Monday, March 31, 2014

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time 3-15 - Quiet Minds

I was not expecting that last night.  I had heard that the events of last night would happen to someone, but I thought I knew who and I thought I knew when.  Definitely took me by surprise when it happened.

And yes, I'm being vague until I get below the jump.

I'm going to try something a little different with the recap this week, switching between Storybrooke and Enchanted Forest of a year ago.  This might get tricky, so hang on.

We're going to start in Storybrooke, also something different.  We start with a strategy meeting as David, Emma, Regina, and Mary Margaret try to decide what to do next.  They decide that David and Emma will try to hunt down Mr. Gold out in the forest while Regina goes back to the farmhouse to search for clues to the witch's identity.  Mary Margaret is not happy about being left behind, but she has an important job to do, too - let the witch get close to her - I mean keep the baby safe.

We also get a scene of Zelena trying to summon the dark one while holding his dagger, but it doesn't work.

Hook, meanwhile, is going to stand guard while Belle tries to find out something in Gold's shop that might give them a clue as to how Rumplestiltskin/Gold is alive and where he might be.  And they get the first bit of excitement as someone starts to come into the shop.  Belle is certain that it is Gold, but instead it is Neal, who promptly passes out on the floor.

They take Neal to the hospital where he wakes up to learn about the new curse.  He's very happy to see Emma again and have her remember him, however he's upset to learn that Henry thinks Neal was a bad father.  After all, that is all Emma remembered until recently herself.  He wants to go about fixing that, but Emma isn't sure what to think.

Meanwhile, Neal has a weird mark seared onto his skin.  Is it a clue?

As a matter of fact it is, as we learn in the flashback to Enchanted Forest of a year ago.

This story focuses on Neal and Belle as they try to find some way to bring Rumple back to life.  They go to his castle and start searching in the library.  Belle lights a candelabra and suddenly finds a head floating above it.  Yep, it's Lumiere, who in this version of his story was imprisoned by The Dark One.  They promise to get him freed if he will help them restore The Dark One.  He points them to a particular book, only it turns out that the book is really the hiding place for a weird key.  The key is to the cavern where the first Dark One came from.  They can use the key to bring Rumple back.

However, as Belle and Neal leave, planning to go the next day, who should come in but Zelena.  Turns out that she is the one who imprisoned Lumiere, and he is working for her trying to earn his freedom.

Back to Storybrooke.

Hook is now left behind to keep Neal in the hospital, but Neal doesn't want to stay.  The two talk, and Hook agrees to give Neal a 10 minute head start in joining the search for his father.  Along the way, Hook and Neal make up in their fight over Emma as Hook remembers the boy he shielded from Pan all those years.

In the woods, Emma and David find Gold.  However, he's mumbling about the voices in his head and how he can't think.  Then a winged monkey comes to attack them.  While Emma and David are busy fighting it off, Gold runs off.  Emma takes off after him, but loses him, instead finding Neal.  While the two are searching, she talks a bit more about the last year, including the flying monkey she almost married.

Then, Emma gets a call from Belle.  She's matched the mark on Neal's hand to something from a book that might explain how Rumple was resurrected.  The only thing is, based on how Belle is reading the book, Neal should be dead.


The answer to that comes from Enchanted Forest of a year ago.

Neal and Belle find the spot where they have to insert the key.  They've brought Lumiere with them, but something he says makes Belle pause.  When Lumiere claims to have been in the library for 200 years, she knows he is lying because Rumple built the library for her just before the curse.  He confesses and tries to get them to turn back.  Belle is absolutely ready to look for another way.  But Neal can't wait any longer to try to get back to Emma and Henry in our world, so he puts the key in the lock.  The key starts to glow, searing the mark in his hand, and Rumple comes out.

Zelena is right there as well, however there is a catch she made sure Belle and Neal never learned.  This is a life for a life trade, and Neal must die.  However, Rumple tries to absorb Neal into himself to keep him alive.  He can't do it and hold on to his dagger, however, so he must let that go, which Zelena immediately picks up.  In the end, Zelena then tries to order Rumple to kill Belle, but the Neal in him fights it off long enough for Belle to grab Lumiere and flee.

End of the flashback.  So let's see how that plays out in Storybrooke.

As Emma learns the news, Neal starts to shape shift.  He then comes back to Neal and begs Emma to use her magic to separate him from his father.  She is able to do it, and we get a completely sane Mr. Gold (who reveals Zelena's identity) and a dying Neal.  There is a very emotional scene, but there is nothing the characters can do and Neal dies.

However, now that Gold is all alone in his own skin, the dagger controls him completely.  Zelena shows up and orders him back to his cage in the storm cellar.

Meanwhile, Emma and David rush back to Mary Margaret, who has been spending the day with Zelena, but Zelena must had figured out what has happening somehow and she has fled.

