Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
12 user 3 critic

Ruby Slippers 

In flashbacks, Ruby and Mulan find themselves in Oz, where they meet Dorothy. After the three witness Zelena's return to Oz, they look for a way to defeat her once and for all. However, Dorothy mysteriously disappears.


Eriq La Salle


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 6 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 (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Blind Witch (as Emma Caulfield)
Jamie Chung ... Mulan
Greg Germann ... Hades
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas
Teri Reeves ... Dorothy Gale


In flashbacks, Ruby and Mulan find themselves in Oz, where they meet Dorothy. When the tree of them witness Zelena's return to Oz, they look for a way to defeat her once and for all. However, Dorothy mysteriously disappears, and Ruby's search for her new friend lands her in the Underworld. There, Ruby teams up with Emma, Regina and Snow to continue looking for Dorothy. Meanwhile, Snow and David struggle with not being with their son, Neal, and devise a plan so that one of them can escape the Underworld. Written by Jennifer Percopo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Emilie de Ravin was actually pregnant during filming. See more »


When they're all talking at Auntie Em's grave, the position of some of the casing on Snow's umbrella changes positions between shots. See more »


Mulan: [about Oz] Tell me everything you know about this land.
Ruby Lucas: There's supposed to be a lot of singing.
Mulan: Singing?
Ruby Lucas: Well, there was in the movie.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence shows Ruby with the forest background red instead of blue to reflect the Underworld. See more »

User Reviews

Return to Oz
27 August 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.

The first four seasons had a few ups and downs, like blips in some of the writing, effects and characters that are not as interesting or as well used as they could be, but were on the most part very solid. Many episodes being good to fantastic, with interesting spins on characters, great character interactions and performances and compelling and emotionally involving back-stories for most of the characters. So was expecting a good deal from Season 5 and "The Dark Swan" didn't disappoint at all. All the episodes between that episode and "Devil's Due" ranged to me from decent to brilliant, before reaching disappointment with "Our Decay" and especially "The Brothers Jones". "Her Handsome Hero" was a big improvement but wasn't perfect.

Presently, "Ruby Slippers" is the lowest rated episode of Season 5 and is the most controversial episode for the introducing of the Ruby/Dorothy romance. Seeing the episode for myself, for me "Ruby Slippers" is better than that and is a better episode than the two episodes mentioned above as disappointing despite them being higher rated. It is not a perfect episode, and is more pretty good instead of great. Also feel that the controversy has been blown out of proportion, and although a subjective person could find nothing in the subplot that was offensive. Actually thought the decision to include it a brave one

Despite the episode's interest point causing controversy, "Ruby Slippers" problems actually lay elsewhere. The episode is at its weakest with the extremely bland and passive character writing for Belle, so disappointing after the previous episode "Her Handsome Hero" developed her so well, and the whole phone booth subplot, which was silly, confusing and didn't belong in the episode.

Although the writing is significantly less soapy and campy than in "Our Decay" and particularly "The Brothers Jones", there are clunky moments still, the whole nickname stuff intended to be cute but was very cheesy and forced instead and the whole subplot with the phone booth was soap opera melodrama.

However, there is lots of evidence of forward momentum and character development advancing, even if other episodes did both better, and the set up for what's to come showing some potential, the ending here is surprising. The story has enough moments where it is absorbing and balanced with assurance and coherence on the whole.

"Ruby Slippers" ending and the Dorothy/Ruby romance may have been rushed and shoe-horned, but it was actually also handled with respect and was sweet and heartfelt, far from shallow and it was something that didn't feel too much like filler.

What really makes "Ruby Slippers" is the character interaction, the roles of Mulan, Red/Ruby and Dorothy are handled touchingly, the Oz storyline has a lot of intrigue and heart as does Zelena's role.

Much of the acting is strong, excepting Emilie DeRavin. Jamie Chung, Meghan Ory and Teri Reeves really make the most of Mulan, Ruby and Dorothy and give emotive performances. Robert Carlyle, Rebecca Mader, Lana Parrilla and Greg Germann are typically terrific.

Furthermore, "Ruby Slippers" 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 mostly, though as said it is not perfect. This aspect has come on a long way since when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, much more complexity and nuance, or at least at this point on the most part, the previous two episodes did take a nosedive in this aspect and the final season even more so.

In conclusion, pretty good but could have been better. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

17 April 2016 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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