Episode 13: Witch Hunt

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena ABCs Once Upon a Time Witch Hunt picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

In this episode we are introduced to the Wicked Witch of the West properly. Her name is Zelena, which means green in Bosnian. She is also masquerading around Storybrooke as a midwife, this way she can get close to Snow.

In The Storybrooke section, everyone trying to figure out how to get their memories back. The consensus is to figure out who cast the curse. Regina and Emma work together and decide to try and smoke out the person with a con that they are making a memory potion at Regina’s office. Regina puts a blood lock on the office so the person can’t get out but they do in a puff of green smoke.

While that is happening people who try leaving Storybrooke are getting taken away by flying monkeys and turning in to them as well. The Flying Monkeys and the green smoke  informs the group that they are dealing with The Wicked Witch.

Zelena has also brought Rumple back from the dead and he is a little touched in the head.

The past section of the episode which is only a year in the past so it feels contemporary, has Regina and Robin hood breaking into her castle. Again the group figures out it’s a Wicked Witch of OZ because if a flying monkey attacks.  Regina is a little perturbed that the blood lock to the castle was opened but she is really there to get the ingredients for a sleeping curse because she can’t bare to live without Henry. Robin pleads with her to find something to live for but her mind is set.  Regina lowers the shield and is about to curse herself when the Wicked Witch enters the room in one of Regina’s gowns and takes the sleeping curse from Regina. She introduces herself as Zelena and tells her that she is her older half sister by Cora. Zelena’s motivation is to take everything from Regina and leaves. Regina then tells Robin that she has something to life for, a person to destroy. It’s nice to have goals

This episode definitely moves the plot along. This core family group is getting more complex, now Regina has a half sister. Who is her father? Rumple? Probably not, would make that family tree weirder that it already is. It was an enjoyable episode but it just leaves more questions than it answered, that’s the point though. And Rumple is BACK WHAT? How? So much for his noble sacrifice.   

Also not sure  on the make-up on Zelena. It’s looks like glowing sweat but green. Still better than The Wicked Witch in Oz the Great and Powerful.       

       

 

Episode 14: The Tower

Josh Dallas as Princes Charming (David) & Alexandra Metz as Rapunzel ABCs Once Upon a Time The Tower picture image

Josh Dallas as Princes Charming (David) & Alexandra Metz as Rapunzel

This is a Charming heavy episode with a one-off appearance of Rapunzel. Rapunzel was a waste. Basically this episode is about facing your fear in a manifestation of yourself brought on by a root. In The Enchanted Forest Rapunzel took some because she was scared to be a leader. Her other self chased into a tower and keeps her there. Charming gives her some encouragement and she defeats her fear and goes home. This is still in the missing year period.

In Storybrooke, Zelena slips Charming the root so he can face his fear of being a bad dad to steal a symbol of his courage. Also they find traces of Rumple as they track down The Witch’s house, which is a Farm which looks like Dorothy’s 1939 farm house.  Rumple isn’t there, he got out, somehow but the spinning wheel and gold are.

Aside from Charming’s dream, which shows a Princess version of Emma and a Emma and  Hook moment this episode was a bore. It wastes Rapunzel to a scared little girl and it seems like she won’t be back as she resolved her storyline. I guess she COULD return someday but there wasn’t much to her character.

Emma’s princess dress was pretty but not the weird feathery arm bands, this show loves its feathers. In her case she is a “Swan” Princess so makes sense, in theory.

Bonus Picture Time

Jennifer Morrison as Princess Emma Swan picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Princess Emma Swan

 

Episode 11: Going Home

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla as Regina, Michael Raymond-James as Neal, Jared S. Gilmore as Henry, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David, Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & company ABCs Once Upon a Time Going Home picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla as Regina, Michael Raymond-James as Neal, Jared S. Gilmore as Henry, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David, Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & company

This episode is very dense and ends the Pan/Neverland arc and sets up a whole new world of  direction. In Storybrooke Pan crushes Felix’s heart because loyalty is a type of love. The ensemble figures out that they need to get the scroll back and a good plan is to switch Henry and Pan so that Henry can just bring it to them however they need the Black Fairy’s wand which the nuns/fairies have, which is in total RPG fashion, you need to get a thing to get another thing to do the thing that completes the quest. So Charming, Hook and Tinkerbell crash the Blue Fairy’s wake to find the wand but that pesky Pan’s Shadow gets in their way. Tinkerbell gets the pixie dust to work so that she can fly up and trap the shadow and then they throw it into a fire which apparently kills the Shadow. This relieves the Blue Fairy and she gives them the Black fairy’s wand.  Does this mean Greg is alive and the other people Pan killed by shadow removal?

Then it’s Operation get scroll but not before Rumple puts an anti-magic cuff on Pan/Henry, the one Greg and Tamara used on Regina in season 2. Regina does get the scroll but she passes out and turns out the cuff doesn’t work on Pan. Pan does put the cuff on Rumple. Pan then tells Rumple about how being a father was the worst because he couldn’t do the things he wanted and his dreams were crushed, I’m paraphrasing but you get the point.  

Regina wakes up and knows what she must do to stop the curse but Pan freezes everyone. Rumple then shows up having removed the cuff by cutting off his hand and using magic to reattach it. He grabs Pan and summons his own shadow with the Dark One dagger and stabs himself along with his father. Pan changes back to Malcolm begs Rumple to stop and that they can be a family again but Rumple says that he’s a villain and villain don’t get happy ending. He twists the dagger and they vanish into a burst of light.

