Once Upon a Time keeps the plot twists and family drama coming this week. While our characters aren’t covering much ground physically (they’re mostly seen in the jungles of Neverland), their emotional attachments are getting quite a work out.
After much searching, Neal is finally reunited with his father Gold/Rumple. Because of his long conversations with an imaginary Belle, Gold thinks Neal is only a hallucination. Eventually he accepts that his son is alive after all. They don’t immediately become the next Andy Griffith and Opie, however. Neal doesn’t trust his father. He wants Gold to turn over the Dark One dagger as a sign of trust, but Gold has given it to the Shadow to hid from Pan and he doesn’t know where it is. Naturally, Neal doesn’t trust him.
In this episode’s flashback story line, we learn more about the tortured relationship between Gold and his son. Neal (aka Baelfire) grows sick of his father’s gifts when we realizes they are always items that Gold has stolen from people or has “earned” through his nefarious dealmaking. When Bae isn’t home one evening Gold accuses the townspeople of taking him away. But it turns out that someone is leading the boys of the town away with pipe music. The next night Gold follows the enchanted boys as they meet up with the Pied Piper in the woods. Gold confronts the man who is none other than Peter Pan! Pan tells him that most parents’ worst nightmare is someone taking away their child, but that Gold’s worst nightmare is that Bae will choose to leave him the same way his own father and his wife Mila chose to leave. (Ouch. The truth hurts.) Gold grabs Bae and magics him away. Needless to say, the teenaged Bae isn’t too thrilled with this. He wanted to stay and be wild and free with the Lost Boys.
Emma, Regina, Tink, Hook, Charming, and Snow are still searching for Henry. It occurs to them that once they find him they’ll need to get back out of Neverland. “Never break in somewhere you can’t get out of.” (Sound advice for thieves and fantasy world travelers alike.) Charming has still not told Snow that he’s probably going to die from the poisoned arrow that grazed him. Hook knows and thinks that telling Charming’s family would be better for them, but Charming wants to keep it between them.
Eventually the gang finds the cave where Neal lived when he was in Neverland. This is painful for Emma because she is still grieving for him. She realizes that Neal made a star map to show where the portal he used to escape Neverland is. After much head scratching, she and the gang realize that the only person who could have read the map is Neal.
In one of Gold’s conversations with imaginary Belle, she tells him that “a lifetime of craven self interest is a nasty habit you’ve never been able to break.” He has been given a prophesy that a young boy will be his undoing. He is willing to sacrifice his life to save Henry because he’s his grandson. Eventually Gold and Neal find Henry. They don’t have much time to celebrate because Pan takes Henry back. Pan plays his flute and Henry hears the music and finally decides to join in the fire dance with the other Lost Boys.
Will Henry ever be able to leave Neverland now? Can Neal learn to trust Gold? Is Charming going to die? This are all burning questions that we’re left with for next week. Or at least we should be. But we’re too busy focusing on the fact that next week Emma and Hook will kiss! We can’t wait for the next episode to find out how this lip lock comes to be. Is it real or just a fantasy?