Though often cheesy and cliché, Once Upon a Time is a show beloved by millions. Since its first season aired in 2011, five seasons of twists and turns, heroes and villains, monsters, magic and mayhem have enraptured fans all over the world. In anticipation of the sixth season, which premiered Sunday, Sept. 25 on ABC, it’s time to defy the limits of magic and travel back to revisit the tales of the Enchanted Forest.
Storybrooke: a town of mystery, where Mayor Regina Mills reigns supreme. No one remembers their true identity and nobody can leave without tragedy. Nobody except Henry Mills, the adopted son of the mayor and the biological son of the woman whom he believes can save them all: Emma Swan.
In what may seem like a sleepy little town in Maine, lives every fairy tale character imaginable. With the help of his unsuspecting birth mother, Henry embarks on a journey to wake the town from their foggy, 28-year slumber. While it turned out successful, the problems of Storybrooke had only just begun with the close of the first season.
“Big, Bad Villains” became the norm as Snow White, Prince Charming, their daughter Emma Swan and other characters find themselves in a land that was without magic until Rumplestiltskin came along. The Evil Queen, Peter Pan, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Snow Queen, Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, Ursula and Hades all strive to take away their happy endings.
But the real roadblocks on the road towards happily ever after are themselves. The underlying pulse of the darkness inside us all, the sacrifice of heroism and the heartbreak of true love are the driving forces of the plot. Eventually everything comes back to blow up in their faces. Corruption, sacrifice and loss plague the characters as they continuously fight for survival.
So where does that leave them now? Well, not happy or fulfilled. At the end of season five, Storybrooke stills suffers heartbreak, which is the least of their worries. A whole new world—the “Land of Untold Stories”—brings new villains, but also allows the heroes’ pasts to catch up with them. With the new season comes consequences of the past, as Regina finds herself deadlocked with her evil side as the queen and Emma, whose happiness seems to last shorter than the blink of an eye.
With the introduction of characters such as Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde and Aladdin, and the return of old enigmatic friends such as Dr. Whale/Dr. Frankenstein, anticipation for the sixth season is incredibly high. As Captain Hook, Emma, Regina, Snow White, Prince Charming and all of the heroes continue to fight for their happy ending, millions of fans around the world watch and devour the twists and turns of this fairy tale that may never have a happy ending.