Once Upon A Time is back for Season 5 Part 2

They’ve been to the Enchanted Forest, Wonderland, Neverland, and other places. This season they’re going to: the UNDERWORLD. Once Upon A Time: Season 5, Part 2 premiered on March 6, and they are clearly trying to find more and more challenges for Emma and the rest of the fairytale gang to face. Now before I go on, SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t seen Season 5 part 1 yet, beware. As time goes on, the villains of OUAT have been getting darker and darker, and in the first half of Season 5, the characters took on the darkness itself. Just when I thought they had reached the peak of excitement, things went to the next level.

So, for a little background information, the show started out from the point of view of Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a 28 year old woman who believed that her parents had abandoned her. Well, it turns out that her parents were actually Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), and they were trying to save her from the curse of the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla). The Evil Queen cursed everyone in the Enchanted Forest (the realm where most fairytale characters come from) by sending them to a place with no happy endings. In other words, they were cursed to come to our world and live in a town called Storybrooke. Of course, in Once Upon A Time, there’s always hope (If you ever doubt it, Snow White will be happy to remind you. Repeatedly.) Emma, who was just a baby at the time, was prophesized to be “The Savior” and would liberate everyone when she turned 28. So, to give Emma “her best chance”, she was sent through a portal to our world. Sure enough, on her 28th birthday, the son she gave up for adoption 10 years ago, Henry (Jared S. Gilmore), showed up at her door. Coincidentally (or fate?) he lives in Storybrooke, and his adoptive mother is… wait for it… Regina, also known as the Evil Queen. So, Emma comes to drop him home and ends up sticking around.

Remember those spoilers I was talking about earlier? This is your last chance to avoid them. So… Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) died. Yeah, that was basically the equivalent of crushing my little fangirl dreams. More importantly, though, he sacrificed himself to end the chain of Dark Ones. Of course, Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) interfered with that, and it turns out that instead of ending Dark Ones once and for all, all the darkness and power transferred to Rumplestiltskin. It’s basically in his character description to do something like that. When Emma finds out that Hook’s sacrifice had been for nothing, she forces Rumplestiltskin to take her and the rest of the fairytale gang to the Underworld to get him back.

The gang gets to the Underworld, and it looks like a wrecked Storybrooke with a red sky. Everyone who’s there apparently has some kind of unfinished business. This gave Once Upon A Time a lot of opportunities to bring back old characters. They run into some old villains that had been defeated in prior seasons. For example, Rumplestiltskin sees Peter Pan (Robbie Kay), and Regina is sought out by Cora (Barbara Hershey). They briefly spend some time with nicer characters such as Regina’s dad, Henry Sr. (Tony Perez), and Neal (Michael Raymond-James). One thing I enjoyed about the cameos was that they served a purpose beyond simply bringing in the actors. They actually moved the story along and provided character development for the main characters.

This season we get introduced to a new villain, Hades (Greg Germann). I happen to really like Greek Mythology, so when I first found out Hades was going to be in Once Upon A Time, I was excited. What disappointed me was that they portray him the same way Disney does, with blue flaming hair. It shows that they’re treating Hades as a Disney character rather than as a mythological god. Plus, flaming blue hair doesn’t look as good on the actor as it does on the cartoon. That being said, they also brought in the nonchalant yet somewhat explosive personality of the Disney version of Hades, which Greg Germann accomplished perfectly. In this episode, we get an insight of Hades’ motive and see some of his powers. He seems like a formidable villain and will most likely bring an interesting storyline to the show.

Once Upon A Time has had some very timeless themes that seem to be continuing in the new season. For example, we have a new battle between good and evil, yet I suspect that they are going to prove once again that evil isn’t born – it’s made. I also believe that they are going to continue the theme of redemption, because it’s been a central belief of Once Upon A Time since the beginning. I think that they are going to try to redeem a lot of the souls that are currently trapped in the Underworld with unfinished business. Another theme that took root in the beginning of the show is hope. In fact, one of the old symbols of hope, the clock tower, is back. In Season 1, when the time moved on the clock tower, it showed that the curse was weakening. This time, every tick symbolizes a soul passing to a better place. Even though the writers are exploring new territory and characters, the themes remain the same.

I have a lot of hope for the rest of Season 5, and I think that episodes will continue to keep me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to see what comes next!