The second episode of the new season of Once Upon a Time (OUaT) is just as dark and quick paced as the first. The status of Henry is unknown, Rumple is being haunted by his past, and Emma and company are traveling through the treacherous Neverland jungle where even the plants will kill you. But have no worries, Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook) is still hot.
So, this week returns to the familiar time/switch format, flipping between the Enchanted Forest before the curse and the present in Neverland. And it achieves what it usually does: makes you forgive how sappy Snow is in the present since she’s a sword-swinging bad-ass in the past.
Even though the entire episode is spent searching for Henry, we don’t know what unsaid horrors are happening to him since we don’t see him. I imagine he’s being brainwashed to hate his parents, as that would seem to be Peter Pan’s M.O. What happens when the “truest believer” stops believing in you?
And that’s as far as I can go without spoilers, so if you haven’t watched yet… why are reading reviews if you don’t want to get spoiled? Go watch the episode, you fool!
In Neverland Peter Pan visits Emma in the night with a map to Henry that will only appear to her when she stops denying who she is, saying, “I may not be the most well behaved boy on the island, but I always keep my promises.” I have a feeling this bit of information about Pan is going to be important as the the season progresses. It turns out Emma has to admit that she’s an orphan and face that pain. But once she does, the map finally appears. Then, to keep his villain points high, he threatens to kill Emma’s parents. Ya know, just for good measure.
In the Enchanted Forest in the past, Charming helps Snow remember that she is the hero, protector and true ruler of the land and her people. He makes her believe that she has pulled Excalibur from a stone, and is therefore the rightful ruler of the land. And once empowered, she’s able to injure the queen. And Charming becomes a shoe-in to win the best husband EVAR award. Talk about supporting your lady.
In present Neverland, Charming is working toward the biggest bad-ass award. He gets wounded and poisoned with dream shade during the jungle battle. But is he going to worry the others by whining about his problems? No, because bad-asses don’t do that!
Regina’s idea of just using the map to lead them to Pan worked, but when they find him, an ambush is waiting for them. I think this is a sign that the journey is going to be a hard one for the Evil Queen, since she’s going to have to change up her methods and play by someone else’s rules.
Rumple, meanwhile, is a having a different kind of battle in the jungle. He’s trying to let go of his past- literally. After sending his shadow to hide his dagger (the only weapon that can kill him), he is mysteriously visited by Belle who tells him he needs to let go of the past so that he can move on. He drops the doll- the last thing his father ever gave him- off a cliff only to find it on the ground at his feet again. It begs the question: what/who’s magic is at play? And they didn’t explain exactly what Belle was. The actual her transported for that purpose? An apparition? A hallucination?
Bael- Neil- Bael- whatever- he’s not important in this episode. He’s not seen in this episode. If he’s smart, he’s been working on his magic skills. Because magic is the only way he’s going to be able to help his family.
I hope next week’s episode keeps the pace and tone and doesn’t fill an episode of character development, back story and no action, as OUaT is wont to do.
What do you think of the new season? Do you think it’s darker? Do you like the pacing? Do you think Henry will end up being the big bad? Let me know in the comments!