Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Once Upon a Time: Welcome to Storybrooke

“You had a whole curse worth of vengeance, and what did it get you?”

That’s one thing I’ve always wondered; how much satisfaction vengeance brings those who try so hard to get it. Is it a nice feeling, knowing that those who persecuted or hurt you are feeling the same pain you felt? Or is it something that never really appeases you, only bringing more emptiness and loss? When it comes to Regina I think that latter seems to apply, at least most of the time. She’s spent years trying to tear Snow White down, but how much has that really brought her?

That’s why I loved this episode so much; because in so many ways it was probably the most insightful episode in terms of Regina’s motivations. So far we’ve seen what happened to bring her to cast the curse in the first place, how Snow’s misguided attempts to help her friend inadvertently ruined Regina’s life, and how other factors pushed Regina into exacting her revenge. In ‘Welcome to Storybrooke’ we saw how much the curse actually gave her.

There was that initial honeymoon period, the big mansion, everyone falling at her feet, the nice side piece (did Jamie Dornan get even better looking?!), but clearly something was missing. When Owen gave her that token of his affection, something that came from his own heart not an engineered nicety, she knew what that something was. There was a lot about her actions here that screamed psychotic, but I liked the idea behind it. She isn’t so shallow that seeing Snow and her friends’ lives torn apart is all she needs, there’s more to her than that.

Although her petty side really showed when Regina tore Snow’s heart out, and saw what killing Cora has done to her. There’s darkness in Snow now, and knowing that seems to have brought Regina some bit of comfort. Maybe it’s not all down to watching Snow pay, maybe knowing that she’s not the only one who’s suffering right now, that she’s not the only one who’s shown weakness, is helping her through the loss of her mother. I discussed last week how great it is that the show is tackling something so dark, and I’m impressed with how it’s been handled so far.

I’m also impressed with the mythology this week. The second young Owen appeared on screen I knew who he was, but that’s okay. I gave up on this show shocking me a long time ago. I was more impressed with how well the technicality of the curse holds up. The writers seem to make every single effect it’s had make sense in terms of outside forces, and the way in which it was enacted.

Every part of ‘Welcome to Storybrooke’ worked. The character development, the magic and the big arcs seem to all be falling into place right now. Once Upon a Time works best when it focuses on what we want to see, and in this case all of that was here.

5 out of 5 lanyards


I’ll stress it again, we need some more Jamie Dornan in our lives, amiright?!

I’m glad Regina burned Cora’s spell. If she hadn’t I don’t think Henry would ever be able to go back to her.

I wonder what Regina did to Owen’s father, and why nobody found him when the curse broke.

He Said, She Said

Rumple: “Why don’t you just give up this obsession with vengeance? You know it’ll never make you happy.”
Regina: “Yes, it will.”
Rumple: “You had a whole curse worth of vengeance, and what did it get you? A gaping hole in your heart.”

Snow: “How do you do it?”
Rumple: “Do what?”
Snow: “Live with yourself, knowing all the bad things you’ve done?”
Rumple: “You tell yourself you did the right thing, and if you say it often enough, one day you might actually believe it.”

Previously posted at PandaTV.


  1. Great review, Panda. I didn't love the show as you did, but I liked reading what you had to say.

    For me, it's all becoming a bit overwrought and overacted. I am enjoying the dark Snow White stuff, but we need to get her out of bed and less suicidal.

  2. Agreed, Panda, we all need lots more Jamie Dornan in our lives!!

    I actually got a bit upset when he was clutching his chest after the box with his heart in it was knocked over. I really, really hate that they killed him off and I really hate that Regina made him her sex-slave. Poor Huntsman. :-(

    Great review btw! I loved the episode too!

  3. Definitely a brilliant episode! More please!!! :o)

    Every day identical à la Groundhog day? Horror!!! But then how did Henry not suspect? The others never aged, but Henry sure did! So how did that not make anyone stop and take note? Or did Regina adopt Henry when he was already this age? I thought she'd adopted him as a baby... We definitely need more on that backstory! We need to see more of the two of them as a family to understand why Henry loves her so much and keeps defending "his mom".

  4. Just caught up with this one. I had a lot of the same questions as CrazyCris about Henry. I think we're gonna need some more flashbacks to Storybrooke's past to flesh out Henry's experience in a town that doesn't age around him.

    Regina and Gold were really well used this week, and I absolutely loved the giddily happy smile on Regina's face as she was first enjoying watching Snow at David's bedside. That whole Groundhog Day sequence was delightful.

    I'm also really pleased that they tied our mystery outsider into the show's overall mythology. I, too, guessed that Greg must be Owen pretty early on, but didn't mind the late reveal. Now I actually care about his quest to suss out what's going in the town, whereas before it seemed like a completely cheesy add on to the story. If he finds his dad, I wonder if he'll have aged at all. (I hope not, because John Pyper-Ferguson is an always welcome guest actor.) Does the Queen's psych ward keep you in stasis?

    Time for my superficial nitpick: Seriously, what is up with Ginnifer Goodwin's eyebrows? Did she have some sort of tweezing accident? Why do her brows look thickly painted on all of a sudden? I'm finding it incredibly distracting.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.