However there is still the curse approaching. The way to beat it is for Regina to give the one she loves the most i.e Henry which will send everyone else safety back to The Enchanted Forest. She tells Emma she has to go with him because Henry will be alone since he was born in  the Land Without Magic, Emma can stay because of her Savior status.  Regina offers Emma and Henry  good memories of a life they spent together but they will not remember Storybrooke. Emma and Henry drive off as the curse falls.

One year later. Emma and Henry are living well in New York City when there is a knock at the door. It’s Hook telling her family is in trouble. He tries the true love’s kiss which fails and Emma kicks him in the rum balls and slams the door in his face. Hello second half of season 3.

Very dense epsiode. They were more parts involving the past of a few characters. The most memorable one was Snow White as Mary Margaret giving Henry the book. After that Henry sees her as Snow White which is when it clicked for him the nature and weirdness of Storybrooke.
All in all  the episode was highly good. Wouldn’t say it was great or a stand out but the setup for the second arc is intriguing.   Let’s see if Rumple will stay dead because I will miss him if he does but we’ll have to see.    

Episode 12:  New York City Serenade

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan New York City Serenade ABCs Once Upon a Time picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Following from the last episode Emma and Henry are enjoying their lives in New York. Emma’s now has a boyfriend who wants to marry her and Henry’s on broad, there is just one problem, Hook. Hook keeps trying to convince Emma that her parents are in trouble and she needs to take a memory potion. Emma thinks he is crazy but she does go Neal’s old apartment at Hook instances. There she finds Henry’s camera he left there a year ago. Emma meets with Hook at central park and gets him arrested. Afterward she gets the  photos developed and realizes that the locations and people are unknown to her except her and Henry on in the pictures. Emma posts bail for Hook and he tells her that her good life is a lie and maybe there is guy who loved her in her old life, oh this ship. Emma takes the potion and remembers everything except there was one one portion so non for Henry.

Emma goes to tell her boyfriend, Walsh, about how she can’t marry him and her family needs her. Turns out her boyfriend is a freaking flying monkey, I get it, the dating scene is hard sometimes you just have to settle, oh wait, he’s was working for the new villain. Emma, Henry and Hook go back to Storybrooke. Emma reunites with Charming who remembers her but can’t recall anything about the last year and the only reason they KNOW at least a year has passed is because Snow is pregnant, like she nearly ready to give birth.

Over in The Enchanted Forest, Regina is devastated about losing Henry and tries to give up her heart. Snow convinces her not to. Hook also peaces out on everyone because there is  no reason for him to stay, he like-likes Emma.  Also someone has moved in to Regina/Snow’s castle and they group can’t get through the protection spell. They also get attacked by a flying monkey…geeze, I wonder who this “her” Aurora spoke of??? It’s the Wicked Witch of the West. We are now in OZ territory because Oz the Great and Powerful was a thing.  
I really enjoyed this episode. Emma got a little annoying with her whole whining about how great her life is but it’s understandable. It was interesting to have less dramatic episode where you can see the character’s life even for a brief moment. The Enchanted Forest storyline wasn’t as great but let’s just see where the Wicked Witch plot goes, not really looking forward to it but maybe we’ll see what they do with the character.  

 

Episode 9: Save Henry

Lana Parrilla as Regina with Baby Henry, ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 09 Save Henry Picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina with Baby Henry

The theme of this Episode is Regina’s love for Henry, everyone loves Henry. The Past section deals with Regina adopting Henry and this episode answers a lot of question but muddle it up a bit. For starters, Henry was placed in Boston but the family didn’t work out which is how Rumpelstiltskin was able to set up the adoption for Regina very quickly. Regina does go to Boston to get Henry but she has issue being a mother and has Sydney, find the birth mother. Regina then finds out that the baby is the son of the “savior.” She decides that it’s not working out but then changes her mind and makes a forgetting potion to forget that she knows about the birth mother.

The Neverland part has Emma getting the Lost Boys to tell her where Pan is in exchange for a home back in Storybrooke and they tell her that Pan is at the his Thinking Tree. Emma, Snow and Regina go to Pan’s Thinking Tree. Pan tries them up against the tree which hold them down by their regrets. Regina doesn’t regret anything and frees herself and takes Henry’s heart back and Pandora’s box.

Henry is restored and everyone heads to the Jolly Roger where they trap the shadow in the sail allowing them to head home. Rumpelstiltskin is let out of the box is no worse for wear and reunites with Neal. Regina then puts an enchantment on Henry so no one can take his heart again. Pan appears before Henry and is mad he can’t take his heart. Pan then tries to take Henry’s shadow but Rumpelstiltskin shows up and locks Pan in the box. However Pan pulled the old switcheroo and switch bodies with Henry, so Henry is locked in the box.

It’s a little funny that the show uses prominent streets for Boston and New York. In this episode Regina says the adoption agency is on Dartmouth Street in Boston. Honestly I’m sure most people wouldn’t think twice and it doesn’t matter but I found it funny since when I visit Boston I tend to be on Dartmouth street a lot (it’s where the train station I use is).

Anyway what about the episode? It was pretty good. The Regina’s past part was wonder even if the whole she did know about Emma being Henry’s mother was unnecessary. I suppose it shows that she does care for Henry but we know that. The Neverland part was good at the end with game changer cliffhanger otherwise it was fine but the ending saved this part of the episode.

I did like the part where if Regina had given up Henry, Pan would have gotten him as the Darling Boys were next in line to adopt him.

