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Once Upon a Time and Revenge are Back!

September 30, 2014

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I have been eagerly awaiting the return of these two shows all summer and for very different reasons. Last season’s finales had me screaming at the TV in annoyance for Once Upon a Time and excitement for Revenge. However, I was more than pleased with the premieres of both shows.

When last we saw the residents of Storybrooke, Regina’s (Lana Parrilla) newfound love with Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) had been crushed by the return of Marian (Christie Laing), thanks to Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) carelessness. Rumple (Robert Carlyle) had also been lying to Belle (Emilie de Ravin) about giving up dark magic, despite the fact that they had just gotten married. These two major storylines looked to be overshadowed by the arrival of Elsa (Georgina Haig) from Frozen. Now, while I still think they are introducing these characters far too soon after the movie came out (not even a year ago), I am actually pretty satisfied with how they’ve begun introducing them to the OUAT world, and that Elsa’s arrival is not taking over the majority of the story.

The flashbacks give us our first glimpse into Arendelle and we meet Elsa and Anna (Elizabeth Lail) as they prepare for Anna’s wedding to Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster). All three actors inhabiting these already iconic roles fit nicely, both into the roles we know, and into the world we’ve been living in for three seasons. There is also a mystery afoot as the sisters learn that their parents were actually on the way to the Enchanted Forest when their ship went down. Anna, headstrong girl that she is, decided to go to the Enchanted Forest (aka Misthaven, for some yet unknown reason), and Elsa has to follow her. What we don’t know is where Anna is, or how Elsa wound up in a bottle in Rumple’s castle. In the present, Elsa has arrived, leaving a trail of ice and snow wherever she goes, as she is frightened of things in our strange new world, even going so far as to conjure her giant snow monster to protect her.

The writers of the show managed to tie all this in with the ongoing story quite nicely. Emma and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) are working together to track Elsa, leading to romantic moments, Regina destroys the snow monster, saving Marian’s life in the process, even though she hates Marian to the core, and Elsa discovers a clue leading her to Mr. Gold’s pawn shop. Rumple is absent, as he and Belle are taking up residence in what looks like the Mad Hatter’s old place, where he finds a mysterious artifact that looks suspiciously like the Sorcerer’s Hat from Fantasia.

While Elsa pulls a lot of focus for the episode, the real star of the show is Regina. She brings back everyone’s favorite Magic Mirror, Sidney (Giancarlo Esposito), who is full of sass and evil glee, and sets a new mission in place: change the storybook where villains don’t get the happy ending. This is a new Regina, a big picture Regina. Instead of cutting down the immediate obstacle, she intends to change the entire story. It is refreshing to see that while she is going back to her evil roots, she has grown as a person. Hers is the story that I will be tuning in to see every week.

In contrast, Revenge had set up various storylines at the end of last season, all of which I couldn’t wait to see played out: David Clarke (James Tupper) is alive and back, Conrad (Henry Czerny) and Aiden (Barry Sloane) are dead, Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) is in a mental institution, Daniel (Joshua Bowman) has been framed for manslaughter if not murder, Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) knows that Jack (Nick Wechsler) was in on her kidnapping and Jack has been arrested, Nolan (Gabriel Mann) and Gideon (Daniel Zovatto) are plotting to take down Margaux (Karine Vanasse), and Emily (Emily VanCamp) has achieved her victory.

The premiere did not disappoint on any of these fronts. Victoria plots to escape, Emily had taken over as queen of the Hamptons, Jack is now a rookie cop, while Charlotte and Gabriel are partying their nights away, and Daniel has abandoned Margaux and their magazine and is scrambling to stay afloat. For once, everyone has a revenge plot, except Emily. Or does she? Without the Graysons to take down, she seeks out ways to enact revenge on behalf of others…but things don’t go exactly as planned. She may have won, but she is still reeling from the loss of Aiden and, on a grander scale, a loss of purpose. A solid premiere with new twists and turns, and I can’t wait to see what happens when Emily and her father are finally reunited. If the premiere is any indication, it’s going to be a good season.

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  1. Once Upon a Time: Frozen in Review | Actor's (b)Log

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