Once Upon a Time Recap: Follow the Laddie

Once Upon a Time Henry DiesThis 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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230 Comments
  1. Pat says:

    Never saw this coming, that is Pan being Rumpels Father. For sure, Gold will be saved. He has to much to do when he gets back to Storybook like saving David. He seems to know how to do this. Also, so disappointed in Henry who really was always a very smart boy who knew what was good and what was evil. He believed in evil over his family so my faith in him being one of the smarter characters on this show has been shot down. As for Pan, all I can say is nice Father,Grandfather, & Great-grandfather. First you abandon your son and now you trap him in Pandora’s box. Then you captured your grandson Neal with no intent of caring about him and now you take the heart of your great-grandson knowing he is going to die all for the sake of him staying young and making the magic even stronger. With a family member like this, who needs enemies?

  2. Jenn says:

    I pegged who Pan was pretty early in the season but I didn’t want to believe it. And can I just say how freaking amazing Robbie Kay is.. He’s an incredible actor. OUAT really hit a homerun with him no question. I can’t wait to see how they continue this story in 2 weeks (hate that we have to wait that long). I loved seeing everyone’s shocked faces. Brilliant!

    • Addie says:

      Honestly one of the reasons I hate this twist is because I don’t want the show to lose Robbie Kay and it seems inevitable now that Rumple will kill his dad/Pan. But on the other hand, this might send him to bigger and better things. Maybe there will be an even bigger twist and Pan will stick around?

  3. Cass says:

    Points for using the word “scalawag,” Matt.

  4. justsaying says:

    Okay episode, but why did Rumps father’s dialogue come across as boring and annoying, I was more impressed with child Rump. Will Henry age anytime soon??? Sorry to say but the actor playing him is horrible.

  5. AN says:

    If I had that magical power to rip out hearts, I would rip all the hearts out of the ones who are going to keep us waiting until the 1st of December for the next episode! And please bring back the wicked Rumplestiltskin and the Evil Regina, we love to see them manipulating others so much.

  6. missvci says:

    I know Henry wants to be a hero, but just last season he was trying to destroy magic and I bet if he found out Emma was using it he wouldn’t be happy. I understand he thinks he’s saving this one girl from dying, but I still find it so hard to be believe that he thinks his punishment is just staying on the island.

    And if I was Emma/Neal/Regina the first thing I yell after stop Henry is “Where’s Rumple?” And also since when did Henry not become a busybody. Wouldn’t he be curious to to where Rumple went in this mystical cage.

    I enjoyed the twist and turns of the episode but the scenes in skull mountain really pissed me off.

  7. ABBY says:

    It takes something away from the Peter Pan mythology if the boy who never grew up in fact did, had a child of his own but then reverted back to child form to live in Never-land

    • Steph says:

      I agree with you Abby. As much as Adam and Eddy claim to love the story of Peter Pan, they’ve horribly wasted this Neverland arc and threw out anything remotely interesting about the characters and their relationships for the sake of this awful family tree twist. If A and E really wanted to be clever, they would have made Rumpel Pan’s brother, because he was alluded to in Barrie’s original story “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens”.
      That being said, the other interesting things to explore about Neverland: the Hook/Pan relationship, Pan/Tinkerbell relationship (and the Peter/Wendy relationship, which I loved in the books, is too weird to even mention now), the fairies, the mermaids, the Indian Tribe… The things that made Neverland such a wanted destination for the OUAT plot were completely eliminated and replaced with a boring camping trip and convoluted storylines.
      I didn’t watch last night’s episode and I don’t plan to watch another new episode again. I’m tried of the wasted possibilities of this show. It’s sad because this show used to make me so happy, now it only disappoints me.

  8. Lauryn E. Nosek says:

    What gets me is that Neal, Emma, and Regina knew Gold went ahead of them but show no concern/wonder at his absence when they come upon Henry and Pan. Not one of them stops to put forth the question, “Pan, what did you do to Gold?” That might have given Henry that moment of pause, the flicker of doubt about Pan that they needed to get through to him.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how long it takes them to figure out that Gold is in Pandora’s box (and then how long they decide to leave him in there).

  9. Rachel says:

    I absolutely loved the episode. I know a lot of people dislike the Pan/Rumple twist, but I love it. I think it’s very interesting, and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next. Robbie Kay and Robert Carlyle were fantastic!

