TV Time: Once Upon a Time 3.08

OUaT 308

Title Think Lovely Thoughts

Two-Sentence Summary Rumplestiltskin and Regina rejoin Operation Henry just in time for them to attempt to rescue the boy before Peter Pan takes his heart and uses it to become immortal, but Henry’s desire to be a hero proves to be his own undoing. In flashbacks to Rumplestiltskin’s childhood, we discover just how well he and Pan know one another.

Favorite Line “You said no magic; I agreed. But I’m not walking in there with nothing but my good looks.” (Rumplestiltskin)

My Thoughts That was definitely the most intense episode of Once Upon a Time so far this season, but I’m not sure it was the best episode. In fact, for as many cool twists and strong scenes as this episode featured, it also reminded me the most of some of the things I disliked about last season—too much plot and too little emotional investment and characters behaving more as plot devices than as people. This episode was probably a big hit with people who felt this Neverland arc was moving too slowly, but I thought this episode didn’t move slow enough. There were some truly great moments in “Think Lovely Thoughts,” but overall, for an episode that featured a huge twist and a shocking “death,” I found myself less emotionally invested than I’ve been all season.

My favorite part of this episode was the way the big reveal of Peter Pan’s identity began to dawn on me more and more as the episode went on. It built from the immaturity shown by Rumplestiltskin’s father to his dreams of Neverland and, finally, to that exquisite moment of perfect plotting when he told Rumplestiltskin that a child can’t have children. When he said that line, I was floored with the knowledge of what was about to happen, and I loved every second of it. For the longest time, I had guessed that Rumplestiltskin and Pan were going to turn out to be brothers, but this twist was even better. It made so much sense for the plot, but, more importantly, it made sense for the characters.

Can I just take a moment here to congratulate the casting department on doing an excellent job once again? Because the casting for young Rumplestiltskin was absolutely perfect. Wyatt Oleff looked like he could be a baby version of Robert Carlyle, and he had just the right line delivery and accent, too. Also, Stephen Lord was a great casting choice for Rumplestiltskin’s father and the man who would become Pan. His laugh was exactly the same as Rumplestiltskin’s, and something about his eyes and posture connected very strongly with Robbie Kay’s work so far this season as Pan.

For a show that I often praise for the way it handles its female characters—especially its mothers—I have to give credit to the Once Upon a Time writers for the incredibly painful, broken, and believable “sins of the father” narrative they’ve created with Pan, Rumplestiltskin, Neal, and Henry. This episode built upon everything we know about these men and their weaknesses in a way that gets even more interesting the more you think about it.

It seems that each generation improved from Pan’s grievous abandoning of Rumplestiltskin, but they all could only get so far in terms of breaking the cycle of abandonment. Before becoming Pan, Rumplestiltskin’s father didn’t want the responsibility of fatherhood, so it made sense for him to choose the power of eternal youth—the power of Neverland—over his son. But just because it made sense, it didn’t make his betrayal any less painful. Watching young Rumplestiltskin get taken by the Shadow (voiced with perfect creepiness by Marilyn Manson) absolutely broke my heart. And it both helped me understand why Rumplestiltskin was so afraid to use the portal with Bae and made me even angrier with him for not taking the chance for a fresh start that he was denied with his own father. As an adult, Rumplestiltskin has always appeared a tragic character, and never more so than now that we know he let go of Bae the same way he was let go of by his own father.

Rumplestiltskin did feel remorse and regret instantaneously; something that couldn’t be said for his own father. But he chose the power of magic over his son in the same way his father chose the power of youth and Neverland. Hundreds of years later, Bae also faced a choice between power and love. He found power in his distance from his father, in his new life as Neal. By leaving Emma (and unknowingly, his unborn son) and then choosing not to go back for her after the curse was broken, he chose to hold on to the power he had in being free of his father and his past instead of fighting for the person he loved. But unlike the men who came before him, once Neal knew he’d abandoned his son, he worked to do the right thing for the little boy he left behind without even knowing. Neal’s role as Henry’s father played a very prominent role in this episode, and I liked seeing him fight for his son in an episode that highlighted fathers who didn’t fight for their sons when they had the chance.