 

Episode 10: The New Neverland

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, & Robbie Kay as Peter Pan/Henry Josh Dallas as David (Charming), Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Belle ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 10, The New Neverland Picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, & Robbie Kay as Peter Pan/Henry Josh Dallas as David (Charming), Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Belle

In the character’s past section deals with Snow White trying to figure out a way to preemptively break Regina’s curse. Which at this point is a GOOD nine months away. So instead of going on a romantic Honeymoon, Snow decides to slay Medusa to break the curse and Charming helps. After Charming gets stoned, Snow figures out how to beat Medusa via a shiny shield. Snow decides that she and Charming should just live in the present and have a baby.

Things are getting crazy in Storybrooke as Peter Pan a.k.a Henry or not Henry, has a plan to makes Storybrooke New Neverland. He starts off with a bang and lets his shadow go which kills the Blue Fairy. Pan then tries manipulating Regina to get something from her vault to enact the dark curse. Emma sees the shadow and thinks something off and believes Pan is controlling his shadow from the box. Emma, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow, Charming and Belle go to the townline to let Pan/Real Henry out the box over the townline as magic doesn’t work there. Pan/Real Henry calles Emma “Mom” which surprises her but he manages to convince everyone that he is the real Henry by referring to a conversation he had with Emma back in season 1 about how she gave him his best chance by giving him up.

They all go to Regina’s vault and Pan/Not Henry stole the dark curse from Regina which means everyone will lose their memories and Storybrooke will be new Neverland which Pan will reign over with his smugness. Oh and Charming is all better from near death by poison/spring water range.

Wasn’t as into the past portion. It wasn’t exactly tacked as each story plot ties into each other and the shows does that well most of the time but this story seemed more forced. The body switch for Henry proves that the actor playing Henry isn’t bad it’s the role isn’t written very well compared to everyone else. This episode was ok not great, it was satisfactory. How are they going to get out of this curse as it seems hopeless. Will there be a hope speech in the next episode? Maybe the hope speech will bore the curse to death (I do like this show.)

 

Episode 7: Dark Hollow

Emilie de Ravin as Belle & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 06, Dark Hallows Picture image

Emilie de Ravin as Belle & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel

No character’s past this episode but we do go back to Storybrooke. Belle puts up the cloaking spell so normal people can’t get through however two dudes get through before the shield go up. Ariel arrives though and she Belle work to find the thing Rumpelstiltskin wants. Turns out it’s Pandora’s Box which will trap Pan. However the two henchmen of Pan show up and threaten Ariel and Belle. Those guys are really Michael and John Darling, Wendy’s brothers. They are working for Pan because Pan has Wendy captive. Belle tells them to work with them against Pan to save their sister. Ariel then leaves for Neverland with the box and the message to save Wendy.

Back in Neverland, Pan uses Wendy to convince Henry to work with Pan to get the magic back as the magic will cure her deadly sickness. Wendy isn’t sick, Pan is a crafty devil. While that is going on Emma, Neal and Hook try to capture Pan’s shadow and use method for getting off the island because exit strategies are important. Neal’s coconut is the method for catching it and not a star map as they first thought. To catch the shadow they have to go to the Dark Hallows. Neverland isn’t really known for it’s placenames. However Neal and Hook are a bit at odds since the whole love triangle thing. Emma uses her new magic training to light the candle in the coconut as Neal and Hook were being held by shadows, so she didn’t have to choose. In the end they catch the shadow and the love triangle continues, they Emma makes it clear she would pick Henry over either of them.

Also Snow and Charming have conversation about being honest and that Snow is going to stay with him. Geez these two and their drama

It was nice to get back to Storybrooke. Ariel and Belle were the highlights of this week. The Neverland stuff was weak and it’s getting weaker ultimately. I think one issue is that it’s alway a nighttime jungle with very little variation other than dark cave or jungle. The Love Triangle is not entertaining. Hook and Neal have a relationship but you would never know that from this episode where they act like spoiled boys trying to one up each other for a girl who isn’t really into pretend to not be into one them and has a complex relationship and child with the other. And what does all this comes to, them fighting over a lighter which symbolized Emma? Try harder show. Still better than Twilight.

Episode 8: Think Lovely Thoughts

Stephen Lord as Malcolm & Wyatt Oleff as Young Rumplestiltskin, ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 08 Think Lovely Thoughts Picture image

Stephen Lord as Malcolm & Wyatt Oleff as Young Rumplestiltskin

Oh boy, oh boy a young Rumpelstiltskin backstory? Yes please. This one is about Rumpelstiltskin. We were told that Rumpelstiltskin’s father left him too but other than that we know little except that he was raised by spinsters. So baby (kid) Rumpelstiltskin’s father leaves him with spinsters saying that he’s getting a real job but really he didn’t want him. The spinsters give Rumpelstiltskin a bean which Rumpelstiltskin takes to his father and begs him to leave the realm with him. They decide to go to Neverland. However once there Rumpelstiltskin’s dad learns that in order to make the magic he has to be a child so he teams up with the shadow, the sole denizen of the island to remove Rumpelstiltskin so his father can be young i.e Peter Pan is Rumplestiltskin’s dad. Which is another twist you could have not seen that one. It’s a bit like Vader but given the apparent ages you could NOT have saw that.

