Once Upon a Time season premiere recap: Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat

Mermaids, pixie dust, a storm that doubles as a metaphor -- yep, Once is back!
Ep. 01 | Aired Sep 29, 2013

YOU'RE A CROOK, CAPTAIN HOOK Emma, won't you throw the book at the piiiiii-RATE?

Jack Rowand/ABC

For now, Pan and the boys are going to let Rumpel live. But in the meantime, Felix is happy to engage in some psychological torture -- by presenting the Dark One with a straw doll that must have been Bae's when he was trapped in Neverland. The "gift" is enough to make Rumpel weep... and this time, they're not crocodile tears.

If only Rumpel knew that his only son is alive and well and living in the Enchanted Forest! Bae's thoughts of home led him here while he was falling through that portal, and Mulan, Aurora, and Prince Phillip (remember him?) have managed to patch up his nasty bullet wound. Before long, Aurora realizes that their scruffy guest must be Henry's father -- and lucky for him, she's still got passage to the dream world inhabited by victims of the Sleeping Curse.

Unfortunately, Henry's too busy fleeing in terror to catch any shut-eye at the moment. It's time to turn to Plan B: crossing all the way from Aurora's kingdom to the Dark One's castle, where Bae believes Rumpel has hidden something that will allow him to find his way back to Storybrooke. Tiny quibble: How does Bae even know his father has a castle? The 'Stiltskins weren't living there yet when Bae was initially transported to Neverland. (A commenter points out that Bae has read Henry's storybook; good point, commenter!)

Evidently, the Enchanted Forest isn't all that big; in no time, Bae and Mulan have arrived at Rumpelstiltskin's CGI Castle of Doom, which seems to have fallen into disrepair. All the same, Bae deduces -- by dipping his finger into a goblet, then licking it; gross, dude! -- that someone else must be there. By Sherwood Forest, he's right: The squatter is none other than Robin Hood, the lovable rogue we met in a fairyback last season. The curse seems to have given him a brand new face. (This year, British actor Sean Maguire is taking over for Tom Ellis.)

There's no time for pleasantries; Bae has magic to do, just for himself. Waving a humble cane creates a door in the wall, which hides Rumpelstitskin's very own Broom Closet of Wonders. There, Bae discovers a crystal ball... and just by thinking about Emma, he wills his lost love to appear. Cool; could he send flying monkeys after her as well? There's just one problem with what Bae sees: Emma clearly isn't in Storybrooke anymore. Here's hoping Rumpel's utility space also holds enough pixie dust to get a world-weary thief and a brusque warrior maiden to Neverland. (Aurora and Phillip can come too... I guess.)

NEXT: This season's inaugural, seaweed-and-strife flavored breadcrumbs


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