  10. Betsy says:

    I don’t know why but I saw Pan being Rumple’s father coming (everyone I told this theory to thought I was crazy). It explains a lot about interaction he has had with Pan via flashbacks and in Neverland. I don’t think Henry is really dead but I am kind of hoping that he is.

  11. cas says:

    I would say this was my favorite episode of the season. I loved the Pan/Rumple twist. I hated the Neverland plot until now. At least now they put a meaning behind the whole thing, at least in my eyes. I strongly dislike Pan, while he is a fantastic actor, he is just so creepy looking. I think they could do a good storyline going forward with Rumple and Regina both being evil in flashbacks and maybe not as evil in the present? I like the good sides of them too. As far as Henry, he is just dumb, and I don’t know why people are surprised, I mean most kids his age are dumb. I don’t mean that in a rude way either but it’s a cold hard fact. I also feel people shouldn’t be so shocked that Pan treats his own family like this, I mean I have seen/heard of fathers/mothers doing awful things to their kids before in real life (I know people who work in CPS).

  12. LaLa says:

    Forget Henry, I was more upset when Rumple was sucked into that box. And the big reveal . . . nice touch, but predictable. Once all of the green pixie dust settled and Pan was standing there, I was like, “Eeh, Pan was Rumple’s father. . . what’s next?”
    Uggh, Henry, Henry, Henry – even if he forgot that his whole family had traveled to Neverland to save him (which he knew because he had used the magic mirror), and even if he wanted to be some kind of hero, and even if he thought it would save Wendy, and even if he was still upset at his mothers – why didn’t the appearance of Bae/Neal make him pause? That is what made me roll my eyes. Yes, he knew something about what Pan was saying was not quite right, and his dad, who he thought was dead, was there telling him to just wait and listen to them. And he STILL did what Pan asked. No running into his dad’s arms, no “Dad, what are you doing here?”, no, “I thought you were dead!”
    I’m interested in seeing how Pan is defeated, now that Rumple is stuck in that box. And WHY did no one wonder where was Rumple? How did they even get past Pan’s protection spell? I love OAUT, but last night, I was just put out. And Henry, I’m past done with him.

    • John 1138 says:

      The spell blocked people with shadows, so Gold could get in, so Regina and Emma eliminated their shadows by blocking the Moonlight with an eclipse… thin, but there you are.

    • geekygirl says:

      In rereading comments after I posted, you and I are pretty much on the same page on this one! Lol,

  13. Amelia says:

    Everyone is related to each other apparently in this show.

  14. Mr. Josh says:

    It’s not that difficult to believe… Just wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey…

  15. Gary10CC says:

    So at what point does all the magical ability close-up in Henry’s pedigree finally reveal itself in Henry? That has to be where the show is going next year, right?

    Henry finally discovers he himself can do magic (how he does is open to SO many possibilities), and combining with his frustration of his inability to be a hero like so many in his family, keeps trying to help others but fails. So he turns to only people who can help control his powers or gain more: Regina or Rumpel. As he gains more power, he turns more and more to the dark side (maybe a little piece of Pan stays inside his heart?)

    Tell me that isn’t plausible considering where this show is at right now.

  16. Stormy says:

    Someone on another site just postulated that, before the Pan/Rumpel confrontation, Henry and Rumpel switched identities and It was Rumpel’s heart and Henry is in the box. I like this idea.

  17. Ashley says:

    Have a very out there prediction that involves them retrieving the heart and getting Dr Frankenstein to re-animate Henry which will prob work because of how powerful his heart is. also pan will die and they will find a way to get rumple out because he has to save David. But have no idea what they have planned for the other half of the season lol

  18. Joe says:

    I’ll be glad when they get off that island,the storyline is worn out.

  19. Cate Amos says:

    A move back to Storybrooke might give the show the injection of energy it really needs. Henry seems to have lost quite a few IQ points since his arrival in Neverland, and it’s getting tedious. Being stuck with the same characters on one island is getting old. I miss the dwarves, Grandma, Archie, and all the characters that made season 1 appointment viewing in my house.

  20. Todd says:

    I have a feeling the spinning women were the fates and the third was Rumps mother. I did think that they must have had some investment in him to take him in.

