"A Wondrous Place" is the fifteenth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson & Jerome Schwartz, and directed by Steve Pearlman. It is the one hundred and twenty-sixth episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 2, 2017.
When Hook finds himself trapped in another realm along with the Nautilus and her crew, he races to return to Emma before Gideon can execute the rest of his plan. In Storybrooke, Regina and Snow take Emma out to get her mind off Hook’s disappearance. And in a flashback to Agrabah, Jasmine befriends Ariel, and together they set out to locate Prince Eric as the threat from Jafar intensifies.
- The title card features a flying carpet in the woods.
- The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on December 12, 2016.
- This episode is named after a lyric from the song "A Whole New World" from the Disney film Aladdin, which ends with "A thrilling chase / A wondrous place / For you and me". The song is sung by Aladdin and Jasmine.
- The establishing shot of Storybrooke early in the episode, where the leaves are blown across Main Street, is the exact same shot that was used to show the empty streets of Storybrooke the morning after Hook's death in the Season Five episode "Swan Song". The shot was recycled once again for the opening shot of the Season Seven episode "Beauty".
- For the exterior scenes in Agrabah, a couple of dump trucks worth of sand were dumped into a green screen space right before the Season Six Christmas break, enough to cover the whole surface by about 1–2 feet. Unfortunately, thanks to Vancouver's rainy climate, the sand was wet, and they couldn't shoot a desert scene on wet sand. To solve the problem, the crew brought in industrial fans that ran 24 hours a day over the Christmas break so that the sand would be dry by the time they got back from the holidays to shoot the scenes in January.
- Director Steve Pearlman came up with the name for the bar that Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina visit, Æsop's Tables.
- Llamas were used in this episode instead of camels, because it would have cost 20,000 dollars to import them. The production team originally wanted to have camels appear on-screen in Agrabah, but there are no camels to be found in Vancouver, where Once Upon a Time was filmed, and they would have had to ship them from Los Angeles.
- During filming of this episode, greensperson Sarah McCulloch nicknamed Deniz Akdeniz, Ali Baba.
- The Agrabah flashbacks take place after "The Savior" and the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode "Trust Me", after "Ariel". (For more details, see the Agrabah timeline)
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Page 23" and before "Mother's Little Helper". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The Enchanted Forest events take place after "Broken Heart" and before "Mother's Little Helper".
- The present Agrabah events take place before "The Final Battle Part 2".
- Hook is reunited with Emma in "Awake". He returns to Storybrooke in the same episode.
- Hook proposed to Emma in "Ill-Boding Patterns" and she broke off their engagement in "Page 23".
- It was revealed that Hook killed Robert in "Murder Most Foul".
- David forgives Hook in "Awake".
- The reason for Hook's unexpected departure on the Nautilus is shown in "Page 23".
- Aladdin and Jasmine wished to find Agrabah in "Wish You Were Here".
- Hook's chest of belongings is the same chest that he brought with him from the Jolly Roger in "Strange Case".
- When Mary Margaret confronts the men who were trying to leave the bar without paying, Regina says, "Do you ever not tattle?", a reference to how Snow White told Cora about Regina's relationship with Daniel in "The Stable Boy".
- How Ariel and Prince Eric ended up on Hangman's Island is shown in "The Jolly Roger".
- Hook previously met Ariel in "The Jolly Roger" and again in "Poor Unfortunate Soul".
- Ariel's home features a collection of corkscrews and forks. Ariel learned what a fork is in when she attended the Under the Sea Celebration with Snow White in "Ariel. She learned what a corkscrew is when she explored Mr. Gold's pawnshop with Belle in "Dark Hollow".
- Emma says to "Æsop" that Hook always said he (Hook) was a survivor. Hook said these words to Emma in "Rocky Road" and "Heroes and Villains".
- How Jafar easily breaks the genie spell is due to him studying about genies a lot with the Genie Wisdom Book, as shown in several episodes in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episodes "The Serpent", "Dirty Little Secrets", "Heart of the Matter" and "To Catch a Thief".
- Jafar says that the people of Agrabah call him a "bastard". The reason for this is explained in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episodes "The Serpent" and "Bad Blood", where Jafar is revealed to be the illegitimate son of a sultan.
- How Jafar was transformed into a genie is shown in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland finale "And They Lived...".
- Belle previously tried to use a "shell phone" to communicate with Hook in "Strange Case".
- Tears were previously used for magical purposes in "Second Star to the Right" and "Dreamcatcher".
- This episode is a rendition of Aladdin, with Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, the sultan, the flying carpet, and two allusions to the genie. The episode also introduces new characters from the film: Prince Achmed and the Street Vendor, who is based on Farouk.
