REVIEW - Once Upon A Time S02E01-4

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Note: This review will contain spoilers for the past four episodes. 

After a break that seemed to go on for eternity, Once Upon A Time is back! When we last saw Storybrooke, Emma had finally broken the curse she'd been denying existed all season, and the townsfolk had just regained their memories only to be consumed by a purple cloud of magic. Now in the fourth episode, magic is well and truly back.

However, since I've missed reviewing the first four episodes I'll give a quick recap.

With the curse broken, it meant we got to see the one reunion everyone has been waiting for – Emma and the Charmings! – and it was an emotional one with lots of crying and accusations from a very hurt and abandoned Emma. But not everyone was happy about the curse breaking either, namely Regina who had to answer to the whole town. That didn't stop her from causing havoc and trapping Emma and Mary Margaret back in the Enchanted Forrest, which up until now everyone had assumed was a just void.

In fact, we find out it's not a void and there's a part of the land which wasn't touched by Regina's curse – except that, like Storybrooke – time stopped for 28 years. In the Enchanted Forrest Mulan, Prince Philip and the newly awakened Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty) have been dealing with the consequences of the curse breaking. Emma and Mary Margaret's arrival creates friction between the two groups of girls and it is only made worse by the presence of Regina's mother Cora, who has apparently been held prisoner in this new land.

Meanwhile in Storybrooke's world, we got a glimpse of a mysterious stranger from another city who is sent a postcard with one word “broken” which we can only assume is referring to the curse. Could this be Baelfire, Rumpelstiltskin's son who was sent to another world? And that's not the only surprise guest who has appeared. It looks like a certain vengeful adopted father came into Storybrooke's world with the curse and now that he has his memory back, he has his sights set on his 'son'.

In lieu of Emma not being there to take custody of Henry, David is taking care of his grandson, and the two of them are working together on 'Operation Scorpion' to get back Emma and Mary Margaret; meanwhile Regina has gotten her magic back, and is once again feared by the town. And Rumpelstiltskin, whose reunion with Belle isn't going so smoothly because he has yet to open up to her, has been experimentally playing with magic to break the curse stopping them from leaving Storybrooke. Why is that? He tells Belle it's to find Baelfire, the one person he cared about most in the world.

The writers of Once Upon a Time are proving again, just how complex their characters can be, and are giving new life and roundedness to classic characters. Not just fairy tale characters any more, the writers have expanded to literary figures like those from Lewis Carroll's classic stories and now J.M. Barrie. Hook's role in episode four's “The Crocodile”, explains what happened to Rumpelstiltskin's wife and adds a twist to the classic tale – think last season's episode “Skin Deep”. And having sexy Irish actor Colin O'Donoghue play the swashbuckling pirate definitely doesn't hurt either.

The first four episodes will definitely keep you on your toes, and grinning with delight as you realise just how entertwined all these characters lives are. But more than that it'll keep you asking questions. One of which (who is the mysterious Doctor Whale?) will likely be answered in this week's episode. I know I have my theories – how about you?

By Sofie Kiriakidis


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