Original air date: Nov. 10, 2013
We flashback five days earlier (FIVE DAYS! THEY'VE ONLY BEEN IN NEVERLAND FOR FIVE DAYS?!) *clears throat*, the day the gang left Storybrooke. Belle casts a protection spell to keep anymore of Pan’s minions out of Storybrooke. She’s too late, however, as a pair of snazzy dressed gentlemen are able to just barely make it in (hey there Hipster Glasses *wink wink*).
First of all, I’m glad we got a glimpse of Storybrooke again. I've missed them. Even though I’m enjoying this season tremendously, I still felt like something was missing and now I realize it was Storybrooke. The Once Upon a Time universe has so many wonderful characters and we were stuck with only a handful of them for the first six episodes or so. So yeah! Glad to be back. Also cracking up that a few of the citizens are breathing a sigh of relief that without Snow and Charming around things are kind of normal. *cue the mermaid*
Ariel shows up with her magic bracelet, and with the help of Belle is able to uncover the deus ex machina for Rumple. Its Pandora’s box y’all. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Back in Neverland, Pan decides to upgrade his brainwashing of Henry. Felix and Pan walk around the camp shouting “DON’T LET HENRY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE UP TO!” and then Felix walks mysteriously into the woods leading a curious Henry behind him. Pan needs to gain Henry’s trust because he needs him to believe in him. We learn that Pan has been keeping Wendy prisoner on the island for a very long time (OUAT has succeed in killing my childhood OTP, by the way). He uses her to spin a lie about how she is dying from the lack of magic left on the island. It hits Henry right at his marshmallow ‘I want to be a hero’ center. Pan is winning him over.
The new Pan agents in Storybrooke are revealed to be John and Michael Darling. They are here doing Pan’s bidding in hopes of getting their sister back. Belle and Ariel, however, convince them to put their faith in Rumple to destroy Pan. So now they are hoping the gang on Neverland can rescue Wendy.
Snow tears Charming a new one (much deserved if you ask me). There’s not a doubt in her mind that she will build a tree house and live out the rest of her days on Neverland. Even if it means forever fighting off poison arrow armed teenagers. She just wants to be with him.
Emma, Neal, and Hook set out to trap Pan’s shadow. It is the most ridiculously awkward field trip ever. Neal and Hook act like five year olds and I have an urge to smack two 300 yr old fictional characters upside the head. Emma lays down the law with the two morons. She chooses Henry and the two of them better shape the f*ck up. Y’all know how much I ship Captain Swan, but I gave her a standing ovation. Now is not the time for their petty bickering when her son’s life in danger. The fighting over the lighter, really? How old are you two?
Emma, being a badass, traps Pan’s shadow and she didn't even need that stupid lighter either. Her Regina lessons are coming in handy and I won’t lie I threw my arms up like I was watching a football game and I'd just seen the winning touchdown.
With the shadow and with Tink’s help the gang can finally rescue Henry and go home.
Favorite bits of the episode?
- Neal's “Thanks, man” when Hook volunteered to go on the shadow hunting trip. He was pleased he was going to have backup. There was once a time when they were friends. In fact, later in the episode Neal asks Emma if she found the cutlass in the cave. Which means that Hook found the cave, found Neal's cutlass, and brought it back to his ship to keep. He cared for Neal and I think he still does. I want that friendship back. I need them to be bros again.
- Hook’s speech about winning her over. Her face when she asks him if he really thinks she can get Henry back. She cares and trusts what he has to say. He, likewise, believes wholeheartedly in her and doesn't believe she can fail. Ugh. It was perfect.
- Belle and Ariel. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. If they were to create a spin off with Belle and Ariel traveling the world saving magic I would watch the hell out of it. They would save the world with books, bravery, and with their fabulous wardrobes.
- Don’t think it escaped my attention that when Hook got nabbed by the shadow Emma called out for him (and only him).
- “Now you can have legs whenever you want. Or a fin, whatever Eric is into these days.” Regina judges not. Hey man, whatever floats your boat.
In conclusion: Needs more Storybrooke. I foresee trouble a brewing between Emma and Neal due to her learning magic. We all know Neal’s feelings on magic and he’s not going to be okay with her new (and awesome) abilities. For Christmas, I'm asking for a Hook-Charming-Neal epic bromance.