In the Enchanted Past, Peter Pan -- with his pan flute -- comes to the Enchanted Forest as the Pied Piper. Baelfire, whose relationship with his father is already strained, follows him. Rumpy finds Pan and it's soon clear the two have history. Later it's revealed they knew each other as boys, but then Pan took off for Neverland, leaving Rumpy abandoned again. Pan tells Rumpy to ask Baelfire if he wants to come home with him. If the boy agrees to go with his father, Pan won't interfere. Rumpy realizes he doesn't need to make a deal to retrieve his son and magics the boy back home. Bae is incensed, in part because his father didn't give him a choice, but also because Pan got into his head before Rumpy arrived and told him that if his father didn't offer him a choice, he isn't to be trusted.
Now, in Neverland, Operation Henry plans their invasion of Pan's camp. Emma thinks they're good to go, until Tink asks what their exit strategy is. Once the fairy learns they currently have no way back to their own world, she backs out. Showing them Tamara's watch (and telling them of Tamara and Greg's fate), she makes the point that this is how Pan treats the people he employs and asks how they think they'll fare with him while still stuck on his island. She tells them to call her once they've bought a clue.
Hook leads Emma and crew to a cave once occupied by Baelfire. In addition to his drawings (I like that bit of characterization) Bae made a secret map out of a coconut and a candle. What? It's a thing, okay? He cut a coconut in two, scooped it out and poked holes (corresponding to stars) in the top half. Emma lights the candle that's in the bottom half, puts the top back on and the cave ceiling is illuminated by the map. The problem is that Hook is the one who taught Bae cartography and he says every decent pirate's map is in code, so that only the pirate can read it. Emma finally has an overt reaction to Neal's death. She's pissed at him! She loved him for all those years and he didn't tell her he loved her until it was too late. And now he's the only one who knows how to get off this God forsaken island and he has the temerity to be dead. Don't forget about he had you imprisoned for his crimes, girl.
Speaking of Neal, Felix captures him but Neal frees himself and knocks out Felix, who just looks like he needs a good thwack on the head, right? He next runs into Rumpy who, with the aid of magic, of course, has just knocked out two of Pan's sentries. Believing his son to be dead, Rumpy thinks Nealfire is just an illusion and nearly stabs him with a Dreamshade poisoned spear before he realizes the truth. The problem is that now that Rumpy knows his son is alive, he has something to live for, which means he once again cares that Henry will be his undoing.
Neal and Rumpy do manage to get an unconscious Henry away from Pan, temporarily, but Pan tells Neal that Rumpy will never truly help him get his son because of the prophecy. Neal knows nothing of the prophecy, so Rumpy tells him all about the Seer and how the boy who led him to his son will be his undoing. Still no one (not even illusion Belle who has scenes with Rumpy which are pretty much retreads of her previous appearances) proposes an alternate interpretation of the word undoing, which is driving me slightly nuts. I'm not throwing my shoes at the TV yet, but I do have one in hand.
There's a certain squid's ink which disables magical creatures. Neal and Rumpy used it on Pan. Now Neal uses it on Rumpy. He carries the still unconscious Henry through the forest and stumbles upon the last camp Operation Henry occupied before they retreated to his cave. Neal can tell that Emma was there. By then, Rumpy's magic has worn off and the Lost Boys are conscious again (I don't know why Henry isn't, because that's what knocked him out, too) and the squid ink has lost its effectiveness on Pan. They quickly retrieve Henry and drag Neal off to parts unknown.
Before Henry and the Lost Boys were knocked out, Pan was trying to get Henry to join in the revelry and even played him a tune on his magical pan flute. The problem is that only Lost Boys can hear the music. Henry is very much loved and wanted by his plethora of relatives, so he doesn't hear a note. After his unconscious travels with his dad, Henry wakes up back in Pan's camp, none the wiser. He tells Pan he thought he heard his father's voice, but that can't be, because his father is dead. Pan encourages Henry to labor under this false premise. Henry starts to feel lost and abandoned (and I think I take issue with this, but I'll hit that in the recap), and he now can hear the music. Dun dun dun.
"Nasty Habits" is a dark episode and not without its flaws. The CGI work in the Enchanted Forest town jumps off the screen and slaps you in the face. The Neverland sets, too, have felt a little claustrophobic. Also, while I love Charming, I'm tired of his insistence that he and Hook keep his poisoning a secret. So much so, in fact, that I may have yelled, "If you're not going to tell your family, then just die, already."
On the upside, it's good to see Emma expressing herself. Also, I'm enjoying this less cartoonish version of Captain Hook. Likewise, I'm so glad to see that Regina has a deep respect for Emma's presumed loss of Neal. Lana plays it just right. When her love was taken from her… well, we all know what happened. Regina knows, too, and you can see that bubbling under the surface. You can see that she both empathizes with Emma and maybe even fears her, or at least her pain. I think the high point of the episode, though, must be Rumpy telling Nealfire that he is his happy ending. Robert Carlyle brings so much to it.
I'll be back with the full recap, ASAP. In the meantime, please join us on the boards, where we're hunting for pixie dust to just cure Charming, already.
Previously, on Once Upon A Time, Emma meets Peter Pan. Operation Henry meets Tinker Bell, whom Regina -- of course -- pissed off, Once Upon A Time. Charming shows his arrow wound to Hook, who says our prince only has days or weeks, at most, to live. Henry says he doesn't belong in Neverland. Peter tells Henry he was created for a reason, and Pan can help him find that reason. Rumpy lets Baelfire fall into the portal to a world without magic. Rumpy, ready to sail off in search of Henry, tells Belle he has to risk not returning, in order to honor Baelfire. Neal figures out how to get to Neverland. He uses a toddler as bait and hijacks the Shadow. When he lands, Felix welcomes him home.
Now on, Once Upon A Time, we open on Felix leading Neal through the Neverland jungle. Well, actually, Neal's in front, but his hands are bound and Felix, who is armed, is bringing up the rear. Is it always night (or at least twilight) in our Neverland scenes, or is the jungle so thick that it always looks like it? I'm trying to remember a daylight scene, and can't (although that doesn't mean it doesn't exist).
Anyhow, Felix tells Bae he never thought he'd see him (and like some factions of fandom, he'd hoped to never see him) again. When Neal says he's there to get Henry, Felix scoffs and asks if Neal seriously thinks Pan will give up the heart of the truest believer, which he has coveted for so very long. Neal says, "Maybe, if I ask nicely." Heh. I enjoy wiseacre Neal, who, all the while, has been loosening the rope that binds his hands. When Felix snickers that Baelfire has grown up stupid, Neal smiles. "I have grown up. I don't know if I'm stupid or not, but I do know I know how to tie an overhand knot." By the time the last word passes his lips, Neal's hands are free, and he's giving snotty Felix a deeply needed punch in the kisser. Over Felix's unconscious form, Neal takes a moment to gloat as he takes off his coat. "I'm not a boy anymore, Felix, and I sure as hell ain't lost. He drops the coat next to the rope and runs off into the ever-present night. The title card features Henry dancing around a fire.