Looking Back on Once Upon a Time's First Season: Our Biggest Unanswered Questions

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I missed Once Upon a Time so badly last night. So many unanswered questions, not just about the finale but about the world itself! (And yes, okay, the finale! The cloud! Magic returning! What does it mean?! How can I sleep in this state?) Do I really have to wait for Season 2 to answer these questions? A couple years ago yes, but now I have you, my brilliant commenters, who so easily predicted so much of what would happen on this series. I feel like if we compare notes on the season we'll end up with a pretty good picture of what's to come, or at least what the hell that purple means for our favorite multiple-personality-having heroes.

Let's cover the stated rules of the world that we learned in the first season, and how they actually shaped the action within the world:


1. Magic comes at a price; the bigger the magic, the higher the cost.

This was a phrase bandied around a lot by Rumpelstiltskin when making his deals. Emma took on a couple debts before she knew what she was dealing with in Mr. Gold, including freeing Ashley-cum-Cinderella from having to give her baby up to Mr. Gold.

The other meaning of "magic has a price" is that there's an element of sacrifice in casting a curse. Regina had to kill her father to launch everyone into Storybrooke. To reinstate her curse now that magic has presumably returned, or for someone to use the magic to curse her, would also require a terrible sacrifice. (Also, since Kathryn was returned in one piece, whose disembodied heart did they find by the Toll Bridge? Don't think that question has EVER crossed Sheriff Swan's mind.)


2. True love can break any curse.

Obviously this fed into Emma kissing Henry and waking him up/breaking the curse. Something that's always bothered me about this concept, though, is that Graham had his memory of the fairy-tale world restored when he kissed Emma. So did he truly love Emma? If so, and if he is dead, can Emma even HAVE another true love?

Or will the fact magic has returned mean that his heart can be cured and he can return to the series? Also Mary Margaret and Prince Charming kissed a TON in Storybrooke...why didn't that break the curse? The relationship of kissing and true love needs to be explored, clearly. Maybe it's more the realization you love someone than the physical contact?


3. There is no magic in this world.

This is "a world without magic" and yet we've seen some pretty magical things being triggered by Emma. She clipped the sheriff badge onto her belt and a sinkhole opened up at the old mine, for example. There's also the fact that the Mad Hatter survived sailing out of a window after Mary Margaret karate-chopped him, presumably because he had the hat Emma had made with him.


4. Emma has a superpower: She knows when people are lying.

Rather than address why Emma has such bizarre moments of magical manifestation, the show had her insist time and time again that she can tell when anyone is lying. Um, that's patently false, plenty of people lied to Emma's face or were otherwise completely deceptive around her and she blindly rolled with it. However, what Emma HAS done is lie to Henry, she told him his father was a one-night stand.

A DEAD one-night stand. Then she admitted later that the dad was very much alive but she did not want Henry to know him, she wanted Henry to think of his dad as a hero. (A horny hero.) This is a kid who stole a credit card and managed to wrangle Emma, a bounty hunter, through a family-finding website. How will it affect Henry and his loyalties to Emma vs. the woman who raised him, Regina, when he finds out that Emma would lie to him about something so critical?

Also, it's a pet theory of mine that Henry's dad is Baelfire, because otherwise why in HELL would we have spent so much time on his backstory and him being angry at his dad for being evil and the way he slipped into this world through a green vortex? So yeah, I'm pretty sure he's a powerful force in this world, has some kind of magical accoutrements, and is Henry's dad.


5. There are multiple worlds that can be reached by swirling vortexes or magical wooden armoires, including ours and the Alice in Wonderland reality.

So when Regina and the Mad Hatter went into the Mad Hat, there were tons and tons of doorways. Hopefully we will get to investigate these alternate realms. There's the Wonderland, there's Fairy Land, and there's Our Land. Where else do these doors lead (Halloween Land immediately comes to mind) and will we deal with any of them, or possibly revisit Wonderland? Will the return of magic mean that the population of Storybrooke can choose to return to the fairy-tale world, and if so, would they all return or would some of them prefer to live internet-filled, modern-medicine-improved lives where they don't have to be dwarfs or mushrooms or cobblers or whatever? Which leads me to this big question:


6. Who is better off without magic?

Next season will feature the Little Mermaid, and that got me thinking, how the hell are they going to do that now? Will we do flashbacks between her old life and her trying to find Eric? Or is next season going to deal with how magic is detrimental to some people—like the Little Mermaid becomes a mermaid again because of the magic cloud and has to figure out a way to become human AGAIN. Because doesn't magic returning kind of suck for some people? Won't Jiminy become a cricket again? Will Ruby once again be a werewolf? Will Robert Carlyle be in full-time body glitter?

The mind boggles. Also, Sydney Glass, who we saw was imprisoned in the cell next to Belle's—will he return to being a full-fledged genie, or return to being a full-time mirror?

I want to hear from you on any or all of these points! How else will I get my fairy-tale fix before Season 2 begins? Oh, and for those of you in similar fairy-tale withdrawal, I cannot suggest the old miniseries The 10th Kingdom highly enough. If you're new to The 10th Kingdom (here's a trailer) you have ten hours of beautiful, brand-new fairy-tale-meets-the-real-world insanity to look forward to, as well as one VERY sexy wolf. Plus OUaT totally did a shout-out to 10th Kingdom with Regina's mother being essentially the Evil Witch from 10th Kingdom: Look at this side-by-side!

So fill me in on your thoughts on this phenomenal first season overall, what's to come, and how you're going to keep things magical this summer below.

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