Is everyone excited about Bae's new/old adventure? Obviously, major spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the episode, so you may not want to read after the jump just yet. If you like "Once Upon A Time" mythology, I think this episode is one worth seeing for yourself.
As you remember, Bae has gone through the portal and somehow ends up in... Victorian London. Of course, this isn't an easy place to be (for all intents and purposes) an orphan, and pretty soon poor Bae is a regular street urchin out of a Dickens novel. Luckily, he finds an open door and a house rife with fresh-baked bread -- and a kindly little girl by the name of Wendy. Wendy Darling, by the way.
So we find ourselves in a severely rewritten "Peter Pan," one in which Wendy thinks the shadow-without-body is just dandy, and Bae knows better. Magic is magic, and it always comes with a price. When Wendy allows the shadow to drag her away to Neverland, she thinks it's going to be great fun -- which it is, except for all the children missing their parents. Ah, the price of magic is that once your feet touch Neverland, you're never allowed to leave (I guess that's the "never" part of it). The shadow only lets Wendy return because what he really wants is a little boy (did anyone else have a shiver over that line?). He'll be back for John or Michael, unless Bae can do something to stop him.
Fighting a shadow isn't so easy, however, and the shadow blows past all of Bae's jerry-rigged barriers. Finally, he has no choice (well, I guess he could offer up one of the kids, but he'd get in trouble for it later anyway) but to volunteer to go to Neverland. But Bae doesn't go easily, lighting a match to spur the shadow to drop him into the ocean. Playing dead, the shadow leaves -- but Bae isn't abandoned. He's quickly picked up by, yes, Captain Hook.
I foresee a fabulous adventure ahead for Bae (and, I'm hoping, we've opened the door to Peter Pan next season), but things aren't quite so exciting for Storybrooke. Still trapped by Greg and Tamara, Regina is being electroshocked to the edge of a heart attack, and when Snow and Charming pick up a nifty little bit of magic from Mr. Gold, the price is that White can feel everything that's happening to the Evil Queen -- including all those horrid electroshocks.
But, because good always overcomes evil (at least at some point), Snow emerges from a convulsion blabbing about the smell of sardines -- and reveals this to Emma just as she and Neal are standing in front of, yes, a sardine factory! I'm not sure I would know what a sardine smells like (as opposed to, say, canned salmon or something), but good to know that Snow knows her tinned fishes.
Emma and Neal show up at the factory just as Snow and Charming do, and they're hot on Tamara and Greg's heels. Charming shows up just as Greg is about to deliver a lethal electroshock to Regina (who has just told him where his dad is buried). Good prevails! But, alas, there's more to the story. Tamara and Greg may have to move on from Regina, but that doesn't mean they're done.
We learned a lot about Tamara and Greg in this episode -- they speak of the mysterious "home office" and Greg reveals that, once he started blabbing to people about what happened to his father, he discovered a lot of believers in magic who wanted the stuff drummed out of the real world, post haste. Tamara refers to magic as unholy, and I hope we find out more about her next week. She seems to have issues, but more than that, she seemed conflicted when she confronted Neal with the truth about their relationship. As he grapples with the reality that she never loved him, she tries to convince him that he's, in a sense, on her side. He's no fan of magic, either, right? No, Neal doesn't care for what magic has done to his dad, but it seems that Tamara and Greg just want to wipe out anyone from fairtytale land -- even going so far as to destroy Storybrooke and everyone in it.
They don't leave that sardine factory without leaving a big heaping helping of hurt behind. When Emma and Tamara get into a catfight, Tamara escapes by throwing down a magic bean and creating a portal -- which sucks in not only Emma, but Neal. Of course, sweet nothings are exchanged just as Neal lets go of Emma's hand (Henry has to have one parent, and Neal/Bae is very good at this self-sacrifice thing). Actually, a lot of sweet nothings are exchanged between Emma and Neal in this episode. There is, at the end, forgiveness and the possibility of an honest relationship between these two. I hope this means that someday soon they will be reunited and not that Neal is being shuffled off the show.
Another storyline that holds promise -- Lacey discovers that Mr. Gold can do magic, and he reveals to her that there's been a prophecy that someone will do him in. Lacey doesn't think her tough guy is the type who'll let that happen -- and what I fear is that Lacey might actually find that Mr. Gold destroying his own grandson is a cool display of power. Yeah, I know, doubtful, but it's times like these that you start to miss Belle.
Next week will be the season finale, which will likely focus on that darned curse "trigger" that Regina was carrying around (and which is now possessed by Tamara and Greg). The magic beans are gone and it's up to Regina to try to slow down the trigger -- but it doesn't look too hopeful in the promo. I'm sure everything will be fine, but I bet we'll get one nail biting cliffhanger to end the season, don't you?
What do you think the "home office" is like? What's going on with Tamara? What did you think of the shadow?