Saturday, November 30, 2013

Oncers Embrace Enchanta Con

Photo courtesy of Enchanta Con
Once upon a time...

A spark of inspiration gave Laurie Mahoney and Scott Distasio an idea to create an enchanting event where fans of the hit TV show, "ONCE Upon A Time", could have an intimate gathering with its cast. Passionate about ONCE Upon A Time, Laurie and Scott did just that. EnchantaCon was born. More than that, it gave Oncers from all over the globe a time and place to gather and meet each other, most for the very first time. All of these experiences would forge cherished memories and new friendships. The enchanting weekend was held in a realm where magic already exists, Orlando, Florida. Fans booked rooms at the Doubletree by Hilton Resort Sea World in Orlando, paid for Enchanta Con tickets, and gathered in their fairy tale fantasy attire for the festivities.
 Fly Your Fandom Flag!
Like a page right out of Henry's beloved book of fairy tales.
When I arrived with my husband on Friday we were happy to see fans in their Cosplay best. We headed to the Michigan Room for the official "Welcome to A Weekend with the Stars of Once Upon A Time".
Photo credit: Jose Carradero
There, we were introduced to Laurie (Vice President), Scott (President) and our MC for the weekend, the exuberant and entertaining, Joshua Reid-Davis.  Josh was a fantastic host and was always accessible to the fans.
Hanging out with Joshua Reid-Davis
Photo credit: Jose Carradero
There were fun trivia contests; one of which I participated in. Winners were escorted to the Ball by a cast member of their choosing. How cool is that?! There were other chances to win many other special prizes over the weekend via raffles.
Other side of the Mirror with Hope Mullinax
The hubby and I sat in on the first of two fan panels for the weekend. The first was held by the Other side of the Mirror Podcast gals, with their guest host, Hope Mullinax. It was a casual three hour discussion of many Once Upon A Time topics, theories and of course... fandom.
Once Upon A Fan Staff. Photo courtesy of Gareth.
The other panel we attended was the Once Upon A Fan panel. We learned how the happy staff of fans and their love for ONCE Upon A Time, plus their gift for writing/blogging, was brought all together by the site's founder and Editor-in-Chief, Gareth Hughes (whom was called away suddenly and was unable to attend the panel). Both of the panel's conversations covered the depth of the characters and their issues within the story. We all had a great time. I believe we all came away with a little something extra by sharing our thoughts in a huge round table of sorts. Additionally, it was these two panels and their intimate settings that gave fans in attendance the chance to meet each other face to face and really connect.
Rebecca of the Operation Cobra Podcast made the rounds interviewing and documenting her Enchanta Con weekend. The hubby and I chatted with her about our love of ONCE Upon A Time and, since the hubby and I were wearing our LOST tee-shirts, we touched on LOST connections within ONCE.
We sat in on an entertaining Q&A with Tony Amendola (Marco/Geppetto), Keegan Conner Tracy (the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior) and Raphael Sbarge (Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket). I was thrilled to be able to ask them a question. After that, there was another fun Q&A with Gil McKinney (Prince Eric). All of the cast were witty and very kind, answering fans questions.

Sadly, we didn't get to see the Mermaid performance by Eden Sirene that took place at the hotel's Lagoon pool. But we did head down to Karaoke!

We had a blast meeting up with new friends at Karaoke, and enjoyed hearing their beautiful voices while they serenaded the crowd with familiar Disney songs, show tunes, and a couple of rock songs. They were all so talented and you can see everyone had a good time and enjoyed each other.

A little personal side note about the evening's Karaoke:
The hubby sat across from me at the table during Karaoke, constantly and quietly encouraging me to get up and sing. For people who know us this wouldn't be a bizarre request, as in the past I made a living performing in rock/top 40 bands (also as an actor). The thing that nobody (except for my hubby) knows is that since I had been sick (cancer) I had not sung a single note in public. Sure, I've played/sung the game Rock Band at home with the family, but that's not the same thing as using your voice in a professional manner. While I was sick I gained a great many things that changed and enriched my life (especially with my special and close to my heart LOST experience), but I kept the secret that I did lose something as well- my confidence as a singer. I don't know why that was the thing to lose, but gone it was. Anyway... The hubby nudged me all night at Karaoke until I reluctantly folded. Here I was all of a sudden standing in front of people about to sing- petrified and anticipating that my voice simply wouldn't just fall back into place. I don't know where it came from; I just remember taking a deep breath and believing "Don't be stupid. You can do this."  I sang the song. When the song was over Cris and I made eye contact and no words needed to be spoken. All I can tell you that in that brief moment we were happy- happy that I sang in public at least one more time. It really came down to "Believing"... Believing I could do it. It was a tiny secret struggle and triumph. It really was kinda magical.

After Karaoke, we had the good luck of sharing an elevator ride with the sweet David Anders.
Five of the Once Upon A Time cast members that were originally booked for EnchantaCon had to cancel their appearances a few days before the event. Earlier on Chad Michael Collins had to cancel due to scheduling conflicts as well. But this is Hollywood, the land of magic- and sometimes, magic comes with a price. It is completely understandable that they need to on set filming the great show that we all love. We understand and respect that shooting schedules are priority over promo and appearances- Otherwise there is no ONCE Upon A Time to promote!
Photo credit: Joshua Reid-Davis
EnchantaCon came through with a special Skype session for a hall of ONCE fans and Beverley Elliot, Michael Coleman, Gabe Kouth, Faustino DiBauda and Lee Arenberg. Other than a few minor "Skype tech" glitches, the session was wonderful and entertaining. The cast Rocked and we all loved it!
The autograph session was a wonderful experience. Oncers were given time to meet the cast up close and get an autographed photo. Again, each cast member was so friendly and engaging. Keegan even asked me about my accent; as she remembered me asking my question at the previous day's Q&A session and that she detected a bit of an accent. (I'm originally from New York City.)
A totally romantic moment was when I got to go to the Ball with my Prince Charming- How often does one get to say that?!
The Ball was so much fun and it included all of the celebrity guests, including David Anders (Dr. Whale/Dr. Frankenstein) and Ethan Embry (Greg Mendell). There was a Costume contest, lots of dancing, photo ops, and a table full of sweets. All of us Oncers enjoyed the party atmosphere together. It was truly a special evening.
David and Ethan held Q&A sessions on Sunday. Regrettably we had to miss those due to our travel plans. I wish we'd stay to participate in them.

Although we would have loved very much to experience the benefits of every event the weekend had to offer, the hubby and I weren't able to afford the Diamond package. Diamond Package ticket holders had the most availability to the stars via their additionally paid for weekend events. All of the Enchanta Con packages gave fans a wide variety of jewel tier packages to choose from. We purchased a much less pricey package and stayed at the hosting hotel for the weekend. We wanted to be a part of that world as much as we could all while on our very small budget.

We totally loved the intimacy of this event. With extra-large conventions everyone seems to get lost in the crowd, you have to pick and choose which panels and events you want to participate in, and the stars are usually kept at a distance from fans. But with Enchanta Con the experience was engaging and very personal- and to me... that is priceless.

The one thing I wish was made available to Oncers over the weekend is a commemorative tee-shirt for the event. Maybe this is something the organizers could consider for the next time; as I know many Oncers would purchase such a keepsake.

