Picking up where season one left off, Once Upon a Time Season 2 shows the curse is broken and everyone remembers who they are. This season brings threats from new characters, including Regina’s mother, Captain Hook, and people from this world who are intent on finding magic and obtaining it for their own uses.
This season started out strong, with episodes like “Broken”, “The Crocodile”, “Tallahassee”, and “Into the Deep”. We are introduced in “Broken” to Baelfire (Rumpelstiltskin’s son, played by Michael Raymond-James), who is living in New York City, and to Mulan (Jamie Chung), Prince Phillip (Julian Morris), and Princess Aurora (Sarah Bolger), all living in a part of the Enchanted Forest which wasn’t affected by Regina’s curse. This was a strong episode which brought me right into the story again and moved things along without missing a beat.
In “The Crocodile”, we learn more about Rumpelstiltskin’s (Robert Carlyle) background and one of the likely reasons he chose to become the Dark One. Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) is introduced as the rogue who ran away with Rumpelstiltskin’s wife. I found this episode to be one of the strongest in Once Upon a Time Season 2 because of how it solidified the driving forces behind Rumpelstiltskin’s actions.
More about Emma’s past with Baelfire is revealed in “Tallahassee”, and also learn that Baelfire (who goes by Neal in this world) is Henry’s father. I really liked this episode because it showed how hard it was for Emma to give up her son, and how devastated she was when Neal had abandoned her. I liked how it showed her determination to turn over a new leaf. This was an excellent episode.
For someone who likes plot twists and turns and political machinations, “Into the Deep” is full to the brim with them. Cora (Barbara Hershey) is intent on getting revenge on Regina and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin). This episode really kept me on my toes as I had to pay attention to everything to make sure I understood what was happening. Missing even a minute of the episode would have made it confusing. Even watching everything, it was hard to tell whose side anyone was on at the end of the episode. Very nicely done.
The middle to end of the Once Upon a Time Season 2 became weaker. To me, it seemed to be a combination of the directing and writing which caused the episodes to flounder a bit and lose some of the punch they had near the beginning of the season. It felt like they weren’t sure what they wanted to do with the rest of the season.
Even with those weaknesses, I was still interested enough to continue watching after Once Upon a Time Season 2. Perhaps part of it was the introduction of Peter Pan as a villain in the last episode. As Peter Pan is one of my favorite Disney films, I just had to see what was next.
Original Air Dates: September 30, 2012 – May 12, 2013 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-PG
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (very occasional social drinking)
Language: 1 (mild, very occasional)
Sexuality: 1 (occasional innuendo)
Violence: 2 (magical violence, fisticuffs, swordfights, death)