Once Upon a Time continued its best season yet by proving that it's hard to escape our "Nasty Habits" and that most of us feel lost sooner or later.
Rumpelstiltskin conjured another vision of Belle as he prepared to do battle with Peter Pan. She brought up an pleasant point of truth for the Dark One in this Once Upon a Time quote…
A lifetime of craven self interest is a nasty habit that you've never been able to break. | permalink
But the truth was that Belle wasn't doing the talking, that's simply the voice in Rumpel's head. The one that tells him that one day his beloved Belle will leave him just as Neal did. Just as Mila did. Just like his father.
Yes, Rumpelstiltskin is indeed a lost boy in his own right and apparently his history with Peter goes back farther than anyone would have guessed.
It was great to see Neal finally make his way to Neverland, but I found his first interaction with the Lost Boys frustrating.
Neal: I'm not a boy anymore Felix and I sure as hell ain't lost. | permalink
Unfortunately, he might not be the smartest man either. Why didn't he take that rope and tie an unconscious Felix up before running off, especially when he knew the primary Lost Boy would run to tell Pan the moment he woke up?
When Rumpel assumed his son was nothing more than a vision, it was Neal's "please Papa" that broke through the haze and broke my heart a little too. It felt as though everyone on Neverland has been more than a little wounded. Too bad that Pan's more than willing to take advantage of their vulnerabilities.
Which was exactly what happened when he told Neal of the prophecy. It would have been nice if Neal had believed in his father, but I could understand why he made the decision he did. As a parent, your first priority is to protect your child from anyone who could be a threat and the past has made Neal wary of his father.
It took Pan using the memory of Henry's "lost" parents to begin to turn the boy. Henry believes his father is dead and that he may never see his mothers again. Enough time has passed for him to be feeling a little lost without his family.
I hated that Henry could finally hear the pipe music. I've always felt the Pied Piper was one of the scarier fairy tales. Linking Pan to the tale was an inspired twist.
We didn't get much of Regina, except to deliver her brand of sarcastic humor. I hope that no matter what happens to the Evil Queen in the future she never loses that trait. It's far too much fun.
And poor Emma struggled to come up with a plan to find her son and get everyone out of Neverland... all the while mourning Neal. How sad that she only now allowed herself to admit that she's always loved him.
I guess that won't help Hook's cause of winning over Miss Swan but as he told Charming…
Hook: If there's one thing I've learned from you hero types is that there's always hope. | permalink
As usual, I liked how he stuck by Emma's side no matter what and that he's keeping quiet for Charming while still prompting him to be honest with his family. Despite his pirate ways, Hook seems to have developed a soft spot for Emma and her family.
So will Charming live or die? Will Hook make headway with Emma before she runs into Neal? And will Rumpel's history with Pan allow him to finally take the boy down on the next Once Upon a Time.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.