Once Upon a Time Season 2 kicked off tonight, and although the curse may be "Broken" that doesn't mean everything is suddenly sunshine and pixie dust in Storybrooke.
As a matter of fact, our fairy tale favorites may have just taken a sharp turn toward the dark side.
Although everyone now remembers his/her fairy tale origins, living under the curse for 28 years has its consequences. According to Regina, they can't go back to the fairy tale world, which means that their old and new lives will now merge into one. In other words, things have gotten even more complicated in Storybrooke.
Take Rumplestiltskin, who finally found his one true love but couldn't seem to overcome his innate need for power and vengeance to keep her. When he promised Belle he wouldn't kill Regina, I never believed a word of it - but in Rumple's mind, he spoke the truth.
Rumple wouldn't actually do the killing. He just unleashed a soul sucker to track her down. The funny part was that he really thought that loophole would save him when Belle found out. Yet was it the way he toyed with words that kept Belle from leaving? Or was it his honesty and Belle's need to save him?
It was touching when Rumple told Belle their chipped cup was the only possession he truly cherished, but perhaps it meant even more when he admitted that he believed he's still a monster. Belle believes her love can save him, that she can find the good inside. I say she's in for a world full of hurt.
Across town, Regina found some unlikely allies. Charming and Snow came to her rescue because they believed killing her was simply the wrong thing to do. Emma was there because her son begged her to save his mother. But now that Regina has her magic back and Emma and Snow have been banished to a very different fairy tale world, will Regina be swayed by her son to help save them?
Much like Rumple, Regina is driven by a need for power and control. As Belle is the one person who can reach Rumple's heart, Henry is that person for Regina.
Regina loves her son but how far will she go for him? Will she work to return Emma and Snow to Storybrooke or will she see this new twist in the curse as a blessing.
And I loved her confrontation with Charming. Everyone was playing nice while she was magic-less and being hunted by a wraith but once the threat was gone and her powers returned, she was quick to have her wallpaper strangle him. That wall paper has always had a seriously creepy vibe. Let's just say it's not a room I'd want to spend a lot of time in late at night.
Reactions to the broken curse were well played. Charming, Snow, Ruby and the dwarves all celebrated. Most of the town wanted Regina dead and who could blame them? Emma was the one left out in the cold.
How do you handle finding out that your long lost parents are actually fairy tale characters who sent you away through a magic portal as a baby? And that they are your age? The happiness of finding out the truth didn't wipe away 28 years of living alone with no answers.
I couldn't help but feel for Emma as Snow pushed for a big reconciliation. Emma was struggling to deal with this new reality when she told her newfound mom in this Once Upon a Time quote…
Emma: Can we do everything later, like with a glass of wine? Several bottles. | permalink
The season premiere left us with a lot more questions than answers. Will Mulan and Sleeping Beauty be allies or enemies to Snow and Emma? Will Belle really stick by Rumplestiltskin? Will Regina save Emma for Henry? Who was the guy who got the mysterious post card and who sent it?
There are lots of reasons to tune in for more Once Upon a Time this season. Next week can't come soon enough.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.