Once Upon a Time (2011– )
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Welcome to Storybrooke 

Emma and David enlist Gold's help to protect Mary Margaret from a vengeful Regina, as flashbacks show a father and son stumble upon Storybrooke when the curse was first cast.


(as David M. Barrett)


(created by), (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Mary Margaret Blanchard
... Emma Swan
... Regina Mills
... David Nolan
... Belle French (credit only)
... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones (credit only)
... Henry Mills
... Ruby Lucas
... Mr. Gold
... Marco
... Sheriff Graham Humbert
... Granny Lucas
... Greg Mendell
... Kurt Flynn
... Neal Cassidy


Emma and David enlist Gold's help to protect Mary Margaret from a vengeful Regina while Henry searches for a way to destroy magic in Storybrooke. Meanwhile, back when the spell was originally cast, Regina seeks the company of a father and son who stumble into Storybrooke. Written by Nadia Nassar

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

magic | See All (1) »


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 March 2013 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


As Regina is entering the garage a benchback advertisement for a computer is visible in the foreground. The computer manufacturer is Encom, the company from the movie Tron See more »


Regina is seen driving off in her Mercedes-Benz to drive to Henry after she receives a call that he is in the woods. Immediately following, she is suddenly in the cop car with the sheriff. See more »


[Storybrooke, present day]
Mr. Gold: Why don't you just give up this obsession with vengeance? You know it can never make you happy.
Regina Mills: Yes, it will.
Mr. Gold: You had a whole curse worth of vengeance, and what did it get you? A gaping hole in your heart.
Regina Mills: That was your curse.
Mr. Gold: Which you cast. Still haven't learned your lesson, have you?
Regina Mills: What lesson?
Mr. Gold: The same one your mother learned a long time ago. You can't have everything. She wanted power, ripped out her own heart to get it. You want vengeance? Henry's the price ...
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Well worth the welcome
8 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

It is not easy at all for any episode to be as good as Season 2, and 'Once Upon a Time' in general, high points "The Queen is Dead" and especially "The Miller's Daughter". "Welcome to Storybrooke" overcomes this splendidly, its emotional impact may not quite be on the same level as the previous two episodes and the past fairy tale flashback and present Storybrooke worlds connection is a little more seamless in those episodes. That is not to say that they are not done well here, they are (extremely), just not quite as good.

Generally, "Welcome to Storybrooke" is among the better Season 2 episodes. Like the previous two episodes, the progressions of characters and their stories continue to go in the right direction and what could have been conventional feels fresh. This can be seen by a lot of significant plot developments, that feel natural in how they're placed and given full depth, and already interesting characters made even more so with clearer motivations, more complexity and a stronger sense of how and why they became who they are. Regina especially, the most interesting and conflicted she's been since "The Cricket Game" and she is actually somewhat relatable here.

Very like what was said for the previous two episodes, especially "The Miller's Daughter", quite rightly there is a focus on characters that were there since 'Once Upon a Time' first started, and is highly successful in making them and their dilemmas and feelings interesting and worth emotionally investing in. Similarly quite rightly, it focuses much less on adding and introducing new characters that Season 2 did with varied success. The past and present scenes are balanced and connected with ease, with a good deal of emotion and urgency.

The acting is great, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas and Robert Carlyle command every scene. It's Lana Parrilla's episode all the way though, she brings so many nuances in a way that one doesn't expect from a character that could easily have been played as a standard villain when actually there is much more to Regina than that.

Furthermore, "Welcome to Storybrooke" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue.

Overall, excellent and well worth the welcome. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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