Once Upon a Time on ABC is my favorite show. We are now on Season 3 so if you haven't seen any of the episodes, or the most recent one that I'm discussing, there will be spoilers in this post. The show is such a unique experience that spans different worlds including Storybrook, Maine where the fairy-tale characters were cursed to live without knowing their identities, the Enchanted Forest seen primarily in flashbacks, Wonderland, and now Neverland.
The Heart of the Truest Believer
Henry - Literally the only one that could bring all of these characters together. His adopted mom (Regina), his birth mom (Emma), his grandparents (Snow, Charming, Rumpelstiltskin), and the man that loved his grandmother (Hook). The episode starts with the birth of Henry which is pretty high-charged on emotion as Emma doesn't want to hold baby Henry for fear of becoming attached. Then we fall on Henry in Neverland and his conviction that his Mothers will be there to rescue him soon. I love seeing this Hope that's such a core trait in his character. Beside that is the strong change in Emma that went from not being able to be a mother in the beginning of the episode to not knowing how to be anything but a mother that will do anything to find her son.
Emma - I was really surprised by who she decided to blame for everything that's happened to Henry and Neal.
She has some strong issues with the fact that she is the same age as her parents. It's hard for her to accept their 'wisdom' when she has had the same amount of years of experience. She's having to face some hard truths about herself and her past if she wants to rescue her son.
Hook - The irony here is wonderful. He spent all that time trying to escape Neverland and kill Rumpelstiltskin and now he's returning to it with him as his shipmate. One of my favorite moments with him is when he comments on Rumpelstiltskin's use of time for a wardrobe change. He has a lot of knowledge of Neverland so his help on this journey will be invaluable.
I see his connection with Neal (Baelfire), especially when he gives Emma a keepsake of his. He truly cared about Bae's mom so the boy will always be special to him, and by relation Henry as well.
Snow - "The minute I let go of the belief that things will get better is the minute that I know that they won't." Snow is not really a huge part of this premier episode, but in it we see her core characteristics of hope, faith, and pixie dust (?). Well, pixie dust was in the episode as well, but as Regina put it, more of her 'feel-good nonsense'. She is smart and will choose the good way despite the one episode where we saw her put black on her soul. I also really enjoyed her full-out fist fighting with Regina.
Charming - He is still infuriatingly optimistic according to Emma. He insists that they are going to get their family back. As well as with Snow, we don't really see a lot of him in this premier episode. What we do see is more of his nature so it's always nice to see him there fighting for what is right and he will do whatever he can to put his family back together. I think "I will always find you" now applies to Emma and Henry as well.
Regina - She starts out this episode with fellow villain Hook in a conversation about how villains don't get happy endings. This makes the viewer think she will do what she can to change that - perhaps by not being so much of a villain? But we still see her solving all of her problems with magic and the 'easy' way. I did love seeing the mermaids scram when she brought out her fighting prowess though.
Rumpelstiltskin - Calls Emma out for not having enough imagination for Neverland. Saying she doesn't believe in magic, her parents, or herself. She's still just a bail bonds-person. This was absolutely true and I think was necessary for Emma to hear if she hopes to change things and finally learn to go about things on a leap of faith. Then Rumple disappears to take care of things in his own manner. He shows that he certainly does not forgive for what's happened to his son. There's also a very strange interaction which leaves him in tears.
Neal - "She's my ... I don't know...but I have to get back to her." Neal wakes up in the Enchanted Forest with our friends Mulan, Aurora and Philip?? They provide him with help to try and get back to Emma. He also runs into Robin Hood which was quite a bit of fun. I love getting to see more of Neal and how resourceful and knowledgeable he is.
Greg Mendel and Tamara meet "The Home Office".
The Lost Boys were sufficiently creepy which is quite a turn from the boys we've met in the Disney version.
Henry is rescued in the woods by a mysterious boy that is also running from the lost boys.
A Shark, A Whale, A Kracken - Worse. Mermaids!
Hook appears to be turning on the charm and I'm wondering if he is going to try and spark a romance with Emma now that Neal is presumed dead.
Philip has returned. I'm assuming we will get a great episode with flashbacks on how they got him back.
I noticed that Rumplestilskin cried when Felix the Lost Boy threw a doll to him. We know that his father abandoned him so I'm wondering if he used to be a Lost Boy himself. It also could have belonged to his son though since Bae spent time in Neverland so I could be way off.
We are going to meet Tinkerbell and Ariel. I have a feeling that Regina or The Evil Queen is going to end up being Ursula if we meet her as well.
Did anyone else notice?
The lights flickering when Emma had Henry.
Portals take you wherever you are thinking of. This was a bit of new knowledge to me.
That not only does Hook KNOW Neverland, but so do Rumple and Regina.
Emma got bonked by the anchor of the ship. Was anyone else gasping? I sure thought she should have been more hurt than she appeared.
Rumple said, "The question isn't will I survive, because we both know I won't. The question is how many of you will I take with me?" Is anyone else terrified by the fact that he sure thinks he's doomed by being in the presence of Peter Pan. What's the deal with these scary Lost Boys, Peter, and mermaids?
Some of my favorite quotes:
"They made a movie about you. It's actually pretty good."
"What's a movie?"
"And what, you'll win her over with your rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers?"
"I definitely do not believe."
"That's ok, because I do."
"I know there's a lot of history here and a lot of hate."
"Actually, I quite fancy you from time to time, when you're not yelling at me."
"And what's your skill, Savior?"
"I'm a mother."