MAGIC IS BACK!!
Last night was the season two premiere of ABC's Once Upon a Time and it was fantastic! Let me start off by giving kudos to the special effects team. The CGI (computer-generated imagery) and green screen this season have greatly improved.
If you don't know what the term "green screen" means, it's where the actors play out their scenes in front of bright green walls (and floors) then later the special effects team digitally adds the scenery in. I was shocked at how poorly those scenes were done in last season's episodes. Did you notice the gray/foggy looking actors whenever they were in the Evil Queen's castle? And also how they looked like thick cut-out characters when Belle was in Rumpelstiltskin's dining hall or Mad Hatter in Wonderland? (I found it quite distracting). Well, those were green screen.
So I was amazed at how much better the imagery was on this first episode. Well done, special effects team. It was well above par.
Okay, so let's get to the show recap.
SEASON 2: EPISODE 1: "BROKEN"
***WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD***
It opens with a "Mysterious Man" (as noted in the credits) in New York City, rock music is blaring in the background. His apartment is filled with tons of clues, but I can't figure out which ones matter!! (My son thinks he's the White Rabbit and I think he may be right, considering all the monocles, clocks and sign with the word "Hatters" on it.) He leans out his window and loses his phone. A dove appears and drops a postcard. The back of the card says "Broken" (meaning the spell). He turns the card over and it says "Greetings from Storybrook."
It cuts to Fairytale Land where we see Prince Philip and an armored knight. The prince kisses Sleeping Beauty, waking her from her cursed slumber. The trio embarks on their journey to the "safe haven" but
are interrupted by a Wraith who bursts out of the ground and flees.
Back in Storybrook, Mary Margaret/Snow and David/Charming wonder what the purple smoke means for them. The dwarfs come to meet them as do Red/Ruby and Granny. Emma arrives for an awkward reunion between her and her parents (Wouldn't you find it weird if your parents were about the same age as you?) There's a funny moment when Henry looks lovingly at Prince Charming and calls him "Grandpa." LOL
Belle finds Rumpelstiltskin at the wishing well and tells him how Regina/The Evil Queen has kept her hidden in an asylum for 28 years. This angers Rumpy but Belle makes him promise to refrain from his evil ways. He gives her his word that he will not kill Regina in retaliation.
Dr. Hopper/Jiminy Cricket alerts Emma, Snow and Charming that a mob, led by Dr. Whale, is on their way to kill the Evil Queen. Henry reminds them that Regina is still his "mother" (Wake up kid and smell the evil! Besides, technically, she's his step-great grandmother.) and they run to her rescue.
Back in Fairytale Land, a Dementor-type creature bursts out of the ground, drops a talisman and flees.
Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold takes Belle to his shop. He goes into the back and pulls a small box out, inside we see the same talisman as dropped by the Wraith.
Regina/Evil Queen is confronted by the mob gathered on her lawn. She attempts to harm them with her magic but fails - she has no magic. *gasp* Dr. Whale goes in for the kill (Who is this man anyway? I know the easy answer is Monstro the Whale, but I'm not convinced.) but is stopped by Charming and Emma. They then take Regina to the station and lock her up. She explains to them that Fairytale Land no longer exists.
Philip's armed guard removes his helmet and we see that he is in fact a she - Mulan! Another funny moment is when Princess Aurora remarks, "You're a girl." "Woman," Mulan retorts. LOL. She then explains to the prince and princess that the Wraith is a soul-sucker and hunts those that have been marked by the talisman (Hmmm, ever heard of anything like that, Captain Jack??). Philip hugs Aurora and looks down at the palm of his hand...that has been marked. Another *gasp*.
Mr. Gold/Rumpy pays a visit to Regina in jail and forces the talisman into the palm of her hand, marking her as Wraith-chum.
Snow is eager to talk to Emma about their relationship and wonders why she isn't as thrilled as they are about their reunion. Emma explains how she suffered a life of foster homes and loneliness as a sacrifice for everyone else; they made the decision for her. Snow tells her that if they hadn't sent her then she'd be under the curse along with everyone else. Emma replies with, "At least we would've been together. Which curse is worse?"