Back in Neverland, the crew meets Wendy, whom at first lies to them. Oddly Emma’s super don’t go off but Rumpelstiltskin does. She tells them that Pan needs Henry’s life to preserve his life and make him immortal. You see children are not meant to live on Neverland it supposed to be a place kids visit in their dreams, so Rumpelstiltskin’s dad had a time limit which is odd since time doesn’t pass in Neverland except for the day and night. Rumpelstiltskin also hands Pandora’s box to Neal in act of trust. Rumpelstiltskin also says he can make an elixir for David(Charming) with the spring water back in Storybrooke, so that plot is getting wrapped up neatly. So the plan to save the boy is Emma, Neal, Regina and Rumpelstiltskin go to Skull Rock (because it’s shaped like a skull not merely looks like one). Since Rumpelstiltskin doesn’t have his shadow he can get through but Emma, Neal and Regina can’t. Rumpelstiltskin and Pan have a showdown that ends with Rumpelstiltskin getting trapped in the box. Emma, Neal and Regina and get in via hiding their shadows and try to convince Henry not to give Pan his heart. Henry is still operating on the assumption that he being heroic in giving Pan his heart so he does, which means Pan wins and Henry dies.

This was pretty great episode. Marilyn Manson voiced the shadow which was a little weird but pretty perfect too. The character’s past was the better of the plots. It was great too see how Rumpelstiltskin was wronged by his dad. The Neverland plot was great too but a lot the exposition felt rushed given how much time the show wastes explain lots of other points and drag over plots, like David’s poisoning and Rumpelstiltskin plot elixir.

All in all it was a strong episode.

 

Episode 5: Good Form

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 episode 05, Good Form Picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

I won’t lie, Hook is starting to become a favorite character of mine. Didn’t love all the double crossing he did is season 2 but as pseudo good guy he’s a great foil to Snow and Charming constant, near constant noble hero characterizations, oh dear are they getting boring. They were at least some what compelling is season 1, I mean Snow White was a bandit and yelled at birds in season 1 now nearly every line out her mouth is about hope.

Anyway the past section of this epsiode is about Hook and how he was a lieutenant on his elder brother ship. They went to Neverland for what they THOUGHT was a medicine but was Dreamshade, the deadly poison (not delectable tea or medicine). Hook’s brother cuts himself with the Dreamshade to prove to Hook that it’s totally safe. However it was deadly poison and Hook’s big brother is dying. Pan tells Hook that a spring can cure his brother but at a cost. Pan doesn’t say what the price is so they leave Neverland. When they arrive back in their land, Hook’s brother dies because the water only works in Neverland. Hook and his crew become Pirates because the King was cruel and corrupt in making them get Dreamshade. Also in this flashback you get to get to see Neverland by day, crazy.

The Neverland portion has Hook tricking Charming to go to the Spring to cure him. Hook does this because he knows Charming is far to noble to put himself before the noble cause of saving the plotpoint, erm Henry. Before they get to the spring, Pan offers Hook a deal that he can leave with Emma if Hook kills Charming. Charming overhears this and tries to threaten Hook but Hook instead moves to get the water. Hook does tell him about the price BEFORE he drinks it but Charming says it’s a small price to pay for the plotpoint…. Damn it, I mean Henry.

While that is happening, Emma, Snow and Regina set up a trap and take one of the Lost Boy’s hearts to they can get a message to Henry. Snow isn’t for this plan but Emma is more agreeable to it. At first Henry doesn’t believe the Lost Boy, thinking it’s a trick but Henry sees the ladies via a enchanted mirror.

When Hook and Charming return to the others, Charming tells them that Hook saved his life but doesn’t mention the poison. In thanks for saving Charming, Emma gives Hook a rather passionate kiss even though Emma says it was a one time thing. Pan then shows up to Hook and tells him that Neal is still alive.

Well first off, I loved the Princess Bride reference with Hook telling Emma “As you wish.” All in all this was great episode. Seeing Hook’s progression from a strict Naval office to a pirate was interesting and it fits neatly into the Neverland arc. Not sure how Emma, Hook and Neal will progress but it was fun that they kissed, still Love Triangles can be taxing.

Episode 6: Ariel

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 06, Ariel Picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Joanna Garcia Swisher as Ariel

The character’s past part introduced us to Ariel. Unlike in the Disney movie or even Splash Mermaids can take human legs once a year. Ariel uses this chance to go to the ball so she can meet Eric whom she saved a year prior. Snow White helps her out and the two are rather girlie. Things get a little more interesting when Eric asks Ariel to go on a trip with him. Ariel pleads to Ursula, the ocean deity and Regina posing as Ursula gives her a bracelet that will let her have legs. Ariel puts the bracelet on Snow thinking it will help them both because as a mermaid she can escape Regina. Regina however shows up and tells Ariel to run off with her Prince as she won’t get a second chance. Ariel goes and as Regina moves into to kill Snow, Ariel saves the day and the two get away.

Back to Neverland, Regina is teaching Emma magic but soon grows tired of all their good guy ways, I’m with Regina nobility and hope speech can get to you after a while. Pan meets with Rumpelstiltskin again and tells him to go back to Storybrooke and start a family with Belle. Rumpelstiltskin declines and Pan leaves, Rumpelstiltskin sees a vision of Belle he has been seeing all season. She tells him that she wants a family with him. Regina shows up and reverts Belle back into Pan’s shadow. Regina and Rumpelstiltskin come up with a plan but Rumpelstiltskin needs something back in Storybrooke to execute said plan. Regina summons Ariel and tells her that Eric is in Storybrooke, very convenient, and if Ariel retrieves the thing Regina will give Ariel an upgraded Bracelet that will let her control it, before the wearer could not remove the bracelet. Rumpelstiltskin can only give Ariel a cryptic message so Belle can find it at his shop.

