Snow/Mary Margaret is a BAMF!
Ok, I watched it, and I thought it was pretty great!
First, the intro. I thought I was watching the wrong show. We are in New York following this new guy around? But then it turns out he knows about Storybrooke, cuz he receives a postcard from there saying only "Broken." How can the carrier pigeon leave Storybrooke without getting killed? We do not know. Who is this guy? All signs point to Bae, but there are some interesting Peter Pan theories out there, since he is a man who looks like he is not happy with his grown up life and has some rather interesting apartment decorations. Also, the intro definitely reminded me of this classic from Lost. Best season starter ever.
Second, LUUURVED the Snow/Mary Margaret and Charming/David amalgams Everyone seems so much more alive and proactive. And sassy. By far the best moment: when Snow admits to having a one night stand with Whale, and silences Charming's protests with "We were cursed," and moves right along. AND Snow, without hesitation, creates and uses a home made flame thrower. Badass. There are good points being made around the interweb about how suddenly everyone abandons small town laws and morality and goes directly back into fairy tale world dramatic gestures and medieval justice. And I kinda like it. It's like everyone has been released from whatever was holding them back as people. They can be fully themselves, make bold choices, take stands, and really live their potential. (Yes, Megan, it's called a curse was broken. I know, guys, but it is cool how it affects them.)
Third, I was so happy they did not spend too much time on the "Regina is evil, she is the reason for this, lets kill Regina" stuff. It was background for the far better emotional stuff that was going on with everyone. Snow even says, "Mr. Gold can wait," dealing with family is more important.
Fourth, Doctor Whale, you frustrating and intriguing bastard. Charming does not know who he is, and Charming is not his prince, as Whale says. This means he comes from another land than Charming (perhaps a fictional Geneva with secret lab castle?). Oh and I am sure tons of slash fiction was born from this image:
"You are not my prince." Make out, already.
Fifth, I was touched that Henry did not want anyone to kill Regina. I didn't really understand the whole character turn around, "YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER" to "She is still my mother, please don't kill her." And then again "I never want to see you again!" But hey. I don't really expect much from Henry.
Sixth, Yay! Emma didn't talk that much! Her one awesome moment was the subtle touch that awakened Regina's magic again. I cannot wait for them to explain that. Of course all the Swan/Queen slash writers are exploding with explanations. Seriously, the stuff writes itself.
Seventh, Gold and Belle. I was not as happy about it as I thought. I knew he was going to fuck it up, and that made me sad. It made me even sadder that Belle came back. It came across more as Stockholm syndrome, or "I must stay in an abusive relationship because he needs me" than "I will change you into a better man." I usually fight for Beauty and the Beast relationships, but Gold wasn't passionate and angry and let his feelings run away with him. He was cold and calculating and knew what he was doing, and he still did it. I worry that she will get hurt.
Lastly, Mulan, Prince Phillip and Sleeping Beauty. I must admit, I was not sold on that storyline when I saw it in the promos. It looked frikkin boring. And the storyline itself kinda was. But I was impressed by Aurora's acting. She charmed the pants off me. Mulan is a bit humorless and uninteresting, but hopefully she will warm up as she and Aurora, and maybe Emma and Snow create an awesome girl questing squad. OH huzzah for the CGI not sucking!
These are just my thoughts, and if you want a hilarious and more detailed recap, see Io9. They do an excellent job.