    • Kit says:

      I really like this idea. Otherwise, why were those old women so nice to him? They were overly complimentary about his spinning skills AND just gave him one of the most valuable & hard to obtain items in the realm. The old ladies (& potentially Rumple’s mother) could “weave together” Enchanted Forest with Pandora’s Box, too. Sorry for the pun ;)

  21. Did anyone else get confused when Regina said “I guess we’re about to find out how much those lessons I gave you paid off” in regards to teaching Emma magic? Maybe I missed something but I don’t remember Regina and Emma wanting to hang out and learn magic!?

    • 777 says:

      The first scene in last week’s episodes showed Regina teaching emma how to use magic to make fire.

    • Tessa says:

      I totally agree, I remembered the fire, but that wasn’t much of a lesson, that was just kind of an ‘oh hey wanna know a trick that might help you in the future?’

  22. geekygirl says:

    Few thoughts, that pretty much match most people’s on this episode. I love OUAT but this episode left me saying, “really?”

    Far as I can see, the prophecy is fulfilled. Gold went to rescue Henry and got stuck in a box, yup, I’d say he’s been undone! From the beginning I have always thought why do they all jump to conclusion that “undoing” means death?

    So, Henry was smart enough to figure out the problem with Storybrook. He hates magic. He know it comes with a price. Yet he tries to save it because of a girl he meets for 10 minutes and a guy, who kidnapped him, who claims he never lies to him. But Pan told him his parents don’t care about him and lo and behold, they are all there to save him! Granny and Grandpa too!

    Love how there is no, “Dad! You’re alive!” by Henry. Don’t believe he had seen him up to that point.

    Love how none of the adults bothered to tell Henry what Pan was doing and the consequences. Just don’t be a hero. Maybe he is going to kill you to save himself might have been more effective? And we wouldn’t have come all this way with all of us to save you if you weren’t in danger

    No one asks what happened to Gold, it’s a small echoey cave, Henry didn’t overhear Pan and Gold’s conversation either?

    Love Robert Carlyle, it’s a strong cast but he act everyone off the screen. Hope they don’t keep him in a box too long!

    • geekygirl says:

      Forgot to add, where is TIger Lily? She was being held captive in Skull Rock, albeit by Hook, but hey, they’ve twisted the story so why not.

  23. Kit says:

    The writers seem to be laying groundwork for character development. As much as this Neverland interlude has been tedious, it’s not as bad as Snow & Emma back in the Enchanted Forest with Cora for half a season, & we have learned relatively a lot more about our series regular characters than that arc allowed. Even though Henry seems to be acting dumb, it’s showing how easily children are manipulated by those with bad intentions. Children are idealistic & want to believe the best in others. I would like to see the writers use this to culminate in to an “a-ha” moment for Regina wherein she starts to forgive Snow White. After all, the Snow who tattled on Regina was about the same age as Henry.

  24. ouatfan says:

    resolution!

    if Mary Margret and David come to the cave with the water, grab the box with Rumple inside. free Rumple and get Henry’s heart back. pan will die and then everyone can get the hell out off the island. maybe even take the lost boys too. continue with their plan to take a bunch of water back and heal David.

    forget pan, he has lived long enough!

  25. janitor jake says:

    What’s gonna end up happening, is that pan is gonna kill everyone and then they will all be trapped in the after life and have to figure out a way to get back, why? cause the writers are stupid and don’t make good decisions.

  26. Abby says:

    I liked the twist. Fans had been speculating that Pan and Rumple were brothers, but the father-son angle is a lot heavier. Pan IS a psychopath, as far as I’m concerned, but Henry is, once again, the problem. He has mostly NOT trusted Pan since arriving in Neverland, but then he has Pan saying “give me your heart” and THREE people he trusts saying “DON’T” and he gives up his heart anyway??? Henry, come on! (That said, Jared Gilmore did a pretty good job in that scene so props anyway.)

    I’m interested to see how they’ll wrap this arc up and save Rumple, Henry, AND Davis (The New Neverland is the title of ep.10 and then I’m assuming it’s the winter break?) because the reality is, while I’ve really enjoyed the kid who plays Pan, I’m ready for some new adventures. Last week’s ep, back in Storybrooke, made me realize that I miss the townspeople and their stories.