That idea of family members giving up on one another was reflected in a surprising way in the interactions between Charming, Snow, and Emma in “Think Lovely Thoughts.” I was genuinely bothered by Snow seeming to accept that she and Charming were going to leave Emma behind. Yes, she did say how much it hurt her to come to that decision, but we saw in the last episode that she made said decision very quickly. I wish we would have gotten a little more internal conflict from Snow about it. Instead, it just felt like another example of someone Emma loves leaving her under the guise of having no other choice. I know that’s being harsh towards Snow, but it broke my heart to watch Emma—the girl who never felt wanted or important enough for someone to choose her above all other things—listen to her mom choose to leave her behind.

It was fascinating to me to watch Emma reverse the “sins of the father” idea and instead reflect the best thing about her father—his belief in his family and fighting for it no matter the obstacles. Emma was the one who wasn’t losing hope, who believed there had to be another way than just giving up. Last week, Hook showed Emma that he believed in her. And I saw this moment with her parents as a way of showing how Hook’s belief in Emma reminded her to have faith in herself, which manifested itself in her belief that she would get her whole family back home. Hope is a contagious thing, and that’s always been a theme on Once Upon a Time.

Speaking of everyone’s favorite swashbuckler, he didn’t have much to do in this episode (and Tinker Bell had even less to do), which was actually fine with me. This was an episode about parents and their children, and it would have felt wrong for Hook to join the rescue party. That was a job for Henry’s parents. Also, I liked that both Hook and Neal stopped their antics after the lighter incident. This isn’t a time for love triangles, and I am proud of the writers for staying above the temptation to write said triangle into every episode. The drama that would have come from it would have felt out-of-character for all involved.

Sadly, the ending of this episode felt as out-of-character as anything involving the love triangle could have been in this episode. Before I start talking about what happened with Henry, let me say this: I love the character, and I love Jared Gilmore. I’m not one of those viewers who wishes he’d just die already. But I can’t say I was pleased with how he was written or how his storyline was handled in “Think Lovely Thoughts.”

Part of the problem with the end of the episode was it was supposed to be this big, emotional climax, but I thought the emotional highpoint of the whole episode was actually the previous scene between Rumplestiltskin and Pan. After watching Kay and Carlyle go toe-to-toe with incredibly powerful results, everything that happened after just felt like a bit of a letdown. I’m still not sure I like the Pandora’s Box plot device, but in the moment, all that mattered was watching these two actors play off each other. I will never stop praising Kay for his work this season, and his ability to steal the show away from Carlyle is proof he was born to play this role.

I didn’t understand the blocking or the logistics of the last scene—why couldn’t Henry’s parents at least try to reach him? Why couldn’t Regina use her magic to pull Henry (or at least his heart) to her? Why was the CGI in the cave so distractingly bad?

I wanted to cry as Henry’s parents were telling him how much they loved him and believed in him, but all I kept thinking was how wrong it was for Henry to even consider Pan’s plan a tempting offer. I wish we could have seen more of Pan’s manipulation of Henry; maybe Henry’s choice would have made more sense if we could have seen Pan playing more with Henry’s own past as an abandoned and lost boy. Instead, it didn’t feel like Pan’s claws were deep enough in Henry for him to make the choice he made. It felt unrealistic for this boy whose belief in his family always drove him to suddenly choose to believe Pan instead. It was like all of my problems with the “Henry hears the flute” scene came rushing back in one moment.

Henry’s chose to be a hero instead of choosing his family. There’s a kind of power in being a hero, and this episode was about all of the men on his dad’s side of the family abandoning the people they love for some kind of power or control over their own lives. It made sense for the story, but I’m still not sure it made sense for this character, who always seemed to take after his maternal side (especially Charming) more than his paternal one.

I wanted to cry for Henry. I wanted to feel fear for what was going to happen to him. But all I could feel was angry at him for not seeing how this was going to play out—for letting his desire to be a hero cloud his senses and hurt all the people who love him. I actually didn’t feel bad for Henry at all; he got what he deserved for trusting Pan (and I know that sounds horrible). I feel bad for his parents and his grandparents. I feel bad for Charming, who is stuck in Neverland because he got poisoned trying to save Henry. I feel bad for Rumplestiltskin, who is now trapped in Pandora’s Box because he chose his grandson. I feel bad for Neal who came back to a world that held nothing but pain for him only to watch his son give his heart to Pan. I feel bad for Regina, who had to watch the baby she raised take out his own heart. And most of all, I feel bad for Emma. Last episode, we watched Hook reassure her that she wouldn’t fail, only to have her worst fears come to life in front of her: She didn’t just fail to get her son back; he chose to give his own heart to Pan. Her love wasn’t enough to convince him to come back to her. He chose Pan, magic, and heroism instead of her. All magic comes with a price, and Emma always seems to be the one paying it.

