11:00am PT by Alyse Whitney
'Once Upon a Time': 5 Things to Know About Season 6
Once Upon a Time is going out with the new and in with the old.
In season six, the fairy-tale drama is going back to its roots with a season-long arc rather than splitting it into two parts, introducing lost characters from the Land of Untold Stories and weaving in characters from Aladdin.
Ahead of the show's Sept. 25 season premiere, The Hollywood Reporter has rounded up everything to know about the new direction, overarching themes, who is returning and what new faces will pop up in Storybrooke.
Exploring Untold Stories
In the season-five finale, Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) gave Mr. Hyde (Sam Witwer) control over Storybrooke, and Hyde brought his clan from the Land of Untold Stories along with him. This season will introduce characters who had a “pause” put on their tales, including the Count of Monte Cristo (Craig Horner), Captain Nemo (Faran Tahir) and Morpheus (Giles Matthey). As these strangers come to town, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) also develops a “mysterious side effect,” according to the premiere synopsis.
A New Savior
Most promo footage for the new season has featured flashback sequences of Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz), Jafar (Oded Fehr) and Jasmine (Karen David). Aladdin was revealed to be one of the original Saviors in footage at Comic-Con. This revelation will kick off the exploration of the “Savior mythology” for him and Emma this season. Co-creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis told THR that it will be the Disney Aladdin tale with a “Once twist” — including Jasmine having a surprising “agenda.”
The Evil Queen vs. Regina
At the end of last season, Regina (Lana Parrilla) separated herself from her Evil Queen counterpart, but she doesn’t know that the queen didn’t die when she crushed her heart — and the villain is ready to wage war on Regina. “The Evil Queen, in this new form, is quickly shown to be formidable in a way that we haven't seen any villain in a long time, if at all,” Kitsis told THR. “How to defeat her, if she can be defeated, is a very big part of the storytelling.” This season also will see Regina working closely with Emma and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), plus her moving in with her sister, Zelena (Rebecca Mader).
Relationships Will Be Tested
If and when Belle (Emilie de Ravin) gets out of her sleeping curse, she has to decide what to do about her relationship with Rumple and about their baby on the way. "Rumple has positioned himself in a position where it appears to be an untenable relationship. Belle has to figure out, 'How do I raise this child, and what do I do about his father?' " Horowitz told reporters at a press screening of the season premiere. At Comic-Con, Horowitz also noted that there will be “some surprising secrets that have been harbored” between Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Emma, teasing that there will be a fun storyline between Hook and his girlfriend’s father, Charming (Josh Dallas).
Robin Hood Is Definitely Dead
One relationship that will not be explored this season in Storybrooke is Robin (Sean Maguire) and Regina's. Unlike Hook’s comeback from the Underworld, Robin won’t be returning. “Dead is dead,” Kitsis revealed at the screening. "A lot of this year is about Regina dealing with loss and moving on because I think Regina has the most unfair luck of anybody, but that's kind of what makes her Regina."
Once Upon a Time returns on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. on ABC.