We begin – say it with me now- as I always like to begin: with Hook.
We’re aboard the Jolly Roger, somewhere off the coast of Neverland, and Hook is looking longingly at the only remembrance he has of Milah, a drawing of her face. He asks Mr. Smee about the lad they pulled from the sea. Smee wonders with obvious fear if the boy might belong to “him.” Hook points out that if the lad is indeed the one that “he” is looking for, he could be their ticket out of Neverland.
He heads below to question the lad himself, and discovers to his surprise that the boy is Baelfire, and that means he’s the only piece of Milah left in the world. We see an uncharacteristically soft Hook offer the boy a blanket and berth, proclaiming “it’s a pirate’s life for you.”
This evening we begin back at the very moment that Rumplestiltskin abandoned young Baelfire, who has landed in London, somewhere in the 1800’s. He lives on the streets for six months, and then breaks into an opulent home, looking for food. He’s about to tear into a loaf of freshly baked bread when he’s caught by the family dog, who barks an alarm. An amazingly beautiful young girl (seriously – this girl is incredibly pretty) comes running and realizes very quickly that Bae isn’t there to harm her. She offers him extra bread, and a warm place to sleep, and then she gives him her name: Wendy Darling.
Forward to Storybrooke, where Tamara is suiting up to go for a morning run, leaving Neal in bed. Not for long, though, because he hears a commotion out his window. It turns out to be dear old Dad, terrorizing Dr. Whale because he thought Whale glanced a little too long in Lacey’s direction.
Neal intercedes, reiterating once again that his father has never changed. He also harps on the fact that dad hasn’t even asked to meet Tamara. Gold replies that Neal’s not getting married – not as long he carries a torch for Emma. Neal tells him that he’s done with him, and warns him to stay the hell away from both him and Henry.
We start tonight’s episode in my favorite fashion: with a big ole dose of Hook! Tamara and Greg have moved him up to the clocktower to show him that the job he thought he’d finished (and oh my GOD do I love the way he says “sated”…) is not entirely so. Rumplestiltskin still lives.
Hook is understandably furious over this development, and Greg and Tamara offer him a deal: if he helps them capture Regina, they’ll help him end Mr. Gold. “We know how to kill magical creatures,” Tamara assures him.
Back we go to the Enchanted Forest, where Regina, looking amazing in a tight crimson full-length brocade coat and jaunty feathered hat is bursting in on what she thought to be Snow White’s hiding place. She pulls the villagers out and demands that they turn her in. No one will give her up, despite Regina offering them a rich reward. In a fit of anger, she orders her guards to kill everyone in the village.
Forward to Storybrooke now, where we see Snow and David discussing Regina’s future – or rather the lack thereof, because once they go back to the Enchanted Forest, they can’t take her with them. Not unless they lock her up for life. She’s too big a threat. David points out that every time they give her another chance, she slips.
Unfortunately for them, Regina has heard every word and now she’s seriously on the warpath.
Tonight we start with Henry’s birthday party, held for some reason at Gold’s shop. Grandpa Gold allows Henry to pick out any present he wants from his shop and Henry picks a black wand. Gold uses it on Henry, turning him into ceramic, right before he takes his cane and smashed Henry to bits (by the way, this was an exceedingly cool bit of CGI).
And whooosh! It’s all a dream and Gold is waking up in bed, grasping his chest in panic.
Off to the other side of town, where Gold is now looking on as Neal is pretend sword-fighting with Henry, and up strolls Regina. He lets Regina know that they are now related via Henry, and she’s understandably freaked out to learn that Henry’s birthfather is Gold’s son. She points out that it can hardly be a coincidence, and Gold replies that it’s not a coincidence, it’s fate. And fate, he adds, clearly has a sense of humor.
“They won’t accept you,” Regina tells him. “I’ve seen your dark heart, and it always wins out. If your own son couldn’t bring out the good in you, who will?”
This evening we begin on a tropical island, circa 2011. Morning has broken, and August (who is laying in bed next to a beautiful naked Thai girl) is sporting some morning wood.
Unfortunately for him, not the good kind. The clock struck 8:15, he got a shooting pain in his leg, and he is literally turning into wood. He tries to convince his companion that he’s turning to wood, but she only sees a normal leg.
Having originally come from a magical realm (and having started life as an inanimate object), August knows full well something is afoot. Or a leg. Whatever it is, it ain’t good.
Now we head over to present-day the loft apartment, where David is making poor widdle Snow some happy breakfast in an effort to try to get her out of bed. Emma doesn’t give a crap if mom is clinically depressed – she tells David to stop mollycoddling her.
Tonight we begin with two fresh new faces: Kurt Flynn and his son, Owen. They’re on a camping trip in the woods and he’s teaching Owen how to make a gimp keychain when suddenly the trees start thrashing and an enormous storm blows in (complete with magical blue fog). They ride it out in their tent, and when they emerge, it’s to find that Storybrook has suddenly appeared. Obviously, we’re flashing back twenty-eight years.
Kurt’s truck was damaged in the storm, so they stroll into Storybrooke. Once there, Kurt tries to make sense of how a town can suddenly appear out of nowhere on a map, when up pulls a sheriff’s car, we focus in on a pair of familiar work boots with leather laces, and blammo! Sheriff Graham cameo!!! YEAH BABY.
Tonight we’re in the Enchanted Forest, near a shabby looking windmill, and a man who’s either dead, drunk or sleeping in a really awkward position. Guess number two turns out to be correct, when a beautiful young peasant woman pushing wheelbarrow rolls up and reads him the riot act. The drunken man is the local miller – that’s the guy that grinds the grain into flour, for those of you who aren’t busy reading trashy historical romance novels or active in the SCA.
The young woman delivers the flour to the nearby castle, and as she’s hauling the bags, she’s deliberately tripped by a snooty princess in a tiara and gorgeous dress. She falls, spilling a bit of the flower onto the princess’s shoe. The king intercedes and refuses payment on the flour, and further demands an immediate apology – from the peasant girl – for having the audacity to dirty a princess’s slipper. When the king condescendingly asks the peasant girl’s name, we learn that she is none other than our own Cora, in her youth, and DAMN. Just…DAMN girl.
The king orders her to kneel, and then forces an apology by threatening to use another Miller. Cora glares up at the smug princess -now identified as Ava (yes, that Ava – Snow’s mother as a much younger girl) and she gives her a stilted apology, with hatred shooting out of her eyes with the power of a thousand burning suns.