Port Mortem: Once Upon a Time EPs on Casting Pan, Emma's Focus, Neal's Fate, Mulan and More

Once Upon a Time Season 3 SpoilersABC’s Once Upon a Time dropped anchor in Neverland this Sunday night, and with the arrival of Emma, Hook et al in this lush realm ruled by Lost Boys came at least one big reveal plus many new questions.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Creators Preview Neverland Conflict, Charming Bonding, ‘Heat’ for Regina and More

For one, as unveiled in the Season 3 premiere’s final moments, the kindly lad who rescued Henry from a pack of Lost Boys is, in fact, Peter Pan himself – and in Henry he has found a prize greater than any: the heart of the truest believer.

Discussing their version of Pan, who is here envisioned as a ruthless OnceS3-panrascal, Once cocreator Eddy Kitsis told TVLine, “What we’re excited about is you’ve got a 15-year-old [character] who may actually be 200 years old, so he has that wisdom, but he’s also got the spunk of that kid who’s still going to taunt you in the locker room.

“[Pan] is a twisted little s—t,” Kitsis adds.

Meanwhile, the show’s creators consider themselves “very lucky” in casting Robbie Kay (of the international miniseries Pinocchio) in this pivotal role. “When you see him, especially in the second episode, you’re going to be like, ‘Uh, uh, ohhhhh,'” Kitsis promises. Adds cocreator Adam Horowitz: “Robbie has been able to hold his own, with everyone from Jennifer Morrison to Ginny Goodwin to Robert Carlyle – and that’s not easy.”

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Season 3: Captain Swan Feelings, ‘Demon’ Pan and 12 More Teases

At a separate press event for Once Season 3, Kitsis and Horowitz also weighed in on these burning questions born of the premiere:

DOES RUMPLESTILTSKIN HAVE DADDY ISSUES? | And how, as OnceS3-rumpleindicated when Lost Boy Felix whipped out a straw doll that obviously had great meaning to The Dark One, leaving him in tears. “We’ve hinted in the past that his father was a coward, and that his father’s name was something that haunted him,” Kitsis reminds. “This is a many who wants to break the cycle of his past and be a good father, but you know the quote: ‘I can resist everything but temptation.'” Episode 4, “Nasty Habits,” will explore this further.

IS EMMA EVEN THINKING ABOUT ROMANCE? | Captain Hook may be flirty and rather charming to some, but fresh off Neal’s “death” and with son Henry missing, Emma’s not looking for a Hook-up. Just yet. “Right now, Emma is focused on getting Henry,” says Kitsis. Besides, “She’s not someone who lets her walls down – her heart’s been broken too many times to be worried about ‘dating’ right now.”

UH-OH — IS ARIEL A MEAN MERMAID, TOO?! | Not to worry, OnceS3-mermaid“She’s going to be different from what you saw in the premiere,” Horowitz assures. Adds Kitsis, “The spirit of Ariel is somebody who wants to see the world and experience [new] things… and that is definitely similar to our Ariel” (played by JoAnna Garcia Swisher in Episode 6).

WITH PAN COMES RUFIO, RIGHT…? | Not so fast. Though one of this summer’s casting calls used that name from Robin Williams’ Hook movie, “I don’t think we can show him, because he’s the property of Columbia and Sony Pictures,” Kitsis explains. However, Tinker Bell will show up in Episode 3, while the Darling kids – first seen in Season 2’s “Second Star to the Right” – “are integral to the Peter Pan story, and we have not forgotten about them,” says Horowitz. “There is a tie into what we’re doing with them as well.”

IS ROBIN HOOD A KEEPER? | As previously reported, Sean Maguire will play the Prince of Thieves in multiple episodes – and not just during this 11-episode Neverland arc. “We’re definitely going to get a lot of him in the second half” of this season, says Kitsis.

WILL NEAL REVEAL TO MULAN WHAT HAPPENS IN HER BIG-SCREEN, ANIMATED ADVENTURE? | Even assuming he can eventually explain to her what a “movie” is, there will be no opportunity for him to “spoil” his Fairytale Land cohort’s destiny. “She’s just going to have to wait,” says Kitsis, “and maybe one day get the DVD.”

WILL NEAL FIND A WAY TO RETURN TO EMMA? | “Come hell or high water” – and presumably with the help of Robin Hood, Mulan et al – “Neal is going to get back to Neverland,” Kitsis attests. But first, Horowitz warns, “There’s a bit more of a wrinkle to their story that we’ll delve into in Episode 3.”OnceS3-birth

WE’VE SEEN HENRY BORN. NOW WHAT ABOUT HIS ADOPTION? | Echoing that which TVLine previously scooped, Kitsis says, “If I were betting, it would be around Episode 9″ that we see Regina being gifted with a son, via flashback.

WHEN WILL WE RETURN TO STORYBROOKE? | Meaning we the audience, not the characters navigating Neverland. “It’s going to be a little while,” Horowitz shares — though that won’t preclude an appearance by Belle beforehand.

