Once Upon a Time adds two new stars for recurring roles in an upcoming mental hospital arc. Find out when you can expect to check in!

Are Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis taking a page out of American Horror Story‘s book? Deadline reports that the series rooted in the exploring the intricate and often interwoven stories of classic legends and fairytales will visit somewhere closer to reality — a mental hospital.

The word asylum sends chills down the spine, and though not officially cited as an asylum, the report paints a nasty picture for the content to come out Once‘s latest arc. Hank Harris, most recently seen in The Man in the High Castle, will take on a recurring role as Nathaniel, “a meek and troubled patient at a mental institution who finds himself trapped under the thumb of its evil and overbearing warden, Jacob, who takes pleasure in tormenting his most disturbed and helpless patients.”

The role of Jacob will be played by Sam Witwer of Being Human.

Once Upon a Time does not shy away from the darker side of storytelling. In season 5 alone we have murdered Merlin, had not one, but two vindictive Dark Ones roaming the realms, and saw what happens when individuals who are put in control of great power get carried away. The ABC series is not always so family-friendly, despite one of its leading heroines being Snow White. This arc, however, does not have the familiar tale of a great escape, or a hero’s journey attached to it. The closest we’ve come to seeing people locked up comes down to Sydney Glass and Zelena, though their torture was always kept behind cell doors. We’re going in blind and perhaps that is the most terrifying part of the entire pitch.


When can we expect to see this arc unfold? Our bets are on the final moments of season 5, extending into the freshly renewed season 6. Maybe the introduction will come with this script tease provided by Adam Horowitz. It is, after all, an untold story in this universe.

Although, Once Upon a Time might set the bar for torture after Hades puts Emma and Hook through a few more challenges in the coming weeks. Who ever said the Underworld was a pleasant place to visit?

Watch Once Upon a Time season 5, episode 14, “Devil’s Due,” Sunday, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

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