In the third series of Once Upon A Time, the characters delve into the world of Neverland, a dark world ruled by the evil Peter Pan. Henry finds himself lost in the trees with the lost boys after him, Rumple steps onto the land looking for his grandson, and Emma, Hook, Charming, Snow and Regina bicker and fight aboard Hook’s ship.
They’re attacked by mermaids, and with Regina’s magic, manage to catch one.
Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, Neil joins up with Sleeping Beauty, Philip and Mulan, revealing to them that he knows Emma and Henry. Beauty instantly offers to try to contact Henry like she did before, but it doesn’t work. So Mulan and Neil head off to Rumple’s castle to look for something to help Neil get back. There, they meet Robin Hood.
So we have the set up for this season, and we know where all the characters are and the situations they’re facing. We’ve got a big bad evil, now Rumple and Regina are both fighting on the good side, even if they’re not good themselves. The heroes have to work alongside a pirate and a villain to get Henry back and it’s clear that unity is going to be the major theme of this season. It’s all laid out for us to draw us in, to make us tune in next week.
And it works. Already in the episode the main characters have been tested, and have shown that when they need to, they can work together. It’s going to be hard for all of them, sure, especially as the utterly good characters are showing little bits of darker sides. It’ll certainly be interesting to see these trying to work together.
One of the things I love about OUAT is the fact that, due to their links with Disney, they can use names, imagery and characters from the Disney films. Instead of nameless dwarves, we get Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc, etc. We get to see characters wearing the same clothes from the films, when it suits the show. It works nicely and adds an extra touch to the show. Because, well, most people know the fairy tales from Disney, and when you picture the characters it is the Disney versions you think of.
And that’s brought in slightly here, especially with the imagery around Neverland. It’s never overly obvious, but it’s there, and I can’t wait to see what other elements they bring over during the rest of the season.I love this show, and I love the strengths of the characters. Not just that, but they’re flawed, too. Emma still finds it hard to take a leap of faith and really believe. Snow is just too damn good for, well, her own good. Charming is shown in this episode to have a slightly darker side, as he threatens to outright kill the mermaid. Then again, he’s been shown not to shy away from a bit of spilled blood before. Regina and Rumple/Mr Gold, well, they’re powerful, and sometimes evil, but the lines between good and evil are becoming a little blurred here. Hook…well, I just love Hook. Who doesn’t love a slightly redeemed, hot pirate?
I really liked the episode, and I’m glad to see OUAT keeping up with the standards its set previously. Love the exploration of these characters, the way they’re totally brought to life in unique ways through the show. And it is exciting to head to a new world, to explore Neverland and see how evil they can make Peter Pan. It also makes me even more excited for the spin-off show, coming out this Thursday.