It’s the second season home stretch Oncers! Let’s dive in. We begin with our dear Captain Hook asking about the boy they fished out of the water. Smee says he’s fine and also smartly surmises that he was probably dropped by the Shadow. Smee recommends tossing the boy back ASAP. Below decks Hook and Bae have a heart to heart where within a minute the boy has told the Captain that his mother was killed by a pirate and his father abandoned him. Also, he hates magic.
Hook, proving to be more than a pretty face, puts two and two together and asks the boy his name. To my eternal disappointment he truthfully answers “Baelfire” instead of lying by saying “Peter Pan.” Hook is surprised by his good fortune and more than a bit pleased. He even hides the son of his dead lover from the creepy bounty hunters known as the Lost Ones (but really the Lost Boys) who come looking for him, presumably at the Shadow’s bidding. Hook hardly bats an eye when Head Lost Boy tells him the punishment for lying/disobedience is having your shadow riiiiiiipppped from your body. The band of not-so-merry ones departs and Hook’s impressed with Bae’s ability to stay hidden.
Storybrooke. Henry’s on a swing, all carefree, going higher and higher. Granny’s keeping an eye on him and is apparently not at all concerned about the cluster of large pointy rocks directly in Henry’s landing zone for when he does what everyone does on swings: launch themselves into the air. Someone who does notice this danger zone is Henry’s grandpa who is lurking behind a shrub. Mr. Gold is slowly magicking the swing’s rope to break so that the boy who will be his undoing will fall and die. Before he can succeed, Charming, Snow and Emma arrive. Emma goes to tell Henry about Neal and her parents do the same for Mr. Gold. He’s clearly devastated, even blaming himself for Neal’s death saying he brought magic to Storybrooke. “Magic always has a price and this is it,” he laments. So deep is his grief that he refuses to help track down or stop the failsafe which is being activated by Oweg and Tamara.
Down in the tunnel the pair in question whacks the diamond of destruction into “on” mode with a handy nearby pickaxe as Hook looks on. Why are they willing to die with Storybrooke? “We have faith in the sacredness of our cause,” Tamara says. Hook may or may not roll his eyes but surely most Once viewers did.
Back on the Jolly Roger, Bae is proving to be incapable of keeping any secrets. He and the pirate bond over shared stories of fatherly abandonment, with Bae spilling all about daddy Dark One and his dagger. Hook shows him how to steer the ship and looks like a proud surrogate papa. Soon he’ll be organizing baseball games for Bae and everything.
The Charmings have returned to their apartment, Henry in tow, to figure out their next move now that Rumple’s going to just mope. Regina, looking remorseful, embraces Henry and offers to help contain the failsafe for as long as she can. The town is already starting to transform back into its foresty self. Hook swoops in to offer his help and gets a punch in the face from the Prince. Undeterred the pirate admits that though he’d like to kill Rumplestiltskin he’d rather save his own life so he’s decided to switch to the other team. He says he can find Oweg and Tamara and help recover their stash of magic beans. Then the whole town can escape to the Enchanted Forest. Charming replies, “I’ll go with him. He tries anything, I’ll shoot him in the face.” Seems legit.
The town is gathering at Granny’s while the Pirate and the Prince take on the Lanyard Boy and the Crazy Lady. The handsome duo recover one bean but Hook stops Charming from going after the evildoers. Down in the tunnel, Emma and Regina find the diamond. Emma puts on her thinking cap and realizes that Regina’s not going to be making the portal ride back to the Enchanted Forest. She pleads with the Queen to reconsider, for Henry’s sake. Regina refuses saying everyone sees her as the Evil Queen, even her own son. “Let me die as Regina.” Oncers across America feel a bit misty eyed.
On the ship in Neverland waters, Hook is again defending Bae’s presence to Smee when suddenly the boy appears with a dagger and a drawing of his mom that he found on Hook’s desk. The Captain pleads his case, saying Rumple killed Milah but Bae, rightfully, points out that the pirate is still responsible for the destruction of his family. Bae wants to leave and Hook agrees.
Emma tells the diner full of residents about Regina’s heroism and they all decide to completely reject it by trying to send the failsafe through the portal instead. Charming and Snow lead this charge with only Emma and Hook expressing skepticism. She convinces the swashbuckler to hand over the pouch containing the bean by playing on his loneliness, which oddly works.
