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Calling all fairytale lovers! ABC’s Once Upon a Time returned last night for season two.
And really, who hasn’t been dying for this premiere, “Broken,” after last season’s action-packed finale left us with a big cloud of purple magic and no answers? By the way, there may or may not be a couple spoilers in here. Read carefully.
OUAT doesn’t seem keen on giving us a sense of understanding, though, since the episode starts with Michael Raymond-James, Rene Lenier from old school True Blood, out for a stroll in the city. A carrier pigeon brings him a Storybrooke postcard that just says: “Broken.” And then we never see this fellow again. Zero guesses as to who he could be. I checked to make sure I was on the right channel, because it seemed so incongruous.
In the first season, OUAT made a habit of introducing a mysterious character and revealing their fairytale identity over the course of an episode or two. Season two cuts right to the chase and dumps us into a yet-unseen part of the fairyland realm that—surprise!— wasn’t transported to Storybrooke with the curse. In a flash, we’ve met clearly-hardcore Mulan (no Shang or Mu Shu on the scene yet, but I know we’re all holding out for the song), dreamy Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty), who you may recognize from another princess role as Lady Mary on the Tudors.
Just as Aurora wakes up, a wraith explodes up out of the floor, naturally, and then she finds out her paramour’s companion is a woman. Gasp! Talk about a bad day. She senses a love triangle, and so do I.
Spoilers aside, the premiere sets an exciting precedent for the second season. All of the characters knowing who they are makes Storybrooke a little more interesting, instead of paling in comparison to the fairytale realm. The same issues exist with all of the characters being very emotional and having rather unstable characterization. I mean, it makes sense for fairytale characters to be all about hugs and tears. Still, there’s a lot of confusion about these folks and their stance on Regina. One minute she’s the “Evil Queen,” and the next, the Charming family is protecting her from angry Storybrooke characters.
So far, the characters’ relationships are about the same. Everyone has mommy issues, Belle wants Rumpelstiltskin to be a better man, Rumpelstiltskin goes out of his way to be anything but, Regina tries to prove to Henry she’s a good mom to him while also being a crazy evil queen trying to kill his biological family, and the laws of magic seem pretty subject to change. You know. The usual.
Still, season two is shaping up to be less of a power struggle between moms over little Henry and more of a real adventure. I’m beyond excited to see the characters band together to vanquish crazy things like soul-sucking wraiths and the question of whether their fairytale realm still exists after the curse. Even more exciting, we still don’t know who the new mystery man is, nor Dr. Whale. Oh, and did I mention Snow and Charming get separated again? As sweet as “I will always find you” is to repeat, it would be a lot sweeter if our starring couple could get their act together.
Next week’s episode, “We Are Both,” takes a look at how Rumple and the Evil Queen met, and the teaser revealed we’ll soon meet Lancelot and a Captain Hook that is decidedly more attractive than the Disney version. Let’s hope he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of Phillip, Graham and Peter. Good-looking guys just can’t seem to survive this show.
Tune in next Sunday on ABC at 8/7c, and until then re-watch all of season one (available on Netflix) and check out these awesome character portraits.
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