The two worlds collided like never before on the show’s second season premiere! (Oh, Storybrooke, how I missed you.)
Magic finally arrived in Storybrooke on the Sept. 30 season premiere of Once Upon A Time, and with it, a whole hat-full of problems for Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and her newly realized family. Of course, no one in town was more affected by the broken curse than Regina (Lana Parrilla), the town’s now-dethroned queen.
After Emma’s emotional reunion with Mama Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Papa Charming (Josh Dallas), the gang high-tailed it to Regina’s crib, where an angry — yet strangely adorable — mob was already demanding her head on a royal platter.
Regina was unpleasantly surprised to discover that, despite magic’s return to Storybrooke, she was still unable to harness her powers. In fact, only one person in town seemed to fully understand how magic works in the real world: Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle)! And despite Belle’s (Emilie de Ravin) pleading, Rumple summoned a hellish Wraith to devour Regina’s soul — assuming she has one to devour in the first place.
A frantic battle ensued between our heroes (yes, I’m including Regina in that group) and Rumple’s Wraith, and I don’t think anyone could have predicted the outcome. Thanks to Emma’s magic touch — and I do mean that literally — Regina activated Jefferson’s hat and opened up a portal that swallowed the wraith whole. Unfortunately, the grabby ghoul snatched Emma along the way, and Snow jumped in after her.
I have to admit that as much as I love seeing Regina at her most wicked — and we certainly got a glimpse of that at the end of the episode — I really enjoyed watching her fight alongside the good guys this week. She is Henry’s (Jared Gilmore) adoptive mother, after all, so technically that makes everyone family. Weird.
Meanwhile, over in fairy land…
Because Once Upon A Time loves to mix and match characters from different fairy tales, the season premiere found Prince Phillip (Pretty Little Liars‘ Julian Morris) and Mulan (Jamie Chung) teaming up to track down a super-sleepy Princess Aurora (Sarah Bolger). Sadly, it wasn’t long after Phillip awoke his sleeping beauty — an excellent nod to Charming and Snow’s epic kiss from the pilot — that the sweet, bearded prince met his own demise at the
hands claws of a wraith.
Through much exposition — thanks, Mulan — we learned that only part of the overall fairy tale world was affected by Regina’s curse. That explains why we haven’t seen Storybrooke counterparts of Phillip, Aurora or Mulan — though I’m a little confused as to why Maleficent wasn’t affected, since we clearly saw Emma slay her (in dragon form) on last season’s finale.
Speaking of the two worlds, Aurora and Mulan barely had time to mourn their mutual crush — yes, Once created its first blended-story love triangle — before they made the most shocking discovery of the night: Emma and Snow had landed in their world!
What did you think of the twist ending? And who was that mysterious stranger in the first scene? (My guesses are either the March Hare, Rumple’s son, or Henry’s father.) Drop me a comment with your personal review of the season premiere!
— Andy Swift
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