Once Upon a Time Recap: Creepy Hollow

JOANNA GARCIA SWISHER, EMILIE DE RAVINThis week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Ariel dropped anchor (or whatever merpeople do) in Storybrooke, where stranger danger awaited her and Belle. Meanwhile in Neverland, Snow threw shade and Emma and her men sought a shadow.

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IN STORYBROOKE…. | In flashback, we see Belle enact the cloaking spell but not before two mysterious blokes just barely squeeze their Pontiac Parisienne past the closing “dome,” which totally “pulled a cow” on their fender. Days later, just as Happy is remarking on how quiet life is without the Charmings bringing wraiths and what not to town, Ariel surfaces at seaside, to present Belle with an enchanted sand dollar that, Princess Leia/R2D2-style, will lead her to the gizmo Rumple needs to defeat Pan. But just as the gals track down the AllSpark Pandora’s Box, the mystery men arrive toting guns, and tie them up.

Soon after, Ariel transforms back into a mermaid, to use her fins to wrest them free, and the ladies track down the guys in the Driveshaft mineshaft, where they intend to use a dwarf’s pickaxe to destroy the box. Why? Because they too have someone they love under Pan’s thumb. After Belle uses a mine cart to KO the fellas, they explain that their sister Wendy is being held by Pan (in the second cage; 75 TVLine Power Use Points for those that guessed right!), and that Pan kept them alive and hipster-y for a century to do his bidding. Ariel promises that, in bringing the box back to Rumple in Neverland, she’ll deliver their message to save Wendy — which she does, while Regina supercharges her bracelet.

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IN NEVERLAND….  | Neal reveals the key Once Upon a Time Recapto getting off Neverland after finding Henry: capturing Pan’s shadow. Thing is, the inky imp resides in Dark Hollow, which — sorry, Emma — is just as it sounds, the gnarliest nook of the island. While gathering supplies (including the coconut lamp/map needed to trap the shadow) from Bae’s cave, Hook “lets slip” that he and Emma had a “dalliance.” Neal plays it cool, saying their focus is to “save Henry” blah blah blah hashtag hashtag, but later it’s obvious he’s irked, when he sees that Hook gave Emma his old sword to remember him by. (“Oh, thanks — she’s got me now.”) Hook then pulls Emma aside to assure, “When I win your heart, and I will win it, it wont be because of any chicanery, but because you want me.” He then expresses his confidence that she will #SaveHenry, “and when you do, that’s when the fun begins!” And how.

In the Dark Hollow, the boys (lamely) bicker over a lighter, leaving the trio susceptible to an attack by the shadow and two friends. Hook and Neal’s shadows are about to be ripped from them when Emma uses Regina’s teachings to ignite the candle via magic, and thus lure/trap Pan’s shadow. She then notifies the guys who nearly got them all killed: I choose Dylan Brandon me Henry.

Rendezvousing with the Charmings (who did bickering of their own, over David’s secret-keeping, the net-net being that Snow would gladly stay on the island with him), Neal/Bae convinces his old friend (and more? Oh, I’m just making trouble) Tink that they have what it takes — Pan’s shadow — to enact their plan. But is it too late? Because elsewhere on the island, Pan tricked Henry into “finding” Wendy, who pretended that she is deathly ill, because the island’s magic is dying. Pan then reiterated to Henry that only he, the truest believe, can save that poor girl (and the island, and magic). Is Henry up to the task? Yep! So, next stop: Skull Rock.

Notable quotables:
* “He’s really into being cryptic, isn’t he?”
* “You came to Neverland on a pirate ship through a portal. You’re gonna draw the line at a magic coconut?”
* “I’m not afraid of you or your gun. And not just because I don’t know what it is.”
* “Now you can have legs whenever you want. Or a fin. Whatever Eric’s into these days.”

What did you think of this week’s episode, “Dark Hollow”? Excited to see Skull Rock?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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164 Comments
  1. Rachel says:

    Loved tonight’s episode, especially the scenes with Belle and Ariel. So nice to see Belle showing what she can do. And her growing friendship with Ariel is so adorable!

  2. Robert says:

    Loved this episode. Really hope the producers offer Joanna Garcia Swisher a series regular role. She’s great as Ariel. Her and Belle has great chemistry as friends.

    • EL says:

      Me too! Joanna Garcia Swisher is by far one of my favorite TV actresses & is perfect as Ariel. I know she recently had a baby, her husband has a large baseball career & he just finished his first season as a Cleveland Indian, so even if being a regular isnt possible, it would be fun if she was a reoccurring character, like Ruby/Red, Dr. Whale/Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Leroy/Grumpy et al; the characters that are often unseen for great lengths at a time, but are front & center when they are featured in an episode.

    • Mike R. says:

      I don’t know if she needs to be a regular, but I hope she doesn’t disappear like Cinderella/Ashley did.

      • Moxie says:

        Or Ruby.

        • Meg says:

          The actress playing Ruby booked a pilot that was first position to OUAT. No surprise that she’s gone.

          • bluefairy says:

            She’s not gone completely. Her new show is filmed in Vancouver, just like OUAT, and they said they might make time for her to pop in briefly sometimes. Besides, we don’t even know if that show will last too long. For her sake (and because the awesome Josh Holloway stars in it) I hope it does last, but with new shows you never know. And if it happens to get canceled, she can return to OUAT.

  3. mkayvee says:

    Loved the 90210 reference…made my night and so appropriate!!
    But I am loving this season yet again! not a weak episode in the bunch!

