Episode 15: Quiet Minds

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Michael Raymond-James as Neal ABCs Once Upon a Time Quiet Minds picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Michael Raymond-James as Neal

This is a super sad episode. This episode answers the question of where Neal has been and why Rumple is crackers. In the missing year Neal was so desperate to get back to Emma and Henry that he figured that bringing Rumpelstiltskin back from the dead would be the best way and naturally Belle helps him out. In Rumpelstiltskin’s library a candlestick named Lumiere tells them about a key to “The Vault of the Dark One,” creative name there, where they can bring him back. However this is all a scheme hatched by Zelena because guess what, she also wants to bring The Dark one back too.

At the vault, Belle figures out that Lumiere has been lying and the Wicked Witch is behind this. Neal doesn’t care as they all want the same thing so Neal turns the key which revives Rumpelstiltskin but at the cost of Neal’s life. Rumpelstiltskin absorbs Neal into himself causing Rumpelstiltskin’s craziness but also saving Neal’s life.

In Storybrooke, Neal is found with a triangle burn mark on his hand. Neal’s not to concerned about it as he just wants to find Rumpelstiltskin and wants Henry to remember him. As he and Emma reconnect a bit Belle calls and tells Emma what the marks mean. Neal begs Emma to separate the two so that Rumpelstiltskin can reveal who the wicked witch is in town even at the cost of his own life. Rumpelstiltskin tells Emma the witch is Zelena and Emma tells Henry that his father was good man.

There is also a plot where Regina and Robin connect a little and Regina learns that Robin is her true love has he has the lion tattoo. Does still have his Milah tattoo? I can’t recall seeing it since the beanstalk episode.

I think I like this episode more in theory than I actually do. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the episode but aside from Neal’s death it doesn’t do much. However one thing I did love was exchange between Hook and Neal. It was very nice and touching. If things had gone differently Neal would have seen Hook as a more of a father-figure instead of a rival.

Which brings me to that love-triangle which combinated in one episode and some side-glances. I’m not complaining, I’ve watched Downton Abbey where love-triangles were a big thing in season 2 though that got resolved and one different love triangle last two seasons. I also watch anime where there are tons of love-triangles everywhere so one that last about ten episodes (aside for some flirting in season 2) and was relegated to drama in one episode is fine. Though I’m surprised that this show with all its love for drama didn’t have more drama from this (show ain’t done yet though). But now it’s smoother sailing for Captain Swan. That’s mean, I liked Neal fine but you can’t deny Captain Swan as a ship. I did like the exchange between Neal and Emma, they seemed more chummy than romantic.

Also Loved the music at the end.

It’s a little unceremonious that Lumiere got one episode but so did Rapunzel. I mean if they had named him “Mr Candle” it would have been the same impact. Rapunzel was at least in a tower.

This was a fair episode that’s purpose was to get the main cast to know who the witch was and ax off Neal in a heroic way or at least in an unselfish way.

 

 

Episode 16: It’s Not Easy Being Green

Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin ABCs Once Upon a Time It's Not easy being Green picture image

Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin

Well right off the bat, A Muppet Reference? I love it

This episode goes into Zelena’s beginnings, can’t really say backstory anymore since it’s all backstory, just redundant to say. Zelena was brought to OZ via cyclone and adopted by a nice lady and jerky grumpy guy who hated Zelena because she is a magic prodigy. Like as a baby she was moving trees. Anyway her father calls her wicked and one day he tells her she was a foundling and since he doesn’t like she peaces out to the wizard of OZ.

Once there the wizard shows her Cora, Regina and Rumple. Oz gives her the silver slippers to go to The Enchanted Forest. Once there she starts growing envious of Regina’s life and stuff. She also quickly mets Rumple who trains her in magic. However he doesn’t want her to cast the dark curse since Zelena has a little crush on him. Zelena grows more envious of Regina and starts going green. Zelena tells Rumple she COULD taken him across realms with the slippers but now she won’t and she returns to OZ. There she sees the human Oz who is Walsh, Emma was dating the Wizard of OZ. Anyway Zelena turns him into a flying monkey and decides figure out a way to go back in time to stop Regina being born. She also sees Rumple praising Regina which makes Zelena go full on green.

The Storybrooke part has Zelena challenging Regina to a witch fight. Zelena does come out and tells Regina (again) that they are half-sisters. Which after Regina finds a letter she believes. At the fight Zelena reveals she after Regina’s heart which Regina doesn’t have on her, or rather in her. The crew figures she planning to cast some kind of curse.

This episode was pretty good. Zelena is growing on me, she seems to be polarizing. Her brand of evil is fun but it could get old quickly. The green with envy skin is REALLY on the nose even for this show. Also I love her earrings, which a weird thing to mention but I like them.

I also really liked the part where Hook offered to tell Henry more about Neal, that was sweet.
Emma does have a type, fairy tale and/or literary characters. Has she dated any normal human from boring old “Land without Magic?” Doesn’t seem like it.

Anyway good episode not a standout but solid and entertaining. Also points to Robin for referring to Rumple as an “Imp.” I feel like they did that more in season 1 but less now since Hook calls him crocodile all the time.

 

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 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.

 

Tallahassee

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Michael Raymond-James as Neal Cassidy Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 6Tallahassee picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Michael Raymond-James as Neal Cassidy

Of all the magic dreamy places in the world, they pick Tallahassee as place for Emma and her boyfriend/baby daddy Neal to dream about, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

In this episode we learn about Emma’s relationship with a thief named Neal. They meet in that oh so cliche ways of Emma stealing the car he stole and thus they start a Bonnie and Clyde duo and fall in love. They decide to go straight and move to the randomly selected city of Tallahassee. However August shows up and convinces Neal to walk away from Emma because of the curse. Emma gets put in jail for aiding in one of Neal’s  crimes involving stolen watches, however Neal makes sure Emma gets the money from the stolen watches and the car that brought them together. Emma also learns she is pregnant.

The other story  at play in this episode involve Emma, Snow/Mary, Mulan, Aurora and Hook get the compass from the last Giant.  Only Emma and Hook scale the beanstalk while Aurora deal with her nightmares which you learn at the end Henry is sharing with her.

Overall, this episode was really engaging. Emma’s backstory was compelling especially when you factor in the lie she told Henry about his father in season 1.  Not a lot comment on in this episode, so far it’s been the best one so far that adds more to the overall narrative.   Well one this is that the Cgs still look bad.