Playing Catch-Up: End of ‘Once Upon a Time’ Season 2

I pride myself on being pretty astute when it comes to watching TV shows and movies; I love being one step ahead of the plot and putting the clues together before the story line is revealed. So I do not understand how it is possible that this little, silly (but great) show Once Upon a Time manages to surprise me every. single. time. I just finished season 2 and there was so much I did not see coming I wanted to smack myself when it was all over. If you are new to the show like me/not caught up here comes the warning:

So the last time I left off, Emma and Rumpelstiltskin (and Henry) were on a quest to find Rumple’s son. The episode in which they did so, “Manhattan,” might be one of my favorite of the season because my reaction went something like this: OMG NEAL IS BAE. WHY DIDN’T I SEE THAT? WHAT CAN THIS MEAN? OMG.

I really just wanted one completely normal, non-fairy-tale/story book character and I wanted Neal to be it. So I got the surprise of my young life when Emma finally confronted Mr. Gold’s son. I’m really going to need to make a family tree soon because things are starting to get very complicated. I think Neal is a great addition to the Storybrooke family. He’s funny, charming, and doesn’t put up with any of Emma’s BS. He fit in with everyone very easily,  especially Henry, although I would have appreciated more of David acting like an angry dad and giving Neal some flack for abandoning Emma and letting her go to jail for him. That would have been funny.

Besides the Bae discovery I felt like the end of season 2 got bogged down with story-lines I didn’t care about. I was only vaguely interested with Greg’s story-line when it first started and as it went on I cared less and less. Sure, the one thing I did guess correctly was that Greg actually was Owen, the little boy Regina creepily tried to steal, but him and Tamara trying to rid the world of magic was too much for me. I was really hoping they would be gone when the season ended, but alas it looks like we haven’t seen the last of them. Also, I think I’ve said it before, but everyone on this show has some SERIOUS parent issues. Greg/Owen is doing all this to find his dad? Granted, the scene when Regina and Sheriff Graham took his dad away was pretty devastating, but seriously it is time to get over it. Same thing goes for Regina and Cora.

Now Cora’s back story is one of the few that did not make me feel for her more as a character- which is a testament to what a great villain she is. She wants what she wants and will do anything to get it; while Regina has some redeeming qualities the same thing cannot be said for her mother. I did appreciate how young Cora was played by Rose McGowan though. She and Robert Carlyle had surprising chemistry and I loved the scene where he taught her how to spin straw into gold (a useful skill for sure). I love how Cora plays everyone equally, including her daughter. And it was nice to finally see Mary Margaret stop being SO SWEET and finally taking some action to kill Cora even if it did lead her to mope around for the next 3 episodes. The blackening of her heart was one of the more interesting parts of the end of the season and I hope it is something they continue to pursue.

The one thing I had a MAJOR problem with was the end of the season. Despite *all* of the insane things that have happened in this show the one thing I could not look past was Regina and the fail-safe trigger that would destroy Storybrooke and everyone in it and the fact that she struggled to contain it for almost the entire episode before Emma comes in and helps her absorb the rest of the power in mere seconds. Sure I may be nitpicking, but it bothered me. Also the fact that EVERYONE in the town was willing to just open a portal and throw the trigger in there. Is the trigger rigged to only destroy Storybrooke? In that case I guess it is okay, but what if it destroyed another land? Did no one think of that?? And how do these portals work anyway? Sometimes it seems like they can be controlled (like when EVERYONE decides to leave the town to go save Henry) and other times (like when Emma and Mary Margaret feel down one) no one seems to know where they lead. And why did no one assume Neal survived? Emma et all wrote off his death pretty quickly even though I knew he couldn’t be dead, not yet anyway. (I know a thing or two about season 3 and my bet for “character who ‘heartbreakingly’ dies in the season 3 finale” is Neal sadly. But maybe I’m wrong. No spoilers!) Neal is where they all wanted to go in the first place, the Enchanted Forest, washing up on the beach ala Leo in Inception. And who is there to greet him? The “oh you’re still here” trio of Aurora, Mulan, and Philip? Wait when did he come back? Am I forgetting something?

Anyway, this show is doing exactly what I want it to: provide some light entertainment (I can only take so much House of Card politics before I need a break) and being just plain fun. I am excited to see what season 3 will bring. So far what I know is: Neverland!  Mermaids! Looking for Henry! Should be a fun ride. Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.

Final Words

  • Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that August is back to being a kid again and no one talks about how weird it is? Emma definitely had feelings for the guy and now he’s the same age as her son, that’s got to be strange.
  • These people are way too trusting-they grow an entire field of the world’s last magic beans and they don’t think to hide it better?
  • Are we ever going to see the upstairs of Mary Margaret/Emma/David’s apartment?
  • Also, Regina (in her Evil Queen form) continues to have the world’s best costumes

Favorite lines:

  • Mary Margaret: Regina is missing and she may be in danger! Rumple: Just the way I like her. (2.21)
  • Emma: If something does go down with Tamara I need to know you got my back. Neal: Emma, if Tamara is hiding Regina here in her evil lair by the docks, yeah I got your back. (2.21)
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