We got a look into Storybrooke’s origins while the drama in the present heated up on Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 17: “Welcome to Storybrooke.” Did it make for a good episode? Read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's review of the episode, and then rate it yourself.
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We’re used to jumping back and forth between Storybrooke and Fairytale Land, but in this episode, we did a different kind of time warp: moving from present-day back when the curse was just starting. We’ve been clued into the curse’s origins for the past two seasons, but this episode filled in a lot of gaps — and created a few more in the process.
Seeing Jamie Dornan back in action as Sheriff Graham was a welcome treat, and it wasn’t just his reappearance — and Regina’s complete control over him — that reminded us of OUAT Season 1. Though we’re happy that Snow White and Prince Charming have found (and remember) each other now, a glimpse at the start of their relationship, when they were still cursed and lost, was magical — pun intended.
The juxtaposition of newly-cursed and conflicted Regina and out-for-vengeance Regina was also all kinds of fantastic. (Plus, the Groundhog’s Day vibe of Regina’s cursed daily life was fun.) She was fighting to be “happy,” both back then and in present day, and her interactions with the mysterious father and son, Ben and Owen, showed both a softer and darker side to her in one fell swoop.
Meanwhile, after watching Mary Margaret hide from Regina throughout the entire episode, we saw things come to a head in a shocking way: Regina ripping her heart out — per Mary’s request! Now that we know about Mary’s “darkness,” there will be plenty of conflicts ahead, and it gives the writers room to explore her newfound dark side. On the flip side, Henry’s storyline about wanting to destroy magic was a bit grating — especially since magic didn’t force Mary Margaret to kill Cora — but now that his “love” curse with Regina is burned, it can set forth some interesting things for him.
Of course, the way that everything came together with the little boy, Owen, actually being Greg Mendell is what made it for us. They dropped hints throughout the episode, giving us a mystery to solve (which again was reminiscent of Season 1), and watching Regina turn from compassionate to crazy was a fun ride.
Overall, we liked this episode, appreciating Graham’s return (and in turn, a nostalgic look back at cursed Storybrooke) and the mysterious nature of the episode. While Regina wasn’t nearly as violent as we would have liked, the twist of Mary coming to her made it even better. We give it 4 stars. What do you think? Rate it yourself below!
Alyse Whitney is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @AlyseWhitney.