Once Upon a Time recap: The End Is the Beginning Is the End

In a gamechanging midseason finale, Once wraps up Peter Pan's plot --then hits the reset button.
Ep. 11 | Aired Dec 15, 2013

THE PEW, THE PROUD Hook, Nealfire, Tink, and Charming are not impressed by this community theater production of Into the Woods.

Jack Rowand/ABC

Tink, Hook, Charming, and Nealfire head off to Storybrooke's fairy convent, where dearly departed Blue has been stashing said object: the Black Fairy's wand. (What, Dumbledore's grave was too much of a schlep?) But before they can snag it, they're rudely interrupted by Marilyn Manson's shadow, swooping around like some sort of possessed fighter kite. Good thing Nealfire thought to bring along his coconut shade-catcher! Dumb question interlude: The coconut thing works because the shadow is drawn to fire, right? So why isn't it also drawn to the bowls of open flames in the fairy chapel? The answer, I'm sure, is something along the lines of "Y'know... magic!"

Anyway. The last time the shadow was captured, Emma pretty much just lit a candle and stood her ground until the task was done. But this time, things are more complicated for... reasons; the shadow's up too high, or something, and only someone with the power of flight can stop him. You can see where this is going, and go there it does: Tink thinks happy thoughts and miraculously gets her pixie dust working again. In the flick of a fairy's wings, the shadow is captured; she then tosses the coconut into one of those bowls of flames, easily incinerating the demon. Oh, and also, Blue comes back to life. Why? Because magic, that's why!

With wand in hand, our heroes have enough power to switch Henry and Pan's bodies -- boo! cry the Robbie Kay fans -- and get the real Henry to bring them Regina's curse scroll. Regina can then destroy the scroll, undoing Pan's curse... as well as her own. But there's no time to worry about the consequences of that last bit. For now, let's just watch as Rumpel takes out Greg and Tamara's old anti-magic cuff -- remember, the one filled with "the toughest metals and machinery known to man"? -- and slaps it on Pan's body as a precaution. Then he uses the Black Wand to un-Freaky Friday his grandson and his father. Not even halfway through the episode, and everything is going just according to plan? You know that means something crazy is about to happen.

Ahh, there we go. Everyone has raced out of the pawn shop to find the real Henry... except Rumpel, who stays close to Pan's side as he awakens. And hey, he's got a sword! (You idiots -- we've all got swords!) Will Rumpel finally get the chance to commit the patricide he's long been dreaming of? Once really knows how to lay on the holiday season sentiment.

NEXT: Sins of the father

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