"Once Upon a Time" ended season one with a big bang, with magic flooding into Storybrooke and all the fairy-tale characters regaining their memories of their lives in the Enchanted Forest. And just like the finale, the new season has kicked off with a ton of action -- and several new faces, something that not all fans have been excited about.
Comments online have suggested that viewers want to see more from the core group of major characters -- and there are plenty, including Snow White, Prince Charming, Red Riding Hood, the Evil Queen and Jiminy Cricket -- not additional folks with their own complicated stories. Especially not when the existing players have such rich histories to draw from.
But worry not, says Raphael Sbarge, who plays Jiminy Cricket in the Enchanted Forest and therapist Archie in Storybrooke.
"I feel very strongly (creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz) are so good at storytelling that they have a bigger plan in store for us. We'll all be very pleased, surprised and delighted by what occurs," Sbarge told The Clicker. "They came at me at the beginning of the season and they said a couple of things. They said, 'Look, we are going to bring in a whole bunch of new characters.' They said, 'Don't worry.' There are episodes where some of our main characters -- like Lana (Parrilla, who plays Regina and the Evil Queen) -- have been in (the show) very little or at all."
Sbarge went on to explain that the new faces -- Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Captain Hook and Smee have all been introduced, and more are on their way -- are helping to fill out the world of "Once Upon a Time." "It creates the microcosm because when we do all come back -- and I promise, we do -- it sort of creates that much more excitement, thrill and familiarity," said Sbarge.
Though Regina was mostly missing from last week's episode, expect to see plenty of her on Sunday when "Once" returns its focus to her. The new episode will show her continued attempts to win back adopted son Henry's heart by avoiding using magic, as well as what looks to be the unpleasant return of Regina's long lost love, Daniel.
"Archie has been trying to reach her and break through to her," Sbarge said of his character's relationship to the queen this season. "Obviously, she's this source of extraordinary evil for all of us."
And being the good guy that Archie is, he's going to continue to urge her to follow the right path.
"There's an encounter in which he's able to connect with the queen," Sbarge teased. "What he's going to do is do his best to try and reach out to a woman who is obviously, in this case, trying to do the right thing because Henry is in the middle. She does love him despite the fact that she is the Evil Queen, and therein lies the conflict in which Archie sees an opportunity."
Sbarge wouldn't say much more about what Archie and Regina might encounter Sunday, but he did indicate that fans can expect to see more of the man who is the conscience.
"I'm still a part of the main core," said Sbarge, who is currently working on episodes 10 and 11. "I'm (doing) these two episodes that will put me in the center of the action."
As for the rest of the season? "There are some pretty exciting things about to happen," he teased. "There are some wonderful, wonderful characters who lie ahead. And the core group is there and will be ready to embrace them once again very soon, for sure. I know that this is again part of a bigger plan to tell a fantastic story."
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