Welcome to OUAT, or Once Upon a Time. We’re going to start our journey in StoryBrooke, a little town where magic happens. There are monsters, evil characters, and heroes! You’ve got love, hate, redemption and all you need to spend a wonderful time binge watching on Netflix. Season 6 is around the corner. However, we’re going to start with Henry and his book. Yes! We’re going to start from the Pilot, back at season 1!
We’re going to explore a little bit season one as a whole, and then focus on episodes 1 to 5 (pilot, the thing you love the most, snow falls, the price of gold, and that still small voice).
Imagine a place frozen in time, where all its inhabitants think they’re someone, but in reality, they’re characters of Fairy Tales. They happen to be in our world thanks to a horrible curse cast by the Evil Queen. She didn’t want to have any happy endings, and this was hers: to condemn everyone to misery. The funny thing is that all the characters are in the US, a tiny town called Storybrooke, in Main. So, Fairy Tale characters end up in our world: the world without hope and magic.
This is tragic, to say the least. For once, we’re stating that we don’t believe in magic anymore. However, there’s a character in the show that is adamant about the reality of Fairy Tales. Henry, the true believer, is a kid who finds his mother and brings her to Storybrooke to save everyone. His adoptive mother, the Evil Queen, is the one making everyone miserable.
Would you believe him?
When we’re kids we believe anything is possible, but as we grow up, we stop believing. This show is asking you to believe again and to take notice of the small things. For example, when Emma, Henry’s biological mother, decides to stay in Storybrooke to make sure that her kid is in good hands, the town clock starts to work. It hadn’t worked for as long people remembers (which is, since the curse started). Or when Emma decides to accept the Deputy job and puts on the badge, an explosion happens. Coincidence?
It’s not only about believing, but it’s also about trust and true love. This show is thrilling because it also makes you realize that nothing is pitch perfect. Good and Evil exchange sides. In fact, they can exist in the same person. What’s more, it makes you think about who people really are.
Take a closer look at the banner above. Take the Evil Queen/ Regina reflection for a second. Who is the real her? Regina or the Evil Queen? As the show advances, we’ll discover that both are the same person, and both are creating their own reality, just as we do in real life.
The Pilot sets the story in motion: a kid contacts her biological mother. She brings him back home and meets the adoptive mother who happens to be quite evil. Because Henry believes people in town are all trapped and Fairy Tale characters, the biological mother questions if she did the right thing giving him up and wanted to make sure he is okay. So, she stays. And things start to get funky!
In the thing you love the most “Operation Cobra” begins. This is a code for Henry and Emma to bring happy endings to everyone. But it is pretty challenging since the Mayor, Regina, aka the Evil Queen, wants our boring reality to prevail (so she has her happy ending).
In the next three episodes, we start unraveling who the people of Storybrooke really are, and we discover how ignorant of their own selves and sad they are too. We discover more villains and other motifs. And as the show advances, we realize that evil isn’t born, but made.
Even if this show feels light, it has some deep questions hidden inside. Do we really know who we are? Do we accept our light and dark sides? How do we create our own reality around us? Do we still believe in magic? Have we killed our inner kid?