Philip says he's going to get wood, but I could tell by the kiss he planted on Aurora that it was a goodbye kiss. He wanders off into the forest and we see a tear roll down his face.
Emma, Snow and Charming confront Mr. Gold/Rumpy in his shop. He tells them all is well, magic is back. A windstorm outside interrupts them, power flickers, debris flies through the street. Mr. Gold tells them it is the Wraith, on his way to suck Regina's soul (shouldn't take very long). The trio leave to the sheriff's station. Belle comes from out of the back of the shop, having heard everything. She is sad and disappointed in Rumpy and leaves, heartbroken.
They arrive just in time to find the Wraith sucking Regina's soul and Snow fends him off with a lighter-torch (Why does Snow have a lighter anyway? Just in case she gets lost in the woods again?). Snow thinks they have beat the monster, but Regina tells her she just gave him a power-boost and he will return.
Aurora is worried because Prince Philip has yet to come back. Mulan tells her that he was marked and left to protect them from the Wraith. Aurora then realizes Mulan also loves him. The Wraith descends and sucks Philip's soul. The women are too late to save the heroic prince.
Regina comes up with a plan and they travel to her office where she digs up The Mad Hatter's hat. Emma, now realizing that everything Jefferson/Mad Hatter told her was the truth, mentions his name to Regina. She acts like she's never heard of anyone by the name "Jefferson". (Uh-huh, right Regina. Here, Wraithy, Wraithy.) Anyway, her plan is to capture the Wraith in the spinning hat and send him to oblivion. It does work, except for one slight problem - in the middle of all the spinning smoke chaos, Emma gets pulled into the hat too. And Snow, not wanting to lose her daughter for a second time, jumps in after her. Charming, having the same thought, tries to follow them but the portal closes and he lands smack on the hat - on the floor - still in Storybrook. Triple *gasp*. (BTW, you owe Jefferson a new hat.)
Both Aurora and Mulan mourn Prince Philip.
Charming demands Regina tell him where they are. She insists they are gone for good since Fairytale Land no longer exists. She pushes him against the wall where the wallpaper trees/vines (I've always wondered about those.) begin choking him (So she does have power??). Henry walks in with Red/Ruby and begs her to let him go. She does. He asks her to bring his mother (and grandmother) back and refuses to have anything to do with her until she does.
Belle returns to her Rumpy, and is touched by the token he has kept for so many years - the chipped teacup (aka Chip). But Rumpy once again uses his gift of callousness to push her away, which only strengthens her love for him.
Charming finally changes his tag line to - "I will always find THEM."
Now for the big reveal:
Back in Fairytale Land, Mulan begins to explain to Aurora how The Evil Queen Regina created a curse that sent almost everyone away (the key word being "almost"). The land was frozen until the curse was broken and time started again. That's when Philip and Mulan went in search of the Sleeping Beauty. As the two women are talking, they begin hearing shuffling noises coming from the exact spot where the Wraith had burst forth from. They look under the debris where they find - wait for it - Emma and Snow. Mulan says, "That's what brought the Wraith here." Infinity *gasp*! The End.
Okay, so do you get it? When they sent the Wraith through the hat portal he landed in Fairytale Land and feasted on Prince Philip's soul. So once again, someone else suffered in place of Regina (I blame Henry)!
So Fairytale Land still exists and now Snow and Emma are stuck there. Guess they'll need to call up Jefferson/Mad Hatter (Yay!) for help. But I have the feeling they are going to spend a few episodes letting Snow and Emma explore this land with the new characters because Emma needs to see where she comes from (After all, she wasn't a believer until what, like two days ago?).
So I hope you enjoyed reading this recap of "Broken" and look forward to next week's episode. Post in the comments what you thought of the episode and who you guess "The Mysterious Man" to be. And until next week, remember...
Magic is Back!!!