Sunday, October 20, 2013

Once Upon a Time 3.04: "Nasty Habits"

“My son is dead. The only way I can redeem myself is by saving his son and giving my life.”
- Rumpelstiltskin

Things pick up pretty much where we left them last week. Neal has been captured by Felix and they are heading to see Pan. Unfortunately for Felix, Neal ain’t stupid and gets free of his ropes and knocks the Lost Boy out before taking off. Elsewhere on the island, Rumple is preparing for war (complete with war paint). His vision of Belle pops by for a visit, commenting on how he always hid behind a mask. He says he needs the mask and the monster of the Dark One to save Henry. He’s got nothing left to live for so he can sacrifice himself to save Henry. Even if she’s just a figment, I get why Belle’s miffed. She’s gotta means something to Rumple. And yet still elsewhere, our clan is trying to plot a rescue mission when Tink explains that unless they have an exit strategy off the island, they’re screwed. No one gets off the island without Pan’s say-so. Including Hook. Of course, we know Neal managed it but they don’t know he’s around to ask

Speaking of, Rumple knocks out some Lost Boys and Neal literally runs into him. Yay for at least one family reunion. Well, Rumple’s a bit beside himself at first and thinks Neal is another vision, come to question his resolve to die for his grandson. When Neal finally convinces Rumple that he’s real, Rumple is both relieved and confused. But it looks like they have a small trek ahead of them when Neal says he’s got a plan to take out Pan without having to sacrifice Rumple’s life. It involves a huge squid with paralyzing ink. Rumple’s still skeptical of the plan. It means one of them needs to get close enough to Pan to use it.

Back in the Fairytale Land that Was, Bae is crabby that Rumple won’t let him leave the house. He says he just wants to have friends and go places and be a normal kid. Rumple uses the excuse of enemies to keep his son locked away. But Bae isn’t stupid. He knows that his father is terrified of him leaving and never returning. It would seem Rumple’s fears may not be so unjustified. He comes home the next day to find Bae missing. He uses a little magic and tracks him to a small village. The town elder explains all of their children have been spirited off to the woods by a pied piper. This being Rumple, he basically vows to massacre said minstrel. So the next night, Rumple waits and follows the children as they’re summoned from their beds. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise but the piper is none other than Pan and it appears he’s got a history with Rumple even before he was the Dark One. Pan hits the nail proverbially on the head when he susses out that Rumple is terrified of Bae running away. We also get the genesis of the Lost Boys. Pan really is a creeper.

Hook leads our merry band to Neal’s old living space complete with secret entrance and cave drawings. Charming is still refusing to tell the family about the fact he’s dying and he orders Hook to keep it between them. Emma’s kind of awestruck at the cave. It would seem that while Hook remained in Neverland, he may have kept in touch with young Bae. They search the cave but don’t find anything useful until Charming finds half a coconut with holes in it. Emma figures out it’s a map of the stars leading them home. Kind of touching. Hook breaks the news that he can’t read the map and Emma realizes their only hope was Neal. She busts out of the cave all flooded with conflicting emotions. She realized she didn’t stop loving Neal the moment he came back into her life and she can’t tell him how angry she is about all the emotion. And Snow is upset that she can’t even comfort her daughter. Charming tries to brace her for potential loss without actually dropping the “I’m poisoned” bombshell.

In Pan’s camp, the boys are having a party supposedly to celebrate Henry saving magic. Pan offers to play his pipe to get Henry in the mood but Henry can’t hear anything. Which makes sense because you have to feel lost and unloved and unwanted to hear the music. Felix shows up with news that Neal and Rumple are reunited. Father and son show up and their plan mostly works. They immobilize Pan and grab Henry (who has been hit with a sleeping curse) but Neal gets the ugly truth according to Pan. Dad’s there to kill Henry, not save him. Two years ago, I would have agreed with Pan. Now, Rumple is following his heart and his devotion to family more. Plus, Neal wouldn’t let Rumple hurt Henry.

Things are not going well for Rumple in either the present or the past. He refuses to make a deal with Pan to ask Bae if he wants to go home or go with Pan. Rumple just whisks Bae home. Bae says he would have gone home if given the choice. We also learn that Pan and Rumple were very close as young boys but that Pan betrayed him. Bae leaves anyway. And in the present, Neal flips out once Rumple finally explains the prophecy. Neal doesn’t believe his father can change and so he tricks his father with some squid ink and immobilizes him and heads off with Henry to find the rest of the family and go home. This makes me incredibly sad because I want Rumple to get his redemption. I know Neal’s been hurt before but isn’t love supposed to be really powerful in this universe? Rumple comes out of the squid ink and Belle shows up to try and console him. Now that he’s got something to live for, self-preservation is kicking in and he’s getting nasty again. Some habits are harder to break than others.

Things go sideways for Neal when he takes off with Henry. Pan catches up and the Lost Boys spirit Henry away and drag Neal off elsewhere. It would appear that Pan’s influence is beginning to take hold in Henry when he wakes and Pan says it’s not a surprise he was “dreaming” about Neal. This time, when Pan takes to his pipes, Henry can hear the music. I really hope they manage to rescue Henry before too much damage is done. And damn it, I want my Neal and Emma reunion! She needs to know her true love is alive. And someone really needs to punch Pan in the face.

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