Expectations were running high for the Once Upon a Time Season 2 premiere (Season 2, Episode 1: “Broken”). Season 1 ended with two huge game changers: The curse was broken, and magic was introduced into Storybrooke. Nobody knew quite what to expect from the new season, but we hoped it would be great.
So, did the premiere deliver?
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We thought so!
There were a lot of emotional beats to hit in this episode, but the writers somehow found time for all of them without leaving the episode overcrowded. We had a touching, but complicated, Charming family reunion, a nuanced confrontation with Regina (Lana Parrilla) — we love that despite everything Emma (Jennifer Morrison) protected her, for Henry's (Jared Gilmore) sake, and because it was the decent thing to do — and good Rumbelle moments (that kiss! That apology!).
We thought this episode set up a number of interesting storylines in Storybrooke. There's Regina cut off from everyone, trying to win back Henry's love. There's Henry and David/Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) as a grandfather-grandson team. There's Belle (Emilie de Ravin) trying to save Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) from himself. There's the rest of the town wanting Regina's blood. There's the question of who Dr. Whale (David Anders) is.
And, of course, there's Emma and Mary Margaret/Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), sucked through the portal into what's left of Fairytale Land. They'll have plenty of opportunities to work through their feelings towards one another, whether they like it or not. And we can't wait!
We were also surprised by how much we enjoyed the Fairytale Land story with Mulan (Jamie Chung), Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Bolger), and Prince Phillip (Julian Morris). We were afraid we'd find the new characters distracting, but we liked how their story linked directly to what was happening in Storybrooke, and we're very interested to see the Mulan-Sleeping Beauty dynamic develop. Which is good, since we'll probably see much more of them, now that they'll presumably be adventuring with Mary Margaret and Emma.
Overall, we give it 4.5 stars. What did you think?