Recap 'Once Upon A Time' Season 5 To Remember Who Lives, Who Dies, & Who Actually Didn't Die

I'm as excited as anybody to see Once Upon A Time introduce Aladdin and Jasmine. Though, as the world's only Once Upon A Time In Wonderland fan, I am bummed that Naveen Andrews is not reprising his role as Jafar. I also need to do a little refreshing on all the curses, new fairy tale/literature/Disney characters before the new season begins. So let's recap Once Upon A Time Season 5 real quick, if we can.

In the first half of Season 5, the gang traveled to the round table and back to Storybrooke — but had no memory of the Camelot trip (of course) and lived in fear of Dark Emma. Season 5B sent Emma and friends to the Underworld. That land is a type of purgatory, and many deceased characters returned to OUAT with one final mission that would grant them the ability to move on. Helping dead characters find closure was a good exercise, and an excuse to bring actors back for the 100th episode.

A few plot elements carried over from Season 4, but didn't play into the season that often. Henry is still The Author. Zelena still has Robin Hood's baby. Added to the mix this year was an Olympian crystal, a woman named Cleo Fox who gave Emma her bail bondsperson job, and a man trapped in a tree. Any brief explanation of the epic twists and turns that Once Upon A Time took in Season 5 would make me sound a bit unstable, but I'm going to do my best.

Camelot (It's Only A Model)

The Camelot timeline on OUAT was confusing. There was present time, Camelot flashbacks, and regular flashbacks. We learned the disturbing truth behind Arthur and Guinevere's relationship and Merlin's ex-girlfriend, Nimue. Henry met a girl named Violet, whose father appears to be the main character from A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court, one of my favorite underrated Mark Twain novels. We learned about the origin of The Dark One. Emma tried to fight the darkness, and Hook volunteered to take it for a while. Now the darkness is back inside Rumplestiltskin, where it's probably best. He at least has the experience.

They also met Merida, whose kingdom is nearby, in the Camelot arc. She wasn't a huge fan of Arthur, and rightfully so. After an adventure with Belle and some torture from Emma, she eventually teamed up with Ruby and Mulan. That mission landed the latter in Oz during the second half of the season, and Ruby and Dorothy are girlfriends now. I'm hoping that this means Mulan/Aurora is still a possibility, but who knows.

Lots Of People Died And, Also, They Didn't

The initial mission in the Underworld was to fetch Hook. There, they met Hades — who is Zelena's true love, naturally. David finally got to confront his twin brother, James. We learned that Snow and Hercules had a thing when they were teenagers. Even Gaston got to redeem himself.

Another key revelation in this Underworld adventure is that a long time ago, Rumplestiltskin promised his second born to Hades. That's a problem because Belle is pregnant. Zelena lends her a hand and a sleeping curse so that Belle can preserve herself, put her pregnancy on pause and give Rumple more time. The problem is that his kiss won't wake her, and Belle's father refuses to do it.

Who survived this trip down under? After playing fast and loose with death, Hook lives but Robin was killed. I don't know if you've noticed, but Regina can't have nice things, like, ever. However, she and Zelena are friends now. Apparently, they bonded as children but had the memory erased by Cora. Typical.

Next Up: The Land of Untold Stories

As per the last few seasons, OUAT set up Season 6 in the Season 5 finale. This time, the new realm is a Steampunk-esque free-for-all called the "Land Of Untold Stories." This includes characters from literature as well as legend, such as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (who became two people instead of a Hulk situation) and Don Quixhote. Some of them showed up in Storybrooke, lead by Hyde — who made a deal with Rumple to help him wake Belle, who was also incidentally put in Pandora's Box. All havok is due to ensue any moment.

What else happened? That's a bummer for those 'shippers. Henry took magic out of Storybrooke, then yelled at some New York City tourists and it was restored. Oh, also, Regina and the Evil Queen are split now. Two different people, both played in the present by Lana Parilla, and with opposing motives much like the similarly split Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So that's fun. There are plenty of interesting dangling threads for Once Upon A Time Season 6 to pick up. Looking forward to what's next!

Images: Jack Rowand/ABC (4)