Once Upon a time Spoilers

For Once Upon a Time's Charmings, Leaving Baby Neal Behind 'Might Bite Them in the [Spoiler]'

There’s bigtime baby drama on Once Upon a Time this Sunday — and we’re not just talking about Rumple’s endeavor to reunite with his expectant wife.

In the episode “Our Decay” (Sunday, 8/7c), while Rumple attempts to transport Belle to the Underworld, Snow White and David will set out to send a message to their wee son, Neal, whom them left back home in Storybrooke before joining daughter Emma on her perilous journey.

After all, the Charmings planned to only be away for a short spell, in the name of finding and saving Hook. Instead, they and the other heroes have discovered a larger calling, to help in-limbo friends and frenemies settle their unfinished business. “Yeah, it’s not the best parenting choice,” Josh Dallas says of leaving Neal back in Storybrooke. “It’s not a great thing that they left him behind, and they’re feeling that.”

Dallas says that abandoning the tyke for an indeterminate amount of time understandably “drudges up” the Charmings’ experience with their firstborn, whom they transported to safety via an enchanted wardrobe, before the Evil Queen’s Dark Curse consumed the Enchanted Forest. “They don’t want to make a mistake like they did the first time with Emma,” says the actor. “So now that they’ve left Neal, they’ve got to try to get back to him” — or at least get a heartfelt message to their son, with the help of the Blind Witch (guest star Emma Caulfield) and an ersatz “phone booth.”

Yet despite their best intentions, the longer David and Snow (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) linger in the Underworld, the less certain a Storybrooke homecoming becomes. Especially now that there is an Underbrooke headstone with Snow’s name on it, and Emma’s plan to split her heart with Killian has hit a nasty snag.

Wanting to successfully rescue Hook but also get back home ASAP, “They’re being pulled in many, many directions,” Dallas says. Leaving Neal back in Storybrooke “might bite them in the ass.”

As Once co-creator Adam Horowitz previously forewarned of the Charmings’ crisis of conscience, “There certainly are consequences to that sort of headstrong jump into the Underworld, where they left a child behind. There are some really emotional things they’re going to have to deal with because of that.”

The emotional stakes are high for Emma as well, seeing as her heart-rules-the-head mission is what has put her folks in this dilemma in the first place.

“Her family decided to go with her, which means a lot to her and is incredible because she’s never had that support in her life before. But it’s also a lot of pressure,” Jennifer Morrison observes. “She feels very concerned that maybe they made the wrong decision by coming down there — and she would feel even more guilty if something bad happened to them. She has put a lot of pressure on herself to make sure that everyone is OK.”

Elsewhere in Sunday’s episode: Zelena and Regina get into a sibling squabble and Belle learns some shocking news that will change her life forever, while in flashbacks Hades pays Zelena a visit in Oz with the intention of striking an alliance, only to find himself with more than a partner in crime.

Want more scoop on Once, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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25 Comments
  1. Lenny1 says:

    They did leave Baby Snowing with the ppl who look after him and care for him. So thats a plus.
    But i love that the Charmings are finally stepping up for their daughter, and supporting her and fighting for her, and her own happy ending with the person she loves.

    I wonder if somehow they will find a way for maybe Snow to get back to Storybrooke

    • Rose says:

      I agree. I’m curious what Hades will have rumple do and how rumple will work around it. Why send Milah to lost soul river? Will Rumple try and exchange his child and give hades baby Neal. So many questions… I’m curious what Hades wanted to keep secret and what zelena has to do with it. If hades is the baby daddy of zelena and not robin hood that would restore my respect for show even more. I’m thinking he wanted to keep paternity a secret because of who girl will become? so many questions and what did cora mean when she stated you promised you would take care of us and in us who is she referring to?

      • PA123 says:

        See, now what I think is that Hades knows that Zelina is Rumple’s daughter with Cora (that he doesn’t know about). Making Zelina Rumples second-born. And Hades is totally scamming Rumple by saying that Belle’s child is Rumples second-born and forcing Rumple to work for him.

