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 gang heads back into town, where they meet up with Nealfire, Tinker Bell, and Hook outside of Regina's father's crypt. They haven't been able to get ahold of the evil queen, though -- and her vault's entrance is protected by some pretty strong magic. (Spoiler alert #3: When Rumpel says that breaking the spell will take some time, he actually means "about 30 seconds.") After a brief pause that gives Emma plenty of time to bemoan her Chosen status -- Buffy gives an empathetic nod -- they head inside to find that Panry has knocked Regina out and escaped with an extremely important artifact.

That artifact? It's the scroll containing Regina's Dark Curse. And Pan intends to use it to cast the hex again. Why? Because doing so would cause everyone in town to lose their memories -- after being transported to an alternate universe Maine? -- and be stuck in time forever, enabling Panry (and Felix, if Pan's feeling generous) to rule the roost as he sees fit. In other words: He wants to turn Storybrooke into Never Land. Just when you thought we were out, Pan's trying to pull us back in! (Note: He better not pull us back into that sunless, plotless hellscape.)

Breadcrumbs

- About Emma's whole "being the savior means I don't get a day off" thing: ...Does it? The saving's already been accomplished, nominally; you'd think that would mean at this point, she s a savior in name only.

- While Prince Eric is apparently a cleaver-happy fisherman in Storybrooke, he quickly warms to Ariel once more after Belle leads the belegged mermaid to him.

- Tink almost gets her wings back from the Blue Fairy, until Blue realizes that Tink can't keep her pixie dust glowing -- meaning she still doesn't truly believe in herself. Expect this to be important next week.

- Grumpy, explaining how he overheard Snow and Charming's post-wedding fairyback fight: "Thin masonry."

- The Hook/Nealfire/Emma love triangle is still going semi-strong, though Hook tells Nealfire that he's going to back off for Henry's sake -- and Emma seems pretty close to pulling a Merida by choosing neither suitor.

- After Michael and John reunite with Wendy -- now conspicuously younger than her younger brothers -- the Darlings announce that it's time for them to go home. But what home? They can't exactly return to their family's old Edwardian London mansion, can they?

- Fairyback Snow stops an amorous Charming by telling him she's got something special planned for that night. Charming, possibly using an old Fairy Land euphemism: "I'll go stable the horses."

- Did killing Medusa unleash a horde of unfrozen victims on Fairy Land, a la the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?

- Emma wonders if her father is pushing her toward Nealfire because he wants to keep her away from Hook. The prince, charmingly: "You think I'm interested in Hook? Emma, I'm a married man!"

- Did we ever find out what happens to a shadow once it's removed? Blue may be merely Disney dead after all...

- Regina, gloating from the reflective surface of a shield in the fairyback: "Cranky because your prince is now a statue? I can barely tell the difference." Somebody better get some medicated ointment to treat that major burn.

- Though the body switch was a huge plot point, we really didn't get to see much of either Robbie Kay's Henry or Jared Gilmore's Pan. Even so, how do you think the boys did?

- Next week: Storybrooke is beset by another colorful curse cloud, and Season 3.1 draws to a close. Think Once will stick this midpoint landing?

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