TV Time: Once Upon a Time 3.10

ouat-new-neverland

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.

Favorite Lines
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?

4. Is the Blue Fairy really dead?
I’m inclined to think the answer is yes because there have already been too many fake-out deaths on this show, but if she is dead that kills a lot of storytelling possibilities, too. I thought she was going to play a larger role in the plot of the series as a whole, but it looks like I was mistaken. I would have liked a little more fallout from her death, though. It didn’t have much of an emotional impact at all, especially considering her role as the ultimate symbol of good magic.

5. Why did Pan single out the Blue Fairy to kill?
I’m also curious as to why Pan killed the Blue Fairy out of all the magical people in Storybrooke. Is she the only one powerful enough to stop him? Was she just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or is she the thing he loves most? I’m kidding about that last one…except it would fit with all of the weird relationships on this show.

6. What happened to the Lost Boys?
We know Wendy found her brothers again (in a beautiful reunion scene that also featured Neal looking the happiest I’ve ever seen him look—and Michael Raymond-James has a gorgeous, genuine smile), but where did the Lost Boys go once they got to Storybrooke? Felix went to jail, but are the rest of them just staying at Granny’s or with various townspeople? Or are they just staying on Hook’s ship for the time being?

7. When will we get to see flashbacks for all of the Neverland characters?
Neal, Hook, Pan, Wendy, and Tink—all of these characters surely have incredibly rich, complicated, and compelling relationships. But all we’ve been given are hints about them. I really hope that leaving Neverland in the present doesn’t mean we lose the potential for trips to Neverland in the past. There are too many gaps to fill in, too many stories to tell.

8. Can Hook and Neal someday be friends?
One of the things I most want to find out about Neverland in the past is to what extent Hook and Bae interacted after Hook gave Bae to the Lost Boys. Watching the two of them interact at the bar in “The New Neverland” reminded me of how much water they have under the bridge independent of Emma and how much they need to work through that, too. Their relationships with Emma aren’t the only important ones in that love triangle.

9. Why was Hook really backing off?
I thought it was perfectly in-character for Hook to give Emma her space to come to her own conclusions about her relationship with Neal independent of his influence. Hook only wants Emma if she truly wants him, too, and he knows that can’t happen until she fully deals with what has happened with Neal. Once again, Hook is giving Emma the power of choice. But Hook taking a step back is about more than just giving Emma her space (space he thinks she wants because she didn’t seek him out after getting home). It’s about Neal, too. Hook still feels guilty over what happened with Bae, and he doesn’t want to ruin Henry’s family if there’s even a chance Emma could be happy with Neal. Also, Neal isn’t just another suitor trying to win Emma’s heart; he’s a man Hook once loved as his own son. So Hook will step back and wait, but that doesn’t mean he loves Emma any less. He also knows Neal’s love wasn’t strong enough to keep him from walking out on Emma once. He may not know the specifics, but he knows enough. It was about time someone called Neal out for leaving Emma, and I’m happy it was Killian “in it for the long haul” Jones.

10. When will everyone find out what Neal did to Emma?
This needs to happen, and it needs to happen soon. I want Charming to be the first to hear it from Emma because I think he’s the one she’d be most willing to tell. But Henry still needs to know what happened, and so does Snow. Until the truth comes out, everyone pushing for Emma to find her happy ending with Neal just looks ridiculous—and Emma does by extension for not telling them why it’s not as simple as they all want it to be.

11. Why can’t Snow see how uncomfortable the idea of being with Neal makes Emma right now?
In this episode, we could see Charming beginning to come to the realization that pushing Emma to find “true love” with Neal isn’t the same as helping her open her heart to happiness. I just wish Snow would see it that way, too. It’s getting a little tedious to listen to her equate Neal with Emma’s only chance to be happy. Even without knowing the whole story, Snow has to know that things ended poorly enough for Emma to end up alone, in jail, pregnant at 17, and emotionally scarred enough that she wanted Henry to believe his dad was dead. That’s not a situation I’d be pushing my daughter to return to, but, once again, I have to remember that Snow has never experienced the idea that true love and first love don’t have to be synonymous. In the divide between “real world” and “Fairytale Land,” that may be the biggest difference of all.