        • Heather says:

          It makes no sense for Zelena to be Rumple’s child. Regina would make more sense before that possibility since he struck a deal with Cora to have a child with her just before Cora broke the deal and married Prince Henry. Cora did not even know Rumple at the time she conceived Zelena and we already met who Zelena’s father was.

      • Heather says:

        In my opinion, as much as that would be a much needed quick fix to the baby drama nightmare that was Zelena and Robin Hood, I do not believe in a million years the Creators would ever do it. First off, they have been asked on more than one occassion if the paternity of Zelena’s baby was not Robin Hood and they continue to be adamant that Robin Hood is the baby daddy. Secondly, I think they are too prideful to admit that their writing choice to make Zelena pregnant by Robin Hood was a big fat mess that bit them in the behind which then cost them more viewership. Their approach has been to downplay it as much as possible while highlighting Hook and CS in storyline material. Thirdly, I am starting to believe they prefer Zelena to Regina since I know A&E love Bex. They continously write and reinforce negative outcomes for Regina whether she be the villain or reformed hero. All appears virtually hopeless and watching her character’s journey has become rather depressing and boring. She has been my favorite for awhile and it saddens me to say this. I am not sure whether the Creators are intentionally misogynistic in their writing with Regina but as much as Rumple (another favorite of mine) may screw things up, he still appears to have a light at the end of the tunnel (Belle + new baby) and the writers are not taking everything away from him nor sticking him with irreversible crap drama (ie. tricked into babies with other people, sterility issues, multiple losses of true love etc.) Henry is not an acceptable answer for me as Regina’s only Happy Ending as Henry is shared by multiple characters, including Emma, the Charmings, and even Rumple himself as the other grandfather. The jury is still out on what the final outcome for Zelena will ultimately be in all this but my gut tells me a much less misogynistic approach for her since Bex is involved with this particular storyline. She will probably come out forgiven with a beautiful daughter to show for, a sister who has forgiven her because otherwise the sister risks looking like a hypocrite based on her own villainous past, and possible reconciliation with Cora, the mother who abandoned her. Damn, maybe by series end, even Zelena will find untainted romantic true love – something Regina consistently gets denied. Lastly, I am convinced that Robin Hood is dying by season’s end. The spoiler rumor is that somebody will and a lot seems to point to Sean’s character. Which means the writers would have no true investment in switching the paternity of Zelena’s baby. The writing treatment for Robin Hood has been abysmal with no real development for the character. Some used to think he was treated mainly as a love interest for Regina but I do not even see that as the case anymore as OQ (Outlaw Queen) carries with it no good writing development beyond s3 either. Robin has no true character centric flashbacks to establish his own individuality because the one he did receive was really used to highlight Zelena. In fact, he seems now to have been more of a plot device to reintroduce Zelena and for Zelena, not Regina. Robin Hood was used to reveal that fake Marian was really Zelena, he was used to give Zelena a baby, he was with Zelena in the AU reality penned by the author in the s4 finale etc. Sadly, it appears the writers care way more about establishing Zelena rather than Robin Hood and Regina was just along for the ride. Awful. So, to me, it appears Robin’s time may be up soon in the story as a plot device and then the show will pull a ‘Neal’ where Robin Hood gets the axe the very same season the actor was made a series regular. It’s pitiful and such a waste.

  2. ninergrl6 says:

    Why would Rumple want Belle (and their unborn child) in the Underworld? Shouldn’t his objective be getting himself *out* of the Underworld so he can be with her? I guess we can chalk it up to his perpetual selfishness. I don’t know why I expect anything else from Rumple these days.
    I’m glad the Charmings feel remorse for taking off with Emma and leaving Neal behind. That was incredibly rash and irresponsible. As much as the journey to the Underworld has so much dramatic potential for so many characters, you have 3 parents who left behind small children (the Charmings and Robin) and 2 parents who brought their teenager along (Emma and Regina). It’s incredibly stupid for all of them! This is a journey Emma should have absolutely made alone.

    • Rebecca says:

      I guess you forgot that Rumple is FORCED to work for Hades, remember? If Rumple is bringing Belle to the UW it’s because Hades told him too. But for all we know Hades just wanted Zelena to be brought to the UW & Belle is accidentally sucked in too. Either way, it’s not Rumple’s intention to have her in danger.

