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Once Upon a Time Review: The Curse of Consequences

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Once Upon a Time Season 2 kicked off tonight, and although the curse may be "Broken" that doesn't mean everything is suddenly sunshine and pixie dust in Storybrooke.

As a matter of fact, our fairy tale favorites may have just taken a sharp turn toward the dark side.

Although everyone now remembers his/her fairy tale origins, living under the curse for 28 years has its consequences. According to Regina, they can't go back to the fairy tale world, which means that their old and new lives will now merge into one. In other words, things have gotten even more complicated in Storybrooke.

Fairy Tales in Storybrooke

Take Rumplestiltskin, who finally found his one true love but couldn't seem to overcome his innate need for power and vengeance to keep her. When he  promised Belle he wouldn't kill Regina, I never believed a word of it - but in Rumple's mind, he spoke the truth.

Rumple wouldn't actually do the killing. He just unleashed a soul sucker to track her down. The funny part was that he really thought that loophole would save him when Belle found out. Yet was it the way he toyed with words that kept Belle from leaving? Or was it his honesty and Belle's need to save him?

It was touching when Rumple told Belle their chipped cup was the only possession he truly cherished, but perhaps it meant even more when he admitted that he believed he's still a monster. Belle believes her love can save him, that she can find the good inside. I say she's in for a world full of hurt.

Across town, Regina found some unlikely allies. Charming and Snow came to her rescue because they believed killing her was simply the wrong thing to do.  Emma was there because her son begged her to save his mother. But now that Regina has her magic back and Emma and Snow have been banished to a very different fairy tale world, will Regina be swayed by her son to help save them?

Much like Rumple, Regina is driven by a need for power and control. As Belle is the one person who can reach Rumple's heart, Henry is that person for Regina. 

Regina loves her son but how far will she go for him? Will she work to return Emma and Snow to Storybrooke or will she see this new twist in the curse as a blessing.

And I loved her confrontation with Charming. Everyone was playing nice while she was magic-less and being hunted by a wraith but once the threat was gone and her powers returned, she was quick to have her wallpaper strangle him. That wall paper has always had a seriously creepy vibe. Let's just say it's not a room I'd want to spend a lot of time in late at night.

Reactions to the broken curse were well played. Charming, Snow, Ruby and the dwarves all celebrated. Most of the town wanted Regina dead and who could blame them? Emma was the one left out in the cold.

How do you handle finding out that your long lost parents are actually fairy tale characters who sent you away through a magic portal as a baby? And that they are your age? The happiness of finding out the truth didn't wipe away 28 years of living alone with no answers. 

I couldn't help but feel for Emma as Snow pushed for a big reconciliation. Emma was struggling to deal with this new reality when she told her newfound mom in this Once Upon a Time quote

Emma: Can we do everything later, like with a glass of wine? Several bottles. | permalink

The season premiere left us with a lot more questions than answers. Will Mulan and Sleeping Beauty be allies or enemies to Snow and Emma? Will Belle really stick by Rumplestiltskin? Will Regina save Emma for Henry? Who was the guy who got the mysterious post card and who sent it?

There are lots of reasons to tune in for more Once Upon a Time this season. Next week can't come soon enough.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (256 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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I do like that this is a wholesome family show cause Belles fate in any other movie/tv series would be too tragic to imagine. I still foresee a bad ending. I always worry about season 2s. Think game of thrones, heroes, lost. Too many characters losing foccus or aimless wandaring. Once looks ok for now. Some quips are great, one night stand? We were cursed. I'm an old fashioned guy. Pinochio sent the postcard cause he is the only one who has been out of town. But have no idea who man from opening is. Peter pan maybe? Maybe neverland is another dimension like wonderland.

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

I also keep wondering who Henry's dad is, and if he has any connection to the tale.
Its pretty much a common guess now that Rumple's son is Henry's father as Emma described him as "dangerous" older man and "bad business".

