Hey guys, guess what! Our misfit band of rescuers is off the most boring and dreary island (Neverland) ever and heading back to Storybrook, and it looks like the creators of OUAT have set up the plot nicely for a very suspenseful reunion and second half of season three. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it turns out there may actually be no way to defeat Peter Pan, the meanest, oldest, preteen of all time.
Aside from getting us out of Neverland, this episode did explain the big mystery of how Regina came to adopt Henry. This was a huge mystery as many assumed no one could come in or out of Storybook. We learned that before the Evil Queen, Regina’s curse took everyone from the Enchanted Forest to Storybrook, Rumpelstiltskin tells Regina that even in the new land she’ll need him. That’s odd because how in the world will he remember this threat because everyone’s memory, except Regina’s will be wiped away. As our flashback progresses we find that even though Rumpel/Mr. Gold doesn’t remember his threat (or maybe he does, I can’t really tell, but in season one it was conveyed that Gold didn’t remember who he was until Emma spoke her name), it’s true, Regina does need him. We come to learn she’s lonely and wants to adopt. She goes to Mr. Gold who finds a baby from Phoenix who was supposed to be adopted by a couple in Boston but the adoption fell through, that’s where Regina steps in (Storybrook is in Maine). We learn that Regina’s maternal instincts just weren’t there, that or baby Henry knew she was evil.
Back in Neverland Regina, Emma, Snow, Charming, Hook and Neil fight to save Henry’s life now that Pan stole his heart (literally ripped it right out of him). Hook, Snow and Charming have been making sure that no Lost Boys go help Pan back at the camp, when Emma, Neil and Regina return from Skull Rock with the unconscious Henry, they persuade the Boys (and Wendy) to tell them where Pan is by telling the boys that they’ll take everyone home to Storybrook with them. So where does a demonic preteen hide on an island? Killer Cove? Hangman’s Noose (in reference to the animated Disney movie)? Nope, Pan went to hang out at his thinking tree (no joke, that’s what it’s called). There while it looks like Regina, Emma and Snow are trapped by vines that get tighter when you regret things, Regina regrets nothing so she breaks the vines and steals back Henry’s heart from Pan (just rips it right out of him, man that would be an awesome super power). They rush back to Hook’s ship the Jolly Roger to rejoin everyone and get away from Neverland using Pan’s shadow pushed into the sails of the ship to fly away.
Sadly, this isn’t where our happily ever after is. Just as you think it’s free and clear for our friend it’s not because apparently they forgot that Peter Pan can in fact fly and he does. Right on to the ship and Rumple is being released from Pandora’s Box. Pan tries to pull Henry’s shadow from him while Rumple and Regina open Pandora’s Box (which will in turn pull Pan into it) and some weird soul transfer happens between Pan and Henry. Their eyes flash to signify the transfer in complete and Henry (who’s really Pan) reveals himself to one of the Lost Boys just in case the audience didn’t understand that the eye flashing meant that they had switched places. What happens next week when they get to Storybrook? Will Pan reveal himself? We’ll have to wait and see!
Check out the preview for next week’s episode, The New Neverland