Once Upon a Time started with a curse, and in the Season 3 mid-season finale, Season 3, Episode 11: “Going Home," Peter Pan is going to do his best to start the cycle all over again. Will he succeed in his evil plot to transform our favorite Maine town into a terrifying new Neverland cowering under the dictatorship of the world's most twisted teen?
The promo for next week's episode gives us some clues about what will go down when our heroes race to thwart Pan's plot, so we've put the preview under a microscope to see exactly what it reveals.
1. Our heroes run through town. The promo opens with a shot of the core group racing down an otherwise empty Storybrooke street. They look ready to burst into action.
2. Regina gets her magic on. It wouldn't be a OUAT event episode without Regina wielding some magic, which we see her do at :02. She appears to be aiming upwards with her spell — maybe attacking the shadow? Or trying to stop the curse?
3. Is Peter back in his body? At :04 we see Robbie Kay lying on the couch in Rumple's bed. But is this still Henry in Peter's body? Based on what happens next in the promo, we're thinking that it's actually Peter Pan, which suggests that Henry and Peter switch back to their correct bodies at some point.
4. Peter Pan vs. Rumple. We see Robbie Kay ask Rumple, "Can't I be free of you?" In response, Rumple grabs his cane, looking ready to attack, but he's thrown back by magic coming from Robbie's character. That magic is why we assume Peter is back in the correct body — unless something big has changed, Henry can't use magic. Plus, it makes way more sense that Peter would be the one to attack Rumple.
5. The curse unleashed! At :12 we see a green wave of magic race through Storybrooke's woods, and then there's a shot of Grumpy dashing through the town, shouting "It's here!" which is a nice callback to his reaction back when the curse came to the Enchanted Forest. At :15, more magic, this time purple, rushes through the town. "It's coming from all sides," Grumpy warns at :21. "There's no escape."
6. Belle crying. At :17 we see Belle in tears. Is Rumple getting all sacrificial again? The prophecy still lingers — after all, there was no real reason for him to think that surviving Neverland means Henry (or perhaps Pan in Henry's body) couldn't still be his undoing.
7. Everyone will go back to "where they're from." At the end of last week's episode, Pan seemed to think unleashing the curse would restart the stuck-in-time Storybrooke the characters used to live in, but at :18 we hear Regina say "everyone will go back to where they're from," which suggests that most of the characters would land back in the Enchanted Forest. Is that her interpretation of what will happen with the curse redux? Or is it, perhaps, a suggestion for a magical solution to save the townspeople? It would suck for Emma and Henry to be parted from the rest of their complex family (or would Emma also be sent to the Enchanted Forest, because that's where she was born?), but it's better than everyone forgetting who they are...
This theory might also explain why there is both green and purple magic shown in the promo — one wave could be the curse, the other a counter-spell.
8. A Captain Swan moment. At :19 Emma and Hook look like they're sharing a moment.
Check it out for yourself below.