‘Once Upon A Time’ S6 premiere recap: The Saviors need saving

“Once Upon A Time’ Season 6 is off to an intense and entertaining start! Last season, we learned more about the Dark One’s origin and met all of the tortured souls who bore the evil curse that comes along with the Dagger’s unyielding power. This season, we are going to learn about The Saviors. As we discovered in our first sneak peek of Aladdin, there is more than one Savior. You’d think that would be good news, right? The more Saviors there are, the more Good there is to fight off all the Evil. Well, that isn’t necessarily the case. “The Savior” reveals a few unsettling curveballs, which fills fans with fear of impending doom. The most notable twists begs the question: What happens when all of The Saviors need saving? We have a lot to discuss, Oncers, so let’s dive in!

Agrabah, Many years ago: “That’s why you never ever hear these words about a Savior: ‘They lived happily ever after’.” – Jafar

The episode starts off with a flashback to Jafar (Oded Fehr) hunting down Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz). A mysterious young woman tries to keep the evil sorcerer at bay, but she is no match against the magical flick of his wrist/staff. The man standing before Jafar is a far cry from the scrappy hero we’ve come to love. Instead, Aladdin appears to be a shell of a wounded man, begging for death. Then Jafar explains what will become the overarching theme of Season 6:

“It’s the fate of Saviors. You give and give and give and for what? They pick the fruits, they cut the branches, and all that’s left is this shaky stump. Always. That’s why you never ever hear these words about a Savior: ‘They lived happily ever after’.”

Aladdin is a Savior, like Emma. However, being The Savior has clearly taken a toll on him emotionally, physically, and psychologically. His hand trembles and glows. Jafar implies that The Savior’s destiny is always doomed. Surely this can’t be true, right?! It goes against everything ‘Once Upon A Time’ stands for. The Savior is supposed to instill faith and hope in the people by standing out as a beacon of light amidst the darkness of evil forces.

What will become of Aladdin? What is causing the tremors? Will Jafar’s prediction come true? One thing seems clear: if Aladdin’s story is destined to end in disaster, then it is obvious why he (and probably Jasmine) would want to run off to The Land of Untold Stories. We’re assuming that they are coming to Storybrooke from the Land of Untold Stories.

Storybrooke, Present Day: “There’s nothing more dangerous than an untold story.” – Hyde

An aircraft lands in Storybrooke just when things are heating up between Hook and Emma. This ship has brought over a bunch of people from the Land of Untold Stories. Before we can get excited over the prospective characters that may soon pour into the streets of Storybrooke, Dr. Jekyll warns that “chaos is coming.” Team Heroes marches over to Hyde aka “Mutton Chops” to do some preemptive damage control. The nasty warden warns, “There’s nothing more dangerous than an untold story.” Gulp!

Regina and Emma join forces to overpower Hyde, shackled him up and throw his grumpy butt in a padded cell. Unfortunately, this take-down exposes a troublesome sight. Emma’s hand is shaking and glowing just like Aladdin’s. Uh-oh! Is this one of the side effects of being The Savior? Let’s hope Emma gets a handle on the tremors before it’s too late. While she tries keeping a lid on her uncontrollable quiver, the rest of our fairytale favorites are dealing with their own personal battles.

Regina v. Wicked Evil

Regina and Zelena are officially roomies and it doesn’t take long before things get awkward. Roland gave Zelena a feather from Robin to give to Regina, but of course, the former Wicked Witch has misplaced this priceless token of Robin’s affection. Regina tries her best to play it cool, but eventually confides in Snow White about how she’s torn-up over it.

This episode has some of the best Snow and Regina moments of all time. It seems that shedding the Evil Queen has allowed Regina to open up to Snow in a very vulnerable and honest way. Her former foe has become a trusted confidant. Snow encourages Regina to be forthcoming and clearly communicate with her half-sis, so she does.

