It has been a long summer without Once Upon a Time, but thankfully, the Season 3 premiere brought fans everything they wanted: tension, drama, magic, and… mermaids? However, did that make for a good episode? Read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's review, and then rate it yourself.
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While this episode wasn’t flashback-heavy, the one standout moment was in the first minutes, showcasing Jennifer Morrison’s best acting to date. As Emma gave birth to Henry — and the electricity flickered, which could be a hint at her magic — and then refused to see him since she “can’t be a mother,” our hearts sank. It was an emotional way to kick things off, but was the perfect way to show how far she’s come as she heads to save Henry with everyone on the Jolly Roger.
Her excellent acting continued as Emma gave it to her parents straight, basically pinning all the blame on them for Henry being in Neverland. If she hadn’t come back to be the savior, she’d be safe with Henry right now, plus they have major family problems, namely the fact that they’re the same age and have the “same wisdom.” She faults them for their optimism, and it’s a nice change of pace.
Meanwhile, Rumplestiltskin changes into his signature Dark One attire and tries to take charge on the boat, but that doesn’t fly. However, we do see Henry fly at one point with who he thinks is an escaped Lost Boy trying to save him, but alas, it’s actually Peter Pan luring him into a trap. Oh, Henry. Always so trusting. We leave the episode with a huge question mark for him, but he likely won’t die. That would be too easy. Pan wants his heart, though — he’s the “truest believer,” after all — so who knows.
Overall, there wasn’t a lot of death in the episode. Greg looked like he could be a goner, but the only one who is definitely gone for good is Tamara. Rumple seemed like he was reasoning with her, but instead ripped her heart out. Regina desperately wanted to kill, but the closest she got was turning a mermaid into stone. She did have amazing one-liners and an intense fight with Snow White on the boat, so we’ll let it slide this time.
As for the third land we saw in this episode, Neal is healing surprisingly fast. Aurora tried to gain contact with Charming to tell Emma and Henry he’s alive, but alas, it didn’t work. Still no explanation for how Prince Phillip is doing so well, but maybe the Enchanted Forest has magical healing powers hiding somewhere. All we know is that the new Robin Hood is fantastic and the show got super meta when Neal told Mulan there’s a movie about her in the real world. Will she be the next to cross over to Storybrooke and see it for herself? Maybe… if Neal ever gets out of there.
There were some particularly exciting moments — Neal being back in Rumple’s castle, Emma straight-up jumping overboard when no one will listen to her about their fighting fueling the mermaid’s storm, etc. — but overall, the episode needed some more action. There were some chase scenes and fights with the Lost Ones in Neverland, but the craziest moments will probably come next week when Emma “leads” everyone to find Henry, more truth about Rumple’s connections to Neverland are revealed, and most importantly, we find out what’s happening with Peter Pan. Hopefully, we’ll also learn what’s happening in Storybrooke at some point soon.
What did you think of the Season 3 premiere, Oncers? We rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Cast your own vote below, and catch the next episode on Sunday, October 6 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.