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).

ONCE UPON A TIME Comic-Con Press Room: The Origin of the Savior, the Evil Queen and Hook’s Past

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The cast of ABC’s hit show ONCE UPON A TIME, along with showrunners Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis, talked to journalists this past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con about what we can expect to see in season 6. With two villains in town, Storybrooke will now take front stage again, as the show returns to its roots for its sixth season. Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Emily de Ravin, Rebecca Mader, Colin O’Donoghue and Josh Dallas talked about what’s in store for their characters this season and how they are all going to have their hands full dealing with the Evil Queen and Hyde at the same time.

Adam Horowitz told us that this season will not be all about the Land of Untold Stories, as it was previously teased in the season 5 finale. This time, they are not going to a different land and stay there for the first half of the season, like they did for the past couple of seasons. “We are in Storybrooke and the characters from the Land of Untold Stories have arrived, and that is part of the story we’re telling. But the arc of this season will touch on a bunch of different things.” Horowitz teased.

According to the showrunners, these characters fled the Land of Untold Stories, so their stories wouldn’t play out. Now that they’re in Storybrooke, things will play out as they were supposed to and Emma will find herself again in the position of Savior, trying to help everyone find their happiness. Add to that the fact that both Hyde and a far more terrifying Evil Queen will be on the loose, so the heroes will most certainly not have time to take a break before the next crisis.

Origin of the savior. During the panel, we watched a sneak peek of the upcoming season, and found out that Alladin was a Savior. Eddie Kitsis mentioned that, this year, we are exploring the Savior mythology, and we will soon realize that Emma is not the first savior and that there is an origin story to that position of power. In the sneak peek, we saw that being a Savior has really taken its toll on Alladin and that it might be a glimpse of what is in store for Emma. “Last year, we saw Emma finally saying ‘I love you’ to Hook when there was no problem or death, so she was able to let in these new emotions. So one of the things we want to get into this year for Emma is what is it like to find your parents? What is it like to have the pressure of being the Savior and having to fight all those fights? Is she ever going to have a happy ending? I think the Alladin thing kind of showed you what happened to the Savior, right?” Kitsis teased.

Related: Read spoilers from the ONCE UPON A TIME Comic-Con panel

Regina vs Evil Queen. Lana Parrilla said that the Evil Queen is different than what she used to be. “Before, she was still part of Regina, and Regina has a conscience. We will see how the Evil Queen will fare without a conscience and how far she is willing to go to get her revenge. She is still hung up on Snow and getting her heart.” Parrilla teased.

She also mentioned that Regina is still trying to be a hero and she turns to Snow for advice. “Part of her feels that [what is happening] is karmic, but she is not going to let the Evil Queen win. She is going to battle against her and really fight for redemption and her happiness.”

Jared Gilmore also talked about how Henry is going to react to having three mothers now. When he was asked about how he is going to feel about the Evil Queen, Gilmore said that it’s complicated. “It’s hard to explain. She raised him for ten years, so he has some sort of feelings toward her. Even when she was still in Regina, he wanted to see the good in her, which means he also wanted to see the good in the Evil Queen. But now that that’s gone, it will be really interesting to explore.”

Robin’s death. Last season, we saw Robin perish when Hades used the Olympian Crystal on him. Regina hasn’t really had time to process what happened and Parrilla says there is so much going on with the characters, that we won’t see it right away. “Regina is very private. There is so much going on. As soon as we start the season, we have Hyde and Gold has given him Storybrooke, so we need to protect our civilians. That’s why I think these moments are more private. It’s talked about, but I think  the grieving happens behind closed doors.” she elaborated on how her character is dealing with Robin’s death.

Zelena. When asked about how Zelena is fairing when season 6 starts, Rebecca Mader said that there is a lot going on with her character. When we last saw her, she had just killed her first love in order to save her sister, so she is not in the best head space right now. “I had finally gotten a sister, and now I have two. So it’s a lot – dealing with Regina and the Evil Queen, and the baby and I just killed my boyfriend, so I made an appointment with Jimini Cricket for next week.” The actress laughed.

About how her relationship with the Evil Queen and with her own dark side that she is still trying to leave behind, Mader said that being a villain is like battling an addiction, so Zelena might slip up a little bit on her journey.

Belle and Rumplestiltskin. Emilie De Ravin told us that Belle starts off season 6 still inside the box – just as we last saw her in the season 5 finale. However, she says that Belle will most likely not stay there for too long. “The way she gets out of the box, that she’s extracted from it, and the characters involved in that – it’s really cool.” De Ravin commented. “It reveals a lot about her relationship.” She added.

Concluded on next page…

ONCE UPON A TIME: Watch a Sneak Peek of Aladdin and Jafar From Season 6

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ONCE UPON A TIME has tackled many Disney characters in the past, including Peter Pan, the FROZEN sisters, Ariel and many more. But now the show is bringing in the characters from ALADDIN for the upcoming sixth season.