Next thing you know, Zelena and Regina are already at each other’s throats. Regina blames Zelena for Robin Hood’s death and the mudslinging begins. Both women are heartbroken and hurting. Still, you can’t help but be on Team Regina. She made a heroic choice to follow her friend on a quest through the Underworld. She chose to trust her sister’s intuition, just as Zelena chose to trust Hades and jeopardize everyone’s well-being. Zelena didn’t directly kill Robin, but she also doesn’t have the right to compare her loss of hateful Hades to Regina’s loss of Robin. Regina earned his True Love. It was real, unlike Hades’ manipulative overture. The least Zelena could do is hold onto the feather for Regina. Right?!

Regina stood paralyzed as she watched Hades obliterate Robin’s soul. His ghost bidding her adieu before vanishing forever. Although Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have said that there is no way of resurrecting Robin, we can always hope to see him again in flashbacks. But then again, they dangle this carrot before us: Henry urges his mother to have faith. Just because Hades said Robin’s soul is lost, doesn’t make it true. Villains lie just to demoralize Heroes. Awww! Look at our little hero, he’ll always have the heart of the truest believer.

After Snow and Charming officially welcome the newbies and invite them to join the gang at Granny’s whenever they are ready, Regina has a touching heart-to-heart with her step-daughter. These two have a come a long way. The Evil Queen taught Snow how to hold onto hope because she chose to have faith that even a villain can find redemption. Regina has gotten used to wearing many hats: Evil Queen, aspiring Hero, Savior to Emma, mother to Henry, you get the idea from that heartwarming montage.

Regina always preoccupied herself with ruining lives as the Evil Queen or helping other people get their happy endings on her road to redemption. For the first time, she doesn’t have the Evil Queen to lead her astray. She earnestly apologizes to Snow for so terribly wronging her in the past. She has grown to cherish their friendship. After all, they are family and family is everything.

Robin may be gone (and hopefully his soul is at peace), but he taught her a valuable lesson that she carries with her. Regina deserves her own Happily Ever After. Today, she chooses to begin her own story and it will be one full of hope. As Regina and Snow walk away, Robin’s feather gently floats down onto the bench. Goosebumps!!!! Another brilliant performance by Lana Parrilla, so full of sincerity and tenderness. Bravo!

Now for the bummer. Zelena returns to Regina’s home to pack and move out. Lo and behold, the Evil Queen sits waiting to greet her wicked sis with appletinis in tow. Zelena wanted to strengthen her sisterly bond, but she went for the wrong sis. The Wicked Witch would naturally have more in common with the Evil Queen than she would with reformed Regina. Uh-oh. This looks like the beginning of a terrible friendship. What kind of havoc will WickedEvil wreak? Will Zelena play both sides? Is she ready to be a hero or will villainy beckon her back to the dark side?

RumBelle finds True Love

Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Rumple finds a way to enter Belle’s dream and hopes to wake his beloved with True Love’s Kiss. Morpheus (Giles Matthey) greets Rumple as he steps into Belle’s chilling dream world. Our sleeping beauty is reliving her days as Rumple’s servant. How bleak. Rumple tells Morpheus that he plans on rekindling their True Love by recreating the moment Belle first fell in love with the Beast. Get ready for the all the feels…

Rumple thwarts Chip’s existence by catching the teacup mid-air. (Come on, man! That’s a crucial story element to disregard. For shame!) Then he proceeds to woo Belle, just as ‘OUAT’ charms the audience. “Tale as Old as Time” plays in the background and RumBelle beautifully brings this iconic Disney moment to life. Yes, we are putty in your hands. Every second of this stunning scene is glorious. Plus, that song just gives us instant goosebumps at the sound of the very first note.

Unlike the first time they fell in love, Belle isn’t so easily convinced that Rumple has rid himself of the Beast within. He may say the right things: ‘The love for Belle and my child will never be a lie” and “For you, I would be the best man I could be.” It sounds sweet, but we know better. Rumple is incredibly self-destructive. He always puts power above love. Even when he is head-over-heels in True Love with Belle, he is destined to fail her. The difference is that this time, Belle is carrying their child. He won’t only let her down, but he’ll forsake their child as well.

