Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Quiet Minds

Last week's promo promised me the return of Neal! Bring it.

Storybooke - One Year Later

Emma runs into Granny's to join the usual gang for a meeting to discuss Zelena and Rumple. Hook tells them that Neal was looking for a way to bring back Rumple (because he missed his family) but he doesn't know if Neal was successful. Regina thinks it's more pressing to find out WHY Zelena has Rumple rather than WHO brought him back. What is with Regina making smart, good decisions? Can we keep this Regina please? Regina is going to look over the farm house again. Emma tells her to be careful, and Regina scoffs. Says that the witch invaded her space, and she's going to return the favour.

In the woods Zelena is trying to summon the Dark One, but it's not working. She is frustrated and tells her monkey to go find him. Rumple is running through the forest trying to get away.

In Mr Gold's shop Emma, Hook and the Charmings are breaking the news to Belle that Rumple is alive. Belle is happy. Emma asks her to stay behind because they think Rumple will make his way to Belle (obviously) and Hook offers to stay with her (as my blood starts to boil). Belle is basically like "WHAT THE HELL? NO!". Belle reminds them that Hook tried to kill her (TWICE) and Hook offers some lame apology that Emma calls him on. Hook tells Belle that staying with her will be his way of making it up to her (because that fixes attempted murder!! I swear!). I am actually really upset that they are leaving her with SOMEONE WHO TRIED TO KILL HER (TWICE!!). If I were Belle I'd punch him in the face. Charming wants Snow to stay behind because of the baby, which is so like Charming. Emma thanks Belle for her help and promises her that they'll find Rumple.

Enchanted Forest - One Year Ago

Belle and Neal in the Enchanted Forest! YAY! They are talking about Rumple, and how much Belle loves him. Very cute. She says she loves all of him, even the parts that belong to the darkness. Neal admits he's still struggling with accepting all of his father (understandably). He talks about wanting to get back to Emma and Henry. He pulls out Emma's swan pendant (sigh) and shows it to Belle. He tells her it was to represent his and Emma's life together. He muses that he's surprised it survived the trip. Belle tells him it was born out of true love (YES! Confirmed true love for Emma and Neal).  Belle, of course, wants to look for the answer in the library. She tells Neal that they are better than magic (heck yeah!). As they are searching they hear a voice (after lighting a candelabra). It's coming from the flames, and he introduces himself as Lumiere! (I LOVE Beauty and the Beast so YAY). So far this is amazing.

Storybooke - One Year Later 

As Belle and Hook are looking through the shop they hear a banging on the door. They go to investigate and find Neal trying to fight his way past the clutter in front of the door to get into the shop. Neal doesn't look so good (Eeeep!).

Emma and Henry are sitting together. She's brought Henry breakfast. She's tells Henry that he's going fishing with Leroy. Henry tells her that he doesn't believe her cover story anymore. He thinks it's more than a case. He's noticed the whispers and how she seems to be friends with everyone in the town. He wants the truth or he wants to go back to New York. Just as Henry says this Emma gets a call (from Belle or Hook I bet regarding Neal) and she tells Henry that he's right. She is hiding something, but she asks him to trust her, and that she has to go. Henry agrees, for now. JUST TELL THE KID THE TRUTH.

Emma rushes to the hospital where Neal is in bed and wants to know what happened. Neal doesn't remember anything but seeing the yellow bug cross the town line. They tell Neal that Rumple is dead (getting Neal worked up in the process). Emma goes to grab his hand and sees something burned into his hand. It's a symbol of some kind. Emma wants Belle to research it and takes some pictures with her phone to send to Belle. Emma asks everyone to leave so that she and Neal can talk. They both say how nice it is to see each other. Neal is relieved that she remembers him. He asks about Henry and Emma hesitates. She tells Neal that Henry doesn't remember anything about their time in Storybrooke. Neal is obviously not happy that Henry doesn't remember anything. She tells Neal that maybe Henry shouldn't get his memories back they were happy in New York. Neal says he really wants Henry to know who he is. Since finding out he's a dad, Neal has been nothing but amazing. He wants to be there for his son so badly (and for Emma too, his TRUE FREAKING LOVE!).

Enchanted Forest - One Year Ago

Belle is suspicious of Lumiere. She says she cleaned the Dark Castle from top to bottom and never saw him before. Lumiere says that he was 'under utilized' and that he only appears when his candles are lit, it's part of his punishment. He claims it was Rumple who put the curse on him. Belle tells him that Rumple died, and Neal mentions they are working on a way to resurrect Rumple. Belle tells Lumiere that if he helps them, she'll make sure Rumple changes him back to his usual form.

