'Once Upon a Time': Season Two Premieres With Magic and Angst
Another dislocating flash back to the scene of Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Bolger), elsewhere in the world, with the prince’s companion wandering off from the couple to explore an earthquake. A large, hovering and hooded black spectre appeared – presumably the one from the opening titles – lashing out against the guard and happy couple. It dropped a medallion, which prompted the prince to deem the spectre “something bad.” Meanwhile, Rumple and Belle return to his little shop of horrors, where Rumple retrieved an ornate metal box containing the same unknown medallion with an Asian-inspired glyph. As usual, Rumple continues to be in the mix of everything, while Regina is nowhere to be seen. So much for Rumple not giving into his hate and allowing him and Belle to live in happiness, huh?
Regina calmly answered the door to face the mob, looking pale and radiant – and unconcerned – as ever. “You wanted to see your Queen? Well, my dears, here she is,” she stated, raising her arms and displaying her utter lack of power. Charming, Prince, and Emma arrived just in time to prevent a lynching, coming face to face with a new stranger who pointed out Charming isn’t his prince. Snow recommended locking Regina up, for her own safety and for everyone else’s, and as she was locked in she told Prince and Snow that their fairytale land is gone.
Rumple showed up to face Regina alone, and in their usual showdown of power and stubbornness with iron bars between them. Rumple confronted Regina about Belle, and informed her that he won’t be killing her thanks to a promise. He informed her there is one thing no one can escape: Destiny. “And I promise, yours is particularly unpleasant,” he mocked.
Back in the Arabian lands, the armored guard is revealed to be Mulan (Jamie Chung) of Disney Princess fame, who cautioned Sleeping Beauty and her Prince that the medallion denotes the dreaded soulsuckers. Prince Phillip unfortunately was marked by one of the creatures, the dark spectre, which he of course hid from not only his beloved but his closest ally, Mulan. Elsewhere, Rumple ventured into the woods with his medallion, apparently summoning the soulsucker and causing the glyph to appear on Regina’s palm.
Once again, Snow tried to corner Emma for a discussion about their connection. Snow was struggling with the realization that they’re mother and daughter, and her lack of conviction that Emma is glad to learn she has parents. Emma countered that all she’s ever known is that her parents sent her away, and for some reason both Snow and Prince seem unable to recognize Emma’s side of the equation. “Which curse is worse,” Emma countered, when Snow said she’d have been cursed if they’d kept her with them; Emma’s stance, it seems, is that they’d have all at least been together. Lots of angst and awkward pauses in conversation seem to be in the future for the mother-daughter pair, especially since for the majority of season 1 the two were a couple of girlfriends sharing stories and escapades.
Prince Phillip and Sleeping Beauty spent some time snogging in the woods, before he disappeared for a promised “five minutes” that ended up being much more. I’m sure none of us are surprised by that, given the dynamic of the show, but I can’t help feeling sorry for the seemingly oblivious women that compose the cast of ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Emma is singularly exempt from this rule; she even threatened to punch Rumple in the face if he didn’t answer her questions. He revealed that the purple haze was, in fact, magic, but declined to explain why he summoned it forth. “That is my gift to you. That is going to take care of Regina,” he told Emma, while lights flashed and sirens screeched outside. “You still owe me a favor,” he reminded Emma just before they left his shop.
Belle emerged from the back room, looking ravishing and disgruntled, and accused Rumple of lying to her. “I will not kill her,” Rumple protested, and she told him he played with words. Crying, she fled the shop, even as Rumple declared he was sorry for being the villain we all know he is. I couldn’t help wishing he’d look at Belle, smirk in his evil-version way, and ask, “Have we met?” Actor plays a fantastic villain, and I’m honestly relieved to see he won’t be completely changing his behavior and personality simply because Belle has returned.