The cliffhanger nature of the ending took away some of its emotional power. I was shocked more than I was moved, but the best episodes of Once Upon a Time allow me to be both. In truth, I was moved more by Emma and Snow hugging and Charming kissing her forehead (especially Charming kissing her forehead) than I was by anything in that final scene with Henry. I was moved more by Wendy and Neal’s reunion (especially the fact that he let her continue to call him Bae). Heck, I was moved more by Charming giving Hook his dagger and all that said about how far their relationship has come.

Simple moments get to me the most on this show, but this episode fit so much plot in that the emotional impact wasn’t quite as strong as it could have been. Some moments could have benefitted from more breathing room and development. But I’m hoping that the next episode deals with a lot of the emotional fallout from what just occurred because I think it could make for some very compelling television.


21 thoughts on “TV Time: Once Upon a Time 3.08

  1. I respectfully don’t agree with the notion the Henry giving his heart to pan was out of character. After all, Henry was following Pan’s plan because to Henry the life of Wendy was at stake. Some are asking why Rmma, Neal or Regina mentioned Wendy being ok? And the answer to that question is becuase Wendy NEVER told them about the part she was playing in Pan’s scheme, so not one of them knew that Henry was sacrificing himself to save a human life. Also of note, Henry believed that the price was of him getting stucked forever in Neverland.

    Bottom line is: Henry is a pure hearted kid, he is still innocent and is always trying to be the hero. This proved to be his undoing, but he acted out of concern for someone else’s life. From his point of view (because he does not have the privilege of knowing EVERYTHINGwe as viwers have) Pan’s plan was the safest bet to save an sick girl from dying.

    • I don’t completely disagree. I think Henry’s motivations are pure. I have a hard time reconciling him weighing Wendy’s life over his family’s concerns. But ultimately, I think Henry’s belief in magic is an act of faith and he doesn’t believe magic will kill him. I think what has been out of character for me all season is Henry’s willingness to believe Pan, in particular in the face of his family telling him otherwise. Henry has always been problematic for me as a character but I appreciated your take.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and I think you brought up some really interesting points. It’s true that many viewers (myself included) are probably looking at Henry’s storyline different than we’re supposed to because we have so much more information about Pan than he does. And it’s also true that Henry’s motivations were completely pure—his motivations weren’t out of character for him at all. Henry wants to save people, to help people. What felt out of character to me was how easy it seemed for him to choose to believe what Pan was telling him over what his own family was saying. I wanted to see a little more of an internal struggle even if he did still end up ripping out his own heart.

      I think my biggest problem was the lack of development and exploration we were given in terms of Henry coming to believe everything Pan was telling him. I think I could have believed it more had the show taken some more time to develop the idea they proposed at the beginning of the season about Pan preying on Henry’s own past as an abandoned child. I would have loved to have seen that angle explored more, and I think it would have helped the ending of this episode resonate a little more in terms of its emotional impact.

      • This! You are right, it was rushed. Maybe it would have been better to show Emma, Regina and Neal facing one more obstacle so they arrived exactly in the moment were Henry gave his heart to Pan. Maybe it would have been a cliché, but it would have spared that moment you are describing were there was lack of internal struggle.

  2. I totally agree about Henry… I really love him, I do, but I do feel his decision was OOC for him, especially since two weeks ago in the canon’s timeline he was actually trying to GET RID OF magic. I do hope we get more insight into why Henry decided to do this next episode.
    Also, as usual, perfect review, thank you!