Lumiere points them to a book, that hides a key to the Vault of the Dark One. The key has the same symbol as what Neal had burnt into his hand. Apparently the key opens up a well of darkness where the first Dark One was born/made. Belle asks Lumiere to help guide them on their journey. He agrees, as long as she holds true to her promise. Neal says they leave in the morning. As soon as they leave the Wicked Witch enters the room. Turns out she and Lumiere are working together, and she tells him that he still has 'things' to help her with (and I immediately stop feeling happy because I predict bad things). DO NOT GO WHERE SHE IS SENDING YOU BELLE AND NEAL! Run away!

Storybooke - One Year Later 

Zelena is with a very anxious Snow. Seems she hasn't felt her baby move in a while. Zelena tells Snow it's not uncommon and pours her some orange juice. I bet she put something in it. I hate this witch. Snow mentions she's anxious, and her and Zelena talk about the witch and how everyone is looking for her. Snow eventually drinks the orange juice, and the baby kicks. Zelena goes to feel Snow's stomach, and tells Snow that she's not letting her have this baby without her. Creepy.

REGINA AND ROBIN! He shoots an arrow at her. Tells her that he thought she was the witch. They banter back and forth, introductions are made. He knows she's the Evil Queen ('I prefer Regina') and they are SUPER cute. Robin also wants to search the farm house for clues, and offers to be Regina's partner. Regina relents and tells him not to get in her way (it's a direct copy of the conversation they had a year ago!). Very cute. Regina's asked if they've met before, and he tells her that he would have remembered meeting her (unless it was during that pesky missing year).

Hook comes to talk to Neal who is looking at his burnt hand. Hook brings him Jell-o because it apparently has medicinal properties (I love when Hook is clueless, it's funny, and totally WORKS. They need more of this). They talk and we find out that Neal sent Hook the message to get Emma back. He asks Hook how it felt to be the hero. Hook asks Neal how it felt to be the villain. Stop. Just stop writers. You're actually embarrassing yourself. Yes, I am guessing Neal did something to earn that burn on his hand and got Rumple back. Yes it's most likely magic of some kind. That makes him desperate, and he made a mistake, but not a villain. Last time I checked he wasn't trying to murder poor defenseless women, cursing a whole town, or anything. Sigh. Neal calls Hook on it, and Hook tells Neal that dark magic must have been used to bring Rumple back, so yeah, villain (again, sigh and eye roll on top). Neal goes to leave and tells Hook that he is going to find his father. Hook hugs Neal and tells him that sometimes he forgets that he's that same little boy, the one Hook apparently 'looked after all those years ago'. Oh, the one you turned over to Pan as soon as he had a teenage mood swing? That's 'looking after' someone? What the hell?! I am beginning to think they forgot everything in season two at this point.

Hook also says the smartest thing I've heard him say - he says that they got caught up in nonsense over a woman (heck yes, triangle of doom needs to die). Hook tells him he'll give him a 10 minute head start before he lets Emma know. Neal runs out of there.

Enchanted Forest - One Year Ago

Belle is talking about Rumple, and how he sacrificed himself for them, and their happiness. Neal still seems hesitant when it comes to Rumple (as he should) but admits that he would do anything for Henry, and do anything to get back to Henry so he and Rumple have that in common. They come to the clearing where the 'Vault of the Dark One' is. That name is still ridiculous.

Storybooke - One Year Later 

Charming and Emma are talking about things. She says that Neal is hoping Rumple can bring back Henry's memories. Charming says that would be a benefit since Henry can't exactly stay in Storybrooke without them. Emma admits she's not sure she wants to stay. She was playing video games and eating fruit rollups just last week, and now she's chasing after the Dark One (and trying to find the Wicked Witch of the West). I see her point. Emma wants a quiet life outside of all this.

They find Rumple, and he's freaking out. He says he can't 'quiet the voices' and that there is 'no room'. They are attacked by a monkey as Emma is attempting to question him. Rumple takes off, and Charming tells Emma to go find him while he fights the monkey.

Back at the farm house, Regina is trying to find some witchy clues. Robin is 'helping'. He tells her that he's heard a great many stories about the Evil Queen but from this angle (which happens to be checking out her behind!) he thinks it's an overstatement. He says she might be bold, but not evil. Regina says fear is an effective tool, so the name served her well. Robin reaches behind Regina (they totally have chemistry) to grab a container with some liquid in it. After a cute banter it's revealed to be whiskey. Robin asks her to share a drink with him. They've certainly earned it. He goes to hand her the drink and Regina sees the tattoo. She freaks out and runs away.

As Emma is trying to find Rumple, she runs into Neal. She tells him she just saw his father, but that Rumple is a little crazy. They go to search for him together.

Enchanted Forest - One Year Ago

Belle and Neal light Lumiere's candles, and he tells them to clear the ice and snow away to see the entrance way to the vault. Neal asks if he is sure about this. Lumiere says yes. He spent so much time in the library seeing and hearing dark magic, he knows what he is talking about. Belle immediately jumps up, and demands to know HOW long Lumiere was there. He spits back that it was 200 years at LEAST. Belle basically calls him a lying liar who lies because the library was built for her and it's less than 30 years old.  Neal demands the real story from Lumiere. Lumiere tells them that it was actually the witch who cursed him. The witch wants to bring Rumple back so she can control him with the Dark One dagger that she has. Belle wants to leave. Neal is determined to get his father back so he can go back to his family. Belle is wonderful as always and tells Neal that Rumple would not want to be slave after his sacrifice. Neal is not having it. He is willing to pay any cost (Oh, Neal, LISTEN TO BELLE YOU SILLY MAN). Belle tells him that he sounds exactly like his father just before he enacted the curse that ruined everyone's lives. She pleads with him basically. Neal does it anyways, and uses the key. It burns the symbol into his flesh and I am starting to panic. This can not be good. The well starts to fill with a black liquid and it begins to form a shape of a man. It's obviously Rumple coming back.

Storybooke - One Year Later 

Emma and Neal are having the best talk. Emma is talking about Henry's life in New York. She mentions that she had someone, and that she's sorry. He tells her not to be sorry. He asks if it was serious, and she mentions he proposed and THEN turned into a flying monkey. They share a chuckle over their disastrous exes. It's easy, and effortless and they make each other happy. This is why I ship them. He tells Emma he's sorry it didn't work out. He wants her to be happy, even if it's not with him. She tells him that they were happy, once. He says that they never found Tallahassee and Emma gives him a smile. This episode is KILLING ME! So much Emma/Neal awesomeness. They need to find Tallahassee. Emma's phone rings, and Belle tells her that the symbol is from the key that opens the 'Vault of the Dark One' and she thinks Neal may have used it to bring Rumple back. She tells Emma that the vault will only bring back the Dark One in exchange for another life (Oh, no. NO! NO! NO!). Belle says that if Neal used the key, he should be dead. Emma looks at Neal and he begins to scream in pain and falls down. Emma is obviously worried. As he is on the ground he begins to shift back and forth from Neal to Rumple. So they are the same person? WHAT THE HELL?!

Enchanted Forest - One Year Ago

Neal isn't doing so well. Belle runs over to him. Rumple is fully formed, and realizes what is going on and runs over as well. The witch comes and taunts Neal, telling him he's just like his father. He didn't take the time to think about his actions due to his desperation. So they're going to kill Neal right? That's what's happening? F*@K this show, and because killing him apparently is not enough, they're going to trash his character first?! What even?! Rumple is BEYOND angry. He says Zelena tricked Neal. Rumple tells Neal it'll be okay. He starts to perform some magic, and it's not working. He can't hold onto the dagger, and Neal at the same time. Zelena tells him as such and Rumple lets her take the dagger so he can pull his son into himself (so weird to describe this). So Zelena got the dagger because of this? I hate Zelena with a passion now. They could have found a way to fix this if people remembered. Zelena orders Rumple to kill Belle. Lumiere, who has obviously taken a liking to Belle, captures the witch in some flames, allowing Belle to run. Zelena threatens Lumiere as Belle runs off with him. So, she got Rumple and the dagger within minutes of him coming back. Awesome.

Storybooke - One Year Later 

Emma realizes what is going on. She quickly explains it to Neal when he has a moment of clarity. He tells her that she needs to help him. He wants her to separate him and his father using her magic (They are going to have Emma kill Neal? I can't even). Emma tells him that he'll die. Neal says he knows, but they need Rumple more than they need him. He wants her to save herself and Henry (and the town). Emma wants to find another way. Neal begs her to do it. Emma gives in way too easy with this. She uses magic and separates them. Rumple freaks. Neal tells Rumple that it's okay. He wants Rumple to tell Emma who the witch is. Rumple names Zelena (they killed Neal for a freaking name?! There was no other way to get this? seriously?). Emma wants Rumple to save Neal. Rumple says it's too late. Emma starts to cry, and says that there isn't time for Henry to remember Neal. Neal says it's okay (NO IT IS NOT. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO KILL HIM OFF BEFORE HENRY REMEMBERS HIM. OMG THIS SHOW). He asks Emma to tell Henry about him and that he was a good father. He gives Emma back the swan necklace (all the tears right now). He tells her to find Tallahassee even if it's without him (no, just no). He makes her promise him that her and Henry will be happy. She promises. Rumple is all of a sudden like "Hell no, I can fix this". Neal tells him that he can't. He thanks Emma and Rumple for showing him what it means to make a true sacrifice (um, did the writers forget that all Baelfire does is sacrifice his happiness for others? Do they need me to show them the previous seasons because I can do that). He tells them it's his turn to sacrifice. He tells Rumple he loves him, and with that Neal is dead. Emma looks devastated, Rumple is crumbling. He kisses Neal's hand and closes his eyes. I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS.

