Contains spoilers for Once Upon a Time Season 5
The Storybrooke gang are on their darkest journey ever in the second half of season 5: they’re heading to the underworld. In the mid-season finale, Emma (Jennifer Goodwin) and co. are ready to travel to the underworld to rescue Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) who sacrificed himself to save them all from the dark ones. If, like me, you’re still trying to get over that heartbreaking finale, fear not! We have some (sort of) good news… Colin O’Donoghue recently told Entertainment Weekly “He’s sticking around, but in a completely different way and quite shocking.” Intriguing!
The March season premier also marks the shows 100th episode, which is set to be a nostalgic themed episode with lots of familiar faces returning! So what do we know about the second half of season 5?
What is the underworld like?
The following promo for episode ‘Souls of the Departed’ shows the underworld to be rather familiar, think Storybrooke with a twist…
“Hell, as a geographical location, is not what we expect it to be,” Ginnifer Goodwin tells EW. “What we do find ends up being pretty profound and enables us to relive some of the original Once Upon a Time season 1 themes.” Apparently there is a very specific reason why the underworld looks just like Storybrooke as OUAT’s Adam Hororitz explains to THR, ‘What the underworld is and why it looks the way it does is a part of our storytelling coming up. So while we don’t want to spoil it, we can say that there is a very specific reason why it looks like Storybrooke, and it has to do with some of the folks we’re gonna meet down there.’ There’s definitely an ominous and creepy feeling with the smoke, red tinge and the clock tower that’s been brought down!
Who is returning?
As the promo teased, favourites such as Peter Pan (Robbie Kay), Cora (Barbara Hershey), Mila (Rachel Shelley), Henry (Tony Perez), and Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit) are all set to return in the underworld, with what looks like Cora as the mayor! “Everyone has unfinished business,” Parrilla tells EW. “That’s why all these souls are down there. For a lot of them, we’re that business. And I would say, Regina’s probably most of that, as is Gold. We’re going to be confronted with a lot of angry souls.” Sounds terrifying!
Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Ruby (Meghan Ory) will also appear in Season 5 with the creative team behind Once Upon a Time announcing that the show would finally be exploring an LGBT relationship. Arthur, Merida, and Guinevere will also be back and Zelena will ‘be part of a major arc after returning midway through the second half’ Hooray! Hook’s brother, Liam, is also set to appear
Are there any new characters?
As well as all the previous OUAT characters returning, Hercules, Meg and Hades have all been cast for season 5! An ABC spokesperson confirmed for TVLine that Hannibal’s Kacey Rohl and The 100’s Jonathan Whitesell have been cast as Meg and Hercules and will appear in episode 12 of seaon 5 titled “Labor of Love.” Hercules is described as “a dashing, strapping young man” who is “single-minded in his pursuit of his destiny: to be the greatest hero who ever lived. All that changes however, when he falls in love with a beautiful princess.” Meg, meanwhile, is “a plucky young adventurer with a sly sense of humor and a tough, no-nonsense spirit. And though she has spent a long time languishing in a dungeon, her inner spark has not burned out. Rather, it is waiting for the right opportunity to shine brightly again.” Young Snow White is also reportedly set to reprise her role in the same episode…
Ally McBeal star Greg Germann will be playing Hades, the ruler of the underworld. “We’re going to be meeting the Once Upon a Time version of Hades in the second half of the season,” executive producer Adam Horowitz tells EW. “While he is both inspired by a myth and by the Disney movie version, as we like to do, we’re trying to create our own Once Upon a Time spin. We can’t wait for everyone to see what [Germann] does with the character.”
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, March 6 at 8 p.m. on ABC.