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Once Upon A Time has been on the air for five seasons and a sixth season is on the way. In that time, characters have frequently disappeared and returned to the universe, thanks to Once Upon A Time's unique story structure, which features flashbacks alongside plots in Storybrooke and in other worlds. The unique structure allows characters to return to the series in a variety of ways, and this week we learned Raphael Sbarge is returning to the series after a two-year absence.
If you can remember back to the early days of Once Upon A Time, you can probably recall Raphael Sbarge's character, Dr. Archibald "Archie" Hopper, who happened to formerly be Jiminy Cricket when in the fairytale world. In Storybrooke, Dr. Archie Hopper was the resident psychiatrist and TV Line says that Dr. Archie Hopper will be back for the Season 6 premiere in that role. In fact, we'll see him with a "new patient," according to reports.
Early on in Once Upon A Time, Jiminy Cricket had a pretty important role in the series. We learned exactly why he was a guardian for Geppetto and he even gave counsel to Snow White, Prince Charming and, later, other members of the court. In Storybrooke, Dr. Hopper helped out the likes of David and Henry. By Season 4, he simply popped in to give Mary Margaret some advice about her life and her baby Neal.
In the time since, Raphael Sbarge took a regular gig on Murder in The First, which airs on TNT. He's also hopped around to various other TV gigs, popping up in shows like NCIS: Los Angeles and Better Call Saul. At the time the actor stopped appearing on the series, the Jiminy Cricket storyline especially had really reached its culmination. There's only so much you can do as the town psychiatrist, and I wouldn't be surprised if the idea of a regular role over at TNT lured Sbarge away from the show.
Still, it should be nice to see the character back on ABC. The return of Raphael Sbarge won't be the only nice change in Season 6. We also recently learned that the series will be adding Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which should be fun additions. In the past, Once Upon A Time has relied on two large story arcs, each encompassing half of the season. In Season 6, the ABC drama will be getting away from that and will feature smaller arcs throughout the year. Each of these smaller arcs will fit into the larger, 22-episode season. You can find out more about Season 6 here.
Once Upon A Time will return to the schedule on Sunday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET. To find out when the rest of your fall favorites are returning, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.