A huge "Thank You" goes out to the hardworking Laurie Mahoney and Scott Distasio and their amazing team, for bringing Oncers & cast closer together. They all did a beautiful job on the entire event. It really was a great time- and I'm thrilled to be able to connect with so many Oncers from our on-line universe. The hubby and I got to share some special and memorable moments with everyone. We thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Many new friendships were made- and that is awesome. I truly hope Laurie and Scott get to continue on with this magical venture.

Thank you all for being awesome, bighearted and welcoming Oncers.We will always find each other!

And we will always get to say we were together at the very first Enchanta Con!
Until the next one...

Check out:
Variety  Radio Online
Joshua Reid-Davis
Once Upon A Fan
Once Upon a Fan Podcast- Hosted by Zachery Van Norman and Amy Hood
Other Side of the Mirror- Hosted by Bri and Alex
Operation Cobra Podcast -Hosted by Rebecca.- Her EnchantaCon Experience
The Storybrooke Herald Podcast  -Hosted by Jose Carradero

Monday, November 11, 2013

Site Update

Dear Oncers,

I can't tell you how badly I feel about being behind on posting my ONCE Upon A Time notes. As always, I take my notes the night the episode airs; but take time to organize them, detail the episode and screen shot the images I want- all while avoiding spoilers, other sites, etc.  I thank those of you that visit my site -I appreciate it.

On my side of the island I've been very overwhelmed with personal priorities over the past few months that are resulting in the delays. Writing about this fairytale brings me so much joy and my own flashbacks- plus it gives me a fun creative outlet that I love and need. It is pissing me off that I've fallen behind in all of my writing, but I will catch up. I know it really isn't important to anyone else about me keeping my site current or not- that is a goal I put on myself. Whether I take notes and post stuff or not, for me the truly important and special thing is that this beautiful show strikes a very deep chord with me. It encourages me to find and treasure the good that is truly in my heart… and it reminds me that I too must hold on to Hope, Love, Light, Family, and Home.
I hope it does the same for you.

Thank you! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Quite a Common Fairy

 "An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward."

 ** All photos posted here are chosen for a reason **

Children, assemble! Let's leave time and space at home where it belongs.

Firstly, who has two thumbs and loves an episode of "ONCE Upon A Time" that shows the cast traipsing through the jungle and them mentioning the word "lost" a bunch of times?! THIS CHICK!

I still feel like I should begin every one of my notes posts with "When I was a little girl..." because every episode of this show immediately transports me to my childhood and how I would engulf myself in whatever story I was reading at the moment. Again, each story whisked me away from the tiny apartment and the chaotic and poor life in N.Y.C., and into a magical world where I could dream, imagine, be anything or anybody I wanted... and I could even fly.

We're running with the shadows of the night. So baby take my hand, it'll be all right. Surrender all your dreams to me tonight- They'll come true in the end

Tinker Bell isn't the only one who has lost her light, her magic and her wings. They're all missing those special things- but they can get them back... if they just believe.

While these people are marked with scars that seem to stem back to their childhood and/or younger days, this wondrous and mysterious island of trickery hints to be a place that, in some bizarre way, helps one confront what ails them, and may play a role in their healing.

Regina accuses the King of his heart being with his dead wife- and we see that her heart is still with her dead fiancée. Regina can't let go of her past pain. Carrying it around is a sort of comfortable habit, and getting out of that particular habit is frightening to her.  But on the island we see that Regina is slowly realizing her habitual ways of handling things. Also she understands that her past behavior has left her with enemies, loss, without a soul mate, anger and a confused heart and mind. How is the man with the Lion tattoo part of Regina's happiness? Is he Regina's "soul mate" or just a step along the path in her getting to her soul mate?

I'm very intrigued about Peter Pan's own wants and needs and how they coincide with how the island is functioning into the current journey of the members of "Operation Henry".  Could it be that Pan and the island work together toward a common goal or are there two different agendas? And while we're at it I have to wonder about ... Henry's world.  And what's with this Felix dude?

Tinker Bell literally breaks the rules and outright points Regina in the direction on the path she needs to take to find happiness. And since Regina has found a twisted comfort in her misery, and only thinking of her own feelings, she in turn affected the lives of her soul mate and whoever else would be part of that path.

Everyone deserves a second chance. You learn through your own mistakes and the mistakes of others. And yes, every day you awaken you are given another chance to do better- to be better.  It sucks that the Blue Fairy only gives two chances and then you're out; Robin Hood only gives Bae one chance, and Tinker Bell tells Emma they only get one shot as well.  Damn! Even in baseball you get three strikes!

In my opinion you must keep on trying... trying to find your light- love- and your way home.  Home is where the heart is.

Things to Note...Questions to Ask...

๑  David is feeling the effects of the Dreamshade. "David Nolan let himself go." Well, did he or didn't he?
๑  Pan's lair moves
๑  Pixie Dust doesn't lie. The ax never lies.
๑  Do all the Merry Men have that Lion tattoo or just Robin Hood?
๑  Merry Men come in all sizes
๑  Sleep.  Poppies.
๑  Tulips. Sunflowers
๑  Wake up
๑  Alive. Dead
๑  Pregnant. Born
๑  Destiny. Fate
๑  Operation Henry
๑  Arrow. Target
๑  Red Apple
๑  Blue. Green
๑  Portal. Beans. Magic Mirrors. Ruby Slipper and some kinds of ashes
๑  Game. Broken rules
๑  Lesson. Choices. Teacher. Guide
๑  Fake. Farce
๑  Match. Mate
๑ Ruin
๑ Band  + Ring =  Circle

Vocabulary and Research...

 ๑  Lady Bells - A dangerous (Blue) perennial weed with roots that look like turnips and spread out in large mats far beyond the ground.
๑ The Tinkerbell Effect: is a term describing things that are thought to exist only because people believe in them. The effect is named for Tinker Bell, the fairy in the play Peter Pan who is revived from near death by the belief of the audience.

Tinker Bell: is a fictional character from J. M. Barrie's 1904 play Peter Pan and its 1911 novelization Peter and Wendy.  She has appeared in multiple film and television adaptations of the Peter Pan stories, in particular the 1953 animated Walt Disney picture Peter Pan.  She also appears in the official sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean and commissioned by Great Ormond St Hospital as well as the "Peter and the Starcatchers" book series by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry. At first only a supporting character described by her creator as "a common fairy", her animated incarnation was a hit and has since become a widely recognized unofficial mascot of The Walt Disney Company.  In her animated form she leaves a trail of twinkling pixie dust.
In the original story Tinker Bell was described by Barrie as a fairy who mended pots and kettles, like an actual tinker. Her speech consists of the sounds of a tinkling bell, which is understandable only to those familiar with the language of the fairies. She was represented on stage by a darting light "created by a small mirror held in the hand off-stage and reflecting a little circle of light from a powerful lamp" and her voice was "a collar of bells. Disney's Tinker Bell is a Pixie who sprinkles Pixie Dust and she now lives in Pixie Hallow with her other Pixies family and friends.

* The Tinkerbell map: is a discrete-time dynamical system; A dynamical system is a concept in mathematics where a fixed rule describes the time dependence of a point in a geometrical space.