Now all the characters know the truth about who they are fighting.

I haven't discussed the comedic scenes with Regina out at the farmhouse.  Who should she run into out there but Robin Hood.  It was actually very funny watching the two of them flirt as he joins her in searching for some clue to the Wicked Witch's identity.  However, when Robin pulls up his sleeve, Regina sees the lion tattoo and remembers what Tinkerbell had told her all those years ago about the man with the lion tattoo being her true love.  A bit freaked out, Regina flees.

So, the final scene.  Emma must go explain to Henry the best she could.  Henry's already suspicious that something more is happening than he's been told so far, and Emma agrees to that.  Now, she explains that she had learned that Henry's father was in danger, so she came to try to find him.  However, now Neal is dead.  She is quite clear that Neal was a hero.  When Henry asks if Emma caught the person responsible, Emma says no.  But you can see her resolve grow.  Emma is ready to take down Zelena no matter what.

As I said earlier, I had heard that someone was going to die.  However, I would have sworn it wasn't going to be for another two episodes, so this took me by surprise last night.  I'm still not happy because I've been rooting for Emma and Neal to get together.  Guess that won't happen now.  And the actor states this was the result of a bold story telling choice that he supports, although he would have gladly stayed on the show longer.

Theories?  I'm wondering who this winged monkey is.  Zelena already had at least one before Little John was turned into one.  Might this be that winged monkey?  If so, who is it?  And where is Little John?

Zelena didn't seem that upset about being outed, so her plan is in place.  And it was confirmed she is after Mary Margaret's baby.  But why?  How is this going to get back at Regina?

How much will Rumple/Gold be able to help our heroes now that he is in his right mind?  I mean, Zelena still does control the dagger.

I'm definitely going to miss Neal.  He was a great addition to the show, I thought.  Will you miss him?  And where do you think they are going next?


  1. Okay, let's try this again. The reason I was never a Neal fan is that I was a Bae fan, and I thought the writers did a terrible job of connecting everything we saw and loved in Bae to Neal. Bae never would have done half of the things that adult Neal had done; and there is no way you're redeeming a character who allowed a 17 year old woman to be locked up in jail...for any reason.

    Sunday's episode was the very first time I connected Neal to Bae, with the heartrending hug that Captain Hook gave Neal as a goodbye. That finally connected it for me, and I realized how very much I would have loved the character of Neal, not as a romantic triangle for Emma, but as a complicated part of Hook's past. It's Hook that intrigues me most on the show, that's no secret. I agree with you; Neal in concept was a great addition to the show, but the Neal that they showed never really did for me what an adult Bae would have. It could have added those extra layers with the father/son relationship with Rumple and Bae, and even Peter Pan, and I don't think the character of Neal played up to the level of what we needed for that role. Between Tamara and his abandonment of Emma--especially on a show where "we'll always find each other--is so prevelant, Neal didn't have a shot with me. However, Hook traversed multiple lands over years to find his way back to Emma to save her family, not selfishly bringing people back from the dead for his own good; just a direct contrast.

    1. I've heard that from some other people, and I absolutely agree with some of what you said. I will counter Neal leaving Emma alone since she had to be out on her own to break the curse. The Tamara thing hurts his character tremendously. I can not nor will I defend it.

      Hook is certainly an interesting character with lots of layers. I love him. (I actually thought he was the one they were going to kill off, which would have made me very sad as well.) I just wanted Neal to be able to redeem himself with Emma.

      Ultimately, I think they realized they didn't know what to do with Neal. If you look at what they've done with him, it does seem like they were searching for story for him. And I think this gives several characters motivation for the rest of this arc if not into future seasons, so I'm coming to grips with why it happened.

      But I still am not thrilled.

      (Glad to have you commenting over here.)

  2. Finally was able to watch the show yesterday. I was just not a Neal fan so I'm pretty ambivalent about his leaving. I will say though that the scene of his passing was pretty emotional. I am most certainly a Hook fan.

    The thing I am most trying to figure out is why Wick Witch wants Snows Baby. And just what was in that orange juice she gave her to drink!

    I really liked the special effect of Neal/Bae morphing with Rumple. I am still a little confused as to how Rumple is alive. When he disappeared in a puff of smoke, did he go to that cavern awaiting rebirth (so to speak)? Was it Neal/Bae opening the cavern the key (no pun intended) so his coming back? Something here has just gone over my head.

    Next weeks episode looks like it will be a fun one with the old West theme.

    1. Yeah, I'm really curious why Zelena wants Snow's baby. I don't think there was anything in the juice other than juice, but we'll find out soon enough I'm sure.

      And I think you have Rumple's death/rebirth completely figured out. At least that's the way I understood it.