But wait there is more. The Emma crew learn Neal is alive and is at the Echo caves. To free him everyone MUST reveal a secret. Hook says that kiss was more than a kiss, it meant moving on from his first love, boy’s got it bad, real bad. Snow reveals she wants another child but Charming reveals that he lied and he was poisoned and now he can’t leave Neverland. These secrets make a bridge form. Emma crosses it and tells Neal that while she’s happy he is alive a part wishes he was dead because it would be easier to move on then relive all the pain he put her through. And voila the he is free.

This episode highs were very high. The ending part with Ariel saving Snow was one the best parts. I liked how she was love struck ditz but did the right thing for her friend. Regina and Rumpelstiltskin working together is a fun combo. The echo cave secret revelation was alright not the best but they freed Neal so that is good. Now the Love Triangle can come to full fruition, …joy… That is going to lead to some unnecessary drama. Ah who am I kidding, I do like a good love triangle so come on OUAT don’t let me down, because I’ve see some bad over-drawn out stupid love triangles, I watch anime and I seen more than one of the Twilight movies at least you can’t be that bad. Or can you? No you can’t. You really can’t.

Episode 3: Quite a Common Fairy

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rose McIver as Tinker Bell, ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 03 Quite a Common Fairy Picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rose McIver as Tinker Bell

This episode was just alright. Mostly it centered around Tinkerbell helping Regina find her true love. Regina doesn’t go through with even meeting him  and Tinkerbell loses her wings. This means in the present Tinkerbell doesn’t really want to help the crew get into Pan’s camp but Snow offers her the chance to come  back to Storybrooke. Tink accepts.  Also Charming is dying from Dreamshade.  Fun name!

In the Enchanted Forest, Neal gets to Neverland using Robin Hood’s son to lure the shadow to them. Robin offers Mulan a place of the Merry Man squad but she has to return to tell the person she loves that she loves them. The person is Aurora but she’s pregnant so Mulan tells her she join the Merry Men. I thought she had a thing for Philip back in season 2  but either she changed her mind or she didn’t. Whatever poor Mulan, unrequited love sucks, hope she finds true love. Speaking of unrequited love Regina’s true love is really….. wait for it…. Robin Hood. Not sure how I feel about the revelation.

Anyway just an alright episode. Enough good stuff to keep a viewership engaged but not a strong episode on it’s own.       

 

Episode 4: Nasty Habits

Michael Raymond-James as Neal & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 04 Nasty Habits Picture image

Michael Raymond-James as Neal & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin

While I do like Rumpelstiltskin heavy episodes, it a case of second verse same as the first, he has a bad past except that he did love his son and he trying to change but it’s hard. The character’s past involve Rumpelstiltskin meeting the Pied Piper who took away Baelfire. Rumpelstiltskin confronts him but he turns out to be Peter Pan who Rumpelstiltskin curiously knows, hmmmmm. Curious indeed.

The Neverland plot deals with Rumpelstiltskin and Baelfire meeting again. It should be pointed out that Rumpelstiltskin was down for killing himself along with Pan because he thought Baelfire/Neal was gone but now that he know Neal/Baelfire is alive that nasty habit of self-preservation as kicked in. Neal gets the idea to use squid ink to immobile Pan. When they get to camp Henry is gone. Pan tells Neal about the seer’s prophecy that Henry will be Rumpelstiltskin undoning. Rumpelstiltskin says he won’t hurt Henry but Neal doesn’t believe him and immobilizes him with the ink.

Meanwhile Emma and crew find Neal’s secret cave and find a coconut that has a star chart  and Henry falls deeper under Pan’s influence believing that he will bring the magic back to Neverland.  

Is this combination of the Seer’s prophecy? Another confrontation between Neal and Rumpelstiltskin? How Rumpelstiltskin wants to be redeemed but he likes being alive and death is scary? Isn’t he immortal? Why should self-preservation even be a thing for him?

It wasn’t an unenjoyable episode but characters don’t seem to move forward as much as one would hope. I guess Rumpelstiltskin is the most dynamic character but he moves in small increments.

 

Episode 1:  The Heart of the Truest Believer

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 01, The Heart of the Truest Believer Picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

The opening of season three was a bit up and down. The lowest point was the crew of the Jolly Roger arguing and fueling the storm. Seemed a little out of place in Once Upon a Time.  It just seem more juvenile.

Speaking of juvenile, Peter Pan was a high point.  He is introduced as a bait and switch. We think he a rogue lost boy wanting to leaving and helping Henry but that was just a test to see if Henry has “The Heart of the Truest Believer,” and of course he does. There is also the demise of Greg and Tamara. The show makes it clear they were pawns in a bigger scheme but they were so boring and Tamara, aside from killing the Dragon in season 2, didn’t have a backstory. We don’t know why she hated magic. At least Greg’s story fit in more to the larger story and characters. Plus he liked Star Wars, that a plus.   

Rumpelstiltskin is welcomed to the island by Felix, leader of Lost Boys, and issues him a warning not to go against pan and is given a straw doll which makes Rumpelstiltskin cry. Wonder what’s up with the doll?

The parts in the Enchanted Forest are also a low. It just Neal wanting to return to where Emma and Henry are. There are some fourth wall jokes about Mulan being made into a movie.  Correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve been marathoning episodes a little bit more now, but Neal gives a reason for how Beans work, you think of the place you want to go and voila the bean send you there, which is why you can go to Neverland or The Land without Magic (except when there is) or where ever.  