    • Well, he is only 11. He got on the bus to go and search for Emma, obviously thinking he was being a hero. So I don’t see how trying to save Wendy saving magic qualifies as being OOC.
      Besides, when he was trying to destroy magic, he was trying to prevent Regina killing Snow and the other adults killing Regina. Saving magic or destroying it it’s just a means to an end, and that end is ensuring another human being’s safety. Was a perfect plan? No, but it was a noble thing to do for an 11 yo to do. Did it backfired? Yes, because of human nature and inexperience.

    • Thank you for the comment! I’m with you—I hope we get more insight into Henry’s character along with everyone’s reactions to what happened in the concluding episodes of this Neverland arc. This season has been so excellent in terms of very rich character development, and I hope that extends to Henry as well.

  3. I do believe that part of Henry’s reasoning for sacrificing his heart had partly to do with Wendy’s safety. But if you look at this from another angle, it’s still Henry “being the hero”. He’s still trying to play the hero, whether it was for the sake of Wendy or magic altogether. And let’s face it . . . ever since he learned that Snow White and Charming were his grandparents and Emma was both his mother and “the savior”, he has always wanted to be “a hero” as well.


    • Thanks for the comment, and I agree about Henry wanting to be a hero. Yes, his motivations were good; he genuinely wanted to save Wendy. But there was still an aspect of his choice that was wrapped up in the idea of being a hero just like his family members. What I find most interesting is the comparison you made between Emma being the savior and Henry wanting to be a hero. Emma didn’t choose to be the savior; she was only a hero because she loved her son and her love for him proved to be powerful enough to save everyone. Henry, on the other hand, chose to be a hero at the expense of the parents who love him (because even with the information he was given, he knew he’d have to stay in Neverland without them). I’m so interested to see how his choice is dealt with going forward, especially in terms of how his parents (all 3 of them) handle it.

  4. The good — Pan’s reveal was probably the single best shocking moment of the series to date. It ranked for me with “Not Penny’s Boat” in LOST. I just didn’t see it coming and the reveal was beautifully handled. Because of work, I jumped into this episode just as that scene was underway and to see Rumple’s father abandon him the same way the Dark One abandoned Bae only to see that was how Peter Pan was born was an awesome, shock inducing reveal. It was terrific stuff. Then couple that with the confrontation between Pan and Rumple only to have Pandora’s box work against him was a punch in the gut. It’s been very rare that we see Rumple lose, especially when magic is involved. So for him to lose when the stakes were so high was unnerving. Henry was his undoing, because it made him forget the lessons of Neverland when he faced Pan. Seeing those scenes first really highlighted how much the final scene didn’t connect and how the build up lacked suspense.

    I have adored the start of this season and our time in Neverland. My one incongruity has been Henry. Aside from his initial journey with Peter Pan Henry’s story has felt absent throughout our time in Neverland. Now I must confess that Henry has always been a catalyst and/or plot device for me for the other characters to respond to (I joked once he’s a modern day Ophelia). So the quest to save Henry was compelling and I didn’t miss his actual character’s story as the plots of the adults unfolded. I had a huge problem with his hearing Pan’s flute a few weeks back and the few missteps I think the show has taken this season have been in the story arc for Henry. When he has been a part of plot movement, it has been very rushed and concludes in ways that don’t jive with the Henry they’ve built over the last 2 years. Yes, Henry was brought to the island because of his true belief and this episode revealed the purpose behind Pan’s need for it. But I feel like the writers have done very little to show us why Henry would play along. Why Pan was convincing. Henry was kidnapped and taken to Neverland, he didn’t go there of his choosing. So his wavering around his family and belief in them seems more convenient than natural. Henry’s hearing of the music and immediate kinship/desire to save Wendy also makes little sense to me. Henry has no attachment to Wendy and the tie back is magic saving her. While Henry is a good kid, why is the quest for saving magic and Wendy more important than all of the people who journeyed and endangered themselves to save him. Henry’s journey has always been of little interest to me because so often he has been drawn as a pawn. I think that is part of why the final scene falls short. It assumes an investment in Henry’s choice (and the consequences of that choice) without any real context for the viewer to pick a side on it. If it had been Emma or Regina in peril I could understand Henry making the sacrifice, but here he seemed to simply believe Pan because it was convenient for the story. I believe Henry’s final action is one of faith. He doesn’t believe that magic will destroy him and that is what propels him to act ultimately. But after a series of stellar shocks in the episode, Henry’s choice very much was anticlimactic.

