I was told that I had to start my recap of last night’s Once Upon a Time with the line, “Unlike last year, this year’s premier didn’t suck.” Of course, I did like last year’s season premier. It definitely took things in a new direction, but once I adjusted, I thought it was good.
Unlike last year, there was nothing especially earth shattering or show changing. It was the logical next step in the story they set up in the finale last year. And it was so great to have the show back.
Let’s start with Henry.Our first glimpse with his is with Greg and Tamara as they are arriving on
They build a signal fire, and the lost boys show up. That’s when Greg and Tamara learn the truth – they’ve been working for the lost boys all along. And their true mission? Find Henry and bring him to Neverland. As Greg and Tamara try to resist and protect Henry, the lost boys call in a wraith that steals Greg’s soul and then shot Tamara with an arrow, leaving her for dead. Henry takes off running into the jungle, however.
As he is running, he meets another boy. This boy is also on the run from the lost boys, so the two team up. He’d stolen some pixie dust he wanted to use to get home, but it doesn’t work. Henry’s new friend also explains that if they can make it to the
, the lost boys
won’t be able to find them there. Echoing
They almost make it to the caves, but the Lost Boys pick up their trail and start closing in. Henry and his friend are trapped on the edge of a cliff, but that’s when Henry spots the pixie dust again. He takes it and reminds his friend that they have to believe. “And I’ve got enough belief for both of us.” So saying, he sprinkles the pixie dust on them and leads a running charge to the edge of the cliff. Sure enough, the two take off flying.
Meanwhile, on the boat, our unlikely alliance has arrived in the waters outside Neverland. Mr. Gold, dressed as Rumplestiltskin, quickly gives a speech and magically leaves the ship. When next we see him, he’s found the place where Greg and Tamara are. He magically hears Tamara to find out where Henry is. She points in the direction where Henry ran off. She also tries to apologize for what went down in the factory last season and says that Neal/Bae is stuck in some other world. Gold does not accept her apology and kills her.
Gold’s last scene of the night finds him meeting and talking with the leader of the Lost Boys. The leader says that Pan welcomes Gold back to Neverland as long as Gold is not there for the boy. If he is there for the boy, Pan will kill Gold. Gold then says that the only thing to wonder about, in that case, is how many of the boys Gold will take out before he is killed. Then the leader gives Gold a parting gift, an old toy of Bae’s. Gold breaks down as the leader walks off.
So let’s get back to the rest of the crew on the ship. Not too long after Gold leaves, they are attacked by something from the water. It’s mermaids. They are losing until
starts throwing magic fireballs into the water.
That drives them off. All of them
except the one that Emma and Mary Margaret have managed to catch. They haul her aboard, but she refuses to
talk. And a storm with giant, boat
crushing waves, begins to attack the ship.
The crew begins to argue about what to do with the mermaid. Mary Margaret is the biggest component of
releasing her while Regina wants to kill her.
Regina finally does that, turning her into wood, but the storm only gets
As the crew turns on each other, Emma makes a discovery. The storm is caused by their fighting. She tries to get their attention, but they ignore her, so she does the one thing sure to get their attention – she jumps overboard. What she doesn’t count on is a pulley from the rigging breaking off and knocking her unconscious in the water.
Fortunately, her stunt worked, and Charming is quickly tied with a rope and dives overboard where he rescues her. When she comes to back on the ship, the moon is coming back through the clouds.
Our last shot of them is on the island. Emma finally gets what Gold was trying to tell them earlier. This island is fed on imagination. And they are going to have to work together, using all their skills, if they want to survive. She sets herself up as leader and heads off into the jungle with the set of them following her.
So what about Neal? He awakes in Enchanted Forest to find Aurora, Phillip, and Mulan tending to him. He is anxious to get back to Emma and Henry, and he figures that Rumple’s castle will have something to help, so Mulan leads him there.
When they arrive, they find a squatter living there, Robin Hood. But he quickly stands down when Neal explains who he is. After all, would anyone claim to be Rumple’s son who wasn’t? While searching the castle, Neal finds Rumple’s old stump and waves it around. That reveals a hidden door with magical items behind it. Neal takes a ball and on the second try, gets it to show him Emma. But he is upset to learn she is in Neverland and not back in Storybrooke.
Speaking of which, we don’t check in there at all in this episode. I’m wondering how much time we’ll be there in the 11 episode Neverland arc. We’ll just have to see.
There was also only one flashback at the very beginning of the episode, and that was Emma giving birth to Henry. The lights were flashing. I’m wondering if that was caused by magic or not. If so, I’m wondering just how much magic Henry might have.
Speaking of whom, we need to get to the final scene of the episode. And I am smacking myself for not seeing this coming sooner. Henry and his friend land after their flight, but something changes about the friend. Then he addressed Henry by name. “But I never told you my name.” That’s when we find out the friend is really foe, more specifically Peter Pan himself. And he is searching for Henry because Henry has the heart of a true believer. No idea what that means or why it is important, but as Pan calls the lost boys in and they surround Henry, we fade to black.
As always, lots of stuff packed into the hour. I’m not sure where they are going at the moment, so I’m not sure I have any theories to expose. We will obviously be hearing more about belief and doubt since that was the topic of a conversation between Emma and Mary Margaret and David early on and it’s what Emma realized at the end of the episode. Plus it is why Pan wants Henry. But what will this all mean for the story or the characters I don’t know.
And yes, that is a new Robin Hood. The one from last season got a new show, so they had to recast. Honestly, I don’t really remember the old Robin Hood, so I’m very willing to go with this one.
How will Neal meet up with Emma and Henry again? Will he be able to help with rescuing Henry? When had Rumple been to Neverland before and what is his relationship with Pan from the past? Lots of questions. Any and all speculation is welcome.
And let me know what you thought of the episode.