Belle resists Rumple’s temptation and places their child’s wellbeing above all else. Morpheus steps in with a jaw-dropping reveal: he is their son! Whoa!!! What a heavy twist, even by “Once Upon A Time’s” standards. Anyone else getting chills? This is Morpheus’ dream world as much as it is Belle’s, since they are one. He was testing Belle, hoping she would make the right decision this time. The young man is relieved to see she has learned from her past mistakes. Choosing their child over Rumple proves that Morpheus is her True Love. He kisses her on the forehead and she awakens from her dream.

Wow! Rumple needs to seriously change for good if he wants to win back Belle’s heart, and Morpheus’ affection, for that matter. His unborn child even knows he’s bad news. How touching is it to see him protecting his mother from within the womb? “OUAT” is never afraid to dig deep. This is an epic wake-up call for Rumple. It will be interesting to discover how we’ll see more of Morpheus. He’ll be born a baby, but will he remember this dream and the test as he grows up? You knows there’s going to be something special about him. Can’t wait to see what happens!

The Savior’s Fate

As if Emma’s mysterious tremor isn’t bad enough, she’s also having these creepy visions in which she battles a hooded figure that looks like the Grimm Reaper. To make matters even worse, Hyde actually knows what both the tremor and visions are all about. Hyde instructs Emma to follow the Red Bird. We soon realize that his feathered friend looks an awful lot like Iago (sans Gilbert Godfried’s annoying voice, thank goodness). The same girl from Aladdin’s flashback appears and claims to be an oracle.

Apparently, Emma is having premonitions of her future. The visions appear in her mind’s eye. The oracle uses something that looks like Jafar’s serpentine staff (glowing red eyes included) and reveals a clearer picture of Emma’s fate. (At this point, we’re seriously wondering if the oracle is really Jafar in disguise.) Emma’s story ends when she falls at the feet of this mysterious hooded figure. The oracle warns Emma that her destiny cannot be changed. No matter what path The Savior takes, the outcome will always be the same: Emma will die at the hands of the Hood.

Gulp. Going with the immediate denial route and saying, “No!” to all of this. The Savior must be able to cheat death. This is ridiculous. Heroes make their own destiny. If Emma changes something in the present, then her future must surely be changed as well. That’s just the way it goes…Right?!?!

Hyde confirms Emma’s (and our) worst fear. The oracle speaks the truth. Being warden in the Land of Untold Stories has taught Hyde that one thing is for sure: The Savior always dies and the Villains win. Ex-squeeze me?! Oh no, Mr. Mutton Chops, not in our fairytale. Ugh! This is such an ominous way to start the season and now we have loads of questions…

Who is under the Hood: Evil Emma, Jafar, Death, a new foe? How can Emma change her fate? Can The Savior be saved again? Are a bunch of Saviors hiding in the Land of Untold Stories in hopes of evading their impending deaths? Are the visions causing the hand tremors? Or are the tremors a sign that death is approaching sooner than we think? Do all Saviors see how they will die?

“The Savior” is a stellar start to an exciting new season. It provided a solid foundation for some fascinating and worrisome storylines. Take a look at The Hollywood Reporter’s interesting Q & A with “OUAT” show-runners to get some good scoop on the season. They tease that Emma’s death could come at any moment. Eeek! They also assure fans that the Hood’s identity will be revealed by Christmas. Phew! Read more HERE. Are you excited to see what’s in store for Season 6? Have any theories so far? What were your favorite moments? Do you think Aladdin and Emma will work together to solve their mutual dilemma? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @TalkTVwTiffany.

“Once Upon A Time” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

One thought on “‘Once Upon A Time’ S6 premiere recap: The Saviors need saving

  1. I love that we’re going to see more of the Savior mythology and that Emma isn’t the only Savior to have ever existed. I think the new additions to the cast are great. Sam Witwer’s voice and mannerisms as Hyde are perfect for the character.

    I am sad that Regina and Zelena couldn’t get along. They seemed like they were at least beginning to become sisters last season. But I think the Wicked Witch of the West will have a lot more fun with the Evil Queen.

    I honestly think Once Upon a Time is one of the best cast shows ever. All of the actors fit their roles so well.

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