  4. H says:

    And let the complaints begin

  5. Tony says:

    Great episode.

    I can’t wait for Pan’s back story. Its been entertaining to see this interpretation. I want to know what happened to him.,

    • Tenney says:

      I cannot wait for Pan’s backstory either. I have been getting tired of all the backstories for Regina and the Charmings, but Pan’s is one that I am eager to see. OUAT hit gold when casting Robbie Kay as Pan.

      • Lynne says:

        Are we going to get Pan’s backstory? I could swear I read somewhere online that we werent going to get that.
        And I absolutely agree, Robbie’s casting is PERFECT!!!

        • Ginger Snap says:

          If Pan is related to Rumple (brother or father), we should learn plenty about his back story next week. And episode 8 and 9 are the episodes I am most interested in seeing.

      • EL says:

        Robbie Kay as Pan has been absolutely amazing. That young man can act, and has great depth for someone his age.

    • Zelda says:

      I hope he gets a flashback episode soon too.

  6. maru says:

    “kept them alive and hipster-y for a century” hahahahaha I can’t stop laughing haha I thought the same!! :D

  7. Alichat says:

    Am I the only one who thought the resolution to David and Mary Margaret’s argument was odd? She was hugging him and said something like “Why didn’t you believe?” or something like that. I thought it was weird since, as I understood it, it wasn’t that David didn’t believe Mary Margaret would stay, it was that a part of him didn’t want her to stay…..to spend the rest of her life in Neverland.

    • abz says:

      It was some lame “our love can beat anything, we’ll be together no matter what so you should have had faith” type of thing. The same lovey dovey boring stuff they always talk about.

    • Zelda says:

      I thought it was a little lame too. I wish they would allow David and Snow to deal with conflict in their relationship for more than episode. They’re not forever tainted if this happens. It only makes them more relatable and less idealized.

    • To me the problem was the way Snow dealt with the information. It was so childish. So, the lame resolution was a consequence.

  8. rachelle says:

    Anyone else absolutely dissolve into a puddle at Hook’s declaration to Emma?? There’s nothing like a romantic pirate! I’m so in love with Hook and I just want him and Emma to be together! I don’t see any chemistry between her and Neal. Since when does having a child together mean two people are soulmates?? I’m not buying Emma and Neal.

    • Josh says:

      I never bought Emma and Neal. They really don’t have any chemistry..

    • Mary says:

      I’m not buying Emma and Hook. I’d rather she forget both of them with the way they were behaving.

    • A says:

      No I found Hook’s speech creepy and unwarranted. Emma has told him time and again she’s not interested and he damn well knows where her priorities lie. She’s not a door prize and doesn’t need anyone to “win” her.

      • Peevesie says:

        actually she has never said she is uninterested. Its always been more of a,”really right now? cant we like wait tilll we have central heating then get out thing going?”

        though for some real analysis of thier dynamic look up onceuponamirror on tumblr

        • Cass says:

          What part of “it was just a kiss” says “I’m going to jump your bones as soon you’ve finally taken a shower”?

          • A says:

            LMAO my thoughts exactly.

          • jenferner8 says:

            This is why I don’t like Emma so much, I find her boring and very repetative. She’s really sending Hook mixed messages. She’s saying one thing then quite literally doing the opposite. Remember dispite where her head was (Henry, dead Neal, whatever) SHE kissed Hook. Yes, he goaded her into it, I don’t think he expected her to call him on it, all she had to do was walk away, yet she didn’t. At least he’s coming clean with her, she won’t even admit there might be something there. At that point Henry is just another excuse.

          • Cass says:

            Seriously? “I have to concentrate on saving my son’s life” is a mixed message? Seems extremely clear to me.

          • Darla says:

            I was actually unsettled to find out that it had only been 5 days since they set sail for Neverland. Which means it had only been like 6 since Neil “died”. That’s a tragically short mourning period – and if Hook cared at all for Bae/Neil and Emma, he’d have respectively kept his distance. As for Emma, I’d like to say it was grief – but the girl has serious issues with people in general.

      • Cass says:

        I agree, that was not the time or place for his declaration. Came off a little stalkery with his insistence that he WOULD “win” her.

    • Arthur says:

      I agree, Rachelle. I love the dynamic with Hook and Emma, and how he’s always so honest with her. He didn’t give her an ultimatum, just the facts. The body language between them is very telling – I didn’t find anything creepy or unwarranted about his declaration. It’s not like he was trying to distract from the mission, and for what it’s worth, Emma has NEVER told Hook she wasn’t interested. She values and trusts him. And tell me I’m not the only one who noticed that it was Hook’s name she yelled when the boys were attacked by the shadows, and not Neal’s? Because panic exposes your priorities, and she was terrified for him.

      • LC says:

        THIS. Accurate. It’s also important to note that not only does she trust him to tell her the truth (example: MM says Neal is alive and she looks at Hook for confirmation), but she trusts him enough to be vulnerable around him. When Hook tells her she will succeed, she says, “You think so?” And you can see on her face how open she’s being and that his answer matters to her. He has absolute faith in her (in contrast to, ahem, a certain other person who scoffed at her “thing with lies,” to name one instance).

  9. Lysh says:

    Driveshaft! I almost forgot about them. If “You All Everybody” ever plays in the background in OUAT, I will be so happy. I bet Glasses and Keychain were listening to them before they were cool.

