down to Regina saving them – and was that the ultimate irony/character development at its best or what? The woman who had dedicated her entire life to killing Snow White is the person who ends up saving her. Granted, she doesn’t have the Evil Queen inside of her anymore, but I don’t really think that matters.

Because it was like the Evil Queen herself said – no matter how hard she tries to fight it, there is darkness in all of us. So it’s impossible for one to be all good or all bad. That said, we need to take a moment to appreciate the wonderful job Lana Parrilla is doing at playing both characters flawlessly. They are the same person and yet they’re not. She plays the nuances between the characters perfectly and I absolutely love how sassy she has made the Evil Queen to be. Every time she was on my screen, I just had a huge smile on my face – even though the Queen was doing despicable things – because she was just plain funny.

While part of me is rooting for the heroes, I admit I just want to see the Evil Queen prance around town wreaking havoc in the best way possible.

Now, while all that was happening, Hook offered Belle his Jolly Roger as an accommodation – in order to protect her from Rumplestiltskin. He is trying to atone for his sins of the past and I just want to hug him really tight, because he has become such a wonderful, wonderful man. Emma has really done wonders for this character and it’s truly remarkable to see how love has changed him for the better.

However, speaking of Emma, can we please talk about what the hell is going on with her? What happened in this hiatus that made her take ten steps backwards in her character development? I get that she’s conflicted and she doesn’t want to worry her family, but come on, Emma. You’re a team! If you can’t trust your own family with your issues, then who are you going to trust to help you? You can’t go at it alone.

And if you don’t want to worry your parents, then at least tell your significant other, who is your freaking true love and would do everything in his power to keep you safe and help you figure out why this is happening to you. At least she’s seeing Archie and I am seriously keeping my fingers crossed that he will break doctor-patient confidentiality and tell at least Hook what is going on with Emma. But I doubt that’s going to happen anytime soon, so we will just have to deal with the fact that Emma is lying to everyone she loves.

What is it with these tortured characters and their need to keep life-altering secrets to themselves?

Now, I know she told Archie that she’s afraid Regina might be the one under that hood and, ultimately, the one that kills her, but I don’t think that’s it. That would be way too easy of a guess and they would never just spring this on us at the beggining of the season.

My guess? The person under the hood is Emma herself and she’s fighting her own worst fear.

Too out there? I’ve been watching a lot of ARROW lately and that was something I saw last night and that I think could really be the case here. It would be fitting, really.

What do you think?

A new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME airs next onOctober 9 at 8/7c on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Sneak Peek: The Evil Queen Recruits an Ally

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The Evil Queen is back on ONCE UPON A TIME and she’s eager to make her mark on the world. One of our big villains for the season didn’t actually show her face until the end of the season premiere last week, but it appears like she’s gearing up for something big now that she’s back.

In this week’s episode, the Evil Queen convinces Zelena to let her into Regina’s vault, which has been sealed with blood magic. She steals some of Regina’s magical artifacts and then insists to Zelena that she’s just here to teach Regina a lesson. She tells Zelena that if she manages to convince Regina that she can’t escape her more evil nature then Zelena will gain a sister just like her. Is this enough to convince Zelena to keep quiet about the Queen’s plans?

Elsewhere in the episode, a mysterious man from the Land of Untold Stories pops up in Storybrooke. He’s got a past with the Evil Queen so David, Snow and Regina team up to try and neutralize the threat. Belle, meanwhile, turns to Hook to find a safe place to hide from her husband, Mr. Gold, while Emma resumes her therapy sessions with Archie and shares her terrifying vision of the future.

Don’t miss an all new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME tonight (October 2) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 6 Premiere Sneak Peeks: Unexpected Visitors Land in Storybrooke

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Rejoice, ONCE UPON A TIME fans! The summer hiatus is finally over and we are only a few days away from reuniting with our favorite fairytale heroes. Opening its sixth season, the ABC hit show is introducing another fan favorite – Alladin.

We will get to see Jasmine, Jaffar and Alladin himself, who – as it turns out – has something very important in common with Emma Swan. The season premiere, titled “The Savior”, will pick up right where we left off in the season 5 finale, with the Evil Queen roaming free and a whole world of trouble for our heroes to sort through.

ABC has released a few clips to keep us going until tonight, and it looks like Hook and Emma still can’t get a moment alone without some kind of threat interrupting them. Apparently a flying contraption from the Land of Untold Stories crosses over to our realm and kind of crash-lands in Storybrooke.

Meanwhile, Gold is seeking out Morpheus’ help in order to save Belle from the sleeping curse.

ONCE UPON A TIME returns tonight, September 25, at 8/7c on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 6 Premiere Photos: A Ship in the Woods

New villains are coming to Storybrooke in the upcoming sixth season of ONCE UPON A TIME and our heroes are going to war.

Hyde is one of the biggest issues of the premiere and our heroes set out immediately to stop him. But Emma develops a mysterious side effect and the town starts being invaded by refugees from the Land of Untold Stories. In photos for the episode (which can be viewed in the slideshow above), we see our heroes explore a crash site courtesy of Mr. Hyde’s fellow refugees. And Raphael Sbarge will be returning as Archie Hopper.

The Evil Queen is also lurking about town, which is going to be problematic for everyone. Elsewhere, Regina and Zelena grow closer and the pair decide to become roommates, while Ruple is still trying to free Belle from the sleeping curse.

Finally, the flashbacks in the premiere will focus on the land of Agrabah, where Jafar confronts Aladdin and an important secret about The Savior is revealed.

In addition, ABC will be airing the special “Once Upon a Time: Evil Reigns Once More” on Sunday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. The special will look back at the last five years of the show and then ahead to what’s coming next.

ONCE UPON A TIME returns for its sixth season on Sunday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME Teasers: New Roommates, Mysterious Side Effects and Another Savior

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The sixth season of ONCE UPON A TIME is nearly here and in addition to the spoilers dropped at the Comic Con panel and press room, ABC has dished out a few more teasers about the season as a whole and the premiere specifically.

Here’s a few teasers about what’s to come:

  • The Evil Queen is a big villain for season 6. According to ABC, “the Evil Queen is back and ready to leave a trail of destruction in her wake.” Meanwhile, Regina will learn that destroying her dark side won’t be that easy.
  • Emma will learn a life-altering secret “that could have serious consequences for her family and loved ones”.
  • Henry welcomes the new arrivals from the Land of Untold Stories by pledging to help them complete their tales. But when Snow White, Prince Charming, Regina, Captain Hook and Zelena become entwined in these untold tales, they find themselves haunted by their own unfinished pasts.
  • In the season premiere episode, “The Savior,” as our heroes set out to stop Hyde, Emma develops a mysterious side effect, and Storybrooke becomes a haven for refugees from the Land of Untold Stories.
  • Regina and Zelena embrace their newfound sisterhood by becoming roommates in the premiere.
  • Rumple continues to try and free Belle from the Sleeping Curse with “the help of a stranger”.
  • In the premiere flashbacks, “Jafar confronts an afflicted Aladdin in Agrabah, and a secret about the Savior is revealed”.
  • In addition to meeting Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz) — a former Savior who may be able to offer Emma just the help she needs, — and Jafar (Oded Fehr), we’ll also see Princess Jasmine (Karin David), the Count of Monte Cristo (Craig Horner) and Morpheus (Giles Matthey).

ONCE UPON A TIME returns for an all new season on Sunday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).