Once Upon a Time Review: Only If You Believe

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It's so much easier to get people to hate something than to believe . Peter Pan's words couldn't have been more true and that's why "The Heart of the Truest Believer" is so valuable.

What he plans to do with that heart, though? It's anyone's guess.

Emma Gets Hooked

Everyone's belief in something was questioned in the Once Upon a Time season 3 premiere. Let's run it down below, shall we?

Emma's failure to believe. Rumpelstiltskin called her out on it. Emma has trouble believing. It took her a long time to believe in magic, even after she saw it first hand. Even after she performed it herself, she still appeared to half not believe what was happening. 

But it's not just magic that she's questioning. Her own family has pushed her to the brink of reason. As Snow gave her yet one more rah-rah speech to keep her going, Emma couldn't take another word…

Emma: How can you two be so infuriatingly optimistic?
Charming: It's who we are. | permalink

Rumpel called her out on her lack of belief in magic, her family and even herself; that somewhere deep inside, Emma still thinks of herself as just that bail bonds woman we met in the beginning of the series. She still has trouble wrapping her mind around how powerful she truly is. And that's part of the reason why Rumpelstiltskin ditched her and the rest aboard the Jolly Roger, as he told her in this Once Upon a Time quote

Neverland is a place where imagination runs wild and sadly, yours doesn't. | permalink

Rumpelstiltskin's belief in his demise. Last season we wondered if the Dark One was going to take out his own grandson. Here, it appears he's willing to sacrifice everything to save him. He admitted to the Lost Boys that he knew he most likely wouldn't survive the coming battle... but that he'd take as many of them out as he could during the fight. 

Rumpel's interaction with Tamara was somewhat satisfying. I didn't expect these two to die so soon in the season but that's not to say I'm not grateful they're gone.  

Tamara basically attempted to kill Rumpelstiltskin's son and put his grandson in mortal danger. How could she possibly think any excuse could save her? If anyone had a heart crushing coming to them, it was Tamara.

Neal's belief in the power of love. Neal's back in the Enchanted Forest because apparently that's the way portals work. Wherever you're thinking of when you jump through is where you end up on the other side. 

Mulan was quick to point out why he never went back to find Emma:

Your belief in love wasn't strong enough to overcome your fear of rejection. | permalink

That's a fairly tidy summary of Emma and Neal's past. But now he only wants to get back to her and his son. 

Neal may not have always liked his father, but he certainly believes in his power and that family has always been important to the man. 

Henry's the true believer. And he always has been. He believed in the curse. He believed in Emma's ability to break it. He believes that Regina can become a better person. And apparently he believes that pixie dust can make you fly. 

The latter was both a great success and his undoing, as his magical flight put him firmly in the clutches of Peter Pan and his Lost Boys. 

The battle on the Jolly Roger was great fun; anger, mermaids and the perfect storm made for one heck of a voyage. And there were plenty of fun moments worth mentioning throughout the hour…

  • Henry basically called Greg and Tamara idiots when they admitted they didn't ask any questions about their mission. I think I like the sarcastic side of Henry.
  • Regina's surprise at being labeled a villain and questioning if that means she'll never have a happy ending. 
  • Charming's indignation over the mermaids, "I will not be capsized by fish."
  • Neal explaining the real world to Mulan. "For starters they think that this place is just a fairy tale. Like a legend, like we're all just characters in a story."

And most especially the battle between Regina and Snow, which may have generated my favorite line of the entire series to date:

Snow: Bring back the mermaid.
Regina: And what, you'll win her over with your rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers? | permalink

I don't think I've ever loved Regina more than in that moment. 

Although Emma's speech to rally the troops together to save Henry did the job, I think it would have been even more powerful if she'd looked at Regina and referred to Henry as our son instead of just my son. 

Like it or not, Henry considers both of them his mothers and he expects both of them to do everything in their power to save them.

Do you believe Henry has two mommies? Is there any possibility that this motley crew can work together to save him? What could possibly drive the Dark One to tears?  And did you miss Storybrooke at all in the premiere episode of Once Upon a Time season 3?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (201 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


I miss the town & red & the critet. But most of all I am very worried about David Charming.is he going to be ok???Plese help him . Beth


This episode was way more fun than I thought it would be. I do like the fact that we have 3 different settings now though. I've always liked the fairy tale places more than Storybrooke but I can enjoy them all this year with more fairy tale lands. I'm interested in OUATIW but the cast is not nearly as interesting as OUAT cast is on first looks. Hopefully they surprise me.


Henry most definitely has two mothers. As soon as Emma said that line, I jumped that Regina is also a mother. But then so is Snow.
I do love their one liners from Regina's comment to Snow or Hook fancying Emma or Regina's line on filleting that bitch. I we need more Snow and Regina moment, whether it anger or they start sharing moments. Why do I get the feeling that Rumble was once a Lost boy just like his son?


Please read my review and send me feedback! Thanks! peterpansalterego.blogspot.co....

Ronald simkins

Here's my take Peter is not as evil as he appears and Henry's "heart" is his belief. Henry's magic is that what he believes to be true becomes true and in Neverland it is truly potent.


I did mis storybrooke (and Red and Granny) a little but the 'Regina/Snow moment'made up for that. Rainbow kisses en unicorn sticker, LOL
But am I the only one who thinks that Hook was just hilarious with his, 'actually I quite fancy you from time to time when you're not yelling at me' The dialogue in this episode is just brilliant. Can't wait for the rest of season 3.


I lightly suspected that was Peter Pan. Peter Pan (in the stories) I think used to be a lost boy, so that was true and was foreshadowing. The lost boys seemed too good at what they did to just inadvertently keep missing them. I hoped I was wrong though :( Loved Hook's flirting with Emma. Wish Emma had said "our son". In fact, I wished for it so much that that's what I heard lol. I get why Rumple cried, but really don't get why he thinks Peter Pan can defeat him. WT...?? Maybe Robin Hood, Mulan, Neal and the other two will join Neal to go to Neverland? SO many questions!


I loved that comment between Regina and Snow, that was the best line in the show. Hook is looking more and more dashing. I like all their sarcasm and Emma having to go overboard to make a point. They did work together in bringing her back on the ship.
Peter Pan is a nasty boy. The directors stated that all prenotion about Peter Pan is not true. He is not the happy little cartoon character or the peanut butter. I did not realize that it was him the whole time. Henry has faith and will show Peter that his family will come for him. They may mame each other while trying to find Henry, but most families are dysfunctional.

Beverly brooks

Do you believe Henry has two mommies?
Yes, both Regina and Emma love him equally, they just don't believe it.
Is there any possibility that this motley crew can work together to save him?
They have worked together before
What could possibly drive the Dark One to tears?
Doll belonged to Neal/Baelfire and he was remembering what it was like before he became the "dark one".
And did you miss Storybrooke at all in the premiere episode of Once Upon a Time season 3?
Yes and then no also. Miss seeing the old group..Red Riding Hood, etc.
I like the way Peter Pan showed up, but then I didn't realize he was so mean.


I think that doll that made Rumple cry belonged to "Baelfire".

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