    There was great potential in the story thread about father’s abandoning their children. While focus was on the Rumple – Bae parallels the same could be said for Charming, not just being trapped in Neverland, but he’s who put her in the tree trunk as a baby setting this entire course that Emma’s life has taken. I think in the rush to tell that story they lost the key aspect of the fact that before Henry ripped his heart out and gave it to Pan, Emma stood up and believed her family would get out of Neverland, in tact. Yes she was talking about Charming in that moment, but it was a belief and conviction Emma has always tempered in the past. The episode, for as great as the Pan reveal was lost sight of the bigger opportunity it had. This is a family where the parents (even when justified) abandon their children, Emma included. Had they committed to that theme, perhaps Henry’s choice would have made more sense. I think you are right and the fallout will play itself out. That is a trademark of these creators and a pattern we often saw in LOST. It was a mixed bag as an episode and one that would have been stronger had it ended with Rumple’s entrapment.

    • First of all, your last sentence is exactly what I have been saying since Sunday night. There was simply too much happening in the final minutes of the episode for everything to resonate. It could have ended with the Pandora’s Box showdown and felt complete, and, in fact, it probably would have been more emotionally satisfying. What you said about the theme of parents abandoning their children is so true, and it’s why I wish the show would have gone into more depth with the idea of Pan using the fact that Henry was also abandoned to drive Henry away from his parents. I almost wish the final scene between them would have had more of a confrontational tone or at least had Pan driving home the point that each of Henry’s parents either left him (for justifiable reasons) or lied to him (Regina with the curse). Instead, we got Henry telling his parents he loved them while still ripping out his own heart for the sake of Wendy and Pan. In order for that scene to make sense, I had to feel like Henry was choosing between two very strong opposing forces in his own mind, and I just didn’t feel like we had enough time developing Henry’s Neverland arc for me to believe that he would choose Pan (and Wendy) over his family.

      I also agree about Pan’s reveal being the best twist on the show to date. It ranks above Rumple telling Regina his real name, young Cora ripping out her own heart, and even Red’s reveal as the wolf—and I wasn’t sure anything could top those. The way it built was written so well and performed even better.

  5. I am going to agree that I also somewhat understand Henry’s decision here. Pan told him that he would have to stay on the island, not that he would die (which is kinda a half truth since technically his body would still be on the island) and he thought he was going to save Wendy. When Henry asks Pan “why would they lie?” Pan responds with “Because thats what adults do, you know that better than anyone. Your parents dont care about Neverland. They know if you give your heart you will have to stay. They’re being selfish because they don’t want to lose you.” Pan knows EXACTLY what to say to Henry here. Henry is the only person in that room that isnt a parent and doesnt know what its like to be a parent, and he cant truly trust or understand the motivations of his parents. Pan can play on the insecurities of both parent and child, because he is kinda both at the same time. Henry thinks he is making a “sacrifice” for Wendy. You mention that Henry usually acts like his Material side, and thats what I saw here again, especially when you think of Charming’s pig headedness about making “sacrifices” when he thought he was dying and didnt tell his family. Even though we already knew Henry was going to give his heart to pan thanks to the preview from last week (bad form ABC) I was still sitting at home completely engrossed and yelling at Henry not to fall for Pan’s crap, so there is that.

    That said, I was disappointed that Henry finding out his Dad was still alive didnt have more of an impact. And I am really annoyed because I think if Wendy would have just told Bae that Henry believed he would be saving her, not just “magic”, then Emma, Neal, and Regina could have been a lot more convincing to Henry at that moment, but whatever.

    As far as the rest of the episode goes, I will admit I was having a hard time reading Hook this week. He definitely had his walls up, and I couldnt tell if its because he is feeling hurt from Emma scolding both of them or if he is just on guard with Rumple around. I think its more the latter, but Emma was also acting very “business” last night. Actually, I am going to say that there wasnt a whole lot of deep emotional interactions going on for most of this episode (aside from Rumple and Pan), everything seemed a little stiff (as you pointed out, all plot, climax episodes usually are). Also, when the whole gang is together they all end up splitting lines and it can come off as silly (the scene where they confront Rumple about wanting to kill Henry comes to mind, they all didnt need to be talking there).

