Finally. Finally. Even though I only started watching ONCE UPON A TIME not even a month back, the wait for the new season was way too long. But: I survived, somehow, just like so many other fans out there. And we were rewarded handsomely.

OUAT’s second season’s first episode throws us right into… the unknown. More or less. I shook my head at myself when I saw the horse, heard the horn and knew we are in NYC, despite never having been even close to the city *lol*

My best guess is that this guy is Bae… would make sense, as he knows about the Curse, but isn’t affected by it. On the other hand, Bae was long gone when the whole Curse thing was started in Fairy Tale Land (FTL). Which makes me wonder – could he actually know about it? Did he feel it happen? And anyways, who sent the message – Whale, perhaps? I still go with what some people assume – that Bae is also Henry’s father.

Now my imagination is going wild with the thought that if Rumple is connected to Emma in some way through Henry and Bae, then it would be another explanation for why he has magic, because…

Ah, well, let’s start at the beginning – the Charmings, the Good ones, and Regina.

The family reunion and the reunion of the Good ones in general was a real tearjerker. And yep, the moment Snow hugged Emma, I started to cry. Then the dwarves, and Red and Granny… wonderfully made. They’re genuinely happy to have each other for real now, and it was absolutely believable. As was Emma’s later outburst when Snow wanted to talk to her daughter – questioning the decision of her parents to send her away. She would rather lived with them and the Curse than having to grow up without them, and it really is a very hard decision to make – there is no right and no wrong. The Charmings did what was best for all of FTL; not necessarily what was best for their daughter. And she has every right to blame them. I wonder if we will see this talk (with one glass or several… bottles of wine) between the three of them.

What I found interesting is this still-present need to save Regina. Of course here Henry asked for it, but nevertheless, even though James wants her dead and Grumpy didn’t mind the mob, Snow is pleading her case, which I think is fascinating, seeing that she should be the last one to forgive her… but then, it’s often those who are most involved that can think clearly when it comes to their enemies. In any way I thought that the development Regina – and her abilities – took throughout the episode as interesting as they are frightening. First she’s locked away, then she is… ha ha – cursed (sorry) – by Rumple, only to be almost killed by a Wraith (anyone else had to think of STARGATE ATLANTIS?), but saved by the Charmings, of all people. Then she gets Jefferson’s hat (which Emma realizes he was looking for – well played, Regina, your ‘I’m innocent and oblivious’ performance was quite believable), but doesn’t get it to work… until she is touched by Emma.
And that was totally the moment I jump from my seat because it dawned on me what it could mean. Magic is back, but no one, not even Regina, has it. So maybe it’s like a machine and a battery, only that they are not connected… and Emma is exactly that connection. A funnel, a catalyst, a way to get magic back to people. At least to those who possessed it before as well, like Regina. If Emma had touched the Mother Superior/Blue Fairy… Or Rumple for that matter. Wonder what she could do to FTL… and how much magic she actually possesses, as she *is* True Love, of the product of it, and True Love is the most powerful magic of all.

So, Emma and Snow are back in FTL – only that it is in one that is broken and in ruins.

But, at least some fairy tale characters are left… not sure though if this is a good thing, especially not for Emma and Snow who Mulan obviously blames for Phillip’s death.

Mulan, Aurora and Phillip. Now that’s what I call a mix-up. Mulan being in Sleeping Beauty’s land, helping the Prince find his Aurora, and falling in love with him. Huh. I’m not yet sure what to think of it, to be honest… only that it surely was thought of as a way to introduce the Wraith, and to show which land Emma and Snow would land in.

By the way, the land – I believe that Regina doesn’t know whether the two women are still alive – for all she knows, FTL has fallen apart under the lack of caretaking. 28 years are a long time, and this will have left its marks – as we can see with Sleeping Beauty’s castle (which looks more like Yasmin’s castle from Aladdin…).

I guess we’ll see more of the love triangle – can’t imagine Phillip to be really dead, plus they heard the souls “scream”, so there might be the chance that they are, well, retrievable – especially now that Snow and Emma are there. As far as I am concerned, I hope Aurora will change and stop being so bitchy, because she was towards Mulan, surely out of jealousy, but also contempt because Mulan is dressed and fighting like a man.

Back to Storybrooke. Yep, I saved the best for last, of course. Rumbelle.
The first scene was already partially shown in the sneak peek; and even then I wondered what happened to Belle’s hair. I know it should be the least important thing, but… when she appeared at Gold’s doorstep, she looked pretty bad, with her hair like straw and all. Now suddenly it’s all shiny again. Was it magic? Or simply someone from Script Continuity not paying attention? Damn me, I’m trained to see these things *sighs*

Not that I care that much. Belle’s back. And she’s with the person she loves and who loves her. Awwww. Yes, I “awww-ed”, and not only at that kiss (that was a bit short, IMO :->).

Rumple’s reaction to what Regina did to Belle was to be expected… and yet it is surprising. Every single moment, and despite everything he does (knowing that Belle doesn’t want him to act all “revengy”), shows how much he cares about her. He’s still the good old Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin, but he’s in love. Oh yes, he certainly is.

When Belle tells him that they can be together the tears in his eyes are everything but false. When he apologizes, says that he is sorry after his talk to the Charmings Belle overheard and complains about, it’s also sincere. The hurt in his face, the pain in his eyes isn’t played. He doesn’t want to lose Belle – and I’m convinced of his truthfulness when it comes to her because what reason could he have to lie to her, or play her? She isn’t part of his plan, quite the contrary, she’s the one who could destroy his plans. I’m repeating myself here, but she’s the one with the ability to take away his powers.

He should be glad if she was away… and that little unromantic voice in me I tend to ignore tells me that this is a bit what he was hoping for in their last scene, when Belle came back to tell him that she would stay because he needed her – to tame the monster within him.

I loved that scene that spoke volumes about their relationship. They love each other, no matter what obstacles there are, no matter that it kind of seems impossible what they have. But his holding on to the cup he describes as the only thing he truly cherishes in his whole shop (next awww-moment – big time), and her coming back to him twice (once in FTL and now here) because she truly hopes that she can change him, help him, make him a better man so they can be together, because that is what she wants… it proves a lot, and mostly that their feelings are real.

Side note: Since I don’t know all English names of fairy tale characters (yet ;)), it took me a while to realize that Chip is actually the name of the little cup from Beauty and the Beast. In German he’s called “Tassilo”, which comes from the German word for cup, Tasse. Only when people started to call the teacup from the show Chip as well I began to understand that this has to have some meaning aside from the obvious with a ‘chipped’ cup.
So Rumple says that Belle has to leave – or at least he thinks she has/wants to – because he is still a monster, but it is just the reason she wants to stay. Now one can claim that Rumple wants her to leave so he gets rid of this rock in his path of revenge. I like to think that if he really had the intention to make her leave with that ‘re-quest-ion’, it was to prevent her from seeing who he still is and what he will do, as he is still a man with an objective. That she would keep him in her memory as she has him now, and maybe not have to see the dark side that might be about to show itself.

In one way or another I do believe in their love and doubt that he actually wants to get rid of her; that if anything, he wants to protect her. He loves her, but the path he’ll have to take to get his revenge on Regina, and to find Bae can make him do things that could forever break Belle’s faith in him, even destroy her feelings, and he might just be afraid of that.

I’m still absolutely excited about that show, as I am now about the new season – I know it’s gonna be fantastic.

Guess the upcoming Mondays will be the best of my life. 🙂

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Tags: Belle, Curse, Fairy tales, Magic, Once Upon A Time, OUAT, Regina/Evil Queen, Rumbelle, Rumplestiltskin, The Charmings