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Once Upon a Time - Episodes 3.03 and 3.04 "Quite a Common Fairy" and "Nasty Habits" - Review

So, first off, congrats to Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas for getting engaged! It’s always been kind of awesome having Snow and Charming together in real life too.

Secondly, I would like to apologize for not getting a review up for last week’s episode. I had surgery last week and I was feeling crappy for a bit longer than anticipated, which left me with a laundry list of things to do once I was feeling better (for the record, I do not suggest breaking any important bones three months before your wedding – you will become the stressed out mess I currently am). That being said, there are definitely a few plot points from “Quite a Common Fairy” that I wanted to discuss in addition to what happened this week in "Nasty Habits" so I’m doing a two-fer this week.

This week’s episode really felt like the first filler episode we’ve had this season. And it’s funny, because we did have some emotional stuff happening, and that’s what I’ve really liked about this season. Maybe it’s because we really didn’t push the plot forward all that much, but this was definitely the weakest episode of the season for me thus far.

The flashbacks over the last two weeks have been a vast improvement over what we had in the first two episodes and most of last season. They brought character development, plot advancements, and didn’t feel like they were put in there as a convenient parallel to the present-day plot. We found out that Regina and Tink have a “complicated” (that was an understatement, Regina) history, and we a little more insight into Pan and Rumple’s history. It seems they go back further than most of us thought.

I personally do not subscribe to the belief of some fans that Regina’s fall was a suicide attempt. I think it was a case of Regina being so frustrated and upset with things and wanting to relieve some stress combined with shoddy castle craftmenship. I do like that we saw Regina displaying some desire to not go down the path of darkness. However, between the meddling of Cora and Rumple in her life, she was just plain screwed. She had a weak will and chose the path of fear. And we all know where fear leads: The Dark Side. I have expected Yoda to pop out at some point.

Now as for the Rumple/Bae/Pan backstory, I wasn’t as happy overall with it. To me, Bae just came across as a sulky adolescent that was going to hate his father regardless of whether or not he was the Dark One. And that let Pan put stupid ideas into Bae’s head. But, ignoring the Bae nonsense, we did get some good info out of the flashback. So, firstly, Pan is the Pied Piper, which actually does make sense when you think about him and his island of misfit boys. But Rumple and Pan were close as young boys. This is where it gets interesting because it adds the question of how Pan went from a boy to a creepy immortal boy. I assume that’s more backstory that the show will fill in as we go along but it makes Pan all the more intriguing to me.

I must say, I love OUaT’s version of Tink. I have an obsession with New Zealand accents so she has that going for her right off the bat. I like that in the flashbacks, we see that she has the expected belief in love, magic, and hope, but she still has that mischievous spunk that made her so likeable in the cartoon. Now she’s a corpse scavenger and slightly nutty, but she’s still the only one with half a brain right now. How did Hook not remember that they needed an exit plan? It’s not like he hasn’t done this before…

Rumple is still off on his own and going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. He’s still having his visions of Belle, and it’s almost like they’re his version of a pep talk. He needs someone to keep telling him he can choose Henry over himself and he can sacrifice himself to do it because he apparently has nothing left to live for (this is another reason why Rumple/Belle is not a healthy relationship). So of course, he and Neal run into each other. So now that he DOES have something to live for, he is going to have to struggle harder against those pesky self-preservation urges he has. And of course, Pan spills the beans about the prophecy (how exactly did he know about that one?), so Neal is even less trusting of Rumple.

We also have Emma starting to deal with more of her issues. She is finally accepting that she never stopped loving Neal and she’s pissed at him for dying. I have seen some contention online the last couple days that this is a sign that the writers are making Emma weaker and forcing these relationships on us. I’m not quite on board with that (although, I can agree with the forcing of love triangles that don’t need to be there). Emma was very much in love with Neal when they were together, and the relationship didn’t have closure. Combine that with Emma bottling up her emotions and pretending they don’t exist and you have a formula for a girl that never really got over her first love. Does that mean that they’re right for each other at this point in their lives? No, and I think that Neal has quite a bit to make up for if that is even an option. Combine that with the short time span that the latter half of last season and the beginning of this season have covered (a few WEEKS), and her emotional reaction is completely understandable and justifiable.

Pan’s endgame is the main question mark that we still have right now. We are slowly starting to uncover pieces to the puzzle but we don’t have enough that we can get a clear picture yet. He thinks Henry is the true savior, not Emma and he wants him to “save magic.” That makes his whole endeavor with They-Who-I-Won’t-Waste-Breath-On seem very odd. And he clearly wants to turn him into a Lost Boy. But the end game is what still needs to be answered. What does Pan mean by “save magic”? What role does Henry play in all this?

I have one main gripe with the last two episodes: Charming. Seriously, what is with the tough guy mentality that guys think they need to have? I understand that, as a hero, he doesn’t watch to take attention away from the main goal of getting Henry back, but if I found out that my family member was going to die and didn’t bother to tell me until the last possible second I would be so incredibly upset. And it’s almost funny that Hook is the voice of reason, although I have greatly enjoyed the Charming/Hook moments.

We still have yet to see Storybrooke this season. I thought we were at least supposed to get a quick pop in by this point in the season. Granted, the action in Neverland has kept my attention and I haven’t minded that we aren’t spreading our time between three worlds, but I am still curious to see what’s happening there with the sudden power vacuum.

Some other notes:
---- So we saw how Tink lost her wings but how did she end up in Neverland?

----I gotta say, I’m not on board with Regina/Hood. I could maybe see it back then but Regina is a much different person today. Plus it adds a bunch more questions to my list on the concept of true love on this show.

----ROAST SWAN!! I admittedly started cackling when I heard that line and it still makes me chuckle.

----Did anyone else just about faint from shock at this show giving us a parent that DOESN’T want to abandon his kid? I had to check to make sure I hadn’t changed channels accidently.

----Mulora! I’m impressed that the show did decide to go there but it also felt kind of cheap since Aurora is knocked up. But I’ll keep watching to see what else happens with it.

----So in this week’s flashback we see Pan recruiting people in person, but in later flashback’s he uses his shadow. Is there a specific reason for this is or is it another case of me trying to force this show to have some logic?

----Regina’s look of glee at finding out Greg was death was the highlight of the last two weeks for me.

----So do we believe that Neal actually managed to get off Neverland on his own the first time or did Pan actually let him go?

----Anybody catch Rumple say Neal instead of Bae as Neal was leaving with Henry? I think I awhed a bit.