Three episodes in and Once Upon a Time is still in the table-setting phase. Each episode switches back and forth between the two worlds--the fairy tale part explaining backstory while the modern part moves at one slow step at time. While the tone of the show remains solid along with the great CGI (which put Grimm's to shame), the premise of the show has stagnated.
Everything is one-dimensional to the point where we can expect almost everything that happens next. Snow White and Prince Charming had love at first sight, despite Snow saying the opposite. The one-time use spell in a bottle is used to save the prince instead of killing the Queen. See how much she cares about him already?
In the modern world, it isn't much different. Comatose John Doe responds to Mary's touch and snaps out of it eventually. But John Doe has a wife! Mary cries afterwards, seeing her true love with someone else. Henry continues to blather on about the fairy tale while Emma and Mary indulge his ideas for the time being. When will the story pick up?