Once Upon A Time – Season 3, Episode 3 Recap: Tattoos And Coconuts

Tonight, we begin traipsing through the jungle, and David’s having a hard time with the heat. Emma checks the map and Pan – the asshole – has moved his camp, so the map is essentially no good. Regina wants to use magic to poof into the camp, but Hook advises against it as Pan will surely have barriers up against magic.

He suggests they look up an old fairy friend of his on the island as it’s possible she may have some pixie dust left that they can use to fly in. Into the camp that he just said had barriers against magic, which pixie dust is. Whatever. Then David explains that pixie dust is like nuclear fairy dust, making me cringe and squint one eye because Josh Dallas showed his Kentucky roots and used the hillbilly ignoramus method of pronunciation: “Noo-kyoo-lurr.”

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Some reading material for you, Josh.

Anyway, Hook lets them know about his old pal Tinkerbell, whose name Emma immediately recognizes, and strangely – so does Regina, and not in a good way.

And that sends us back to the Enchanted Forest, where a young Regina is being chastised by Rumplestiltskin for missing her magic lessons. She lets him know that she’s tired of being trapped in the castle with a husband who doesn’t love her and being stepmother to an insipid kid. Most of all, she doesn’t want to end up like him. Rumple assures her that there’s no running from the darkness – it’s going to take her whether she likes it or not.

She heads over to the balcony, mulling over her fate, and slips, nearly falling to her death, only to be saved at the last minute by none other than Tinkerbell, who has assumed that she tried to jump and is there to help. They go out to lunch together and Regina confesses that this was a marriage of convenience and that there is no love between she and her husband.

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Tinkerbell offers to help her find love via pixie dust, which will lead her to her happy ending. “You just have to believe in me,” she says.

Which sends us ahead to the jungle, where we see Tinkerbell stalking the group. Regina pulls Emma aside to suggest again that the two of them use their magic and work together against Pan because she’s not comfortable doing this without magic. Emma reminds her that finding TInkerbell is a solid plan and Regina snarks: “Why? Because your boyfriend came up with it?”

Emma is completely taken aback by the notion of a pirate boyfriend (swoon) and Snow reminds Regina that Emma just lost Neal, for cryin’ out loud. Regina, who is still obviously out-of-sorts chalks it up to being worried about Henry.

Meanwhile, over at Rumplestiltskin’s castle, Neal is frantically looking for something to create a portal. “Henry is trapped in Neverland with Peter Pan,” he informs Mulan and Robin, “who is hands-down the nastiest person I’ve ever met.” He knows Pan was looking for Henry. Neal tears the place apart in hope of finding magic beans, ruby slippers, ashes…whatever it takes to make a portal. And into this commotion runs Robin’s adorable son Roland – supplying Neal the means to get to Neverland.

Over at Pan’s camp, Pan tries to win Henry over by offering him an apple – which Henry declines (“I don’t like apples. It’s a family thing”). Then he tries to get Henry to shoot an apple off the head of a Lost Boy with a crossbow. Henry balks, but Pan tells him to believe in himself.

Henry shoots at Pan instead, but Pan sees it coming, grabs the arrow in mid-flight, and finds it all oh-so-amusing, the jerk.

Back to our group now as they head toward Tinkerbell, and Hook – who, incidentally doesn’t miss a thing – pulls David aside because he saw David get wounded. David lifts his shirt to show off his abs wound and Hook give his genuine condolences.

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A wound that size means days of life – weeks at most. He suggests that David tell his family and David says no – he’s hoping that Tinkerbell will have pixie dust that can cure him.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Tinkerbell takes off back to her happy flower, where she encounters a very displeased Blue Fairy. Blue addresses her by her fairy name: “Green.” Tink lets her know that she was busy helping Regina and Blue gets a big ole stick up her tight fairy arse over it. “This is not a woman you can help,” she tells TInk. “She is surrounded by darkness!”

Tink points out that this is exactly the kind of person that they, as fairies should be helping and Blue goes full-on God complex and grounds her, demanding that she remain under Blue’s direct supervision, before flying off in a really supercilious way. Insufferable twat.

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Tink sneaks out anyway, determined to help Regina.

Ahead and over to Rumplestiltskin’s castle now, and Neal is trying to convince Robin to allow him to use Roland as bait for Peter Pan’s shadow, and Robin is telling him to get stuffed. Neal reminds him that he owes a blood debt, and Robin reluctantly agrees to allow Roland to call for the shadow one time only.

Back to the group again, and Regina is definitely dragging her feet. She tells Emma she’s going to hang back and Emma finally puts two and two together. “What’d you do to her?” she asks. “Kill her brother? Steal her halo?”

Regina admits that she and TInkerbell have a complicated relationship and it’s better if the fairy doesn’t see her. Emma agrees that if they don’t find Tinkerbell, she’ll keep going and get Henry.

Back again to the Enchanted Forest, and Tinkerbell has stolen the pixie dust. She grabs Regina and flies her out the window, throwing the pixie dust out, to where it illuminates a clear path to a tavern that holds her soulmate – the man who will be her happily ever after.

Regina stands at the door of the tavern, and Tink shows her that the dust has pointed to a man we only see from the side – but he sports a very unique lion tattoo.

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Regina is visibly nervous, but Tink assures her “pixie dust doesn’t lie” and encourages her to go after her happiness before taking off back to her flower.

Regina opens the door…and then promptly chickens out and goes home.

