Once Upon a Time loves playing off the theme of parent abandoning child. Almost every character on the show has had some kind of parental abandonment/control issues. Let’s take a quick rundown: Cora chose her love of magic over Regina, Regina killed Snow’s father and tried to kill Snow, Snow and Charming sent Emma through a magical tree to Maine and Emma gave Henry up for adoption. And now to run down the other side of the family tree: Malcolm sent adorable little Rumple packing so he could be a kid again and rule Neverland with an iron fist, Rumple let Bae fall through a swirling portal and Bae had a kid he didn’t even know about. It’s enough psychological drama to wake Freud from the dead! I’d go so far as to say that these parental slights drive nearly every character on this show to do both good and evil. Now we can kind of understand why Rumple doesn’t trust anybody and why he so values power. You’d be the same way if your father sent you back to the medieval village you came from just so he could have the power to fly.
And holy crap does the reveal that Pan is Rumple’s dear old dad make him just that much creepier. In my review of the season three opener I wondered it Pan would live up to Cora as a big bad. Safe to say he’s surpassed Cora on the evil scale for me. He abandoned his son, he tortured his grandson while he was in Neverland and then literally stole his great grandson’s heart so he could live, talk about an unsanctioned heart transplant. This season everyone who interacted with Pan before our family of crusaders arrived on the island warned that he was pure evil. Until this week I wasn’t really buying it, but I get it now, and it’s nice to have that pay off. Pan lived up to the show’s internal hype.
And here’s the thing that really impressed me about “Think Lovely Thoughts.” Once rarely does big reveals like this. The last big impressive secret was Neal being revealed as Baelfire. But honestly, who didn’t see that coming about 300 episodes before it was actually revealed? This was sudden, shocking and totally awesome.
I also really enjoyed everything that happened at Skull Rock. I did find it a little unbelievable that Henry has such blind faith in Pan especially when his multi-century-old dad and two moms are standing right there telling him not to trust the guy. But I guess I can believe he’s been sufficiently brainwashed to believe that handing over his heart is the right thing to do.
I have a few quibbles with the episode. I still so don’t care about David’s dreamshade issues, but at least it got him, Hook and Snow out of the way for the Skull Rock showdown. Also, I really like Tinkerbell but she was woefully underutilized this week. They could have given her more than two lines. And when Pan captured Rumple next the magical glitter hourglass where the heck was Henry? You know Skull Rock must have some serious echo issues so how is it that he didn’t hear their entire conversation? And I would have loved to see more of Emma and Regina’s wiggly-hands-moon-blocking magic but I expect we’ll see that storyline develop more once our heroes get back to Storybrooke.
So now we wait, two weeks this time, to see what happens to poor foolish Henry and the rest of the gang now that Pan is all-powerful. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
A few stray thoughts:
· The shadow was Neverland’s only inhabitant before Malcolm/Pan showed up, but now he works for Pan? Or he doesn’t he just goes about his duty of bringing kids to Neverland in their dreams? It’s a bit fuzzy
· Absolutely loved hearing Malcolm’s laugh, now we know where Rumple picked that up
· It must have been frightfully cold in Canada while they were shooting this episode because many of our characters were sporting some magically materialized coats and sweaters
· And was it just me or did Rumple’s costume (especially in the glitter hourglass scene) kind of make him look a little…pregnant? Maybe there are even more crazy twists in store in the next new episode
Taylor McDaniel – @tlmcdaniel