I think most of you will agree with me when I say that the first half of Once Upon A Time Season 5 was a rough ride, and by the time the mid-season finale rolled around, I was ready for a break. We (sorta) fought the darkness, characters were (figuratively) assassinated, and Hook — for some inexplicably dumb reason — was turned into a second Dark One and then stabbed in the stomach with Excalibur, all so that we could pave the way for a trip to the Underworld, where Emma, now a shell of her former, respectable self, plans to split her heart in half so that she can bring her boyfriend back from the dead. It's a hare-brained scheme that will obviously fail (and thank God for that), but it does at least mean we'll get to meet some new characters. Once has cast Greg Germann as Hades, and that's pretty good news, right?
Germann, who you might recognize from Ally McBeal, has big shoes to fill. Ruling hell isn't all fun and games, after all, and given that showrunners plan to make Hades a combination of his Disney version and how he's presented in classical Greek mythology, which sounds vaguely terrifying. As executive producer Adam Horowitz told Entertainment Weekly, "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." Sure, I'll bite — me too.
Horowitz also revealed that while Once's family tree is messier than the whole Captain Swan relationship, Hades isn't related to anyone back in Storybrooke. However, there's a "surprising connection" that will be made clear pretty quickly, whatever that means. Perhaps the connection is that Hades has been personally torturing the likes of Pan and Cora, both of whom we know we'll be meeting again come Season 5B. Hades will appear right away after the winter hiatus, and no one knows how long he'll stick around for — long enough for Emma to accept that Hook's dead and he was never her true love anyway and for Regina to finally realize her hero status and get them all home to Storybrooke sans Captain Guyliner.
If nothing else, this trip to the Underworld might serve as a distraction from the disaster the show became in the first half of the season, so I'll take it. Frankly, I desperately need it. I have to believe that this ridiculous plot line that's turned into Hook Central when it was meant to be about Emma, about Regina, about the characters we actually care about, is going to serve the greater good. So bring it on, Hades. If the show is going to put us through hell, they might as well take us there.
Images: ABC/Eric Schroter