Post Mortems

Once Upon a Time Bosses Break Down the Heroes' Two Big — and Too Easy? — Wins: Looks Can Be Deceiving

The following contains spoilers from the Season 6B premiere of ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

By the time Once Upon a Time‘s Season 6B premiere came to a close on Sunday night, “The Melee on Main Street” had come to fruition and an unexpected familiar face returned from the Wish Realm.

But things are never that easy for the Storybrooke heroes, are they?

Over in the Wish Realm, Emma enlisted August to handcraft a new wardrobe portal, after fostering in him the faith that he can work magic as well as his father Geppetto. Regina meanwhile got to fretting that everyone — Robin included — was better off in a world where she had been vanquished. But soon enough, she had the prince of thieves warming up to her some, enough so that he agreed to flee his pursuers and follow her to Storybrooke.

And though for a hot second it appeared that Robin ran into a roadblock on his way over, he ultimately did pass through, where he was met by an inappropriately warm hug. But Regina’s most unexpected reunion may still have a snag ahead of it.

“It will certainly be complicated, what happens once Robin does cross over,” series co-creator Adam Horowitz tells TVLine. “This Wish Realm is not strictly a ‘What happens if the curse wasn’t cast?’ place. It’s a ‘Be careful what you wish for’ place. And that extends to everything — including some of the reasons for why Robin is the way he is.”

Meaning, perhaps the reason why Robin hadn’t aged — as others (including a rum-drunk, paunchy Hook) had — wasn’t just a narrative cheat. “The question we’re going to ask is, ‘Why didn’t Robin age, and what is the purpose of this?'” says co-creator Eddy Kitsis. “We’re going to explore, ‘Who is this Robin, and what is behind all of this?'”

Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Gideon revealed to Mom and Dad that he needs to kill the Savior in order to obtain her power, which he then plans to use to help those entrapped in the grisly realm where the Black Fairy raised him for the past, blink-and-you-missed-it 28 years. To that end, mere moments after Emma returned home, the Main Street sword fight foretold by the young seer took place. And though Gideon got his licks in and even gained possession of Emma’s sword, the Savior conjured up a magical blast that sent her killer careening.

That, though, was but Round 1 between the two. Emma walking away alive from that clash “is not as easy as it appears,” Horowitz warns. “We can most certainly expect another showdown.”

The bright side to that ominous forecast? Uniting to steer Gideon onto a better path may be just the thing to make Rumple and Belle’s long-tortured, oft-derailed romance stronger than ever.

“Nothing brings people together like a shared goal, and we know that Belle and Rumple both want what’s best for their kid,” says Kitsis. “I would bet that that could very well happen.”

Want more scoop on Once, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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45 Comments
  1. Can we get an ‘only good because Robin was in it’ choice on the poll?

  2. steven says:

    Young August looked like Shia Labeouf.

  3. Jimmy says:

    I thought this episode was an utter bore where nothing really happened until the last 10 minutes.

  4. laurelnev says:

    When did SB August re-age? I thought he came back as a kid w/ none of August’s memories? Yet when Emma CAME BACK, she goes and sees an Adult August who now remembers “keeping tabs” on her, and helping her get off the streets? I mean I like and missed August and all, burt come on! He couldn’t help them before b/c when Blue re-animated the re-woodified August, none of “Old August’s” memories came back.

    And Fake Rumple made a point of saying “I know I’m not real dearie, but I think I can still make you bleed,” yet Fake Robin can come through the tree that could nly ever transport 2, and not a soul more. Guess b/c it was Fake Robin, it didn’t count as far as the tree went.

    I really enjoyed the show, but as it ended, all I could think was WAY too many continuity errors and complete rewriting of their own rules. I know, a really contradictory statement. But that’s how OUAT has made me feel these last couple of seasons, and it kinda drives me nuts myself. :)

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I’d lost track of August. A Wiki suggests he was last seen as an adult in the Season 4 finale, with the Author and Apprentice etcetera…? I dunno.

      As for the tree, it was A) a different one and B) seemed to be operating on a different “portal” principle. (Cue Janet Jackson tune.)

      • laurelnev says:

        No offense, but that wiki is kept up by the rabid “they can do no wrong” fanboys who actually make excuses for the writers’ errors. I’d rather hang out where a true critic does, which is why I am here. :) But I’m sorry…I have always liked August, but if they were writing his character in a college class, they’d fail because of the complete and total lack of continuity when it comes to his character. Is he good? When we need him to be. Is he bad? When we need him to be? Is he an adult? A little boy? A wooden man? August’s character is just about the epitome of how NOT to write a character. :) He couldn’t remember Tamara was the one who killed him, yet he remembers giving Emma a book a decade ago?