Forward to Neverland now, and Regina is sitting and waiting, when she senses someone nearby. Out walks Tinkerbell. “You look terrible,” she says by way of greeting. Tink hits her with some magic sleepy poppy dust and Regina hits the dirt.

Meanwhile, in Tink’s treehouse, the others haven’t found what they’re looking for, mainly because there’s almost nothing in it. Emma points out that whenever she moved to a new home, she never put stuff around – it was just a place to sleep. Snow understands perfectly, having lived in a tree stump for awhile while she was running from Regina, and Emma gets to see that she and Mom are more alike than she realizes.

In the treehouse, they find Regina’s handkerchief, and they all realize that Tink was tracking them, and obviously after Regina, who is now waking up, bound and in a dark cave with a pissed-off fairy. TInk makes it clear that it’ll be a cold day in hell before she helps Regina, because Regina destroyed her life.

Tink holds a dreamshade-tainted arrow to Regina’s throat and Regina remarks, “How the hell did you get like this?”

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We’re sent back again to the Enchanted Forest, where it’s the next day and Tink shows up brimming with excitement, ready to hear all about Regina’s happy ending. Only Regina lies and tells her the guy was a dud. Tink sees through her BS, reassuring her that it’s okay if she’s afraid and urging her to turn from the darkness and seek out love. Regina nastily tells her to GTFO.

“I thought we were friends,” Tink says broken-heartedly,

“I don’t have friends,” Regina snaps.

Tink flies off and runs right into Blue, who lays an unholy smackdown on her for stealing the pixie dust. She takes Tink’s wings and her magic, telling her that she no longer believes in her.

In Neverland, Regina pulls out her own heart and dares Tink to crush it. Tink can’t do it, but she demands to know why Regina lied. “Was being happy such a terrible fate?” she asks. Regina tearfully admits that she was afraid to leave the anger behind, afraid to be weak. Then she cautions Tink not to choose revenge, or she’ll end up with a small, hard, dark heart just like hers.

“Choose love and help me get my son back,” she says.

Tink won’t kill her, but she won’t help her, either. She tells Regina it’s probably too late – Henry’s been with Pan too long.

Now we’re over with Pan again, who’s trying to convince Henry that Neverland is the place of his dreams. It holds the magic of every world, and it’s dying. Henry’s the one who save it all. He tells Henry that he’s descended from the greatest of light and dark, and that means something.

Henry calls BS on it, too. You go, Henry!

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Over at Rumple’s castle, Neal, Mulan and Robin are laying in wait for Pan’s shadow, and Neal has a heart-to-heart with Mulan, confessing that he never should have waited so long to tell Emma he loved her. If he had it to do over, he’d have told her sooner.

“When you love someone, you don’t keep it in,” he tells Mulan. “You say it.”

Then Roland stands at the window, and says “I believe,” as a watchful Mulan and a very concerned father stand close by. The shadow swoops in, Robin gets Roland out of the way, and Neal hitches a ride with the shadow all the way to Neverland.

Mulan bids Robin goodbye, even though he’s offered to let her stay with the Merry Men. She declines.

“There’s someone I need to talk to before it’s too late,” she says.

And next we see her at Aurora’s castle, greeting a delighted Aurora. “How long have you been here?” Aurora asks, and a nervous Mulan answers, “I’ve been gathering my courage.”

Aurora assumes Mulan is there to speak to Philip, but no – Aurora is the one she needs to speak to.

Hot damn.

Before she can get the words out, Aurora lets her know that she and Philip are expecting a baby. Mulan forces a smile and lets her know she’s joining Robin Hood’s band. She hugs Aurora goodbye, and then with tears streaming down her face, she walks away, without ever having said the words.

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Ah, God. So freaking sad.

But that’s okay. The writers can make it good for Mulan. I say send her to Arendelle. She’s perfect for Elsa! After all, Arendelle keeps getting attacked by Hans and his throne-hungry brothers, and they could really use one hell of a warrior. Mulan would never have to see Aurora again, and damn would Elsa and Mulan be beautiful together. Just a thought.

Back to the jungle, where the group confronts Tink. Hook gives her a pouty look that makes my thighs involuntarily tighten when she refuses to help, but Snow comes through with an offer to get her off the island and Tink reconsiders. David is visibly shaken by the fact that Tink has lost her magic and has no pixie dust, and Snow senses something’s wrong. She thinks she’s reassuring him by oozing about their love but it’s only making the situation all the more painful for him.

In Pan’s camp, Henry finally looks at the pic of himself that Pan gave him, realizing he’s in deep doo-doo, here.

And then we see Neal hit the dirt on the island, only to hear the slow, creepy drawl of Felix as he says “Welcome home, Baelfire.”

Our group is now settling in for the night, and we get to see the beginnings of what I call, “building moments” when I write a story. Little bits of connection and shared intimacy (and no, that doesn’t mean sex) between characters that start forging something stronger. Here’s one mundane little moment – but look at his face: it speaks volumes.

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That’s more than just a coconut, folks.

Tink sidles up to Regina and asks her if she ever went back and found the guy with the lion tattoo. Regina tells her no and Tink gets upset again, letting Regina know how selfish that was. She didn’t just ruin her own life – she also ruined his.

We end with Mulan, joining the Merry Men. Robin greets her with a handshake and the camera pans down as she takes it.

And we clearly see the distinctive lion tattoo on Robin’s wrist.

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I’ll give this one five hooks out of five.

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Poor, tortured young Regina and sadder but wiser older Regina. Such a great backstory, and I am so excited that she’s going to have a chance at real love again.

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