Once Upon a Time season premiere recap: You Gotta Have Wraiths

Far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a Chinese warrior maiden in disguise -- welcome back, Once Upon a Time
Ep. 01 | Aired Sep 30, 2012

YOU'RE A MEAN ONE, EVIL QUEEN You reeeally aaaare a jerk! You lie about your powers, you don't whistle while you work -- Evil Queeeeen...

Jack Rowand/ABC

Phew -- so the fairybacks are now sideways-world-fairybacks, at least tonight. That's tasty, but not as tasty as the various Breadcrumbs strewn throughout tonight's premiere. Such as:

- Let's talk about that opening scene, in which a mysterious stranger living in Manhattan receives word via carrier pigeon that Storybrooke's curse has been broken. The guy is played by Michael Raymond-James, late of True Blood. Who could he be -- Baelfire, all grown up? Henry's father? Both? Neither? Jack Sprat?! For what it's worth, the song that plays when we meet him is "Charley's Girl" by Lou Reed; the lyrics aren't particularly fairy tale-ish, but nothing on Once is an accident.

- And, on a similar note: Who the heck is Dr. Whale, if not Pinocchio's Monstro? He can't be intimately involved in Snow White's back story, since Charming clearly doesn't know Whale's fairy tale identity. Internet theories guess that in Fairy Land, Whale could have been everyone from Peter Pan to Dr. Frankenstein. His nautically themed last name must be a clue, though -- maybe he's Smee? (Joking, guys. Though Captain Hook will show up later this season.)

- How does this extension of the Sleeping Beauty story jibe with what Maleficent told Regina way back in Episode 2? I think the writers might have some retconning to do.

- Unnecessary Henry line of the night: "[Emma] did it. She saved you."

- Snow desperately wants to catch up with her daughter. Emma would like to wait until later, when they can chat over "a glass of wine... or several. Bottles."

- Emma's standoffishness drives Snow to babble about how she and her daughter have already talked about things they shouldn't have discussed, "one-night stands and the like." Since Charming's standing right next to her, Snow must then admit that she and Dr. Whale had a thing: "We were cursed! That is neither here nor there." The episode's funniest moment?

- Oh, also: Emma still owes Rumpelstiltskin a favor. This ought to be good.

- You just know that a ton of people are rooting for Aurora and Mulan to get over Phillip by hooking up with each other. I hereby dub this ship Mulora.

Next week's episode will reveal how Regina and Rumpelstiltskin first met -- and it was written by the great Jane Espenson, to whom all praise is due. But before we look ahead, let's discuss what we just saw. Did "Broken" meet your expectations? And what can't you wait to see in season 2?

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