 ๑ Roland
  •  Roland (Frankish: Hruodland) (died 14 August 778) was a Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who became one of the principal figures in the literary cycle as Matter of France. Historically, Roland was military governor of the Breton March, with responsibility for defending the frontier of Francia against the Bretons. His only historical attestation is in Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni, which describes him as Hruodlandus Brittannici limitis praefectus ("Roland, prefect of the borders of Brittany"). Roland became an iconic figure in medieval minstrel culture. Many legends made him a nephew of Charlemagne (whether or not this was true is unknown), and turned his life into an epic tale of the noble Christian killed by Islamic forces, which forms part of the medieval Matter of France. The tale of Roland's death is retold in the eleventh century poem The Song of Roland, where he is equipped with the olifant (a signaling horn) and an unbreakable sword, enchanted by various Christian relics, named Durendal.
  • Childe Rowland is a fairy tale, the most popular version being by Joseph Jacobs in his English Folk and Fairy Tales, published in 1892
  •  English poet Robert Browning composed an epic poem, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came; the title of which comes from a line in William Shakespeare's play King Lear
  •  American writer Stephen King has written a seven-volume series of epic fantasy novels called The Dark Tower, concerning the thousand-year quest of Roland Deschain, of Eld, based in part on Browning's Childe Roland.
William Tell's Feat: Shooting an apple off one's child's head, also known as apple-shot (from German Apfelschuss) is a feat of marksmanship with a bow or crossbow that occurs as a motif in a number of legends in Germanic folklore.

"Tulips": is a poem by American poet Sylvia Plath about her experiences in a mental hospital. Written in 1961 and is included in the collection Ariel published in 1965.
Golden LOST Thread Woven into the Tapestry of this Tale

✈  The "Island" moves
✈  4
✈ Destiny
✈ Light. Dark
✈ Game. Broken rule
✈ For a moment Tink reminds me of S6 "Crazy Claire"
✈ Source
✈ Lessons. Teacher. Guide
✈ Infected. Darkness growing
✈ Plant and tend to a garden
✈ Fake. Farce
✈ Match. Mate
✈ Ruin
✈ Pregnant. Born
✈ Destiny. Fate
✈ Band  + Ring =  Circle
✈ Nuclear (Bomb): Daniel Faraday wants to detonate it, Sayid carries and modifies it, Jack and Juliet detonate it
✈ The Other's had been waiting for John Locke for a very long time in "The Brig."
Horace tells Locke "He's (Jacob) been waiting for you for a real long time in "Cabin Fever"
✈ "Happily Ever After"
✈  "The Incident" part 1
✈  Sawyer says, "... let's go find an island somewhere and sit on a beach drinking Mojitos 'til we go "toes up..." in "The Long Con"
✈  "It didn't work" is said a few times on LOST- as is "It worked"
✈  "...What about me?"  Ben asks Jacob in "The Incident" part 2
✈ " The Moth "  Charlie was bait

Enough of my rambling... Here's your episode recap! Enjoy!

The rescue party tries to follow the straight line course of Pan's map, but the magical map shows that Pan's camp/lair is moving and is now behind them.  Hook knows that trick playing Pan is moving it. If Pan's camp keeps moving, how are they going to find Henry? As if she hasn't even been listening, Regina says if they just use magic they can materialize in the camp and grab Henry. Hook feels Pan would have shields against magic and any attempt would result in her death, and more importantly, his. "Which is why we're walking." Hook suggests they way to find it is to use someone "he trusts."  A fairy who still might be on the island; she'd be an inside source- knows all about the camp and can get them in. "She might even have some Pixie Dust left. Perhaps we could fly in."  Not fairy dust, as Pixie Dust is stronger, like nuclear fairy dust. With this clue Emma realizes he's talking about Tinker Bell. "Every kid in the world knows her."
This doesn't sit well with Regina. "Mark my words... this Tinker Bell is not going to save us."

Pan wakes up sleeping Henry and tosses an apple at.   Henry claims to not like apples, "It's a family thing."  Game playing Pan tells him they're not for eating- they're for playing a really fun game. He calls it "Target practice."
Pan dips the arrowhead into a jar of the nasty poison, Dreamshade. He knows of a story of a man who once shot an arrow off his son's head with an arrow, "Let's find out if it's possible."  Henry wonders if you're shooting at the apple, why the poison. Pan claims it to be motivation not to miss.  Pan calls Felix over. Nervous Henry asks if Felix's aim is good, but that doesn't matter, as it is Henry who will fire the arrow toward a much taller Felix. Henry doesn't want to and is egged on by the Lost Boys chanting for him to "shoot."
Pan encourages Henry. "You won't hit him. Trust yourself. Go on. It's exhilarating."
With Felix ready with the apple atop his head, Henry turns and shoots at Pan- who in turn catches the arrow right before it hits his chest and pierces his heart.
"Told you it was exhilarating. Come on. I have something to show you."
Bae rummages through the cupboard in his father house to look for a (way to create a) "portal" to get to Emma; he doesn't need a horse to get to her. He tells that Henry's trapped in Neverland with Peter Pan, who is hands-down the nastiest person Bae ever met.
Mulan notes that Emma in that (magic glass) ball- not Henry.  Bae explains that he was in Neverland "Pan was looking for a boy- specific boy, I, I know he had some picture of him on a scroll he called him the 'truest believer'."  Bae believes that has to be Henry and that's the only reason Emma would be in Neverland. Bae wants Robin Hood and Mulan to help him look. "Lots of things make portals- beans, magic mirrors, ruby slippers, some kinds of ashes."  Bae knocks something over and it alerts Little John and the Merry Men to enter the room- with Robin's 4 year old son, Roland. This causes Bae to have an idea on how to get to Neverland- to Henry.
Robin Hood's son Roland will be bait for Baelfire to summon the Shadow. Bae assures the very concerned father that the Shadow won't touch Roland. Bae has dealt with it before; it's what took him to Neverland as a kid. Both men have suffered loss and value family. Robin Hood reveals that Baelfire's father intervened and saved Robin's pregnant wife. With Robin reluctantly agreeing to let Bae "use" Roland, Robin could consider his debt to Rumple paid.  Very protective Robin gives Bae only one chance in the Roland-Shadow Mission- he gets no second chance.
Bae informs him, "You gotta understand, this is my second chance."

Mulan directs the men with a plan to get everyone in position for the arrival of the Shadow.  Bae admits that although he's going to save his family, he'll have to see about them being back together. I felt the same way about Emma as she did about him, but took too long to tell her. He hopes she'll forgive him; learning that lesson the hard way. He won't make that mistake again. "When you love someone you don't keep it in, you say it."  This strikes a chord with Mulan.

Robin Hood hugs his little man and assures him that even though it may be loud, nothing will hurt him. Roland remembers what he has to say once he's instructed to do so. With everyone in their positions Roland is given the Okay by his father to say it.
Standing facing the large closed window, Roland declares, "I believe." But the Shadow doesn't show.  Bae thinks the boy should say it once more, but Robin says no.  All of a sudden the window flies open and the Shadow flies in, heading toward Roland and grabs his hand. The little man is scooped up by his father through this tug of war, and Mulan uses her sword to separate the Shadow from Roland. The angry Shadow takes off out the window and Bae runs after it, jumping to grab hold of the Shadow mid-flight! Bae is en route to Neverland!

Rumpelstiltskin makes an appearance at the opposite end of Regina's feast table; which includes "roast Swan", as amused Rumple hints he knows means something in her future. Rumple thought Regina was dead/toes up because she didn't show up for her lessons. Feeling a bit persecuted, Regina shares she's not sure about these lessons anymore. "I don't want a future that looks like... like you." After all, she's the Queen, "I'm practically a prisoner. With a husband who's heart is still with his dead wife and his insipid daughter."  She finds it intolerable. She feels trapped and longs for freedom.
Rumple, "Uh, Can't be done.  See this is how it is. You think you're the diner at the feast, tasting the offerings. A little love. A little darkness. What you don't realize is You are the feast. And the darkness has tasted You!"  The darkness likes how she tastes. It doesn't mind the bitter- and now that its started the meal, it's going to finish it. "You can no more fly from your fate, than can that swan. {He points to the swan on the table} See ya tomorrow. Don't be late. Oh! And bring that simmering rage. It's all ya have." He disappears.
Frustrated Regina walks over to the railing at the balcony, when all of a sudden in anger she pushes it, causing it to loosen and she falls.
Regina is halted mid-fall by Tinker Bell's bright glittering green magic. Glowing Tink is giving Regina a second chance. Tink magically elevates Regina back to the balcony.

Tink shares a meal and drinks while listening to Regina spew about how the monster Snow White is indulged and adored. "She sort of ricochets through life telling people's secrets. She had my fiancée killed." The only way Regina can get through it is that Snow and the King (her husband) are gone all the time. She admits it's not a marriage- it's a farce. Regina's alone in that palace. "I feel like the Queen of nothing."
"No wonder you jumped," Tink replies.
Regina corrects her, "I didn't jump. I fell."  But if she had... she toasts to "good reasons."
Tink can help people find what they need. She tells clueless Regina that she needs "Love."  It is possible to find love again. "I've never seen Pixie Dust fail." It will find Regina her perfect match- if she lets it, she'll find her happy ending. Tink encourages doubting Regina, "Well, I'm a fairy. You might wanna try believing in me."

"I'm late," claims Tink. She'll see Regina soon.  Regina watches Tink become tiny and fly away up toward the stars.
Tink flies through the center of a bright colored flower that is surrounded by many extra-large brightly colored tulips.  A green tulip opens and reveals the Blue Fairy. "Good evening, Green," the Blue Fairy greets Tink. Tink/Green calls her "Blue."  Blue reprimands Green for being late and breaking every rule in the book "Curfew, dust discipline. You got big for no reason."  But Green is excited she was helping the Queen Regina in the Enchanted Forest. Blue tells Green who "she is," and that her mother was Cora- who ripped out hearts and her teacher is the Dark One. Green should consider herself lucky she is still alive. Blue insists Regina isn't a woman she can help, as she is surrounded by darkness. To Green, this sounds exactly like someone who could use her help. She asks for some Pixie Dust, but not a chance. Blue warns "You'll fly away from this one, Green."

"My name isn't Green. It's Tinker Bell. And I can't believe you want me to ignore someone who needs help. It's not very fairy-like."  Annoyed Blue will be the judge of what is fairy-like! Until further notice Green is to remain there and continue her training under Blue's direct supervision. Blue flies away and Tink heads back from where she came from.

Tink flies into Regina's open window and asks her "Wanna fly?" Tink feels that helping Regina find her happiness and saving her in turn will save Tink.
Tink uses "stolen" Pixie Dust to ensure the duo takes flight.
Tink leads Regina to a tavern where she points out Regina's happiness is sitting inside with his back to them. "Inside here lies the beginning of your happiness. All the pain in your past will be just that- the past."  There's a guy with the Lion tattoo. Pixie Dust doesn't lie. Tink feels it's Regina's fresh start and a chance at happiness- with no baggage. "You can let go of all of the anger that weighs you down."  Tink encourages her to go in and get him, and then she leaves. Regina happily swings open the door, but sadly isn't brave enough to walk in.

Regina walks through the hot jungle alone; as she's fallen behind the group. She wipes the sweat off her forehead and unknowingly drops her handkerchief when she tried to put it in her pocket.  It is picked up by Tinker Bell; whom seems to have lost her light.

Regina catches up to Emma to again appeal to her for the use of magic- their magic. Emma's not interested because the one thing she learned is that it always comes with a price. But Regina feels sometimes not using it comes with a price too. "I bet you and I combined... are strong enough to overpower Pan."  Emma would rather see the original plan of finding Tinker Bell through.  Annoyed Regina asks "And you think it's the best plan because your boyfriend came up with it?"
"My boyfriend? Hook?"
Mary Margaret reminds Regina that Emma just lost Neal. Regina apologizes, "I'm just worried about Henry."
Hook asks poisoned David if he's going to tell her; as he saw what happened to him.  David shows Hook that the poison is spreading even though the arrow barely nicked him.  Hook is sorry because he knows David has only days- weeks at most. "You won't see summer. It's really a bad break. You might want to tell her."  David thinks perhaps he doesn't have to because he hopes Tinker Bell and her Pixie Dust can help. Hook believes in her power and the dust.

Regina shares with Emma that she has a complicated history with Tinker Bell, and if Tink sees Regina "she won't help."  Regina staying out of her sight will help them find a way in with Tink on Operation Henry. That's what Regina's been calling it in her head, because that's what he'd call it; only with a better name.

Tink finally catches up with Regina who's all alone in the dark jungle. Tink overhead everything she told Emma. Regina notes that Tink looks terrible.
"You think you're so smart. But you're all gonna fail." Tink blows pink-ish sparkly dust into Regina's face and this causes her to fall asleep.  By the way- it's not magic... maybe poppies.
The search party arrives at Tink's tree house and look around for Pixie Dust, but its not there. Emma finds the bare dwelling reminds her of someplace- "Where I used to live, that's it."  Mary Margaret notes that just because it's just a place to sleep.  She also shares with her daughter that she too had a place like that once; a tree stump- when she was running from the Queen. She claims to understand "this Tinker Bell." The real question is why does she have a ladder when fairies have wings? David finds Regina's handkerchief and they realize Tink was tracking them- watching them.  With that Hook states "We're in the wrong place."

"About time you woke up," Tink says to groggy tied up Regina.  Tink knows why Regina is there. "You're trying to find your son."  There's no way Tink will help her after the way Regina burned her after Tink interfered in her life. Regina knows that Tink doesn't have magic- but she does. Regina magically frees herself but is immediately frozen by Tink holding a Dreamshade arrow at Regina's neck.
Regina wonders "How the hell did you get like this?" Tink's reply is simple, "I met you."
Thinking Tink wants to kill her Regina makes it easier and rips out her own heart, counting on Tink to crush it. "Show me who you are... Tinker Bell."

We saw that back in the Enchanted Forest Tink flew into Regina's room to find out how her meeting the guy with the Lion tattoo went. She notes Regina isn't glowing with love- she should be glowing!
"Because it didn't work. The Pixie Dust, it was wrong."  Regina lies, saying she went in and met him and he was awful.  Tink asks if she's sure she went to the right man. Regina claims the problem is that Tink is a terrible fairy.  Tink realizes Regina didn't go in because she's afraid.
Regina claims she's not afraid of anything, and can't believe she let Tink distract her. Tink assures her she needs love.  But heartbroken Regina had love, and now he's dead, and she's suffered. Nothing is going to change that.
"What about me?" asks Tink. She stole for Regina! Again, friendless Regina claims Tink is a terrible fairy. "Fly away, Moth. Don't let the doors catch your wings on the way out."

Tink is stopped by the Blue Fairy, who knows she stole the dust.  Tink misunderstands what being a good fairy is. She should have been a good fairy by listening to her instead of following her instincts. The Blue Fairy says that this can't be forgiven. Tink feels everyone deserves a second chance, as that's what they always tell people.  But this was Tinker Bell's second chance. Crying, Tink pleads for another chance to regain her trust. Unfortunately this won't be, as the Blue Fairy no longer believes in Tinker Bell. Tink is stripped of her wings and falls to the ground.
This cost Tinker Bell her wings.

