This season of Once Upon a Time already feels like it will truly be Emma's season. Last episode, she swan-dove (pun intended) off the side of the Jolly Roger to break up a fight then declared herself a Mother and the Leader of the little clan of mismatch heroes and villains. This week, creeper Peter Pan (who continues to be exceptionally freaky) set Emma a test: to find Henry you must recognize who you really are. And when you do that, your path to Henry will be made apparent. The trek through the jungle is not going well; it has been many years since Hook set foot on the island and things have changed a wee bit. As the Jolly Roger Five take refuge for the night, Emma is awoken by the crying of the Lost Boys. Interesting that no one else can hear the cries, something Pan remarks on. Is Emma's abandonment situation unique enough to warrant this special ability--or is Pan playing a trick on her? Can Pan control Neverland in this way? Hook was abandoned by his father too, or so he claims. Regina did not have a happy upbringing. Why can't they hear the cries? My only guess at this moment is that they all knew their families, however cruel it might have been. Emma, on the other hand, was less than a few hours old when Snow and Charming put her in the magical wardrobe. She never knew her parents or really any kindness at the hands of others until she 18 and met Nealfire. She was utterly alone her whole life--much like the orphans of Neverland. Emma has a connection to these kids, and it's something I expect to come up time and time again this season.
The first flashback on the new season felt very classic Once Upon A Time--Snow White and Prince Charming vs the Evil Queen. Having just awakened from her sleeping curse, Snow and Charming have pledged to take back the kingdom--but Regina would never make it that easy, now would she? Regina offers Snow White a deal: give up your claim to your father's throne and I'll let all of you live. If you refuse me, then it means war and I'll kill your subjects. We've seen many sides of Snow White--spoiled brat, dignified princess, bandit, and warrior. But this Snow is unsure of herself; all she knows is that she doesn't want to be alone. She'd rather take Charming and the dwarves and go live on a farm than have to fight for what is rightfully hers. Notice the parallels between Snow and Emma here--Snow doesn't want to be alone like she has been in the past; all Emma knows is being alone and suddenly the idea of having family around her only reinforces how alone she was for so long. But unlike Emma, Snow has a Knight in her corner. Charming devises a plan that allows Snow to remember who she is--the rightful Queen of the Enchanted Forest. The whole Camelot and Excalibar plot felt a little heavy handed to me, and I think it was pretty obvious that Charming was tricking his beloved, well intentioned of course but ONCE needs to remember that simplicity is better. Even bringing in the idea of Camelot is going to make it hard to not go there someday.
I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Rumple has a physical reminder of his father and both his father's and his cowardice--the doll. This week we learned that the doll is the last thing Rumple ever received from his father before his father left him (cue my heartstrings). When Rumple admits that he's a coward and just like his father, it is heart breaking but there is Belle, the only person who has ever seen the goodness in the Dark One reminding him that just because can make the selfish and wrong decision, doesn't mean he will. And so Rumple rejects the past, and throws the doll off a cliff into the water abyss.
--Raise your hand if you secretly thought that Emma would learn she was a succubus.
--This was a heavy CaptainSwan episode. I enjoyed their banter. It reminds me of myself and my best friend and we're about as sexual as a slug and a tree stump. It's pretty much exactly how we talk. And no, I'm not at all biased in this interpretation by my SwanFire goggles. (adjusts goggles)
However, I do admit that the conversation between Hook and Emma about how Hook is depicted in the Disney version of his story was hysterical. As was this little gem:
Hook : “Looks like we’ll be venturing into the Dark Jungle after all”
Emma (deadpan) “You mean the place you told us to never set foot?”
Hook: “That’s the one!”
Fine. They're cute together. *grumbles and retreats further into SwanFire land*
--Regina has the best outfits in the entire show.
--Rufio shout out! (But what is Hook's history with Neverland and Peter Pan?)
--"I can feel his smugness." Cue the Regina/Peter Pan shippers in 3...2...1...
--Oh no, Charming! I have no doubt that he'll be saved in the nick of time but look for a lot of White Knight angst as Charming struggles to hide his injury from his family.