Want more scoop on Once Upon a Time, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line. (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)


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133 Comments
  1. Jeff says:

    Best premiere of the entire season thus far! I even enjoyed Mulan & Company’s return. Can’t wait for next week!

    • Jovi says:

      It has never been more apparent [to me] how dreadfully miscast Michael Raymond James is as Neal. They shouldn’t have wasted Warren Christie as the bail jumper in the pilot. Better diction and Jared Gilmore [Henry] looks like him.

      • Joey says:

        See the funny thing is, I don’t think they could have cast Neal any better.

        • Jovi says:

          You’re kidding. it’s like he just dropped in from the Sopranos. Most of the cast have excellent elocution. The only one who comes close to that “street” diction is Leroy/Grumpy.

          • Abby says:

            Neal’s been living “on the street” for what, 150 years? I’d say that’s reason enough for ‘street diction’ as you call it.

        • Lauren says:

          Agree 100%. He’s not supposed to fit in with all the other polished pretty boys. So bizarre no one gets this yet. Or, “certain people” don’t get it.

          • Jovi says:

            Young Baelfire has perfect diction, he went to England after FT, then to Neverland where Hook etc. also speak well. I’ve seen nothing to suggest he spent any time in Detroit!

          • Abby says:

            Jovi, he was living on the run/on the streets for at least the last 10 years, though probably more and you know it, too ;)

          • lyn says:

            My husband is from Wales. He’s been here for more than 20 years and he still sounds British. Cary Grant lived here most of his life, he never lost his accent. No one who lived through adolescence with proper speech is going to sound like big city, lower middle class ever. JMO

          • GeekGirl13 says:

            Quoting Lyn: “No one who lived through adolescence with proper speech is going to sound like big city, lower middle class ever. JMO”

            I think that’s true with the exception of someone who specifically wanted to distance himself from everything he was growing up. I can see Neal adopting a persona and living it until it became real for him. At least that’s my take. I for one love MRJ as Neal.

          • courts says:

            Polished pretty boys how? The other characters are a violent psychopath, a pirate and a farmboy.

        • Erin says:

          Agreed. I love Neal.

      • abz says:

        I’m not crazy about him either. I know he’s supposed to be a little different than the other characters and not be all fancy and magical, but there’s just something about the way MRJ is playing the character that I just don’t like. It comes across as very lazy acting. Sometimes I look at his scenes and he just seems like he just doesn’t want to be there. With the other characters, it feels like the actors are really embodying the characters and have a real passion and commitment to them. With Neal, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see any of that.
        And to add to all that, the fact they’re trying to turn this Emma/Neal thing into some “I will always find you”, Snow/Charming-like crap is just bizarre and annoying. Anyway, still trying to stay mostly positive since I still enjoy the show very much and it looks like it’s gearing up to be a good season. Hopefully, the Neal character will at least improve somewhat.

        • Tenney says:

          I don’t really care for the actor who portrays Neal as well. I don’t think his acting is lazy, but he does comes across as very low energy; almost half asleep most of the time. But I understand what you’re saying when you say his acting is lazy. I find Charming completely boring yet the actor who plays him is 100% in as Charming all the time. I don’t get that with the man who plays Neal. Also, I don’t think it’s about being a polished pretty boy at all, Rumple is not a polished pretty boy at all and yet he brings his character and storyline to life. Besides, I just don’t see the chemistry at all between Emma and Neal.

          • Joey says:

            I think that’s just how they’re attempting to portray each character’s personality, in which case I assume your problem would lie with the directors/writers rather than with the actor.

          • Amie says:

            I agree, Tenney. I’m sure the actor would be fine somewhere else, but he just doesn’t seem compelling or engaging enough to be this deathless love object for Emma (or Henry’s father, for that matter). He seems like The Wrong Man instead of Mr. Right, and I would totally have believed him as the regular guy/schlub who came to town to stop magic (Ethan Embry’s role) instead of Baelfire/Neal. I’ve been disappointed in the casting from the beginning, and this Michael Raymond James isn’t doing much to change my mind. I need some THERE there. Some fire. Some intelligence. Some charm.

          • jag says:

            I agree completely with the subject. In my own take I have this idea why it’s so painful to watch Neal act or in my “cases bored to death.” Most of the characters have a familiar background with deep roots as to their personality and values. As to Neal, he is a fictional character in the fairytale-vers, which create a hole as to what will be his take or personality on the entirety of the story. I also was not happy that Baelfire boy which was portrayed by an almost perfect face actor will develop into a rough street guy.with all the physical features erode by what? – adolescence? But i commend the flashback of Emma and Neal which clearly explains whats the love history between the two which is a very contrast to Snow/Charming. What I can’t understand is that I can’t feel the burning after effect of the separation between Emma and Neal. I’m not rooting for their reunion or happy ending. I feel Neal doesn’t deserve Emma in a way that the portrayal of Neal doesn’t reciprocate with what the story needed. See Neal’s face when he was thrown unto Enchanted Forest? I feel he does feel verbally but emotionally? There’s nothing there. I hope they will make sense on the blandness of Neal like putting him on a spell that forbade him to show extra emotion… or he was not Bealfire at all but a trick of Pan to make Rumplestilskin suffer.

