ONCE UPON A TIME Season Premiere Review: A New Story
By Meredith Loftus
Season 6 is officially underway!
The season premiere, “The Savior,” marks the beginning of new, untold stories. While Hyde tries to take Storybrooke as his own, Rumple enters Belle’s dreams to wake her up with true love’s kiss. She does wake up with the help of her unborn son, Morpheus, but returns to Storybrooke without Rumple.
Meanwhile, Zelena and Regina have a sister’s sprawl after Regina tells Zelena that she blames her for the end of Robin Hood’s existence. Zelena then gets a friendly visit from the Evil Queen, her half-sister’s sinister manifestation.
While Snow and Charming welcome the new arriving characters with open arms and delicious food courtesy of Granny’s Diner, Emma begins to have visions of a future battle with a hooded villain, to which an oracle tells her that she is seeing the end of her story.
How can we talk about endings when we’ve only just begun the new season?!
Writing a New Chapter
Once Upon A Time is a show of many stories. It started with a simple idea: what if there was more to the classic fairytales we grew up with? This idea turned into the story of Snow White and Prince Charming, and the life of their daughter, Emma Swan. Her story, as well as her parents, grew as it added more characters, new connections, and a rich complexity that resonated in our not-so magical world. Now we are entering the sixth year of a story that surprisingly hasn’t lost its luster. We have fallen in love with the characters, their worlds, and their stories as they continue to unfold.
In the season premiere, new stories are beginning. New characters have arrived bringing their untold stories to Storybrooke, which is very reminiscent of the first season. What keeps the story fresh is the new stories that are beginning with characters we’ve seen grow over the course of five seasons. We see in this episode that Regina is beginning a new story, one that is centered on hope and healing after suffering a great loss. Regina explains to Snow that she has realized that her life is not just one story; her life is an anthology of many stories. Her story, as well as every other character on the show, is ongoing, but certain stories end while another begins. In Regina’s case, many of the stories of her life have been dark, painful, and have ultimately ended in death. Stories of the past do not have the power to define us unless we let them. Regina is actively choosing to a write a new story and not by means of manipulating the author; she is her own author. This new story will entail navigating a new relationship with her sister, being an adoptive mother to a teenager, and, eventually, facing her former demons in the form of the Evil Queen. It won’t be easy, and there will definitely be twists and turns along the way. From the stories we have seen of Regina so far, I believe this reformed villain will come out of this story a stronger hero.