With Regina handing over her heart, upset Tink asks her why she lied. Tink "... That spell worked! And you never went in!"  Why couldn't Regina just go through the door and meet her soul mate?!  Regina admits Tink is right; that being happy would be a terrible fate. She also admits not going in because she was afraid and feeling that without the anger that was weighing her down she would float away. "That anger was all I had. What would I be without it?"
"Happy," claims Tinker Bell.
Regina disagrees, "Weak."
But what did all that "strength" get Regina when here is Tink holding her heart in her hand and not hearing one reason not to squeeze her heart into ash. Regina enlightens Tink to the fact that Tink is making the same wrong choice as Regina did back then. "I picked revenge over hope... and you're holding the result- a small, hard, dark heart. If you make the same choice I did... then what you're looking at is your own future."  Either kill Regina or "...act like the fairy you are."  Regina wants her to prove her wrong- that Tink isn't a terrible fairy. "Pick hope over anger. Choose love and help me get my son back."  With Regina living with Henry, she feels as if she finally got something right. She wonders if Tink wants the same thing.
Tink, still holding Regina's heart, thinks "It's too late for me." Tink won't kill Regina, but she won't help her either. "Besides, it's probably too late. He's been with him too long." Tink hands Regina back her heart.
Look at the fun they're having. "The thing of this place, Henry, is that no one ever tells you 'no'. You can do whatever you want."
Concerned Henry wonders "They never hurt themselves?" to which Pan admits "All of the time. At one point I had four boys with missing fingers. Cost of the game. They didn't mind."  Henry feels "I don't belong here."  Pan disagrees, as they've been waiting for him for a very long time- long before he was even born. But Henry doesn't believe that.  Pan feels he should. "This place runs on imagination. On belief. But . Magic is dying and you, Henry, need to save it."your world stopped believing
Henry states, "In my world, you mean."  Pan means "In every world. You need to bring it back. That's your destiny.  To return the magic- To be the savior."  Henry thinks his mom Emma is the savior. Pan fluffs it off as "Yeah, she broke some curse, yeah..."  That's right, Pan knows more than shocked Henry thinks. Pan asks what if breaking the curse wasn't the thing that made her the savior, "What if having you was? Think about it... You're descended from the greatest of Light- and of Dark. What, do you think its a coincidence that the spawn of the Dark One met your mother? You were created for a reason. And I can help you find it." Pan believes Henry is the one who is supposed to save magic. He shows Henry a small rolled up parchment; he's had it for a very long time- long before Henry was even thought of.  This is why he's so sure Henry's the hero that magic has been waiting for. But Henry purposely drops the parchment because he doesn't believe Pan. Henry  reminds Pan of Henry's father.

After a while, Henry picks up the scroll and sees the drawing of him.  All of a sudden Henry hears a Whoosh.

Robin Hood offers skilled Mulan a job with his Merry Men; she'd be the first woman. Mulan is honored, but there's someone she needs to talk to before it's too late.
Robin Hood- "A loved one."
Mulan replies, "We shall see."
Aurora is in her garden watering the plants when Mulan arrives gathering her courage and bursting with news. Aurora is glad she is back. Mulan isn't there to see Philip, she excitedly wants to talk to Aurora. Aurora jumps in with her own exciting news that she and Philip are expecting a baby- a dream come true. This causes Mulan to keep the dialogue she had planned to share with Aurora to herself, and instead mentions she's leaving them and joining Robin Hood's band. Mulan ends up walking away with tears rolling down her face- just like Philip walked away from Aurora in Broken.
A pissed off mother and the rest of her #SaveHenry search party run into Tink and Regina. Regina tells the armed gang to "stand down" as tough Tink won't hurt them.
"But is she going to help us?" Hook wonders. It's true that Hook and Lady Bell already know each other. Tink doesn't have any magic, no Pixie Dust, and not even her wings, therefore won't be able to help them.
Tink shares "I guess people just stopped believing in me." And even if she wanted to help, "He's too powerful." She knows where Pan is and can get them inside his compound. To get Tink to help, Mary Margaret reveals "Because I believe in you."  They offer Tink a chance to go home with them once they've saved Henry; it seems that's what Tink wants... a home.  Tink agrees and lets them know that Pan trusts her and will let her in, and just maybe, she'll leave a way open for them. "But you've only got one shot. So you better have a good plan." They'll return to camp to figure it out.

David is worried about Henry. He asks his wife how she knew that offering Tink a home would work. She knew because when she was a bandit living alone, that's all she ever wanted. "The thing is I never found it 'til you came along. Even now when I'm with you... I mean, that's all I need."  She asks him if he's okay. David just tells her "I love you."  Hurrying him, Mary Margaret says "Come on. The last thing we need is to get lost in here."
The Whoosh Henry heard when looking at the photo is the Shadow flying and dropping Baelfire onto Neverland.
Baelfire is instantly greeted by Felix who welcomes him home. "Pan will be so happy to see you."

With his hook, Hook pokes holes in coconuts so they have something to drink.
Regina sits looking at her ring when Tink goes over to ask her if she ever went back to find the man with the Lion tattoo.  Regina admits she didn't.
Tink finds that unreal. "Do you know how selfish that is?" Enlightening Regina about how it is selfish, "You didn't just ruin your life... you ruined his."

Mulan meets up with Robin and his Merry Men while they sit around their campfire. Robin shakes Mulan's hand, welcoming her. We see Robin Hood has a Lion tattoo on his right forearm.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lost Girl

"In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it."  - Mitch Albom
** All photos posted here are chosen for a reason **

Welcome to the Grand Illusion

Do you know who you are? I mean, really and truly know who you are. I don't know who I am, and I could use a little push myself to give me a hint. Is the real me or the real you locked up somewhere deep inside of us? Are you really who you think you are? There are times when we lock facets of ourselves away on purpose. Why do some people become lost?  Emma is lost. Confused Rumple is trying to let the "real him" out. And perhaps Peter Pan and his Lost Boys are in need of a mommy.

We've seen that Snow White is one tough cookie. We know she's a survivor. But I guess she has something in common with all of us humans... we can lose our confidence and start to doubt ourselves and our abilities. I know that feeling all too well. Snow feels "I'm just a girl who lost her parents..." knowing with those circumstances and her choices she became something other than "Snow White" and wants to find her way back.

Finding your way... if it was only as easy as following a map or if someone outright tells or shows you. Yet the answers and the power are already deep down inside of you. It's true, there are no shortcuts. All of what we do, our behavior and the choices we make and how we handle things and people, matters. In life we shouldn't cheat, break the rules or use magic to get where we want or need to go. We have to walk the path, go through our experiences and learn from all of it so we can grow.

So, stop denying who you are. Stop living in the past and carrying around all that crap that weighs you down. Break your old worn out patterns and the negative patterns of the generations that came before. There's always a way to start anew. The one thing you can do while on the journey is to learn to open your heart, trust yourself, believe in yourself, and feel the love. You'll get there!

Let's note that Emma is an orphan and that is a great source of her pain. But Emma is also a mother- a great source of her strength. Is smug Peter Pan aware of how awesome that strength can be?

I also wonder if like LOST we're seeing two halves of a whole, positive-negative, light and dark, brothers?

Get Away to Find Yourself

Now, I'm just going to jump right the hell on into my thoughts about LOST and the "Island" and this episode's Neverland. We may be on the island of Neverland but it is a "Mysterious Island" nonetheless, where things (and people) aren't exactly what they seem. It's sort of like a magic box where if you can imagine something- there it will be.