    Robbie Kay’s acting was ridiculously amazing in this episode. In that confrontation scene between Pan and Rumple at the end I 100% believed that this was a conversation between father and son, with the father looking like a teenage boy. Mad props. A part of me is mourning the fact that at this point I feel like regardless of if Pan is defeated or “redeemed” in the end, its going to require Pan reverting back to his adult self, and that means no more Robbie Kay.

    I for one am super thankful for the break in the Emma/Hook relationship front. Ever since this season started my emotions have been more and more compromised with every passing week. And this is all with just Hook being the vulnerable one. That kiss was only Emma’s reaction to being challenged and “feeling good”, not her being truly and consciously vulnerable. The moment Emma allows herself to be vulnerable towards Hook thats when I am 100% going to lose it, mainly because of what that will mean in regards to Emma’s growth as a character. I am actually terrified this is going to happen before the midseason break, and I am not going to know what to do with myself for three months (I will actually be turning 30 during the hiatus, I should probably be having a mid life crisis about myself, not about fictional TV characters, but such is the life of a geek that was born with the obsession gene). Yes, I definitely needed this week off.

    Other random thoughts
    -that music when Rumple takes pandora’s box and heads off to confront Pan, totally epic!
    -I kinda loved Regina acting like a teachers pet to Rumple when talking about Emma falling for Pan’s lie about Neal and Rumple telling her Emma was actually right. Nice try Regina.
    -That look Regina gives Rumple when he asks her if she remembers the spell.
    -Rumple’s plea to turn Bae back into a kid so they could start over back in season 2 just seems even more messed up now, am I right?

    • Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment—I loved reading your take on the episode!

      “Pan can play on the insecurities of both parent and child, because he is kinda both at the same time.” – This is the best observation about Pan in that final scene that I have heard yet. And I agree that somehow Robbie Kay was able to play the paternal side of Pan with such believability in that final scene with Rumplestiltskin.

      Like you, I wish Wendy would have explained to the group that Henry thought she was dying as well—not just magic. It would have given Henry’s parents something concrete to tell Henry instead of just begging him to believe them over Pan with no real proof. But then I suppose that would have changed the entire storyline for the end of the episode because I don’t think Henry would have chosen to take out his own heart had he heard from his parents that Wendy wasn’t sick.

      As for Hook’s walls being up, I got the impression that he was mad at himself for breaking his promise of good form in fighting with Neal and upsetting Emma. And I think, even though he put his quest for revenge behind him, being around his Crocodile is always going to make him bristle. A 300-year-old habit is a hard one to break.

      “I should probably be having a mid life crisis about myself, not about fictional TV characters, but such is the life of a geek that was born with the obsession gene.” – This is my life summed up in one sentence. 😉

  6. I think Hook was giving Emma the space she needed so she could focus on saving Henry – In the previous episode Hook had told lain it out for Emma that he was going to win her heart and she will only allow that to happen after she knows Henry is safe, so to me this is just Hook showing more good form!
    In the 2nd episode Pan told Emma that Henry will choose to stay in Neverland which he did, now I wonder if the other part of Pans threat will happen ie that Emma will truly lose her parents…
    Like everyone else I think Robbie Kay was outstanding – that scene with Rumple was brilliant – you could really feel the tension. Can’t wait to see the last 3 eps of this year – I am loving this Neverland story

    • Thank you for the comment!

      “to me this is just Hook showing more good form!” – I definitely agree. He knows what Emma’s priority is, and he’s made it his priority, too. Good form, indeed. 😀

      I’m so excited for these last 3 episodes, too, but I’m also dreading this long hiatus coming our way!

  7. I was just thinking today that with Pans power restored, will all of the children on the island be able to wish for whatever they want again? I feel like Wendy is going to play a huge role if that’s the case, and who knows, maybe all of the lost boys will pitch in too? I am seriously going to die if all those times Pan was off in the woods tormenting the adults Henry was secretly plotting with all the lost boys to take down Pan. A part of me really wants Henry to be redeemed, I still haven’t given up hope that he was plotting something all along.

