This time last season, Henry had taken a bite of poisoned apple turnover -- so comparatively, "Second Star to the Right" felt a little lackluster. The episode was missing the sense of urgency that permeated "An Apple Red as Blood."
This week's episode of shifted the focus back to Rumplestiltskin and Belle and their tentative romance, following our imp as he attempted to find a way out of Storybrooke, and in the Fairytale Land That Was, showing Belle's encounters with several kinds of men, both beastly and misunderstood.
We knew that the creative team behind "Once Upon a Time" had something big in store for the show's winter finale, but it was still great to see all the plot threads tied so definitively together in "Queen of Hearts," making for an action-packed hour.
After the last episode's hit-and-miss introduction to Frankenstein, this week's episode felt like a breath of fresh, top-of-the-beanstalk air. We finally found out who Michael Raymond-James is playing, and who sent him the postcard in the season premiere ...
This week's "Once Upon a Time" certainly fit in with the rest of ABC's Halloween fare, with an abundance of lightning and shambling monsters and creepy heart stealing -- but the end result left me a little cold.
Good ideas and the exceptional casting of Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook were all that saved this episode, which seemed sadly weighed down with clunky dialogue and the kind of wooden acting that makes Pinocchio look like a real boy by comparison.
The second episode of "Once Upon a Time" Season 2, had a lot more breathing room than the premiere, resulting in an hour that emphasized what the show does best: compelling backstory, fascinating character interplay, and a lot of secrets still to be revealed.
"Broken" was a gripping and competently plotted hour -- none of the scenes felt extraneous and although there was undoubtedly a lot of plot and set-up to get through in 42 minutes, the narrative certainly felt more liberated without the curse.
From the gripping opening to the ominous final moments, the finale was exactly what Once Upon a Time was always meant to be: a fairytale come true. We had a courageous heroine, valiant quests, and true love's kiss.
While Geppetto had no way of knowing what his selfishness would cost at the time, he inadvertently made so many lives so much worse ... Recent episodes of "Once" have that loving parents should never be separated from their children.
I was expecting to love tonight's "Once Upon a Time" a little more than I actually did. I can't really put my finger on why, except to say that it felt a little like it was missing its heart somehow. (How apt.)
The beauty of this episode was that it truly provided a logical (if not justifiable) reason for Regina's hatred of Snow White, while making The Evil Queen sympathetic for the first time. And we also witnessed true evil being born.
Sebastian Stan played our sympathetic Mad Hatter, known as Jefferson in both worlds ... I hope we'll get to see him again soon, since Stan captured all of Jefferson's misery, love and lunacy effortlessly.
I love the way they continue to save each other; it truly seems like an equal partnership, which is my favorite kind of TV romance, and one that's far more pure and admirable than what Mary Margaret and David currently have in Storybrooke.
The way "Once Upon A Time" turned Red Riding Hood's tale on its head was perhaps the biggest surprise yet in terms of characterization .. The hour seemed so strong that it's nice to simply sit back and enjoy it on its own merits.