Emma runs to Charming and they both show up at Snow's place. They tell her that Zelena is the witch. Zelena has left Snow's apartment. Emma tells her that they brought Gold back, but Neal is dead. They can fix this right? They have to fix this.

Rumple stayed with Neal's body and the witch shows up (she can die now, as quickly as possible). Rumple tells her that he was able to tell Emma who she really is. Turns out that the Dark One dagger works now, because Neal is gone. They should have just kept Neal inside Rumple. This is going to be bad. Apparently she really wants Snow's baby. I want to know why. Zelena says it doesn't matter that they know who she is now. She has the dagger, and therefore has Rumple's brain (2 down, heart to go). She orders Rumple back into his cage. Rumple has to listen to her. He seems so listless. He's not devastated enough though. Rumple would not stop until he brought Baelfire back. I want so badly to believe this isn't it for Neal, but I think it is.

Regina is watching Robin play with his son, and it's really cute. We get flashes of Belle, Hook and them finding out about Neal's death. Emma goes to talk to Henry. Henry had fun fishing (awwww). She has him sit down. She explains that someone needed help, and that's why they are there. She tells him it was his father. She tells him that bad people wanted to hurt his dad, and she got there too late. She tells Henry that Neal is dead. She tells him that he was a good man and would have been a great father. I am so angry. Henry deserved to know his father. Emma tells him that Neal was a hero. Henry says he wished he could have known him (me too, Henry. I wish you would have too). Henry wants to know what happened to the person who killed his father. Emma says they got away, but she's determined to find her.

So, rage isn't even close enough of a word to describe what I am feeling. The death of Neal was sloppily handled, for a ridiculous reason, and just... didn't make sense. To not have Henry and him have a moment... that's cruel. I have a lot I want to say, but what I will say is this - I will not, for one second, believe this was story driven. This is something else. They had Neal be totally out of character (he hates magic, and all of a sudden doesn't pause when Belle is saying Lumiere is lying). As a Neal fan I am more angry at how it was handled than the fact that he died. It almost seems to be in contrast to the show's message. Perhaps I am reading the show wrong, but I thought it was about hope, finding happy endings, and all of that. Neal's story? Well it tells me that you can be abandoned, ripped away from loved ones, sacrifice yourself for them (The Darlings for one), and try to make amends for your mistakes, but you don't get a happy ending. It's not allowed for you. Villains though, they sure they heck get a happy ending.

So, because I am angry, I am going to allow myself to calm down before I make any decisions. I am going to give the show until the end of the season to show me how this storyline makes any sense (and that it wasn't just to get Emma with Hook) and that will decide if I watch season four. It breaks my heart because I LOVED this show, but this... I just can't.

Next week - Neal's funeral. Oh, joy. *buys all the wine*.


  1. This is the decision I've made too. To wait until the end of the season before deciding I am quitting or continuing on. I was so upset about Neal's death I just...basically everything you said it was such a cruel thing to do not even just the death itself but they way they handled it. We barely saw him between the start of the second half of this season starting up until now. Baelfire/Neal's life was so tragic this just reminds me of Graham/The Huntsman all over again. So unfair.

  2. This episode was SOOO hard to watch. I was super happy to see Neal again, but by the end of the episode I was plain ticked! I can't believe that they wrote him off so easily. It just all seemed really rushed. And, of course, being that he is Henry's father, I was really hoping that he could be there for Henry. The poor kid has never had a dad, give him that. It's a shame to see him go, I really liked his character. The death scene nearly broke my heart, but damn can Michael Raymond-James act. It killed me.

    I can't get over this feeling that Hook is hiding something. Just the looks on his face at times, it just seems like he is hiding SOMETHING. And I'm dying to know what.

    Robin and Regina together are PERFECTION! I'm so glad that she is finally going to have someone.

    I'm curious to see what the rest of the season is going to bring, but the show won't be the same.


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