Title The New Neverland
Two-Sentence Summary In flashbacks, Snow nearly destroys her own happiness when a quest to find Medusa in order to destroy Regina turns her honeymoon with Charming into a potentially fatal mission. Snow’s appreciation for small moments of happiness in the past is contrasted by her daughter’s inability to appreciate or even have such moments in the present, as Emma gets thrown into the center of another crisis when she’s the first to realize that something is wrong with “Henry” upon returning to Storybrooke.
Emma: You sure you don’t have other reasons for pushing me towards Neal?
Charming: Like what?
Emma: I don’t know—keeping me away from Hook?
Charming: You think I’m interested in Hook? Emma, I’m a married man!
My Thoughts This episode still has my head spinning. It was an interesting setup to next week’s midseason finale because it asked way more questions than it answered, but that doesn’t always make for easy analyzing/reviewing. Therefore, I’m going to set this week’s episode up as a series of 20 questions I was left with following “The New Neverland.” Some are meant to spark debate and discussion; others are meant to get us speculating for next week’s big midseason finale.
So read on and then share your answers to some (or all!) of my queries. But just try to keep the spoilers out of the comments, if you would be so kind. I’m aware of most of the spoilers floating around now, but I know some people like to be surprised. If you want to talk spoilers, feel free to leave me a Tweet or an email, and I’ll be happy to indulge to your heart’s content!
1. Who else was impressed with Jared Gilmore in this episode?
Gilmore seemed to relish getting to play the villain for once, and he made the most of it. There were more than a few times where I was truly unsettled by his presence in a scene (especially when he was walking around Henry’s room), and I thought his physical performance was better than I could have hoped for.
2. Is Pan the most evil villain this show has ever had?
After all of this, I’m inclined to say yes. Cora was a close second, but she got that way by taking out her own heart because she still had a capability to love (which she saw—until her final moments—as an ultimate weakness). Pan, however, doesn’t need to have his heart removed to feel nothing but enjoyment at ruining (and ending) the lives of others for his own twisted power trips. The thing that stuck with me the most about Pan in this episode was the way he was still able to play his mind games away from his home turf and out of his own body. I’d been waiting to see him play on Regina’s MANY issues from the beginning of the Neverland arc, so it was sad but also perfectly executed to watch Pan prey on her desperation for love, especially love from her son. To be able to play the Evil Queen like a fiddle by using her emotions against her is about as evil as it gets. And to think of it as one parent preying on the love another parent has for their child makes the whole thing even more disturbing.
3. What is the thing Pan loves most?
In order for Pan to enact the Dark Curse, won’t he have to kill the thing he loves most? But what does he love, apart from himself and his youth? At first, I thought the final scene between Pan and Felix was going to end with Pan killing his most trusted Lost Boy to enact the curse. But does Pan love Felix? Does he love Rumplestiltskin? I think it would create an interesting conflict in the midseason finale with Pan trying to kill his son, but I don’t think he loves his son enough (or even at all) for it to work. Is it the Shadow? But how does one kill a Shadow?