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

Storybrooke's denizens begin the next day expecting to deal with perfectly ordinary drama: angst over having a maybe-date with their deadbeat baby-daddies, for example, or the pressure of deciding whether it's the right time to conceive a royal sister or brother for their grown-up firstborn children. Soon, however, the townsfolk discover that those petty problems are the least of their worries -- because the Shadow is on the loose. And it's already performed a bloodless yet grisly shade-ectomy on the Blue Fairy. (And the family show's surprisingly high body count continues its upward swing.)

That's right: Good ol' Blue is dead. Dead! Like, really dead, not Disney dead! Kudos to Once for delivering a truly surprising twist; who'd have guessed that the show would get rid of one of its longest-running characters so abruptly, and in such an unpleasant manner?

So now everybody knows that Pan's supposed imprisonment isn't working out like Rumpel had planned. Emma and her parents head off to Rump's pawn shop, where they plan to draw their enemy out and get rid of him once and for all; Regina, meanwhile, decides to take Panry to that vault he's been asking about, since it's the one place in Storybrooke Pan can't get to. All together now: D'OH!

Plan A ends up yielding a different result than Emma and co. had in mind. They take Pandora's Box out to the town limits, figuring that if Pan is released on real-world ground he won't be able to use his magic against them. (Because on Once, magic doesn't exist in our land except when it does.) Once the boy comes out of the box, Emma's prepared to shoot him with her good old-fashioned Earth gun... until she hears him explain, in a panicked voice, that he's not actually Peter Pan at all.

Rumpel and the Charmings don't believe the real Henry is trapped in Pan's body -- let's call this hybrid Heter -- since this sounds like just the sort of trick Pan would try to pull. But in the end, Heter manages to convince his birth mother of his true identity by saying something only he would say. Specifically, he knows to tell her that the two of them first connected way back in the pilot, when Henry told Emma he understood why she gave him up for adoption. Though everyone but Emma was prepared to blast Heter into Kingdom Come just moments ago, now they're all happily accepting him back into the fold. How fickle are fairy tale characters!

NEXT: Curses, foiled by Pan again!

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