Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
1 user 4 critic

The Price 

While Prince Arthur organizes a ball in Camelot, darkness rises in Storybrooke, to the search of a savior.


Romeo Tirone


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 4 more credits »




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
Sean Maguire ... Robin Hood
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin
Lee Arenberg ... Leroy
Beverley Elliott ... Granny Lucas
Liam Garrigan ... King Arthur
Andrew Jenkins ... Sir Percival
Joana Metrass ... Queen Guinevere


While Prince Arthur organizes a ball in Camelot, darkness rises in Storybrooke, to the search of a savior.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 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?


The object/animal/person in this episode is Merlin's tree. See more »


The section of hair underneath dark Emma's bun is not powdered white, it is her usual blonde color. See more »


Belle Gold: I know you think you can handle a Dark One...
Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones: I've battled him for centuries. I'm still here.
Belle Gold: But you were trying to kill him. And now, well... It's far easier to hate a Dark One than it is to love one.
See more »


Only You
Written by Vince Clarke
Performed by Yazoo
See more »

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User Reviews

A dark price
20 June 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" is every bit as great and very nearly as good, my only complaint being that Charming and Snow White are a little out of character with Regina seeming more concerned about Emma than they were (Regina being taught to dance is very sweet though). It is another one of those to put things into place episodes, but does this superbly. It does so also advancing the characterisation and the story.

New characters are introduced with intrigue and enormous potential, a new story arc is introduced and already in a way that's attention-grabbing. The old existing characters have not lost what made them so great and interesting, and are generally true to character. A great job is done with Regina here. A lot happens here, there are a lot of characters, yet the storytelling has clarity and to me it didn't feel over-stuffed.

Lots of evidence of forward momentum and character development advancing with answers provided and more learnt about the significances of Excalibur, of Merlin and of the curse. Camelot is wonderfully presented, both grand and mysterious and the past and present stories are as compelling as each other, relate beautifully with each other and balanced with deft assurance and coherence.

The episode wastes no time in going straight into the main story without anything padding it out or distracting.

All the acting is strong, especially from Lana Parrilla who shows why she is, and always has been, one of the show's best and most consistent actors.

Furthermore, "The Price" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes 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, or corn or cheesiness here. This aspect has come on such a long way since when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, much more complexity and nuance.

In conclusion, excellent. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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