One great thing I’ve noticed in the first season of this show is that the writers seem to have mapped out the whole series in advance and while they’ve made adjustments based on what’s popular on Television and Film (the appearance of Frozen within Once Upon a Time is a key case in point) they still seem to have a clearly defined idea of where they want to take this show and where they want the characters to go. This is much more refreshing than what happened in Lost – or at least what I feel happened in Lost and other shows like that, where no one it seemed knew what was going to happen next.
While Season 4 is currently on TV I’ve only managed to complete Season 1 (on Netflix) at this point so this post and the subsequent ones might have some spoilers or comments from the episodes I’ve seen but they won’t include the most current episodes.
For those of you that have not seen or heard of Once Upon a Time – you can read my full review of the Pilot episode here. However in a nutshell an Evil Queen has taken all of our favorite story book characters to a new land without magic… Storybrooke, Maine! Here all of our hero’s and villains live a normal life with no memory of who they were or where they came from. Into this land comes Emma Swan as the Savior. The hero that will defeat the Evil Queen and return these characters of legend to the land they truly call home.
The Mayor/Evil Queen (Regina) has Henry’s book as mentioned in my last post, and as she’s looking through it, she discovers that the last few pages have been torn out. When she confronts Henry to find out what happened, he lies and tells her that its just an old book and its not surprising that some of the pages are missing. He has however removed these pages specifically and given them to Emma as the pages specifically relate to her and her past as the child of Snow White and Charming.
If you recall from my previous post, the Evil Queen pronounced that she would be casting a terrible curse on everyone at Snow White and Charming’s wedding. After she made this pronouncement, she went to see Maleficent. Maleficent it seems has the Evil Queens Dark Curse and after a quick but vicious battle, the Evil Queen won it back. When the Evil Queen completes the spell however, it fails to do anything as while she had sacrificed the heart of her prized stallion, it was not enough. The Queen would have to sacrifice more – but she didn’t know what.
She goes to visit Rumpelstiltskin who agrees to help her understand why it failed, but only if she ensures that in the new land he will be rich and wealthy. The Queen also has to promise to do anything she asks as long as he says “please”. The Queen agrees to this easily as if her curse comes to pass, he will remember nothing anyways. Rumpelstiltskin then tells her that for her curse to succeed, she must cut out the heart of the thing she loves the most … he also tells her that he’s already informed Snow White and Charming that their daughter will be the only thing able to break the curse.
The Queen returns to her castle where she confides Rumpelstiltskin’s solution to her valet & father. Realizing quickly that he is the only thing she still cares about he tries to dissuade her, but is unsuccessful as she stabs him through the heart. Returning to the site where she was unsuccessful in her first attempt to launch the curse, the Queen tries again, this time with her fathers heart and thick black smoke starts to boil out. As the curse takes shape, she lays a black rose on her father’s grave. The headstone bears the inscription “Henry, Beloved Father.”
Henry and Emma agree to come up with a plan to break the curse – Operation Cobra – and while Emma is doing it just to humor Henry, Henry obviously believes very strongly that each character in his book is somehow linked to someone in town. Emma becoming ever more concerned about Henry’s state of mind, visits Archie Hopper – Henry’s therapist – who tells her that she should go along with his psychosis as to do otherwise would be damaging to Henry. He subsequently gives Emma Henry‘s file (not too much concern about Doctor patient confidentiality here!) and while Emma is reading this, she is arrested again when Archie claims (under duress from the Queen of course) that she stole it.
Regina continues to try and push Emma out of Storybrooke and while her search with Sidney (the editor of the Daily Mirror) for something negative about Emma after her previous accident and incarceration didn’t turn up anything, she’s hoping that this second arrest will make Henry see that Emma is not good for him (NOTE: in these early episodes its really hard to tell if Henry is onto something or if he is really insane. Regina seems really normal and while the fairy-tale elements of her life portray her as the Evil Queen she definitely doesn’t act that way with Henry). Not only is this attack by Regina unsuccessful, Emma retaliates by attacking Regina’s apple tree with a chainsaw!
Trying to fix her apple tree, Mr. Gold appears and tells Regina that he can help her get rid of Emma. Not wanting to make another deal with him (she mentions that he’d helped her get Henry from somewhere) she rebuffs him. However as she asks him questions about Emma and his past, he ddeclinesto comment and when Regina tries to block his exit, he leaves after asking her to “please” let him by. As Gold walks away, Regina gives him a meaningful stare and the question becomes does he remember?
Wow – writing this post now, its hard to believe that all of that happened in just one episode! It wasn’t that long ago that I watched it, but this while only the 2nd episode of the series is one of the most pivotal and has so much information in it is scary! Keep tuned for Episode 3 – coming soon