Season 3 of ONCE UPON A TIME

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This year, the hit ABC show ONCE UPON A TIME is back for its third season. The show, which airs on Sunday nights at 8pm, is a fantastical drama that twists the fairy tales that we all know and love. Since ONCE UPON A TIME has the same creators as the hit series LOST, it is no surprise that it features the same complicated story line, interconnected characters, and plot twists to make your head spin.

The show started its first two seasons in the enchanted town of Storybrooke, where all of its inhabitants are under a curse, forced to live together in this town with no memory of who they really are: fairy tale characters. If this sounds far-fetched and silly, do not worry- it gets better. Told in alternating flashbacks and real-life Storybrooke, the series centers around Snow White (known as Mary Margaret in Storybrooke) and her untold story of befriending the Evil Queen (Regina), finding true love, and the curse that broke them apart and brought them to Storybrooke in the first place. But what would a curse be without something- or someone- to break it? That’s where Emma Swan comes in.

Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, the product of true love, and the savior of Storybrooke. Before the curse, Emma’s life was spared when she was sent through a portal to “our realm” in hopes that, on her 28th birthday, she would come back to save Storybrooke. Unfortunately, Emma’s childhood was less than ideal, being shuffled from foster home to foster home, never knowing who her real parents were, and always wondering why they abandoned her. Once she turned 18, she was out on her own, but not much better; she got pregnant at a young age and gave the baby up for adoption in hopes of giving it the best life possible. Nine years later, that baby, Henry, is the adopted son of Regina, the Evil Queen (see, I told you it’s a complicated storyline). Henry believes that Emma is the savior, even though she does not, and drags her back to Storybrooke with him.

Emma soon finds her place in Storybrooke, and decides to stay and look out for Henry, which causes tension between her and Regina (who does not know Emma’s true identity). By season two, Emma inadvertently breaks the curse, and starts to understand who she really is. But, even though the curse is broken, these characters are still far from happily-ever-after. As the town’s residents begin to remember who they are, they also remember the age-old conflicts between them, and chaos erupts in Storybrooke. Emma steps up as the leader that she was meant to be and becomes Sherriff of the town.

At the end of season two, magical mishaps and mayhem land Emma on her way to Neverland aboard the Jolly Roger with an unlikely crew. Emma, Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen, and Captain Hook embark on a rescue mission to save Henry, who was captured by the evil and demented Peter Pan. Season three picks up right in the heart of Neverland, revealing a version of Peter Pan that is far from the “Lost Boy” that Disney made him out to be. These five characters, villains and heroes alike, have all put aside their differences and banded together to rescue Henry and bring him home safely, but will they succeed? Season three is sure to be filled with new characters, fantastical adventures, action, love, and, of course, magic.

ONCE UPON A TIME appeals to the kid in all of us, giving us a dose of childhood wonder and magic with enough action and character depth to keep even the most mature audiences entertained. Surprisingly, even the “evil” characters have their weaknesses, their moments of humanity that make them interesting and even likable. ONCE UPON A TIME gives us an insight into the history behind every character- good and evil- and shows that sometimes, the line between the two is thinner than we ever thought.