Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Once Upon a Time 3.15: "Quiet Minds"

“Thank you Papa, for showing me what it is to make a true sacrifice. It’s about saving the ones that you love. It’s my turn now.”
- Neal

I need to state up front that this episode was rather difficult for me to blog. Going into it on first watch I had high hopes because it was touted as a Neal-centric episode. Yes folks, I know it is just a TV show and he is just a fictional character, but we’ve bonded with these characters. But more on all of this at the end of the post. We start with our heroes convening at Granny’s Diner in the morning. Emma’s searched the farm house with no luck finding Rumple or the Wicked Witch. Hook shares a bit of intel about hearing Neal saying something back in the Enchanted Forest about wanting to bring Rumple back to return to this land. While Regina goes off to search the farm house, the Charmings and Hook pay Belle a visit. Out in the woods, Zelena tries to summon Rumple with the dagger but it’s not working. We catch a glimpse of him running through the woods. Over at Gold’s shop, Belle agrees to help with some research about the Dark One and Hook offers to be her library buddy. There’s a cute little exchange between them. Their research gets interrupted by someone trying to get into the shop. Belle thinks it’s Rumple but it turns out to be a barely conscious Neal. Emma has just enough time to deliver breakfast to Henry and get the evil eye from her son before she gets the call that Neal’s been found. She rushes to the hospital and they share some private time together. She fills him in on the curse and Henry not having his memories. She is still adamant that he shouldn’t get them back. Over at the Charming residence, Zelena pops by to reassure Mary Margaret that all is well and that babies tend to not move much right before birth. And apparently orange juice makes them active.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Belle and Neal have made it back to Rumple’s castle and she shows him the library that Rumple built her. She thinks they may find a way to resurrect him. We also see that the necklace he gave Emma (that she unceremoniously returned last season in New York) made the return trip. She lights a candelabra and it transforms into a glowing translucent head of a guy named Lumiere. I’ll be honest, I saw it and went “oh no it’s Sauron!” Neal and Belle have very “what the fuck” faces and I don’t blame them. Belle is definitely suspicious but he offers some information that may prove useful. He points them to a key to the vault of the Dark One. He also will show them how to get there as long as they promise to make Rumple release him from the curse he’s under. But as soon as Neal and Belle leave, Zelena appears. She’s the one who trapped Lumiere and she’s forcing him to help her lure Belle and Neal into some kind of trap. Belle and Neal set out the next morning for the vault and chat about Rumple’s sacrifice and how it was really just for them. Neal muses that while he can understand what his father did, being a father himself now, he couldn’t imagine resigning Henry to the same fate.

At the hospital, Hook is left to babysit Neal while everyone else goes off on the Dark One hunt. Hook brings Neal some Jell-O which is reminiscent of a deleted scene from season 2. They share a sort of awkward hug as Hook admits that often times he sees Neal the man and not Bae the young boy he bonded with. Putting their feelings for Emma aside, Hook gives Neal a ten minute head start to set off to join the search before telling anyone. Emma and David talk about Henry and his memories again but are interrupted when they find Rumple in the woods screaming. He’s not making much sense and takes off when a flying monkey attacks. Emma runs after him. At the Wicked Witch’s farmhouse, Regina runs into Robin Hood. The scene is a lot like when he went with her back to the castle a year ago. The dialogue is so similar that Regina wonders if they’ve met before. Regina laments that there’s nothing magical left for her to trace and Robin then prompts her about a bottle he’s found. She points out that it has many properties but it isn’t magical. It’s whiskey. So he pours them a drink and Regina promptly freaks out when she sees his tattoo. We get a quick flashback to Tink telling her about her new soul mate and then Regina runs off. I was honestly rooting for a make out session or something given how intense their chemistry is without memories or any more build up besides what we saw a few episodes ago.

In Storybrooke, Emma runs into Neal as she’s looking for Rumple and she grumpily agrees to let him help since dragging him back to the hospital would take time away from her search. They have an easy conversation about Henry and living in New York and they even joke about their disastrous almost-spouses. And then Neal starts to keel over in pain. Belle calls and reports that Neal may have done some magic back in the Enchanted Forest. In fact, back in the Enchanted Forest, Belle lights Lumiere and he tells them they need to find the entrance to the vault and use the key. Belle quickly catches him in a lie though when he says he’s been in Rumple’s library for two hundred years. She calls the candle on his bull and he spits out the truth about being imprisoned by the Wicked Witch and her motives to control the Dark One. Neal says to hell with the cost of the magic and puts in the key, which brands his hand (we saw it earlier at the hospital). But it does the trick and Rumple returns. Unfortunately, Neal didn’t read the fine print and it’s a life for a life. Zelena shows up and is quite pleased with herself. But Rumple makes the sacrifice he couldn’t all those years ago. He protects Neal and absorbs his life force into himself, giving up control of the dagger to Zelena. He finally chooses family over magic. But it does drive him mad. In Storybrooke, Neal begs Emma to separate him and his father, even though he’ll die. She does it but it’s clear he isn’t going to last long. He gets to say his goodbyes to the woman he loves and he thanks his father for showing him what true sacrifice means. He wants Emma to be happy, even if it isn’t with him and he gives her back the necklace. At this point, every time I see this scene (or even think about it), I get weepy. I had the same reaction when Ianto died on Torchwood. It was heart breaking and painful and unnecessary. I didn’t feel like his story, especially him and Emma, were done. He didn’t have time to really get to know his son or his father. There was just so much he had left. Yes, this is probably the Swanfire fan in me coming out angrily but I wanted them to have a second chance. Even if it didn’t work. I know Adam and Eddie have said that he is dead-dead. But I pray that somehow that necklace can work some kind of magic to bring him back. I mean they’ve killed him off twice now technically. Isn’t that more than enough?

Emma and David bring the news of Neal’s death and Zelena’s true identity to Mary Margaret before going to impart the news to Hook and Belle. Out in the woods, Zelena gets control of Rumple and gloats that she’s got his brain so it doesn’t matter if they know who she is now. And then Emma has to tell her son for the second time that his father is dead. But we get to hear the conversation this time. She says that she came to Storybrooke to try and help him but she was too late. But he was a good man and a hero. Emma is devastated clearly but show vows to take down the person responsible. I really need someone to get medieval on Zelena’s green ass. Punish her for the pain she’s caused.

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