Don't you hate it when life gets in the way of your fun? I had to take care of stuff in real life, so I didn't get to watch Once Upon a Time until tonight. Then again, maybe that wasn't so bad since it means I only have to wait six days until the next episode.
This is likely to be a short recap. We shall see. (I always think that….) Not because there wasn't a lot going on (I think it's my favorite of the season so far) but because I'm short on time.
Our flashback featured Bae and Rumplestiltskin back when they were in
. Bae is basically held captive in their home,
and he doesn't like it. He wants to go
out and make friends, but Rumple doesn't want to let him go since he is afraid
of what others might do to him. Enchanted
But one day he returns home to find Bae has gone. He magically traces him to a village, but they are also missing their children. The Pied Piper has arrived in Once Upon a Time.
And Rumple and Pan know each other.
They have a conversation where we learn that only boys who are lonely and feel unloved can hear the music. Bae heard it, and that's why he followed. Pan is trying to recruit more friends to join him in Neverland. He tells Rumple that if Bae is given a choice and agrees to go home with Rumple, then Pan will let him go. But what are the odds of that happening. We also learn that Pan and Rumple were friends at one point, but even the Dark One says that Pan is dark and evil. This guy must be bad news, although I haven't seen too much yet that makes him worse that Rumple.
Anyway Rumple doesn't give him a choice. He finds Bae, and takes the two of them home. But then we learn Bae already knew about the deal Pan would propose. And he would have followed Rumple home gladly. The fact that he doesn't ask upsets him greatly.
So, let's move over to Neverland of the present. We start with Neal escaping from the Lost Boy that had captured him. While he runs off into the woods, we switch to Gold, who is preparing himself to do battle, sacrificing himself to free Henry. The illusion of Belle shows up, and Gold explains this is the only way to redeem himself. He will fulfill the prophecy by sacrificing himself to free his son's son.
Only just as he's knocked out two guards, who should come running into the clearing but Neal. At first, Gold thinks it is another hoax, but soon enough he learns the truth. And Neal has a plan that won't involve them sacrificing themselves to free Henry. Squid ink. He calls one to a lake or bay (sure looked like a lake, but squid are salt water creatures, I know), and they milk it. Then they go to confront Pan.
We find Pan and the lost boys celebrating around the fire because they have found Henry. But Henry is not joining in. And when Pan plays his flute, Henry can't hear it. Interesting.
Just about then, all the boys in the clearing fall asleep, including Henry. Pan is the only one left standing. Gold and Neal confront him, and Neal shoots an arrow with squid ink at him. Pan catches it and says, "Haven't you learned anything?" Neal answers yes, that's why the ink isn't on the tip. Sure enough, it's on the shaft, and Pan is frozen in place. Neal grabs Henry, but before they can go, Pan just happens to mention the prophecy.
As soon as they get clear, Neal demands to know what Pan was talking about. Gold tries to dodge, but Neal isn't falling for it. Finally, Gold explains everything, including his original plan to kill this child until he found out that the child was Henry, his grandson. As much and he begs and pleads, Neal doesn't buy it and uses squid ink to freeze Gold and take Henry away. Sure enough, Pan catches Neal. Some of the lost boys take Neal away prisoner while Pan and the rest take Henry back to the campfire. Neal tries to call out to him, but Henry is still knocked out.
Meanwhile, Gold finally recovers from the squid ink. As Belle tries to comfort and encourage him, Gold turns his back on her. "I don’t want to talk right now."
So let's head over to the rest of the crew. They are ready with a plan thanks to Tinker Bell (Emma's lines in that first scene were the best in the night). However, when Tink learns they have no plan for getting home, she leaves. She'll help when they've got the second half of the plan figured out.
Hook leads them to the cave where Neal lived when he was there. He was the only one to escape without Pan's blessing, so maybe he has left some clues. They find drawings on the wall, his interest in drawing something he got from his mother according to Hook.
And they finally find a coconut gourd that had been hollowed out and had holes poked in the top. They realize it's a star map, but a key piece of the puzzle is missing - they need Neal for that.
That's when Emma loses it and runs outside. Mary Margaret and David try to comfort her, but she won't accept it. She confesses she never stopped loving Neal, a fact she realized when she found him again. And she is upset and angry and him and herself. As she leaves them, Mary Margaret talks about how upset she is that she doesn't know how to comfort her own daughter. And David tries to talk to her about moving on if something were to happen to him, but Mary Margaret won't hear about it.
So I think we're ready for the final scene. As Pan had captured Neal and Henry, he said something about it being time to reset up the board for the next few moves.
Then Henry wakes up back at the campfire. He tells Pan that while he was sleeping he thought he heard his father calling, but that's impossible since Neal is dead. But Pan explains that Neverland is a place of new dreams, a place to leave the old behind. And as he starts to play his flute, Henry starts to dance. He can hear it now.
The scene between Neal and Gold when they were talking about the prophecy was so wonderfully written and acted. You wanted to believe Gold. You wanted Neal to believe Gold. And yet, there is so little evidence that it would actually be a good idea. But the emotion Gold went through as he realized that his own son didn't trust him was heartbreaking.
Pan also implied that he allows Neal to leave, knowing that Neal would come back. Is that true? Is Pan that much in control? If so, do they have any hope of stopping him?
And how will they cure David?
How will they get home?
I also loved the twist that Pan was also the Pied Piper. I knew they were introducing that character in this episode, but I wasn't expecting that connection.
I still don't know where this season might be going, but I am really enjoying the ride. As I said, I think this is the strongest episode yet this season.
Did you enjoy it as much as I did? What did you think? And what theories do you have to share?