Season 2
Once Upon a Time Season 2

No. of episodes


Original release

September 30, 2012 – May 12, 2013




And Straight On 'til Morning


Season 1


Season 3

The second season of the ABC television series Once Upon a Time was announced on May 10, 2012. It premiered on September 30, 2012 and concluded on May 12, 2013.

The season's plot follows the introduction of magic by Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold into Storybrooke, leaving the fate of both the real world and the Fairytale Land that was, intertwined, resulting in new threats emerging. Furthermore, Rumplestiltskin locates his son, only to find he is Henry Mills' father, and outsiders Greg Mendell and a woman named Tamara arrive in Storybrooke with the intention to remove magic and the town. They eventually fail to destroy Storybrooke, though they kidnap Henry and take him to Neverland to the unknown Peter Pan, leading the main characters to follow them to retrieve him, setting the premise for the third season. New characters introduced in the season include Baelfire (the son of Rumpelstiltskin) under his new alias Neal Cassidy - who is also the father of Henry Mills - Captain Killian "Hook" Jones, Princess Aurora, Mulan, Prince Phillip, Robin Hood, and the Darling Family.

The season premiere was watched by 11.36 million viewers, achieving an adult 18-49 rating/share of 3.9/10.0. These numbers sunk to a low of 7.08 million viewers in February 2013, but remained stable above 7 million throughout the remainder of the season with, a season finale viewership of 7.33 million and a 2.3/7 adult 18–49 rating/share.


Following the breaking of the curse, Emma is still in shock at realizing her parents are fairy tale characters. In revenge for imprisoning Belle, Mr. Gold sends a wraith to kill Regina; however, Emma is able to use Jefferson's hat to open a portal to the Enchanted Forest to banish it. However, the wraith pulls her and Snow into the portal. David takes Emma's place as sheriff to maintain order in Storybrooke, especially after it's revealed that magic being brought to town causes everyone to forget their true selves once they cross the townline. Regina attends sessions with Archie to help better herself and become a worthy mother for Henry. In the Enchanted Forest, Emma and Snow are captured by Mulan and Aurora, who blame them for the wraith killing Prince Phillip; the hostility between them is extinguished due to the threat of Regina's mother, Cora, and Captain Hook, who are wishing to head to Storybrooke (Cora for Regina; Hook for revenge on Mr. Gold).

Despite setbacks, Snow and Emma get back to Storybrooke. However, Cora and Hook follow after them, framing Regina for the faked murder of Archie to draw her back to the darkness. Mr. Gold calls in the favor Emma owes him. Emma and Henry accompany Gold to Manhattan, where it's discovered Emma's ex-lover, Neal, is Gold's son. In Storybrooke, Cora and Regina trick Snow and David into giving them the Dark One dagger; however, Hook followed Gold to Manhattan and poisoned him. With Gold dying, Snow decides to use a magic candle to give him Cora's life to save her family from the evil woman. Regina tries seeking revenge, but is convinced by Henry not to as it would perpetuate nothing more than a senseless cycle of murder and revenge. Seeing Regina is prone to giving into her evil side, everyone decides to keep the magic beans they're growing a secret, so they can leave her behind in Storybrooke and head back to the Enchanted Forest.

At the same time, two newcomers arrive in Storybrooke, Greg Mendell and Tamara; Tamara is posing as Neal's fiance as part of the duo's plan to destroy magic, which they think is "unholy". Greg actually was there when Storybrooke came into being; Regina attempted to force him and his father to stay to end her dull life. Greg fled, prompting Regina to kill his father. They capture and torture Regina, taking the self-destruct device for Storybrooke from her; Emma joins her magic with Regina's to deactivate it. However, Greg and Tamara kidnap Henry, who their boss has been looking for a long time. Gold tracks Henry to Neverland, where there's an evil greater than anyone Emma, Snow, David, and Regina have ever faced. They head off in the Jolly Roger to rescue Henry.

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