The ‘Once Upon a Time’ Premiere’s 5 Most Magical Moments

Once Upon a Time
Jack Rowand/ABC

Season 5 of Once Upon a Time kicked off Sunday night with a bang… well, a tornado, really. We got new characters, new quests, and even a new land. But just when we thought we had figured out what the gang would be up to this fall, the entire plot was subverted in the last few minutes. Here were the night’s most magical moments—the bits that had us feeling like we just pulled the sword out of the stone.

Zelena Chopped Off Her Own Hand!

Regina had her wicked sister Zelena on lockdown thanks to a big ugly bracelet that was making her powers a moot point. So what did Zelena do? She grabbed a knife as soon as she could and whacked her hand right off, bracelet and all. Even if she’s an evil, terrible witch trying to ruin the happiness of everyone around her, we gotta give props where props are due. That’s dedication, girl.

Belle Got Her Rose!

One of the most recognizable symbols of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the glass-enclosed enchanted rose whose petals fall as the time the beast has to fall in love nears an end. Now that rose has finally made its way to Once, courtesy of the Blue Fairy, who conjures it up for Belle to let her know when the invalid Mr. Gold’s death becomes imminent. “As long as it still has petals,” she says, “he lives.”

Merida Made a Triumphant Debut!

King Arthur was the lucky new character to start the season off, but he was quickly usurped by the feisty Scottish princess Merida, who seems poised to become a fan favorite. Not only is her hair on point and her accent lovely—she’s got sass to spare. Plus, she’s got an intriguing new storyline of her own. In a continuation of the movie Brave, her father has been slain and her triplet little brothers have been kidnapped. Start the countdown to seeing those adorable little gingers now.

The Dwarves and Granny Got to Do Something!

Once serves up characters by the boat load, but too often they are discarded once the next shiny new star is introduced. So it was a welcome surprise to see that O.G.s Granny and Snow White’s dwarves were included on the trip to Camelot. Now if we can just figure out where Red ever ran off to…

The Dark Swan Is Genuinely Terrifying!

At first, the Dark Swan didn’t seem all that different from Emma Swan. She was basically Sheriff Emma with a burlap coat and unwashed hair. But by the end of the episode, there was a six-week time jump, during which time Swan had transformed more fully into the Dark One, complete with a sleek black get-up and a creepy grey up-do. Throw in throaty line delivery and the ability to resist Killian’s delicious charm, and we’ve got a real monster on our hands.

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