Once Upon A Time 3×10 “The New Neverland” Recap

Spoilers ahead:

Once upon a time being told that there’d be a new Neverland would sound magically beautiful to everyone, but now it’s frightening and unwanted.

Flashback: This week’s flashback takes place moments after Regina threatens the Charmings on their wedding day. During their honeymoon Snow convinces Charming to search for Medusa in order to cut off her head, and use it to turn Regina into stone. Their plan backfires because Charming looks Medusa in the eyes, and becomes a statue himself until a message from Regina influences Snow’s new plan where she shows Medusa her own reflection, and frees Charming. This particular instant in the Charmings’ lives exemplifies the concept that bad things will always happen but that doesn’t mean anyone should stop living. It also proved how alike darling savior Emma and her mother are.

Modern Day: We say goodbye to the beloved Blue Fairy as her time comes to an end when the Shadow takes her life. There’s always a significant reason in regards to the lives that are lost in Storybrooke, and our thoughts on the matter are that just as she had resolutions to the first curse, she would’ve had them for the current one coming.

Meanwhile, Emma’s intuitions tell her that Henry isn’t acting like himself and it isn’t because he chooses Regina – more on the topic in a bit – it’s a result of Henry not recognizing the book and essentially being reserved when he’s generally the heart of Storybrooke. Her intuitions are proven to be right when Hook clarifies that the only person the Shadow listens to is Pan, and once he’s released from the Pandora Box, they learn of the switch.

“There’s more to life then looking for the next fight. You’ve got to look for the moments. Life is made of moments, good ones, bad ones, but they’re all worth living.”

–  Prince Charming

Not only does Prince Charming’s words of wisdom apply to the real world, but it beautifully represents the lives of these adored characters and everything they’ve been through. It’s quite heartbreaking how Emma Swan didn’t believe she was worthy of being the town’s savior and now she feels that’s all she’s called to be. As admirable as she is, and surely needed in order to keep everyone safe, she does deserve a break. A while ago she was merely a lost girl kicking ass to make a living, now that she’s found people who’d cross to ends of the earth for her and whom she loves exceedingly, she’s holding onto them for dear life by taking on a position of absolute selflessness.

We could almost feel Regina’s heart crumble when she realizes it wasn’t Henry who actually needed her, but the sadness is instantly restored with utmost joy as “Panry” valorizes that he does still need her. When it comes down to both of his mothers, we truly believe Henry loves them equally. Emma wasn’t speaking with jealousy when she questioned why Henry wants to be with Regina, but with reason. Throughout the series we learn that Henry tries hard not to hurt any of his moms, and we simply believe it was the way he spoke that generated uneasiness in Emma. It’s amazing that for the first in time in probably forever, Charming and Snow gave Regina credit for being a hero. Ultimately it’s all about trying to bring out the good that lies deep within a person. That’s finally being seen in Regina and we’re definitely pleased with the way the show is handling her character growth.

The opening segment with reunions was exceptionally well done – tears everywhere. John and Michael are reunited with Wendy. Ariel and Eric finally meet and share a kiss. After all these years the Prince hasn’t forgotten the clumsy beautiful girl he fell in love with. It’s sweet that he’s never felt the need to move on, as it’s evident she is his true love.

Rumbelle fans everywhere are rejoicing with what are certainly tears of joy pertaining to the exquisite reunion Rumple and Belle had. We believe they deserve the most credit for being so patient. She really does bring out the best version of him possible and it’s enchantingly beautiful how much he’s willing to do for them. Neal and Belle take up a prodigious chunk of Rumple’s heart, and it’s always lovely watching their exchanges when happiness exudes from their expressions. “There’s one path that I’m interested in, the one where you and I are together.” The man is a gem when he’s with her. He also keeps his promise alive by making the elixir that permanently saves Charming’s life, and when asked if he’s in debt of anything, Rumple replies commendably with: “on the house, but we are family now and I’m sure should I ever need a favor, you’ll be more than receptive.”

We always hate addressing Emma, Hook, and Neal in a trio because it implies the existence of a love triangle, which certainly isn’t what’s being shown to us on screen. Emma’s forgiven, confronted, and accepted Neal, but the fact that she chose not to go on the “date” spoke volumes about her heart’s desire. Yes she briefly mentions that there’s only room for Henry in her heart, but we all know that she deserves the company of a loving man in order to heal her, take care of her, and eternally bring out the best in her. After a sweet father/daughter moment she brings up Hook again and Charming’s reply: “You think I’m interested in Hook? Emma, I’m a married man.” We actually believe it’s brilliantly hilarious how Charming chose to brush off Emma’s question. Excluding the fact that he’s evidently the biggest Captain Charming bromance fan, he doesn’t want to tell her who to choose. Charming and Henry have this beautiful trait of being the voice of reason, and it’s clear that he’s not making any assumptions about the relationships but rather convincing Emma to take a leap of faith to find out for herself which man is perfectly suited to be represented as her other half. Hook’s choice to back off wasn’t an act of cowardice but sensibly an act of altruism. He’s choosing to step aside because he doesn’t want to be pinned as the other man getting in the way of a possible family reunion, and by doing so he’s giving Emma the necessary space to understand for herself that since Neal was able to leave her once, he may do it again. He’s authenticating the fact that should he be blessed with the chance to call her his, he’d stay with her and endlessly fight to be worthy of her love.

We want Neal’s happiness as much as we want everyone else’s on the show, but because he let fear stop him from finding her, and only chose to believe in her when his fiancé shot him, prove that he isn’t her true love. It blatantly goes against Once Upon A Time’s depiction of true love being perpetually selfless. When Neal finds the one, fear won’t ever play a part in his decisions, nothing will come in the way of him and his other half.

Also, A+ decision on behalf of Regina to clarify Tinkerbell’s actual name because it cannot be denied that the Blue Fairy never treated her the way she deserved.

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