        • Cass says:

          This show can’t win with Neal. Last season it was “He didn’t fight for Emma!” Now it’s “How bizarre and annoying that he’s going to fight for Emma!”

      • courts says:

        Agreed. He’s absolutely horrible.

  2. luli says:

    Ok can I just say that was a helll of an episode!! I enjoyed it so much and it is such an improvement from season 2! Also I think they did a great job with the casting of Pan. And Emma being more fiercely than ever! I was kind of shocked with everything that was happening at the jolly roger, and it was hilarious!

  3. Kat says:

    awesome episode! i’m still laughing about “rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers”

  4. Mike R. says:

    The effects are still horrid, but things are looking up after the so-so second half of season 2. I loved the premiere.

    • Lucy says:

      Thank you! You’d think with OUAT being one of ABC’s cashcows they’d put a bit more money behind the CGI, but it only seems worse. The green fairy dust glow was straight out of a 70s scifi film!

  5. Karen Rice says:

    I tried to stay up with the plot last year and gave up. The creators of this series have tried to put all of the storybook characters in a 1 hour show and I finally couldn’t keep them straight. I’m not watching this year.

    • swanfire says:

      Then why are you here? This is a page about whats coming up in season 3 for those who watched the premiere. If you have an opinion about the episode good, or bad fine. But if you just came here to let everyone know you quit then I mean, no offense but no one really cares.

      • Butters says:

        I second

      • abz says:

        Thank you for this. I mean, really, what is wrong with some people? You stopped watching the show, fine. That’s your choice and no one’s forcing you. This post is about the premiere and primarily for those interested in the episode and what’s to come this season, so comments like that are really unnecessary.

      • r0ckmypants says:

        Because this is a place for comments, and Karen had a comment to make.

        If you don’t care, why did you bother responding?

    • Mika02 says:

      They gave a nice one hour recap for those who lost the plot of last season before the season opener. If you weren’t interested in either episodes it is kind of pointless for you to be here. GL though.

  6. Nick says:

    Really? I thought it was terrible

    • kavyn says:

      I’m really surprised to see how many people liked it. Every single scene bothered me except maybe the end.

      (a) Henry, Tamara and the dude’s name I cbf to remember were all equally horrible as actors.

      (b) The entire boat-scene was just cringe-worthy bad (“we’re in the middle of a huge storm that’s very likely going to kill us, so let’s get into fist fight – Oh, did Emma just drown herself?” – wtf!).

      (c) The interactions in FTL with Neil & co seemed so… forced? I mean, the scenario itself seemed really strange. The “you have a really good movie” line made me laugh though.

      (d) The scene with The Lost Boys & Tamara/the guy was also very forced… Seemed like the writers killed off two characters as fan service which basically solidified them as completely useless in the last season. Tamara IMO had potential. Unrelated but I had the same issue with Dexter writers killing off Laguerta – they could have used the hate fans have for these characters to their advantage but take the sloppy but easy way out.

      The only parts I appreciated were Rumple & The Lost Boys, Regina’s attitude/control and Peter Pan (the actor seems like a really good fit so far). But the episode itself was just so bad. That actor portraying Henry needs some major acting lessons because I just can’t tolerate his character at all.

      • abz says:

        In response to b), Emma realized that their fighting was what was causing the storm. (remember how the Mermaid said they’d kill themselves) and that’s why she dove into the ocean to get their attention. Also, I don’t think she drowned herself. She was knocked unconscious by that thing that hit her head from the ship. And what exactly would you expect to happen when you put six people together that hate each other. Storms won’t stop the bad blood between them from causing a brawl and like A&E alluded in the pre-premiere interviews, these people all think that they know what’s best and that they are leaders so that there tells you that things won’t always be smooth sailing. There’s too much history between the Charmings and Regina that fighting no matter what the situation is bound to happen and I actually welcome it because it was very entertaining to me. I don’t want to just watch them all getting along right away. Conflict is to be expected.
        Also for d), I don’t think they did it as fan service. Tamara and Greg never seemed like legitimate villains really. They were for a small bit of time in the end of last season, but they ultimately served their purpose by getting Henry to Neverland. We always knew that they were part of something much bigger as evidenced by all the Home Office talk. They were merely pawns in Pan’s plan. That’s pretty much it I think. Plus, I don’t know about you, but the second she encountered Rumple, I knew she was a goner; He wasn’t going to let her get away with killing his son (whom he thinks is dead).

    • r0ckmypants says:

      Agreed.

      Horribly written and acted and UGLY. Seriously, the digital effects were so obvious and cartoonish that they were laughable.

  7. tinkerbell says:

    I don’t get it: why set up “Big Bads” like Greg and Tamara if you’re only going to kill them off in the first 5 minutes?

    • Mike R. says:

      Because everyone hated them.

    • Louise says:

      I don’t think Greg and Tamara were ever meant to be big bad. Not in the same way Cora would be considered a big bad and even she was killed off her relatively quickly last season.

