Once Upon a Time: Welcome to Storybrooke
by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
Ever wondered what happened immediately after Regina released the curse and everyone in Fairy Tale Land was instantly in Storybrooke? Wonder no more, dearies, as the most recent episode of Once Upon a Time fills us in!
In the past, a man and his son (Kurt and Owen Flynn, respectively) are out camping when a weird purple storm moves in. They take shelter in their tent, and when the storm passes, come out to find that a town has almost fallen out of the sky. So they head over to find a room and investigate before heading back to New Jersey.
In Storybrooke, Regina awakes in an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar house in an unfamiliar town. She goes out for a walk to see people going about their lives as if they’ve been doing it for as long as they can remember. Initially, she enjoys the fact that the curse worked, until it ends up being the same thing every day. She goes to Gold, telling him that it didn’t work as it should have, to which he plays dumb, saying he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She then believes he, too, has lost his memory (oh, that wily Rumple!) and goes to Granny’s restaurant. There, she meets Kurt and Owen. She’s confused how they got there and asks the sheriff, who doesn’t know them either. And, as we know Regina, she doesn’t like surprises.
After asking them to leave, Owen gives her a little trinket, which warms Regina’s cold heart. She suddenly has a desire for them to be around, particularly Owen. So she asks them to stay, but they really need to get back. In order to prevent them from leaving, Regina instructs the sheriff to arrest Kurt for drunken driving. After a pursuit, Kurt is apprehended and Regina asks Owen to stay. He likes it in Storybrooke but doesn’t want to stay, so Regina allows him to leave. Owen later comes back with police to free his father, but the town is gone… or more covered by magic.
In present-day Storybrooke, Regina is plotting her revenge against Snow for killing her mother while Snow is moping and depressed about what happened. Gold comes to tell them that Regina is planning to get her revenge. She has a spell that will make Henry love her (thought that was one thing magic COULDN’T do) and will kill Snow, so she gets both of the things she wants. However, Henry is against it and asks her not to do anything, which eventually convinces Regina to burn the spell (she’ll do anything for him). Later, Snow shows up at Regina’s home asking Regina to kill her for what she’s done. Regina pulls her heart out, only to see a dark mass circulating through it. Snow’s heart has now been blackened by Cora’s death and Regina knows it will only grow. To kill Snow now would be to do her a favor. Meanwhile, Greg (guy who drove into town) videos the interaction between Regina and Snow, as well as the heart being pulled out, on his phone. He then gets in his car and says, “I will find you, Dad.” Greg is actually Owen returned!
“Welcome to Storybrooke” definitely had that filler episode feel. It was nice to have a backstory of what actually happened after the curse was cast, to see how everyone got into their current roles. It was a nice little scene when Regina asks Snow how long she’s been teaching for, and Snow really can’t give her an answer except “for as long as I can remember.” Another great scene with Snow and Regina was when they bump into each other on the street. The interaction was the pure embodiment of what it means to be Snow White and was really nice to see how much she’s grown as a character.
In terms of the antagonists in the show, it seems harder and harder to follow. Three episodes ago Regina was on the straight and narrow, fighting to gain Henry’s trust, and now she’s back to her evil ways. Gold/Rumple is another character who can go either way, though I do enjoy how the direction the writers take his character. He tends to walk that fine line between evil and good, more looking out for himself (as Rumple tends to do), but not going too far in one direction or the other. He’s more of a wild card in this series. But now we have the mostly holy of good people in Snow possibly moving towards the proverbial dark side. It’s definitely an interesting direction to take the character and, being that Snow is a main focus for the show, if she goes that direction, then huge changes can only be ahead for everyone else.
Finally, the character of Greg/Owen… I really don’t understand. We have yet to see his father in the first two seasons, besides in this episode, so what can really be ahead for this character? They weren’t story book characters to begin with, so what was the point of bringing them into this fray? It’s not like Once Upon a Time doesn’t have enough characters as it is already. When you have too many characters, it often ends in a story that doesn’t hold the audience’s attention for long. I hope the writers know what they are doing.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars