Once Upon A Time: “The New Neverland” Looking Ahead

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With just one episode away from the Mid Season finale, Pan plans his final act of revenge on the residents of Storybrook, but will he succeed? And further more, what will we the viewers lose if he does? But fear not, all hope is not lost.

The Dark Curse Returns:

With the episodes close, we saw how Pan (in Henry’s body) learned of the Dark Curse from Henry’s storybook, and then used his shadow and Regina’s love for her son to create the perfect situation to steal the curse from Regina’s magic vault. His aim is to use the curses power to make everyone forget who they are and make time stand still – thus making Storybrook the ‘new Neverland’, and with True Love no longer weaved into the parchment, there would be no way to break it.

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Pan looks over the parchment he just stole which contains the Dark Curse

But even so, does Pan have what it takes to recast it? As we learned in Season 1, the curse needed two items:

  1. Hair from those possessing the darkest souls
  2. The heart of the thing loved most

The hair portion could be taken care of easily since Peter and Felix are pretty dark, but what does Pan love most? One could assume Pan would sacrifice Felix, but does he actually care about him or merely see him as another pawn. For Pan to say Rumple would be a laugh since nothing Pan has ever done has been anything but self serving. If this curse were indeed enacted, it wouldn’t play out the same way.

Where to now?:

Beyond memory loss and freezing time, the curse also teleports its victims. In Season 2, we learned that while time was frozen in Storybrook, it was also frozen in The Enchanted Forest – except for the portion that Cora protected. So Pan’s thought of freezing time in Storybrook was correct, but who’s to say the residents will actually remain there?

With a dark sail powered by Pan's Shadow, the Jollyroger is able to sail between different realms.

With a dark sail powered by Pan’s Shadow, the Jollyroger is able to sail between different realms.

As I explained last time when hypothesizing Felix’s alternate identity, Once has opened itself to any story book universe. Medusa’s inclusion in this episode nearly confirmed my Jason and the Argonauts comment last week about Greek Epics being allowed. So perhaps they’ll be transported back home as the next episode title suggests. Or maybe they’ll be sent to Wonderland? The World Without Color? Neverland again? Or maybe some new Grecian world? Either way, just because the curse will be reenacted doesn’t mean this will be a never-ending rehash of Season 1.

Worst Case Scenario:

Lets imagine for a second, the curse is reenacted and they stay in Storybrook with everyone’s memories forgotten. Is this really the end? Remember that every curse is made to be broken. But who’s left to break it? Simple, everyone left in the Enchanted Forest. Whether Mulan and Aurora, or Robin Hood and Regina, there is much more that has to be told. This season thus far has been very focus on Emma’s group with very little Storybrook or Enchanted Forest story telling.

The death of the Blue Fairy signals that Pan isn't finished yet, but also gives room for Tinkerbell to step up.

The death of the Blue Fairy signals that Pan isn’t finished yet, but also gives room for Tinkerbell to step up.

Wouldn’t it be great if the second part of the season is all about the other band of heroes? They could find a way to Storybrook and save the residents by some new, yet-to-be-revealed way. Maybe even Once Upon A Time In Wonderland could tie in and save Storybrook? The writers have rewarded us so far, let’s have some faith in them. So what if we don’t have a new world to explore. A half season digging deeper into the characters we’ve already come to love could be just what we need after such an exploratory first half.

Last minute nagging questions:

Between Rumplestilskin seemingly having had his happy ending and giving away elixirs free of charge, I’m starting to get even more worried about Rumple’s safety. The preview of next weeks episode even hints at a character’s possible downfall. I still wish this only means a loss of power, because he has truly become a fan-favorite.

Rumple offers Charming an elixir to cure his Nightshade poisoning free of charge.

Rumple offers Charming an elixir to cure his Nightshade poisoning free of charge.

Speaking of fan-favorites, Hook and Emma’s romance might have looked a little dicey after seeing him with Tinkerbell, but Hook still has it bad for Emma. As he told Neal earlier in the episode, he’s in it for the long haul. He came onto Tinkerbell just because he was down, but it might have some good sides since it certainly spurred some jealousy in her. But will this help Hook in the long run with Emma or lead to a new possible romance?

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Will Emma and Hook get together? Will Rumple survive and beat his destiny? Where will the second half of the season take us? Is Maleficent actually going to return? Things might look bleak, but fear not. Anything is possible.

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