Once Upon a Time Midseason Finale Recap: The Never Land -- Plus: Mystery Villain Revealed!

Once Upon a Time Recap Emma Henry ForgetThis Sunday, in the midseason finale of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the Storybrooke heroes banded together in hopes of defeating Peter Pan — but what price might they ultimately need to pay to do so? Plus: Who’s the big bad for the second half of Season 3?

IN ASSORTED FLASHBACKS…. | We see how Hook and Tinker Bell first met cute, with her holding a knife to his throat in Neverland. There, it’s revealed that Hook only risks his life for two things: love (as he does later, for Emma) or Revenge revenge…. Outside school, when Henry laments to Mary Margaret that he feels like he doesn’t belong, she gifts him with a Once Upon a Time storybook that recently appeared in her closet “like magic.” For an instant afterwards, Henry sees his teacher as Snow White…. Belle finds Rumplestiltskin remembering lost Bae in his birthday…. And we get an encore of Emma birthing Henry but unwilling to look at or hold him.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time EPs Tease Fall Finale’s ‘Devastating’ Twist, ‘Compelling’ Spring Story Arc

IN STORYBROOKE…. | At the Storybrooke well, Pan (as Henry) explains to Felix how his plan to re-cast the Dark Curse upon Storybrooke will be a fate worse than death for their foes, since their identity-free “suffering will be eternal.” The only missing ingredient for the spell is the heart of the thing Pan loves most — which Felix assumes is Rumplestiltskin’s. But Pan corrects, “I never loved Rumple,” then explains how “love” can mean many things — including an appreciation of loyalty over the years. Pan thus plucks out Felix’s pumper, crushes it into the well, and a green smoke begins to bellow….

Elsewhere, Rumple explains to the gang how Pan’s plan can be stopped if they destroy the curse’s scroll, though doing so will come with “a steep price.” First step: Swap the boys’ bodies back, which requires the black fairy’s wand hidden at the convent where Blue is lying in state. Hook, Neal, Charming and Tink set out to procure the wand, but are confronted by Pan’s shadow. To trap him in the candle, Tink manages to make the pixie dust work and floats to the rafters, capturing the creature and then destroying it once and for all. Blue is in turn revived, and assures Tink that she has earned her wings back many times over.

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At his shop with wand in hand, Rumple explains how he will return Henry to his body, at which point the lad is to bring the scroll to them to be destroyed. (No one thinking for a minute what Felix, who for all they know is alive, would do upon realizing Pan was gone. But anyway….) After casting the spell, Rumple stays behind to tend to “unfinished business” with his father while the others seek out Henry. But when Pan comes to, he scoffs at Rumple’s attempt to mute his powers with Greg and Tamara’s cuff — which Pan aka Home Office himself designed and thus is immune to. Pan renders his son helpless by slapping the cuff on his wrist, and gives him a beating.

Once_FallFinale_GroupGranny, using her nose, leads the group to Henry, but the moment Regina lays hands on the scroll, she passes out. Upon coming to, she explains that she “saw what needs to be done” to pull off their plan — and then Pan pops up to snatch the scroll and gloat. Rumple winds up getting the best of his father by sneaking up on him, declaring, “I have a job to finish” and “a price I’m finally willing to pay.” After essentially saying goodbye to Bae and Belle, Rumple summons his shadow to bring the dagger he left behind in Neverland and plunges it into both Pan and himself. Pan briefly morphs back into Malcolm and futily pleads, “We can start over…,” but Rumple (“Villains don’t get happy endings!”) twists the dagger further, sending them both vanishing in a burst of light.

And then the waterworks begin. (In fact, the streets are suddenly rain-soaked…?) As Belle sobs over losing Rumple, and Neal acknowledges his estranged dad’s sacrifice, Regina reveals the big wrinkle in stopping the curse: “I have to say goodbye to the thing I love most. I can never see Henry again.” As she explains, breaking the curse will “wink” Storybrooke away as if it never existed, while returning everyone — save Henry, who was born in our realm — to The Enchanted Forest. But he won’t be left here alone. Emma, as the Savior, can escape the curse and be with him — though Emma at first suggests they travel with everyone else to Fairytale Land. Alas that’s not an option, because Regina must pay a price. “But I just found you,” Emma cries to Snow and Charming. “I’m not done” restoring happy endings. Snow explains that happy endings aren’t always what we expect them to be, plus now she and Henry can be a family. Even Regina is accepting of the arrangement, admitting, “All I’ve wanted was for you to get the hell away from my son. But really what I want is for Henry to be happy.”

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Season 3 Spoilers — Will Rumbelle’s Reunion Last?

Reconvening at the town line, Emma hugs her folks goodbye, while Henry laments to Regina, “This is all my fault,” having not recognized that his mother did love him and then seeking out Emma Once_FallFinale_Henry_Reginain the first place. But Regina takes all blame, saying, “It was my fault to cast a curse out of vengeance…. Villains don’t get happy endings.” But, Henry declares, “You’re not a villain. You’re my mom.”

Emma says bye to her guys, first hugging Neal, who asserts, “This isn’t over.” Hook, meanwhile, first goes for laughs — “It’s quite a vessel you captain there, Swan,” mocking her VW bug — then shares, “Not a day will go by when I don’t think of you.” “Good,” Emma very warmly smiles. (Did it just get hot in here…?!) Regina then drops a final bombshell, that because Storybrooke will have never existed, neither will Emma and Henry’s memories of their time there. To fill the void, Regina grants them “good memories,” a past where Emma never gave Henry up for adoption. “But that past won’t be real,” Emma comments. “But your future will,” Regina responds. And as Regina rips the scroll and zaps the encroaching smoke, Emma and Henry drive off, leaving nothing behind — and we see that in Emma’s revamped memory of childbirth, she did hold Henry.OnceUponaTime_WickedWitch

IN NEW YORK CITY, ONE YEAR LATER…. | The alarm clocks hits 8:15, Lou Reed’s “Charley’s Girl” (aka Neal’s intro song) is playing and Emma sits down for breakfast with Henry — but they’re interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s Hook. “Swan! At last. … Something terrible has happened. Your family is in trouble,” he reports, Doc Brown-like. But Emma, post-mind wipe, has no idea who this guylinered fella in leather is. To (hopefully) jog her memory, he goes in for a “true love’s” kiss, but is forcibly rebuffed. (“It was a long shot,” he admits. “Had to try.”) Poised to call the cops, Emma closes the door on this stranger as he beckons, “You have to remem–.”

THEN, IN THE MIDSEASON PROMO…. | It is revealed that come March 9, when Season 3B opens, Lost looker Rebecca Mader will be playing… the Wicked Witch of the West!

What did you think of Once‘s midseason finale? And how about some props for Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla in those final scenes? And what burning questions would you like me to seek answers to during the 12-week hiatus?

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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  1. A.D. says:

    Robbie Kay was awesome…will miss him on the show!

    • Olivia says:

      He’s an awesome actor, but in OUAT they tend to fill half a season with a new actor/actress too much, just like they did with Mulan and Aurora back in Season 2.
      On another note, OH MY GOD! (Janice’s voice) I love that it was Hook the one that went back for her, he kept his promise to never forget her for a day, I want to know NOW how (Can’t wait till March). Capt Swan forever, there’s much more steam with him than Neal.
      Also, since Neal wasn’t in Fairy Land when the Curse was set in motion, shouldn’t he be able to go with Emma and Henry? Regina said that everyone who was born in Fairy Land had to go back, Emma can leave because she’s the ‘savior’?

      • I want to know, How if Emma and Neal could have gone back if they weren’t in Storybrook when the first curse was enacted, that also applies to Hook and Tink since they were in Neverland and the protected part of the Enchanted Forest?

        • MAP says:

          Hook was protected by the spell by Cora and her bubble (why sleeping beauty/Mulan stayed in the EF). SO Hook was still part of it he just didn’t go to Storybrooke.

      • Jacqui H says:

        I think anyone who got out of the curse would have lost their memories, leading hook and tink to be transported to keep theirs. Bae maybe could have stayed, but then we’d be dealing with a false memory romance at best

      • the girl says:

        Yeah I didn’t understand that either. Neal was never subjected to the rules of the curse, he should have been able to go with Emma and Henry. Tink and Hook were never subjected to the curse either.

      • Katherine215 says:

        You answered your own question. Neal was born in the Fairytale Land, so he had to go back. It didn’t matter whether they were affected by the curse or not. Emma was born there, but she was the only exception because she’s the savior.

      • I was wondering about that too, I thought Neal should have been able to go with Henry and Emma.

        • abcde says:

          But Henry would forget he existed, and Emma would just remember him as the jerk who broke her heart – and he would forget Storybrooke, including making up with his father (who is most certainly not really dead). This would lead to MAJOR relationship issues.

          • Nikki says:

            i assume that if Neal had gone with them, Regina would have given them memories where he didn’t break her heart and the 3 of them were a family all along. which would have just been a completely fake false memory romance at best. also then Neal would lose his real memories, so on that note it was probably more of a decision about how 3b would play out on there part where it wouldn’t work if Neal and Tink didn’t have their memories. I think it’ll be better that Neal will remember their real past vs either a fake memory of them, or your idea where they hate each other/relationship problems.

      • Mel says:

        Yes I agree. I leapt out of my seat when I saw Hook on the other side of the door! He found her! Bangarang!

      • pami says:

        but Neal/Bae was BORN in the Enchanted Forest and therefore must return there :(

      • AnotherGuest says:

        No, Neal should be able to go back with them because Emma (she was only days old when she was place in wooden closet with the human boy puppet then disappear outside of StoryBrook where the August was suppose to care for her) and Henry were both babies in the real world not anyone else. Reason Neal is still in StoryBrook is that he is born there and a diiferent spell removed before the first, & secord stroll curse ever was made.

      • Steph says:

        No one else could stay (otherwise, it wouldn’t have been just Neal, Hook and Tink could have stayed too). This wasn’t really a new curse, Regina was recycling the magic from the old one and could only alter it minimally in the limited time she had. The curse was such that everything and everyone not of this world would be taken back to the Enchanted Forest. The only reason Henry could stay was because this is his world, and Emma was able to stay because she is the saviour and there was always a loophole for her built into the curse.

        • lramirez@samford.edu says:

          But Neal could have just crossed the border and therefore not been victim of the second curse. He wouldn’t risk losing his memories because he was not victim of the first curse so he could travel wherever he wanted in our realm without losing his memories. Hook and Think included.

          • lramirez@samford.edu says:

            Also my question is whether everyone else who did go back to the enchanted forest get to keep their memories? So do they all know that Regina isn’t evil anymore? Or did they all go back to exactly how it was before?

    • Lambsilencer says:

      I thought the same thing. He did an amazing job.
      I loved the fall finale, but there’s one thing I didn’t like: The final scene. It would have been a much better ending when it went to black after we see Emma and Henry driving away. Nothing more. So it could as well have been the end. And with no preview that featured new scenes. More like, “This is what you’ve seen so far”, flashing a few key moments from the past, and then “On March 9, see how it all goes on from here”, in written letters, and then, just the title. Now THAT would have been really mysterious.
      But still, it was a great hour of TV.

    • haley keller says:

      I hope Robbie Kay comes back in the next part of season 3

  2. Cruella would have been better

  3. sladewilson says:

    That was one of the most brutal and greatest twists I’ve seen in a long time…. Great episode…

  4. Laura Aliaga says:

    All I can say is thank god the Pan storyline is over, I was about ready to give up on OUAT

  5. chadcronin says:

    Once of the best episodes of the series. Would have made for a Series Finale. I can’t wait to see the next chapter now. Very happy they showed a preview for the March 9th episode to show us that everyone is still around. Rumple better be too!

    • Larc says:

      I was relieved to catch a quick glimpse of Rumple in the preview.

      • Evan says:

        There was definitely something strange going on with Rumple’s death. I mean, we see him standing there with the sword, panicked and desperate, getting ready to whack his own hand off. Then we cut to Pan and the others, and Rumple shows up with both hands and no sword, calm and collected. He delivers his touching goodbye speech, impales himself and Pan, and they both go poof. Obviously either a) something important happened to Rumple in between those two moments, or b) whoever killed Pan wasn’t Rumple at all.

        That said, I doubt we’ll find out for a while. My guess is that for the rest of the season, Rumple’s only appearances will be in flashbacks; the show’s habit of flipping back and forth between present and past means they can kill people in the present and still keep telling their stories in the past. We’ll be led to believe that Rumple is really dead, until the big reveal–my guess would be the season finale. Rumple is too popular a character to leave dead for too long.

      • Steph says:

        That was actually a recycled clip… but that doesn’t mean he won’t be back.

    • Marissa says:

      Rumple’s shadow is still around (it doesn’t make sense that the shadow would die with Rumple if they have always been separate entities when apart) so hopefully that plays a part in getting him back!

      • Steph says:

        If you watch carefully, his shadow rejoins his body in that scene. So they were one entity when he died. However, I do think his shadow will play a role in his return (assuming he does), because Pan did not have his at the time so it could possibly explain why Rumple can come back but Pan doesn’t.

    • Christine says:

      Indeed – and Regina. The show would never be the same without those two.

  6. Spotteddog says:

    Wait – Rumple/Robert Carlyle is gone?

    • Lindsay says:

      Agreed, I speculate this was the Blind Item about a character’s death that couldn’t be revealed, that he was the lead in another show. Matt or Mitch will hopefully clear it up shortly :)

    • taran63 says:

      I think he’ll be back. That comment he made to Charming in the diner about how they were family and he would do him a favor makes me think that Charming will somehow bring him back.

      • mrsdp says:

        I wonder if the fact that Rumple made a very un-dark one sacrifice will play into some redemption aspect. Or the idea that Storybrook never existed and everything reverts back to where it had come from. Regardless, I am still wiping the tears from the entire stretch starting with Rumple and “Papa’s” first bits of confrontation in the shop.

    • Katie says:

      Rumple is in the preview, so I’m sure he’ll be fine.

      • Joe says:

        I’m pretty sure Rumple will show up alive and well. But the shot in the preview is from LAST episode, as that is clearly Belle and his reunion on the docks at Storybrooke. ;)

    • Katherine215 says:

      If Rumple isn’t gone permanently, then I’m assuming we should see the Huntsman and anyone else who “died” in Storybrooke back in the Enchanted Forest, right? How can one come back if the rest weren’t allowed to?

      • Peach says:

        We won’t see Graham he got himself a movie gig. ;p

        • Katherine215 says:

          I know, I’m just saying that the rationale that was used for not bringing back “dead” characters would have to apply to Rumple, too.

          • Kate says:

            Not necessarily. Graham died – he had his heart crushed. We only assume that Rumple died because he thought he had to, and then he disappeared. While Graham returning would literally be a resurrection, Rumple may actually still be alive, or at least in some magical in-between state where they could bring him back.

    • jbean1 says:

      Well, considering he’s in the ad for the March return, then no, he’s not. Way to build suspense and then give us spoilers in the preview to completely negate it, ABC…

  7. Marty says:

    March 9th??? Are you kidding me? That’s way too long from now!

  8. Tsuki says:

    I’m sort of curious what happened to the people who weren’t part of the curse (Ariel, the Lost Boys, Wendy and her brothers, etc.). They do not belong in the Enchanted Forest necessarily. On top of that do those going back remember everything or do they have fake memories too?

    Oh super excited as to why Hook was the one sent through.

    • Joey says:

      And /how/ he was sent.

    • mrsdp says:

      Regina did say that everyone would return from whence they came. Right? Emma was the only loop hole since she, as savior, had escaped the curse originally. The rest would revert back to their place of origin. At least that was my assumption.

      • RUCookie says:

        Pinocchio also escaped the curse the 1st time, so I wonder if he is out and around?!?

        • He reverted to child form, so I’m gonna say he’s with Gepetto in FTL.

          • songbyrd86 says:

            Nope, They brought august back when they gave rumple the potion to bring belle’s memory back right before they all thought they were going to die. Grumpy was going to use the same potion that brought pinnochio back to his adult form to cure sneezy.

        • H says:

          Also Neil, because he wasn’t in fairy tale land at the time of the curse. Why couldn’t he stay too?

      • Marissa says:

        I wish we had more information on where everyone was sent – FTL vs. Neverland (for the Lost Boys). And if everyone was really sent back to their place of origin… well, Emma WAS born in FTL. So since she wasn’t sent back, breaking the curse doesn’t apply to those who escaped before the original curse and Neal shouldn’t have been sent back!

    • the girl says:

      I think Wendy and her brothers had already left to go home before the curse was enacted. I don’t know where the Lost Boys will go, because they, like Neal, were never subjected to the terms of the curse. I also think the Lost Boys and Neal should retain their memories like Hook obviously did, because they were never cursed.

      • murley says:

        I’m pretty sure everyone retained their memories except Emma and Henry. And everyone returned to where they originally came from (meaning Neal/Bae to FTL) except Emma because of the whole savior thing.

        • April says:

          This is the thing a friend and I were discussing too. I said that everyone else kept their memories, she said that everything reverts back to before the curse was ever enacted. I feel like that would leave too many loopholes (like what happened to the people who were alive but died since the curse, and what happens to Snow and Charming’s baby if Emma is now in “the real world”)

          • Krista says:

            I agree with that. Since Regina had to make an ultimate sacrifice. It wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice if she didn’t even remember Henry

  9. Alec says:

    This episode was amazing. Cant wait till March.

  10. Sarah says:

    It’s actually Elphaba ? I figured it was the classic wicked witch from the original story.

  11. CC says:

    Is anyone else confused why Neal couldn’t stay with Emma and Henry? He was already in this world when the curse started, so why would he be sent back?

    • Joey says:

      Basically anyone born in the Enchanted Forest was sent back, at least that’s what I would assume. The only reason that Emma was exempt is because of her status as the “savior”. Doesn’t matter if any characters got to the Land Without Magic before or after the curse, hence why Hook was sent back too.

    • Kat says:

      i was wondering about this as well. i figured he would be able to leave storybrooke with them. i was thinking hook could leave, too. lots of questions about this episode…

    • Ginger Snap says:

      Technically, Emma was from FTL but Regina chose to cast the curse so Henry would not be alone. Something tells me she is the savior all over again.

      • RobMF says:

        Emma was spelled in the first place to be a loophole to the curse which is why they sent her through the tree/portal thing in the first place. Because Regina didn’t cast that part of the curse, I believe it was a spell by the Blue Fairy if I’m not mistaken Regina destroying the curse wouldn’t effect Emma.

        I don’t know that hook is actually from fairytale land. He was there before he was in Neverland but it seems like the Jolly Roger has the ability to travel through worlds often so he could be from anywhere really.

        • Ginger Snap says:

          Regina was pretty clear on this. She had to give up some one she loves. Emma could have gone back to FTL, but she wasn’t part of the original curse and could also stay.
          But neither was Neal. Her purpose was for Henry to be happy. So in casting this version of the curse, Emma stayed with Henry. It was Regina’s one act of pure selfless love.

        • That loophole was put in by Rumple not the Blue Fairy.

      • Peevesie says:

        Guys Emma’s parents true love drop was on the curse parchment hence she is the loophole. Not coz she escaped before the curse hit.

    • Cass says:

      Plot device. {rolling eyes}

  12. H says:

    I gotta say it was a pretty good mid season finale. I was not expecting the wizard of oz connection.Im excited to see if they learn from this first half to make the second half better

  13. Mrs. Peele says:

    i thoroughly enjoyed the ending and so happy the pan story line finally ended…i couldn’t take much more of it. we know that everyone has to get back together, but what an ending seeing storybrook disappear. ‘one year later’ takes from ‘supernatural’ in that regard. normal life for a while… can’t wait to see what comes next.

  14. Ashley says:

    I LOVED this episode! The only thing that I am not a fan of is the retreading of Emma and learning who she is. I am l looking forward to March.

    • April says:

      Yeah, I hope they can do a spell to recall her memory somehow. (Or maybe it takes Neal’s kiss, not Hook’s). I really don’t want to go through the whole “What?! This isn’t real!” thing again.

  15. jonathan says:

    who says its elphaba maybe they will be using the name theodora from oz the great and powerful since that is a disney movie

  16. Now my only hope is, that with all the characters being returned to FTL, that Maleficent, aka Kristin Bauer, will be back soon too. :)

    • Mike R. says:

      I’m pretty sure she died at the end of season 1.

    • abz says:

      I thought it was just the current characters that will return to FTL. But maybe dead ones can back as well since I’m sure Rumple will be back there. For me personally, I don’t like KB in the role, so if she isn’t back I would be fine with that.

  17. M.d says:

    I haven’t watch the episode, someone tell me what happen to Neal ?

  18. madjeknotts says:

    I thought this was by far the best episode of the season!!!! I am emotionally worn out after that episode and that is the sign of good writing and acting!!!! I also believe that they left us with enough of a happy note to make it until March, however, I was still sobbing about the loss of memories/loss of family/loss of Rumple to recognize it at first. I’m just going to have to rewatch the episode a thousand times to bridge the gap!!!!!!

    • Frank says:

      I agree. The scenes between Regina and Emma at the end of the show had me in tears. These characters shared such animosity for so long and now to see them show tenderness and compassion towards one another was amazing! I wish Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison would be recognized with Emmy nominations, but for whatever reason the Emmy organization seems to pass over these types of programs.

  19. Sarah says:

    Why hasn’t Ruby been on all season ?

  20. Nate Mayhew says:

    At the half way point when Pan called Rumple the village coward, I thought for sure I was right and Oz would play out with Emma as Dorothy and Hook as her little dog, too. Bae needing a brain and Regina a heart. Then the last half started. I guess I’ll just sit here until my birthday on March 9th, wondering what the heck I just saw. Midseason finales are not allowed to be pitch perfect series finales with a tacked on cliffhanger. But then the promo……… Rumple will be back, right? Even though he found his courage already? I’m rambling. Did anyone else think he chopped his hand off to remove the cuff and then attached it with magic?

