TV RECAP: ‘Once Upon a Time’ – Ep. 303: ‘Quite an Uncommon Fairy’

ROSE MCIVER, LANA PARRILLA

A big new character debuts tonight but will she be the cute, charming Tinker Bell that lights up the Disney castle or the snotty one who nearly got Wendy and Peter killed? Let’s find out Oncers…

Our company once again traipses through the woods. Charming is struggling to keep up and Snow teases him, “David Nolan let himself go?” Just as they’re getting close to the camp, as indicated by the map, it moves. As the bickering about what to do next starts up, Hook helpfully suggests they seek out a fairy he knew in Neverland. She might be able to help them find Henry/take care of Pan.

The leader of the Lost Boys is currently waking up Henry with the offering of an apple. Henry refuses the treat. “It’s a family thing,” he says. But Pan only wants him to use it for target practice. Henry is egged on to shoot a poisoned arrow at an apple on Felix’s head. He wisely tries to shoot Pan instead, who deftly catches the arrow and looks rather pleased with Henry’s decision.

Cut to the Dark Castle where Neal is frantically looking for something to use to make a portal to Neverland. He deduces that Henry must be the boy Pan was looking for all that time ago. The loud rummaging has summoned Robin Hood’s men, including Little John. He shows up with Robin’s son in tow and Neal suddenly has an idea.

We flashback to the Enchanted Forest from long ago where Rumple interrupts Regina’s lunch. She missed her lesson today and is thinking of giving up on them altogether. A future like Rumple’s doesn’t appeal to her and she’s already most of the way there. She’s unhappy with her marriage and everything else in her life. He insists she keep up with her learning dark magic before vanishing. In a fit of frustration, Regina she bangs on the balcony railing, which gives way. She plummets towards the ground but a cloud of magical dust catches her. She’s just been saved by Tinker Bell.

Back from commercial, Regina is dishing about Snow and the King to Tinker Bell over drinks at the pub. The way she tells it, Snow had her fiancé killed. Tinker Bell is sympathetic and promises that she can help Regina find true love again and get her happy ending. “My happy ending looks like Snow’s head on a plate,” Regina sneers. Yeesh.

Neverland. Regina drops a handkerchief that is picked up by wildling Tinker Bell. The Queen tries to convince Emma to combine their magic powers to take down Pan. When that doesn’t work, she accuses Emma of only liking the plan because her “boyfriend” Hook came up with it. Emma denies that, though maybe not as strongly as you’d think. (Captain Swaners rejoice throughout the land.)

Still en route to Tink’s house, Hook tells Charming he knows about the prince’s wound. The “tiny scratch” has become much nastier since last we saw it. Hook says Charming may only have days left to live. Charming is holding out for some pixie dust to heal him.

Bestest friends Tinker Bell and Regina part when the fairy flies back to her home in the sky. The Blue Fairy catches Tink sneaking back in and tells “green” that she’s broken all the fairy rules. She also denies her access to pixie dust and warns her about helping the wicked-because-her-mom-was-evil Queen Regina. Commercial.

We return with Robin Hood royally ticked off that Neal wants to use his son as bait to lure the Shadow. Robin pleads that since his wife, Marian, died, Roland is all he has. He finally relents to Neal’s puppy dog expression and agrees to have Roland call out just once for the Shadow.

Back to Neverland and Regina is refusing to go up to Tinker Bell’s home. Emma uses her brain to figure out that Regina has a “complicated history” with the fairy. “What the hell did you do to her?” Emma asks sincerely. “What I always do.” Regina says regretfully.

We see the beginnings of that fallout in the Enchanted Forest. Tink sprinkles Regina with pixie dust and they take to the skies. The pixie dust leads a trail to Regina’s happiness, which is apparently a man with a lion tattoo who is sitting in a pub. She’s nervous to move ahead but the fairy encourages her before taking off yet again. Regina summons her courage, opens the door, and sees a guy who looks an awful lot like Robin Hood from behind, but then chickens out.

In Neverland, Tinker Bell finds her old friend for a chat about their past. “Complicated history” is an understatement. Tink puffs what looks like pink pixie dust in the Queen’s face and she collapses to the ground. Commercial once more.

In Tinker Bell’s tree house, Charming and Hook look fruitlessly for pixie dust. They find Regina’s handkerchief and realize they should head back to when she is in order to find the fairy. Speaking of, the two in question are having a tense reunion. Regina uses her cunning to deduce that Tinker Bell lacks magic, which turns out to be true. But she does have Dreamshade poison on an arrow poised at Regina’s throat. Just as good I guess.

