Screen Bites: Magic is Everywhere: Once Upon a Time, Merlin, Haven, and Supernatural

So, Watchers, the column is back after a hiatus. We will play  catch-up on a few shows, and discuss the return of two others. Remember, spoilers abound, so read at your own risk…

Once Upon a Time, Sunday 8:00 EST, ABC

The show did a nice job of picking up exactly where it left off, with Cora and Hook arriving in Storybrooke. Unfortunately, no one else knows that they’re there yet, so Cora was able to frame Regina for Archie’s “murder” (which we discover didn’t really happen). Cora’s plan is to force Regina back into her evil inclinations by alienating her from everyone. Do you think this will work?

We now know that Emma has some sort of magical ability, and I’m assuming we will learn more as the season progresses.

We also learned how Rumpelstiltskin manipulated Regina into using the curse sending everyone to another land. I thought they did a really great job of seamlessly moving back and forth between past and present.

How did you like the round table scene? That was a nice nod to arthurian legend.

My favorite quote: “Need I remind you that you got your PhD from a curse?” (Regina to Archie).

Merlin, Friday 10:00 EST, SyFy

How great is it to have this show back, even if it the last season?

The first episode definitely continues the trend of the darker atmosphere, but really it has to, considering that Arthur is now king. I’m glad, though, that the show has kept its thread of humor.

I am curious to see how they will end the show, in what ways they will stick with legend and how they will diverge. What do you hope to see happen? The one thing I really hope for sure is that Arthur finds out about Merlin’s abilities.

Haven, SyFy

Wow — what a season this show has had! I remember watching the first couple of episodes of Season 1 and liking the show, but then got caught up watching other things and recorded the rest of the season. When I went back to it, watching from about episode 3 or 4, I was hooked and have stayed that way.

So much has happened: Nathan tried to infiltrate The Guard to find out what he could about the Bolt Gun Killer; Audrey learned that she will disappear when a storm comes through Haven; there is a mysterious barn that supposedly when Audrey enters it, she and the barn go away, taking the Troubles with them; Audrey is the Colorado Kid’s mother; and we know that the killer/skinwalker is now appearing as psychiatrist Claire.

In the “Sarah” episode, which I particularly liked, we saw that Sarah has the same “contact” as Audrey, the man she thought was her boss at the FBI. He looked exactly the same, also, so we have to wonder if he is like Audrey.

How have you liked this season? How do you think it will end?

*Please note that the two-part finale will air on Thursday, January 17th from 8-10 p.m. The last two episodes were delayed in light of recent events.

Supernatural, Wednesday 9:00 EST, The CW

Castiel is back, which please me to no end. I loved the episode with Cas as a hunter. I am intrigued by the storyline with him being used to spy on Sam and Dean without knowing it. Of course it’s great that the angel using Cas is played by Amanda Tapping. What do you think we’ll find out is going on?

I have a question: where do the Winchesters get the money to live on? Any theories?

The show will be back on 1-16.


Being Human and Lost Girl return Monday, 1-14, and new series Continuum begins that night, as well, all on SyFy. The Vampire Diaries returns 1-17.

About Carol

A book reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol reads extensively in the urban fantasy genre, and also writes the column on genre television, Screen Bites. Serving as the director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, Carol also works at Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City, New Blood), and AnachroCon, and for the last three years has been one of the organizers for a small literary festival in the town where she lives. When not reading, writing reviews, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.


  1. Since nothing was on Sunday and waiting for the return of The Walking Dead I actually watched Once Upon a Time. Still not a favorite but one to pass the time on Sunday nights.

    What Cora needs to focus on to sway her daughter back to evilness is the child. Henry right? Seeing Emma and Henry together really wounded the woman. If anything will turn her heart black is the hatred of Henry. Because of him she tried to be good.

    And I am completely stoked about Merlin being back and sad that THIS is the last season. I agree with you that Arthur needs to learn about Merlin and his abilities. Merlin put out vague hints. If you remember he said “I have many talents you are not aware of.”

    Gwen is assimiluating well as Queen. Though it did sort of make the others nervous how she dealt with her servant’s treachery

    • I am wondering if Guenivere will actually wait a bit on the girl’s execution even though she ordered it. I think she passed sentence to appear strong in Arthur’s absense.