  27. Neo says:

    I’m just wondering, why young Rumple didn’t eat the cake

  28. Maria says:

    In the next episode we’ll see Henry sitting up, holding out his hand and lo and behold – there his heart is! Then, when Pan hovers around all shocked and dying, Henry can go: ” You said it yourself. In Neverland all you have to do is THINK of something to have it.”
    Presto! Pan is defeated, everyone’s happy and we can finally get back to Storybrooke and far, far away from this dreadfully boring Neverland plot.

  29. Tessa says:

    I have been reading all of the opinions on this episode, and here is mine.
    I totally agree that I hope Henry is gone for good, but I know that he wont, he is still the ‘truest believer’ and the goal that all the characters are working for. He is a terrible actor though, I can’t take anything he does or says seriously, he just awkwardly plods along with hardly any true acting passion behind his decisions. He will come back to life, Regina and Emma (who will magically get powers when it is most convenient but not entirely necessary, as the show seems to remind us) will work to get Rumple back (he is not dead, he is the best, most developed and deep character in the show and best actor, without him the show will deflate even more than it has in the 3rd season) and then Rumple will know of ‘another way’ to get Henry back (of coarse at a price) involving something from his shop, or true loves magic, or self sacrifice —-> Come to think of it, it probably will involve sacrifice by trading a life for another. Maybe Rumple proving that others do come before him?

    I did read a comment earlier talking about the possibility of Regina being Rumples daughter, and honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if they threw that in. One crazy, messed up family tree. I didn’t suspect that Pan was Rumple’s father until the final episode, It was a good request but I do think that if Pan was his brother it would have been a bit more fitting, his father is just a bit to exaggerated and to much.

    My personal opinion is that the show has been going downhill since the first season. First season was amazing, so many twists and turns and so enchanting; though I did think right away that they are throwing in so many characters and twists in the story line, who else will they have left to surprise us with in later seasons? They focused so much on making the first season amazing, I have felt the following two have been a let down since, with only one or two turns to kind of make you widen your eyes, but nothing shocking. I feel they are now pulling at straws for what to do to make the seasons better, but I think eventually they will run out of characters and materiel because they focused so hard on bringing everyone in and making the first season a hit. I mean, a tv show about fairy tale characters, canadian made and created in Vancouver – with lower quality graphics, you are taking a chance of being unsuccessful. (I live near Vancouver so I can say these things)

    Also, people, its a fictional show about fictional characters, stop getting so worked up about Henry and realize that he is a bad actor, a dumb kid, but he currently is the meat keeping the show going. He isn’t real, get over it.

    Also, Hook is way hotter than Neil, and the chemistry between Emma and he is way sexier. She should go for him.
    SO glad I have gotten this all off my chest.

  30. Jillian says:

    I had a feeling that Pan and Rumple were related, but I thought they were going to be brothers. Nice twist. That was one of OUAT’s best episodes in a while. I’m still on the fence about whether or not I want Henry to be alive or dead. There is so much potential for other character’s stories if he is in fact gone for good, yet he was a main staple of the show during the first 2 seasons (more so the 1st season).

  31. rain says:

    I hoped they would not make PP Rumple’s father. But they did and with that awful decision chose a really lame storyline that does not fit with the Peter Pan character they have presented us with. They should have made him Rumple’s older brother, because then all of the things PP has said and done to Rumple could be justified and would be reasonable. I mean seriously, why would a father that abandoned his son, goad that son about the father that abandoned him? Only a writer of OUAT could think up a plot line that moronic.

    Another thing that is totally irking me this season is the use of an A-typical villain. I, like many others, have always appreciated that the villains of OUAT are presented as anti-hero types rather than pure evil. Unfortunately, they broke that mould with PP and in the process stuffed around with a wonderful story — ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’, by (author) J.M. Barrie.

    I decided at the end of the episode that this will be my final season viewing OUAT. The show has run out of steam and centres around characters that really are not that engaging. Three seasons of watching the same expression over and over again from Emma, Henry, Snow, Rumple, Regina and Charming is enough for me.

  32. Conner says:

    Bring back Pan with Hercules as his father more piwerful than Pan but while with a hint of evil about even as Rumple on the nice scale

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