  21. Khorrie says:

    Are they actually going to call her Elphaba? Because that’s not a name associated with the evil version of the character. it would be best to either give her a new name or no name at all and just keep it to WWotW.

    • Jimmy says:

      Elphaba is likely copyrighted by Gregory Maguire who wrote the book Wicked. They could go with the name used in the recent Disney movie, Oz the Great and Powerful.

    • Meg says:

      I’m assuming he’s using the name Elphaba because that’s the most commonly known name for her other than Wicked Witch of the West.

  22. jennwithapen says:

    I did not love it. I think too many plot points are either not explained or quickly dealt with using “magic” – ie. Charming’s fatal-except-not Dreamshade incident. Also, the spring season seems like a re-do of Season 1: Fairytale Land people are in trouble and need a (memory-less) savior. Rinse and repeat.

    • Lia says:

      Rumple gave the cure to Charming on last week’s episode.

    • lisa says:

      Charming got a cure from Rumple. Hello, the formula for most of these character’s individual storylines are the same.

    • abz says:

      What other way is there to cure a magical poison? I don’t think it’s a stretch that they’d use a magic antidote. The only other option would have been to let him die or be stuck in Neverland (which I would have preferred since he’s a complete bore), but they’d never separate him from Snow permanently.

    • Christina says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with you. Dreamshade cure was too easy, and watching a memory-less Emma save them again just doesn’t sound as exciting as it once did.

      • creams12 says:

        of course its going to be exciting. this time theres magic involved. its very different. with different villians etc. just because emma is going to have to break a new curse its not an exact repeat at all. she is the savior what else is she supposed to do?

  23. Jimmy says:

    Great episode. I didn’t dislike the Never Land story nearly as much as everyone else did, but was good to see it come to end. I’m interested to see what the Wicked Witch of the West brings to the series, especially since it looks like Regina turned good. Once can only hope there will be flying monkeys, but hopefully no Dorothy..

    • ljc says:

      Isn’t it obvious — Emma will be Dorothy (the “savior” from the real world who ultimately defeats the Wicked Witch)

      • sararnoldi says:

        maybe Emma has to wear the ruby slippers to get to Oz

        • Stefanie says:

          Because of rights situation no one can wear the ruby slippers because in the books the shoes are not ruby slippers that was created by MGM for the classic movie and the rights are owned by Warner Bros that’s why in Oz the Disney movie there is no mention of those shoes no there will ever be… If they want to use Oz story they have to stick to the books and not use anything in the classic movie that is not in the book … Too bad though

  24. Seriously, we have to wait until march? :(

    The freaking promo left with so MANY questiones, likee Why is StoryBrook Belle, asking who cursed them?
    Is it like, both curses collide and created some split personalities, more of personas, like, of course they were send back to FTL but their still in storybrook, like both cursed happened and now theres two of everyone!

    why do i have to wait until march!!!! :( :( :(

    • jerrired says:

      Yeah the Storybrooke Belle part and Rumple alive is the part that got me the most curious about the promo because I had no clue what was going on there. I wasn’t sure if it was new stuff or somehow old scenes weaved in to throw us off.

      • will says:

        There were definitely some old scenes. Belle hugging Rumple seemed to be on or near Hook’s ship, which I believe was the scene from last episode when they returned from Neverland. I’d hope he’s not gone, as I love Robert Carlyle, but if they bring him back they’d better do a damn good job explaining it.

        • Lizabeth says:

          I think you’re right about the Belle/Rumple scene. It was either when they were leaving for Neverland or when they returned. As for Rumple coming back, I’m wondering if it will be a Harry Potter-type of return. The Dark One part of him will die and the good Rumple will live. Fingers crossed that his dad does not return, though I am going to miss the actor who played Pan. I thought he was great.

  25. jen says:

    Such a good mid-season finale. Loved it. Can’t wait for the second half of the season.

  26. Sarah says:

    Great episode, I totally felt the Back to the Future Part II vibe with the ending. Big question, why did Neal have to return….other than drag on the Emma/Neal/Hook triangle?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I think it’s pretty simple: If you weren’t born in this realm, you got sent back. Henry was born here, and Emma has the Savior exemption.

      • Sarah says:

        I thought it was the “if the curse brought you here, then you must leave because undoing the curse means it never happened.” Which would not explain why Neal had to leave – he left FTL long before the curse. Maybe hook, tink, and ariel make sense because they’d never have come to our world had it not been for some reason related to the curse.

        • RicFule says:

          Exactly! That was my thoughts on it as well. {Those were?} Whatever the correct statement is, anyway.

          • Ryan says:

            I feel like the curse brought EVERYONE… wether directly or indirectly… some people were brought over and some people came over due to the curse being put into place… does that make sense? ariel never would have come if the curse never took eric away… etc… pinocchio never would have come if the curse didn’t occur… etc etc…

          • Emily says:

            So, here’s what I actually think…People go back to FTL except those who weren’t there in the first place: Neal, Tink, Pinocchio/August. Hook was protected by Cora. He also could have just left SB on his ship — he’s a pirate. Gold is not dead. We just know that. Neal is not in NY yet. He is wherever he was 28 years ago. England circa at the Darlings or in Never Land? Neal will prove to be Emma’s true love. Her fabricated memories only go back to Henry’s birth. Everything with her and Neal still happened. Or, Regina will kiss Robin Hood to break the curse. it was her curse, after all and as Henry declared she’s not a villain! Regina will get a happy ending. The question is how does Belle know they were cursed? It would be cool if the WW could also be Rumps mom. Just a thought.

        • Ginger Snap says:

          Regina didn’t want Henry to be alone. She had enough power in the curse to keep her in our realm. It was her one true act of self less love.

        • prish says:

          The curse didn’t bring Emma to Storybrooke, so she would be exempt. She came to this world in the magic closet with Pinocchio, right?

        • abcde says:

          The way I see it, Neal could have gone with them, there was just the memory-wipe issue. Though Regina could have fixed that too. Probably, he could have gone but he wasn’t thinking straight and didn’t realize he could go, so he chose to stay.

      • Anthea says:

        I have a question Alexandra Cindirella’s daughter was born in this world. So what happen with her?

        • Chris says:

          They probably forgot about her or decided to ignore her. The Darlings are also technically part of this world aren’t they. Maybe they died because the were kept alive by magic.

        • tsukikomew89 says:

          I thought of this too. A friend suggested the child was born under the curse, therefore belonged in the Enchanted Forest.

      • abz says:

        Matt, will there be a post-mortem with A&E?

        • EL says:

          I was wondering this too! Love the “post-mortem[‘s] with A&E”, as while most of the episode plays out nicely, there are of course, questions to be answered that tie up loose ends and won’t spoil future stories plot-lines. But all-in-all it was an amazing episode.

          One question I dont see being asked by other posters that I would like to know HOW they will explain: If Neal was sent back with the others to the Enchanted Forest, WHO is Henry’s Father?!?
          And as others have said, since Neal was in NYC when the curse was cast, where is he now?
          Is that one of the reasons why Hook came to find Emma? Because Neal is somewhere strange?

          I REALLY hope that Emma & Henry don’t have to spend the entire 2nd 1/2 of the season learning about their families, magic and all of the history that has been explained, learned and layered over the last 2 &1/2 seasons. As other posters have stated, that would be the same story-line as the first season, just set in (as far as we know) a new land, Oz. I very much hope there is some sort of magic loop-hole (I don’t mind the easy way out via magic, once in a while, as frankly it keeps the plot moving forward) that will allow Emma & Henry to regain their memories once they are reunited with their family, friends etc… I did find it HILARIOUS that Hook went straight for the “True loves kiss” when he knocked on Emma’s door; tooooo funny! Hook is always an optimist!

