This was the “we-shall-talk-things-out-and-have-no-action-scenes” episode. Which, I mean, I guess is ok. It’s just that after such a strong start with the first two episodes, I was expecting more oomph.
This episode was all about Emma and company trying to get help from Tinkerbell, and Bael trying to get himself to Neverland. And even though there was lots of flying and magic, it felt like not much happened.
Despite having big events like Regina handing over her hardened black heart to Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell losing her magic, Henry being told he’s the chosen one, and Bael setting a trap for Pan’s shadow to hitch a ride to Neverland, the most engaging scenes were between Charming and Snow, and Mulan and Aurora.
After Charming learns from Hook that he only has a few more weeks- at best- to live, he talks to Snow but keeps his terrible secret. And Mulan goes to tell Aurora she loves her, only to find out Aurora is pregnant by Prince Phillip. They’re starting a family and it’s too late for she and Mulan to be together. Each of these scenes were short, but had a strong emotional punch.
The heart of the episode centers on Regina walking away from her second chance at happiness, and Tinkerbell risking- and losing- everything to give her that second chance. I felt like the Blue Fairy was a little harsh when she knew that Tinkerbell’s intentions were true. And although it was interesting to see how small and blackened the queen’s heart is, her handing it over and trusting Tinkerbell to set aside at least twenty years of brewing anger was- well, uncharacteristic to say the least. Regina always suspects a trick or a betrayal when dealing with the good guys. Why would she trust someone who’s life she ruined and has a very good reason to want to crush her heart without looking back. I understand that the scene was supposed to demonstrate both that Regina is truly trying to change and that Tinkerbell has a pure heart, but I don’t think it was executed well.
So, by the end of the episode, we find out that Peter Pan doesn’t only want Henry to strengthen magic in Neverland, he’s there to strengthen the magic in all realms. How he’s supposed to do this, or why a line drawing on an old scrap of paper should convince him Pan is telling the truth, we don’t know. Personally, if I were Henry, I’d figure that someone drew that picture of me since my arrival to the island. Viewers know better because we’ve seen that picture before, but there’s no reason Henry should be impressed by it.
It is also revealed that Robin Hood is the mystery man that was meant to be Regina’s second chance at happiness. And she supposedly ruined his life, but… I don’t know, he seems alright to me. He’s got that cool green outfit, he’s a bad-ass with a bow, he’s got a band of merry men, he’s got his kid with him. I mean, we don’t see a woman in the picture, but otherwise, he seems to be doing pretty good for himself. I mean, he’s actually kind of a lucky fellow. He’s the only one who’s ever gotten a pass from the Dark One.
Speaking of which, we have no idea what’s going on with Rumple, though we got to see a short flashback scene with him and Regina. Though what I found most perplexing in that scene was that Regina was seated at a banquet table filled with roasts and cakes- all alone. Are the writers subtly hinting at an eating disorder?
So what did you think of the episode? Is Tinkerbell going to get her magic back? Will Regina end up with Robin Hood? Will Henry end up having to sacrifice his family for the sake of magic? (Now, there would be a twist!) Let me know in the comments.