It’s wasn’t a bad episode. Not sure if it was on par with season 2’s opening episode but it could be a case of the lows of the episode were pretty low and the highs were really great. I really enjoyed the Hook and Emma exchanges, like him giving her Neal’s sword and saying that he fancies her when she isn’t yelling at him (I think he might  that a little too)   Also as someone who never liked Peter Pan, I really like that he is the main antagonist. He’s like some demonic overlord of Neverland.   

 

Episode 2: Lost Girl

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABCs Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 02, Lost Girl Picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Quite a bit happens in this episode. For one thing The Neverland plot is stronger than the character’s past plot. The past plot revolves around Snow White  getting her groove back and believing that she is the rightful ruler of the land. This done with Charming planting a fake excalibur to make her believe. Apparently Camelot is another realm, I guess since they mention it and Lancelot has cameo in season 2 maybe they will go there at some point.

The Neverland plot has Pan giving Emma a map to his camp and Henry’s location.  The map can only be read if Emma admits who she really is.  Regina however doesn’t want to wait and uses a spell instead but Pan isn’t too happy that group isn’t playing his game and attacks. Charming is hit by an arrow and SEEMs to okay. After looking into a Lost Boy’s eye, Emma sees herself and spares the kid. She admits that what she really is an orphan, a lost girl and the map reveals where the camp is located. Charming also sees that he has been poisoned.

Rumpelstiltskin also removes his shadow and gives it the dagger, so Pan can’t use it on him. That dagger is a liability.
This episode was good. The emotional impact of Emma saying she felt like an orphan was very moving, though it seems like it was mostly setting up Rumpelstiltskin’s no shadow/no dagger and Charming’s doom…

Episode 20: The Evil Queen

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Lana Parrilla as Regina Season 2 Episode 20 The Evil Queen, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White & Lana Parrilla as Regina

Poor Queen Regina, no one likes her. In this episode Regina wants Snow White dead, of course, and hates that the subjects prefer Snow to her. Rumpelstiltskin disguises her as commoner to learn about the common people and kill Snow. However Regina and Snow hang out and Snow thinks there is good in her that is until Snow sees the village Regina has slaughtered and takes it all back.  Regina then decides she doesn’t want her people to love her but fear her for she is The Evil Queen.

A lot in Storybrooke this episode. It’s introduced that the curse has a fail-safe trigger that will destroy everything. Regina plans on using it and having her and Henry escape back to the Enchanted Forest.  Regina and Hook, who has double crossed Greg and Tamara go adventuring to get it down in the dragon pit. However it was a super double cross as Hook only did it so that the fail-safe will kill Rumpelstiltskin.  And they take away Regina.

While that is happening Emma is suspicious of Tamara  and Henry overhears and wants to restart Operation Cobra or now Preying Mantis.  Emma and Henry break into to Tamara and Neal’s room but Neal catches him and call Emma out her lie detector power, thank you Neal.  

This episode was more of the alright to average range. The show is trying to do a lot to get the plot to the season finale and set-up the next season. The magical doomsday for Storybrooke seems like straight out left field and Greg and Tamara are weird as villains.   Greg has some motivation but Tamara doesn’t so far.

 

Episode 21: Second Star to the Right

Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire & Freya Tingley as Wendy Darling Season 2 Episode 21 Second Star to the Right, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire & Freya Tingley as Wendy Darling

I was wrong and yet I was sort of right. Baelfire was not Peter Pan, though he did go to Neverland and was Lost Boy for a time. In the character past after Baelfire went through the portal he went to Edwardian London, sure ok, wardrobe goes to Maine, Beans go to London. There he was an orphan till he met Wendy Darling and is taken in by the Darling. Baelfire learns that Wendy is being visited by a shadow and it takes her away. When she returns in the morning she says the shadow let her go because it only wants boys and it will come for one her brothers. Baelfire doesn’t want the Darling family ruined and so he gets taken away. He arrives in Neverland but gets away from the shadow and Hook saves him.

Still a lot going on in Storybrooke but the main thing is Greg and Tamara are torturing Regina. Turns out they are working for someone to get rid of magic in the “world without magic” but also Greg wants to know where is his father is. Rumpelstiltskin gives Snow a spell so that she can see thing through Regina’s eyes, but all see senses is pain and the smell of fish.

Emma, Baelfire/Neal, Snow and Charming all converge of the canary.  Snow and Charming save Regina but Greg gives them the slip. Tamara confronts Neal and Emma. Neal gets shot and then goes through a portal as Tamara threw a magic bean at them. Emma is heartbroken as she believes Neal won’t survive the portal and a gunshot wound. Also Tamara and Greg get away with the trigger to Storybrooke destruction.      

While I don’t love the story of Peter Pan, I do like that there is a somewhat nefarious tone to the story.  Pan’s shadow is near demonic taking boys away in the dead of night. Though he doesn’t like girls. Though it’s weird because Neal says the World Sans Magic wasn’t his right stop way back in episode 14 but it was. He just went to Neverland too afterwards. Would have sucked for Rumpelstiltskin if Neal was dead in the real world the whole time, very convenient.  

This was an ok episode. Lots of stuff happening though Tamara and Greg are not as enjoyable as Cora or Hook. They are weak bad guys.  Really they just seem like zealots, and no one likes a zealot least of all a boring zealot. But the episode was engaging aside from them. I love that Neal called BS on Emma’s on again off again lie detector.

