In fairytale land, we meet Prince Phillip, who’s about to revive Sleeping Beauty aka Princess Aurora with true love’s kiss. Before he does so, he advises his companion (Mulan), If this works, we don’t tell her everything, not right away.” And work it does, Phillip and Aurora joyfully reunite, and the trio start on their way to a “safe haven” away from the new, non-Maleficent dangers that loom. Hmmm. The trio witness a wraith burst out of the ground, then quickly scamper away (being daylight and all). The Wraith, Mulan explains, will hunt down and suck the soul out of whomever has been marked by a talisman – in this case, Phillip, who keeps his mark to himself.
In Storybrooke, Snow, Charming, Ruby, Granny and the Seven Dwarfs reunite. “Now, I find my daughter,” says Snow—and Emma is right there behind her. “So it’s true,” the understandably stunned sheriff remarks. Snow pulls her in for a hug, crying, “You found us!” And if your eyes weren’t welled-up yet, Henry lobs a “Grandpa?” at Charming. The Blue Fairy arrives with a status report on the purple smoke, saying that it brought magic to town, but that the magic operates differently. Snow’s itching to talk to Emma about finding each other, and Emma shows some empathy – “I’ve thought about this moment my entire life!” — but her first priority is to find Gold/Rumplestiltskin and see what he pulled. Spying a lynch mob marching toward the mayor’s residence, the group dahses off to save Regina, since as Henry notes, “She’s still my mom!”
On her front porch, Regina welcomes the storming villagers, then goes to unleash some magical whoop-ass… but comes up empty. Whale then goes in for the kill, but Charming stops him (as in doing so wonder who the heck the doctor really is). Regina for now is thrown behind bars, where she explains to Charming that everyone wasn’t sent back to fairytale and because it no longer exists. Regina is then visited by Rumplestiltskin, who reveals that he knows all about Belle’s 28-year imprisonment – and that Belle has forbidden him from killing his adversary. Instead, Rumple marks Regina’s palm with the talisman, then goes to the woods to bring a wraith to this realm, to seek out its mark and kill her.
Again, Snow tries to talk to Emma about their reunion, but Emma makes clear that it simply isn’t so damn “happy.” She grew up alone, in foster homes, she explains. Snow says the alternative was to be cursed with everyone else. But at least we would have been together, Emma notes. “Which curse is worse?” Touché.
Later, Emma confronts Gold about his treachery and duplicity, but he counters that Henry is A-OK, the curse was lifted and he has a plan to take out Regina. A nicely cleaned-up Belle overhears his semantic loophole, and runs out on her love.
The wraith begins wreaking havoc, first attacking Regina in her cell (until Charming and Snow step in), then later at the courthouse(?). There, Regina has a plan, to use the Mad Hatter’s hat to open a portal back to the non-existent fairytale land – aka “oblivion” – and send the wraith through it. After getting a “power” boost from Emma’s touch, Regina makes the hat do its thing. But as the wraith storms them, Emma gets pulled into the hole after saving Regina’s life, and Snow, determined to not lose her daughter again, jumps in after her. Charming, meanwhile, lunges too late, his wife and daughter lost to… where, exactly? Regina doesn’t know, nor can she vouch that they’re still alive. Regina will get them back, though, Henry declares upon arriving at the scene – or he’ll have nothing to do with her.
Cut to fairytale land, where Phillip sacrifices himself to the wraith. As they put his body to rest on an altar, Mulan explains to Aurora the shocking truth: While she was asleep, the Evil Queen Regina unleashed a curse that sent everyone away – everyone except those in this small corner of the land; they instead were “frozen” in time. When the curse was recently lifted, Mulan and Phillip set out to find Aurora. The women then hear a sound under the debris where the wraith burst from the ground, and find an unconscious Emma and Snow – and deem them responsible for bringing the creature to their land (which is kinda true) and thus blame them for Phillip’s death.
What did you think of the Once Upon a Time Season 2 premiere? Do you think Regina will lift a finger to get Emma and Snow back?