12. What was Hook really looking for with Tinker Bell?
Hook seeking comfort and escape in his flask and his friend (maybe also his past fling?) can be seen as many things: a plot device to show Emma’s awakening feelings through her jealousy (which it showed wonderfully), a hint that something happened between Tink and Hook in their Neverland days (GIVE ME THE FLASHBACKS!), and a chance for Tink to be awesome (“I may have lost my wings, but I haven’t lost my dignity.” YOU GO GIRL). All of those can be true, but for me, this scene just broke my heart. It’s been noted that Hook put his flask away for good after confessing his feelings for Emma, so it’s worth noting again that when Hook thought he forfeited his chance with Emma, he got drunk. Emma helped him discover Killian Jones again, but, without her or the hope she represents, it was easier to slip back into being Captain Hook. However, this Captain Hook isn’t the charming, flask-toting pirate of Season Two. He’s kind of pathetic. He’s drunk enough for Tink to notice in the middle of the afternoon, and it’s clear that stepping back from Emma (and having her not seek him out) is hurting him beyond anything he’d expected. So he offered Tink rum from his flask, hoping that sharing it with another blonde would help him pretend he was with Emma instead. And when Tink insinuated that he wanted more than just a shared drink, he tried to turn on the charm but the light never reached his eyes. (Kudos to Colin O’Donoghue for playing that perfectly.) He was drunk and lonely and lost (his words to Tink reflect his own feelings about being alone in Storybrooke), and, more than anything, he was human. It may have felt a little out-of-character for Hook upon a first watch, but remember: Hook has a self-loathing and self-destructive streak to rival anyone’s on this show, so this sad little display of desperately wanting to lose himself was painfully in-character. And I’m not so sure he would have actually done anything with Tink anyway.

13. When will Emma get to have a day off?
If Hook’s bender and desperate seduction attempt were both in-character, then so was Emma’s sense of being overwhelmed by her responsibilities. Ever since she broke the curse, Emma hasn’t been able to take a moment to breathe. She can’t have lunch with Neal for reasons beyond her own concerns about that relationship. She can’t ask Hook when the “fun” he promised her is going to begin. She can’t even take a nap or have a glass of wine because some new crisis is going to explode that she has to help fix. Jennifer Morrison played Emma’s sense of being overwhelmed with the perfect mixture of panic and resignation. All I want is for Emma to be happy, so the fact that she thinks she’ll never be able to have another moment of happiness for herself broke my heart. I hope that this comes back in a future episode, and we get to see this woman—who has put herself through hell to save others—finally have a moment to relax, breathe, and simply be happy in whatever way she chooses.

14. Were the flashbacks supposed to reveal more about Emma’s relationship with Neal or Hook?
The flashbacks in this episode were fun, but at first glance they felt unnecessary. However, it became clear that Snow’s tendency to focus on the bad at the expense of her own happiness was meant to parallel her daughter doing the same thing. The question then becomes, what would make Emma happy? When Charming was talking to Emma, he talked about finding good moments in between the bad ones, and perhaps Emma meeting Neal at Granny’s could have been a good moment. (Neal trying to ask her out was very cute.) But the first thing I thought of was the way Emma told Snow back in Neverland that she kissed Hook because she felt good. In the middle of all the pain that island put her through, that kiss was one time—one of the only times on the show—where she seized a good moment and didn’t end up hurt for doing so. It was one time she did what her father was asking her to do—choose happiness. No matter what Emma decides romantically (or even if she decides to just choose herself and her son), it’s important that she follows in her mother’s footsteps and stops waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because when she does, she’ll find that there are a lot of people waiting to love her and to make good moments with her.

15. Why can’t we see Snow and Charming like this more often?
The flashbacks in this episode reminded me of my favorite Once Upon a Time episode, “Snow Falls.” It was so much fun to watch Snow and Charming go on an adventure together, act as a team, and playfully enjoy each other’s company along the way. There was a lightness to their interactions—a sense of humor and a spark—that was so captivating. Even if the flashbacks didn’t feel incredibly necessary plot-wise, they reminded me why Snow and Charming are the couple this whole universe is based around, and why they’re worthy of that distinction. They make me happy, and isn’t that what a great fairytale love story is supposed to do?

16. Was this Charming’s best episode ever?
If I were giving out the MVP award for this episode, it would undoubtedly go to Josh Dallas. Never before has Charming been so—for lack of a better word—charming. In the flashbacks, he was absolutely adorable as the besotted husband who only wants to get started on the honeymoon as soon as possible. (Seriously, the little stolen kiss he gives Snow was the cutest thing ever.) He was supportive but not a pushover, a partner in every sense of the word for his wife, and he was really funny on top of it all. But for as fun as it was to watch Charming’s quest to start making babies (both in the flashbacks and in the present), where Dallas really shone was in Charming’s big moment with Emma. The way he steadfastly supports Snow without being overbearing was reflected perfectly in the way he knew exactly what to say to show Emma he loves her and wants happiness for her without coming off as pushy. He made dumb jokes just to make his little girl smile, he told her that all he wants is her happiness, and he turned her little hint about the romantic potential between her and Hook into the best moment of the episode. He offered her an arm to lean on and to guide her, but he did it with enough gentle love that it didn’t scare skittish Emma away. If that’s not a “Father of the Year” moment, then I don’t know what is.

17. Why is there no “true love” clause in the curse Pan wants to enact?
I don’t understand the mechanics of this new/old curse. Are the stipulations Rumplestiltskin built into it only a one-time thing? Why would the curse not have Emma’s role as the savior built into it anymore? I know that for plot reasons it’s because that would make it too easy to break, but I just don’t understand how a curse can change without Rumplestiltskin changing it.

