This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a young Rumplestiltskin’s dark daddy issues were brought to light, while in Neverland our heroes stormed Skull Rock in a brave bid to #SaveHenry.
IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT WAS…. | We meet wee Rumplestiltskin’s father Malcolm, a three-card monty-dealing cheat and scalawag. When Malcolm leaves his son with a pair of spinners while he “looks for work,” the ladies urge the lad to run from his father’s rep using a magic bean. Rumple though convinces his father to use the bean to take them both to the magical place he used to visit in his childhood dreams: Neverland. Alas, once transported there, Malcolm is angry to learn that he cannot fly as always envisioned — because as long as his son is with him, he will always be seen as an adult, and Neverland has no use for those. So, Malcolm trades Rumple to the Shadow (voiced by/played by? Marilyn Manson) in exchange for youth, then transforms into the person/eyebrows we now know as Peter Pan.
IN NEVERLAND…. | Having retrieved Pandora’s Box, Rumple and Regina reunite with Emma, the Charmings, Neal, Hook and Tinker Bell. They promptly KO the Lost Boys at their base camp, but Pan and Henry are already en route to Skull Rock, to “save magic.” Upon freeing Wendy from her cage, the group learns Pan’s true agenda: He’s dying, but with the heart of the truest believer, he can achieve immortality… while Henry, you know, croaks. While the Charmings exit stage left to fetch water from Dead Man’s Peak (Rumple has agreed to fashion a curative elixir for David upon their return to Storybrooke), and with Hook and Tink guarding the Lost Boys, Regina, Rumple, Emma and Neal embark for Skull Rock.
Arriving at the eerie isle, only shadowless Rumple can pass a protection spell cast by Pan, forcing a reunion between son and father (while Henry is conveniently cooling his heels in some soundproof Skull Rock closet, or something). Pan aka Malcolm invites his son to start over with him, but Rumple scoffs at the suggestion. Pan argues that what he did in the past was the same deal Rumple made years ago, trading Neal for a dagger. Rumple points out the difference, in that he kept looking for Bae, that he never forgot his son. (To which Pan offers up a lame, “I took the name of your doll!” excuse.) But when Rumple goes to trap Pan inside Pandora’s Box, he realizes that he’s been the victim of a bit of “Follow the Lady,” that his father swapped in a fake. Pan then uses the real cube to capture Rumple. Oops.
Henry then emerges from the soundproof Skull Rock arcade, or whatever, to save magic, though he comes to suspect Pan is keeping something from him. Pan lies that yes, there is a “price to pay” — upon proferring his pumper, Henry can never leave Neverland. Henry seems OK with that — heroes must make sacrifices and all. Emma & Co. (having “shed their shadows”) then burst onto the scene and urge Henry not to believe Pan, avowing their belief and love and what not in the boy. But Henry, y’know, he just really wants to save magic, so he transplants his ticker into Pan… and then collapses, dead, while a smug Pan rises in the air, ever powerful.
What did you think of “Think Lovely Thoughts”? Was Rumple’s backstory simply sad, or slightly dull? Pretty great casting with the dad, though — he favors Robert Carlyle and employed some of Rumple’s mannerisms.