    • nightoverlondon says:

      They served their purpose, which was ultimately to get Henry to Neverland. As Rumple said, they were the pawns. Taking Henry out of Storybrook was a “big bad” thing to do, but they didn’t plan it. They did touch on the fact some people truly hate magic, but in a magic-filled land, where would their story go?

    • Adam says:

      Because the writers are morons. That’s pretty much all the answer you need.

    • Evan says:

      Well you kill Tamara because the actress is a regular on Walking Dead. As for Ethan Embry’s character, yeah that was surprising.

    • Nichole says:

      As far as Tamara goes, aside from the fact that everyone hates her (and not in that love to hate kind of way), she adds nothing to the show. She was there to serve a purpose, did that, it only makes sense to kill her off.

      Now with Greg, are we sure that having your shadow ripped from you = death? Could be similar to Philip having his soul taken, meaning there is a way to bring him back, at least long enough to wrap up the story with his father.

    • courts says:

      So that they can be 3/3 for black characters murdered

    • Cass says:

      Clearing the decks of last year’s dreck? I don’t get it either. I was equally thrilled and ticked off when Tamara bought it. But man do I resent that she existed. The whole August ep was wasted on her, Emma was hurt by her, and she dies before we ever find out what her deal was? I’m not sure Greg is actually dead; it’s implied you can live without your shadow.

    • Kacie says:

      Because they were pawns. Rumple said they were pawns. Pawns don’t last very long. They play a role and then they are done.

  8. Katt says:

    This episode was so MESSY! Not sure if I will keep season 3 on the dvr…

  9. Cherry says:

    Loved it!

  10. Ian says:

    The effects are are fine in comparison to how hammy some of the dialogue and acting come off. I can’t stand Henry, nor Felix and Ginny’s performance is really panto and jarring a lot of the time.

    Still though, I’m intrigued where a lot is going. I’m actually really doubting much ‘Captain Swan’ happening – after how Emma and Neal had to say goodbye last season, and with him clearly devoted and bent on getting to her, and with Emma in love with him too and no time having passed and having other priorities, I can’t see much developing between her and Hook unless he prays on her in a moment of weakness. I hope people won’t be devastated those 2 aren’t meant for some epic romance/triangle situation.

    Last thing, the most heartbreaking thing in tonight’s episode was Tamara’s death. Powerfully acted and you had to feel for her.

    • Sheila says:

      Tamara’s death filled me with glee! Good riddance, you rotten broad!

    • B says:

      I love the witty banter and shameless flirting between emma and hook. I try not to get my hopes up but I noticed most of the episode emma and hook were side by side. During the storm she was helping them sail. And he came to check on her after rumple left. Then at the end he said he fancied her. I like them way better then the neal emma pairing

  11. James D says:

    very good premiere the story arcs that were set up seem intriguing, but i fear it might get boring after a couple of episodes, how long will it take to find Henry? I continue to adore Robert Carlyle and Rumple. can’t wait to see what they have in store for Peter Pan, Robbie Kay was very good.

  12. Louise says:

    Nice one! I’m digging the actor they got for Peter Pan. I sort of expected him to be Pan early on, but it didn’t matter – the scenes between him and Jared Gilmore were great either way and when Pan revealed himself to Henry it was still a pretty awesome moment. And I loved the scene with the two of them flying off that cliff.
    All the snark aboard the Jolly Roger was fun. Although Regina took the crown with her snarky onelines. Too many good ones to quote.
    Seeing Aurora, Phillip and Mulan again was great. Aurora looked absolutely stunning and I wish she and Phillip could have accompanied Mulan and Neal to the castle. Although I guess they have a kingdom to run.
    The new Robin Hood? Love at first sight. Love the accent, love that he too knows how to bring the snark. Only thing I don’t understand is why they made him say that he owes his life to Rumple. I’d argue that he owes a little more to Belle since she freed him and Rumple totally would have killed Robin or Marian or both if she hadn’t pleaded with him to spare them.

    • B says:

      B/C last season he had the shot and could have killed him. But he chose to spare him b/c he was with his true love and she was pregnant. He didn’t want to leave the child w/o a father. Belle convinced him but he still chose to are him.

  13. Bender says:

    I’m surprised no one mentioned 815. Henry was born at that time. Oceanic flight 815 and all

  14. Wrstlgirl says:

    IDK, I loved the Peter Pan twist but I figured it out almost instantly so no big surprise there. The constant bickering between Emma and, well, basically everyone is tiring and loses my interest immediately. The writing is just all over the place and I only continued to watch last season out of habit.

    • Katherine215 says:

      The constant bickering is SO annoying. I just want to slap them all upside the head and tell them to shut up. Is no one adult enough to have a conversation? I’m pretty sure I’m alone in this, but Emma’s holier than thou attitude also gets on my nerves.

  15. Elyse says:

    awesome premiere! I really enjoyed it! the actor who plays Peter Pan is fantastic :) can’t wait for more!

  16. jesslulu says:

    i am surprised by all the love here! i thought it was awful!!

