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


- In tonight's cold open, we witness a young Emma giving birth to Henry... at precisely 8:15. Lost references are like a little black dress: always in style.

- Henry tells Tamara "my mom's coming to get me -- both of them." Aww, Henry has two mommies! Something tells me Swan Queen enthusiasts have already written a fanfic with that title.

- Regina to Hook: "Greg Mendel said something funny to me. He said I'm a villain, and that villains don't get happy endings. Do you believe that?" Good lord, do we really have to go over this again?

- On a similar note, tonight's Clumsy Exposition Award goes to Emma: "Ever since you remembered that you're Snow White and Prince Charming, your lives, they've sucked!"

- I sense that Growen and Tamara's story could be over for good, but still, I wonder: How exactly did Pan rope them into doing his bidding?

- Bae tells Mulan everyone in the "real world" thinks the inhabitants of other universes are just fictional characters. Mulan: "I'm in a story?" Bae: "Yeah. They made a movie about you. It's actually pretty good." Mulan, after a beat: "What's a movie?"

- Regina is at her most wicked when she's trying to make Snow's prince assassiner le poisson: "That's more like it, Charming -- fillet the bitch." Yowza! It's always a shock to hear quasi-swears on this show.

- Speaking of Regina, this line was also classic: She spits that Snow wants to win the mermaid over with "rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers." Be more specific, Queen: Lisa Frank unicorn stickers?

- "I'd bow, but this quiver's rather tight." Robin Hood seems like he'll be jolly good fun if he sticks around.

- Henry's flight over Neverland just happens to coincide with his fractured family's debarkation. This whole storyline could have been cut short if they had just looked up!

- Harsh truth time, guys: Despite what Internet rumors may have led you to believe, there almost certainly won't be a character named Rufio on Once this season. "Rufio belongs to another take on the Pan thing," Adam Horowitz told TV Guide this summer. (Maybe that name was just a code for when they were casting Pan?) Still, Horowitz added, "We're not using that character that was created by another world, but we are making a loving nod towards a movie and a mythology that we enjoy." Colored goop for everyone! You can find more Kitsis/Horowitz goodies in EW's own postmortem of tonight's premiere.

- Speaking of the one and only Peter Pan: Did you know that Pan actor Robbie Kay played Pinocchio in an eponymous 2008 miniseries?

- Finally, why do you suppose Pan wants Henry's juicy juicy heart? And finally finally, why is even Rumpelstiltskin no match for the kid?

- Did that unnamed mermaid make you wonder when we'll finally meet Joanna Garcia Swisher's highly-anticipated Ariel? Alas, it won't be until episode 6 -- which is, appropriately enough, titled "Ariel."

- Other upcoming episode titles, in order: "Lost Girl," "Quite a Common Fairy" (TINK!), "Nasty Habits," and "Good Form" (Hook origin story, anyone?).

- A group of unicorns is called a "glory" -- so what's the name for a group of mermaids? Sure, "school" works... but I might prefer "dinglehopper."

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