We gotta start off this particular “Once Upon a Time” premiere review with a round of applause for the show’s producers, who really managed to hit us right in the feels with a tribute to “Beauty and the Beast” like no other.
Let’s be honest: Who out there came close to a full weep when that familiar theme song played, and Rumpelstiltskin danced with Belle? It was such a sweet, tender moment, and it came to pass while Rumple entered the dream world in hopes of getting her to wake up. What transpired after such a lovely moment was unfortunately more heartbreak, even if it was intelligent heartbreak: Knowing just how terrible her history with Rumple is, and what it could be, she didn’t want to be with him no matter how much she loved him. What certainly hurt matters all the more for him was learning that Morpheus, a.k.a. the controller of dreams, was actually his son from the future in disguise. It’s all a tad twisty, but he rightfully warned Belle against taking him back.
Now, we’re left with these two once more facing an extremely difficult road towards finding a happy ending with each other.
Of course, Rumple wasn’t the only character with a terrible glimpse into what is to come. After trying to offer up her help to the people from the Land of Untold Stories — who came to this world following everything with Mr. Hyde at the end of last season — Emma received a new vision of her future, one where she was going to die in battle. It was both gruesome and sad, in particular because it does not appear as though though there is a clear way for her to get out of it. In true Emma fashion, she didn’t want to put the burden on anyone else and chose to keep matters a secrets for now.
Elsewhere, there was tension between Regina and Zelena over the death of Robin, but in the end Regina took their argument as a way to find strength in her newfound friendship with Snow. The irony here is that this peace came at the same time that the Evil Queen arrived for some “sisterly bonding,” and that can’t be good (though it is certainly good for us as a viewer).
In the end, we definitely feel like we can say this was a great “Once Upon a Time” episode, given that it brought almost everything we would want in a premiere. There was magic, joy, but then also heartache. Episode Grade: B+.
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