  

 

Episode 22: And Straight on till Morning

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire Season 2 Episode 22 And Straight on till Morning, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Dylan Schmidt as Baelfire

The character’s past involves Baelfire’s involvement with Hook and the lost boy pursuing him. As it turns out Peter Pan is a bit of some demi-god who controls Neverland, you don’t leave unless Pan lets you. Baelfire and Hook are bonding nicely till Baelfire learns that it was Hook who took his mother away even though Milah and Hook had plan on going back for Baelfire one day. Baelfire leaves Hook and that is how he becomes a Lost Boy but he is not the boy Pan is REALLY after, Peter Pan is really after Henry, who now is apparently some child of prophecy or something. Man everyone wants this kid.    

In Storybrooke, Tamara and Greg activate the trigger but Hook, is having second thoughts as he doesn’t want to die. The people come up with a plan THAT Regina will hold off the trigger as long as she can while everyone escapes back to the forest with a bean portal. Things go awry and everyone thinks they will die but together Emma and Regina stop the trigger.

Rumpelstiltskin learns that the Blue fairy fixed the whole cursed persona thing so the Dwarf and Belle are cured, wow that whole Belle as bad girl plot really went far.  Also apparently Tamara and Greg’s goal were to bring Henry to Neverland.

The season  ends with Rumpelstiltskin, Emma, Regina, Snow White, Charming and Hook going through a bean portal to Neverland. 

Also everyone thinks Neal is dead but Mulan, Aurora and Phillip save him.  Wow, Aurora and Mulan saved Phillip off screen huh?   

This episode was ok, not real conclusion to any storyline but set-up for next season. It’s really dumb that ALL the character think Neal is dead. Like why do automatically assume that. Because it’s most dramatic?


Season 2 was more smaller stories than a long goal narration so it felt more choppy than season 1 but it wasn’t bad. It had some strong episodes and even the lower episodes felt better than the lower episode in season 1. So while no ultimate conclusion was reached in season 2 it definitely made you want to continue to season 3.

Episode 17: Welcome to Storybrooke

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Benjamin Stockham as Young Owen Season 2 Episode17, Welcome to Storybrooke, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Benjamin Stockham as Young Owen

With Cora now gone there needs to be a new bad guy, and fortunately they have been introduced. This episode pertains to Storybrooke’s formation even though only Regina knows about it and two campers are a little suspect. See a father and son from New Jersey were camping in Maine when Storybrooke appeared around them. Regina gets bored quickly with how everyone acts the same and no stands up to her. It’s only the outsiders Kurt and Owen who pose any interest to Regina. Basically she takes a liking to young Owen and wants him to stay even if that means by arresting his dad. Regina does managed to arrested Kurt but Owen runs off. When Owen returns with the police but he can no longer see Storybrooke as it’s cloaked or shielded, point is no one can get in unless they are Fairytale people while the curse is active.

In Storybrooke. Regina wants revenge on Snow, Rumpelstiltskin tells Regina to get over it as it will cost her Henry. But Regina has a new curse in mind that will make Henry love and will get rid of Snow White. Meanwhile Snow is in a state of deep depression over what she did to Cora. Henry demands Emma and Charming be honest with him but he can’t believe Snow would hurt anyone.  Henry then thinks he can blow up the magic to stop all this but Regina tells him he can’t but burns the scroll so she can cast the curse.

Snow then asks Regina to kill her as she can’t live with herself. Regina takes her heart but notices a black spot and gleefully tells Snow she will get everything she wants and puts Snow’s heart back. This is all recorded but Greg Mendall who is really little Owen.

So Storybrooke was “founded” in 1983 but the 80’s just missed it as it still in its 2010 styling. Just in case you missed 1983-ness of the setting Owen mentions Return of the Jedi and has a ROTJ blanket. Even his name is a Star Wars reference. Anyway episode was ok. It show why Regina wanted to be a mother and set-up Greg/Owen’s motivation. However it does raise one question, you would THINK Regina should have been suspicious of who Henry was if he could get into Storybrooke. Unless she got him and that negates the shield thing.

This episode wasn’t as good as previous episode but at it’s best ot was just ok. It was somewhat boring in parts.                      

 

Episode 18: Selfless, Brave and True

Eion Bailey as August Booth & Sonequa Martin-Green as Tamara Season 2 Episode 18, Selfless Brave True, ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Eion Bailey as August Booth & Sonequa Martin-Green as Tamara

Gotta be honest this was a weaker than average episode even though some notable things happen. For instance we learn that the “her” that keeps calling Greg is really Tamara, Neal’s fiancee and her being with him was a ploy. Tamara has some plan involving magic. She also has a history with August as they went to same magical guy in Hong Kong and Tamara killed him.

August is also fully wooden because his motivations have always been selfish but at the end right  thing before he dies, Tamara tried and killed him because he was going to warn Storybrooke,  the Blue Fairy turns into a real boy again and yes he is a boy and he forgot what the warning was.    
Also in addition to being a weak episode the effect work to make August look wooden are really bad. It’s hard to take seriously. Either makeup or a combination or makeup and effects would look better but it was hard to watch puppet August.

Episode 19: Lacey

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Lacey Season 2 Episode 19, Lacey ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Lacey

The episodes send the plot in an odd direction. Regina uses some spell to revert Belle to her cursed self, which didn’t exist, since had amnesia in psych ward. So Belle is now called Lacey, a barfly who hustles people at pool. Sure, Snow White is a caring, sweet  teacher and Jiminy is a therapist, while bookish sees the good in everyone Belle is a bad girl with a drinking problem, sure  this makes sense.  Anyway the point of this episode is to show that Rumpelstiltskin can try and change. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, sort of depends on who is he with. So while Belle shows the good in Rumpelstiltskin, Lacey likes the bad Dark one.

Also Tamara reveals she has a captive Hook. Emma is introduced to the magic bean crop and Regina finds it.  

