The end of Once Upon A Time Season 1 saw Emma (Jennifer Morrison) breaking the spell enchanting the residents of Storybrooke into forgetting their fairytale alter egos. It was bold and game-changing, and the payoff has been executed well in Season 2. We're hoping for something just as revolutionary for the Season 2 finale. We already know it will, indeed, be a cliffhanger. Here are our three guesses as to what it might be:
A Trip To Neverland
It isn't much of a jump to guess that Peter Pan's Neverland is going to play into the two-part season finale as we know they are titled “Second Star to the Right” and “Straight on 'Til Morning.” We have already met several Pan characters – Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Smee – and Neal (Michael Raymond-James) has dropped hints that he may have visited Neverland on his way from the Enchanted Forest. But we wonder about the details of how Neverland will come into play, and our favorite guess is that the iconic boy who won't grow up is a character we already know and love: Henry (Jared Gilmore).
In the first season, Henry's character is defined by how much he loves and believes in the fairytale world of his storybook. The second season has had him waiting impatiently to go on his adventure of his own. When Mary Margaret/Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Emma are sucked back into the Enchanted Forest, he complains that everyone has been to the Enchanted Forest but him and gets David to teach him how to wield a sword. At the rate Henry's parental figures are lying to him, we imagine it's only a matter of time before Henry gets fed up with this whole Storybrooke business and takes off on an adventure of his own. Though we have met Hook, we have no indication that he has met Peter Pan yet. Time is a funny thing on OUAT. Who says Peter Pan's story has been told yet, and that Peter's story isn't Henry's?
Storybrooke Under Siege
A fearful tension in post-spell Storybrooke is that the town and its magical inhabitants will be discovered by the outside world – a world that has never before seen magic and might not take kindly to it. Now, we've been to Maine, and if you're trying to keep an entire town off of the grid, it's an excellent place to do it, but that doesn't mean Storybrooke can stay hidden forever.
In Season 2, Episode 11, an outsider drives into town, crashing his car and ending up in the local hospital. That outsider's name is Greg Mendell (Ethan Embry), and he knows something is not quite right in Storybrooke. He saw an angry Rumple create a fireball out of thin air and a lazy Regina rifle through the contents of Belle's purse using her magic. He is in contact with the outside world, a “Her” he keeps calling on his phone.
We speculated who “Her” might be if she is a fairy tale character, but what if she's not? What if she is a Land Without Magic person who wants to use Storybrooke's magic and its magical inhabitants for her own nefarious ends? Could Season 2 end with some sort of attack from the outside world epic takeover and/or epic takeover? And what if that attack spilled over into the Enchanted Forest? Until now, the show has been very much about fairy tale characters visiting our world. What would it look like if that equation was reversed?
Twice Upon A Time
OUAT co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis worked on Lost before they set their sights on fairy tale television. Lost was known both for game-changing season end-ers and complex, time travel narratives. We could help but wonder if time travel will come into play on OUAT. This theory isn't without evidence. Earlier in the season, Rumple told Neal that he had the power to turn him back into a little boy, so that they could spend his childhood together like they never were able to the first time around. What if this spell could be applied to the whole town, bringing the characters and the viewers back to an earlier version of Storybrooke and its characters?
As we said before, time is funny on OUAT. The show has been surprisingly vague about how events are related temporally. This would make it easier to mix things up. Season 2, Episode 17: “Welcome to Storybrooke” is going to flashback to the town right after the spell was cast in 1983. Although this storyline has value as backstory for our characters, we wonder if it could be more than that. What if this episode is setting the stage for a Storybrooke reset? Welcome to Storybrooke...again.
How do you think Season 2 will end? Post your theories in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.