This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the Storybrooke heroes wished upon a superstar fairy, while in Fairytale Land Neal realized that only The Shadow knows how to help fulfill his mission.
IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT WAS…. | Queen Regina laments her sad life, which Rumplestiltskin coldly reminds is to be her fate. (“The darkness likes how you taste!”) Frustrated, she lashes out at her parapet railing ’til it gives way and sends her tumbling — but she is saved from splat! by Tinker Bell. As the ladies bond over tea (or grog, who knows), Regina vents about being the “queen of nothing” and her farce of a marriage. Tink says that she could help her find new love, since pixie dust has never failed her. But after Tink literally points Regina at the lion-tattooed man (Robin Hood, we later discover) who could bring her joy, Regina panics and runs off. Having pinched pixie dust from the already irked Blue Fairy for naught, Tinker Bell has her wings clipped and her magic ripped, setting the stage for quite a lasting grudge.
IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT IS…. | Neal rummages around his dad’s place, looking for anything that might activate a portal to Neverland — “beans, magic mirrors, ruby slippers…” — then has a lightbulb moment upon being introduced to Robin Hood’s young son Roland. The lad later summons The Shadow by saying, “I believe,” at which point Neal grabs hold of the inky imp and hitches a ride to the other realm. The plan works, and Neal is dropped off in Neverland, at Felix’s feet: “Welcome back, Baelfire…. Pan will be so happy to see you!”
Before Neal left, as he fretted about being able to earn back Emma’s love, he shared this with Mulan: “When you love someone, you don’t keep it in. You say it.” Later, Mulan makes a beeline for Aurora (“There’s someone I need to talk to before it’s too late,” she tells Robin Hood), but before she can get out her profession, Aurora effuses that she and Philip are expecting a child. Mulan congratulates her gal pal but is privately crushed, shedding tears as she walks away to join Robin Hood’s band of merry men.
IN NEVERLAND…. | When Pan starts moving his camp, rendering Emma’s map semi-useless, and Regina’s offer of magic is rebuffed (“Have you even been listening?!”), Hook suggests they seek out an “inside source” on the island: Tinker Bell. Regina is bearish, and ultimately — after suggesting that she and Emma pool their magical skills — confides in her frenemy that she and Tink have a “complicated history” that might keep the fairy from helping. Turns out, Tink has been tailing Regina, and KO’s her with poppies and drags her to a cave. Sensing Tinker Bell’s new dark demeanor, Regina plucks out and offers up her own blackened heart. Eventually, Tink appreciates that to crush it into ash would be a point of no return. Tink, though magic-less, agrees to help Emma, Hook (“Lady Bell….”) et al infiltrate Pan’s lair, though they better have a good plan because they’ll only have one shot!
Elsewhere in Neverland: Pan forces Henry to make like William Tell and shoot a poisoned arrow at an apple atop Felix’s head, but Henry gets smart and turns his bow on Pan (though to little effect). Pan later shows Henry the drawing of the Truest Believer, explaining that perhaps Henry, not Emma, is The Savior, and that with his belief and imagination can help save magic everywhere…. Hook detects that Charming has been wounded/poisoned by Dreamshade, but they keep it a secret from the others.