Last night Once Upon A Time returned for the second half of it’s 5th season (and it’s 100th episode!!) with a new episode and a change of scenery for the Storybrooke crew.  This time the group journeyed to the Underworld, to try to save Hook from his untimely demise in the Winter finale.  Will Emma, Regina and the rest of the heroes be successful?  What new villains await them in the Underworld?

***** SPOILERS BELOW *****

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with how the whole “Dark Swan” storyline played out in the fall.  There was a lot of build up about Emma being potentially the darkest Dark One ever, but it ended up that she was mainly being driven by a screw up with Hook and actually saving him from the darkness.  So, I went into last night with lowered expectations.  That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the premiere last night.

The episode begins where finale left off, the Storybrooke crew heading to the Underworld.  Emma has a little dream-type sequence with Neal, and it was good to see those two interact again. He basically warns her about going to the Underworld and tells her she shouldn’t do it, because it’s too dangerous.  I was already finding myself being pulled in at this point and eager to see what dangers await the heroes on their journey to save Hook.  Upon arriving in the Underworld, viewers learn that this is basically a place where people with unfinished business are stuck.  After your business is taken care of, you either go to “somewhere better” or “somewhere even worse.”  Needless to say, a lot of these people are in the Underworld because of something one of the heroes has done, so there are potentially a lot of enemies mulling around.


We also find out in a Rumple/Pan interaction that a soul waiting in the Underworld can trade places with someone to go back to Storybrooke.  So Pan seems to have a goal to go back in place of one of the heroes; that seems like something that could have some interesting potential and we’ll have to see how that plays out.  This episode was very Regina-centric, which I loved – since I think Lana Parrilla is pretty amazing and crucial to the success of the show.  Regina’s parents are both waiting for her in the Underworld, and it’s great to see Barbara Hershey as Cora again.

tumblr_o3mpis782c1qcruu2o1_500Cora seems to be up to some of her old habits, trying to control Regina and make her go back to Storybrooke and leave her friends.  Regina says she can’t turn her back on the people she loves and refuses to go, despite Emma telling her she should go and protect herself and Henry.  Regina seems pretty torn up about it, which shows how far she has come with Emma over the years.  Regina has some tear-jerker moments with her father about killing him and the struggles they’ve had throughout her life and manage to come to some resolution on that, allowing him to go somewhere better and out of the Underworld.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 11.51.41 AMIn one of the final scenes, we find out that Cora is actually working with Hades – who is eager for Regina to leave the Underworld.  It’s a bit secretive and we aren’t sure yet why Hades doesn’t want Regina around.  The heroes don’t have any luck finding Hook in this episode, but it seems like viewers are in for a good ride this half of the season!  I’m optimistic that this will be a good storyline and that the writers have some good things in store for us!

In other happy news, ABC has announced that Once Upon A Time as been renewed for a 6th season! Congratulations to cast and crew on their continued success.

What did you think of the episode?  Comment below!

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