Given last week’s wrap-up of the Hades‘ storyline, the purpose of the final two episodes of Once Upon a Time‘s Fifth Season is to set-up next season. Introducing the characters of Dr. Jekyll (Hank Harris) and Mr. Hyde (Sam Witwer) when Zelena (Rebecca Mader), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), and the Charmings are all accidentally transported to a new land filled with characters whose stories remain untold, lays the foundation for next season’s conflict. The introduction of Jekyll and his ability to finally succeed in splitting his dark half from himself sets up the return of another major villain for next season as Regina (Lana Parrilla) expels the Evil Queen thinking she has finally found a way to destroy her evil half for good.
The move to split Regina into two halves allows the show’s writers to have their cake and eat it too. After five seasons the show has too much invested in Regina’s redemption to allow her to fall back into old habits now. However, the Evil Queen remains one of the best villains of the show’s run. Even if the conclusion of the storyline is rather obvious, it should provide some entertainment to see Regina literally face the evil within herself next season. And, I’m much more interested to see the Evil Queen’s plans for Storybrooke than whatever Hyde has to offer.
With the other characters lost on their own adventure, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina travel to New York in an attempt to stop Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) from destroying all magic in the world before it claims another one of his loved ones. His recklessness almost traps half of his family in another dimension, but (in a rather corny twist) the family is able to scrape together just enough magic to bring back their loved ones. The plotline shows the mix of Henry’s teenage hormones and his unchecked author’s powers may make for a combustible situation next year as well while suggesting Violet (Olivia Steele Falconer) may be sticking around Storybrooke a fair bit longer than her father.