Once Upon a Time recap: Pain and Pan-ic

The Jolly Roger Six (plus a few stowaways) receive a hero's welcome upon their return -- but the war for Storybrooke is just beginning
Ep. 10 | Aired Dec 8, 2013

BY HOOK OR BY CROOK "Dag -- it seems I'd forgotten what the sun looks like."

Jack Rowand/ABC

The moral of the story, as Charming himself will later paraphrase: "Any moment, big or small/Is a moment after all/Seize the moment; skies may fall/Any moment." (Disney's Into the Woods: Coming to a theater near you on Christmas Day 2014!) In other words, don't let your fears about the future interrupt your enjoyment of the present. Unless, that is, your sense of impending doom turns out to be totally justified.

Which brings us back to a certain harbor in Maine, where the Jolly Roger has just landed -- and the MBC is receiving a hero's welcome. There are hugs! There are cheers! There are further indications that the dwarfs, the Blue Fairy, Belle, and Granny are the only people who still live in Storybrooke! Even Regina gets some recognition, sort of, when Snow magnanimously tells the assembled crowd that her stepmother played an integral role in the rescue of Henry. Hurrah, non-poisoned turnovers for everybody!

Well, not quite. Everyone believes that Peter Pan has been secured within a box, which Rumpel has put within a bigger box and plans to mail himself so he can smash it with a hammer. But unbeknownst to them, Pan's malevolent spirit has actually switched bodies with Henry -- and as is Peter's wont, the hybrid kid is already stirring sh-- up. One of Panry's first moves is to suck up to Regina, which aggravates the tension between her and Emma even as it gets Panry closer to his ultimate Storybrooke goal. Emma, though, can feel that something's up with the kid. Reason 1: He didn't seem to recognize his all-important story book. Reason 2: He's being uncharacteristically quiet, except when pitting his mothers against each other or demanding to see Lost Boy Felix imprisoned.

Regina, though, can't seem to tell that anything's wrong, even when Panry not-so-innocently asks her, out of the blue, if she brought her vault to Storybrooke -- you know, the one with all the magic. He might as well be whistling casually and insisting that there's nothing to see here. Ah, but poor Regina is so love-starved that her evil alarm bells seem to have been muted; she leaves the kid alone in Henry's old bedroom, giving Panry the perfect opportunity to summon Marilyn Manson's shadow from the sail of the Jolly Roger. Sweet dreams are made of this, if you're a sociopathic monster.

NEXT: Who am I to disagree?

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