The inclusion of classic Disney characters has always been a strong point of this series, but once they start toying with the origins is where the real fun starts. Having Mulan join Prince Phillip and Sleeping Beauty is nothing any Disney fan would think of. Their storyline wasn’t terribly original, but it set up Mulan and Beauty well for future episodes. Mulan will please fans, as she seems exactly like she did in the animated film. Sleeping Beauty is somewhat flat as a character, but the events of the episode, Phillip dying, leave her open to become something different than we have seen in past adaptations.
The main focus of “Broken” was the goings on about Storybrooke. A few plot threads were started, like Charming not recognizing who Dr. Whale is. The whole “not killing Regina” thing seems to be the big lingering plot point of the year. Being the better person is only going to get them so far before the plot point becomes annoying. Hopefully the writers will think of some reason that Regina NEEDS to live. Mr. Gold and Belle’s plot line set them up for the season, with them on their own after the first ten minutes. I would have liked some bigger development with them besides soap opera aspects, as they end the same way they began, but it’s only one episode Snow, Charming, and Emma’s weird family is handled perfectly. Naturally Snow is going to want to talk to her daughter, and Goodwin conveys the confusing Snow is having brilliantly.
The season premiere is suppose to set up all the lingering plot threads and get people excited for the future. ”Broken” has done just that. The writers could have easily eased the magic aspects into the show, but instead they threw the audience into the deep end. They bring Wraiths (who act a lot like Dementors), and throw in portals as well. This is the kind of thing that Once Upon A Time needed. It adds the excitement of “what’s around the corner” that LOST was so great at doing. The ending is a huge WTF moment that will send fans into a frenzy. Having one section of land not be touched by the curse seems a little to simple, and I hope the writers decide to discuss this in more depth as the season goes on. One thing that I’m going to keep on my watch list is the “rules” of magic in Storybrooke. It seems that Emma is rather potent when it comes to magic, which is how Regina was able to use magic after Snow and Emma dropped in on Mulan and Beauty.
The acting is spot on. Ginnifer Goodwin takes the cake as a confused mother trying to make up for lost time. Soap opera plot lines can dampen a series like this, as it became annoying to see Mary Margret and David break up then kiss. If handled well, this could be a great plot point. Josh Dallas slips into the fatherly role well. Considering Dallas and Goodwin are dating in real life, it’s no surprise the chemistry between them is electric. Jennifer Morrison is great as Emma, and conveys the confusion of seeing her parents well. Morrison fills Emma with devastation, as no real meeting with her parents was going to satisfy her idea of the event. Lana Parrilla seems to be having a ball as the Evil Queen in Storybrooke.
“Broken” is a great start to season 2 of Once Upon A Time. It’s going to be a great season.
“Broken” gets 4/5.
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