Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Once Upon a Time premiere recap: Season 6, Episode 1

A dream reveals Rumple’s promises of being better is nothing more than a tale as old as time

Posted on

ABC/Jack Rowand

Once Upon a Time

TV Show
Fantasy, Drama
run date:
Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla
Current Status:
In Season

Oh, hello there, Oncers.

My name is Justin, and I am undertaking the recaps for Once Upon a Time this season. I tend to consider myself a bit of a Regina with Belle undertones, because I’m a hardworking lady with a penchant for inconvenient naps, but that’s just a little about me. In short, work with me, tell me your thoughts, and maybe we’ll all find our happy endings this season — probably not, but still. You didn’t come here for that; you came to see how our Heroes are going to bounce back from the tomfoolery of last season.

We open season 6 with a whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes), a man riding a horse, and another man on a magic carpet who is not the greatest shot with his laser magic. The man goes to visit a new Savior (not Emma), but the Savior isn’t seeing anyone today. And that’s when our boy, Jafar, rolls in, kills our friend on the horse, and then throws a nice lady against a wall. That leaves the Savior, who stands up to confront Jafar, and of course, it’s none other than Aladdin. Jafar gives him a speech about being a Savior and we get a little insight into the role… After giving and giving and giving, it appears Saviors do not live happily ever after. He leaves Aladdin shaking in his nice burlap wrap.

Back in Storybrooke, Hook and Emma are having a TIME making out on the couch like a couple of kids. But they’re interrupted when the house begins to twitch (the roof to pitch?). Nope, instead it’s a giant ship/blimp floating through the sky, and the residents of Storybrooke come out to see the shlimp (?) from the Land of Untold Stories. Of course, that’s when Hyde announces it’s just a few of his friends coming into town. Emma and Regina try to fight him, but it’s of no use.

Once the shlimp lands, Hook and Emma go to explore with the other residents, but no one is there. The team begins to savage the wreckage, but when a shield is thrown, it sends Emma into some PTSD-like flashbacks and she, too, gets the Aladdin tremors…it’s concerning, to say the least. But how did Hyde and his friends even get here? That deal with Rumple. So Rumple turned over Storybrooke, got Pandora’s box, and in turn was revealed a place called the Temple of Morpheus, which will allow him to walk through Belle’s dreams and wake her. He goes all Inception into Belle’s dreams and meets Morpheus, who asks if he’d like to wake her up, NBD.

Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Regina heads home to find new bestie/roomie/sister-friend Zelena watching over the new baby. Zelena mentions she has a feather Robin left her, but she can’t find it. It’s a little funny, because I am 100-percent HERE for Zelena and Regina being roommates. Snow finds Regina in the graveyard, sealing off her tomb, and confronts her. Regina reveals the little roommate tiff. Snow’s sympathetic, but my go-to would have been, “Hey girl, you bummed that your sexy, altruistic bud Robin died? Yeah, me too.”

While important, they all understand the real issue is dealing with Hyde. So the Heroes head to Hyde’s place and offer up Jekyll, but Hyde reveals he’s not as scared of Regina as he was the Evil Queen. He grabs Regina as Emma has another tremor-laden flashback, nearly getting Regina choked out in the process. Fortunately, Emma jumps into action and foils Hyde, but in the meantime, Hyde reveals he might know some information about being the Savior that Emma would probably like to know. (Ugh, don’t you hate a passive-aggressive mad genius? Same.) Still reeling from the shakiness, Snow and David send Archie into the woods to check on Emma. When you look at the transition it takes to move from New York to a small town where you’re constantly saving humanity…that’s a lot on your shoulders.

Instead of taking a rest like Archie suggests, she heads over to where Hyde is being kept to have a chat. He immediately calls out that she knows what it’s like to be imprisoned, and she folds and sits down with him. But she gets the upper hand and says she remembers the loneliness, and he can either tell her what he knows or she’ll never come back. In classic Hyde fashion, he loses all chill and tries to choke her, but is stopped by his chains. He tells her to “follow the red bird.” Hold on to that, because it seems important…

Back in Belle’s dreams, Morpheus leads Rumple to a castle, where Belle is still a servant and Rumple is still a beast. If that’s not super frustrating, Morpheus reveals Rumple has one hour to wake Belle up, otherwise she won’t wake up ever. So Rumple takes on the challenge, planning to just make Belle fall in love with him again. Aw, Rumple… Don’t you love rooting for him when he’s not being AWFUL and trading Storybrooke to super-attractive lunatics? The problem is, the castle is much worse than it ever was when Belle and Rumple met, so he has his work cut out for him.

NEXT: Even if it’s just in your (son’s) wildest dreeeams…