As a special bonus for the fans attended the Comic-Con panel, the cast and producers screened the first scene from the upcoming season 6 premiere.

Related: Read more spoilers from season 6 of ONCE UPON A TIME

We open with someone on horseback riding across an open field. And we pan up to see another man riding a magic carpet and throwing lightening bolts at the man.  The man arrives at a house to ask for help from “the Saviour” and in walks Jafar (played by Oded Fehr). Jafar disintegrates the man from the horse and then goes to attack the Saviour….a.k.a. Aladdin (played by Deniz Akdeniz).  Jafar taunts the mighty Saviour who has fallen so far and then a Saviour never lives “happily ever after”.

Watch the sneak peek from the season premiere below.

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

ONCE UPON A TIME Comic-Con Panel: The Cast and Producers Tease Season 6

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Hades was defeated at the end of ONCE UPON A TIME’s last season — at the cost of Robin Hood’s life — but a new villain emerged when Regina split off her evil half and killed the Evil Queen. Only the Evil Queen didn’t die and it looks like she’ll be wreaking havoc for our heroes next season. There’s also the matter of Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde roaming around Storybrooke.

ONCE UPON A TIME stars Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Colin O’Donoghue, Emilie de Ravin, Jared Gilmore and Rebecca Mader — along with executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis — took to the stage at San Diego Comic-Con to tease what’s coming up in season 6.

Related: Watch a sneak peek from the season 6 premiere featuring Jafar and Aladdin

One of the biggest questions for season 6 is how the split between Regina and the Evil Queen will work.  Parrilla says that Regina is still sassy, even being split from her evil core. But the Evil Queen is slightly different “than she used to be, I think.  She is now without a conscience, so she’s pure evil. And a lot of fun. Regina is desperate to really be this hero and be happy internally and that’s really what she wants for herself. She has this beautiful family now. And her sister. So it’s going to be an interesting journey this year to see how the Evil Queen and Regina co-exist.”

Parrilla thinks that Emma and Regina have grown over the years and become best friends, but how will the appearance of the Evil Queen change that dynamic? “They’re working together and I think Emma has helped Regina get to this new place in her life,” Parrilla said. She sees them continuing down that path, but the Evil Queen is a different entity. Morrison thinks that Emma wants to believe in Regina, but she also knows she needs to protect everyone she loves (including Regina) from the Queen. How do you separate the two mentally? “I think it’s going to be complicated, like it always is,” Morrison said.

Other highlights: 

  • What is the draw for Belle with Rumple? de Ravin thinks that at the end of last season, Belle is now is acknowledging that part of that pull is him being a bad guy. She likes that, even if deep down she sees the good in him.
  • Are there any consequences about Hook returning from the dead? Has he changed? O’Donoghue thinks he’s “pretty much the same Hook.” But now that he knows it’s true love with Emma and Hook, they’re trying to figure out how to navigate being together. “We might find out a few things about his past,” he teased cryptically. Horowitz confirmed there’s more of Hook’s past that we dig into and more secrets will be revealed.
  • The one thing the Evil Queen wanted was Snow’s heart and that “will not stop,” Kitsis said. But Regina and Snow have become friends over the years. Regina will have a group of people supporting her this time, while her evil alter ego will just be trying to kill everyone. Horowitz said that Regina and Snow’s relationship will definitely continue being explored in season 6.
  • Gilmore thinks that now that Henry is the Author, he’s realized he’s a hero now and he can help people by giving them their stories and help them figure things out. He thinks that “Henry has found his place. He believes that now he’s a part of the heroes and I think he likes it. He loves it.”
  • We will get to see Hook and Charming together in “a fun arc,” Horowitz teased.
  • Mader thinks that being pregnant and having a baby really changed Zelena, along with Regina giving Zelena her trust even if she didn’t deserve it.
  • Can Zeus intervene in internal matters going forward? Kitsis thinks that was a one-time-only Zeus interference, so don’t expect to see him again anytime soon.
  • What’s happened in the Underworld since Hades left? The cast and producers screened an amusing video featuring Cruela and a guest appearances by James Marsters (from BUFFY) and she told us that King Arthur is running the Underworld now.

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

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 5 Finale Recap: The One That Didn’t Work

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Well, that was a bit anticlimactic, wasn’t it?

Last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME had the potential to be pretty awesome, but something didn’t quite work during the two-hour season finale and the episode just fell kind of flat. Maybe it was the fact that it relied too much on Henry when it shouldn’t have, or maybe it was the script that didn’t really work… I don’t know. The only good thing that came out of it was that, for once, it didn’t end in tragedy and Emma and Hook were actually together and not suffering. So, silver lining and all that.