Enchanted Forest. When the fairy shows up to hear all about Regina’s new love, Regina lies that the pixie-dust-man was “awful.” She calls Tink a “terrible fairy” and takes out her frustration (but really fear) on her new friend. See, Regina already had love and she lost it so now she’s destined to be miserable forever. The fairy thinks this is ridiculous and is incensed that Regina doesn’t care that she stole the pixie dust for her. The Queen casts her out, calling her a “moth.”

This explains why in Neverland, the arrow still at her throat, Regina whips out her heart to make it easier for the fairy to kill her. Tinker Bell seems to relish the opportunity. Commercial.

In the Enchanted Forest That Was, the Blue Fairy once again catches Tinker Bell who pleads for another chance. Blue no longer believes in Green though so she strips her of her wings and leaves her on the ground. No wonder Tink is pissed at Regina. Back in Neverland she vents that Regina should’ve just gone inside the pub to meet her chosen man. Why couldn’t she, Tinker Bell wants to know. In a rare moment of truth, Regina says, “I was afraid. You said I could let go of the anger that was weighing me down and suddenly it felt like without it, I would just float away.”

Then Regina pulls a Emma/Snow routine and points out that Tink seeking revenge will just make her like Regina: dark and unhappy. She manages to convince the former fairy to spare her life.

Speaking of convincing, Pan is trying to persuade Henry to embrace Neverland by telling him touching stories of Lost Boys who lost their fingers playing with knives. He has better success by telling Henry that Neverland and every world runs on imagination and only Henry can save all of them. Still Henry resists, even when Pan gives him the scroll with his picture, which Henry discards without looking at it. Pan makes a quip about how Henry is a lot like his father.

And what do you know we flash to Neal who along with Mulan and Robin is preparing for the Shadow’s appearance. Neal is giving Mulan advice about telling the people you love them how much you love them. Again we’re left to wonder if Mulan’s thoughtful expression is for Aurora or Philip. No time for that now though because Roland says the magic words: “I believe.” There is long pause…then the windows burst open and the Shadow grabs him. Neal waits an eternity to grab hold Shadow even after Mulan slashes it with her sword. Neal takes a flying leap out of the window and nabs the Shadow’s ankle. Off they go.

After the commercial, Robin offers Mulan a place in his group but she says she has to go have a chat with someone. Cue Aurora. Mulan arrives back where Aurora and Philip are and wants to talk with her friend. Ok, I have to give the Once writers credit here because they really make it seem like Mulan could either be about to tell Aurora that she has feelings for Philip or about to tell her friend that she has feelings for her. Either way it doesn’t matter because Aurora interrupts to say that she’s pregnant. Mulan is just so thrilled that she’s joining Robin Hood’s group.

Tinker Bell and Regina run into the rest of the troupe but the former refuses to help them with their quest. She has no pixie dust and no one believes in her, after all. Snow interjects that she does believe in Tinker Bell and if the non-magical fairy helps them, they’ll get her home in return. She agrees to join their group while Charming looks concerned about the fact that his magical cure is no longer an option. Snow makes matters worse by nonchalantly telling him that he’s her whole life.

In Pan’s camp, Henry caves and looks at the scroll. He sees his picture just as his dad lands in Neverland and is greeted very warmly by Felix.

The rest of Henry’s family mopes around a campfire. Tink and Regina talk about the man with the lion tattoo, whose life was apparently ruined by Regina’s unwillingness to meet him.

We cut to Robin Hood welcoming Mulan into his band of merry men. As she shakes his hand, we are completely unsurprised to see his lion tattoo.

 

Fairy Dust

Regina and Tinker Bell sit outside a pub sharing stories and drinks. How does no one recognize Regina, the Queen, at the pub?

Why wasn’t the Blue Fairy in the blue flower? That just seemed silly.

Regina calls the rescue mission, Operation Henry. Awwwww.

Can I get a high five for calling the whole “Henry is needed to fuel Neverland” thing?

Regina tearing out her own heart for Tink to crush? Proof that the Queen is the toughest, most awesome person on this show.

How did Mulan’s sword hurt the Shadow? How corporeal is this thing?

Me, during the Mulan and Aurora scene: “Lesbihonest…”

But seriously, whom was Mulan going to reveal her feelings for: Aurora or Philip?

Emma’s response to Tinker Bell asking who she was: “A pissed off mother!”

I am not the biggest fan of Snow and Charming’s gooey kind of love but her speech about finally feeling at home when she met him was touching. A plot device to make his impending near-death more emotional yes, but poignant nonetheless.

 

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