Once Upon a Time Season 2 Review “Broken” – Happy Ending? Not So Fast!

Magic returned to Storybrooke and Once Upon a Time returned to us with the second season premiere, “Broken.” Picking up exactly where we left off in May, we were treated to one beautiful scene of the reunion between friends and family who now remember who they are and what they meant to each other…before everything fell to crap again.

I spent the summer trying to figure out how they were going to give us stories from the Enchanted Forest post-curse and I have to say that I absolutely love this new twist. My only complaint is that Snow and Charming simply cannot catch a freaking break already. I’m starting to think it isn’t Regina who wants them apart; it’s the universe.

Yes, once again the lovers have been parted as Snow and Emma were both sucked into the decimated land that was once their home when they tried to help Regina by using Jefferson’s hat to open a portal and get rid of the wraith for good. Interesting note…Regina didn’t recognize Jefferson’s name. Hmm… I do think it was good, though, that Emma and her mother were stranded together. One of things I loved about this episode was Emma’s reluctance to just fall into a happy family life with her parents (who used to just be her friends) now that they remember her. It felt very true to Emma’s character; she might have to believe in magic now, but she’s still going to fight them on happy endings.

In the Enchanted Forest that isn’t so picture perfect anymore, we were introduced to Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Bolger), Mulan (Jamie Chung) and the man they both love, Prince Phillip. I love this love triangle already. Turns out, there was a corner of Fairytale Land that was unaffected by the curse. Time froze for 28 years and it was only when the curse was lifted that they came back to life, only to find the world ravaged and empty. Well, most of them came back. Aurora didn’t until she was kissed. Has to be a reason for that. I’m sure that will play into the mystery of the season, as Emma and Snow try to find their way back home.

Charming is still in Storybrooke and will be taking care of his grandson until Regina can prove to Henry that she’s worthy of being his adopted mom by, you know, not strangling the townspeople with magical vines. Magic has returned to the town, but it had a little help from Emma before she left. Regina couldn’t access her powers until Emma touched her.

As for Rumple, I was a little surprised that he betrayed his promise to Belle only hours after making it; I thought it would take a few episodes for her to realize that he had no intention of leaving Regina alone. I guess she really must love him to have come back in spite of his own admission that he’s a monster. Beauty wants to tame her Beast…but Beauty might be kidding herself. I am really glad they got a new wig for her this season, though. Girl looks much better now.

There are a lot of questions, of course. Who is Dr. Whale? He’s the new August…trying to figure out who is will keep everyone guessing, probably up until the reveal. Even the citizens of Storybrooke don’t know who he is. My brother thinks he’s Peter Pan. I’m sure everyone has a theory. But speaking of August…um…where is he? Did he turn back into a real man/boy or is he still lying in his room at Granny’s, stiff as a board? How long will Regina be able to hold out from lashing out at the townspeople who want her dead? Can Belle make an honest man out of the Dark One? And just who was that man in the beginning of the episode, who received a postcard from Storybrooke with the word “Broken”?

Wow. They packed a lot into this episode, but I find myself just as intrigued and ready for more as I was a year ago when I saw the pilot. What do you think? Let me know below! And if you never want to miss a review, follow me on Twitter @krieli1.