      • Night Owl says:

        He also may believe that he can protect Belle better if she’s with him.

      • jj says:

        considering Hades has dibs on this child thanks to that contract, the dumbest thing Rumple can do is bring Belle to the underworld.

      • K says:

        Rumple is literally Hades’ slave in order to try to protect Belle and their one-day-old conceptus. How incredibly selfish of him. (Especially compared to all the people leaving their kids behind to bring back a dead guy who didn’t even want to come.)

  3. Jason says:

    I don’t think taking a baby to the underworld was necessarily a better idea. Leaving her with people they trust is certainly safer. Until plot contrivances deem otherwise atleast. Belle being pregnant is sort of a bummer to me. Rumple is a great character but she has been tied to his crap for far too long. He’ll never really change, leaving her stuck in his circle of deceit and hunger for power until it destroys her. I hate seeing her unable to free herself and find her own place in the world.

    • Holly says:

      I’m hoping this baby will make her leave Rumple and make her realise that she and her baby deserve better. Maybe this baby will make her stop and think about things.

  4. Gail says:

    What about Robin Hood and Regina?They left both of Robin’s kids in Storybrooke? Is Regina going to wipe Robin’s son mind again so he doesn’t remember they were gone?

  5. Desi says:

    They don’t want to make a mistake like they did with Emma? I’m pretty sure it would’ve been a bigger mistake to keep her with them so they could watch Regina kill their newborn…they really didn’t have any other options.

  6. Bwhit says:

    This may be silly, but how are they going to get a message to their baby that he’s going to understand? I don’t think they are bad parents, they love both of their children and do these things with noble intentions, I just hope it works out for them and Emma. Doesn’t surprise me that Rumple is once again choosing to be selfish, Belle should not be going down there but he only thinks of himself soooo.

    • Rebecca says:

      Rumple is NOT choosing to be selfish! He has to do what Hades says, go back & watch the last scene of 5×14.

      • Bwhit says:

        Okay, you’ll have to forgive me if I jumped to conclusions. He does do some very shady things even when he’s not being forced, but I also just saw a sneak peak so I will conceed that I rushed to judgement :)

        • Rebecca says:

          Well I do agree Rumple does shady things but he does it for reasons & not because he’s evil. And I’m sorry for being snippy, but I’m a Rumple fan & I feel for the character & I’m just getting tired of people blaming him for everything & saying he’s selfish just because they choose to ignore what’s shown on screen.

          • Bwhit says:

            No problem! We all have our favorites and I have characters I like that people don’t, so I get it. I will say that Robert Carlyle does a fantastic job as Rumple even if I’m not a fan of the character.

          • jj says:

            lol as you just admitted you’re biased. And you are clearly the one who ignores what you seen on screen. Rumple has time and time again CHOSEN the darkness. The only reason he is the dark one again is because he wanted to be. He manipulated events to be the dark one again. And he is responsible for countless deaths, but yeah poor Rumple.

  7. Rebecca Parker says:

    I’m thinking a major time jump is coming. They get back to Storybook and have found that 20 years have past, and now Neal, babyRumbelle and babyZelenaHood are now of age. Beats having a bunch of babies around.

  8. Holly says:

    I don’t think they should worry too much about Neal. He is just a baby, and they haven’t really been gone that long. They will get back to him in time – at least this time they left him with someone they know! They should be more worried about Emma for once. These days, they have more concern about Regina than they do Emma. In fact, they should be a bit more sorry about what they did to Emma when she was a baby, when they just gave her away. I know they were trying to make it so she wasn’t cursed, but they literally put her in a wardrobe without knowing anything about where they were sending her. Did Snow and Charming really think Emma was going to appear in a loving home and have a lovely little life?

  9. taran63 says:

    Anyone else hope that the “phone booth” they use to send a message is painted blue?

  10. Janice Prince says:

    How is it that baby Neil is still in swaddling when he was born at least two years ago in the show, and is shown in said swaddling with Zelena’s baby, who is a brand new baby? Neil should be at least crawling around, if not toddling around and getting into mischief, even with the weird way time passed in Storybrooke.