  17. Jovi says:

    Watching this show was like playing pinball, or like I skipped my Ritalin. Too “Meanwhile back at the ranch” Very choppy, jumping from world to world.

  18. Mike says:

    Agree with other that it was a bit messy, but I enjoyed all the segments that weren’t on the boat exponentially more, so hopefully now that the boat is out of the picture, next weeks episode will be better. I still think this season is looking better than S2.

  19. Babybop says:

    I think this season is going to take some time for me before I start really enjoying it (it was the same way with LOST, coincidentally. Ha ha). Last season just made me hate all the characters.

    Though Rumple saying “No”, and ripping out her heart made me love him again. Does tha make me sound sadistic? Ha ha.

  20. Patti says:

    Good premiere. I like exploring Emma with her parents and them becoming a family and how the show addressed the same age issue. I love the enchanted forest. Neal was awesome tonight. I am excited for him to reunite with his family and also establish a present day interaction with Hook. I am very intrigued by Neal and Hook. I could be a fan of Captain Fire friendship. Also I liked Hook and Regina’s kindred spirit/villain happy ending moment.

  21. liz says:

    Stellar, ridiculously awesome premiere! I was entertained the entire way through. Great set up for what I’m sure is going to be a great season. And I hope they keep Robin Hood – he was devilishly charming.

  22. Dominique says:

    episode started off a bit slow, didn’t really pick up until half way through. Enjoyed it nonetheless. I think pretty much everyone saw the Pan twist coming, but Robbie Kay did a very good job. I also really like Felix, they’re both so perfectly evil. Loved seeing Mulan again, she really was the only one grabbing my attention during last year’s run.
    We know Tamra is dead, but what about Greg? His shadow got ripped out, but does that automatically you’re done? Such quick ways to go.

  23. ann says:

    ONCE UPON A TIME is not like any other television show out there. The show actually has a plot that was thought out past the first season; it has so much depth to it. The reason why Regina and Snow have a the relationship they have, isn’t because Snow told Regina’s secret, its so much more. There’s love and regret, jealousy, hatred, forgiveness, redemption and the hopeful search for happiness. Yes the show is based on fairytales, but whoever has watched ONCE UPON A TIME, must to some degree admit that it is realistic. No dragons, fairies and curses are not real; but hate, sacrifice, greed, temptations, the lust for redemption and forgiveness, love eternal, hope, fear in one self’s failure, search for happiness, lies, hunger for revenge, want for justice, and the ability to do the impossible for ones child are real. The idea that someone would want to cause pain to another person because of grief over a loved one passing, is so much more realistic than having someone being prettier then you. How could you live such a life as one of these fairytale characters and not hear about the man who jumps worlds through a hat, or the cinder girl becoming a princess; and lets not forget to mention all the impactful “deals” Rumpelstiltskin makes? The fact that the writers of the ONCE UPON A TIME made characters’ lives and stories intertwine together is genius. All of that being said, if you have not watched or have stopped watching ONCE UPON A TIME, think again. Not in a rude way, but you’ll miss out on something worth while.

    • Ram510 says:

      Nice! I agree with you ONCE UPON A TIME is a show like now other and the characters are quite relatable at times. And then add I’m the fact people like Lana give excellent performances and you can’t help but love this series. Your post was great and someone over at ABC needs to give you a job.
      I’m confused by all the people combining that the show jumped around too much?! This show had always jumped from world to world since day 1, now in season 3 people are complaining?!

      • Jovi says:

        It’s the abrupt jump to the next world during a key sequence that makes it feel choppy. The constant reset of your concentration detracts from the enjoyment. This is not a video game and not all viewers are adrenaline junkies. There are emotions involved that need to be processed.

    • Adam says:

      No. This show wasn’t planned past season one at minimum. And you can tell. With all the ridiculous retcons and nonsensical character “developments” there’s really no question about it. Hell, sometimes I think they didn’t even fully plan past the pilot.

    • Name That Tune says:

      You are so right. I loved this episode! Man, I am so happy to finally get a new season. We’re in for a great season.

  24. liz says:

    and I LOVE the evil Peter Pan twist. Its really original and refreshing. Hope they don’t change their mind and make him ‘good’.

  25. Sunshine says:

    I agree with a previous poster about wishing they had saved Warren Christie for the role if Neal/Baelfire instead of wasting him on that small part of bail jumper Season 1. He’s more of a match to Henry and Milah…even Rumple.
    Oh well.
    Good season premiere. Love Hook, especially his sarcastic and snarky comments. :)

    • Jovi says:

      I don’t know if you watched Castle tonight, but Warren Christie was a guest star and the resemblance between him and Jared Gilmore [Henry] is astonishing.

  26. Katie says:

    I thought this episode was perfect, and the preview looked amazing.

  27. Kelly says:

    Neal and the enchanted forest were my favorite parts of the episode.

  28. Maryann says:

    I really enjoyed the season premiere. This show just keeps getting better and better. I do have a couple of minor quibbles though.