  2. Great review of magical TV shows. Can’t wait for The Vampire Diaries to return.

  3. Loved how OUAT kicked off with a bang. Also just found out that Hulu has all the seasons of Merlin so going to get an overdose of what sounds like another great show.

  4. I knew Merlin show would have a limited time span so I have just enjoyed this version of the story for it’s fresh view of the story. Arthur will be having the worst time of his life facing his problems but with Merlin’s help he will face them heroically. Merlin still has a long way to live after Arthur (they throw hints of him being old). I think in this story, he is in Arthur’s life as a helper using his magic unknown to help Arthur achieve his Camelot. Doesn’t Arthur’s sword disappear after he dies? I though that Arthur lived a long time or at least a normal life span during which the land was at peace (i.e. Camelot)

  5. I didn’t read the review of SUpernatural (so behind) but I do know that they get their money through hustling pool for as well as credit card fraud. Throughout the series when they didn’t pay cash, they always had credit cards with a different name each time.

    Once Upon A Time

    My favorite quote had to be when Emma walked in on Charming and Snow in bed.
    And Charming says ” Good to know we can still inflict painful childhood memories this late in the game.”

    They are doing a really good job going back and forth. I thought it would get confusing with all the jumping around in the timeline, but everything is really clear.

    I know Hook wants revenge on Rumplestiltskin,because he killed his wife. And it sucks because Hook loved her. But does anyone else besides me think that Gold got a bit of a raw deal too? I mean yeah, he did some pretty horrible things. But before he was the Dark One, he got treated like crap.Constantly. By a lot of people. His wife left him and their son and made Gold think she was tortured and killed by Hook. Not making excuses, just sayin.


    I love Merlin! And I am going to dread when this is off. Frankly I’m surprised it’s been on this long. BBC seasons and the tv show themselves are usually shorter.

    I knew it had to progress some, but I was surprised at the 3-year jump. I think Merline is about to loose it with all the shots from Arthur about him not having any talents. I agree though Arthur needs to find out about his abilities sooner than later.

    As for Guinivere, I don’t think she would have been as harsh with the servant, if Arthur hadn’t been missing. But even still she can’t be seen as weak while Arthur is gone.


    I can’t remember all the details, but I did love the Sarah episode as well. I loved Duke’s reaction, especially when he ended up at the police station and saw the guy sitting next to him with a tattoo and jsut muttered ” Of course”. And speaking of Duke, I feel so bad for him with Audrey. I think he would be really good for Audrey.

    I never thought of her superior as possibly being like Audrey. Now that would be interesting!

    And they keep saying that when Audrey goes into the barn the troubles go away. But what if it’s seperate. What if Audrey goes into the barn because the troubles are about to go away. Just a thought.

    As for the skinwalker, I don’t even know where that storlyine is going.

    For anyone who reads Stephen King, have there been any othere references in the show that would give any answers?

    • Rae, I’ve never gotten the sense that the Winchester’s engaged in credit card fraud, though they do have different ID’s — with made-up names from rock stars.

      And you’re right — Rumpelstiltskin was badly treated by just about everyone, though that doesn’t excuse murder. It was definitely wronged by the woman, though, who let both him and their son to be with Hook. I’m curious to see how it will all play out when the two do meet.

      Somehow I missed that Merlin had jumped ahead three years. I’m going to have to re-watch the beginning again.

      Nope, I’m sorry — it’s Natahn and Audrey, all the way. 🙂 I can’t wait for the last two episodes so we can find out how Audrey extricates herself from the “disappearing” dilemma.

      And you raise a good question about the barn, Audrey, and the troubles. Hmm…

  6. I can’t wait to see Supernatural! I love that show! I haven’t seen the other three yet though.

  7. I lost interest in ONCE UPON A TIME after a while, and I’m not well-versed in the others. I’m looking forward to the return of LOST GIRL, though I hope Kris Holden-Ried has a juicier part in it this season!

  8. We only watch OUAT from the list. We waited patiently for the break to be over but unfortunately, we have been so busy, we haven’t had time to watch yet. So… I did not read above for fear of spoilers. I am sure it was great!! Come on weekend!!

  9. as i don’t watch any t.v., it is always a treat to see what other people want to watch and catch up on! thanks for sharing!

  10. I am enjoying Once Upon A Time and looking forward to the rest of the season. Loving Hook and can’t wait for him and Gold to meet up. Beside that I too am in wait for Walking Dead to return and Vampire Diaries !

  11. unforrnuately dont watch any of these