If you’re new to ABC’s hit series Once Upon a Time, here’s your chance to catch up. The network will air a marathon New Year’s Day, rebroadcasting each of the first seven episodes beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET. Even if you’re not a newbie, this is the perfect opportunity to re-watch most of the first seven episodes in advance of new episodes, which return January 8, 2012.
Starting with the pilot episode, which originally aired October 23, viewers can gear up for the show’s return by tuning into the back stories and slightly twisted histories of favorite fairy tale characters, including Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwing) and her prince (Josh Dallas), the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle), and many others. “Still, Small Voice” which centers on Jiminy (Raphael Sbarge) and his alter ego Archie will not air during the marathon.
(Beware of mild spoilers below the video.)
When the series returns with the intriguingly-titled “Desperate Souls,” the story will pick up in the aftermath of Sheriff Graham’s (James Dornan, the Evil Queen’s huntsman in the “Snow White” fairy tale) untimely demise. Without a sheriff to dole out Storybrooke justice, who will take his place? You may recall that Emma had just become his deputy, so she is a likely candidate. However, Mayor Regina Mills (who is also the Evil Queen back in the Enchanted Forest) may have other ideas, because as Mr. Gold says, there appears to be “no love lost” between Emma and the powerful mayor.
“Desperate Souls” also explores Rumple’s origin story, taking us back to a time before he resembled the wild-eyed, insane prisoner we meet in the series pilot. Back then, it seems, he was a humble peasant, the father of a 13-year old boy. Powerless in the face of the queen’s guard to protect his young son. That’s all I’m telling you, because that’s all I know. For more on “Desperate Souls,” be sure to read my recent interview with writer Jane Espenson, who penned the episode. And here’s a quick sneak peak to tease…
And for those who prefer to catch up or re-watch online, ABC’s video site offers all seven episodes as well, for your viewing pleasure. And, of course, you can read Blogcritics Once Upon a Time ongoing feature for an in-depth look at the series from its beginnings.