Emma and the search party are indeed there to save Henry- that is their quest. On this island of games, puzzles, riddles and tests, it appears that the island may still serve an additional purpose... to enable visitors to dig down deep within themselves and face the things that are causing their suffering. Is it just the "Island" that is playing the role of "teacher", or is bad boy trickster Pan one too?  Perhaps Pan is going to learn something about himself now that Henry, Emma and the rest are there for a visit. He may have a selfish agenda in mind, but could he find himself getting something else out of this? Maybe Pan will play an important role in Regina's transformation.

For me... this Neverland Island has some (many) similarities to our beloved LOST "Island"... that place you go to confront your deepest pain, patterns and fears- again, the things that cause your suffering.  You and the Island can manifest images, people and items to help guide you along the journey and to give you a little push when you need to move along or face the truth about something and/or themselves.  Example: In the beginning Christian appeared to guide Jack. Manifestations come from within the person- creations of one's own individual mind. i.e. whom they needed or wanted to see.  Example: John Locke brought his father to the Island. One has to face the things, issues and people they need to learn from and let go of.

We also saw people appear in a guiding role to help, just like Rumple manifested Belle to help him. The Islands (settings) act kind of like (metaphorically) the subconscious and the heart of the person on the adventurous journey. Plus, I'm kind of thrilled when we got a little Matrix nod.

Both Islands test and challenge their visitors- all in an effort to teach. We also see that the doll returns to Rumple, just as the food returned to Hurley, and the heroin returned to Charlie, etc. One needs to "wake up" and these journeys just may help them do that. The LOST Island was Life, Death and Rebirth- your experience returns you to the source. What exactly are we going to learn from Neverland? Is Pan's Neverland Island just one giant trap?

Carl Jung wrote about his Shadow Projection concept. It represents a part of one's subconscious where your own insecurities, selfish side and your failures dwell. This is the side we hide from other people as well as ourselves. Whether they realize it or not, the visitors in Neverland are on a bit of a journey of self-discovery while on this "Island Adventure." They may even find their purpose.
Perhaps Rumple's shadow is the darkest part of him and it plays an important role to teach him where he needs to grow the most. So yes, your own darkness can show you where you need to grow the most. And keep in mind that the people you don't like are usually the ones who teach you the most about yourself. In a way, that can be considered a gift. Where there is a shadow, there is light. But enough about psychology, let's see what Rumble does in this situation, shall we?

Tinker - Belle
Rumple magically produces a fireball in his hand and uses it to light a signal fire/camp fire. This in turn enables his shadow to be cast upon a huge rock. Rumple freezes his shadow and then outlines his feet with his "Dark One" dagger and then instructs his "already knowing what to do" shadow to hide the dagger where no one can find it; and so even he won't be able to find it. The shadow takes the dagger and flies away with it.

Rumple sits by the campfire with the doll, when a noise gets his attention. Hooded/Caped Belle is on the island! She's snatched his doll and questions his current "past" fashion. Rumple feels becoming the Dark One is his future and the only way he can save his grandson. Belle is tender with him, wondering if he ever fully became him- so there's still hope.
"You're not really here, are you?" suspicious Rumple asks.
Belle admits she's still in Storybrooke where he left her. She confirms that the protection spell he cast in Storybrooke worked. Still suspicious, aggressive Rumple wonders if these are still lies meant to lead him astray.  Belle confesses that she isn't a trick of Pan's, but Rumple's own manifestation.
Belle asks "The question is why?"

Belle leads Rumple to the edge of the cliff that overlooks the water.
"So do you know why you brought me to the island?" Belle asks in a kind of teaching manner, knowing only he knows the answer. But Rumple insists he has no idea. Belle knows he's holding back. "What is it you're not saying?"
Rumple admits "I'm a coward. I'm just like my father." Rumple now understands and knows he brought Belle there because she always saw the good in him- and still does. And as much as Rumple denies it, she thinks he sees it too. "So, why am I here? What are you wrestling with?"
Rumple says that Pan offered him a deal that allows him to keep Henry and in turn Rumple can live. "The boy needn't be my undoing." He just feels he may make the "selfish choice." Belle reminds him abandoning his son Baelfire and regretted it his whole life, he doesn't need to do the same to Henry. "Letting go of the past... its the first step."
Rumple takes the doll from Belle. It was the last thing his father gave him- "He left me." That is the core of Rumple's pain.
"Well, if you don't want to repeat the mistakes he made... you need to let go," Belle reinforces and then walks away. Rumple tosses the doll over the cliff.
Rumple walks on; his attention is peaked by noises in all around him in the jungle, when all of a sudden his little doll falls from above to rest on the ground before him. He sets the doll aflame and with his right foot steps on the fiery doll- putting out the flame. Confused, he walks on until he again comes across the doll intact. Baffled, he picks it up and puts it in his jacket breast pocket.
"There are dangers all about. Only I can guide us past them." Hook is the one who directs the "Henry Search Party" across the island, while Regina constantly complains. Emma agrees with Hook's help, as he's already lived on that island. Emma won't call Mary Margaret "mom", even though she's done so before; that was when they were about to die. David is stopped by Hook from cutting into a Dreamshade plant; the thorns inject poison. The plant is the source of the toxins he used on the Dark One; the concentrated dose of poison that almost killed Gold. In its natural form death would be slower and far more painful. Distrustful David decides to go against Hook's direction. Apparently David's not used to working with the bad guys. "I can assure you on this island I am not the bad guy," states Hook. Emma notes that according to every story she's ever heard as a child Pan's not supposed to be one either. Hook feels "They got it wrong. Pan is the most treacherous villain I've ever faced. Tell me something, Luv, in these stories what was I like, other than a villain, handsome, I gather?" Emma mocks, "If waxed mustache's and perms are your thing..."
David declares "Up here! We made it." The all stand on the edge of a cliff overlooking the dark jungle. Pan's lair should be somewhere in there. Hook looks through his telescope, and mentions that its grown somewhat since he last stepped foot in Neverland. The group feels that Hook's nature hike has led them astray, but David feels they're in a good position to comb the jungle. Hooks warns "The dark jungle's the last place you wanna set foot. We have to go around it." In order to do that, they're going to need their strength. He suggests they make camp, which opens the door for Regina to complain about her son still being out there suffering. Hook insists they must survive if they want to save Henry. Emma looks out into the dark jungle. She is worried about Henry. Mary Margaret assures her "After everything your father and I have been through there's one thing we've learned... It is never too late."
We get a reminder of Charming waking Snow up from the curse from the pilot episode.
Regina's guard runs in to present the magic mirror/Sidney to her; disturbing her from her outside apple picking time. "Trust me. I haven't disturbed you yet. Just wait until you see this..." Regina is appalled that Charming woke Snow with true love's kiss and watches him propose to her. Snow plans to take back the Kingdom. That doesn't sit well with Regina.
Snow holds a town meeting, reporting that the Evil Queen murdered her father and put her under a sleeping curse, but Snow isn't the only one the Queen has caused suffering on. "She's terrorized us for far too long! This Kingdom doesn't belong to her- it belongs to us!" But the townsfolk aren't ready to stand beside Snow and fight for what's rightfully theirs.

