Subtext Recap: Once Upon a Time 3.10 – The New Neverland

These snowstorms, for serious. Last Sunday night, we had a reservation for a night in New York. I was gonna sip local cider, cover myself in the crumbles of the world’s greatest (and a very large) gingersnap cookie, see the lights and windows, and, generally, just soak up New York Christmas. On Monday night, we were gonna see Jinkx Monsoon do the holidays up right before heading back to the land of the Raleigh.

Instead, the forecast three inches turned into upwards of eight inches (at least in the area in which we ended up snowbound) and Sunday night was spent trapped in a hotel room outside Baltimore, where I watched the tenth episode of Once Upon a Time‘s season three, after it was interrupted, of course, by a weather guy promising even more snow.

This also proved a good time to switch on the ole VPN and catch up on the Lost Girls for this season. Even the last one, which we watched before rationally heading home Monday before getting bound up by the snow again.

We did, however, discover the most sprawling, beautiful Wegmans I’ve ever been in, where they served up organic lattes of perfect flavor. So, there’s a hot tip for anyone seeking organic coffee drinks in the northeast.

So, anyway, there is no point to any of this other than to draw you in with the promise of subtext and then unleash my tale of woe upon you. Except not really, because we got safely parked in a hotel with food and coffee on hand in some very dangerous conditions, so it was actually more of a best case scenario than a worst case scenario.

Now, onward to The New Neverland. *SPOILERS AHEAD*

First off, it’s fucked up to have Eric chopping the heads off of fish when Ariel goes to find her true love. I mean, I’m sure that was all part of Regina’s ha-ha laugh-riot curse, but he remembers everything like everyone else, right? So, he should know that shiz is whack. Of course, it’s really just an excuse for them to be at the dock when the ship comes in, so there can be loooooong slow-motion return of the passengers of the Jolly Roger just to show how alone Regina is in the world.

But, wait! What’s this? Snow White wants to honor Regina’s behavior in Neverland? Great, she feels so much better now about you pointing her out as she stands alone with no one who loves her, except for the thousands upon thousands of people who watch this show for Regina and Regina only.

Next, it’s back to Granny’s to celebrate the homecoming, ’cause it’s the most hoppin’ joint in town, a celebration that includes the following –

A bro talk about how Hook is going to back off so Neal-Bae can have Emma in the short-term, while Hook awaits their break-up so he can take Emma on home. Aren’t we glad they decided that for her?

Regina and Tinkerbell as sudden friends, and a brief talk with the Blue Fairy for the pure sake of killing her later. Plus, of course, the foreshadowing that Tink doesn’t believe in herself and her magic, so we can anticipate, at some point, Tink’s magic is going to save the day.

Snow and Charming proving they are really just team penis. Neal’s dead. Go for Hook! Neal’s alive. Go for Neal! They don’t really seem to care, as long as it has the power to impregnate.

The early manufacturing of some parental drama as Pan-as-Henry prefers the company of the hotter, naughtier mommy for bedtime. Can’t say I blame him.

Mary-Snow having something to say as Regina leaves with Pan-as-Henry, because there is never a time Mary-Snow doesn’t have something to say.

Party maybe or maybe not over, it doesn’t matter, because we follow the wafting fragrance of Regina’s hair back to Mills Manner, where Regina is mothering, and we realize, yet again, there is nothing the woman doesn’t do sexy.

It is here where Regina makes a vital declaration – “Magic isn’t the answer.”

That hair, however, may be, and, at some point during each of the past five or so episodes, Shawna has demanded to know when we get the deleted scene of Regina brushing her hair for fifteen minutes.

Anyhows, Pan-as-Henry is a bad mofo and he sets the shadow loose on the town.

Before the shadow can do any damage, though, we must see Neal eating alone in his meet-me-at-the-diner-or-I’ll-never-pursue-you-again ultimatum, and the Charmings who have come there to, oh I don’t know, spy on them maybe, realize Emma didn’t take Snow’s advice to jump on the first available erection. So, Charming goes out to talk some sense into their baby girl and get her hooked back up with Henry’s biological father. (Notice Hook’s cameo in there? I did that.)

This is when the writers find opportunity to give a tip of their hat to the show’s subtext… between Hook and Charming.

This leads straight into a moment of Emma being jealous over Hook and Tink. Just before the Blue Fairy gets dead. So, yeah.

And, while I’m no fan of the Blue Fairy, and I’m more than cool with this show cutting down on some of its unnecessary baggage, that was a pretty quick, lame-o death for a character that has been around since the beginning. I mean, disappoint someone, scream, and you’re dead. End scene.

Then, in the wake of the quick fairy death, there is parental conversation (contention) between Regina and Emma. Because they are back in Storybrooke, so it’s what they do. Though, I give props to good portrayals on both sides that show a melting surrendering softening toward each other.

Of course, Regina’s argument against Emma’s point that Henry isn’t himself is kind of silly since she knew damn well Henry wasn’t being himself when he was asking about magic. So, the likelihood that she would take him to the vault? Low. But, for the sake of drama, let’s just go there with them, shall we?

Fast-forward to Henry-as-Pan being discovered in Pandora’s Box and Pan-as-Henry knocking Regina out with some magic something that makes her fall funny.

Found in the crypt, Regina admits in front of all them-alls that she wanted to believe Henry needed her so badly she bought Pan’s act, and Henry-as-Pan says he does, and all sorts of warm family ahhhs ensue, before we get into the fact that the curse, which Pan now holds in his grubby little Henry hands, can be cast again.

Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I imagine they know better than to go there. And if the creators and writers don’t, ABC certainly should. Remember what happened to your one-season wonder FlashForward when it started to become clear to viewers the only way to sustain the premise was to FlashForward again? It didn’t end well.

Like I say, I don’t know what will happen, and I’m sort of sorry, sort of relieved to say I don’t particularly care. The important takeaways here are –

Medusa. NO.

And Regina has amazing hair.

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