Moment of Goodness

Three Moments of Goodness from Once Upon A Time “Nasty Habits”

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

This season is moving much more slowly than usual, but every new tidbit revealed seems more in-depth than past seasons. I am loving the evil twist on the classic Peter Pan tale! Where we could once take comfort in the knowledge that every lost and lonely boy had a happy home in his dreams, we now see that this land of dreams is really just an outlet for youthful angst and self-destructive behavior. What child wouldn’t want to live in a land free of parental rules and stifling restrictions? Escapism at its finest, this darker, drearier Neverland is a surprisingly realistic portrayal of what live can become when hope is lost and living for the moment is all that remains. With Henry snagged in the Pan’s dark net, can he maintain his optimism even as Peter continues his indoctrination into this cult called the Lost Boys?

Peter Pan’s pan flute

We should have guessed that Peter Pan and the Dark One are sworn enemies, having known each other from childhood. Pan seems determined to point out the failings of adults, but none more than Rumplestiltskin. One of his early games involves a frustrated Baelfire, a pan flute and a certain town called Hamelin. I think it was a lovely choice to give Peter a pan flute despite the fact that in the Pied Piper story the instrument is more akin to a fife. To make him the Pied Piper of Hamelin is a stroke of brilliance in itself. After all, his modus operandi is to entice lonely boys away from their homes and into his clutches in Neverland; this fits the Pied Piper tale beautifully.

Happy endings

Rumplestiltskin and Baelfire share a moment in the forest after rescuing Henry, where Rumple pleads his case to his son. It’s heart wrenching to watch him ask Neil to show faith in him, when he has proven on so many past occasions that he cannot be trusted. His speech practically begs for an honest to goodness fairytale outcome of forgiveness, restitution of trust, the triumph of good over evil, and father and son skipping off into the forest together hand in hand. But this isn’t the Enchanted Forest and happy endings are no longer free for the taking. This moment is pivotal for both characters, where Neil realizes he will never be able to trust his father as long as the power of the Dark One is in his hands, and Rumplestiltskin realizes there is no point trying to be good if it will only ever bring pain and heartbreak.

Emma’s true heart

With so much darkness prevalent in Neverland, it is refreshing to see that Emma’s heart still holds its spark of light. When they visit the cave where Neil lived as a child, Emma recognizes it immediately. She is also the only one to realize the significance of the “tiny colander” on the table, and that this map of the stars can lead them safely home. Each small insight adds to the certain knowledge that, like her parents before her, she and her true love will always find each other.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

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