I will now do my best not to freak out as I did last night when watching episode 3x04, Nasty Habits (specifically as we reach the end of this post). But I can't promise anything.
When we got into this week we found Tink with Emma & the Gang, while Rumple was off somewhere, Pan was chatting with Henry and Neal, amazingly, got to Neverland after hitching a ride on the shadow...whom he summoned by using Robin Hood's son. We don't really talk much about that at the moment though. This episode is all Neal and Rumple, and for good reason.
It's no question that I do not ship SwanFire (aka Emma & Neal), and instead am an avid shipper of CaptainSwan (Emma & Hook), but that doesn't mean I don't like Neal. Let's just get that out of the way. In fact I love the character as a whole. I think he can certainly be funny at times and the entire Bae & Rumple backstory is just absolutely heartbreaking. It's just I don't see Neal and Emma working out...kind of. This episode brought up a lot of new thoughts when we were so certain this past week that CaptainSwan was happening. You'll hear why we were so sure a little bit later.
But anyway: Neal is in Neverland. This is a surprising development because honestly I feel it should have taken him a bit longer to get there. I mean, that gunshot wound healed pretty quickly for him to be running around. Either way, the episode opens up with Neal talking to what seems to be old enemy Felix (Pan's right hand man...or Lost Boy). Apparently Pan never taught them how to tie knots because Neal easily gets rid of the ropes and punches Felix in the face, knocking him out. The interesting thing from this particular scene? At the end the shot does not pan (no pun intended) to Felix lying on the ground...but instead to the rope. How is this significant? Why are we panning to the rope?
Meanwhile, Tink yells at Emma & the Gang for not having an escape plan, and she heads back off to her little treehouse while Hook leads everyone else to the cave where Bae stayed during his time in Neverland. Of course we get a bit of Charming & Hook Bromance, but what I noted from this is the real concern Hook has at the end of the conversation. I think this is certainly one example of how Hook really has changed since we first saw him a year ago in "The Crocodile." Again, more on this later.
It's the return of young Bae! Rumple is still being the Dark One and Bae is still not liking it (honestly as much as I love him, this is getting kind of annoying). So when Bae goes missing, Rumple is eventually led to a campfire with dancing boys and, you guessed it, Pan. Also turns out that Peter Pan and Rumple have a serious history. I'm starting to get the idea that EVERYONE has a backstory with Pan. When I watched this the second time though I was trying to pinpoint how this all fits together in a time line, because at this point Milah is already dead, right? Maybe? I'm not sure. Not super important, but something I was debating for a while.
Back to present day, where Neal and Rumple run in and get Pan trapped for a while with the squid ink. They steal Henry, who's knocked out with a sleeping curse kind of thing from Rumple, and then some yelling ensues because Pan had to mention the prophecy about Henry and Rumple to Neal, so now Neal thinks that Rumple is gonna kill Henry. Which honestly I'm not sure if he's going to or not or what is going on. It's really kind of super confusing.
On the other side of the island, Hook and Emma are checking out Bae's cave with everyone else. After a wonderful few moments of Hook checking on Emma (CaptainSwan a little!) and a wonderful comment from Regina about making pasta, Emma discovers a chart of stars created by Neal when he was younger, one that will lead them home. Except no one can read it. Turns out Hook taught Bae a few things back in the day, including how to chart stars, but he also taught him part of the pirate code: secrecy.
Now here's where I'm really conflicted. So Emma comments "The only person who can read it is dead" and runs out of the cave. Snow and Charming, trying to be the parents they aren't really right now, run after her, and there's an interesting conversation that ends with Emma mentioning "Because I knew the moment I saw him that I never stopped loving him." She's crying and runs...back into the cave? Isn't that where Hook is? Don't know if that means anything but it's something to point out. Meanwhile Charming and Snow have a conversation about moving on if one of them died. Obviously Charming could very easily die at the moment...but is this a parallel to how Emma needs to move on from Neal anyways? I mean, she does think he's dead. And he's certainly had more than enough second chances. But then she really does love him? But Graham! What about him? She moved on for Graham!
To finish things out, Pan resets the board by capturing Henry and Neal because Neal previously left Rumple stuck with Squid Ink. Oh, and apparently Pan wanted Neal (aka Bae) to leave Neverland earlier. Everyone is where he wants them now, and the game is about to change. But what in the world is going to happen? Does that mean that everything that has happened on the show previously is designed perfectly by Pan? Is it all a part of his game? So when Henry wakes up from his little sleeping it turns out that he can now hear the music of Pan's Pipe, and Henry starts dancing with the other Lost Boys. Uh oh. Looks like Henry doesn't feel quite so loved after all. That's not going to make it easy for anyone to come rescue him. And so we end with a menacing shot of Pan.
And then we have the promo for next week's episode, Good Form, which I've successfully guessed correctly to be the Captain Hook backstory episode. Here's the promo, which you MUST WATCH!
And if you haven't figured it out yet? Yes...that's Emma and Hook. In fact a picture was released this last week already spoiling this kiss. Four pictures actually in total. But this promo offers a lot. LOTS AND LOTS. I mean, an entire episode of Killian Jones, whom we apparently have a lot to learn about. But there are a lot of questions that this poses too. What is up with CaptainSwan vs. SwanFire. If Emma still loves Neal, and is all upset about it, what is up with this kiss? Not that I'm really complaining. We've been waiting for that for a long while (ummm...they met exactly a year ago in episode 2x05). But why is young Killian up against Pan? And then there's the fact that everyone seems to be pretty happy with Hook. We know a little bit about this from the promotional photos released this last week, that the above kiss is due to a small but much needed victory in the quest to save Henry and it's all Hook's doing, so Emma's pretty happy with them.
Now we will have plenty of time to talk about the world's most charming swashbuckler next week. PLENTY of time. Gosh I am so very excited for this next episode. Maybe it's just because Hook is my favorite character, but the promo for next week looks spectacular. I mean, we have some general idea of the backstories of every other character, so I am quite excited to finally see the backstory for Hook!
Anyway, in honor of tonight's Neal-centric episode, I've got a Neal Disneybound for you! I'm actually really happy with how this one turned out. I've been putting more and more thought into these as the weeks go by, and there are some really exciting ones coming up too! Below you can also see that I removed my coat when Neal did during the episode. I was legitimately sitting in the chair and had to take it off because he did. Have to keep true to the character, after all!
Here's today's Disney History: 2011: Google celebrates the 100th birthday of Mary Blair with a Doodle honoring the late Disney artist. Google's Doodle for this day features an image of the illustrator as she would have drawn herself, surrounded by the simplistic patterns and shapes that made up her familiar cartoon world.
Have a magical day!