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'Once Upon A Time' Series Premiere: Emma Arrives To Break The Queen's Curse!

Sun, October 23, 2011 9:15pm EDT by Andy Swift 5 Comments
once upon a time

Meanwhile, my addiction to ABC’s spellbinding new drama is one curse I hope never to break. What did YOU think of the premiere?

“Badass” isn’t typically an adjective I’d use to describe fairy tales, but in the case of ABC’s Once Upon A Time, there are really no other words. The Oct. 23 series premiere re-introduced us to characters we knew of, but never really knew. More importantly, it sucked us into an epic story that managed to bring out the kid in all of us, while simultaneously appealing to our adult selves that crave slightly darker drama with our bedtime stories.

Here’s a rundown of the premiere, in a nutshell: The wedding of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) was interrupted by the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), who vowed to destroy the happiness of the entire kingdom. When her curse took hold nine months later, poor Snow was forced to send her newborn daughter Emma to the “real world,” the only place she’d be safe, in the hopes that someday she would return to save them all.

Emma (Jennifer Morrison) grew up to be a leggy bail bondsman, and on the eve of her 28th birthday, she got a visit from a little boy named Henry (Jared Gilmore) who revealed he was the son she gave up 10 years earlier. She drove him home to Storybrooke, Maine, where he explained the villagers were actually fairytale creatures, frozen in time and unaware of their true identities.

Snow White is Henry’s teacher, Sister Mary Margaret Blanchard; the Evil Queen is Henry’s adoptive mother Regina, who also happens to be the mayor of Storybrooke; and Prince Charming lays motionless in a coma.

But because Once Upon A Time comes to us from the same brilliant minds as LOST the parallel worlds’ stories were interspersed, and presented completely out of order. (Linear storytelling be damned!) This allowed viewers to have a few “a-ha” moments they wouldn’t normally expect from a show about fairytales. Of course, that’s also the first thing you need to accept about Once Upon A Time: It’s never what you expect.

ABC has introduced us some truly bone-chilling ice queens this season — Revenge‘s Victoria Grayson is the first that comes to mind — but Lana Parrilla absolutely takes the cake. Whether she’s playing the vindictive Evil Queen or the emotionally vacant mayor of Storybrooke, Lana embodies the very wickedness we were all taught to fear as children.

The final shot of the episode was of little Henry staring in wonder as the town square’s clock — which had been frozen for his entire life — finally began to move. The enormous smile on his face was literally a mirror of my own, fully satisfied with an incredible premiere and anxious for to find out what’s to come next for the “people” of Storybrooke.

— Andy Swift

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