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

I was also kind of flummoxed by the addition of the "dementors" doing their soul-sucking thing right out of Harry Potter...a
Potter invented only a few things. A lot of creatures in it is based upon european folk lore and scare stories. Dementors are just Potterverse's version of wraiths from the european folklore (spectral like floating ghosts in rags who steal souls and signify death and disease, etc)

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I thought this episode was terrific, and I love how they intersected Storybrooke with the Sleeping Beauty story in fairy tale land. I liked the twist of Emma and Snow getting trapped in their old home. If Rumple's son is an adult, he'd have to be an out-of-towner who didn't experience the 28-year curse, like the guy in the beginning. However, if his son was trapped in Storybrooke like the others, he would have remained a child. So I'm not sure who Dr. Whale is, but I don't think he can be Rumple's son. I also keep wondering who Henry's dad is, and if he has any connection to the tale.

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Could this episode have been a season finale? Yes! It was that good. Surprised to find myself more invested in the love triangle among Regina, Henry, and Emma, than Charming and Snow's story at this point. Lana Parilla has added stunning depth to Regina. Everything from her voice, to her movement, to the expressions on her beautiful face just brings so much to the "Evil Queen". She's just so complex. I'm so excited to see what where they're going to take these stories this season.

Deann

I was also kind of flummoxed by the addition of the "dementors" doing their soul-sucking thing right out of Harry Potter...and Mulan kind of threw me for a loop, too. Weird.
But still, I loved that we got to see Sleeping Beauty awoken, though I also found that moment when they were watching Philips soul being sucked away rather awkward...they didn't do anything to stop him, they just let it happen.
But I loved the Mary Margaret/Emma talk, and the fact that the Prince is determined to get them back. Rumple is just too evil to sustain a good relationship with Belle, so I think he is going to end up alone, bitterly battling against Regina, who is also evil, but entertainingly so.

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One more question also needs answering. It was asked plenty of times in the first season and that is 'Who is Dr. Whale?' Even prince charming doesnt know who he is, and i presume the others who were there dont know either. I get the feeling that character has a big role to come this season. Any chance he could be rumples son?

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Alright, this episode was great, but it did require some suspension of belief. But hopefully the many questions people have will be answered in true OUAT fashion in the next few episodes. This ep definitely had its emotional moments (parents/daughter talk, rumbelle heart to heart), humor (one night stand. WHAT?), character developments and such, BUT I had a bit of an issue with the directing. A lot of the scenes felt contrived. For example, the part where Mulan and Belle stood awkwardly while Phillip had his soul sucked out of him. They could have made it less... awkward. Like have Mulan desperately try to chase away the soul sucker maybe. Also, there were just moments that felt off key. Like when Dr. Whale was about to strangle Regina, it was so obvious that the actor was waiting for Emma's cue to stop him. But other than that, great beginning to a hopefully awesome season!

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read some comments about people not liking the way the fairytale characters are being treated. my two cents is that this show NEVER copies any characters from anywhere directly, they always twist it while keeping the essence of the character true. (e.g. little red riding hood turning into a werewolf?) with that being said, i really didnt mind the aurora/phillip/mulan thing. also, these characters are not neccesarily based on the "disney" version either, so the non-existance of captain shang is completely understandable and absolutely fine by me, since the original tale does not have anything even remotely close to shang anyway! on a different topic, once upon a time playing mysterious is always SOOOOOO intriguing. it's like something you hate to love, annoying yet so exciting! all through season one i always thought dr. whale wasnt important. but they seem to be hinting at something more.(not so subtly, mind you, what with him keeping his identity hidden even from regina) and then of course there is the enigma that is the suit guy in the opening. personally, i dont think he is bae, it's just too "easy" a guess. i liked the idea of it being the march hare (from the hatter reference) but i think it is way too premature too make any guesses since as far as i know there are no other clues suggesting this. although i did notice some OTHER things that seemed a bit out of place: a pair of weird looking shoes hanging on the wall by the window, a pair of glasses on the table (looked like the ones clock makers used). probably just me being totally anal. intriguing though.

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I thought that guy in the beginning might be Rumple's son, but now I don't think so. If it's Peter Pan that would be fun! It's weird though, where did the invite came from? I remember the Blue fairy said, the magic bean was the last one, it's possible there use to be a lot of them so there might have been a lot of FTL people who came to our world through it. I'm excited about Mulan! I wonder what happened to Shang? I'm not liking the idea that she's in love with Phillip. And did anybody else notice when Phillip said I love you, he said it without the name? I felt like he said that to both of Aurora and Mulan!

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