        • Claire says:

          He remembers because, as that wiki said, he was brought back to his older self in season four. August isn’t really bad, he’s just kind of a screwup from giving in to temptation and being dishonest a few times too many – it’s how they carry over the idea of being Pinocchio. He’s tried to be good and has been successful at it more recently. With his memories intact, he remembers giving Emma the book (he was a teenager at the time). August being himself again isn’t anything new, but we don’t see him very often.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Hi. I was just explaining that yes, he was last seen grown up. (And this is news to me that well-done Wikis have agendas. The ones I find are usually very dry play-by-plays. Learn something new every day!)

          • laurelnev says:

            Now I am vaguely remembering that…and the cries of “retconning” that arose at that time…and others defending the writers because magic. Like I said, I DO love this show, but I tend to block out the arcs that don’t make any sense, I guess, and just memember the good parts–like how Old Fart Hook looked tonight, which is how all real world dudes that age tend to look like. (In fact, he reminded me of a friend in a local group that dress up like Pirates and do good. :) ) And I’m sorry…the author restoring memories even The Blue Fairy couldn’t restore…b/c Blue is THE most powerful next to Rumple…except for Pan, who we forgot to mention, and the Dark Fairy…

            Yet they couldn’t find story for Will Scarlet, Red, Archie, Sydney, and all the other beloved characters they didn’t kill off, but just lost to other shows b/c they weren’t being used.

            I DO love this show, but these guys are good enough writers, and they have enough great characters they HAVEN’T killed off to resort to retconning. They made a point over and over again saying the old August was lost after he re-woodified, and Blue said time and again the memories are lost. There was NO REASON that conversation had to happen in the real world; Emma’s epiphany in the Wish World would have sufficed with no retcon.

      • Nicky says:

        It is true. In season 4, August was changed back into an adult and got all his memories back.

    • Butch says:

      In Season 4 episode 15 called “Poor Unfortunate Soul” Rumple, Ursula, Regina as a spy, and the other villains kidnap August and Rumple ages him because he has information about the Author, that only the adult August knows. He stayed an adult after this.

    • LifeOfRed says:

      In season 4, Ursula, Maleficent, and Cruella brought him back to his real age because they wanted to know about the book’s origin. And since he was the one with the most knowledge of the book. Not to mention the fact that he added some new chapters as well. So they brought him back for that. Honestly dude, keep track.

      • laurelnev says:

        It’s a little hard to with all the retconning. There is still the issue of undoing something they INSISTED tome and again could not be undone.

    • quicksall110 says:

      I am glad someone else noticed the August being an adult thing. I cannot remember, and I have never missed an episode, of anything being done to turn him into an adult again. This is driving me crazy, and if someone could explain it, I would be so happy. LOL

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        “Enter the Dragon,” Season 4, Episode 14: “Regina, infiltrating Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and Ursula’s group, learns they want to find the Author. On their orders, she kidnaps Pinocchio, and with Maleficent, they take him to a cabin in the woods, where Mr. Gold reverts the boy into August with his dagger, hence returning his lost memories, so that they can torture him for information about the Author.” (SOURCE)

      • laurelnev says:

        Apparently Rumple aged him and restored his memories during that author mess? I must have blocked it out, or shouted “retcon” at the time. ;)

  5. Kar says:

    ewww no more rumbelle

  6. I gave it a B but if there was an A- option I think I would have chosen that. Much better offering overall than most of the last half of the season IMO. I hope that this is a good thing for Rumbelle and that Gideon doesn’t end up being as dark as it seems. I still very much wish that they get to raise a baby at some point rather than being robbed of that… especially after so much heart ache. I am enjoying the actor who plays Gideon though, so we’ll see how it goes. I just want all three of them to stay alive, but I have a feeling that I might not be so lucky when it comes to that. Really enjoyed seeing August again. I have always liked that character and have never understood why he was practically erased from the show for a while. It’s really fun to see Robin again too. I wish we could get something similar for Neal. I miss him too.

  7. Claire says:

    I loved August and Emma’s friendship in this episode. I forgot how boring Robin and Regina are, though.

  8. Ram510 says:

    I liked that Robin is back but kind of begs the question why did the kill him to begin with? I like Emma and August friendship and Captain Hook was fun. Other then that not much happened, kind of a let down for waiting all these months. They need to get things in gear quick

  9. ninergrl6 says:

    I really liked this ep. It was filled with deus ex machina moments and resets (notably Robin), but whatever, I’ll go with it and suspend disbelief. I liked seeing young Emma, old Hook (hilarious!), August, alt Robin, Gideon’s backstory, the Charming/Hook bromance (which looks to feature prominently in the next ep), and even Rumbelle, whom I usually can’t stand. So far 6B > 5B & 6A combined.

