In last night’s episode, the fans of Once Upon a Time got to see Jared S. Gilmore for the first time give a more darker and evil performance. Did he do a good job as “Evil Henry” aka Peter Pan in Henry’s body? He sure did. The highlight of this episode was to see this young actor give a dark performance and it also gives the viewers an opportunity to see how much he has grown as an actor.
While Gilmore got to play evil, Robbie Kay got to play good for once as he was playing a Henry trapped in Peter Pan’s body. It was so weird (in a good way) to see Kay being nice for once and seeing him refer some of the big moments between Emma and Henry throughout the series. It was also nice to see Kay’s and Morrison’s characters hug or at least being in a setting when they weren’t enemies. It’s still irritating that whenever Emma has a bad feeling about something, everyone just seems to think that she is overreacting. Did they forget that she can tell when someone is lying, for example? It’s those tiny details that ends up being really annoying, especially since it has been three years now.
The saddest part with “The New Neverland” was that once again, Regina had to be the character that got hurt because of “Henry”. It feels so sad that every time Regina thinks that Henry (whether it’s Henry himself or someone in his body) is actually starting to get closer to her, it’s never real. Despite that she is one of the show’s biggest villains, she is the most tragic antagonist and one can only feel sorry for her.
It wasn’t a big surprise that Charming got healed in this episode because it was always a given that they were going to solve it quickly. Another side-point with the episode was the death of the Blue Fairy which was a disappointment because for a moment, they made one believe that they were going to feature a storyline with her and Tinkerbell now that she is in Storybrooke. Speaking of Tinkerbell, her best scene was when she rejected Hook’s offer because it was so obvious what he was trying to do. Hook deciding to keep his hands off Emma was a surprising one, but there is a big chance that he will go back on his word because he clearly has strong feelings for her.
One of the best scenes in this episode was the scene between Emma and Charming as they were having a really neat Daughter-Father conversation, which are rare on this show because there is always something going on. Charming’s story about “moments” in life was also great because later in the episode, he sees that his daughter took his words as a lesson when she was dealing with Henry in Peter’s body. There have been so many moments when she and Snow have been having these kinds of conversations so it was nice for a change to let Charming be a dad to Emma.
The arc in the past with Snow White and Charming was quite entertaining. If the Once producers ever decided to do a mini-series of 3-5 episodes, they should definitely try to do it a Snow White/Charming one because their adventures could almost have its own show. In the beginning when they were showing the aftermath of Regina’s crashing at the wedding, it ended up being more hilarious than serious. Without slamming the amazing Ginnifer Goodwin, but Snow White came off as a post-Bridezilla. It’s understandable why she was so frustrated, but one couldn’t help to feel that thought.
It’s interesting that the writers has been going back a lot to the first couple of moments of season 1 in season 3 in terms of flashbacks. It hasn’t really been a big impact in the current storyline in Neverland, at least not most of the time. However, it’s still nice to see flashbacks because that is one of the show’s biggest strengths and whenever they have ones with these two characters, it’s always entertaining to watch.
The show’s decision to bring in Medusa into the Once universe was intriguing. There wasn’t anything special with her aside from the way Snow White defeated her. Something that can be noted here though is that it’s clearer more than ever that ABC did give this show a bigger budget than they did for their spin-off show, Wonderland.
Overall, “The New Neverland” was a great episode that will lead in to what looks like a big mid-season finale. Will Peter succeed with re-unleashing the curse over Storybrooke? Tune in this Sunday to find out.
Once Upon a Time airs Sunday nights, 8/7c on ABC.