18. Will the curse transport those affected to another land again?
I was incredibly confused when Pan told Felix that Storybrooke would become the New Neverland because wasn’t one of the biggest things about the curse the fact that it transported all of them from their homes? So how would that be stopped from happening this time? And where would they all go? I feel like Pan doesn’t know all the logistics of the curse, but maybe that’s just me not understanding the rules of Once Upon a Time magic.

19. Who is going to be spared from the new curse?
Let’s be honest—we all know at least a couple of characters won’t be affected by the new curse. I sincerely hope something happens to keep the amnesia/new identity part of the curse from happening again because that would be way too much déjà vu (and circular storytelling in the worst possible way), but, no matter what, someone has to remain a pair of eyes for the audience to see the action through—and I hope it’s still Emma. My prediction: Those unaffected by the curse the first time (Neal, Emma, Hook, Henry, Tink, Felix, etc., and maybe Regina and Rumplestiltskin) will remain unaffected this time, too.

20. Since next week is the midseason finale, I have a few options for how to cover it over here at NGN. I could do a “Grading the Midseason Finales” post, a question post like this one, or one of my normal reviews. Which one would you prefer?

 

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21 thoughts on “TV Time: Once Upon a Time 3.10

  1. I enjoyed the change of pace in the format, but I also love your more essay style ones too. For the sake of space, I wont answer all, but here are my thoughts on the questions that piqued my interest:

    1. I loved Henry/Pan. One of my favorite exchanges of the whole episode was Regina telling Henry/Pan that she loved him and he knocks her out and replies “I know. That’s what made this so easy” (again preying on the vulnerability of parenthood). I thought it was a great comeback moment for Pan after Regina bested him last week. Also, I loved Regina’s reaction when she realizes she fell for the trap, the tone of her voice was just perfect.

    2. I do think Pan is the most “evil” villain, mainly because he pretty much seems 100% selfish. Most of the other villains at least have some unselfish motives to their evil deeds.

    3. I think Pan loves his youth most. He gave up pretty much everything to have it, and this whole “heart of the truest believer” quest was all in hopes of retaining that youth. I just wish someone would explain to me why being a teenager forever is so dang appealing. You couldn’t pay me to be 15 again. Now eternal college might be a different story…

    4. I wish I cared enough about the Blue fairy to answer this. If I never have to see her half jellyfish half pringles potato chip dress again I will be happy.

    5. The way I read this was that Pan felt the fairy could interfere with his plan for casting the curse and decided to take her out of the equation. I am trying to remember the exact role she played when the first curse hit, I would assume Henry/Pan read something in the book that made him think she needed to be dealt with. This also makes me think that Tink is going to have a huge role in helping with the upcoming curse. That pixie dust she has needs to be used for something (or it wouldn’t be in the plot), and if I remember correctly I am not sure Pan is aware that she even has the pixie dust?

    7. I really hope there are Neverland flashbacks in this next episode. Really how can they not with the EF flashbacks this week?

    8. Honestly I kinda already get the vibe that Hook and Neal are already somewhat friends. They aren’t “mates” per se, but Hook has already referred to Neal as an “old friend” and there doesn’t seem to be any bad blood between them despite the tension over Emma. I was hoping to actually get a little bit more interaction between the two of them on Hook’s ship before they made it back to Storybrooke. I thought it was cute how Wendy was wearing Bae’s robe when she got off the ship (not sentimental my a**), that seems like it would have been a great opportunity for Hook and Neal to have a heart to heart, but no, that’s ignored and we just get the two of them at the bar, only talking about Emma, again.

    9. Hook is backing off because he’s smart and actually knows Emma needs, which is not to be smothered. He’s giving her space without abandoning her completely. I almost feel bad for Neal. I like him, a lot, I just feel he doesn’t have a chance in hell when it comes to Emma because I just don’t feel like he understands her at all. I feel like almost every interaction Neal and Emma have had this season where Neal has tried to bond with her has made me want to do a face palm. Meanwhile, Hook’s over there at the bar laughing to himself cause he knows the same thing and he’s just going to be patient and let Neal crash and burn (easier said than done).

    12. Poor Hook. He is just being so “Hook” in his interaction with Tink. His “Who’s Emma?” line was just so pathetic and so perfect. As I said before, I think Hook knows exactly what Emma needs, but I think he is horrible at the actually being patient part. He has spent 300 years of living a mostly empty life, and he wants those good moments now. And with nothing to do or focus his attention on, he is going to self destruct fast. Get this man a quest ASAP.

    13. Emma will get there. And it will be so rewarding as a viewer when it actually does happen for her. Cause she deserves her happy ending. Or at least happy in-between moments.