          • Shandelle says:

            Did you watch the promo after the episode? You can clearly see Neal is in the Enchanted Forest dressed in fairy tale clothing as an adult version of Baelfire. Considering the new curse wiped Emma’s memories and she didn’t know who Hook was, I’m wondering how they’ll explain who she and Henry believe his father is when the show picks up. Regina said she was giving Emma positive albeit fake memories which included that she’d kept Henry instead of putting him up for adoption. It’s entirely possible Regina will create a fake father for Henry in those memories (Hey, could this be who Chris Gorham is playing? Many of us have been speculating who he could be. All we know is that his character is someone important to Emma). Or maybe Regina will leave the memory of Neal intact how Emma knew it before? But Neal will still have abandoned her like before only this time she keeps Henry and we see how her life played out differently. Anything is possible I think. I honestly don’t see them dragging out this memory loss curse thing too far into the back half of season 3. Especially if they’re planning to do an Oz story line similar to what they did with Neverland, they’ll need episode space for those stories rather than doing the same thing as season 1 all over again. At least we know that Hook was able to escape the Enchanted Forest and managed to locate Emma & Henry. I believe the first episode or two will be him doing whatever necessary to make Emma remember and then the story will move on from there. I LOVED that they had Hook attempt a True Love’s Kiss on Emma to make her remember! I truly believe those 2 are meant for each other… but if she doesn’t remember who he is nor her feelings for him, would TLK still work? The Neal fans are saying this scene proves Hook is absolutely not her love. But does TLK work when someone has lost their memory? Like when Belle became Lacey and forgot who Rumple was??!

          • Mari says:

            I think Neal is still Henry’s father, and that Emma remembers him as Henry’s father. At least in this episode, the memory switch seemed to happen right after Emma gave birth. She would still remember the conman/thief that she had a relationship with–after all, she was in jail because of him. The real difference (until they change the backstory again) would be that he’s not in this world any longer, and simply doesn’t remember the Storybrooke/Neverland time with him.

            Neal was not in our world because of the curse, so still should be able to be Henry’s father. Emma just wouldn’t have a clue about his Enchanted Forest background.

          • Kate says:

            Shandelle – Just to add to your discussion, I don’t think that it proves that Hook can’t be her true love. Just like Rumple tried to kiss Belle to break the curse when she turned into Lacey and it didn’t work, David and Mary Margaret also kissed plenty in Storybrooke, and it didn’t break their curse. Not every curse can apparently be broken by every true love’s kiss.

            All that aside though, I also don’t think that Emma is quite there yet. Hook loves her, yes, but Emma has been focused on Henry, and she is only just beginning to see Hook as something more than a pirate. She obviously has feelings for him which could develop into love (even true love), but I think it would be pushing it for the writers to expect us to believe that Emma is in love with Hook at this point.

      • Steph says:

        What about Cinderella’s baby? Alexandra was born in Storybrooke. I don’t think the writers think these things through…

        • Brad says:

          I actually think that the writers messed up in the very beginning regarding Alexandra, as Alexandra should have been born way before the curse ever came into play. Cinderella was pregnant way before Snow White was. But the writers make it seem that the pregnant Cinderella is the same pregnant Ashley since the unborn child is still “the child promised to Rumple”. A more believable story is that Cinderella/Ashley got pregnant in Storeybrooke and her baby that was born in EF is running around somewhere. And that would also mean that the child promised to Rumple was already born and not the child born in Storybrooke of which Emma had to save with her deal with Rumple.

          • abcde says:

            Yeah but Snow had Emma early… I’d buy that Cinderella was probably days away from giving birth when the curse hit, and then after Emma showed up and time started moving again, it finally happened.

        • Kate says:

          Steph – I think the writers could explain it away since Alexandra was born in Storybrooke while the characters and the town were still under the curse. In essence, that could make her still of fairytale land origin. Henry, on the other hand, was born in “our world,” and by a mother not under a curse, which would make his situation different. Yeah, it could be stretching things, but as a viewer I would be fine accepting that as an explanation.

          • Stefanie says:

            Adam said on Twitter that since Cinderella’s daughter was conceived in the enchanted forest so she has to go back too, Henry was conceived in the real world, now Hook we know he is from England but The Queen said everyone will go back from where they came from (to SB) so Hook came to our world thru a portal from the EF , if Emma had stayed in SB she came from the EF so she would had gone back too… The darlings went back home to England they weren’t in SB so they are safe very different situation from Hook

  27. Monica says:

    Matt: You pretty much know it all. We haven’t seen the last of Rumple, right? I other words: please tell me he’ll be back!

    • RicFule says:

      I’m not Matt, but no. If you watch the previews, Belle & Rumple-as-a-human are hugging. So, there are a couple of options: 1. He still shows up in flashbacks or 2. He is revived somehow, possibly AS an unmagical human. Since he “killed” himself with the Dark One’s dagger and if you kill the Dark One with the dagger you BECOME the Dark One, maybe it just “undoes” the Dark One?

    • digitalred93 says:

      Same question! Carlyle is the #1 draw for me. Fingers crossed, Rumple returns in March.

      • Ginger Snap says:

        A recent interview with Robert Carlyle indicates that he will be back and will continue to make bad choices.
        But I hope they give us one more confrontation with dear old dad.

        • Monica says:

          But the question remains. Will we see Rumple only in flashbacks (a la Sheriff Graham) or will he be back in the main plot? Also, with the new curse and the lack of memory it seems like a reboot of the series, no? I’ll be honest, OUAT needed to go back to its roots, that’s why we liked the show in the first place.

          • Ginger Snap says:

            Read the interview. He will be back. Because the show needs both him and Regina.
            They will be in FTL which suggests he will be more imp than Gold.
            And Regina will be more Evil Queen.

          • webly3 says:

            Well, the second half of the season will probably be the last time we see this curse. I actually very liked the curse twist and I thought I wouldn’t.

    • sararnoldi says:

      maybe Rumple will appear in Obi Wan Kenobi- after death- style.

  28. jerrired says:

    I really enjoyed it until the final scene where Hook came to get Emma. Besides the obvious of Hook being able to sail to other lands, it didn’t make sense for him to show up at Emma’s door and not Neal. Since Neal is Henry’s father, Emma should still have some kind of recognition of him or even a mystical tie to him. Therefore, seeing him should have made her believe him about her parents over some strangers aka Hook. I’m just guessing the writers are officially just focusing on the Hook and Emma pairing and not even going to try for the Neal and Emma one. Unless when the show returns they explain Neal being hurt or something.

    I also didn’t enjoy killing off Rumple and Pan. I know Rumple will comeback and Pan had to die, but i just love those characters so it was hard to watch. The same with Regina losing Henry. But I did enjoy Emma and Henry getting their happy ending for five minutes. I would have preferred the midseason finale just have ended with them in NYC. Bt the twist was huge, so cannot wait to see how it plays out in March.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I assume that Neal is considered part of the “family” that is in great trouble, and as such he isn’t available to make the trip to this realm.

      • jerrired says:

        I guess we’re supposed to assume that. From a show perspective, it makes more sense to drag out her gaining her memory to create drama and build a stronger bond with Hook. But within the logic of the show, if Neal is not in trouble, it doesn’t make too much sense for Hook to come get her.

