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‘Once Upon a Time’ Review: Sins of the Father

ABC/Jack Rowand

Once Upon a Time was straight up awesome last night. While season three has had its ups and downs, it has been on a great track since the Hook-centric episode and “Think Lovely Thoughtsfinally made me care about Peter Pan with what is arguably one of the best twists in the show’s history.

Normally, I’d try to build up to the big moment, but this one is too good to bury the lead. Peter Pan is Rumple’s father. What? Let’s just say that again: Peter Pan is Rumple’s father and he is the worst. We knew he was the worst before, but now we know more and we understand the choices he made and he’s definitely the absolute worst.

The flashback (how awesome was the casting? Stephen Lord reminded me so much of adult Rumple with his mannerisms and speech patterns) led us into Rumple’s past when he was a boy and his father was a drunk and a conman. After Rumple witnessed him getting beat up for cheating, dear old dad dropped Rumple off with two spinsters to look after him (which explains how Rumple got so good with the spinning wheel). He fed Rumple a line about how he was looking for a job, but really, he was just at the pub playing the same game.

ABC/Jack Rowand

ABC/Jack Rowand

One of the woman gave Rumple a magic bean and he made the mistake of showing it to his father. They ended up in Neverland, but the magic that he remembered from when he was a boy wasn’t there anymore. A shadow (voiced by Marilyn Manson) came to tell him that it was because he was an adult and he didn’t belong. But he was willing to make a deal: If he got rid of Rumple, the shadow would help him become a kid again. So that’s exactly what he did. He chose youth over his son and the shadow carted Rumple away as his father was transformed into Peter Pan.

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t get a chance to watch the episode live last night (which is why the review is so late) and I ended up accidentally getting spoiled on the reveal. But that didn’t make it any less awesome or shocking to watch Rumple’s dad transform into Peter Pan before his son’s eyes. By the way, he got the name ‘Peter Pan’ because that was the name of Rumple’s doll (that creepy thing he kept trying to get rid of when he first arrived).

So while this sad history was unfolding, Rumple and Regina were reunited with the rest of the Neverland crew. Neal immediately told everyone that Rumple was going to kill Henry and they all pulled out their weapons (even though I felt bad for Rumple, I really liked this scene). Neal ordered Rumple to give him Pandora’s Box as a sign of trust and he did. He also agreed to his son’s request to save Charming, no favors in return, when they got back to Storybrooke. It was obvious Neal was still a little skeptical, but it was really nice to see these two trying to meet each other halfway.

ouat-308-lovely-thoughts-10The group found the Lost Boys camp and Regina knocked everyone out with magic, but Henry and his great-grandfather (seriously) were nowhere to be found. Emma discovered Wendy and she and Neal had a sweet reunion (which I felt a little creepy watching. Can we get a properly aged Wendy once we leave Neverland, please?). Wendy claimed not to know where Pan had taken Henry, but Rumple recognized a lie when he heard one and after Regina assured her that Michael and John were all right, Wendy told them that Peter needed Henry’s heart to stay alive and Henry would die after giving it to him.

Hook and Tink stayed behind to watch the Lost Boys, Snow and Charming headed to get more magic water for the journey home and Rumple, Regina, Neal and Emma went to the skull caves to find Henry and Pan. When they arrived, they were blocked by Pan’s protection spell, but Rumple was able to get through it. Neal gave him the box, Regina issued a firm warning and he went to confront his father (still can’t get over this one). Unfortunately, Neverland is Pan’s playground and things didn’t go the way Rumple planned.

Parallels always impress me so I enjoyed the fact that Pan abandoned his son for youth and Rumple chose power over Neal. But as Rumple pointed out, the difference was that he regretted it immediately, and spent his entire life searching for his son. Pan attempted to play on Rumple’s emotions and asked him to stay in Neverland with him, but Rumple wanted to end things and trap Pan in the box. But it turned out his box was fake, Pan had the real one and he put Rumple in it (ugh, this guy). Then he went to Henry and told him that he needed his heart.

Can we talk about how gullible Henry is? Maybe it’s supposed to be innocence, but come on. Even when all three of his parents begged him to listen and not trust Pan, Henry decided to do it anyway and he gave Peter Pan his heart. I’m guessing they’re going to find a way to save Henry because this is a fairy tale show and there will be a happy ending, but it would serve Henry right if he had to stay dead because he chose not to listen to all the people who love him most in the world.

So Pan has the heart of the truest believer, Henry is about to die, Rumple is trapped in a box and the show isn’t back for two weeks! I’m not okay with this development. This was a great episode and it completely made up for the dull Rumple flashback episode earlier in the season. I still can’t get over Pan being his father. That’s just a brilliant plot twist and I’m so curious to see if they’ll stop Pan for good or if his journey will continue when they go back to Storybrooke.

What do you guys think? Did anyone see the twist coming? I heard Jennifer Morrison called it before the cast found out. How do you think they’ll get Henry back to life? Does the fact that Henry can pull his heart out of his chest mean that he’s not the product of true love like his mother? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us!

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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  1. Yes, but she’s playing younger. I’m guessing Wendy is supposed to be around Henry’s age.

  2. Do you both know that the actress who plays Wendy Darling is really 19?!

  3. The reunion wasn’t creepy at all – I felt creepy because I wanted to ship them. Judging by Tumblr, I’m not alone. I agree the actress is adorable though. Seriously, Henry behaved like a moron. But the Pan twist was so good!

  4. why did you think the reunion between neal and wendy was creepy? they were friends, not in love as kids. they were just really happy to see each other again. i don’t want them to age wendy. this actress is adorable. the peter pan twist was crazy, but i love it. i thought it was really stupid for henry to believe pan over his parents. he kidnapped him! why would he ever trust a word he says. but yeah, it was an amazing episode. :)

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