    14. I think the flashbacks were supposed to reveal things about both relationships (Neal and Hook). I actually really liked the flashbacks with Snow and Charming. I thought they actually complimented the story better than Regina’s flashbacks last week did. I love how in tune Charming is with Snow (reminds me of someone). There were so many great lines and perfect moments between the two of them, I almost didn’t notice the bad CGI (almost). And I am just going to leave this here:

    “I’ve never known you to need to get ready for a fight — I thought that was your natural state.” – Hook to Emma 3×01

    “There’s more to life than just looking for the next fight.” – Charming to Emma 3×10

    I seriously cannot get enough of Emma’s relationship with these two men.

    16. Was this Charming’s best episode ever?
    Oh Charming. The stuff coming out of his mouth can give you cavities, and I am pretty much the least sappy person out there, but there is something with the way that Josh Dallas delivers all his lines that makes it impossible to even get so much as a hint of an eye roll from me (this is a huge accomplishment). I am kinda in awe of it every week. I think that’s Charming’s superpower.

    “Life is full of moments. Good ones, bad ones, but they’re all worth living.”
    “Well I seem to be a magnet for the bad ones”
    “And all the more reason to look for the good moments in between the bad ones”

    I love this exchange. And not because its just something I think Emma needed to hear, and not just because I think that even though they were outwardly talking about Neal I think they were sub-contextually (is this a word?) talking about Hook (cause you know, GOOD memories). Its actually something I took to heart as a viewer. Everyone on this show (and all TV characters in general) get put through hell every week, but you know what keeps me coming back and why I love TV as much as I do? All those good little moments. Those moments you rewind and watch over and over again. Like this one, or all those good little honest moments Emma and Hook were able to have in Neverland. And with that look between Hook and Emma in the preview for next week, I feel like there is another one of those moments coming up, and its going to make these a very long 6 more days, and an even longer 3 months.

    19. Who is going to be spared from the new curse?
    Can I pray it’s everyone? Do whatever if want to the characters but please no with the memory tampering. If this does go through, I hope it only lasts at most 1 or 2 episodes. You cant give us all this character development and then rip it away. Just no.

    20. I trust your instincts Katie. I say watch the episode and go with whatever you think will best express your thoughts!

    • Thanks for the comment, Shauna, and I loved reading your thoughts (as usual!).

      This one in particular cracked me up because it’s so true: “I just wish someone would explain to me why being a teenager forever is so dang appealing.” AMEN. I have no desire to be that young again. I like where I am right now in life, thank you very much, and I have no desire to relive the drama and angst of adolescence again and again.

      I also agree that Tink is going to be important in next week’s episode. I feel like they’ve been hinting so much at her getting her powers back that something has to come of it now. And I also hope we get a Neverland flashback, especially because I can see what you were saying about Hook and Neal having a friendly chemistry already, so I want to see what got them from Hook turning Bae over to the Lost Boys to the relationship they have now.

      “I feel like almost every interaction Neal and Emma have had this season where Neal has tried to bond with her has made me want to do a face palm.” YES. I love Neal and I love the way he so obviously wants to right his past wrongs with regards to Emma and Henry. But the poor guy has no idea how to deal with grownup, walls-up Emma. The entire time he was asking her out I just kept thinking “Neal, honey, too soon!”

      Your thoughts about Charming are exactly my thoughts. The moment I fell in love with him was when he said “What’s 28 years when you have eternal love?” in the pilot and somehow managed to make me see that line as gorgeously romantic rather than cheesy. Josh Dallas makes me believe every word that comes out of Charming’s mouth, which is not an easy task. I feel like he’s one of the most underrated cast members on the show for that very reason.

      And you paragraph about looking for the good moments as a TV viewer is exactly why I’m so glad you found NGN. That’s my philosophy—I’d always rather look for the good than focus on the negative when it comes to the media I consume. And it’s always a joy to find others who feel the same way.

  2. Another week, another ridiculously long comment from me. 😉

    1. Yes! Jared was wonderful this episode. In addition to the physical aspects I also thought at times I could definitely sense a tone in his voice that was distinctly not-Henry, which was creepy and very effective.

    2. Yep, I would agree with you there. To me, Pan seems to be a definite sociopath, sort of lacking any empathy towards people, whereas other villains we’ve had just seemed to have been driven by a underlying motive that in and of itself wasn’t necessarily wrong (love, parenthood, etc). Pan seems to enjoy hurting people and/or playing with people just for his own enjoyment. And yes, he creeps me out majorly.

    3. Yeah, I don’t know. I went back and rewatched a tiny bit of 1×02 to check what exactly was going on with Regina and the curse’s casting, and I think you’re right – the ingredients we were told of were like “hair of those with the darkest souls” and “a prized heart”/heart of that you love most. I’m assuming Pan would have to follow the same “recipe”, but I don’t know if he has anything he truly loves other than himself and power, so I don’t know how they’re going to work with that on the show. Hopefully they didn’t just toss all that out the window :/

    4. Yeah, I don’t know. I’m caught in your dilemma too. I thought she’d be around at least for a little while to continue a storyline with Tink, but bringing her back from the dead would probably just add to the pile of people they’ve sort-of-but-not-really killed.