  10. Joey says:

    Really enjoyed Ariel, Belle and the Darling boys tonight.

    Did not care for the triangle and the continued assassination of Hook’s character for the continuation of said triangle.

  11. Sarah says:

    I am so sad for the Darlings. I think Bae/Neal will be pissed and vengeful when he finds that Pan has Wendy – he went to Neverland, after all, to save her. Though might he know she is there? Her brothers are only a bit younger than Neal, which means they were probably in Neverland when Neal was…
    I love Hook. I don’t know if the fact that I don’t feel the Emma and Neal chemistry is intentional or because the actors just don’t have it. I think Colin O’donaghue could have chemistry with a fish though…

    • Even though my main couple is Emma/Neal, I confess I feel some chemistry (or I simply like the idea) between Hook/Neal.
      I don’t want Emma and Hook together…It didn’t matter when it seemed like a simple atraction, a physical thing, it was even interesting, but feelings? I don’t like it at all.

  12. Babybop says:

    I loved seeing Belle save the day! I’m glad we got a shot back into Storybrooke too, I miss the interactions with those characters. Best line goes to Regina with the “whatever Eric’s into these days”.

    But there was totally some suggestion that Neal and Tink used to be something…

  13. Mike R. says:

    I thought it was good episode, Ariel having no knowledge of what things are may be my favorite part of the season. I fall more in love with Ariel every week. I was happy to see Belle again, and Storybrooke as well, but I still think the show has benefitted from being away from Storybrooke for awhile. I however am already sick of this love triangle, so I was kind of happy when Emma chose neither of them, even if it is only for the time being. I honestly think she deserves better than both of them. Do all the Charmings(sans maybe Emma) have serious hero Complexes, Henry was way too easily manipulated by Pan. Am I the only one that thinks this show is getting way too predictable, I mean I like the decision, but many fans had guessed the identities of Wendy in the box, and the Darlings brothers, maybe I just want some surprises in the show. Overall, I enjoyed this episode, not nearly my favorite of the season, but far from the worst too. Definitely looking forward to next week.

  14. Fernando says:

    Omg I love Belle and Ariel as friends, I want many more scenes with them, can Joanna be offer a series regular role

  15. nikki says:

    Am I the only who thinks this season is seriously boring? It reminds me of the second season of Heros and Hiro being in feudal China.

    • Mike R. says:

      What did you think of last season?, because this season has almost improved in very single area, the second half of last season was both boring and horrible.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Seriously. S3 >>> S2.

        • Babybop says:

          Agreed. Last season was embarrassing. Ha ha.

        • Joey says:

          With the exception of Manhattan, of course, which still shines much more brightly than pretty much anything from S3 so far.

        • abz says:

          I didn’t hate season 2 as much as other people did, but I agree, this season is awesome and I think I’m gonna be a little sad when they leave Neverland.

        • arianeb says:

          There were some good episodes in season 2, especially the multi episode arcs like “Into The Deep/Queen of Hearts”, “Manhattan/The Queen Is Dead/The Millers Daughter” and the two part finale. I also liked “Lady In The Lake” and “Tallahassee” which were the Emma and Snow in Enchanted Forest episodes. In between these there were a lot of mediocre and forgettable stand alone eps that really did not progress the story very far. So far there have not been any stand alone episodes this season, which is probably why it seems so much better.

          • Zelda says:

            I agree. It was the second half of season 2 that was disappointing to me, but even within the second 11 episodes a couple of them stood out. I’m liking season 3 too. Although I feel the Neverland dragged a little in certain episodes.

        • kavyn says:

          S1 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> a bucket of dung > S2 > S3.

          • Mike R. says:

            Season 1 is way over-praised. It was a great season all things considered, but there was also an overdose of filler episodes, and not all of them were that great, the Grumpy episode was/is still one of the worst episodes of the entire series, the Cinderella episode was also disappointing, and I personally hated the Snow murder plot. I love season 1 when I think of it as a whole, but when I look at it piece by piece, I honestly think at this point season 3 is much stronger. And I really can’t take anyone seriously who thinks season 2 is even remotely better than season 3 has been thus far.

        • Cass says:

          It has different flaws, but just as many. Hopefully the stalling is over and there will finally be some story movement now. If I never see another potted palm in my life it will be too soon.

        • Lauren says:

          I kinda sorta agree, but : S2 pt.1>>>>>>S3>>>>>>>>>>>S2 pt.2

      • I see nargles. says:

        I think so too! I don’t even remember what happened last season….

    • Melanie says:

      Feudal JAPAN

  16. tp says:

    I’m watching it now and I have one question. Is there a Louboutin store or Bloomingdales in Storybrooke? The clothes that Belle wears are unbelievable. Half the time she looks like a high price escort.

    • Mari says:

      I did blink a little at her skirt-it was so short they didn’t shoot her from the back. It’s like she had a client who wanted to play naughty librarian.

    • John 1138 says:

      Well her “Lacey” persona is rather edgy…..

      • tp says:

        Yeah but Lacey was more cheap and raunchy. Belle wears real nice clothes but they are very skimpy. Even with stockings on that skirt was very short and those heels were so high she could barely walk in them. It made me do a double take.

