Credit: Jack Rowand/ ABC    
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Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time Season 2 Burning Question: What Is the “Portal” in Episode 3?

During the Once Upon a Time Season 2 premiere (Season 2, Episode 1: “Broken”), Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) were taken away from Storybrooke and sent to a mysterious part of Fairytale Land. Based on what we know from Season 2, Episode 2: “We Are Both” and Season 2, Episode 3: “Lady of the Lake” (airing October 14), what is this very Lost-y “portal” they wind up searching for, and what does it mean for the Fairytale Land?

In the premiere, Regina (Lana Parrilla) tells the Charming family that the Fairytale Land is gone forever, implying that everything that happened there is in the past, and the people of Storybrooke can never go back to their original world and home. We now know Regina is lying, since she and Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) confirmed it still exists in "We Are Both." But is there a way for characters to travel back and forth?

Credit: Jack Rowand/ ABC    

In "Lady of the Lake," “Emma and Mary Margaret, with the aid of Mulan (Jamie Chung), Aurora (Sarah Bolger) and brave knight Lancelot (Sinqua Walls), attempt to find a portal that will bring them back to Storybrooke.” Clearly, wherever Mary Margaret and Emma are, they’re surrounded by Fairytale Land characters. But if they're in Fairytale Land, why wouldn’t they be going by the names Snow White and Snow’s daughter? Writer Jane Espenson explained that they were from different neighborhoods.

But why weren't Aurora and Mulan transported to Storybrooke along with everyone else? It sounds like they might be in a new world altogether. Plus, with the presence of Cora, who we know was pushed by Regina into Rumple's mirror portal in the past, we have to wonder if this is a an especially dark corner of the Land. Or maybe time travel is involved. After all, there's nothing more Lost-y than wonky timelines.

Perhaps most intriguing is the suggestion that Mulan, Aurora, and Lancelot are aware of Storybrooke in the first place. In Season 1, none of the fairy tale characters knew about Storybrooke, because it didn’t exist yet. We hope this means that both worlds will continue on simultaneously. And the existence of a portal (especially if David [Josh Dallas] hides it from Regina and Mr. Gold) lends all new possibilities to, well, world travel.

We’ll be watching!

Catch the next new episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, October 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.

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