    5. I have no clue haha. I think the episode showed us why he killed someone to further his plans, I just don’t know why he chose the Blue Fairy out of everyone. If I had to guess I’d say your guess about the power is probably close. I mean, I’d assume that the Blue Fairy isn’t necessarily more powerful than Rumple or maybe even Regina, otherwise she’d have stopped the original curse/stopped Regina’s rule of terror in FTL earlier or whatever/etc, but Pan probably enjoys messing with those two too much to outright kill them at this point. He enjoys the challenge, or whatever.

    6. I agree, the reunion scene was wonderful, but who knows what happened to the Lost Boys. And for supposedly being in jail, Felix sure got out easily as by the end of the episode he’s free and there at Pan’s side.

    7. I feel like Tink has been very underused throughout this whole arc, and I wish they’d shown us more of Wendy, and more of Neal’s time through flashbacks, but hopefully we’ll come back to them. I have faith that if Hook sticks around he’ll get his flashbacks as we’ve already seen a bit of it, but for Wendy and Tink especially I am not sure if we’ll ever come back to their backstories.

    8. I really, really hope so. I think their dynamic is really interesting and having them move towards friends would make the love triangle much less of a cliched love triangle and more of a “we both love this woman but we’re not going to fight over her like she’s a prize to be won because we’re grown adults” thing. I just hope they got their silly fighting out of the way in Neverland and stopped once they saw how Emma was not impressed with them over it. More Hook/Neal backstory please, writers!

    9. When Hook said he was backing off I was very impressed with him. I much appreciated that he knew that Emma needed some space (and that her head was focused on her son still) and that she needed to work through her history with Neal, whatever the outcome of that may be, before she can feel fully committed to anyone. While I’m not a Hook/Emma shipper I am an Emma/Happiness shipper and I really appreciate that Hook seems to be all on board Emma/Happiness too ;p

    10 & 11. I feel like this is one of those things where I’m not actually sure what everyone knows – because everyone seems to know that the Emma/Neal relationship is complicated and that he hurt her, but I don’t know if everyone knows the specifics or not. I don’t know if they ever had an off-screen moment that we didn’t see, because at times it feels like they sort of know what happened, and at others it seems like they don’t, and we haven’t been shown who knows what exactly, so it’s a bit weird. I think for me, I was uncomfortable with them pushing her towards Neal in a romantic way because I don’t think Emma wants anything to do with romance with anyone right now. She’s got too much that she’s had to deal with lately that adding confusing romantic feelings on top of all the other things she’s been dealing with is too much, and her son is her priority right now. I do, however, think that she and Neal need to talk about everything because there’s so much history there and I feel like they’ve never had a chance to catch their breath and just talk to each other, and in this instance I think Snow’s “You owe it to yourself” fits – Emma owes it to herself to receive closure there, no matter what the outcome of that talk is for ~romantic relationships~. And maybe the fact that it’s a tv show means I’ll never see the depth of conversation that talk would really require so we’d never see the whole thing, but I hope they’d show us a bit of it. We’ll see what they do with it in the future, I have a feeling that any significant relationship changes for anyone on the show won’t happen until after the hiatus because I fully expect next episode to be about plot (unless of course someone dies and then there will be changes haha).

    13. Poor Emma. I felt so bad for her in this episode, she feels so weary and broken down and tired. I hope we get to see things slow down a bit during the next half of this season, and instead of having a big bad that’s causing havoc and is the central focus of basically allllll the episodes, maybe have a big bad be in the background for the start and show us some happy moments. Or even just everyone-figuring-out-how-their-relationships/families/friendships-work-now moments, because that family dynamic is very complicated haha.

    (As a sidenote, I felt this episode continued to show us just how fast-paced everything has been over the past 2+ seasons – it’s been so fast since the curse broke that Snow, Emma, and Charming barely know each other, STILL. They don’t know much about each other’s past and ultimately seem to misunderstand each other or underestimate the ability they have to relate to each other and not fully realize what the other’s been through. Snow and Emma have both been through some really hard times but they don’t seem to know yet that the other has experienced these too, and I feel like that’s where some of the conflict between Emma and her parents are coming from, which is making it hard to communicate at times. I just hope we see them able to learn about each other and develop that family relationship more after hiatus is over.)

    15. Snow and Charming were delightful, and despite knowing that Snow’s plan was not going to work well, I enjoyed all their interactions a lot. I’ve missed seeing them like this and it was really nice to have this somewhat lighter storyline to counter all the tension back in Storybrooke. It made me think of Snow Falls and also Lady of the Lake, two of my favorite Snowing episodes 😉

    16. YESSSS. Charming was probably my favorite character in this episode simply because he was always a delight to watch. I don’t know if we’ve had an episode that’s been as good for his character that wasn’t actually focused on him. Josh Dallas A++

    17. I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is that we know that Regina got the curse from Maleficent, so maybe when actually enacting the curse she makes a copy of the original, which Rumple then put the drop of true love on, which made it part of the curse specifically for the time Regina cast it. I don’t know how else it could be absent.

