Once Upon a Time- Episode 4 Review- (Spoilers)
This episode built on the story of Pan and gave us a deeper look at Rumple and how he got to the point he is at right now. We learn in this episode that Pan has been part of Rumplestiltskin’s life for a very long time. They have known each other since childhood. Someway, somehow this relationship deteriorated and collapsed taking Rumple down with it. We watched as the strong Rumple is faced with his greatest fear and weakness and the question we are left with is can Rumple be redeemed or is he too broken?
The first thing we see in this episode is that Neil is back in Neverland. We learn throughout the episode how connected Neil is to Pan and this island. Not only is this not the first time he has been here it isn’t even close to the first them the two of them have met.
When we went into the flashback’s I thought that Rumple’s story of saving his son from the piper was going to be another parallel type story like we saw earlier with Snow and Emma. I thought it was going to be a story of the lengths Rumple would go to save his son, highlighting what he could do again.
This idea was true in the very basics. Pan was the piper. Pan has been in Neverland for a very long time we learn. Originally he could only interact with children who came to him in their dreams, but he isn’t satisfied with this. For a moment it seems like Pan is just a lonely boy who wants friends. He uses a specific pipe to call boys to come to him who feel unwanted and unloved, a pipe both Bae and Rumple can hear.
A quick thought on Pan here. First obviously at one point Pan could leave Neverland. He leaves and brings back the lost boys. This makes me wonder about my idea of him being trapped. At one point he could leave, he brings people back to the island, but what about right now? Is he upset that he can’t leave anymore? Or is there more to it?
This moment was an interesting look at Pan for us. At one time he was all alone on the island. Why? How did he end up there? Was the gathering of the boys just because he was lonely? Or is there something more to it? Pan in these scenes is still hard and controlling, he isn’t a scared child. Who was he to begin with?
Rumple knew Pan from his own childhood. It is interesting that Rumple, Bae and Henry all meet Pan as boys, a tradition past down through the family. Rumple can hear the pipe because he has never felt worthwhile or loved. Pan tells him how everyone he has ever loved has left him; his father and his wife. Pan strikes right to the heart here, without any preamble. Rumple has always struggled with trying to feel less worthless. He can’t be the coward anymore, he has to have the control. He decides what to do and when to do it.
We see how wrong he was when Bae was a boy and how that anger and resentment haunts their relationship until this day. Neil tells Rumple he can’t trust him. Especially after he hears the prophecy, he can’t believe anything his father tells him. Neil knows that what stands today will not remain standing tomorrow. Rumple didn’t take Pan’s deal, he didn’t trust that his son would come with him, he didn’t trust that a son’s love for his father will overrule everything else. That lack of trust and sadness still has a hold on Neil. His father has never stopped and asked him what he wants or what he thinks. Rumple decides what happenes not Neil. This is his problem, he wants to survive, instead of ensuring the one’s he loves survive.
We can’t fully blame Rumple though. As a child his father abandoned him, a hurt we know he still holds very close as evidence by how he reacts to the doll. Then Pan comes into his life. Rumple was never a lost boy but he became close to Pan at one time. They were best friends, until Pan betrayed Rumple somehow. I can’t decide exactly what happened here, I think in some way Pan was supposed to take Rumple away from his misery but he didn’t fulfill his part. Rumple has never forgiven him and that helped build up a wall inside of his heart. A wall strengthened by the loss of his wife and son.
This moment is a defining moment for Rumple. Neil walks away, not even trying to trust his father. He is done with questioning his loyalty. Rumple breaks, he understands but it still shakes him. He pushed Belle’s image away, not wanting that small conscience talking to him anymore. I think we are going to end up seeing the dark and cold Rumple again.
While Rumple and Neil are attempting to work together, Pan is trying to get to Henry. We saw that Henry isn’t easy to manipulate or change. Pan plays the pipe early on for Henry and Henry can’t hear anything. We know he doesn’t feel unwanted or unloved. We know Henry believes in his family, he knows they are going to come rescue him.
Pan doesn’t treat Henry like a captive. He tells him the celebration is for him. He doesn’t keep him tied up or in a cage. He is trying to be this friend type figure to Henry. Pan doesn’t need force to keep Henry with him. He doesn’t want to scare him, he wants him to become part of the group. Another reason I still think Henry’s heart has to be given and not taken. Force isn’t the solution here.
Then Neil comes in and manages to rescue Henry for about a minute. He ends up right back in the camp because he doesn’t have his father there to help him. Now something had to happen in these few moments. When Neil got him back he was still this resolute child who knew he was loved but after he wakes up he hears the pipes and joins the lost boys. What happened in that time?
Pan gives Henry a speech about dreams. He tells him that Neverland used to be a place where new dreams were born and that Henry can bring that magic back. Something seems to be wrong with the island (that is if we actually trust Pan and what he says). Then there are the dreams, is that how Pan manipulated Henry? How else could he change Henry so quickly? Pan says he basically dreamt Henry, brought him to the island. Dreams are powerful here. They can make people and change lives. Somehow Pan controls dreams, somehow he did something to Henry. I just can’t believe Henry would feel so lost so quickly even while mourning his father.
Meanwhile Emma and the rest of the group is trying to figure a way to get off the island. Tinker Bell refuses to help them until they have an escape plan. It is mentioned multiple times that no one leaves the island without Pan’s blessing. Yet Neil has left as has Hook. Hook’s required a one time deal. Neil on the other hand escaped by his own means. They find a map of the stars that Neil created for himself. For a minute it seems like leaving is actually possible.
Then Pan tells Neil that his great escape might not have been as impressive as it seems. Pan let him go the first time. Was it because he knew Neil would eventually father Henry? Was everything Pan as done to ensure that Henry was born? Pan has been in control for a very long time. Neil thinks himself clever but we see yet again he is being manipulated. Pan has begun to turn Henry. Soon he will have him where he needs him, ready to be used. I think in the next few episodes we will learn what Pan truly wants and how Henry is a part of it.
“Never break in somewhere unless you have a way out”- Both Emma and Pan- This is my favorite line of the episode. Both characters say the exact same words. Is it because they are connected in some way? Or is it because they think alike?
“One thing I learned from you hero types is that there is alway hope”- Hook- He tells this to Charming. For some reason he really wants Charming to tell everyone that he is dying. Yet he says this line, he still holds onto hope somehow.
“Sometimes the people you fear the most are the ones closest to you,”- Pan- Our most beloved ones are the ones who can destroy us as well as save us.
-What did Pan do to Henry?
How long has Pan been setting up Henry’s life and purpose?
Who told him about Henry?
How did Neil leave the first time?
How did Pan betray Rumple as a child?
How did Pan end up in Neverland?
How close were Hook and Bae?
Why is Hook so intent on Charming telling Snow that he is dying?
Can Rumple ever redeem himself?