In the character’s past Robin Hood steals from Rumpelstiltskin and Rumple tortures him, as he does. Belle frees him and Rumple gets mad and decides he going to track down the thief and kill him to prove a point to Belle. Turns out Robin stole from Rumpelstiltskin to save his dying pregnant wife. Rumpelstiltskin then spares him and Belle feels vindicated, as she does.

Not sure why Regina bother with reverting Belle to her cursed form. What good did that do her?  We also see that bow that never misses its target again and Robin Hood is introduced.   It’s was an ok episode but Rumpelstiltskin is pretty much the best character, so episode centering around him are mostly always a bit better.  

Side Note – Trying three episodes  at a time since there is two weeks left in March. Since I want to caught up and string these post along for another year,  there will be two posts of OUAT a week now, once on Mondays and once on Thursday.  The exception will be weeks where the seasons ends, which mean post will be once a week on Thursdays.

Episode 15: The Queen is Dead

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Rena Sofer as Queen Eva Season 2 Episode 15 The Queen is Dead ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Bailee Madison as Young Snow White & Rena Sofer as Queen Eva

We got that three story structure in this episode, so let’s just start with Character’s past. This one centers on young Snow White. Snow White’s mother, Queen Eva is dying and Snow White ventures to find the Blue Fairy. The Blue fairy says the only way to restore the queen’s life is for someone else to die in her place and gives Snow a candle that will switch the lives. Very Game of Thrones. However young Snow can’t bring herself to do it and Snow’s kind mother dies. Turns out that Eva was poisoned by Cora who also disguised herself as the Blue Fairy to test Snow White and to lead Snow on a path of darkness. It also seems like Eva and Cora have a little bit of a history.

In New York, everyone is awkwardly trying to bond and then Hook stabs Rumpelstiltskin with a poison tipped Hook. Rumpelstiltskin  says he will die unless they can make it back to Storybrooke. Neal/Baelfire says that the fastest way is to steal Hook’s boat and says he can captain it. Basically Neall did go to Neverland! Was he Peter Pan? Seems like it? Would make sense though Pan learning to sail a Pirate boat? Seems a little off. Maybe he was rouge lost boy? Don’t know  I asked that question back in episode 4.  Also Emma meets Neal’s fiancee Tamara.

The trouble is back in Storybrooke, Regina and Cora are after Rumpelstiltskin’s dagger. Snow calls Emma asking Rumpelstiltskin to reveal the location of the dagger. He tells them and they find in the clock tower of the library but Cora and Regina show up and threaten one Snow’s former loyal servant Johanna. Snow trades the dagger for Johanna’s life but Cora kills  Johanna anyway. Snow then vows to kill Cora for what she did to both Johanna and her mother as she just learned of Cora’s manipulations and murder of her mom.

First off, there is a huge Star Wars reference. Snow White/Mary Margaret says the classic Leia line to Mother Superior, “Help Me Mother Superior, you’re my only hope.

Generally, I liked this episode. It was good to see a young Snow White be the focus of an episode and yet more character motivations in play.                  

 

Episode 16: The Miller’s Daughter

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Rose McGowan as Cora Season 2 Episode 16 Miller's Daughter ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Rose McGowan as Cora

This has to be one of the strongest episodes yet.  It explores Cora’s backstory and her rise of a Miller’s daughter to royalty and her lust for power.  So in the character’s past, Cora is a Miller’s daughter or more specifically the Miller’s daughter from the Rumpelstiltskin story. She is delivering flour to the King but Princess Eva trips and her and forced to kneel and apologize for doing nothing wrong.

Cora attends a ball for the hand of Prince Henry, who is being whored out for a wealthy alliance. Cora tells the king that she can spin straw into gold. So he locks up in a tower and should she produce gold she can marry Henry. Rumpelstiltskin shows up and offers to spin the straw into gold for her if she gives him her first born. She agrees but on the condition that he teaches her how spin gold instead, he agrees. Their lessons gets a bit sexually charged but she masters the process.

Cora and Henry become engaged but he is fifth in line to be King which doesn’t suit Cora. Her and Rumpelstiltskin are also having an affair. Rumpelstiltskin offers her love and asks her to run off with him. They amend their contract so that she would own him his child and he teaches her how to remove hearts so she can kill the king. She instead removes her heart as “love is weakness” and tells Rumplestiltskin she will not be going with him and any child she have will not be his.    

In Storybrooke, Rumpelstiltskin is dying and Cora seems like she wants the power of the Dark one. Rumpelstiltskin manipulates Snow to use that candle to exchange his life for Cora’s and tells her that the heart is in the vault. Snow manipulates Regina to give Cora’s heart back so that Cora will finally be able to love her.  Right before Cora is about to kill Rumpelstiltskin, Regina restores Cora’s heart thus killing her and saving Rumpelstiltskin.   
Both plot were great, one of exciting and somewhat suspenseful and the other was intriguing. Personally I prefered Cora’s and Rumpelstiltskin’s past. It was great to see what motivated Cora to her icy yet power hungry persona and also it gave the reason behind Rumpelstiltskin and Cora’s relationship which has been  hinted at for a while.   It does beg the question is Rumpelstiltskin Regina’s father?  If Cora was pregnant in that instance, which it vaguely hints at it   would make Regina Baelfire’s half sister and Henry’s aunt. But there is not clear indicator as of yet how much time passed between Rumplestiltskin and Cora’s affair and Regina’s birth and with Cora now dead it could be hard to answer that question if it is indeed true though it’s probably not true. Anyway great episode, one my favorites so far.