'Once Upon A Time' Season 5 Needs These Things To Happen (When Everyone's Not Busy Saving Emma, Anyway)

Here we are, roughly three months away from the premiere of Once Upon A Time Season 5, and time seems to be moving as slow as molasses. Sure, we've been getting little teasers about what we can expect come September 27 — new characters are being cast, new storylines being hinted at, scripts are being written — but it's not enough for my liking. Any Once addict knows that hiatus time is one of the worst periods ever, especially this time around, since the Season 4 finale left us with the whole Dark Swan situation that we'll no doubt spend much of next season trying to remedy. Don't get me wrong — I'm really looking forward to watching that play out and restoring Emma to her former Savior status, but there are other characters on this show, right?

It's ironic that I'm saying this. After all, I'm ride or die for both Emma and Regina (their characters separately and together — Swan Queen 'til I die, though I respect all ships!), but I can't help feeling that while we continue to allow these amazing women to grow and change, some of the more minor players are getting left in the dust. Where the hell is Ruby? When's the last time we saw Archie? Are Snow and Charming ever going to do anything that doesn't involve sulking over the fact that they're not as pure and true as we were once led to believe? I don't want any of them to come center stage, of course — Emma and Regina have been given the spotlight since they're the most compelling and the most deserving of star quality — but this is an ensemble show and some other people need love, too.

Here are some things that need to happen next season when we manage to pull ourselves away from the Dark One.

Rumple Coming To Terms With Being Powerless

Given that Once is working on casting the role of Rumple's mother, Evanna, for flashback scenes, it's pretty safe to say that once he's out of his magical coma, we'll be doing some soul searching into his background and eventually, what he's going to do with himself now that he's no longer the Dark One and therefore powerless/unable to protect himself from the MANY enemies he made over the years. We need this! I'm not even nuts for Rumple (though Robert Carlyle is a genius and has brought the role to life in amazing ways) and I want to know how it's all going to pan out for Gold. Luckily, it looks like that's going to happen.

Lily Coming To Terms With, Well, Everything

Lily was obsessed with Storybrooke, finding her mother, and seeking revenge against Snow & Charming for what they did to her, and now she's got all three... but she seems pretty chill about it all. Sure, Maleficent has gone all soft and is just happy to have her daughter back, but I don't believe that 30+ years of rage fades in the period of a day or two just because your long-lost mother tells you it's all cool. Since Lily is sticking around to find out who her dragon father is, we need to see some development for her as she goes through this journey, because otherwise, it'll be hard to care about her at all.

The Zelena/Regina/Robin Issue Being Solved

Sure, in a way this is already "solved" insofar as Regina has vowed not to let her sister being pregnant with her boyfriend's baby ruin anything, but uh, that's a bit easier said than done. Eventually, Zelena will have that baby and things will become even more complicated. They can't keep her locked up forever, and she will be the child's mother, even if Robin does most of the child rearing. The whole thing is just weird and I wish it was never written in, but what are you gonna do?

Belle Getting Some Real Depth

I don't mean to hate on Belle — I actually think she's really sweet and smart and helpful. But I do take issue with the fact that she got with Will during Season 4 and then as soon as Rumple's black heart nearly kills him, she seemingly dumps Will without a word and is at Rumple's side. I know the whole concept of "True Love" and all, especially within the context of this show, but really? If, when Rumple comes around, he's somehow a changed man after everything and they decide as two adults that he's worthy of redemption and honestly wants it, that's one thing, but as it stands, the whole idea of them being back together AGAIN for no other reason than that he was going to die because he was so evil is a bit groan-worthy.

Snow & Charming Confronting Reality

Snow and Charming — particularly Snow — have spent most of the series pretending they're incredibly noble and pure of heart, but as we saw last season, that's just not the case. They're naive and can be just as cruel as those they cast blame on for evil things, and it's about time they face up to this in a real way, rather than just pouting because their daughter won't speak to them over it. Hopefully this turn of events, with Emma being the new Dark One and counting on them to get it together and be the heroes they've always claimed to be, will see some more development in this area. I like Snowing, I just want them to be likeable.

Images: Jack Rowdan/ABC; askthedarkestheart, jennymorrison, /Tumblr; Giphy (3)