It’s the reveal Once Upon a Time fans have been waiting for basically all season.
Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time finally showcased the fairy tale drama’s first LGBT couple that executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis promised would appear in season 5: Ruby (Meghan Ory) and Dorothy (Teri Reeves).
Picking up in the wake of Ruby and Mulan (Jamie Chung) searching out the former’s wolf pack, the duo come across Dorothy in Oz, where they then team up to take down the recently returned Wicked Witch (Rebecca Mader). Unfortunately, Zelena places Dorothy in a sleeping curse, which leads Ruby to the Underworld in a bid to save her. As it has several times before on the show, the spell is broken by true love’s kiss — in this case, it’s Ruby who brings Dorothy back.
“True love’s kiss has been a staple of this show since the beginning,” executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis say. “This past Sunday’s episode was just another example of how in a fairy tale, as in life, love is love.”
Ahead of the fifth season, the producers revealed that the show would delve into an LGBT relationship, prompting speculation that Mulan would be involved after the warrior was poised to profess her love for Aurora (Sarah Bolger) in the third season. The running theory then turned to Mulan and Ruby for a potential romance as the two set off on a new adventure together — fans even dubbed them MulanRouge.
Intentional or not, Once Upon a Time has already given this new couple their ‘shipper name: Ruby Slippers, also the title of Sunday’s episode.
Though the moment has been highly anticipated all season, the producers have always maintained that the couple’s love story would be no different from what the series has showcased with Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) or Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue); nor would the hour featuring the reveal be a “very special episode,” likely the reason behind the lack of targeted promotion ahead of Sunday’s episode. “Our goal is to make it as we see it in the real world, just as normal and as a part of every day life as it should be,” Horowitz previously told EW.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.