Regina sarcastically notes the "courageous army" Snow's building. The people flee from Regina, but Snow, Charming and the 7 Dwarfs are not afraid of her and Regina wonders why. "Because you and the shepherd broke my sleeping curse?"  After a magical tie-up and gagging of the shepherd, Regina reveals that she didn't go there to fight; she came to offer them a deal. "Consider it an engagement present." Regina wants Snow to give up her claim to the throne and declare her the rightful ruler of that land; in turn she'll let them escape back to the sheep farm he once called home. Regina's decided that Snow needs to be alive- needs to be awake, so Snow can spend all her days knowing Regina has taken everything that was supposed to be Snow's. Regina demands Snow get down on her knees and swear that her father's Kingdom belongs to her, and if she doesn't do it, someone will pay the price. Regina uses her Darth Vader choke hold on a young girl, and when Snow and her sword take a run at Regina demanding she "Stop!" Regina magically disappears into her purple smoke only to reappear a few feet away. "You have until sundown tomorrow to give up the throne; and for every day Snow defies her, Regina will kill one of her loyal subjects. "Stop denying who you are, Snow White. You may have been a Princess, but you will never be a Queen."
In an outdoors meeting with Charming and the Dwarfs, Snow feels they can't win and have to leave the Kingdom. Charming encourages her to stand strong and protect her people and the land from Regina. But Snow isn't confident, as she couldn't protect them today. The loyal Dwarfs will stand by Snow, even if it means their death; which it probably will. Charming warns Snow, "You can't let her get into your head." Snow feels she's no Queen and she isn't a leader. Snow's just a lost girl who doesn't even know who Snow White really is. But she does know she doesn't want to be alone. Charming says that's never going to happen. Knowing he's right, Snow decides to take Regina's offer  so they can all live together in exile.

The Seven Dwarfs, aka 7 big brothers, are the guardians of Snow White and will abide by whatever she wants and needs.
Grumpy tells Charming to "Let her go." But Charming insists Snow fight for the Kingdom. Grumpy feels "Well, if you have true love, what difference does it make whether you live in a castle or a farm?"
Charming asks, "You think I'm in this for her crown?"  He just wants what's best for Snow.
The Dwarfs have got their eyes on the new Charming. They won't help him change Snow's mind. So charming seeks the assistance of Rumpelstiltskin.
While the "save Henry" team sleeps, Emma tosses and is awakened by the distant cries of children. This is her pain coming to the surface. No one else wakes up. She's met by Peter Pan, who already knows Emma as having "fire" and that she is the "savior."  Emma holds her {Baelfire's} sword to Pan's neck demanding to know where Henry is. Pan tells her Henry is still alive; he's a very special boy. "Why do you want him?" asks Emma.
"I came here to see who I was up against. The Savior. Gotta say, I'm not disappointed." Pan will help Emma find Henry. He provides her with a map that will lead her straight to her son- a blank map. Emma wonders if it's a trap. Pan, admitting he's not the most well behaved boy on the island, assures her the path to finding Henry is on the parchment.
"It's not about finding Henry... it's about how you find him. Emma, you are the only one who can."
He reveals Emma will be able to read the map when she stops denying who she really is.  Emma doesn't know what that means. Pan disappears.
Hook knows all about Pan's games. If Pan says there's a map on the parchment- then there is.  Plus, Pan doesn't need to use the map to lead them all in to a trap because this whole island's his bloody trap.  Regina feels Pan is using the map as a distraction when they could be out looking for her son. She suggests magic, "If there's a lock on there, I'll find a way around it."
"Pan said it had to be me," Emma replies. Hook agrees that breaking Pan's rules would be unwise. But Regina is completely impatient.  Mary Margaret encourages puzzled Emma not to give up, "If he's playing a game- you can win."
Rumpelstiltskin spins at his wheel in the library he gifted to Belle, when he's paid a visit by Charming. Rumple just helped Charming wake his Princess.
"Long ago, you made Snow remember who she was when a spell blinded her," he needs Rumple to do that again.  But Rumple can't do anything to Snow to change her mind about fighting the Queen.
Charming just needs a way to make her believe in something I already know. "That she can face Regina and win."
Rumple educates Charming. "Magic can't make someone believe, Dearie. It works the other way around. Belief must come from within."  He also suggests they take the Queen's fair offer, as ruling a Kingdom ain't all it's cracked up to be. "Just ask your brother. Wait, he died. You see my point."
Charming won't take no for an answer, "Just name your price."
Dejected Snow isn't doing well with her archery practice, as she keeps on missing the target.  Charming gallops over to share what Rumple told him; he also notes that sometimes a price is worth paying. "Without his help you'd still be in that glass coffin."
Charming shares Rumple's legend about a magical weapon- one that can help her reclaim her Kingdom. The weapon is only a half a day's ride; they can be there by sundown. Doubtful Snow readies another arrow to launch and Charming physically guides her form and direction, and Snow hits a bull's-eye. This weapon will show Regina who Snow really is.
Emma concentrates on conjuring up the image on the blank parchment by revealing bits about who she is..."My name is Emma Swan." Hook knows the solution to Pan's riddle is more complicated than that. Her mother encourages her, "Don't hold anything back."
Emma continues. "I'm Henry's mother. I used to live in Boston and I was a Bail Bonds person. I'm now the sheriff of Storybrooke." To which Regina notes that election was a sham. Mary Margaret pushes Emma just a bit about leaving some things out.
Emma continues. "I'm the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, which apparently makes me the product of true love. {Note Hook.} I was born in the Enchanted Forest and I was sent through a portal in a tree so I could break a curse."
"And you were able to break the curse because... you're the..." David and mom encourage her to say the "S" word.
Emma finds the fortitude to say "I'm the savior." But the full map isn't revealed, even though admitting she's the savior is the one thing Emma's denied most of all.
Impatient Regina grabs the map and casts a locater spell over it; as it belonged to Pan and can lead them to him. Why doesn't she just enchant the map so it led them right to Henry and not Pan? No loopholes? Nonetheless, the map floats into the dark jungle and Emma is nudged by Regina to lead. Of course, Regina wants credit for moving things along.

They reach a point when Regina can feel Pan's smugness. Armed David, still feeling they have the element of surprise on their side, heads in. Hook warns "Careful. He may look like a boy... but he's a bloody demon."  Cheerleader Mary Margaret continues to support Emma.
They make their way through a deserted campsite. Emma sees a boy with her back to her at the top of a hill. Emma thinks it is Henry. But it's not! It is Pan, up to his tricks, dressed like Henry.
Pan tells Emma that she broke the rules and that's not fair. "Bad form." The boy expects more from Hook. Pan won't give Henry to Emma because cheaters never win. The Lost Boys attack the Henry Search Party.  Hooks warns them of the arrows laced with Dreamshade.  The battle begins and David is cut by a poisoned sword. {Whose sword did that?!} But David tells his wife "I'm good."
Emma captures one of the Lost Boys demanding to know where Henry is, but the look on the boy's face gives her pause.
 Pan whistles and his Lost Boys gather. Pan reiterates to Emma that the map will show her where Henry is, "Only when you stop denying who you really are." He'll send Henry her regards.

David won't have Snow look at his cut, as he's fluffed it off as his jacket getting the worst of it.  As Emma again concentrates on the map, her mother and father assure her to not have her confidence shook. "We all had moments when we've felt we couldn't prevail." Mary Margaret sits next to her obviously troubled daughter, but Emma doesn't have anything to talk about; feeling they had their chance and they lost. Emma and the map still haven't shown them the way.