  17. Lynne says:

    I absolutely LOVE the friendship that Belle and Ariel started, I really hope that keeps going now that Ariel can be human whenever she wants and Eric is apparently in Storybrooke.
    As much as I love Neverland *mainly because Robbie is AMAZING as Pan*, it was nice to be back in Storybrooke. Grumpy’s comment to Granny about Ruby’s clothes when she commented on Ariel’s lack of clothes was priceless!!
    Is there any chance that Pan will end up in Storybrooke so he can stick around for the whole season? I havent met anyone who doesnt like his Pan and I know it will be a good day if we get word that Robbie is sticking around for the entire season.
    I am getting tired of the triangle and the fighting over the damn lighter was pathetic. I am always on the fence about it, on one side, I want Emma to be with Neil so they can be a family with Henry, but cant deny the chemistry between Emma and Hook. But with the competing between Hook and Neil in this episode makes me not care about either one right now.
    I hope next week’s episode isnt the end of Pan. He and Rumple are my faves and Robby and Robert are amazing when they faceoff against one another.

  18. Lore says:

    Wait, skull rock, are we gonna see Skeletor?

  19. DarkDefender says:

    This season has been even better than season 1.. (Season 2-blah). I like the pace and the reveals.. Wonderful!
    —–
    Too bad Wonderland’s decent storylines got lost in all that bad CGI..

  20. Gerry says:

    This season, it would appear that Once Upon a a Time has acquired an ailment that appears to be an epidemic among shows that feature heroes and villains…that being, the perpetual suffering of Characters over a long period of episodes that are supposed to be protagonists, while their antagonists enjoy triumph after triumph over their adversaries. Now I can only speak for myself here, but I do not find this trend particularly “entertaining”. In order to establish drama, there must be some conflict for our protagonists to overcome, of course…However, in a fantasy TV show, which by definition is a form of escapist entertainment, those conflicts wouldn’t appear less taxing on the spirit if they could be resolved by the end of the episode, or in a 2 or 3 episode arc. Not every show on ABC needs to be written like “Lost”! Quite frankly, what would be refreshingly amusing to watch, most particularly because this is a Fairytale program, would be to see the foiling of evil schemes on a weekly basis…not after an entire season, which is usually spoiled by a season cliff-hanger. As it is, there is a lot of suffering and injustice in the real world, wouldn’t it be so much more fun to watch villains (in this case, Pan…but in many others, Regina or the Dark One)be made ridiculous in every episode…to have their schemes undone in the most grandiose and miserable fashion, whilst the protagonist-crew gracefully side-step their intended onslaught? Watching the gang fester in Wonderland is starting to make me feel like I’ve been stranded at the DMV since September. I’m invested, so I’m still watching, albeit I find myself fast-forwarding through the “Pan” scenes…

    • abz says:

      While I am actually really enjoying this season, I agree with you on the more villains part. There are so many villains and stories that I’d love to see OUAT tackle before it ends or gets cancelled (I hope not!) including Cruella de Vil, Pocahontas, Hades/Hercules, the real Ursula, Aladdin/Jasmine, even maybe Narnia.

    • Mike R. says:

      I do not want OUAT to be a procedural, but as much as I respect your POV, but this long 11 episode arc has been the best thing that has happened to the show since season 1, and while seeing the crew win every once and awhile can be pleasant, seeing them win every time is even more boring than seeing them lose constantly. My favorite shows are the ones in which they’re serious stakes. The reason why I personally dislike procedurals such as NCIS, CSI, and countless others is because they catch the bad guy in the end every time. Why should I worry about what is happening on screen when 99% of the time they will catch the baddie in the end. There are no stakes, and that rarely makes for exciting television. Would Game of Thrones be nearly as good if it was just the Starks defeating the Lannisters. Standalone episodes can be great, but those kinds of stories should stay in flashbacks, that way we can have one off villains, but still have a continuing storyline that will get me to come back every week.

  21. abz says:

    “I’m not afraid of you or your gun, and not just because I don’t know what it is.” This was my favourite line of the night. Had me cracking up. Please keep Ariel!

  22. kavyn says:

    This show clearly decided to abandon it’s male fan base and focus completely on the shipping romance. I’m absolutely livid watching this season, which is a shame since I loved this show in season 1.

    • meresger says:

      I disagree with you. For leaving out a large portion of the fan base who are female. This show has not abandoned it’s male fan base. It has abandoned it’s *intelligent* fan base. The ones who started watching in season 1 for good writing and endured season 2 with its few gems in the hopes that season 3 would return to the glory days of believable character development and consistent storylines. I too am absolutely livid watching what this season has quickly been turning into. After the summer of the #SaveHenry tagline, that plot has been completely undermined by a love triangle more stupid than True Blood. And worse, ABC’s publicity has been cramming Captain Hook + Emma Swan down our collective throats like the show will die without their collective hotness while the fans who don’t give a rat’s patooty about the show’s core family message (at least season 2 had that!) attack anyone who disagrees with them like insane cult followers and the rest of us scratch our heads, trying to understand why this is still considered worthwhile entertainment. Emma is being reduced to a vagina, Hook is the glorified a-hole, Neal is a demonized protagonist hated simply because the actor is not considered as f-able in fans’ wet dreams, and the Charmings are just annoying. Heaven help us when they all get back to Storybrooke and “the fun begins”. And how… about shove an ice pick in my eye while you’re at it? Please, Matt, say you were being sarcastic. You can’t actually be enjoying this farce. Bad form, I say. Bad form!

      • kavyn says:

        The first episode of season 3 left a horrible taste in my mouth. That entire boat scene travelling to Neverland was an absolute cringe-worthy scene for me, and it set the tone of the season.