    -I was really disappointed that the kidnappers were killed off so abruptly. It was jarring. I think it would have made for much better storytelling if they had been kept in the mix a bit longer. It almost felt like a cop out when everything they believed turned out to be a lie, and it was revealed so abruptly, and then they were summarily killed.

    -I was very disappointed by the casting for Robin Hood, especially since this is planned to be a recurring part. Sorry, he just doesn’t cut it at all for me. And it’s not because I liked the earlier actor in the part — because I didn’t.

    • liz says:

      The actor playing Robin Hood goes for a very specific version of Robin; not the Disney fairytale version, but a sorta Errol Flynn-meets-some-darkness vibe. I really liked it. We only got a bit of him, but I loved the accent, his appearance of casualness but there’s clearly some ferocity there. He can’t be all sunshine and righteousness, this version, and I’m looking forward to that.

  29. Patti says:

    I really love all the characters. I really love Michael Raymond James as Neal/Baelfire. He is a wonderful actor with great chemistry with Jennifer M and Robert C. He is also awesome with Henry. I look forward to Hook and Neal scenes as I like both actors and them at comic con was a great duo.

  30. Jess says:

    The FTL parts with Neal were my favorite part.

  31. AnonymousMe says:

    A solid premiere episode. Not the best episode they’ve ever done, but it’s a good start to the season.The story jumping from the main 6 characters on Jolly Roger, to Henry and Peter, to then Mulan and Neal was excessive. I could’ve done with far less Henry running around with Peter Pan (less is more when it comes to Henry), and they’ve could’ve dumped the Neal storyline entirely – don’t care about Neal’s character one iota; he needs to go away.

    Trimming and excising the Henry and Neal storylines I think would’ve let everything that was happening amongst the characters on the Jolly Roger breathe more and made for a smoother and more enjoyable episode.

    But at least their making an effort to focus on the main six characters particularly the relationship between Snow, Emma, and Charming. I hope that focus continues.

    • lyn says:

      Yes and no. Henry is at the core of the entire story and makes all of the other central characters “family”. So, jettisoning his storyline is impossible. Neal, on the other hand brings little to the table. I like MRJ, but not as Neal. He’s the one jarring note in an otherwise exemplary cast. As for the boomerang style directing, it was jarring and not in a good way. I’m not sure that Greg is dead. As for Tamara, somewhere along the way I lost why she was on this quest to begin with. Or did they never explain her motivation?

  32. abz says:

    I thought it was a great premiere. I really enjoyed it and I don’t think I’ve laughed more in a Once episode than this one. Regina killed me. One thing I wish they did was to have completely devoted the premeire to Neverland. The jumping back and forth between worlds was really unnecessary. I feel like all the Neal stuff could have waited till the next episode. It really messed with the flow a bit, but nevertheless, solid start to the season!
    Also, I just want to see if anyone else thought it was odd that In the one hour special before the premiere, Eddy and Adam said that Hook lost the love of his life “who he stole from Rumplestiltskin” –> Umm correct me if I’m wrong, but Hook technically didn’t steal anyone. Mila left Rumple and abandoned Bae. Wasn’t she the one who chose to be with Hook?

    • Jovi says:

      The courts would call it alienation of affection. He knew Milah was a wife and mother. He accepted her abandoning her child to be with him which certainly speaks volumes about adjustable ethics on both their parts.

    • courts says:

      No because women are objects to be traded and stolen by men, they never get to make their own choices.

    • Jill Davis says:

      well, Hook didn’t exactly play marriage counselor. Also, I have a feeling that Pan is using Henry as bait to lure Rumpelstiltskin. He is keeping him safe. Pan is a very mischievous character by history in lore, so it would stand to reason that his sly ways are at work here too.

  33. abz says:

    I think the best line of the episode that had me laughing so hard —-> “Fillet the bitch” AHAHAHA.

  34. Kerry says:

    A really enjoyable opener! I will say, as others have, that the Neal story should have been shelved until episode 2 or 3. The Neverland stuff had a good flow going, but the FTL scenes felt like abrupt stops. However, it was nice to see Aurora, Mulan, and Phillip again. My biggest gripe is probably Greg and Tamara’s anticlimactic end, but the rest of the Neverland scenes made up for it (the interplay between everyone on the boat was great!). Overall, this gives me a lot of hope for the season!

  35. Pat says:

    Well, I have to say that I really enjoyed this season premier. I thought it was pretty well action packed and kept my interest up. As for Peter Pan, well they were not kidding when they said that he is not your good doer Peter Pan from how we knew him nor the peanut butter-Peter Pan character that we see on jars. If anything, that last scene of him and those creepy boys surrounding Henry reminded me more of ” LORD OF THE FLIES”.

  36. cocoa says:

    What happened to the mermaid?

  37. greysfan says:

    THAT WAS AWESOME! Once is an amazing show and fell a little flat in season 2 but season 3 is back with a bang. Can’t wait till next week. Whats going to happen to Henry? Pan is a little s**t.