    18 & 19. I don’t know either. I also wondered if when the curse was enacted, all the magic would be taken away from Storybrooke even if they weren’t transported to a new realm? I mean part of the curse last time was that they went to a place where magic didn’t exist, because that was an essential part of the Queen’s plan to take away happy endings – no one had the power to fight her or take anyone back to the Fairytale Land where they could get their happy endings. The Blue Fairy couldn’t battle her with magic and Rumple couldn’t have as much power because he didn’t have magic either. And I know Rumple brought magic back to Storybrooke at the end of S1, but that was post-curse, so does that stay or not?

    I also don’t really understand what Pan gets out of enacting the curse – sure, he gets to have the most power in this small town, but that sounds kind of boring for him to me. I mean, who knows if he’ll even have magic, and since Regina was just the mayor when she enacted the curse, all he’ll have is legal/political influence over a bunch of people. I mean what’s he going to do once the curse is enacted? Does he really want to be a mayor of a small town in Maine? Would he even be able to pull that off seeing as he’s in “kid form” whether he’s in his own body or Henry’s, and a kid is definitely not available to be mayor? I feel like he likes challenge too, and with this there would be no one to challenge him, and he’d never meet anyone new because hello, trapped in Storybrooke with new-people-repellant on the boundaries or whatever that was.

    And what does he mean by “making it the new Neverland” – does he mean stealing all the little boys and having kids rule? Does he mean that since the curse stops people from aging he’ll take all the little boys to Storybrooke’s woods to live, and they (and he) can all be young forever, or at least that the curse’s no-aging means he’s ~immortal? Does he just mean the new Neverland in that he will once again be the ruler? What? Unless they explain it more in the next episode, they didn’t do a good job of showing me why Pan wants to enact this curse, other than the fact that it conveniently gives our heroes a big problem to try to stop.

    I don’t even know if they’re actually going to go the curse-is-enacted route or not, because I feel like it might be too copy-cat of their first season to give our protagonists the same exact problem, and so I don’t know that they’d go there. As much as I loved Season 1, I don’t think I want them to do this plotline again, it would feel too repetitive. IF, however, they do, I hope they follow what you said – that we have a larger cast of characters who are unaffected by the curse and who can be our guide.

    I’m also wondering if Rumple’s prophecy will come into play in next episode – after all, it didn’t in Neverland, and I don’t really believe that it’s not true, I just believe that perhaps it isn’t quite the way Rumple interpreted it, so I expect to see it pop up again sometime even if it’s not next week.

    So many questions, and hopefully next week will provide us with at least some of the answers ;P

    • I LOVE long Leah comments—they make my day!

      I am completely in agreement with you about Pan’s lack of empathy or any real emotion—he’s the textbook definition of a sociopath, which is very different from Regina, Rumplestiltskin, and even Hook if you want to lump him in with the villains; those three were/are motivated by emotions/love that are incredibly intense.

      “While I’m not a Hook/Emma shipper I am an Emma/Happiness shipper and I really appreciate that Hook seems to be all on board Emma/Happiness too ;p” – This made me smile. Hook is basically the biggest Emma/Happiness shipper around, and it’s one of the reasons I started to like him so much this season.

      All of your questions about Pan’s motivations are ones I share—and ones I hope are answered in next week’s episode. I just don’t understand how he can think that Storybrooke will be the New Neverland when the whole point of the first curse was to move everyone to a land without magic. Wouldn’t everyone move again?

      I also just want to say it again so we’re all clear: NO LOST MEMORIES, PLEASE. I just don’t want a rehashing of Season One. Like you said, I loved that season, but we’ve come so far since then. I don’t want to see all that emotional progress ripped away—even if it’s just for a short time before the new curse is broken.

  3. Hello again. Ok so these are my thoughts on this episode although I won’t comment on all 20 of your questions!
    1) yes I think Jared was really good in this episode – he really did have a menacing air all episode I also think Robbie Kay did a very good of acting as Henry – I especially loved his hug to Regina as he flung is arms around her like Jared Gilmore does.
    2) again I agree I think Peter Pan is the most evil character they’ve had so far – he really is a master manipulator and he knew exactly how the play Regina – I even felt sorry for Regina at the end of the episode!
    4&5) I think the Blue Fairy is really dead, and my guess is she was in the wrong place and the wrong time – but I think her death was a bit underwhelming considering she was a pretty important minor character.
    10&11) I really want Snow to find out exactly what Neal did to Emma coz I think if she knew she wouldn’t be pushing her as hard to give Neal a chance. I don’t think Charming is pushing her as hard as Snow.
    13) I hope Emma gets a day off soon – or at least more happy moments
    14) I think the flash backs were to focus on Emma – and not really on Hook or Neal – it was more about getting Emma to realise that she needs to enjoy any moments when she can – there will probably always be some drama that she needs to fix so she needs to take whatever moments she can.
    16) I loved Charming in this episode – he was great in the flashbacks and even better when he was talking to Emma – this was definitely his best episode in a long time.
    17-19) I’m not sure what I think of the original curse being enacted again – I hate the idea of everyone losing their memories again – it all sounds to much like season 1 again. There are so many questions to answer before Pan can enact it that I don’t know how they can answer them all next week.