        It pisses me off that Regina endured 5 episodes with such a horrible group of saviors that care more about who likes them than about saving Henry, and I can at least follow along with her and Rumple for now as they try to save Henry (although we all know this will end with Emma turning into a beam of light and saving the world because she’s “the saviour” – whatever the hell that means). I can’t take any scene relevant to the Charmings seriously because they don’t even MENTION Henry’s name – like hello, what the hell are you doing on Neverland, risking your life on such a dangerous island, if all you’re going to do is talk about how little Emma cares about you.

        I’m saying all of this as someone who HATES Henry. I’d rather watch his scenes because at least they’re RELEVANT to the plot, and not about how bad the guys want to get into Emma’s pants. Ugh.

        • meresger says:

          I agree with you 100 percent. I am not a fan of Henry either, but after all of the #SaveHenry crap, no one gives a crap that he is being manipulated to his death. Not the characters (save Regina) or the fans. What is wrong with all of you people!? I strongly disliked Regina on the whole after her redemption arc of Season 2 went completely off-screen for the stupid Lucky Charms quest in FTL making her alliance with her mommy completely idiotic as we got all of maybe 5 minutes of the two dealing with their complicated mother/daughter issues that would explain Regina’s situation and make her a sympathetic character; and the low-cut dress torture scene just made me feel bad for Lana.

          The funny thing is, as of this episode, Regina is actually the sanest character in Neverland and the only one I am liking! I don’t want that “monster” to get custody of Henry (I bet she’ll even try to turn Roland into Owen 3.0 at some point in Season 4), but I would really like her take her Belle/Shadow-slaying skills and Vader choke everyone for acting like emotional basketcases. I have no respect for Emma anymore, Hook is a pompous arse, Neal has lost his spine again, the Charmings are sappy morons, Rumple must spend most of his time crying over his dolly since we hardly see him, and Henry has suddenly gone from the most insightful character (to the point of it being annoying given he’s 11) to being an even bigger dope than his birth mom. Even Pan’s sociopathy is starting to become over-played, and Robbie Kay was the reason I have been sticking with the show this season. Ugh. Adam and Eddy, what do you keep doing to this show? Do you even remember how cheesed off Lost fans were about the Jack/Kate/Sawyer stupidity? And these people don’t even have the excuse of being dead!

      • Steph says:

        Meresger, I want to frame this comment and put it on my wall, or maybe mail it to the writers. So accurate.

        • meresger says:

          Would it be wrong to promote my sarcastic/satirical rant about “Dark Hollow” over on tumblr? There is plenty of Regina-love (not typical for me) and the new levels of lameness to which all of the interpersonal dynamics on this show have now risen. There is so much I could say here, but it wouldn’t fit!

          • Lauren says:

            I say go for it. I’ve seen some of your posts on tumblr, and while I don’t always agree with you, you can be really spot on with lots of stuff ;)

    • Zelda says:

      I don’t think it has anything to do with male for female viewers. I’m a female viewer and I get bored with too much shipping romance and triangles too. It’s too generic. Especially the triangle with Emma and the two guys. The way they and especially Hook behaved in this episode just made me cringe. It would make me happy if they would end it now that Emma has said she only cares about Henry and she will “pick” neither guy. But I’m afraid it’s true that it will only get worse when they are back in Storybrooke and for those of us who are not into triangles and ships that take over a whole show it will test our patience even more than it does now.

      • kavyn says:

        The show itself is catering to the vocal female fanbase that talk incessantly about the character shippings. I didn’t mean for that to come off as “only girls would like this”, since there are obviously varying fans with varying ideas of entertainment. The show itself is so focused on how the Charmings feel, or how they want Emma to love them, or how they want a child, or how Hook wants Emma’s V, or how hot and cute Hook looks at every given minute… all elements that stereo-typically cater to female viewers. The story is completely faded out in favour of such stupid and trivial romantic scenes that it’s driving me up the wall. Regina is the only core character I still like because she’s not deluded by “true love”, but with the upcoming Robin Hood stuff I’m sure I’ll grow frustrated with her too. Even Rumple has lost me this season, but at least I can slightly understand his character development.

      • Lauren says:

        I agree with everything you’ve said Zelda. I’m only worried that the triangle will come back in full swing as soon as they’re back in Storybrooke and settled down. I’m not looking forward to that in the slightest/

    • Lysh says:

      This is a weird comment. I know shipping seems like a girly thing, but it’s a non-gender activity. It’s not wrong for a guy to want a couple to end up together, especially on a TV show with a lot of true love and happy ending chatter that has been a constant theme ever since the pilot. And there’s still more going on in the show besides romancey stuff, if that’s not your thing.

  23. JoeTV says:

    Am I the only one who finds Robbie Kay’s acting really off putting? Also the writing this season as been subpar at best.

  24. Anonymous K says:

    Am I the only one getting tired of Neverland and Pan? They need to kill Pan/escape Neverland already. This show is getting boring. Yea yea Pan is a psycho, we all get it. A back story for Pan would be interesting but they really need to move the show along now.

    • kavyn says:

      They’re trying to hide Pan’s secret as long as they can, because it’s obvious he was created to be Rumple’s imaginary friend when Rumple was young. But obviously a back-story episode would completely reveal that, and they need to hold on to it until the end of the Neverland story line.

