The producers of Once Upon a Time really have no problem breaking all the rules anymore, huh? After a game changing season finale, which I thought was one of the best ones on TV last year, the creators wasted no time in not only explaining how the show will work, but completely upending what we thought about what the show could be about.
In Fairytale Land, we thought we were getting flashbacks during the entire episode of how to kill a Wraith, as we assumed Sleeping Beauty and Mulan would do after it killed Prince Phillip. But it was hard to shake the feeling—hey, why haven’t we seen Mulan in Storybrooke yet?
And it was because she wasn’t there. Neither of them were. We were not watching a flashback. We were watching something taken place at the exact same time as our Storybrooke plotlines. Lost waited a few seasons to do that — Once Upon a Time was daring to do it in only their second season.
Once you figured out that logic, it wasn’t hard to realize that was precisely where Snow White and Emma were going to wind up after getting sucked into the magic hat that took the wraith away from Storybrooke.
Why was it there? Because Rumple decided to get rid of his enemy, Regina, once and for all. The townspeople were convinced by Henry and others that it was wrong. But after witnessing what his adopted mother was capable of – she almost killed his grandfather – it doesn’t appear like Henry will cut her slack every again. Or show her any love, unless she changes her ways. (She could probably start with bringing his mother and grandmother home.)
The pay-off for the episode was fantastic and somewhat surprising. The initial pay-offs, for seeing everyone “meet” for the first time, wasn’t as epic as one might have hoped, however. But even judging fans had to feel a little something when the dwarves hugged Snow White and called her “Your Highness.”
Emma and Snow White being trapped somewhere close to Fairytale Land will probably drive a good portion of the season, but we’re still also left with a number of other fascinating questions:
- Who is Dr. Whale? He seemed pretty angry with Regina and was leading the townspeople to kill her. What did she do to him in Fairytale Land?
- When is Rumple going to collect the favor that Emma owes him?
- And of course… who is the mysterious stranger who’s in a location that looks awfully like New York City in the opening minutes of the premiere? Baelfire, Rumple’s son? Henry’s father? Both? We never see him again after the opening minutes, but he’ll be back.
We are left with the two villains of the series regaining their powers, but with both of them having the ability to change and redeem themselves. Belle is going to stay with Rumple, as she sees it’s the only way to get him to stop being evil. Henry offers his love and forgiveness, meanwhile, if Regina turns away from her hate.
Could we find ourselves later in the season with one fighting the other, on the side of good? Or both of them becoming good and fighting an even greater evil? (If you’ve seen some of the trailers, we know who is coming…)
Can’t wait to find out.
Other final thoughts:
- Are the wraiths a rip-off of Dementors from Harry Potter? Or is it the other way around?
- How did Emma et al manage to miss Rumple sneaking into the Sheriff’s Office, and still get beaten by back to his shop afterwards?
- Is “We were cursed!” the new “We were on a break!”?