  38. PepperJo says:

    Loved the season premiere! And just love this show. The only character—really it’s the actor—that I don’t really like is the actor who plays Neal (I’m with most others on this one). I don’t see the chemistry between him and Emma, and I don’t get why she’d be so in love with this guy. He just lacks…something. But other than that, great start to a new season!

    • Jovi says:

      ITA. He’s a Wankel engine. No pistons, no fire. And others have commented that he’s been “on the streets” for 150 years. No, he was in Neverland for most of it, where no one ages. Otherwise he’d be nursing home material. So, he would not speak like a street tough, and even if he did to hide his origins, the adopted street persona would disappear when he was under stress. His good diction would return.

  39. Lynn says:

    I really enjoyed the episode, I thought that the opening was outstanding (although as an aside if they ever wanted me to want Neal with Emma they probably shouldn’t have shown me an 18 year old Emma handcuffed at the foot to a hospital bed giving birth alone…that was harsh) I had a couple continuity issues (pretty sure Emma was at the boom behind Hook when then went into the portal) but I loved the set-up for the season, I thought the dynamic on the ship was fantastic and look forward to seeing how they’ll work together or apart…Pan’s reveal was great (and creepy)..I think the show is on track for a stellar season..

  40. Catherine says:

    I really liked the premiere. It seemed way more enjoyable to me than most of the second season. I do hope they plan to explain what happened to Maid Marian and their baby. Why is Robin all alone?? Robbie Kay is great as Pan and all of the performances were fantastic. My husband shook his head when Rumple killed Tamara thinking it was awful, but I loved it! :D It’s very much in Rumple’s nature to do that, so it’s what I was expecting. He’s done far worse, and this woman “killed” his son. I do think Michael Raymond-James was cast in that part for a reason.There is still much about NealFire we don’t know; he’s hundreds of years old and has had a really hard life. And IMO he has great chemistry with Jennifer Morrison.

    TBH, part of the reason I enjoyed the premiere, though, is probably because I really lowered my expectations of this show after Season 2. When you don’t expect much, it’s hard to be disappointed.

  41. michelle says:

    I liked it, but they were on the ship too long. I like neal and mulan. talking about her movie. I also think when they were talking about love she was thinking prince philip too. It was weird have neal in fairyland. Unless it was annonced where the dark one lived. he left way before he moved into that castle. We probally can have show all about Neal’s 28 year adventures. It was funny how blindly greg and tamara were nr.i.p. check the batteries before your leap. I called peter pan in that boy, i guess he was not lying about not working for Peter pan since he was him. I like the flying part. I wonder if this true beliver would be to take over for peter pan and make henry a new peter pan. Hook and emma scenes were funny. They should do hook and regina though. Arora don;t they have to be sleeping at the same time? Looks like an exciting season.

    • AL says:

      It’s possible Neal learned about the castle from reading Henry’s book…I wondered that myself. I suspect they’re going to do Regina with Hood…especially since the above says he’ll be seen a lot in the second half of the season…I mean if his arc was just to help Neal we wouldn’t need to see a lot of him..

  42. Joanna Boese says:

    Here’s something I don’t know if anyone else has noticed…

    If they had watched “Mulan”, they would’ve noticed one key point. Aside from the spirits of her ancestors and the dragon, she’s from a place where magic isn’t commonplace…OUR WORLD.

    I do not believe at all she is fictional as there’s been a lot of debate over her existence. But I do believe she is why the Dragon had been in our China. You don’t suppose she doesn’t remember going through a portal because of HIM, do you? I hope they will address this because it’s bothering me that they don’t think their audience will look into these things.

    • Jovi says:

      Dragons and such are prevalent in Chinese folklore. Mulan would be similar to Robin Hood, no magic there. As long as it’s a story told to children, it fits. In the candle selling episode in season one, they showed Jack Spratt and his wife. That’s Mother Goose, no magic.

  43. DS says:

    I really really wanted to like this come back. I was so excited for so many things, and there were a lot of fun things- snarky lines, a new take on Peter Pan that’s exciting. But ultimately I really feel like the message that’s being sent, on what is good, hero, family (adoption)…just so depressing- pretends to have dimenions, but really, in the end, flat, same old black/white hope you’re in the lines. Emma, regardless of Regina raising Henry, continues with the my son, I’m a mother, etc. (vs. what, both Snow and Regina, and you also go there with the “villain” bit in your, lets work together speach, instead of you know dismiss her skills as sorcerous, which so it’s okay for her to use magic now without a substance abuse, evil backlash? Check, just don’t tell Henry- oh yeah, he’s using magic now so it has to be okay).
    Just, ag, I get the opener, feeling for Emma, having to give up her son because she couldn’t be a mother, and regretting that and now dealing with some serious fall out, losing him again, but then it goes too far, she isn’t the only one who has lost him. The whole take Henry and never broken the curse, getting her son back for her clearly, and this is supposed to be our savior? The good person? It would be one thing if called out, really played as character flaw, but the more it’s just accepted, unchallenged and she wins regardless, comes across as right, what the show wants to support. Rumple’s calling her out on belief was interesting, for two seconds until she just so easily pushed aside (also is anyone going to tell her that dragon was a person, oh wait, their evil even though never did anything to her so doesn’t matter). I’m just losing all hope of this really challenging old troupes and having dimensions beyond black and white, it toys without, seems to promise it, then in the end…I don’t feel that balance showing at all. I fear that won’t really be deep dives into hero, why when it’s fated. Also, why does the savior to break the curse of SB have to mean anything everywhere else. It’s admittedly a loaded term and issue, but instead of tackling that in any surprising way, just shoved down regardless of worth. Only the chosen has meaning in the end, everyone else better just shut up and follow, if you don’t fit in the box or aren’t blood, congratulations your worthless- you can try, but it won’t matter for more than a second.

