Once Upon a Time: The Heart of the Truest Believer

“It is so much easier to get people to hate something than to believe.”

Amongst all the crazy going on during Once’s season premiere, things were still grounded on one major theme: belief. The story wandered off in a few different directions, but they all came back to that idea, and since this whole trip to Neverland is about getting Henry back it makes sense that he would be the big driving force behind it all; he was always the one character that’s only ever tried to bring out that affirmation in everyone else.

That’s why Pan wanted him so much. The big reveal of Henry’s new friend fell flat for me, considering how easy it was to see who he really was from the second he dropped in to save Henry, but the reason behind his big charade to bring Henry to Neverland was pretty clever, and plays on his open hearted nature really well. If Pan is the big bad of the season, the fact that he’s being played by someone so young could be a problem, but it could be an interesting change from the stereotypical, imposing badass that you find everywhere else.

Emma saving the ship from sinking was silly, but it shows how far she’s come and how heavy an influence Henry has had on her already. Amidst all the in-fighting she saw the one way to save all of them. Just as they all arrived in Neverland as a team to get Henry back, she forced Snow, Charming, Regina and Hook to come to together to save her. After everything that happened to her at the end of the last season, it’s great to see her show that strength that made us all fall in love with her in the first place.

Obviously, losing Neil is negated by his miraculous arrival in the Enchanted Forest. It’s great to see Mulan and co. back in the game again, though. They’ve always been used really well within the confines of the story, never really pulling away from the people we really want to see, but still exhibiting some appeal in their own right. It was also great to see Robin again, and I’m excited to see how he’ll play a role this season.

Storybrooke was absent this week, but considering the majority of the cast is en voyage right now, it makes sense. ‘...Truest Believer’ fell short of season 2’s big opening episode, but some great groundwork has been set in place for this season, and I’m really looking forward to where things will escalate from here.

3.5 out of 5 seashell horns

Plus

I liked that flashback to Henry’s birth. It was a strong opening scene, and kept the episode focused on him from the start.

I like that Aurora managed to get her hair done in the interim since we last saw her.

RIP Tamara and Greg: No one really cared.

Mermaids! Finally! But are they enemies, or something else?

Have we seen the doll that Pan gave to Rumple before? I don’t recognise it.

He Said, She Said

Mulan: “I’m in a story?”
Neil: “Yeah, they made a movie about you. It’s actually pretty good.”
Mulan: “What’s a movie?”
One of the most ingenious Disney drops so far?

Emma: “It’s time for all of us to believe. Not in magic, but in each other.”

Pan: “It is so much easier to get people to hate something than to believe.”

Also posted at PandaTV.

4 comments:

migmit said...

Somebody please remind me, how is Philip not dead now? Or is it another mistery to unveil?

I like it. Robbie Kay seems to be good enough to play villain.

ChrisB said...

I agree with your concern about Pan being the Big Bad this season. The reveal was obvious and the actor is too young to truly be "threatening" to all the adults headed his way.

Otherwise, I thought it was a good enough season opener. Not truly epic, but fun to watch.

M said...

I love the idea of Peter Pan as the big bad! I was obsessed with the story when I was younger, and I was afraid he would be Disneyish whenever he inevitably showed up.

In the original, Peter Pan is kind of evil. He kills pirates for fun and "thins out" the Lost Boys when they show signs of growing up. JM Barrie describes him as "heartless." I would say that he is a sociopath, except that he is genuinely upset when Tinkerbelle dies (but then coldly forgets her almost immediately). He is basically the leader of a flying, murderous, charismatic cult. He's terrifying.

Plus, he still has all his baby teeth.

sunbunny said...

Finally caught up. DId anyone else think that Greg and Tamara were disposed of too easily? It's like they set this whole huge thing up with them last season and then at the last minute just thought 'eh, screw it.'

Pan was really obvious from the get-go. One thing OUAT doesn't do very well is shock. It's twists are fairly clearly telegraphed (i.e. Neal is Baelfire, Greg is Owen/evil)