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Originally posted 7-18-2013 by myself on Examiner.com

OUAT’s ‘Welcome to Storybrooke’ was directed by David M. Barrett. Writers were Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss.

Back in 1983, Kurt Flynn (John Pyper Ferguson) and his boy Owen (Benjamin James Stockham) are camping in Maine when a weird storm hits. They hide in their tent until it passes. In the morning, they discover a town which wasn’t there yesterday. They learn its name is Storybrooke.

They’ve stumbled upon the first day of the curse. Regina (Lana Parrilla) is thrilled. Everyone has their SB memories. Red (Meghan Ory) is man crazy Ruby. Granny (Beverley Elliott) is still sassy. Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) is docile Mary Margaret Blanchard. Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge) is Dr. Archie Hopper.

The Dark One/Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle) is Mr. Gold. Citizens call The Evil Queen Mayor Regina Mills. As a test, Regina takes Snow to see coma patient David Nolan (Josh Dallas) aka Prince Charming. But she doesn’t know who he is. The Huntsman (Jamie Dornan) is Sheriff Graham.

Every day is the same with slight differences. After a while Regina becomes miserable. Only being with the Flynn’s makes her happy. She wants them to stay.

Present day SB, Regina has buried her mother Cora (Barbara Hershey). Rumple pays his respects. The EQ is determined to kill Snow. Rumple reminds her she has a whole curse full of vengeance. Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) gets it into his head magic is the root of all evil. He thinks destroying the Wishing Well will do it.

Fortunately Greg Mendell (Ethan Embry) is out on a nature hike. They run into each other then Greg calls the Mayor. Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Bae (Michael Raymond James) and Charming show up in time for a showdown.

The good: OUAT does Groundhog Day! Anyone else loved how it mirrored the pilot? We got to see how far everyone has come since then. Need more early curse 80s episodes. John Pyper Ferguson. Seeing almost the entire cast together again. Only Team 7 was missing. When will they get their own episode?

Loved Ruby’s 80s attire. Sassy Granny! Graham! We missed you. Need more Graham & Huntsman. Who were Archie’s clients? Does he have a love interest we don’t know about? Revenge wasn’t as satisfying as Regina thought it would be. Rumple referring Regina to the Cricket.

Owen telling Regina she’d make a great mom. Her bonding with Kurt and Owen. When will we see Regina and Henry the early years? How did Rumple get him anyway?

The bad: Graham enthralled by the EQ. Will Regina ever ask Rumple about his relationship with Cora? Probably not. She might hurl. Fear Henry’s impulsiveness will get someone killed one day.

The ugly: Will tough Bandit Snow ever return? Is Greg a foodie and P.I.? No one ever catches him spying or gathering evidence.