I didn’t really love Once Upon A Time’s debut season. While the pilot was excellent, I soon grew frustrated with the show’s cheesiness and boring flashbacks. I just wanted more excitement and thrills with my fairytales. Thankfully the last couple of episodes in season one did a pretty great job of ratcheting up the tension and turning the show around. This premiere is a good step in that direction and I have high hopes for a much cohesive and gripping season.
With magic and everybody’s memories now returned to Storybrooke, I feel like the show can finally let loose. Things now have a purpose and there’s forward momentum with every development. First off, I adored the family reunion between Snow, Charming and Emma. It was a touching and powerful sequence that proved that the show does indeed have an emotional center. Even better was Emma revealing that she feels hurt as her parents did send her away after all. There’s a just a lot of material for a richly complicated dynamic and a truly layered season.
Regina also got a pretty great hour as Lana Parilla got bring out her vulnerable side, as well as her delightfully wicked person once she finally unlocked her powers (thanks to Emma’s touch). I’m not the biggest fan of Rumpelstiltskin however, and Belle is as boring as toast. Emilie De Ravin is just a lifeless and bland here as she was on Lost. On the bright side, Mulan was an especially intriguing addition (the less said about Sleeping Beauty the better) and I’m looking forward to seeing her kick some ass in that armor of hers.
And finally, the episode final moments rearranged the chess pieces and brought forth a new status quo that’s ripe with potential: Emmy and mommy Snow are now trapped in fairytale land with Mulan and Sleeping Beauty, Regina has to get them back, and Henry is now under Charming’s care. It’s a whole new era for the show and I for one can not wait.
Once Upon A Time‘s season two premiere is an ambitious hour that effectively gets the ball rolling for a hopefully fantastic season.
P.S. There was a bit too much emphasis on the Wraith. I see the producers are just as deluded as they were in season one because they seem to think their CGI is top notch. Someone please break it to them before I go blind.