‘Once Upon a Time’ (Season 5): Heading to the Underworld


The inhabitants of Storybrooke, Maine, on the ABC series Once Upon a Time, have traveled to numerous far-flung lands since Emma Swan came to town. Since that fateful day, viewers of the ABC fairytale drama have seen them in Wonderland, Neverland, the Land of Oz, Arendelle, Camelot, and – of course – the Enchanted Forest.

But in last night’s winter finale, after seeing Emma returned to normal (thank God because I was so getting sick of that white hair and all black attire!), Zelena forced back to Oz in a green cyclone conjured by her sister Regina (I think I might actually miss her just a little bit), Rumple reverting back to his evil ways (we should have seen that coming, right?!) and the unexpected (and unwanted by many) death of Killian Jones aka Captain Hook, the core characters set out to the Underworld with the goal of saving Hook.

Before I go any further, though, how many viewers had a moment of déjà vu as Emma plunged Excalibur into Hook. For me it was almost like watching Buffy plunge that sword into the gut of Angel in order to keep the gateway to Hell from opening. Okay, sure, both shows existed in different universes – fairytale vs vampires and monsters – but each couple was deeply in love, sometimes at odds with each other, but ultimately, almost doomed from the beginning. I won’t linger on the similarities for long, but that was my immediate reaction to that scene. Did anyone else think that or am I the only one?

Back to ‘Once Upon a Time’…

The show has been on the air now for five seasons, and for many viewers – as the ratings have clearly shown – they jumped ship several seasons ago. I know many people who have gotten tired of the show’s overwhelming tendency to retread over storylines (repeatedly) and introducing storylines that ended up being less than favorable. I have to admit that I don’t find myself as wrapped-up in each episode, only watching peripherally. So I have to wonder if by taking the core characters to the Underworld is going to help or hinder the show.

At one point in time, it was quite entertaining to see the various characters going off on an adventure, working together as a team and saving the day (or whichever character was in peril); but, sadly, those adventures have gotten to be a little – shall we say – boring and needless.

What do you guys think? How many people are still even watching the show in fact? If the ratings are any indication, there are WAY less viewers than ever before. Which brings us to the longevity of the show? Does anyone see ABC renewing ‘Once Upon a Time’ for a sixth season? To be honest, I didn’t think the show was necessarily going to get a 5th season, but it did. This time around, though, I can’t really see the show continuing.

And, I don’t know whether their upcoming “adventure” to the Underworld is going to pull the viewers back in, let alone bring about the result for which Emma is hoping: getting Hook back.

Please share your thoughts about this season of the show in our comments section below; and remember that the fifth season of ‘Once Upon a Time’ won’t return from its extended winter break on ABC until Sunday, March 6 at 8/7c.