In less than three weeks, Once Upon A Time Season 5 will finally be kicking off, and it's not a moment too soon. After the pretty intense cliffhanger we were left with in the Season 4 finale — the Savior becoming the new Dark One is a pretty big twist, you have to admit — it seems like the summer has moved at a glacial pace, but it's almost time for a chunk of new episodes, and it's going to be so, so good. If the whole Dark Swan, Merlin, Camelot, and Merida storylines weren't enough to get you excited, here's something that certainly will: Ruby AKA Red Riding Hood is returning for Season 5 — finally!
While Red, played brilliantly by the beautiful Meghan Ory, was a pretty big part of Once's first couple of seasons, she suddenly seemed to disappear out of nowhere, falling so far into the background I think that most of us assumed she just wasn't there anymore. Of course, Ruby's absence was never actually even acknowledged on the show, but let's not dwell on the past. While all we know is that Ruby will appear in "a number of episodes" this fall, that's enough for me — I can't wait to see her behind the counter at Granny's again!
The whole thing is, Ruby going missing for two seasons, while pretty sad, was also rather convenient for some of Once's other storylines that happened in the interim. For example, Ruby's inner wolf would have made sniffing out Zelena and her evil pretty much right away, which probably could have saved Storybrooke and its residents a whole lot of trouble (and the audience a whole lot of tedium). We know she was kinda sorta meant to be around, considering the last time we saw her was at her BFF's baby naming ceremony at Granny's back at the end of Seasson 3, she seemed to miss the major events. What's up with that?
While I doubt we'll get much of an explanation for where she's been all this time, I'm going to try not to dwell on the past, and instead look to the future. Things are going to get pretty crazy this fall, and Ruby could play a big part in that journey. Whether it's using her amazing sense of smell in the hunt for Merlin, or her physical prowess to keep Emma from doing anything she'll regret too much, Storybrooke (and beyond) will be better for her being back, and will only enrich the story even further. Given that fans have been vocal about their love of the character and their desire to bring her back, I think this news will make a lot of people really happy.