If we’re honest, there are days when we’d be happy for Once Upon a Time to just zoom in on Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and let us stare for an hour. But there are plenty of other interesting characters we’d like to get to know better on Season 2.
Every time a Storybrooke resident gets his or her own episode, an onion layer is peeled back. We want that treatment for everyone — from The Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) to Mulan (Jamie Chung) — but we’re particularly intrigued about a few characters, including some whose pasts have already been teased just enough to whet our appetites. OUAT keeps adding new faces every episode (note: feel free to stop doing that!), but we hope they make time to really delve into the pasts, presents, and futures of these five people.
If Baelfire, the son of Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), is also Neal, ex of Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and father of Henry (Jared Gilmore) the plot possibilities are endless. But even if they are separate characters, the doors are wide open for exciting developments, with a host of questions. Where did Bae end up? What’s he been doing? How will he react when he reunites with Rumple? How will Rumple change with Bae back in the mix? How will he interact with Hook and the others in Storybrooke? How will Henry feel about meeting his biological father? Will Emma fall back in love with Neal or will she move on to Hook or someone else? (Where is August, anyway?) Will Neal and Emma become a new family with Henry? If so, where will that leave Regina/The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla)? The questions go on and on.
Episode 5 was all about Dr. Whale (David Anders), and yet we left the episode even more confused and intrigued about the character. Who? What? Where? Whuh? Thankfully, Episode 12, “In The Name of the Brother,” should be answering a lot of questions, introducing us to Whale's father and his younger brother, Gerhardt. We’re guessing Gerhardt is the brother Whale/Frankenstein tried to reanimate, although we don’t know the circumstances around his appearance. Will it be a flashback? Will we meet reanimated Gerhardt? And what’s up with dad? Did our randy doc inherit his flirtation skills from this guy? Who knows. We’ve very intrigued by the Frankenstein family.
Sebastian Stan is a sexy beast, and that cannot be overstated when it comes to wanting to know more about Jefferson/The Mad Hatter. Plus, The Mad Hatter has just always been a fascinating supporting character, with ample room for development. Back in September, OUAT producer Edward Kitsis said we "probably" wouldn't find out more about Jefferson's supposed wife/mother of his daughter Grace, but maybe he'll change his mind. We want to see Jefferson's connection with Grace, his relationship history, and how he might connect more with Emma. We know Emma is having multiple love interests this season, and we hope they didn't just mean Hook and Neal. There's still August, plus Jefferson (and always Regina, for all you Swan Queen shippers). Plus, can we get more interplay between Whale and Jefferson? Maybe they can add Hook to the mix and make a full guyliner boy band!
Who is this woman? As much as we’re learning about her, there’s so much more to Regina’s mom that we need to know. How did Cora/The Queen of Hearts (Barbara Hershey) become Cora? We know evil isn’t born, it’s made, so what made her this way? And how exactly did she end up The Queen of Hearts? Was she a fresh-faced girl in love once, like Regina? What is her full history with Rumple? Cora feels like a key character in unlocking the pasts of two of our original favorites — Regina and Rumple. And now that we know Rose McGowan will be playing young Cora in an upcoming episode, we’re even more intrigued.
Heck yeah, Granny (Beverley Elliott) needs her own ep. Not only is she a (former) wolf in grandma’s clothing, she’s smart and sassy and has real personality — which we can’t say for all of the supporting characters thus far (*cough*Mulan*cough*Aurora*cough*). Even if they don’t want to do a flashback to rehash the stuff about her wolf husband and their daughter, Anita, they could give Granny more things to do in the present, beyond supporting Little Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory). She needs to step out of the shadows and be the heroine of her own tale!
Once Upon a Time Season 2 returns on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.