  25. LOST says:

    Love Belle and Ariel! But…
    I thought they kept us out of Storybrooke so when we went back there would have been something terrible that has happened and that would be the arc of the season past episode 11. Now I really can’t see where they’re going after Neverland.
    Also, There’s a pretty good chance Rumple’s dying in the midseason finale.

  26. Dominique says:

    great episode, really enjoyed it! Loved seeing Belle again, and of course the darling boys, wonderful! Couldn’t stop shaking my head when Henry went after Felix; how dumb can that boy be?
    I am truly enjoying Robbie Kay, easily the best addition to the show so far. I know there are some rumors out there regarding his fate, but I sure as heck hope he sticks around. The producers/writers would be fools to let him go!
    What I find most interesting, is that I’ve been rooting for Emma/Neal the entire second season. I wasn’t a Hook fan at all (in fact; I couldn’t wait for them to get rid of him), but I’m really liking him so far. He’s got better morals this time around, wants to play fair and obviously values family over love, now. Neal, on the other hand, is getting on my nerves with his hypocritical behavior. I’m one step away from abandoning Swanfire and board the Captain Swan, to be honest,

    • Cass says:

      What has Neal done that’s hypocritical?

      • Dominique says:

        he’s getting all worked up over the fact that Emma and Hook kissed, even tho Neal left her to rot in a prison cell, and then when he knew Emma had gone to Storybrooke, and when the curse was broken, he instead chose not to go to her and make things right because apparently his fear/hate for his father was stronger than his love for Emma. Not to mention that he gets angry about that kiss, even though he was engaged up until a week ago. He needs to tone it down a bit.

        • Mary says:

          You’re forgetting that Hook literally left Emma (along with Aurora, Mulan & Snow) to rot in a prison cell and tried to prevent her from getting back to her son, among other things and has yet to apologise for anything he did last season. Neal is no angel and he’s far from perfect but at least he’s apologising and cops to his screw ups. I don’t think his anger is just about the kiss either. Hook ran off with his mother and then when Neal finds this out he is understandably displeased so Hook hands him over to Pan. I think he has every right to dislike the guy.

          • CC says:

            Hook did that stuff to a woman he barely knew who was standing in his way from getting revenge for the murder of a woman he loved. Neal did all that to a woman he claimed to love. Big difference!!!

          • Cass says:

            Ah, I see, it’s okay to kill people if you haven’t been properly introduced? Or something like that?

        • Cass says:

          Was I hallucinating or did Neal say to Emma in so many words that he knew he didn’t own her and that they have to concentrate on freeing Henry? (And I think one snippy comment is hardly enough to call “all worked up” but I guess mileage varies. Neal wasn’t the one horning in on a mission where he wasn’t needed because he didn’t want to let Emma out of his sight.)

      • meresger says:

        Nothing and everything. Every character on this show has become a raging hypocrite, accept maybe for Belle (since she accepts that Rumple is a wacko in need of help). What ticks me off is people who single out Neal. Along with maybe Regina, he seems to be the only one who is starting to acknowledge his mistakes and the emotional scars which caused him to do to Emma what his father and Hook did to him. The rest of them are in deep denial.
        David seems to have totally sold out the “peasant” part of his past because he loves the power of being a prince but pretends that everything he does is for a good cause. Snow has completely forgotten all of the stupid stunts she pulled in Season 2 without telling David, never mind when she conspired with him to keep the magic bean plan from Emma as part of their emotional blackmail to get her to come “home” with them so Snow could feel better about her dark heart. Emma has decided she wants to go back to Season 1 “I just wanna feel good — emotions suck!” mentality for the sake of advancing the love triangle (and maybe she has a thing for Irish accents and leather). Hook’s “deepest secret” was complete BS given he’s still being manipulative about leaving out how he really new Baelfire and the identity of Milah and making Neal think that he and Emma shared some touching romantic moment instead of whatever angry mess (more over the top than Pan’s acting now) that kiss was. Rumple has the whole “kill Henry or hug it out with Bae” thing going while forgetting that Belle is important to him when it services the former. And Regina still thinks that doing a bad thing for a good cause justifies dark magic, yet she gave Tinkerbell that whole speech. They all suck at being selfless, brave, and true because the writers seem to have completely lost track of things since the personalities combined with the breaking of the curse and Emma became a believer (but never really got a chance to deal with that). But the audience loves to throw rotten tomatoes at the protagonists for this and excuse the villains, because the antagonists are more interesting.

  27. Tuluna says:

    I can’t think of one good reason why Emma would choose to be with Hook or Neal. It’s a battle of who is the bigger jerk between them and I hope the writers do not pass it off as some giant triangle love story that’ll dominate the show and last until the end of it. Hook is a complete joke this season and Emma could be ruined with such a story too.
    I liked all of the Storybrooke scenes, Rumple and Regina, and some of the Snow and Charming material. Peter Pan is a creep in the best possible way for a tv show and I’m hoping we will see more of Wendy.

  28. Pat says:

    I agree with some on this comment board, that it is time to leave Neverland, but I think it will not happen until the end of this year. I just hope that they do not drag it into the 2014 season. As for Peter Pan, they were not kidding when they said that this character would be evil and they might as well give him the title of creepy,too. As for me, I will never be able to open another jar of peanut butter,with that cute little “Peter Pan” character on it, knowing that he is really creepy and evil!