In his pawn shop, Mr. Gold catches the dwarves taking Sneezy’s stein. Seems the Blue Fairy has worked up a potion to return his memories as long as he drinks it out of something that’s tied to his Enchanted Forest self. Or whatever. Though Gold is snarky about this, seeing as they’re all going to die shortly, Grumpy gives him a second vial for Belle. “Don’t let her die as Lacey,” Grumpy and every Rumbeller plead. Gold hems and haws for a bit while sharing a non-magical drink with Lacey, who seems unfazed by the news that the town’s going to be destroyed. This coldness is perhaps what finally pushes her boyfriend to magically repair their chipped cup and give her the potion. It works. Belle immediately begins to cry and kisses her Rumple, happy to be with him again and sad about Neal. Rumple tearfully apologizes for waking her up when they’re going to die so soon but he needed her. Oncers across America reach for their tissues again.
The Charming family returns to the tunnel to visit Regina, who’s a bit miffed to see them. She is trying to sacrifice herself after all. They explain that opening a portal and tossing in the failsafe might work, like with the wraith. Regina and Emma are doubtful, both wanting to protect Henry, but they agree to give the magic bean a shot. Which is going to be hard because turns out Hook stole the bean. Pirates!
Speaking of, the good captain is on his ship sailing away with the Charmings’ magic bean but he isn’t looking so thrilled. He reminisces about the time he handed over a betrayed Bae (he thought Hook was just going to let him go for some reason) to the Lost Boys. Ah the good ol’ days. The Lost Boys ferry Bae to land where he’s presented for inspection. Turns out he’s not the extra special boy the Shadow’s looking for. Who could it be?
Back in the tunnels Emma finally stops panicking and uses her head. She realizes she can use her hidden magic powers to help Regina save the day. It super effective! Lo and behold a minute later everything’s peachy. The forest recedes and everyone’s happy. Until they notice Henry’s gone. Oweg and Tamara somehow snuck in and snatched the boy without any of the FOUR adults noticing. Now they’re running off with him, throwing their magic bean into the sea and jumping into the portal with the boy. Turns out destroying Storybrooke was nothing but a distraction to snatch Henry. Does no one understand how annoying this kid is?
His extended family is distraught but never fear! Hook saves the day by returning with the Jolly Roger and his bean, offering to take them to follow Oweg and Tamara and find Henry. All of Henry’s parents and grandparents jump aboard as does Rumple who tells Belle she has to stay behind. She and all Rumbellers are not having it but he knows he’s got to do it. “The boy is my undoing. But he’s also my grandson. I must do this to honor Baelfire. He’s gone, and I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye.” Again with the crying. With a final kiss the pair part, Belle to stay behind with instructions on how to cast a cloaking spell over Storybrooke and Rumple to find his grandson.
And maybe his son too! We get a brief shot of Neal unconscious and wounded but alive on a beach with, yes!, Mulan, Aurora, and, yes again! Prince Philip.
The Jolly Roger now being manned by everyone in Henry’s family except his dad but including his almost step-grandfather steer toward the portal. As they do Rumple explains that Oweg and Tamara are just pawns in a much larger game controlled by someone much bigger and badder.
Back on the Neverland beach the Lost Boys discuss who their boss is looking for if it isn’t Bae. The mug shot they’ve got reveals it’s…Henry! They’ve got no idea where to find this kid but they’ll keep looking though because Peter Pan always gets his man.
– How did Oweg and Tamara know how to activate the failsafe? And why is it as simple as whacking the gem with a pickaxe?
– Was Peter Pan the Lost Boys’ boss or was he the Head Lost Boy? The reveal left me a bit confused. I’m hoping he’s the boss simply because I’d like to call Head Lost Boy, Rufio.
– When Henry was initially missing, did anyone else think he was “the price” for Emma’s use of magic or the failsafe being deactivated?
– So if they’d been able to send the failsafe through the portal, would the Enchanted Forest have been destroyed? Or does the failsafe only affect Storybrooke?
– Little boy Pinocchio provided a key ingredient for the memory restoration potion: his hair. While this is still ridiculous at least the Blue Fairy has just cause for making August into the precocious red head.
– Anyone else feel like Hook is the new Sark? Good looking, great accent, changes sides at a moment’s notice?
– Regina dons the Captain Obvious costume tonight to point out that Oweg and Tamara have opened a portal with the last bean. Yeah, we can see that.
– Other teary eyed moment: Emma finally calling Snow and Charming, “Mom” and “Dad.”
What are your thoughts on “And Straight on ‘Til Morning”? What are you looking forward to in season three?