Mom has a revelation. "Maybe who you think you are isn't really who you are." Sometimes we think we know ourselves but we need a push to show us the reality." She asks Emma why she stopped fighting the boy with the knife. Reluctantly Emma reveals, "Because when I looked at his face I saw me.... That look in his eyes, the despair... I had it... back when I was in the Foster System... just a lost little girl... who didn't matter... and didn't think she ever would. A little girl who cried herself to sleep at night 'cause... (starts crying) she wanted her parents so bad... and could never understand... why they gave her up."
"And then you found us, and it was too late," tearful Mary Margaret interjects.
Emma feels "It's just on this island... I, I don't feel like... a hero or a savior. I just feel like what I've always been... an orphan."
Just then her mother tells her to look. The map reveals directions because Emma accepted who she is. Mary Margaret understands Emma was an orphan and knows it is her job to change that.
Charming and Snow ride over a tiny bridge and take the rest of the way on foot.
Charming shares "According to Rumpelstiltskin the weapon that defeats Regina lies at the top of this hill." He also shares that this weapon was forged by a benevolent Mage named Merlin from a realm called Camelot. They arrive to find the Sword in the Stone- beautiful Excalibur!
Charming cannot remove the stuck sword from the stone and he wants Snow to give it a try. "The legend states only the Kingdom's true ruler possesses the strength to free the blade." Never having ruled anything yet, Snow is able to liberate the sword from the stone. This excited Charming. "You see, you are this Kingdom's true leader."

Armed with her new found strength and confidence, Snow confronts Regina as her townsfolk hide in fear of the Queen. Snow informs the Queen instead of living in a little corner of the world with Charming and the Dwarfs, she can't leave her people with her. In that case, Regina uses the Vader Choke Hold on Grumpy.  Snow flounders, but Charming reminds her she pulled the sword out of the stone.
"Let him go!" Rejuvenated Snow attacks Regina, but Regina magically changes her position, and when Snow turns she cuts Regina's right cheek.  Regina is stunned.
Grumpy is released from Regina's grip. Snow has stopped denying who she really is, "This is my Kingdom and I will fight for it!"  So Regina will see her on the battlefield where they'll be ready. Regina disappears and the gang rejoices. Yay!

Snow White ventures out to the forest with Excalibur to talk with Rumple about paying Charming's debt to him. Rumple says it is true her Prince came to ask for aid fighting the Queen, but Rumple had nothing to give. Snow wonders how Charming knew where to find Excalibur. Rumple shares that everyone knows it's in Camelot. Snow shows him that it's not.
"If that were Excalibur, I wouldn't be able to do this..."  With a magical wave the sparkling blade crumbles to the ground. The sword is a fake from the shepherd! How can this be when Snow struck Regina and drew blood?
Rumple tires of her ramblings and snatches the necklace from Snow's neck; it belonged to Snow's mother and now belongs to him. This is the cost of wasting his time- and then Rumple disappears.
The Dwarfs join Charming by the shoreline. Grumpy offers him a "slight apology" and a drink. They never should have doubted Charming's intentions. Charming toasts to "starting over."  Pissed off Snow interrupts their toast to confront Charming about the Excalibur incident. He admits he planted the sword in the stone- taking Snow on an adventure to find a magical sword because she needed to believe in something he already knew. When Snow stood up to Regina she did that on her own. "You had it inside you the entire time you just... needed some help to realize that."   Snow kisses him, loving him for his belief in her.

Emma tells the group the map is working and they know where he is. Hook looks at the map determining Pan's camp lies due north. They'll need a new plan to travel to the other side of the island.
Emma decides its time they stop playing Pan's game and he start playing theirs. Regina reluctantly agrees to work together.
Hook and Emma share some rum. He asks her how she unlocked the map. Emma did what Pan asked. Hook asks "Just who are you, Swan?"  Wouldn't he like to know- and he would! Emma walks away from him.

Emma picks red berries from the bush when she's told by Pan not to eat the blue ones. {Hmm... that's a little Matrix nod.} He congratulates the orphan and explains there's a reason he tested her. Emma nonchalantly continues to pick.
"You haven't forgiven your parents for abandoning you..." Pan finds this good because when she finds Henry she'll understand him. He claims Henry hasn't forgiven her either. "By the time you get to him, he'll never want to leave this island."
"We'll see."

"And as for you, Emma, when we're finished you won't just feel like an orphan... You'll be one."
Alone, we see David check on his cut and the spreading poison.
What is going to happen to the great thespian charmer, David, now that he's poisoned by the Dreamshade?

Things to Note...Questions to Ask...

๑  Are we really looking for "Henry" or are we looking for "light" and/or "Home"?
๑  Is Regina's apple the Apple of Discord or the Apple of Truth/Knowledge? 
๑  Alive. Awake. Wake up. Sleep. Dream
๑  Both Charming and Regina are shown to get a cut
๑  Although we see Snow and Charming on their wedding day a couple of times, they have already been wed by Lancelot in Lady of the Lake
๑ Hook used the Dreamshade poison on Gold. When did he acquire it? How long has he been holding on to that? When was the last time Hook was on the island? How often does he return to the island?
True Love's Kiss can break any curse
๑ Grumpy and the Dwarfs wondered if Charming is really a "gold-digging social climbing shepherd", in it for her crown
๑ Map. Direction. Sign
๑ Game. Rules. Leader
๑ Doll
๑ Listen. Hear.
๑ Foot. Feet
๑ Mirror
๑ Eye
๑ Arrow
๑ Fire and Water
๑ Regina's red gown in the Enchanted Forest has feathers (bird-flying)
๑ Episode- The Shepherd
๑ Episode-  Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
๑ David gives a motivational speech to the Storybrooke towns people in We Are Both
๑ Leaders: Hook, David, Pan/map leads, Emma becomes the leader.
๑ Hook seems to share some fondness for Emma
๑ Matrix nod- Red and Blue (berries)

Vocabulary and Research...

๑  Henry: The name is derived itself from the Germanic name Haimric (German Heinrich), which is a compound of the word elements haim, meaning "home" and ric, meaning "power, ruler"
๑  Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain.  Sometimes Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone (the proof of Arthur's lineage) are said to be the same weapon, but in most versions they are considered separate.
๑  Mage: one who practices magic
  - There's a discontinued role-playing video game called Mage: The Ascension; based in the World of Darkness. And then there was new version of the game called Mage: The Awakening
๑  Merlin: a wizard featured in Arthurian Legend
๑  Dreamshade: is a Swiss Melodic Death metal band from Lugano, formed in 2006.

 ✔ Golden LOST Thread Woven into the Tapestry of this Tale

✈ The Dark Territory; where the Black Rock sits.
✈ Island
✈ Sydney
✈ Alive. Awake. Wake up. Sleep. Dream
✈ Portal
✈ Lock-Locke
✈ Eye
✈ Game. Rules. Leader
✈ Guides. Coach. Teacher.
✈ Mirror
✈ Shepherd/Shephard- Jack and Christian
✈ Banish. Exile: Charles Widmore. Ben Linus.
✈ Trap
✈ Map. Direction. Sign
✈ Arrow
✈ Tracking
✈ Jack felt he wasn't a leader
✈ Walt is a very Special boy and ends up becoming The New Man in Charge.
   - We also know Ben felt John Locke was special
✈ Over a cliff:  Dave and John Locke
✈ Illana shows Richard and the people who they are up against in S6
✈  Fire + Water
✈ "Who are you?"
✈ Charles Widmore broke the rules in The Shape of Things to Come
✈ Jack asks Ana Lucia how long would it take to train an army in The Hunting Party
White Rabbit
Follow the Leader