  29. A says:

    I think I could enjoy this season a lot more if it weren’t for the ridiculous love triangle and the character assassination of Hook. I was already over it before it even started since ABC and every media site out there was shoving it down our throats all freaking summer and they still continue to do so. For me the triangle overshadows the better aspects of the season. If I wanted a poorly written high school esque love triangle I’d go watch something else.

    • suzi says:

      The overpromotion annoys me too and that it’s a shallow story, a lame love triangle they are forcing so much disappoints me too. I thought this show was better than that. Since the summer it’s been so extreme and the longer this goes on, the more off putting it’s to me.

    • Ginger Snap says:

      So the love triangle is part of Pan’s manipulation. This is really a chess match and he is winning. The game is Divide and Conquer. And it nearly worked. Didn’t Neal and Hook almost lose their shadows? Everything so far has been about keeping the adults distracted. .
      It’s the audience who gets lost in the ‘shipping game”. I would not take any of these things seriously until they get off Neverland.
      It seems like only Emma and Regina have their heads about them

      • Lauren says:

        I agree with your last line, which makes me so excited to see Emma and Regina doing magic together. The potential for them is so endless, I wish they were exploring that instead of that love triangle :/

  30. Ava says:

    Perfect casting as Ariel. Just perfect. OUAT needs Ariel on the canvas permanently. She adds a fresh dynamic. Loving the Darling boys also.

  31. Cass says:

    So glad Belle is back! And it was clear why she had to be left in SB in the first place: she got more done in half of an episode than the Nevengers have managed all season. Also note that it was Belle who promised to save Wendy (knowing that her guy would do it if she asked, LOL). At first I was a little surprised that Belle didn’t consider herself a hero (after all, she’s saved her village, Robin, Marian, Mulan, Mulan’s village, Philip, Archie, and of course Rumple), but then I realized that, wonder of wonders, we were finally hearing Belle’s point of view, and seeing a little of the damage that had been done to her by thirty years of imprisonment followed by weeks of gaslighting and magical brainwashing. No wonder her confidence was shaken. Of course they managed the obligatory scene where she’s tied up (if that was part of the OUAT drinking game we’d all die of alcohol poisoning), but again used her smarts to get free. Ariel and Belle were adorable together and I wouldn’t mind seeing Ariel as a recurring character next season.

  32. LaLa says:

    So, no one mentions the entrance of Pandora’s Box? That’s how Rump plans to beat Pan? Off one evil by introducing a far worse sort of evil? And who’s gonna open it? Emma? Regina? Wendy or Tink? I doubt Snow will open it, and I’m sure it won’t be a guy. I like the fact that things are finally starting to move along, but I’m a little skeptical of the Box. By the way, as smart as Henry is supposed to be and knowing that he can communicate with his family just by using the magic mirror/compact, I cannot believe he fell for Wendy and Pan’s manipulation.

    • kavyn says:

      I actually expect either Charming or Henry to open Pandora’s Box.

      • LaLa says:

        But Pandora’s Box is supposedly opened by Pandora – a femaie, releasing all ills to the world. I wonder if the writers will hold to that idea.

        • kavyn says:

          The idea is that Pandora’s Box was already opened (since our world already contains disease and sickness). The mythology is that Pandora’s Box now only contains hope – this is what Rumple plans on using to destroy Neverland and defeat Peter Pan. So although it may be a female that opens the box, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

    • Cass says:

      If they are true to the original story (which, I know–ha!), what’s left in the box is hope.

    • magreeda says:

      I wonder if maybe Pan is somehow related (possessed?) by the evil that was once in the box? So he/it needs to go back in the box instead of something coming out of it?

      Also, in some versions I’ve read, what was left in Pandora’s Box after all the evils were unleased was HOPE. So there’s that

  33. Quick says:

    As far as pairings go. What about swanpan.

  34. Khorrie says:

    Reading these recaps I’m glad I stopped watching a few weeks back.

  35. Katie says:

    I really don’t understand this “Emma and Hook have just oh-so-much chemistry” line that the shippers keep throwing around. I actually found Hook’s “and I will win your heart” speech cringeworthy and not believable at all, one step away from “I know you want it.” Neal treats her with far more respect than Hook ever has, (Also, the fact that Hook considers Neal his friend and is going after the woman he loves makes him seem like a selfish, arrogant, D bag. And don’t even try reversing this on Neal because he’s never considered Hook a friend.)

    • kavyn says:

      What I really don’t understand is how the writers could let the shippers completely dictate the direction of the show.

      • Ash says:

        I guess they like the media attention and thought it would help the ratings…or they’re just really stupid. I don’t know.

      • Ginger Snap says:

        What I don’t understand is why everyone doesn’t understand that the writers are playing with you. It’s part of an evil game being played by Pan. Personally I don’t trust Hook. He’s under Pan’s thumb and Pan is controlling him.

        • Cass says:

          That’s an interesting theory. He certainly has had a completely different personality this season from last. (Until last night when he tried to be crafty.)

        • A says:

          That may be true but it doesn’t make the constant promotion of this insipid triangle or the viewing of it any less annoying.

      • gdv says:

        While I don’t believe fans should dictate the course of the show, it doesn’t do the writing any good to ignore when actors have chemistry, whether romantic or comedic. If actors work well together, then by all means, use it!

        • kavyn says:

          It’s one thing to use chemistry (which, IMO, I don’t see at all), and another to let it dominate an entire storyline.

