The magic is back as the Storybrooke posse return for a second season of parallel universe pursuits.
Following Emma Swan’s (Jennifer Morrison) successful mission to lift evil Queen Regina’s (Lana Parilla) curse at the end of Season One, the enchanted purple smoke and amnesia has lifted from Storybrooke, leaving the residents with memories of their fairy tale alter egos.
So now that the truth is out and magic has filtered into the town, where can this story go? Is this going to be a massive, New Year’s Eve-style anti-climax? Not on your Nelly; the party and the peril are just getting started.
In an attempt to get one over on Regina, part-time baddie Mr Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) has introduced magic into the town, a world where it does not belong. The consequence of myth and reality merging has catastrophic effects as more than memories are awoken.
Meanwhile, Emma and Mary Margaret/Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) have been transported back to a time before the Enchanted Forest was cursed opening another dimension and strand to the narrative, which continues to alternate between worlds.
All of the typical fairy tale clichés play their part throughout the series, a princess woken from a deep sleep, another one poisoned-you know the drill, but the multi layered, unique premise of the show needs the cheese to make it work. Just as it needs the umpteen new fairy tale characters that are shamelessly Shrek-like, shoe horned in at every opportunity but the crossover of legends, myths and fairy tales means that there is something for everyone.
Killian Jones/Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) is a particularly welcome bad boy addition, bringing with him the legendary realm of Neverland and the slightly disturbing ‘lost ones’, not to mention the mysterious Shadow.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of the fabulous first season, you may struggle to get your head around this second series; the pace is fast and the constant switching of time scale, character and dimension can be confusing enough for seasoned veterans, so consider your route into Once Upon A Time very carefully.