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Monday, May 6, 2013

Once Upon A Time Recap: Second Star to the Right

Second Star to the Right

Tons of secrets were revealed, and new mysteries surfaced, in last night's episode of Once Upon A Time, "Second Star to the Right." From a boy who knew all too well the price of magic, to the true ambitions of two outsiders, to the unthinkable plot by a too-often slighted queen. The penultimate episode of the season was, as expected, one giant build up to the finale.

Let's start with Baelfire, shall we? We had long suspected him of being Peter Pan (that is, after we learned that Greg Mendell wasn't!), so seeing him dropped from the portal into Victorian London definitely set the Anticipation Alarm off. We see him in a short confrontation with the Darling's dog, Nana (a great nod to the classic Disney movie) before befriending Wendy, who secretly takes care of the poor boy until her parents find out...and welcome him into their home (because if upper class Victorian parents were one thing, historically, it was nice to beggar boys that their daughters have hidden away in a crawlspace).

Once Upon A Time
One night, Wendy (and brothers Michael and John) tell Bae about a shadow that visits them in the night. It can do all sorts of things like change shape, fly, and take them to a land with magic! Bae, with his One Direction haircut, pleads with Wendy not to let the shadow in, because he knows from experience how magic can destroy a family. I thought this was a particular bit of great acting on the part of young Dylan Schmid, who manages to show some real concern for his newfound family mixed with the pain of his past. You really believe him when he tells Wendy that magic comes with a price. One person who did not believe him, however, was Wendy.

Once Upon A Time
When she returns from Neverland, she is distraught. The shadow, it seems, is not a friendly spirit. At night, she tells Bae, she can hear all the lost boys crying out for their parents. Ultimately, the shadow rejects Wendy....because he's after the boys.

Once Upon A Time
An APB has already been called in by London Metro Police.
I have to say this was a really great twist on the classic tale. To imagine Peter's shadow as a living entity, and a malevolent one at that, was pretty creepy and really brilliant. Neverland isn't some happy place, it's where abducted children are forced to spend eternity by a wraith-like being. In any case, Baelfire does his best to ward off the shadow, but to no avail. When the shadow reaches for Michael, Baelfire boldly takes his place. He is carried off to Neverland, a dark and foreboding island shrouded in mystery.

Once Upon A Time
Now where have I heard that before?
But, the quick thinking Son of Stiltskin uses a match to ward off the shadow and he crashes into the ocean, where he is rescued by none other than Captain Hook. Will Baelfire rise to become the Pan, defeat the good Captain, and rescue the lost boys of Neverland? We'll just have to wait and see!

Back in Storybrooke, Neal is just a liiiittle bit upset with his dad, who has taken up some old bad habits now that he's with "Lacey". I'm not too thrilled with how this is all turning out, honestly. Rumplestiltksin created the Curse to find Baelfire, had to almost die to reunite with his son, and now is basically telling him not to crimp his style with his new lady friend. This, of course, will all get resolved in the finale, but it just seems a little forced.

Once Upon A Time
"Hateth the game, noteth the player, deary!"
Meanwhile, Regina is put into a bit of an uncomfortable situation, as she is strapped down by Greg and hooked up to a machine so that she will finally reveal what happened to his father. I have to say, as much as I cringed at seeing Regina electro-tortured, Mendell really let out his evil, vindictive side and it was a fine piece of acting. It's about this time that we learn that Tamara and Greg are not the only two out there who know how to "take care of" magic and magical beings. Showing their Lost roots, the writers reveal that there is an entire organization dedicated to finding and eliminating magic from this world. Storybrooke is apparently not the first breach that has been made into our land, and the dastardly duo have discovered a way to make sure that the town will go the way of the others.

Once Upon A Time
"Did I leave the oven on? No...Locked the doors? Yep....Hid away the thing that can destroy the whole town? ...ah, crap"
In an effort to locate Regina, the Charmings visit Mr. Gold, who blends Regina's and Mary Margaret's tears so that Mary Margaret can see and feel everything Regina is at the moment...which...of searing pain from electrocution. They then liberate Regina, letting Greg go in the process, as Emma and Neal track down Tamara. A gunshot to the abdomen finally convinces Neal that his finacee hasn't exactly been truthful with him, and when Emma steps in to save him, Tamara uses the magic bean she pilfered from Regina to open up some distance between well as a portal to another world. Emma and Neal hang on for dear life, both having been sucked into another dimension before and not eager to do so again, but this is a drama we're talking about, and someone's got to go!

Once Upon A Time
"It's okay! I'm an expendable secondary character!"
The portal closes and Emma is left in shock. Having just declared their love for each other, they were ripped apart by magic. You can bet that, wherever Neal winds up, Emma will find him. After all, it's in the family genes. Back at Chateau de Charming, David and Mary Margaret are watching over a recuperating Regina. They are again (really, again?) shocked by Regina's malice as they learn that she has created, and then lost, the failsafe trigger for the Curse. Cut to a distraught Greg Mendell as he digs up the remains of his father. Tamara approaches him with a gift, a black diamond that holds the key to the final and absolute destruction of Storybrooke.

And so, we head "Straight on Til' Morning".

Til next time, dearies!


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