      • CC says:

        How are the fans dictating??? Emma and Hook and Emma and Neal were pretty much guaranteed with the beanstalk episode which was written before the fans had seen Hook or Neal on the show. Speaking as though the show is going towards a couple due to the fans when it was clearly hinted at a year ago is just silly.

      • Lauren says:

        I feel like you’re right to a certain extent. Hook/Emma has a large fan following online, but when Hook first appeared, there were a bunch of interviews where they kept talking about “romance” for Emma and that there was a “spark” between them.

        That being said, I failed to notice any type of romance between them, especially because they were playing on different teams. Where Hook kept trying to make eyes at Emma, Emma was clearly not having it. Hook spent the rest of the season focused on revenge for Milah and teaming up with whatever baddie would have him, until he was moved by Bae’s memory into helping save Henry. Now 5 days later in Neverland, Milah is all but forgotten, and now Hook’s in love with Emma? I feel like what they talk about and hash out in interviews fails to come across onscreen. Fandom just has a tendency to pad encounters with meaning, when there is none.

    • Ash says:

      Agreed, even if they did have chemistry it doesn’t change any of the crap Hook has done. That speech last night was god awful and I can’t believe people find it romantic. Emma’s not some prize, she’s a human being who is more than capable of deciding what or who she wants. Neal actually gives her space and has apologized on multiple occasions. Hook has negative “good form,” cuz there was nothing good about the way he’s been acting.

      • CC says:

        He never said Emma was a prize. The prize to him was her heart. And he didn’t say she had no choice in the matter, in fact, he made it very clear that it was her choice.

  36. Okay so according to the beginning of this episiode the gang according has only been in Neverland 5 days so why does it feel like we have been in Neverland for months? Wendy has been in Neverland for 100 years and is still the age she was when Neil/Bailfire met her but her brothers while still alive have aged a good 10-15 years since we last saw them.
    I am fine with magical portals and crossing realms but will OUAT ever explain how the heck time works on this show? I got in season one the curse kept people from aging so when Emma at 28 found storybrooke and broke the curse she was relatively the same age as her parents. How ever when Neil landed in first in old timey England then ended up in neverland with hook things got wonky. Just how long were Niel and hook each in Neverland and just because he didn’t age does mean that Niel hasn’t been alive over 100 years.

    • kavyn says:

      Popular theory is that Rumple is 300 years old. So as a result Bae would of course also be a lot older than he appears. The age difference between Wendy and her brothers likely has to do with Pan using the brothers to get information from other lands, and during the time they’re away from Neverland, they age. Bae was sent to Neverland at a young age and spent what I assume was a long time on the island, so he stayed the same age for those ~100 years. He then escaped into our world and began aging normally.

  37. Henry is the most naïve/stupid person ever you would think knowing that Pan has been lieing and manipulating him since literally the second they meant and having an evil queen for a mom that he would question how easily he was able to follow pan’s man and “find” wendy maybe Henry is smarter than he appears and has hatched a secret plan against Pan and is playing the plater but I know that is too much to hope for on this show. Just a note for TPTB at OUAT being the truest believer doesn’t mean you blindly believe everything your told.

  38. I personally thought Rumple and Regina were planning to trap the evil PAN in PANdora’s box

  39. gdv says:

    Did anyone else notice Bae’s disappointment when he learned Regina was teaching Emma magic? I think that may be a bump in the road to romance for them, considering how much he hates magic (or, at least, hates what it’s done to his father).

    • Darla says:

      I was thinking that Emma learning magic from Regina, and how it corrupts her, might be the major storyline for the second half of the season.

  40. Matthew says:

    Personally I don’t get where people get that hook and Niel were ever friends it was more a father son dynamic in fact had it not been for rumple hook would have been Neil’s step father but once again thanks to OUAT playing fast and loose with time and magic hook and Neil now appear roughly the same age

  41. ER says:

    There was a point during Emma’s speech when I thought she was definitely going to say “I choose me” Kelly Taylor style

  42. tp says:

    I will be glad when the Neverland arc is over. I guess it’s because this thing of the “all knowing, all seeing” bad guy is happening on too many of my shows. It is very frustrating.

    Henry is too gulliable. I can’t believe he threw the mirror down and broke it. You would think he would want to keep it. Has he grown a foot or two or is it my imagination?

    I’m wondering how they are going to explain Ruby’s absence.

    I loved the teddy bear hanging in John’s rearview mirror. Those glasses really helped sell the Michael character. The casting of the Darling brothers was perfect.

    While I love Hook (who doesn’t love a pirate?), his speech was ill timed. He should have waited until they were on the ship on their way back to give it. Or not say anything and just try to win her over.

    I’ve said it before and will probably again, whenever Belle and Gold kiss ….just ewww.

  43. CK says:

    I’m still anticipating Tink screwing over everyone for Pan… Maybe I’m just always expecting the worse, or maybe I’m just to use to seeing Tink & Pan on the same side.

  44. songbyrd86 says:

    Anyone else think that Pan and Rumple are ONE PERSON?

  45. Sara Arnoldi says:

    I liked the episode but I was expecting a little bit more

  46. Mikael says:

    I love Pan. Robbie is such perfect casting. He’s so good that he makes Henry seem worse than he already did. I can’t stand Henry. I’m actually hoping that Pan succeeds and Henry dies. Obviously that’s not going to happen, but Henry is just awful. I hope they don’t abandon Pan forever. I’m hoping that maybe they do something to Neverland that allows Pan to age, so Robbie can still appear on the show and not have a “Walt” situation like on Lost.

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