Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
1 user 5 critic


Emma and Regina devise a plan to free Merlin, but they lack a pivotal ingredient. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret and David seek an important dagger; Henry asks Violet to go on a date; and Merida ... See full summary »


Romeo Tirone


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle Gold
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena (credit only)
Sean Maguire ... Robin Hood
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Liam Garrigan ... King Arthur
Elliot Knight ... Merlin
Amy Manson ... Merida
Joana Metrass ... Queen Guinevere
Ryan Robbins ... Sir Morgan


Emma and Regina devise a plan to free Merlin, but they lack a pivotal ingredient. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret and David seek an important dagger; Henry asks Violet to go on a date; and Merida attempts to carry out a covert mission Emma has assigned her. Written by Stanny

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Guy Fauchon is credited as playing Vortigan, however the episode "Nimue" reveals that he was actually playing Nimue, the first Dark One. This makes him the only adult actor to portray the opposite sex. See more »


David Nolan: You're Merlin?
Merlin: Expecting someone...
David Nolan: Older.
Merlin: Yes. Well, let's just say that being a tree... good for your skin.
See more »


References Harold and Maude (1971) See more »


Shake Your Body
Written by Rinat Arinos and Daniel Brecher
Performed by Rinat Arinos
Courtesy of Pink Shark Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Catching dreams
9 July 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Season 5 had a lot to live up to after Season 4 being as impressive as it was. As far as Season 4's episodes go, they were all decent to brilliant with the only small dip being "Family Business" (though "Heart of Gold" was uneven) and the best being the "Smash the Mirror" two parter, "Best Laid Plans", "Mother" and the first part of "Operation Mongoose". So was expecting a good deal from Season 5 and "The Dark Swan" didn't disappoint at all. "The Price" was very nearly as great.

After a slight lull with "Siege Perilous" and "The Broken Kingdom" (though they are still decent), "Dreamcatcher" while not as good as the first two episodes of the season, is a step in the right direction and it's very good. There are a lot of great things but there were a few things that could have been done better.

Personally did find the dialogue in the subplot with Henry and Violet on the cheesy and not always flowing naturally side and that parts of the episode were a little jumpy which made some elements not explored enough.

Also find again that Merida is neither likeable or interesting, and the same goes with the subplot featuring her which felt like set up that doesn't go very far.

The Camelot arc however is already attention grabbing and shows potential and the characters introduced at the start of the season are already intriguing. The old existing characters generally have not lost what made them so great and interesting, and are generally true to character. The most striking assets are the interesting interpretation of Merlin and that answers are provided that propel things forward and like pieces are being set up and put into place, again with Merlin.

Lots of evidence of forward momentum and character development advancing. Camelot is wonderfully presented yet again, both grand and mysterious and the story on the most part is absorbing and balanced with assurance and coherence on the whole.

All the acting is strong, especially from Liam Garrigan, Elliot Knight, Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla.

Furthermore, "Dreamcatcher" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes (the latter especially here) are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable theme tune.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue, little corn or cheesiness here, apart from with Henry and Violet. This aspect has come on such a long way since when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, much more complexity and nuance.

Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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