        • shandelle says:

          Well trying not to be biased toward the Hook/Emma pairing, what if the folks sent back to the Enchanted Forest can’t leave the EF similar to how they could not leave Storybrooke or else lose their memories/something bad happens? I mean, Hook’s past is so mysterious at this point and we don’t know where he was born exactly. He disappeared with everyone else and appears to be in the EF but maybe the writers have come up with some kind of exception for him. Part of me thinks this is the writers subtly focusing on the H/E pairing at this point. But who knows. We’ll see more in March. Hopefully they release more promos and teasers in the coming months!

      • Tamsin says:

        I wondered if during the year period in FTL Snow and Charming had another child, since that was something they had talked about, and that is what Hook meant by,” Your family is in trouble.” instead of just saying “Your parents are in trouble.” Also she looked super preggers in one of the scenes showing the previews. Way more than she is in real life.

    • Amyy says:

      I think you answered your own question about why neil couldn’t be the one to come get Emma. The kiss would have been a true love kiss and would have restored her memories. Meaning, there would be no quest for the savior to go on in the second half of the season, which will undoubtably entail Emma having to get her memories back.

      • jerrired says:

        Yeah I said I understood in the show sense, but in the logic sense, it was illogical. I’m just hoping the writers make it logical next season why he didn’t show up at her door over Hook.

      • addie says:

        Agreed. I think I got too much joy out of Emma kicking Hook in the balls. Of course you could also say that Neal could have come and kissed Emma but unless she felt the same love, it still wouldn’t have worked.

      • kat says:

        True Love’s kiss doesn’t work when one person doesn’t have their memories. See Snow/Charming in season 1 and Rumple/Belle in season 2. As for why it was Hook, well the long answer is something I’m sure will be fleshed out in the second half of the season. The short answer is that the writers wanted to tell that story and not one with Neal there.

        • Mari says:

          Plus, the last memories this Emma would have of Neal would be of him lying to her and sending her to prison–without the Storybrooke/Neverland memories, he’d most likely be one of the worst characters to send, simply because she would not trust anything he had to say.

          Hook is at least a stranger, and doesn’t have the built-in baggage that Neal would have for this Emma.

          • Lia says:

            Totally agree!

          • shandelle says:

            I agree with this, as well. However, since Regina was altering Emma’s memories to include new fake ones where she kept Henry, it’s possible she also created a new fake father of Henry? Just something to consider. I could see Regina doing that as some sort of protection over Henry, since she believes she will see him again.

          • Mari says:

            I guess it’s possible that Regina created fake memories about who Henry’s father is, but at least at this point I’d consider it extremely unlikely–the memory switch seemed to start right after Emma gave birth, when she decided to hold Henry briefly.

          • Cass says:

            However, since Emma claims that she loved him even after that, the point that their kiss would have been true love stands.

          • Mari says:

            From what they’ve shown so far, you can love someone and it not be True Love. I’m not sure what is the qualifying difference, but not every loving relationship seems to qualify for the curse breaking True Love.

            So, while Neal may or may not be Emma’s True Love-in my opinion there’s not enough evidence for Neal or Hook or Graham to be it yet – him showing up and kissing her is definitely not a guaranteed curse breaker, especially when you have canon TL couples not being able to solve the memory issue with a kiss.

        • Sid says:

          We had a better parting with Emma/Hook and how each other react to one another much focus is on them, then Neal and her!

          • A says:

            That’s subjective. I personally preferred Neal’s determination to never give up on her again now that they’ve been reunited. I’m sure the reason he stayed behind was, as we saw in a spoiler picture, because he’s with Snow and Charming. He’s considered part of her family that’s in trouble. :)

        • shandelle says:

          Very well stated. Love your response to this.

        • Anita says:

          Agreed!!! Captain Swan is the story that writers want to tell since season 3 started, and they’re telling it indeed, but there are still people who are blind. Captain Swan all the way!!!

          • Joey says:

            That statement is about as laughable as it gets.

          • connor says:

            I’ve tried to see Emma and Hook together, but it isn’t working. Getting involved with your son’s father’s mother’s lover? That would put the Young and the Restless in the shade.

            I feel sorry in advance for the writer who has to handle the scene in which Emma tells Henry that she’s starting a relationship with the man who, by virtue of having been his grandmother’s common-law husband, is, to all intents and purposes, his step-grandfather. Having unloaded that unlikely bombshell, then what? Have her tack on “Oh, and just so you’re completely in the loop, darling, your biological grandfather cut off Hookie’s hand and murdered your poor grandma in a jealous rage. You remember him almost killing your grandfather? Well, now you know why. Isn’t it *nice* that we don’t have any secrets?”

            Charming said Thanksgiving dinner in their family would be a nightmare. Add Hook to the family and ‘dysfunction’ wouldn’t begin to describe it.

      • Clode says:

        Actually, when Snow lost her memories in flashbacks (season 1), charming kissed her and it didn’t work. when you don’t have your memories true love kiss don’t apply

        • Mary says:

          That was a potion. This is a curse. Not the same thing.

          • kat says:

            Belle was cursed in season 2 when she lost her memories and Rumple kissing her didn’t fix it either.

          • CM says:

            The reason true loves kiss doesn’t work is because Emma isn’t under a curse! She just doesn’t remember something that never happened. The only ‘curse’ like thing is her false memories and Snow and Charming kissed under the curse but never remembered who they were.

          • shandelle says:

            Exactly!! I am really tired of Neal shippers saying that because “TLK didn’t work” when Hook kissed Emma, that it is indicative they aren’t true loves. She has no clue who he is! He said he had to try (maybe when we learn how/why he gets sent back the land without magic, the Charmings or Regina or someone will suggest this as a possible method for him getting Emma to remember..?). I mean, on his own, did Hook even know that TLK would break curses anyway? He knows Emma is the Savior but he was in Neverland during everything from season 1, so how much does he really know about any of this? Seems to me like he may have been coached by the others back in FTL. Regardless, him kissing her would have no effect as already mentioned, because Emma isn’t under a curse anyway. She doesn’t remember something that was wiped from existence. Regina planted fake memories in her head. I’m not entirely convinced yet that she allowed her to retain memory of Neal or anyone related to her fairy tale past, because that might better ensure Henry’s safety.

          • abcde says:

            Plus that was literally an anti-true love potion, not just a memory wipe.

    • i wanted emma and henry to be with the charmings

    • shandelle says:

      Regarding Emma having any recognition of Neal vs Hook… I am wondering if when Regina created the fake memories for her, she just gave Emma an entirely different person as father of Henry. Thus she wouldn’t have recognized either man regardless of who got sent back to help her remember. Trying not to be biased toward Hook/Emma, I am wondering if there will be a specific reason they give us why Hook could leave the EF but no one else could. To be fair, I’d think that the fairy tale characters would have sent either Snow or Charming rather than Hook or Emma, if ANY of them were capable of leaving.

      • shandelle says:

        Rather than Hook or NEAL rather… would make more sense for Snow or Charming to be sent back to help Emma over two guys who are fighting over her heart and affections. Kinda how Snow got sent to the enchanted forest with Emma last season instead of letting her go that journey alone.

        • Steph says:

          I really would have preferred it if Snow or Charming were sent back instead.

        • Mari says:

          It would. But Hook did say that her family was in danger and in the promo he specifically mentions her parents being in trouble, so I’m hoping there’s more to it than the writers fueling shipper wars. Plus, if they are back in Storybrooke somehow, he could cross the line, while before the Charmings could not.

