Once Upon A Time: Season 2 wrap up

I had been getting a little annoyed with Once Upon A Time for a while. The show has way too many characters than it can handle. Plots and characters have weaved in and out at random. There has not been much of villain this season. And this show cannot make up its mind if we are supposed to sympathize with or fear Regina.

But, a fair number of those problems were figured out in the last few episodes of the season. Let’s run through them shall we.

1. A plot was discovered off the coast of Storybrooke. 

11USSSwanQueen

One of my main complaints with the show this season was a weak plot line. At first the Charmings had to reunite their family. That only took like six episodes. Then they had to stop the villains who followed them to Storybrooke. But, Cora (Barbara Hershey) just wanted to be with her seemingly reformed daughter Regina (Lana Parrilla). Regina took a few episodes to decide if she was evil or not, but never really made a decision. The villain titles floated around from Cora, Regina even through we are supposed to feel sorry for her, a misunderstanding with a friendly giant, a CGI black spot on Snow’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) heart and a stranger with daddy issues.

Mixed in with all that is Belle (Emilie de Ravin) losing her memory, Bealfire being Emma’s ex/Henry’s dad Neal (Michael Raymond-James), more family tree tangling, Belle becoming Lacey and Ruby’s (Meghan Ory)’s still unsolved disappearance. A lot was happening, too much was happening. But, really nothing was happening. Details were being thrown at us and we were told back stories we didn’t need to know.

But a plot was suddenly found with the introduction of Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green). She was a villain, a real villain. She and finally explained Greg/Owen (Ethan Embry) steal the magic beans, torture Regina, try to blow up Storybrooke, kidnap Henry and take him to Neverland. The Charmings, including extended family members Rumple, Belle and Regina, are forced to ban together to save Henry and stop anyone else from discovering Storybrooke. This is good. That is a plot with a villain, an end goal and a conflict–those who enter Neverland can not leave. I hope its stays for more than six episodes.

2. So, you’re evil secret agents. 

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At first Greg was just a random guy that drove down the wrong road while a pirate, the Dark One and a Disney princess were fighting. He then hang out in the hospital for a while and took some cell phone footage of Regina performing magic all around town. He wasn’t much of a villain, even though he could have exposed the world to Storybrooke.

I thought Tamara was a good villain from the start but her telling The Dragon in Hong Kong that she analyzed his magic with the most sophisticated technology known to man caused a laugh. But, these two were linked together and in the last two episodes it was explained that they are part of some secret anti-magic fighting team. With a home base and protocols and everything.

Yes, something on this show that makes sense. Unlike most thing on Once if you think about it too much it has more loop holes than Lacey has empty whiskey bottles. But, this anti-magic force that Tamara and Greg are a part of doesn’t. We don’t know everything about it. It seems like evil Peter Pan is the head of it but not even they know who they are fighting for. And since they aren’t the only people involved this it, it could stick around and come back whenever the villain title floats away again.

3. Let the Lana Parrilla love fest begin!

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In season one it was rather easy to write Regina off as an evil bitch that Emma only saved from a burning building because she was trying to get on her son’s good side. In “The Stable Boy” the show tried to humanize her for the first time but kept her evil. She works with Emma to save Henry at the end of season one and Emma convinces her parents they need to save her in the season two premiere  Regina is on her road to redemption for a while but the show knocks her off her, throws her in with her mom for a while and tries to make her a villain again.

The show never seemed to make up its mind if we are supposed to like her or not. I have always sort of liked her and after she broke down into tears when she magicked away Daniel, I was set in the idea that she is just the most misunderstood of the heroes. The show finally made its decision on Regina in the finale. She was working with the Charmings, she was willing to sacrifice herself to save the town, she just wants to be a person again and the SwanQueen shippers would say Emma almost confessed her love to her (I’m on board with that).

She is on the boat heading to Neverland with heroes, semi-hero Rumple and up-in-the-air Hook going to Neverland to find the one thing they all have in common: Henry. He is family for the Charmings, Regina and Rumple and Hook played pirate-step-dad to Neal for a little and wants to save his son.

***

A lot of problems were fixed with the end of season two. But don’t get me wrong, this is Once Upon A Time. There are still numerous problems.

1. What? 

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What? That flash of a scene is one of those things about this show that doesn’t make any sense when you think about it. Neal fell through a portal to the Fairytale World after he had been shot in Storybrooke during a fight with Emma and Tamara. He washes up on a beach and these three find him. Prince Phillip (Julian Morris), what are you doing there? When we left Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Aurora (Sarah Bolger) way too long ago, they set to find their “true love’s” soul that had been taken by a wraith.

They could have found it and brought Phillip back to live. But the three of them have not been seen together and Mulan has not wore the silly helmet since the first episode of season two. That lead me to initially thinking Neal had someone been transported to the Fairytale World about four months ago. But, now that I look at it more and see that Aurora is looking at Mulan — instead of Phillip — concerned maybe this is the time its supposed to be. Hopefully. #sleepingwarrior

2. Three locations…because that worked well before.

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Once Upon A Time can handle two locations. Usually it is Storybrooke in the present and the Fairytale World in the past. But with most of the characters heading to Neverland, the set up of Belle protecting Storybooke and Neal popping up in the Fairytale World that is three locations. And that is assuming we are finished with back story flashbacks to the Fairytale World. The show already suffered this problem when Emma and Snow were in the Fairytale World early this season. It was too many locations for the show to handle.

Shows like Game of Thrones with huge casts can get away with having characters appear for only a few minutes per episode. But, Once Upon A Time started with five main characters and keeps upping the importance of minor characters and sometimes they overshadow the others. I don’t know if I would like a whole episode focusing on Neal if we only get a glimpse of Regina and the Charmings and the happenings in Storybrooke.

3. Seriously, where is Ruby?  RedBeauty

Alright Belle, you have your memory back and have been left in charge of protecting Storybrooke because the regular heroes are off to Neverland. Now, go locate your best friend and the other fill-in hero: Ruby. She has gone missing. Even in the finale when the Charmings rounded up everyone to be taken out of Storybrooke before it exploded, Ruby wasn’t there. My concern about Ruby’s whereabouts is not just because I ship RedBeauty almost as much as I ship SleepingWarrior. Ruby is best friends with Snow and Charming too and if there was someone they would trust to protect the town with Belle it would be Ruby. Meghan Ory has still be in the credits every week but she hasn’t been seen since “Selfless, Brave and True.” Hopefully in the season three premiere she is just there refilling Belle’s iced tea or something.

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