Henry, though, was on full on teenager mode, and decided that he had to destroy all magic, no matter what, without thinking of the consequences. Classic teen stuff, right? So he sets off on a quest with Violet and ends up in New York, at his dad’s old apartment, following clues from his journal about how to destroy the source of all the misery in his family. And I get what he was trying to do, his heart was in the right place, but come on, Henry. You can’t just destroy something that is deeply rooted in pretty much all members of your immediate family because bad things happened. That’s not how life works. Deal with it.

But he is pretty set on it, which causes Regina and Emma to go after him to try and stop him. After all, Storybrooke was built with magic, so what’s going to happen to the town once magic no longer exists? Regina is also fighting against herself, so that she won’t let her Evil Queen self take over in her grief. Emma is super worried – with good reason; we all know how the Evil Queen is – but Regina is kind of offended that she would even think that. It takes a while for her to admit that she actually is afraid that she might revert to her evil self.

Meanwhile, the Charmings, Hook and Zelena get trapped in another realm. That’s where we meet next season’s villain Mr. Hyde and the good Dr. Jekyll. Now here’s the thing. This could have been really good. I really can’t put my finger on what exactly didn’t work, but this part of the story just kind of dragged. To make a long story short, the doctor was working on a serum that would separate the good and evil in him  - which is how Mr. Hyde is now running amok in Storybrooke, saying he is the king of the world, after making a deal with Gold.

That is also how Regina decides to separate herself from the Evil Queen. She takes the Queen’s heart and crushes it, so they all think that she is gone for good. So the gang returns to Storybrooke, Henry kisses Violet, and life goes on. Except they have no idea that some form of the Evil Queen lives on and she is alive (?) and well in New York City.

Now let’s talk about why this finale didn’t work. It felt like they didn’t really know which direction they were going to, so it was decided last minute. They had to introduce a new fairytale and it seems like they wanted to bring the Evil Queen back, so they probably thought, hey, why not go with both? The problem here was, they had just wrapped up Hades and it just felt like the new storyline wasn’t entirely thought out. Maybe if they had used last week’s episode as the season finale, things would probably flow a little bit better. It was a sort of cliffhanger, but it had already tied some loose ends from the entire season, so it would work great as a finale.

What we were treated to last night was an episode that seemed to drag on for hours, with no super exciting action and a poorly developed storyline. I don’t know. I hope they use the summer to really get into it and develop this into a better product. Otherwise, they just might lose viewers.

ONCE UPON A TIME is set to return this fall on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Season Finale Sneak Peeks: Can Magic Be Destroyed?

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The town of Storybrooke is still reeling from the recent death of Robin Hood, as well as the end of the Hades storyline on ONCE UPON A TIME. But some good has come out of this terrible situation: Hook was brought back to live by Zeus himself.

Regina is still grieving for her loss, so everyone else is trying to give her her space. But the heroes soon learn that Mr. Gold has stolen Hades’ Olympian Crystal and tethered all of the town’s magic to the object. As the heroes race to try and stop him, Henry is going rogue. His plan is to destroy magic once and for all and a replica of the Holy Grail may help him do that. As Henry tries to end magic, Regina and Emma try to find him before Gold does.

Meanwhile, Zelena, Snow, David and Hook try to open a portal that will return Merida and the other Storybrooke guests to their homes, but things go awry, and the group winds up in a deranged new world. In the second hour, they’re imprisoned and must try and survive characters that “may give Gold a run for his money”.

Don’t miss the two-hour season finale of ONCE UPON A TIME tonight (May 15) beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

ONCE UPON A TIME Season Finale Photos: Traveling to Another World

The latest episode of ONCE UPON A TIME ended in tragedy as Hades killed Robin Hood (who stepped in front of Regina to save her life) and Zelena killed Hades after realizing he would never stop his evil ways for her. And just after Regina lost the love of her life, Emma regained hers, as Hook was brought back to life by Zeus.

The Hades storyline, which has dominated the second half of the season, has all been leading to a two-part finale this weekend. In the first hour, titled “Only You”, Regina is still reeling from the death of Robin Hood, but her loss could lead to her becoming evil once again. The other heroes also realize that Gold stole Hades’ Olympian Crystal and has tethered all of Storybrooke’s magic to it. Unable to let him have that much magical power, the heroes set out to stop him. But Henry (along with Violet) goes rogue and decides that he can’t stand the pain that magic has caused his family, so he sets out to destroy it for good. Elsewhere in the episode, Zelena, Snow, David and Hook team up to open up a portal that will return Merida and the other Storybrooke guests to their rightful lands. But something goes terribly wrong and the group ends up in “a deranged new world”.

In the second hour, titled “An Untold Story”, there’s a possibility of magic being destroyed (which could lead to disaster for Storybrooke) and so Regina and Emma team up to find Henry before Mr. Gold does. And in the other land, Snow, David, Hook and Zelena are imprisoned.

