Launch sucks viewers into web of fantasy
And so the fairy tale resumes with the return of Once Upon a Time last night on TV2 where the bad Queen Regina's spell is broken and the good and evil folk of Storybrooke are freed from a 28-year-old curse.
Emma, the town's sheriff who broke the curse, is deeply shocked to discover that Mary, her BF, is actually her fairy tale mother, Snow White, and is now the same age as her.
It's a lot for her to take in and for fans of this American fantasy, as we wonder why series two kicked off with a young man living in a grotty flat, possibly located in New York that has a telephone that looks like it dates back to the seventies.
Rain begins to fall and he tries to close his window but it appears to be broken. A bird arrives leaving a Storybrooke postcard with the word "broken" written on the back of it. What does it mean?
Then we're in Storybrooke with all core cast members group hugging as they celebrate the lifting of the curse but their joy is brief.
A hideous creature, a wraith called a Soul Sucker, descends upon the town and tries to suck the life out of those it has left its mark on.
Stripped of her powers and branded with the Soul Sucking mark, Regina resorts to a magic top hat to try and lure the Soul Sucker into its swirling vortex, but in the process Emma and Mary disappear into it as well, while Charming is attacked by hideous floral wallpaper.
So as usual there's never a dull moment with Mr Gold aka Rumplestiltskin reunited with Belle, liberated from a 28-year incarceration in a barbaric mental institution to which Regina banished her.
Gold wants revenge but Belle extracts a promise from him that he won't kill Regina, which he slyly agrees to, instead conjuring up the Soul Sucker to do her in.
Belle is heartbroken, telling Mr Gold that he's still "a man who makes wrong choices" her face crumpling while this viewer can't stop thinking how much better she looked as a blonde when she was in Lost, and how lucky she is to be kissed by the Scottish crumpet that is Robert Carlyle.
Meanwhile a very antsy Sleeping Beauty is kissed awake by an unhandsome prince in another world, which is also being attacked by the Soul Sucker. A brilliant start to a clever and charming series as the fairy tale world and the real combine.