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Once Upon a Time “Dark Hollow” 

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

This week we were given a brief look of what life in Storybrooke has been like while the others have been traipsing around Neverland looking for Henry. Happy the Dwarf points out how happy life can be without Snow White and Prince Charming in town, it’s so quiet without them – no killing!  He doesn’t seem to realize that Regina is also absent from town and perhaps that’s the real reason for the calm days.

It’s fun to watch Belle and Ariel hit it off as quickly as Snow White did, clearly the princesses can recognize a kindred spirit. Belle has a true spirit of optimism, and she proves it this week when she confronts Pan’s henchmen in the mines. It only takes her moments to see that the men aren’t all evil like she expected, and with just a few words she elicits their sad story and offers them an alternative. I was wondering when the Darling family would come into play, and so far I am liking the twist they’ve put into the tale!

With an escape plan in place, Tinkerbell is finally ready to help the group get into Pan’s camp. Still feeling bitter and a shadow of her former self, I can’t help but wonder if her help will be rewarded with a return of her fairy charms. Somehow I doubt there’s a happy ending in this for her, but part of me wants to believe and clap really, really hard.

Emma gets it done

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

While there are a lot of great moments in this episode, the one that stands out for me is when Emma shows the boys how to get things done. They are busy arguing and posturing trying to look good, and when the shadows attack it’s Emma who gets the candle lit and captures Pan’s shadow, saving both men in the process. I love a strong female lead, and Emma with all her vulnerabilities and her innate strength is a great heroine. Putting Regina’s lessons to good use, Emma lights the candle with the power of magic, and I can’t help but wonder if she tapped in to her anger like Regina taught, or if perhaps she tapped in to her feelings of love for the two men vying for her heart. 

This was a fun and interesting episode all around, and with the addition of Pandora’s Box to the story, we can feel the action about to surge ahead. The group finally has a way to complete the mission and escape the island, but of course it can’t be that easy. And Henry has just agreed to help Pan restore the full power of magic to the island, a task that will no doubt be hazardous to his health. We’re left with a feeling of being poised on the brink, not sure whether we’re about to fall or fly.

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

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