Browse through photos above for the episodes and tune in to the two-hour season finale of ONCE UPON A TIME on May 15 beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Recap: Of Tragedies and Happy Endings

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Why, TV Gods? Why must this show be tragic? Why won’t you let these poor characters be happy for once?

Last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME concluded the Hades arc in a completely tragic and unexpected way. After returning to the land of the living in Storybrooke, Zelena is worried when she doesn’t see her sister and the team right away. Little did she know that Hades had been playing everyone all along and had tried to trap them in the Underworld. But the Wicked Witch is in love and completely blind to see what is right in front of her. After all, they’re true love, so Hades would never do anything to hurt her or her child, right?

Wrong. Well, kind of. Because, even though I believe he really did love her, he loved power more. He even shows her the Olympian Crystal he has and says that it’s a very powerful, very dangerous weapon, and that he is not afraid to use it to defend her and the baby. The parallels here with Rumple and Belle’s tragic love story were uncanny. Zelena wants to believe that he can change, that he would do anything for love, but the dude is just a power-hungry god, and now that he is back among the living, he wants to be the king of everything and have everyone under his command.

Except Zelena can’t see that, even when Regina spells it out to her. She closes herself off with Hades in Regina’s office and casts a protective spell around the house, so no one can get in. But Regina knows the place inside and out, so she obviously knows a secret passage to get into her office without being noticed. Robin goes with her, eager to get his baby daughter away from Zelena and Hades, and that’s where everything goes wrong. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Meanwhile, in the Underworld, Hook joins forces with Crazy!Arthur, who has just been killed by Hades. This was, by far, one of my favorite parts of the episode. This unexpectedly awesome partnership brought some comedy and levity to an otherwise heavy episode. So Killian convinces Arthur to go on a quest to find the missing pages about Hades and their first order of business is to visit the villain’s throne room. Arthur quickly figures out where the pages are hidden – being a crazy ruler himself – but their quest is just getting started. Because now they need to put the pages back in the book, so Emma can get them and find out how to defeat Hades.

They go to Cruella, who is now the temporary ruler of the Underworld, and ask where she hid the story book. She helpfully says that she put it in the River of Souls, so no one can get to it. Hook grabs a boat and takes Arthur with him to the depths of the river, quickly finding the book. But this time, the souls start to attack them to prevent them from getting it. But these two are super partners now and manage to get the book and ward off the souls. Once Killian puts the pages back in their rightful place, a portal opens, so they can move on. Arthur tells him he’s sticking around to help fix the Underworld, so Hook goes through the portal alone, finding none other than Zeus himself on the other side. The God tells him that he can now go to a place where he belongs and Killian totally thinks it’s the Afterlife, but nope. It turns out Zeus is a shipper and, apparently, the place where he belongs is with Emma, because he sends him back to the land of the living.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma is having a hard time dealing with her grief. She wants to go full throttle at Hades, without a plan, and it’s all her parents can do to stop her. When she gets the pages from Hook,  she knows what she has to do to destroy the villain, so she goes by herself to attack Regina’s house. Except Regina and Robin are already inside and, while Zelena goes outside to confront Emma, Hades confronts Regina and Robin when they try to take the baby. He uses the Olympian Crystal to attack Regina, but Robin jumps in front of her and gets hit by its power, dying instantly.

Zelena gets back in the middle of the commotion, but Robin is already dead. Hades tries to convince her that they had attacked first, but Zelena finally sees him for who he is, and uses the crystal to kill him. Now, this was such an unnecessary death. I do think Robin was entirely underused this season, but there was no need to kill him off. For what? So Regina can revert back to her Evil Queen self? All these seasons of character development will be erased because of this. We all know how Regina deals with grief, so the chances of everything going south is extremely high. And poor little Roland! The kid now has lost both his parents, so who is going to look after him? It was just all around tragic. I feel bad for Zelena too but I do admit that part of me hopes she will go back to her awesome Wicked Witch self.

The funeral scene was just so beyond heartbreaking. Actually the entire cemetery sequence was incredibly sad, from Emma visiting Hook’s grave and finally allowing herself to completely break down; to everyone putting an arrow on top of Robin’s coffin; Zelena naming her baby girl Robin… Sweet Jesus, it really messed with my emotions.

But the very best part that made my heart leap with joy was when Emma was finally alone by Robin’s coffin, blaming herself, and Killian shows up. The unbridled joy and shock and relief in that scene was so exhilarating and heartwarming. As always, Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison were absolutely fantastic. I can’t get over how amazing their chemistry is.

And last, but definitely not least, Hades was destroyed, Robin died and everyone forgot about the piece of Olympian Crystal he left behind. Except the Dark One. Obviously.

The two-hour season finale of ONCE UPON A TIME will air on May 15 at 7/6c on ABC.