    I liked the format of this weeks review and I think it would probably work really well for finale episodes as there are usually lots of questions after those episodes.

    • Thank you so much for the comment, Joan!

      I have to specifically thank you for the mention of Robbie Kay hugging Regina. Ginnifer Goodwin mentioned something on Twitter about Kay taking the time to mimic exactly how Jared Gilmore hugs all of the various adult characters, and that’s such a cool little detail to me. I love when actors care that much about getting the little things right, especially when it’s an actor as young as Kay. No wonder he’s so good.

      Like you, I’m also unsure of what to think about the original curse being enacted again. It makes for interesting storytelling if there are slight changes to it, but I really would hate to see a rehashing of Season One. And I don’t want to see these characters forget each other, even just for a short time (because I don’t think this curse will last for the rest of the season if it is enacted—that would be WAY too much like Season One). I don’t like amnesia storylines on any TV show. It worked as the premise for Season One because we didn’t have any emotional connections that were severed, but I don’t think it would work well now. Especially if Emma lost her memory this time, too.

  4. Ok, me again, but I just thought this was so important it warranted bringing up. An addition to this question:

    14. Were the flashbacks supposed to reveal more about Emma’s relationship with Neal or Hook?

    I was reading commentary on the episode and someone mentioned that these flashbacks were actually more about Emma’s relationship with Henry than either Neal or Hook, and I think I actually agree. Henry is why she was at the docks to begin with (she was starring at her phone wondering why Henry hadn’t called like she asked), and the shared “moment” with Henry from the pilot was how she saw that Pan/Henry was telling the truth. I mean, I think it was also about Neal and Hook, but I just thought it was such a great point, and its so easy for us to think that everything must be “love triangle” related because that’s what we are so accustomed to when it comes to TV and other media. Emma’s relationship with Henry is so unique that its kinda easy for me to forget how important it really is, even when the writers try really hard to be obvious about it!

    • I LOVE that you brought this up! The two foundational relationships for this show (in my opinion, at least) are the ones between Snow and Charming and Emma and Henry. So it makes perfect sense to see connections between Snow seizing her good moments with her husband and Emma seizing hers with her son. Once again, I’m left impressed with the fact that this show is about so much more than love triangles and romantic relationships. So many other kinds of love are important in the real world, too, and I’m so happy that this show never seems to forget that.

  5. Neal didn’t leave Emma because he didn’t love her enough. It’s the complete opposite. He loved her so much instead of keeping her to himself he let her go because he thought it was what was best for her. To be with her parents, to save everyone from the curse, and to find out who she really is. Just like Snow gave Emma up for the greater good, and Emma gave Henry up for the greater good. That’s love. Neal spent hundreds of painful years in Neverland, and he risked his life and risked being stuck there again to go back and help save Emma and Henry. He has never asked for anything in return either(like a kiss). He helps Emma because he loves her and leaving her was his regret in life, even if he can never be with her again.

    • this review, i am sorry is abit absurd.
      And pls dont put what Neal did in what Snowing did to Emma, or Emma did to Henry, because its HUGE difference – Snowing and Emma gave who they gave up the best chance.

      Pan and Rumpel father and son, did the same thing to their own son, letting go but you know what the difference was here, Rumpel came back for his son and fought despite the devastating things he did to ppl (not overlooking this but just point it out) thats the difference between them – Rumpel came back unlike Pan. This is something Neal NEVER did for Emma, until Emma was forced to make good on her deal to look for someone with Rumpel…

      U do realise ppl seem to forget his father was the biggest fear in him making that decision and wanting to move on and not be part of anything with Emma, even when he met her 11 yrs after he didnt want anything to do with her and if he knew who she was…

      I honestly thing ppl forget Rumpel in this… his father was the fear – he chose himself and that fear over Emma, and then again he did the same , the only reason he even stayed in SB after that was for Henry, who apparently was still getting married to his pyscho fiancee and giving her workout.

      This show drives on Bae as the little boy and the father and son relation, so to give no emphasis what Neal chose is silly – because once he knew August knew he was Baelfire, he was going to let Emma go that moment sealed it

    • First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to comment! I definitely believe that Neal loved Emma when he let her go, and I believe he thought he was doing it for the right reasons. But I will never be able to shake my frustration that he couldn’t have thought of any other way to get her to break the curse and find her family than doing what he and August ended up doing. To me, if the love he had for Emma was strong enough to overcome his fear of his father, he would have found a way for them to break the curse together. Or he at least would have come back to her after he found out that the curse was broken.