      • jerrired says:

        Well I think you’re way more open to Hook and Emma than the Hook and Emma fans are to the possibility of Emma picking Neal over Hook. So I don’t think you need to worry so much about coming off bias. I however am bias towards the show becoming the Hook and Emma show. And that’s what fear is about to happen with Hook showing up at her door and not Neal. I’m worried the show will focus too much on the Hook-Emma and Henry bonding and less on what’s going down in the EF, which is probably more interesting than anything with Emma’s romantic life. I’ve kind of accepted the writers are planning to end the season with Emma and Hook romantically, and probably continue that on until next season. Their long-term goal for Emma’s romantic life I have no clue. But I did prefer/like it when she picked Henry over both guys. I was kind of hoping it stayed in that area but this twists leaves a huge door open for Hook to walk into her life and heart more so than it had before.I can deal with the pairing, I just don’t want it to become the focal point of the show or create something it’s not. I already feel like they’ve done that this year a little with Hook just completely in love with Emma. I’m still not buying that. It progressed into causal flirting to full blown love a little too fast for me. And like I said, even if Regina replaced Neal as Henry’s father in Emma’s memories (he probably was replaced by the dead fireman), I still think there would be some type of subconscious/magical recognition of him based on everything we know about the show.

      • jerrired says:

        And yeah I completely agree it’s all still so much a mystery. So we’ll see. I’m assuming Regina is in danger too, because I’d expect her to come before Hook. I’m not like outraged by the decision, I’m just hoping this storyline wasn’t trickery to focus more on Hook and Emma’s bonding.

  29. Sue says:

    This was the best episode yet!! It is hard to wait until March for the next show. This show and Castle are the ONLY shows our family watches. Wonderful writing.

  30. Stormy says:

    What a disappointment. This show is going off the rails to the point it could be mistaken for a David E. Kelly production [Ally MccBeal, Boston Legal etc in a 3rd or 4th season.]. Having Hook show up [still in stinky leathers] to bring Emma back into chaos was so lame. I’m kind of glad for the long break. JMO

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:


      • Stormy says:

        You do realize that you’re the one keeping that alive, right?

      • CultureVulture says:

        What’s the deal with Warren Christie??

      • EL says:

        I know who WARREN CHRISTIE is, the guy Emma goes after in the first episode, but what does that have to do with Stormy’s comment?

        • Stormy says:

          It stems from my rather strong verbalization over many months that H&K wasted Warren Christie as the bail jumper in the pilot. I was very strongly opposed to the casting of Michael Raymond-James as the grown Baelfire due to his appearance, speech pattern etc. I like MRJ as an actor, but felt he was miscast here. Whereas, Warren Christie resembles the young Bae and also Jared Gilmore who portrays Henry. I was quite tiresome in repeating my opinion and Matt understandably lost patience with me.

  31. Sarahliz1624 says:

    I didn’t understand why Rumple died with Pan. It didn’t look to be like the daggar went through them both, was there some link between the two of them that if one died so did the other? I can’t remember. Or was it because Rumple used the daggar he died? And what was the whole thing with him going to cut off his arm. Did he actually do it, or chicken out and decide to use the daggar instead? I found that bit all very confusing. And I agree with everyone else about the Ephelba nonesense. That’s from Wicked. She’s the Wicked Witch of the West. Unless you’re a Broadway nut, you wouldn’t know any other name for her if you’ve grown up with the original story from the books and movie except maybe Theodora.

    • Sarahliz1624 says:

      And that’s only if you watched the new movie

    • C.L.P says:

      If Rumple cut off his arm then he will still be a coward… he had to be brave and face the fact that his undoing (death) had to occur…

      • RicFule says:

        How does cutting off your hand make you a coward? Taking a sharp object to yourself is not something most people would do.

        I would think that NOT cutting it off when you had a chance to save everyone by cutting it off would make you the coward.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          I think he was set to lop off his hand, but as he looked at sword thought, “D’oh! My dagger is out there!”

        • mrsdp says:

          Cutting off YOUR hand wouldn’t make you a coward. Cutting off Rumple’s hand so he could rely on magic to bail his butt out of trouble kinda, sorta does. Papa Pan said it pretty clearly – without your magic, you’re just the village coward. Magic was Rumple’s crutch; almost a mask to hide behind.

          • Steph says:

            Especially considering that if he chopped off his hand, he could have immediately used magic to put it back. The point was he was facing his end and doing so without any magic. It was about his redemption and magic has always been his problem so it was fitting that he face his end without it.

    • abz says:

      I believe it might have had to do with the prophecy (“the boy will be your undoing”). Perhaps Pan was the “boy” and thus he could only die if Rumple sacrificed himself. I don’t know, i could be wrong; it’s just a suggestion, but that’s my original thought because if Henry wasn’t the boy, there still had to be a boy out there so the prophecy could be fulfilled, right?

      • Amme says:

        Good point and here all along I was under the impression that “the boy” was Henry.

        • connor says:

          I think that was intentionally left open by having the Seer tell Rumple that it was difficult to ascertain what she saw actually meant. She was calling Rumple ‘Dark One’, so the prophecy could have meant the ending of the Dark One without meaning Rumplestiltskin’s death.

          I did like watching him walk out of the shop with the cuff still on: dealing with Pan as himself, not with magic. Rumple said “I’m a villain, and villains don’t get happy endings”, but for someone driven by fear and insecurity, finding your courage is a happy ending. Rumple got the three things he wanted most: he wanted to stop being afraid, he wanted Bae to know he loved him, and he wanted Belle to know that her love had broken his ‘curse’.

    • Lisa says:

      I agree I can’t figure out why Rumple had to kill himself to kill pan. It makes no sense. There may be some rule that goes along with the dagger that explains it, but I don’t remember that far back.
      It’s possible the whole being a coward, not cutting off his hand and choosing to die instead thing is what they were going for, but I’m really hoping that he did cut off his hand, then used magic to conceal the wound / save himself. All along I’ve thought that maybe his “undoing” was not his death, but the loss of his powers/the death of the dark one. AKA I really hope rumple is still alive somehow.

    • Ray says:

      I didn’t understand Rumple’s death either. The whole incident was so poorly conceived/explained.

  32. Ian says:

    Believe me, I’m as attracted to Hook as the next person, but the only thing they could think of to keep him relevant was this Emma attachment, and it’s annoying the hell out of me. I cackled a bit when he went in for true love’s kiss there in the hope it would make her remember but no dice.
    Really emotional midseason finale tho. For the most part I enjoyed it. The Neverland arc got really cheesy and predictable there in spots, so I hope the next half of the season finds a great freshness.

    • jerrired says:

      Ha! I totally agree about the Hook thing. I like Hook as a character but just don’t like the Emma pairing storyline. I know some people love it. Okay A LOT of people love it, but it feels so forced to me. Hook as a character is being wasted to me.

    • prish says:

      I can see Hook and Regina, unless her former true love pops up.

    • Steph says:

      I like Hook a lot, but I feel like when they dropped Hook’s connection to Baelfire as his reason for helping the CharmingMillStiltskins at the beginning of this season to play up his role as the “love interest”, he lost a lot of his purpose. The writers seem keen on not exploring his relationship with Baelfire or the conflict of interest it puts him in, so they’ve sent Hook to Emma to give him something to do. But to me, it feels so hollow.

  33. Spotteddog says:

    Ok, I am now officially worried about Rumple. He is a huge part of this show.

