Once Upon a Time recap: A Family Affair

Once's twisted genealogy gets a little more tangled as we learn Rumpelstiltskin's true connection to Peter Pan
Ep. 08 | Aired Nov 17, 2013

BAMBOOZLED Emma looks like she just heard who's Rump's daddy.

Jack Rowand/ABC

Wait, where was Henry while his great-grandfather was imprisoning his grandfather in a Greek myth? Why didn't he hear any of their conversation? Who knows -- but he's back now, and ready to hand over his noble, loyal, stupid, stupid heart. And that's when the cavalry arrives, in the form of Henry's dad and two mommies, who have found a way to get past Pan's spell by blocking the moon. Only on this show would that be a throwaway C-plot.

Anyhow, they're here now, and they're going to convince Henry never to trust a man in tights. Right? Right? Wrong! Henry hears their pleas, tells the trio that he loves them... and, like the sap he is, hands his heart over to Pan anyway. Hey, anyone got land in Florida they need to get rid of? Because I hear Henry's buying.


- So the shadow who told Malcolm how to become Peter Pan is actually just "the sole inhabitant of Never Land" -- meaning he's not technically Pan's shadow. Does this mean Pan never actually removed his own shadow? Does that little tidbit matter, like, at all?

- Man, now that we know he's basically an adult man trapped in the body of a teenage boy, Pan is so much creepier.

- Have you been wondering why Emma's surname (on Earth anyway) is Swann? Here's the answer, straight from Jennifer Morrison herself: "It has not been shown on the show but it was her first foster parents' last name."

- Pan, surveying his opponents: "Nice to see you too, Baelfire, not to mention the savior and the Evil Queen." When will Once start trusting us to remember who everyone is -- as well as what happened on last week's show?

- Speaking of: Nealfire initially asked that Rumpel give him Pandora's Box, as a show of trust. Rumpel agreed to his terms. Later, on Skull Rock, Rumpel asked Nealfire to trust him enough to hand the box back over, and Nealfire did so. See -- some 'Stiltskins can change!

- Maybe Malcolm/Pan's father wasn't a pirate, but he did sell the kid to a blacksmith. Tough life. Also, what's the deal with Rumpel's mother -- or did the show's writers figure that the daddy issues are too complicated to introduce a set of mommy issues as well?

- Malcolm's kooky laugh was a really nice touch; looks like we finally know where Rumpel got his giggle.

- Emma, explaining the MBC's big "Save Henry" plan: Grab the kid, then leave. It's taken them eight weeks to enact this cunning strategy because...?

- Next week, Once will be preempted by the American Music Awards -- but the week after that, according to ABC's announcer, the legend of Peter Pan will come to an end. Perhaps he'll explode in frustration after being asked to draw an infographic explaining how all of Once's characters are connected to each other.

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