      I will also acknowledge that Neal believes leaving Emma and unknowingly abandoning his son is his greatest regret in life, and I want to see him create healthy, loving relationships with both Emma and Henry because I do believe he wants to make things right with them. But what he did to Emma is not the same as what Emma did with Henry. Emma had no choice but to let Henry go because she was in prison (because of Neal). And unlike Snow and Emma, Neal wasn’t dealing with a baby; he was dealing with a young woman who should have been allowed to make her own choice (or at least hear what her options were).

  6. Hi,I’m going to answer a few of your questions.
    1) I was very impressed with Jared in this episode. I was wondering how he would pull off the darker role, and I honestly think it was some of his strongest acting yet. On a side note, I thought Robbie played Henry perfectly down to his specific mannerisms.

    3) I can’t remember what or if they’ve ever mentioned anything about Rumple’s mother in previous episodes but could she be the one thing Pan actually loved??

    7) I sure hope they have flashbacks in Neverland! I’ve loved the fact that this entire season has been in Neverland. It was a nice change of pace from being in Storybrooke. I’m actually kind of sad they left.

    10) For some reason, I assumed everyone knew what Neal did to Emma. But now thinking about it, I guess they don’t. I sure hope they find out soon because I am also a little irritated with the way they keep pushing Emma towards Neal.

    17) Yes, it was! This episode reminded me why Charming was one of my favorite characters in the beginning of the show. Sometimes I find it a little awkward when Snow and Charming act like parents to Emma who’s exactly the same age as them. But when Charming and Emma are together, Josh Dallas nails the role. He plays the role of her father so naturally, I forget the weird age dynamic and only see a father who loves his daughter very much.

    18) I am also confused by the logistics of the curse because now they all live in Storybrooke and that’s their “home”. So where would they go? Neverland maybe?

    20) I think one of your normal reviews would be great for the winter finale.

    • Thank you so much for the comment, Cathy!

      I feel like the show has been deliberately vague about Rumple’s mother up to this point. I have a feeling it’s going to be a big reveal at some point, and I can’t wait to find out!

      I really love what you said about Josh Dallas making you forget the strange age dynamic between Charming and Emma. What surprises me the most is that Dallas is 3 years younger than Jennifer Morrison, and yet he somehow makes me believe that I’m watching a father interact with his daughter.

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  9. Answering questions is mostly redundant at this point – since we all know what happened in the next episodes. But I will say that yes, Pan and Henry playing each other was brilliant. Henry had just that slight air of creepiness, something slightly off, that it was believable that no one noticed, but that Emma and he superpower did. And when he was interacting with Felix the Pan-ness came out more strongly. Very well acted.

    Hook stepping back was very honorable – it was the right thing to do, and he believes that Neal might screw things up anyway. Of course, in future episodes when he does have to live the rest of his life without Emma we see that he is deeply unhappy, but on the one hand, he may not realize just how unhappy he would be if Emma did choose Neal, he might just not feel that it would ever happen, or he might not believe that a villain such as himself deserves a happy ending.

    Charming, my other favorite, was awesome. Safe-for-TV-horny Charming was wonderful. Poor guy – he sure is patient (in every time/universe). But of course, what’s the hurry when you have true love? (blergh! but he always pulls that kind of stuff off so well). I have been loving his interactions with Emma too. It’s amazing how well they play father-daughter given the lack of age gap. But then, we’re used to seeing women interact with men as either a buddy or a love interest, and they have to be very careful to make it clear to even a casual viewer that Charming is not a love interest for Emma! (because ewwwww!) I think Josh Dallas must be pretty damn good to summon so much paternal-love-acting.

    I also think that Pan is the most villainous villain the show has had. He is selfish and uncaring. I assume that Felix was what he loved the most (since he couldn’t rip his own heart out, and I think he really only loves himself). His back story didn’t redeem him in any way. He was the kind of guy who should never have had children. Maybe there was a back story with Rumple’s mother that might have shown us a different side – maybe there will still be?

    Even re-watching these last few Neverland episodes a couple of times I was still getting confused about the curse and its effects. The Pan Curse storyline really didn’t make much sense! And then the undoing of Regina’s curse and then another freakin’ curse – that was a whole lot of cursing for a couple of mid-season episodes!! Oh well, even when the plot falls down a bit, the characters and the emotional honesty of the show hold up so well that I can overlook some nonsense about a new Neverland and a curse without true love baked in.

    How did you feel when there was another memory plot line? I guess I will see as I read your next review. I’m catching up on your reviews even though I’ve watched all of the episodes now 🙂 I think that it was good that everyone remembered who they are, even if there’s a missing-year forgetting aspect. And thank goodness Emma didn’t have amnesia for long. Just enough to make things tense and fun. I’m hoping Henry gets his memories back soon. I like him better as Storybrooke Henry than as NYC Henry who is a little too grown up and almost cynical.

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