The season two premiere of ABC's Once upon a Time begins with the unexpected. An entirely new character (played by Michael Raymond-Jones) walks down a busy urban street listening to music. Had I not known better, I would have sworn I was watching a different television show. We don't know who this character is, and will just have to wonder because it isn't explained. But there are other new characters introduced in the great second season premiere. We are also introduced to Mulan (Jamie Chung), Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, played by Sarah Bolger, The Tudors), and her Prince Phillip (Julian Morris).
In the meantime the characters we have come to love or hate over the course of the first season are all dealing with both the breaking of the curse — and the consequences of Mr. Gold (the always-wonderful Robert Carlyle) bringing magic to Storybooke. It's a great start to the new season with some surprises, shifting loyalties, and a long-anticipated moment (or three) between a certain gold-spinning sorcerer and his long-lost lady love.
There have been many spoilers spread across the Internet, but I generally try to keep my preview articles spoilerphobe-safe. So I won’t get specific, but I will tell you a few things just to tease, however:
- Emma (Jennifer Morrison) has a fairly surprising reaction to finding her parents. Well, I suppose not so surprising considering she's been seeking them for more than two decades, now finding out that they're Snow White and Prince Charming?!
- Emma and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) take a mother-daughter trip together. I can't say where; and I can't say how or why, but it's a surprise when it happens.
- The Mulan-Sleeping Beauty story directly connects to the current state of affairs in Storybrooke (and like so many other linked stories, Rumple is connected to it in some way)
- Speaking of Rumple and Mr. Gold, his reunion with Belle (Emilie de Ravin) is by turns sweet, sad, bittersweet and extremely satisfyingly sweet. (I freely admit it, I’m a “Rumbelle” shipper, and I’m in good company, I’m quite sure.) I loved their storyline in “Broken.” Rumple wants nothing but vengeance against Regina for her cruelty towards Belle, but Belle might not like what Rumple has in mind.
- A certain hat makes an appearance, as does the "chipped cup."
- Henry gets a wakeup call of a sort.
- Magic doesn’t quite work the way one might expect it to work—but it does work.
- We do not learn the identity of Dr. Whale.
So, that's enough of a tease for now.Tune in Sunday night for the season premiere, and then stop by after the show for a LiveChat event on Blogcritics to discuss. I’ll be doing one hour after the East Coast airing and one hour after the West Coast airing. Come to one; come to both, or even drop by while the episode airs. Let everyone know that Blogcritics is the place for the Once Upon a Time After Party. Address will be posted everywhere by Sunday morning, and please pass the word!