After five full seasons of Once Upon a Time, it seemed like the writers have introduced and reinvented just about every fairy-tale character imaginable – particularly, every single Disney princess. We’ve watched Emma rescue Cinderella (twice!), seen Prince Charming give Rapunzel a pep talk, and enjoyed the whole gang teaming up with Frozen‘s Anna and Elsa.
But, hard as it is to believe, there are actually quite a few iconic Disney characters we’ve yet to see on the show – and the writers have already promised us that they’d be delivering on that front with a few of the new Once Upon a Time characters for Season 6.
Back at San Diego Comic-Con this past July, the show’s creators announced that they’d be introducing classic Disney characters Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, and Jafar, and that the trio would be involved in a major Season 6 storyline. In fact, Aladdin and Jafar were the stars of the first three minutes of the season clip that the writers teased at SDCC. TVLine reported in July that Galavant actress Karen David was cast as Jasmine and that she was rumored to make her appearance in the fourth episode of this season. From then on, we were eagerly awaiting that point, excited to meet our fave Disney princess.
I mean, I was looking forward to Jasmine’s introduction for so many reasons, but mainly I wanted to see whether Karen David could pull faces like this to match the Princess of Agrabah’s sassiest looks. And also to see whether they’d somehow manage to write Raja into the show, not gonna lie. No word yet on whether Jasmine’s tiger BFF will be making his live-action Once Upon a Time debut.
We made it through 99% of Episode 4’s “Strange Case” with no confirmed trace of Jasmine in sight – until the closing scene revealed that Shirin, Snow White’s new teacher’s aide at the school, was secretly Jasmine.
Snow White first met Shirin at the school, where they bumped into one another and realized they’d be working together.
While the rest of the team was off dealing with Hyde, a surprisingly villainous Jekyll, and the Evil Queen, Snow had a very human storyline of her own. She was struggling to get her groove back after years away from teaching. It was Shirin who gave her a pep talk and convinced her that she’d be a more effective teacher now if she embraced who she truly was – Snow White – rather than continuing to try to teach like her First Curse self, Mary Margaret. Unsurprisingly, that was good advice and it totally worked, culminating in Snow teaching the kids physics using archery.
We got the first inkling that Shirin might not be all that she appeared when she told Snow the cautionary tale of a princess, back in her home kingdom, who didn’t embrace her true self and wound up losing her kingdom to a villain.
Pretty much immediately, it seemed clear that the princess in question was Princess Jasmine (aka, Shirin herself), the kingdom was Agrabah, and the villain was Jafar. Jury’s still out on why she’s being ~super~ shady by lying to Snow about her true identity and her origin story.
The closing scene also revealed that Jasmine and the Oracle who foretold Emma’s death were in cahoots to track down Aladdin (!) who is apparently supposed to be somewhere in Storybrooke (!!!). There are still a lot of questions about this new addition to the series and what she’s really up to – but, for now, we can just sit back and enjoy the fact that Once Upon a Time is bringing one of our fave Disney classics to life in a major way this season.