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Review: Once Upon a Time Second Season and Finale

I can officially review this show now, as it has a graphic novel spinoff coming in the fall, and I’m excited, as it is oneOnceUponaTimeS2DVD of my favorite shows on TV at the moment… but did its finale work well for the second season?  Warning SPOILERS AHEAD!

First off, let me say that Season one was amazing.  From start to finish, it had me on edge, wanting to see what was going to happen next.  Then the finale came for the first season, and I was even more intruiged.  Now let’s get on to season 2.

It begins with Once’s take on the Sleeping Beauty tale.  A wraith hunts down Prince Phillip, while Princess Aurora and Mulan are left to fend for themselves.  Emma and Snow have arrived here as well in the Enchanted Forest.  At first the meeting does not go well between them, but Mulan eventually learns to trust Emma and Snow.  With Magic now present in Storybrook, Emma and Snow do what it takes to return there.

Throughout the season we see a theme.  During the first half of season 2, Emma and Snow make it their mission to return to storybrooke, even when it means teaming up with the famed Captain Hook and tackling a Giant at the top of a beanstalk.  The twisted takes on fairytales continues to excite me throughout the season.  Things like Lancelot, and Frankenstein being incorporated into it as well as Cora being revealed to be the actual Queen of Hearts from Wonderland were a lot of fun.

Things I didn’t like too much were the following:  Tamara and Greg… Although I liked the reveal that Tamara was Greg’s “her” I feel that these characters were annoying as hell.  I was beginning to think that Tamara was really a witch of Oz, but it just turns out she was a pawn of something bigger (we’ll get to that).  She was the true bitch of this season.  While true evil like Cora is wrong, she is still likeable.  Tamara has nothing about her that I like, and Greg is just as irritating.  Greg’s father was lost in Storybrooke long ago, yet he doesn’t seem to care at the end.  It is all about the mission.  Even if Regina did kill his father in the past, it doesn’t matter.  A personal vendetta just seemed to be dropped for the twist at the end.  I also didn’t like Belle losing her memory.  I didn’t feel it drove the story any until she had fallen for bad boy Rumple, but even the effects of that were short lived.

I also felt that this season had no ups and downs.  Is this a bad thing?  No.  It just didn’t have me waiting for the next episode as much as I was in the first season.  High points to me were Cora… Regina’s struggles with good and evil…  Neil being revealed as Baelfire… and the mystery of other people finding out about Storybrooke.

As for the finale, and inclusion of Peter Pan lore, I thought it was done well.  I really like that they are making Pan out to be a bad guy, because in the original novel, he was really a selfish prick of sorts.  Not sure to what degree this will hold up, but I can’t wait to find out.  The only other complaints I have are that I have to wonder what kind of taser can electrocute a wooden Pinnochio.  Also, how does the group know that the magic bean will take them to the realm that they want?  Did Rumple control that?

Next season I’m hoping we get a little Mermaid inclusion, but I’m looking forward to seeing Neverland and actually Peter Pan himself, not just his shadow.  Rumplestiltkin, the Evil Queen, Emma, Snow White, Prince Charming and Captain Hook are all now teamed up to save the one person that they all care about… Henry.  They have no idea if Neal is even still alive, and it appears that they are going to bring Prince Phillip, Mulan and Aurora back into it again.

Still love this series, and am looking forward to the spinoff Once Upon a Time In Wonderland.  I’m curious as to whether the writers will do a crossover episode or two.  Can’t wait til the fall.  Season 2 gets 7 out of 10 stars from me.

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