Thursday , December 7 2023
A small tease of what's to come next on ABC's hit series "Once Upon a Time."

‘Once Upon a Time’ – Season Four Tease

Alright kiddies, the Once Upon a Time season premiere is less than three weeks away. ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’ debuts the ABC series’ third season on September 28. (The network will be re-running the season three finale on September 21). And with the theme of the first half season the very Disney Frozen, it’s hard to know what to expect. Will Once go down the Disney path full throttle, or will the show’s creators use the hit Disney movie and its main character Elsa (Georgina Haig) to strange and wonderful effect? That all remains to be seen, although Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the show series showrunners assured me during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con that it’s always story that drives Once Upon a Time, and the opportunity to use Elsa and the rest of the Frozen story opens up many narrative possibilities. (I’m still a little bit skeptical about this very overt use of a Disney blockbuster.)GEORGINA HAIG

Of course there is the splendid news that John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings‘ Gimli) has joined the cast as the voice of the “Grand Pabbie.” And Giancarlo Esposito returns for an episode or two as Sidney/The Magic Mirror.

What can we expect? According to ABC’s press release for the premiere, the entire Storybrooke gang “prepare to defend themselves agains a magical force from the past that’s too unpredictable even for Rumplestiltskin.” And that unpredictable force would, of course, be Elsa, the Ice Queen from Arendelle. “A Tale of Two Sisters,” finds a frightened and confused Elsa in Storybrooke. Having no idea about the town or its residents, she is suspicious and afraid, and to protect herself, she creates a powerful snow monster for protection.

We are also taken back to Arendelle of the past and the imminent wedding of Elsa’s sister Anna to Kristoff, and I suspect that quite a bit of the flashback part of the Once narrative these first several weeks will focus on Arendelle and Elsa’s back story. Not that our existing Storybrooke characters are forgotten in the new mix of characters.

In the season three finale, as you may recall, Emma brought into Storybrooke Robin Hood’s (Sean Maguire) wife Marian(Christie Laing). And as Robin and Regina (Lana Parrilla) had only just begun to find the love and connection between them, that act can only royally tick off the Evil Queen. What will she do? Will she revert to her old, evil self and exact a price from Emma (Jennifer Morrison)? Or will Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) be an effective stop to the worst of Regina’s impulses? And Maid Marian is not the only one of Robin’s crew to have popped up in Storybrooke. Will Scarlet (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland’s Michael Socha) has ventured into the increasingly crowded town (and narrative). What will be his role? Stay tuned.

Speaking of Emma, will she and Hook be able to make a commitment and make their relationship work? Or are they both too damaged to make a real go of it? And then there are the newlyweds Belle (Emily de Ravin) and Rumplestiltskin. They will be enjoying a honeymoon period in their newly married life, but as you may recall, Rumple is hiding a powerful secret from his wife–the Dark One dagger. (Although it defies me to understand why, after she had literally told him to keep it in the first place). In the season premiere, according to ABC, “Rumple finds an intriguing object that makes him question whether or not he should officially give Belle control over the dagger.” OK, so that intrigues me. What object would give Rumple such pause?

Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) are busy with Prince Neal, their have a new baby. But their joy is shaded by the knowledge that they’d lost 28 years with Emma, never being able to give her the love and care certainly due to their first child.

Once Upon a Time returns to ABC September 21 with a rebroadcast of the season three finale; the season premiere, “A Tale of Two Sisters” debuts September 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

My Blogcritics Radio Network show Let’s Talk TV Live returns to Blogtalk radio September 21 at 8:00 ET. I will be playing clips from several of my Comic-Con interviews, including Once Upon a Time, Resurrection, and The Strain. And as we draw closer to the Once season premiere, please watch this space for more on the upcoming season, interviews with the cast and creators, set images, and more.

So, tell me, Once fans, are you excited or a bit wary of the season to come? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or Facebook!

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About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (

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  1. Hi Barbara

    I think it’s Belle’s diary….

    I think she is the kind to keep one and perhaps she leaves it laying around while she’s in the bathroom. Gold sees it and is curious, but he’d never read it without her permission, so he mentions it to her. Of course it contains her feelings about the dagger, which she has no reason to hide from him and so Belle tells him to go ahead; she actually wants him to read it! So, he does- and he sees how much the giving of the dagger to her means, making him consider that he really ought to give her the real one. Another bonus is that that website that started up a few months ago, the interactive one, HAS Belle’s diary! Now it’s a fan site and not official, but ….anyway, just a thought!