Once Upon a Time Season 3 Review “Think Lovely Thoughts”

Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 8 Think Lovely Thoughts (1)

Once Upon a Time was on fire last night with a Pan-centric revelation that likely blew more than a few viewers’ minds. After a trip to Rumplestiltskin’s childhood, we discover that his father was a self-centered, ne’er do well who was unlikely to win any father of the year awards. Sound familiar?

Rumple was the big focus of this episode. We see that as a child, all he wanted was the love and care of his father. Unfortunately, his father was too selfish and immature to look after himself, let alone a child. He leaves Rumple with two kindly crones who show the young boy how to spin. Of course, this becomes the origin of Rumple’s ability to spin straw into gold. One of the women gives Rumple a magic bean and tells him that it can open a portal to anywhere he wants to go. He immediately brings it to his father, who is reluctant at first to use it. Then his father recalls a magical place from his childhood, where all you have to do is think happy thoughts and they come true. They drop the bean and teleport to Neverland.

Once they reach Neverland, Rumple’s father discovers that he cannot recreate the joys of his youth – because once you’re an adult, Neverland is closed to you. That doesn’t stop the dark shadow from appearing to him. The father learns that there is a way to recapture his youth – he has to let Rumple go. When the shadow appeared to the father and said he was the island’s only inhabitant that tipped me off that the father had to be Peter Pan. This turns out to be the case and as Rumple is pulled away, the father transforms into the boy we’ve all come to love/hate.

There were a couple things that I enjoyed with this backstory. First, I loved the way Rumple’s father had a similar laugh to what we later hear from the Dark One. It occurred to me for the first time that we only hear this laugh when Rumple is in his evil incarnation. Second, I liked the parallel of Rumple being abandoned by his father and in turn doing the same to Baelfire. Third, it showed that Peter Pan is not completely evil. Yes, he’s really really bad. But he does give Rumple a chance in the end to join him.

This was definitely a great twist. It simultaneously humanized Rumple and Pan. It was in keeping with this darker version of Pan. The fact that Pan is Henry’s great grandfather also shows Rumple what it would be like if he made the same choice Pan does: sacrifice Henry to save himself.

Once of the best scenes was at Skull Rock when the good guys squared off against Pan. It’s kind of nice in this circumstance to think of Regina as on the side of right. Regina, Emma, and Neal all try to convince Henry to ignore Pan. I liked the fact that all three of his parents were fighting for him – and not just Emma.

Henry sacrifices himself to “save magic” and gives his heart to Pan. I know it’s probably wishful thinking, but I was giddy at the idea that Henry may join the list of the dearly departed. This is a family show, so it probably won’t happen. It sure would solve a lot of my problems with the show, though.

The show is on an upward trend (though “Ariel” was bumpy) that should culminate in a return to Storybrooke. With every episode, though, I keep wondering why Wonderland is so much weaker. Pan, Regina, and Rumple are fantastic villains, while the Red Queen and Jafar are weak by comparison.

I imagine that there is a reckoning coming for Pan, probably in the next couple episodes. Then I’m looking forward to seeing how that plays out.

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