  8. I don’t understand why they couldn’t just cast a Scottish kid,
    Wyatt Oleff was adorable and had similarities with Carlyle but his accent was terrible, and the Scottish accent has a character to it itself, and is a defining element to Rumple’s character and background, it didn’t come through enough, the kid could’ve just had an American accent and it would’ve made the same impression on me as it did, maybe better than with that fake Scottish-American accent. It prevented the little child actor from really delivering the meaningful lines he had the best way I’m sure he could’ve done in his own accent. And I just think it would’ve been more heart-wrenching and gritty if it was a Scottish boy, with a real Scottish background, the poverty, the despair and toughness would’ve shone through instead of that typical-American-family-television wankiness, which the series have been relatively successful in avoiding although it’s a fairytale story.

    Other than that, Nice review ! I was Bit late on it, but Im glad I found it. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the comment, and I’m glad you found this review and enjoyed it! I have to admit that I sometimes miss the nuances of accents, so I’m very happy that you provided some great insight into why Oleff’s accent didn’t work for you. I love when people can point out things that I miss because I’m sure there were plenty of other viewers who shared your opinion. (Now I want to go back and rewatch this episode!)

  9. Agh! It’s always so frustrating when you as the viewer knows a lot more than the characters know – I felt like Henry’s parents could have been a LOT more convincing than the vague “he’s lying, we love you” lines they used. And yeah, why are they standing so far away from Pan and Henry?
    (btw it took me a second to realize that Henry’s 3 parents were the ones rescuing him! I’m a bit slow sometimes.)
    And where was the huge “Dad, you’re alive! you’re not dead and you’re here to save me” moment? Screw Peter Pan and magic – your parents are all together and alive!
    Henry does have some pretty big reasons not to trust adults, but I didn’t feel like Pan really took advantage of them as much as he could have over the episodes. I was pretty sure Henry was not going to fall for it, and I’m on the fence about Henry would following along just to save Wendy. On the one hand, an 11 year old boy who was given up at birth and raised by the Evil Queen in a cursed town (some pretty big lies there) is probably pretty messed up. And he is very gullible – he is the truest believer, after all. And he knows about Wendy and Neverland from the story – he may have an unhealthy relationship with fictional characters like some other people we know…
    But yeah, I don’t quite buy the heart ripping part – he knows about hearts and their power. He’s seen/read about what his mother and grandmother did, ripping out people’s hearts.
    I loved that his heart glowed golden! (Didn’t Emma’s magic show up as golden at some point?)
    I was spoiled for the Pan-Rumple reveal so that didn’t have the shock value that it should have. I didn’t care for little Rumple’s accent, but I loved that his father’s laugh was like The Dark One’s. The “child can’t have a child” line was very good.
    But Neverland looked awfully British Columbian in the flashback scenes…
    And yay for everyone getting along fairly well long enough to (almost) save Henry – there was a lot of history and baggage set aside for the love of Henry, Emma and/or Neil. Hopefully there’s a little more time for some delicious conflict in coming episodes though – I enjoy the boys fighting over Emma (a little bit) and I don’t mind being reminded that characters are choosing to set aside their vengeance or their suspicions for a specific reason. They just didn’t have time for a lot of that in this episode.
    Glad I don’t have to wait a week to watch the next episode and see what happens to Henry!

    • I’m jealous that you don’t have to wait to find out what happens next!

      Henry’s lack of reaction towards his father being alive was one of the strangest things about that scene to me. Once Upon a Time is usually pretty good at hitting emotional beats (especially this season), but the focus on the plot of that scene definitely took away from the emotional power of Henry being reunited with all three of his parents.

      And I’m pretty sure I was yelling at the TV at one point for Emma, Regina, and Neal to be more convincing in their arguments, especially about Wendy being fine. But then I had to keep reminding myself that they didn’t know that was Henry’s motivating force. Stupid, manipulative Pan and his game. (It’s amazing that I can love to hate that character so much months after this episode aired.)

      • Characters who manipulate and lie and get away with it over and over are the most frustrating – when you feel like no matter what the good guys do, the bad guy will win. Especially if you’re honorable, because they never are.
        Pan doesn’t get the emotional backstory that might make us forgive some of his flaws – even as Rumple’s father he was just weak – there was nothing we saw that gave him an excuse to be that way, no good in him, and he’s been manipulating and doing whatever he wants for far too long since.

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