As we prepare for the fifth season of Once Upon a Time, the ABC drama that retells beloved fairy tales (or Walt Disney films), we take a look back at season four.
Once Upon a Time has created it’s own framework ever since the first season. Each season has been treated as two mini-seasons, where each half has a focus on a main baddie, some new character that has been introduced. Once the baddie has been destroyed, it prompts, just in time for the mid-season break, a new baddie.
As the fourth season opened, it employed some new, and beloved, Disney characters – Elsa and Anna from Frozen. As Elsa and Emma bond over learning about and controlling their new-found powers, they search for Anna. The second half of the season shifts greatly from the norm. A new story gets written by Isaac (the Author) where the villains are the heroes; and the heroes are the villains.
The whole season is littered with references to darkness and light. The dualism between the two has been at play since season one, yet in this season, it’s ramped up. What’s at stake is knowing who is a villain and who is a hero. It becomes harder and harder to tell the difference. Regina’s cold, evil heart, for example, grows ever warmer.
Henry enters the Heroes and Villains story using the magic key in order rescue his family. He is told by Isaac that Emma is not in this world, because “there was no room for a savior in my world.” Henry learns that to return things back to normal, to the way things were, they must stop Robin Hood’s wedding. The only way to save the people is to change the end of the story.
Henry tries to convince Regina, but she is not a believer yet. She does tell him about the legend of a woman locked away in a tower. It is Emma. When Henry goes to rescue Emma from the tower, she remembers him. She remembers everything because she is the savior. She is the one who carries hope like a candle in the wind. The villains (who were once heroes) attempt to snuff the light of hope out. They were not able to stop the wedding, and it seems that all hope is lost. But hope resides in the Savior. And hope is contagious.
As Rumble battles Regina and Emma to stop them from ending the wedding, Rumble is about to kill Henry. Just in time, Regina chooses not to interrupt the wedding, but to save Henry’s life. Emma punches Isaac for creating this mess, and Henry grabs the pen that falls out of Isaac’s man-bag. Using Regina’s blood as ink, Henry (who becomes the new Author) rewrites the ending of the story, returning everyone back to Storybrooke and the way things were.
But the excitement is not over. The darkness is killing Rumble. They pull the darkness out of him and contain it in the Sorcerer’s hat. However, the hat is not able to contain the darkness. The Sorcerer tethered the darkness to a human soul to be controlled. The one who can destroy the darkness is Merlin, but he is far, far away.
Once Upon A Time Season Five premieres on ABC at 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 27.