When Once Upon a Time season 3 premieres, the primary location shifts from the bright and friendly Storybrooke to the dark, dangerous, and scary Neverland. The Storybrooke 6 of Emma, Hook, Regina, Rumple, Snow and Charming sail off in search of Henry on the Jolly Roger. Will they be able to save him?

Spoiler alert: This article contains Once Upon a Time spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.

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Henry’s Birth

The episode opens with a flashback to when Henry was born. It was a normal birth, but knowing their lineage there is a hint that there is something special about this mother and son. The scene sets the tone for Emma’s feelings towards Henry and her parents after leaving Storybrooke.

Neal Wastes No Time

When Neal wakes up in the Enchanted Forest, he doesn’t waste any time in trying to find out what happened to Emma and Henry. He enlists Mulan, Aurora, and Phillip to help him. The unraveling of his identity plays out well.

In his search for answers, Neal and Robin Hood come face-to-face. And having Rumple for a father plays to his advantage both a funny and a useful manner.

Battling Rough Seas

The trip to Neverland is not easy. As the pictures in the slideshow below show, Emma ends up in the sea, though it wasn’t an accident. The occupants of the Jolly Roger have many troubles to deal with including mean mermaids, a storm, and perhaps the most dangerous of all — each other. 

Will they be able to work together? Or, will their strife prevent them from saving Henry?

Bye, Mr. Gold. Hello, Rumple

When Mr. Gold gets on the boat, he’s wearing a nice suit, but he quickly ends up Rumple attire just as Robert Carlyle teased in his interview this summer. Storybrooke’s Mr. Gold appears to be gone and Rumple has fully taken his place.

Rumple ends up in Neverland and has a tense meeting with a Lost Boy that leaves the Dark One on the ground in tears. That wasn’t something I ever expected to see. Could he actually have a vulnerable side?

Rumple is determined to save Henry, but his reasoning is still suspect. He declares his intention to take on Pan and the Lost Boys in order to get Henry back, despite the high cost to himself. 

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Other Tidbits

  • Greg, Tamara and Henry arrive in Neverland, but things don’t go as the couple expected.
  • Magic is being used throughout the episode by several different people. Some for good, others … not so much!
  • The secret behind “The Home Office” is revealed.
  • The premiere title, “Heart of the Truest Believer,” is important.
  • People die in very Once Upon a Time ways.
  • Two important questions are asked: Can villains have a happy ending? Does good always win?
  • “Let’s Play.”

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(Image courtesy of ABC.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.