  34. MP says:

    This has been, without a shadow of a doubt, the best episode of the series. It was just incredible! Emotions were running high at all moments, the plot moved along wonderfully, the actors were perfect. At the end, when all the cast is at the town line and Emma is saying her goodbyes to her parents, that moment was perfection! I was in tears and I’m not one to go around crying when watching movies or tv shows, but man! They didn’t utter a word, not single word, and they managed to somehow make me cry. Congratulations to the cast and writers! This definitely has me hooked to the rest of this third season. Keep up the great writing and the ratings should get better! #PanNeverFails

    • the girl says:

      I really wanted Emma to hug Regina there. They are both mothers and they went through an amazing ordeal together to save their son. Regina really put the interests of her son ahead of her own whims and Emma should have embraced her as a co-parent in that moment. That would have made the moment perfect in my opinion.

  35. JR says:

    Great episode. The emotions were many. Can’t wait until it returns.

  36. greysfan says:

    I’m so glad that the Pan storyline is over but that was one of the best episodes of the series. It was so heartbreaking at the end there and then Capt Hook turns up on Emmas doorstep. I seriously can’t wait till March to see what happens next. Congratulations to the cast for doing an amazing job. It was extremely well done. So i have a question, was Mr Gold the Blind Item?

  37. Luli says:

    Couldn’t stop crying…. woaaahh I’m still not over this mid season finale!!1 It could pass as a season finale! OmgI can’t wait for march!! Three months of waiting, don’t know what I’ll do, but kudoss! What an amazing episode!

  38. Theletterr says:

    I was under the impression the dark one could not kill himself, not to mention if you kill the dark one, you take his powers right? So wouldn’t Rumple just resurrect himself? Or mayve I missed something along the way.

  39. JeM says:

    Elphaba was the name from the Wicked book series (stunning book and fascinating musical!) – taken from the initials of L. Frank Baum, the original Oz writer – eL Fa Ba. Just FYI.
    Great, emotional episode – I was surprised at myself, actually, for getting a bit choked up! The boy really was Rumple’s undoing. Nice twist that he owned his destiny this time! Looking forward to the last half of S3. However, I still have faith in #CaptainSwan. Fanfic writers, you’ve got tons of time until March… go! ;)

  40. larakingsley says:

    I was hoping Hook would be screaming ‘We have to go back, Emma! We have to go back!’ ;)

  41. Ash says:

    I was hoping Henry would live, but stay in Pan’s body. All I’ve been thinking about the past few episodes is how the actor who plays Pan is 100x better at acting than the one who plays Henry.

  42. david says:

    this season has been fantastic so far.

  43. Kara says:

    I didn’t love all of it (I still don’t get why Rumple had to die to kill his father/Pan…maybe I missed something), but the whole ending section was fantastic and reminded me why I love this show. I’ll miss Robbie Kay, I loved seeing him in full evil mode this episode! Can’t wait for March.

    • Mari says:

      If it gave an explanation for that, I missed it too. Maybe magic backlash from undoing the Dark One? Why couldn’t they just dehead him? His shadow was already destroyed.

  44. Mary says:

    One thing I wanted to happen by the end of this episode since they were making Emma and Henry stay behind was for Emma to tell her parents that she loves them and for them to say it to her. Thought it was time, especially when as far as they knew they would never see each other again. She looked like she was going to say it when Snow gave her a good bye kiss, but it didn’t happen.

  45. “Pan renders his father helpless by slapping the cuff on his wrist, and gives him a beating.”
    I think you meant to write, “Pan renders his SON helpless…”

  46. Babybop says:

    I refuse to believe that Rumple is dead. I just won’t believe it…

    Awesome midseason finale though, I’ll admit I definitely cheered when Hook was at the door! I just prefer him as a character to Neal, but then again, I always preferred Sawyer to Jack (and this love triangle is pretty much the exact same thing with slightly different variables) and I recognize I’m probably not in the majority. The only thing I thought was stupid was that whole thing in the church. Why on earth did they feel slightly hiding in the pews, which didn’t even cover their heads, would protect them from pan’s shadow? Does the act of cowering slightly behind benches scare him off, or something?

    Regardless, March?! March?! But I am happy to go a straight back half with no repeats.

    • RicFule says:

      As long as there IS a repeat before that, which I doubt. For some reason, even though I have it set up to record a minute early, last week’s episode did not DVR correctly, & I missed like the first minute or two. So, by the time mine started, the Neverland crew had already arrived and were in the middle of the reunions. {And I never saw Ariel and Eric’s.}

    • abcde says:

      I thought it was pretty funny when Charming said “Allright. Let’s hit the convent.” Not something you hear every day.

  47. Ginger Snap says:

    I can only say WOW! Both Regina and Rumple performed one true act of selfless love. I am still crying. A&E delivered a grand slam home run on this one!

  48. Patti says:

    Hook and Tink have some serious spark but the breaking apart of characters is so played out.

    • shandelle says:

      I’m kinda wondering if the only reason they really ‘went there’ was to finally shut down the possibilities of Hook/Tink. I’ve always been in favor of Hook/Emma (I didn’t follow any of the pairings til this season), but I kinda felt like that particular Neverland flashback wasn’t really necessary at this point except for telling us that Hook and Tink weren’t involved given his behavior toward in the last episode. I think the Neverland arc of the season would have been VASTLY improved had they shown way more Neverland flashbacks like this instead of focusing on enchanted forest flashbacks.

      • Cass says:

        Wait, how did it show that Hook and Tink didn’t have a thing? That was their first meeting and it was oozing sex; I thought it pretty much confirmed that they DID have a thing back in the day.

        • Shandelle says:

          Eh, no more oozing with sex/sexual innuendo than the other interactions he’s had with every other woman on the show prior to his established romantic feelings for Emma. And we know he didn’t have sexual relationships with any of them up to this point, regardless of how he much he flirted. Hook’s flirting and sexual innuendo is a defense mechanism to deal with vulnerability and ensure self preservation. It seemed like the intent of this flashback was to show the audience he’d only risk his life for two things: Love and Revenge, something Tink remembers and brings up.. only for him to reply that he’d act selfishly to save himself. Hook’s good at surviving after all, something Pan commends him for and wishes to take advantage of. Besides, I believe Tink even responded to his drunken attempts to hit on her last episode with, “That’s never going to happen,” which makes me think he may have tried on multiple instances but she never gave in. And she certainly wasn’t about to just because he was a drunk pathetic mess over Emma.

      • sararnoldi says:

        I agree: few NL-flashbacks were missing, maybe they will be shown in second half of the season

  49. amintt says:

    Charming/Snow, Rumple/Belle and now Emma/Killian with the true love not remembering scenes!? LOVE!!!

    • Sid says:


      What a finale.
      Regina and Henry – i really like them and their bond

      I love Emma/Hook, he just has to say his lines to her and it touches me – “Not a day will go by when I don’t think of you.” just to convey what he feels, and really it says it all. He risked his life for Emma, he found her, he went to find her.

      Rumpel is alive, i think his undoing will go deeper.

    • rk535 says:

      Such an excellent episode. I was so heartbroken until I heard the knock on the door. I screamed when I saw it was Killian. So exciting. I love that he went for her. So incredible. I cannot wait to see the new episode arc in March!! This wait will kill me :)

  50. Cheryl says:

    There is plenty to expect in March. Cinnamon on hot chocolate! Expect the dagger to play a big part in the second half of the season. We should all be glad this isn’t the end of season 3!