If you can remember way back to Season 1 of “Once Upon a Time,” you’ll recognize Cinderella (Jessy Schram) and her baby Alexandra living happily ever after in Storybrooke in Sunday’s (Oct. 9) episode.
Unfortunately, Cinderella’s happily ever after was built on the unhappily ever after of her not-so-wicked stepsister. Thus ensues another telling of an Untold Story, and a last-minute happily ever after. For the most part, Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) journey to save Ashely from her wicked stepmother while juggling her co-habitation fears with Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) seems a little old hat. So much so that we actually had to check we haven’t seen this episode before.
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Similarly, Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) are stuck in the same old time loop as always, as Belle fights the urge to return to her true love because of his wicked ways.
The Scottish nursery rhyme Rumple recorded for his unborn son had our hearts melting, and clearly these two are meant to be. It’s just a little hard to enjoy the moment when we know they’re likely to hit another speed bump as soon as they reconcile and the process will start all over again.
The one subplot that does feel like a new twist in a predictable story is Snow’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) desire to go back to teaching. Most of our heroes are without a real vocation — we can hardly keep track of who’s mayor, who’s sheriff and who’s gainfully unemployed — so Snow’s sudden urge to get back in the education game is a refreshing change of pace.
It might not be as exciting as a sword fight to the death, but Snow’s mission to recruit teachers for Storybrooke’s school is no less noble. And if this desire to rebuild her teaching career leads to further plot-related developments, then all the better!
Finally, let’s talk about Charming’s (Josh Dallas) mission for revenge.
It seems fitting that as Storybrooke is now rife with new characters from the Land of Untold Stories, an untold story from Charming’s past has come back to haunt him.
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The mystery of his father’s death has clearly not been tormenting him for the past 20-something years, since this is the first we’re hearing of it, but we guess the news that he was actually murdered does shake a few things loose.
Still, that’s not a great excuse to start lying to your wife, so we foresee bad things ahead for Charming’s newest quest.
It’s hard to tell at this point which direction this particular untold story is heading. A gruesome mission of revenge? A cold-case with a shocking twist? A tie-in with Jekyll (Hank Harris) and Hyde (Sam Witwer)? Or maybe even a connection to the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) herself?
Whatever it is, we can only hope that “Once Upon a Time” manages to give us a new take on the tale, since the repetitive nature of other storylines is getting a little tiring.
“Once Upon a Time” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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