  10. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    Man that was a good episode. It was like watching a whole new show after that boring to terrible episodes earlier in the season.

  11. Stacey says:

    I know I’m in the minority, but I love Outlaw Queen. I’m glad some version of Robin Hood is back. I want Regina to get a happy ending, though I have some serious doubts, I’ll enjoy this while I have it. Also, don’t really care about Rumbelle or Captain Swan, but I hope Charming finds a way to break the sleeping curse. Looking forward to Charming and Hook working together!

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I like Outlaw Queen too, and I’m intrigued by this “scoundrel” version of Robin. Could be fun to see him be sassier and rougher-around-the-edges than his previous incarnation. Scoundrel Robin might actually be a better fit for Regina.

  12. Carolyn says:

    But back in Storybrooke, how is August an adult again? When we last saw him, Blue reverted him to his boy self to give him another chance at being good. What happened?

    • Martina says:

      Nope…. In Season 4B Rumpel aged him again because he and those stupid Queens of Darkness needed some information only adult August had. He is adult ever since.

  13. Kepler says:

    Loved the episode. So light on CS (I’ll never understand the draw there), so heavy on August. Gosh I really miss him something fierce. I loved seeing Rumbelle connect and I’m liking the character of Gideon. I don’t specifically ship Outlaw Queen, but I do hope Regina finds happiness with him, even though I don’t see how that would work, with that reality not being…. Real or whatever. I mean, if he doesn’t remember anything about Storybrook, why would his soul be the one from Regina’s reality? (With that talk about the feather and Emma’s comment about how his soul had to have gone somewhere, I assume that’s what they mean.) And for that matter, why wouldn’t his soul have been in heaven or whatever like Neal’s? It’s not like Robin died at the same time as the Wish World was created, he had been dead for weeks, his soul having moved on to somewhere during that time, right? At the end of the day I ship Regina x happiness and if Outlaw Queen is that for her, I support it wholeheartedly, but I’m just having a hard time understanding the logistics of it. Especially since my favorite character, Neal, is dead, I feel really strongly that they better have good reasons for bringing back the characters they do. Emma rescuing Hook did make a kind of sense in how it all worked, I just don’t see how the new Robin being the old Robin really makes sense. And I did want to say that while I don’t enjoy the character of Hook at all, I have absolutely no problem with the actor, and it seemed like he was having a great time last night, playing the other version of Hook. He was just really hilarious last night.

  14. I loved this episode so much. I love that Robin was brought back (and worry that this will end sadly for Regina again). I love how they do not let Regina’s past be forgotten and how she constantly must confront it. I was ashamed that I did not see Emma’s last name coming… love that Pinocchio practically named her. I am less than pleased that Belle/Rumple’s son is delusions – not surprised given his father, but if that can resolve is a way that ends this Rumple/Belle romance, that would be nice. And finally – laughed my butt off at old drunk Gillien. Emma’s comment that they are switching to water was priceless.

  15. Butch says:

    I am guessing that this Robin is a common thief and its not because he didn’t marry Marian. That he is still young may have to do with him making a deal with Rumple or the Evil Queen or someone else magical. Perhaps this version of Robin will fall in love with Zelina, which would give her a story. Perhaps he is just the opposite of the real Robin.

    • Noneofyourbusiness says:

      But this deal would have to involve the Sheriff of Nottingham, too, because he was also still young.

  16. Jackie says:

    All the retconning in the world won’t make me like August. I don’t know why this show keeps trying to excuse what he (and Neal) did to Emma, abandoning her and sending her to jail. So he checked in on her once when she was a homeless kid — big deal. He stole the money that was meant for her and only came to Storybrooke because he was turning to wood. I don’t think he’s a real friend to Emma at all.

  17. Robin nailed and stole this episode, to be honest. I love sassy and dark Robin so very much. Reminds me of the good old times of the Missing Year. Can Adam and Eddy keep Robin on this show permanently? Please?

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I think I’m going to like this version of Robin too. As long as they don’t turn him totally evil, a little darkness is okay (like Regina herself).

      • Nicky says:

        A little darkness of Regina? But she was so full of it before. And even though it appears to be unintentional or out of control by crushing wish realm Snowing’s hearts, that is a sign that there still seems to be great darkness in her still. Even when it appeared that splitting herself from the evil queen serum did not seem to help.

  18. Matt, do you think there’s a correlation between Emma being 28 when she found out she was the savior and Gideon coming back to kill her now that he’s aged to 28 also?

  19. quicksall110 says:

    Sorry for the double post. I didn’t think my first comment posted.