Once Upon a Time 1×01 Pilot TV Review

Emma makes a wish on her birthday
Emma makes a wish on her birthday. What she doesn't know is that if you wish upon a star...

There are very few new shows that pinged my radar as one to watch, and Once Upon a Time was one of those shows. I like urban fantasies (see Lost Girl, Angel, Fables, and to some extent Doctor Who), and I was interested to see Ginnifer Goodwin again on my screen. Plus, Jane Espeson is one of the writers. (If you haven’t seen Espenson’s webseries Husbands, you should.)

For the first part of the “Pilot,” I was rolling along with the story. Emma’s character didn’t quite grab me. Though I liked the twist on how we thought she was on a date — due in large part to the copious advertising of the show, we viewers assume she’s a princess — and how we were expecting her to say she’s looking for her prince. Nope, turns out she’s a bails-person hunting those who’ve skipped out of town and her “date” is her mark. I also loved this introduction to Emma’s superpower, being able to tell when people are telling the truth. Which worked as great foreshadowing for when she used it later to ask Regina if she loved Henry.

I waffled a little bit when Henry showed up on her doorstep and introduced himself as her son that she’d put up for adoption 10 years ago. Mostly because I’m quite used to media condemning women who give up children. But I was pleased that the real reason he wants her to come back to Storybrooke is to stop the evil queen and that there was a constant reinforcement, both through his adoption story and hers, that sometimes giving up children for adoption is the better choice.

Emma and Henry
Henry tries desperately to convince Emma that fairy tales are real and she is one.

My favorite part, however was in the backstory, when Snow grabbed her husband’s sword (before he could) and went after the evil queen herself. I was like ‘yes, this is a story for me.’ Goodwin always plays a great feisty and passionate fighter for what she believes in.

Snow grabs the sword
When everyone else hides from the evil witch, Snow is ready to do some stabbing.

“No happy endings” is certainly an interesting curse. I liked how we saw the consequences right away when Snow’s kiss did not heal Prince Charming.

As far as the curse goes, Regina doesn’t seem “blinded” by her own spell like the rest of the town. Maybe being blind to her spell would’ve changed her level of happiness in this new reality? Rumpelstiltskin and his mob-like ways also seems to be a bit immune to it all. Or is it a perhaps sloppy comment on how in the “land of no happy endings” the government is always run by the corrupt?

Apples
Could those be poisoned apples?

I’m interested in seeing where this goes and will keep watching.

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