Once Upon a Time Review: Only If You Believe

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It's so much easier to get people to hate something than to believe . Peter Pan's words couldn't have been more true and that's why "The Heart of the Truest Believer" is so valuable.

What he plans to do with that heart, though? It's anyone's guess.

Emma Gets Hooked

Everyone's belief in something was questioned in the Once Upon a Time season 3 premiere. Let's run it down below, shall we?

Emma's failure to believe. Rumpelstiltskin called her out on it. Emma has trouble believing. It took her a long time to believe in magic, even after she saw it first hand. Even after she performed it herself, she still appeared to half not believe what was happening. 

But it's not just magic that she's questioning. Her own family has pushed her to the brink of reason. As Snow gave her yet one more rah-rah speech to keep her going, Emma couldn't take another word…

Emma: How can you two be so infuriatingly optimistic?
Charming: It's who we are. | permalink

Rumpel called her out on her lack of belief in magic, her family and even herself; that somewhere deep inside, Emma still thinks of herself as just that bail bonds woman we met in the beginning of the series. She still has trouble wrapping her mind around how powerful she truly is. And that's part of the reason why Rumpelstiltskin ditched her and the rest aboard the Jolly Roger, as he told her in this Once Upon a Time quote

Neverland is a place where imagination runs wild and sadly, yours doesn't. | permalink

Rumpelstiltskin's belief in his demise. Last season we wondered if the Dark One was going to take out his own grandson. Here, it appears he's willing to sacrifice everything to save him. He admitted to the Lost Boys that he knew he most likely wouldn't survive the coming battle... but that he'd take as many of them out as he could during the fight. 

Rumpel's interaction with Tamara was somewhat satisfying. I didn't expect these two to die so soon in the season but that's not to say I'm not grateful they're gone.  

Tamara basically attempted to kill Rumpelstiltskin's son and put his grandson in mortal danger. How could she possibly think any excuse could save her? If anyone had a heart crushing coming to them, it was Tamara.

Neal's belief in the power of love. Neal's back in the Enchanted Forest because apparently that's the way portals work. Wherever you're thinking of when you jump through is where you end up on the other side. 

Mulan was quick to point out why he never went back to find Emma:

Your belief in love wasn't strong enough to overcome your fear of rejection. | permalink

That's a fairly tidy summary of Emma and Neal's past. But now he only wants to get back to her and his son. 

Neal may not have always liked his father, but he certainly believes in his power and that family has always been important to the man. 

Henry's the true believer. And he always has been. He believed in the curse. He believed in Emma's ability to break it. He believes that Regina can become a better person. And apparently he believes that pixie dust can make you fly. 

The latter was both a great success and his undoing, as his magical flight put him firmly in the clutches of Peter Pan and his Lost Boys. 

The battle on the Jolly Roger was great fun; anger, mermaids and the perfect storm made for one heck of a voyage. And there were plenty of fun moments worth mentioning throughout the hour…

  • Henry basically called Greg and Tamara idiots when they admitted they didn't ask any questions about their mission. I think I like the sarcastic side of Henry.
  • Regina's surprise at being labeled a villain and questioning if that means she'll never have a happy ending. 
  • Charming's indignation over the mermaids, "I will not be capsized by fish."
  • Neal explaining the real world to Mulan. "For starters they think that this place is just a fairy tale. Like a legend, like we're all just characters in a story."

And most especially the battle between Regina and Snow, which may have generated my favorite line of the entire series to date:

Snow: Bring back the mermaid.
Regina: And what, you'll win her over with your rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers? | permalink

I don't think I've ever loved Regina more than in that moment. 

Although Emma's speech to rally the troops together to save Henry did the job, I think it would have been even more powerful if she'd looked at Regina and referred to Henry as our son instead of just my son. 

Like it or not, Henry considers both of them his mothers and he expects both of them to do everything in their power to save them.

Do you believe Henry has two mommies? Is there any possibility that this motley crew can work together to save him? What could possibly drive the Dark One to tears?  And did you miss Storybrooke at all in the premiere episode of Once Upon a Time season 3?

The Heart of the Truest Believer Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (201 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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