    • Librarian Mayor Queen Belle says:

      I think you’re missing several points about Emma. She sees her son with a woman who has tried to kill her and her family MULTIPLE TIMES, including when Emma herself was only minutes old. Regina is also the woman who DID kill Henry, though it was by accident. But if you point a gun at someone and accidentally kill someone else, it’s still murder. So here is Emma, trying to do right by her son because the alternative is the woman who cursed everyone for 28 years and keeps trying to kill her family until just now. If you ask me, Emma has been more than fair. It’s not about blood, it’s about Regina’s actions. And Emma DID take Rumple’s words to heart because she’s the one who figured out that they were causing the storm, and even though she had no proof she took a literally leap of faith off the deck of the Jolly Roger.

      • DS says:

        If Emma talked about any of that…like ever, it would be easier to see. She hasn’t been given the depth there, we can assume maybe this or that internally, but so far she bounces around on who to blame, she sort of will say she’s messed up too, but not to any dimension- continually returning to calling other people out for the same falws she displays, over and over (actually so does Henry, the constant liar- for a good cause-, who hates everyone else who lies regardless of their cause). Her taking Rumple’s bit to heart was just so…false?- like instant switch for plot. Flat. And her conflict resolution method, not all that great, that’s leadership?
        Then they use the mother card whenver it suits them to make Regina do something. Emma more so than anyone has seen her out of the context, and that Henry still loves her (you know out side of the plotty, bouncey times they need to make him one dimensional too). Even with justification for Henry to not be with Regina (and that Regina made a choice to let that happen for him is important to note, that Emma has never paid attention to) Emma’s way hasn’t been right from s1, she gave up her rights so being “more than fair” falls flat… because it’s the Evil Queen her errors are whitewashed away, not confronted.
        I get they’re trying to show her emotions over that, and that regrets it, but it’s one thing for Emma to be flawed, or whatever you want to call it, but another for no one else to ever really calls her on it meaningfully (Gold’s the first, and not about Henry), just letting it stand sets a tone that is different than if more sides were all coming through. She’s also seen that Henry still loves Regina (though he’s been plotty/bouncy too) and has been told things that should make her ask a lot of questions- Maleficent, Daniel, Cora v Rumple situation just goes with Gold etc., but she doesn’t, ever, she goes along with her parents, but they’re the only blame in that? We’re suppose to want that as hero? It’s the overall tone they take around her as a theme/issue that bites. If it was more in balance, be completely different.

  44. Kate says:

    I really enjoyed last night!! I liked the quips from Regina, and Rumple was spectacularly well-layered. Enjoyed the Hook and Emma moments (they definitely seem to be gearing up to ‘go there’). LOVED the fist fights!

  45. Jebah says:

    I didn’t like the season’s premiere. It looked like a low budged/filler episode to me. Too dark, cheap cgi, terrible plot holes, characters dissapearing. I started watching and half way through it the TV was background noise while I was cleaning around the room. I didn’t find it interesting at all.

  46. rk535 says:

    I loved it! so great that this is back and in full swing. Loved the fights. I am going to be excited to see how romance plays on Neverland.

  47. Mikael says:

    I thought it was a great episode. I’m loving Peter Pan. I don’t have any issue with Neal. The fact that he doesn’t look anything like young Baelfire doesn’t bother me; they had cast the younger version first and then they cast someone they wanted for the part not based on looks. I really like MRJ. I didn’t think they killed off Tamara/Greg too quickly, as I think they were the worst part of season 2. I see it as them quickly wrapping up the mess they’d made. But I still don’t get how they had no clue who they were working for. Oh well, at least that story is over.

  48. onlyakb says:

    best season premiere in ages!! loved!!

  49. courts says:

    Are you going to be doing this after the next episode too? I want to know why they retconned a bunch of S2 stuff in 3×02.

  50. Jayjay says:

    I am all for twisting the stories around and make the characters a little more realistic, but the writers have twisted so many characters that I think it’s bordering on ridiculous. What brought me to this show was the love of all of these fairy tales. But now they are twisting some of my favourite characters into things I could not bear to watch.

    Sorry ABC at about the end of Season 2 is when you started to lose me. And now you definitely have. Try to not be so fantastical and feel the need to insert every freaking character into your series. Sometimes, having their stories diverge and be separate is okay.

    Not every character has to have a hard-on for each other. And you don’t have to end every story so that it’s an actual horrible relationship rather than something real.

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