- The ring that the Sultan names the "greatest crown jewel" in Agrabah, is similar in appearance and importance to the mystic blue diamond in the animated film.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the "Aladdin" story, with the princess, the sorcerer, and Aladdin.
- This episode also features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, the little mermaid and the prince from "The Little Mermaid" fairytale, and Captain Nemo, his first mate, the Nautilus and the giant squid from the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea story.
- Æsop's Tables, the new bar that Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina visit, is a pun on "Æsop's Fables". Gideon poses as Æsop while he is pretending to be the bartender.
- The drinks on the menu are named after stories from "Æsop's Fables": "The Dog and the Wolf", "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Ant and the Grasshopper".
- If you take a very close look at the drinks menu (which is almost illegible), you can barely make out the names of some other drinks/fables: "The Eagle and the Fox", "The Monkey and The Dolphin" and "The Lion and the Mouse".
- The Sultan's meeting table is the same prop that was used for the Round Table in the first half of Season Five. The chairs are also the same.
- While they were shooting the scene inside the Agrabahn capital palace, Oded Fehr accidentally dropped the transformation powder, spilling red powder on the green-screen floor.
- When Emma goes through Hook's things, the items she packs up include his rum bottle from previous episodes, his spyglass from the Season Three episode "The Jolly Roger", and the conch shell which Hook later uses to contact her.
- Hook's navigation map (seen upside-down) mentions a body of water called the Gulf of Fortune.
- Jafar's Genie bottle has the same design as Cyrus' and Will Scarlet's bottle from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, even though Nyx imprisoned Jafar in a different bottle when she cursed him in the series finale "And They Lived...".
- The knife Mary Margaret takes from the head viking and throws at the dartboard is the same prop Prince Charming uses to kill a Black Knight in the Season One episode "Snow Falls". The prop is also used by Emma Swan during her time in the Enchanted Forest after the first Dark Curse is broken in the Season Two episodes "Lady of the Lake", "The Doctor", "Tallahassee", "Child of the Moon", "Into the Deep" and "Queen of Hearts".
- A small ship painting seen behind the bar at Æsop's Tables also appears in Emma's room at the inn in the Season One episode "The Thing You Love Most" and the room where Sheriff Graham meets Regina in the Season One episode "The Price of Gold", but with a different frame. It can also be seen in Edwin's home in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episodes "Down the Rabbit Hole" and "Who's Alice". It was later reused in Henry's apartment in the Season Seven episodes "Hyperion Heights", "A Pirate's Life" and "The Girl in the Tower", with the same frame that was used in the bar.
- Some of the wall paintings at Æsop's Tables show motifs from "Æsop's Fables", such as the lion from "The Lion and the Mouse" (or one of Æsop's other fables about lions - there are several of them), "The Fox and the Stork" and the boar from "The Wild Boar and The Fox".
- There is a vintage brass peacock fan fireplace screen at Æsop's Tables.
- The banners outside the tent where "Prince Eric" is staying feature a similar design as King Arthur's coat of arms from the first half of Season Five: A yellow crown and a sea-wyvern against a red background. A sea-wyvern is a legendary creature with a dragon's head and wings, a reptilian body, two legs, and a fish tail. It is the sea-dwelling variant of the creature known as a wyvern.
- The genie pants Deniz Akdeniz wore for this episode had to be fitted with an electric heating device due to the cold weather they experienced during filming. Colin O'Donoghue asked if they could do the same with his costume, but his jeans were too tight-fitting to fit a heating device underneath and the actor got quite cold.
- Regina is wearing a Lanvin Leopard Jacquard Sleeveless Sheath Dress (no longer available).
- Mary Margaret is wearing a Joie Bellange Blouse (no longer available).
- The chain on Ariel's necklace is reminiscent of seaweed, while the pendant is blue like the ocean; a reference to Ariel being a mermaid.
- The scene with Aladdin and Jasmine rowing on the lake was actually filmed on dry land inside a studio. The water and the surrounding forest was added digitally in post-production.
- The scenes at Æsop's Tables were filmed on a television set built at The Bridge Studios.
- Belcarra Regional Park in Vancouver doubles as Hangman's Island for this episode, both for the forest scenes and the scene on the sandy beach. For the scenes outside Ariel's cottage, a cabin set was built in the forest at the park.
- The scene with Jasmine and Ariel on the flying carpet was filmed on a green-screen set at The Bridge Studios.
- The scenes at the caravan site outside the Capital of Agrabah was filmed on a green screen stage filled with sand.
- The Agrabah scene where Hook calls Emma on the "shell phone" was filmed on a green-screen set at The Bridge Studios.
|French||"L'Exil du Cœur"||"The Exile of the Heart"|
|German||"Auf der Suche nach Agrabah"||"Looking for Agrabah"|
|Italian||"Un posto meraviglioso"||"A Wondrous Place"|