Thanks to Ariel's swim back to Storybrooke in Once Upon a Time Season 3, Episode 7 we got to visit some of our old favorites for the first time this season.
Below, TV Fanatics Michelle Carlbert, Carla Day, and Christine Orlando are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to debate who is the better man for Emma and if Henry is truly falling further under Peter Pan's spell.
Join in on our discussion below!
What was your favorite part about traveling back to Storybrooke?
Michelle: Tough question, as I really liked seeing the old gang again - Belle, the Dwarfs, etc. But if I can only pick one part it would have to be the moment we found out that the two men who were after Pandora's Box were John and Michael Darling. To find out that they were not only not just mindless machines sent to do Pan's will, but caring brothers (Wendy's brothers, no less) was amazing.
Carla: I enjoyed seeing Belle showing her tougher side and working with Ariel. They made a good team. I'm looking forward to seeing how their friendship grows when Ariel returns to find Prince Eric too. With Red not available, due to Meghan Ory's starring role on Intelligence, Belle needs another confidant. Though, the Darling reveal was awesome.
Gareth: I enjoyed seeing Belle again. She seems to have been given a slight reboot, which was needed to be honest. It felt like the writers were trying to explore more of the season one ‘Skin Deep’ Belle that we all fell in love with. That’s the Belle I want to see. The strong woman who can stand up to Rumplestiltskin and hold her own. The Belle who makes Rumple question himself and his motives. Oh course, in true Belle style, she had to go and get herself tied to a chair! How many times has this character been kidnapped or held hostage now?
Christine: You're right Gareth! I hadn't thought about it but how many times has someone been out to capture Belle? But I was surprised how happy I was to see Archie again. I didn't know how much I'd missed him until we had him back.
Who are you rooting for TeamNeal, TeamHook or simply TeamEmma?
Michelle: Oh man, another tough question. It's so hard to choose as I think both of them would be good for her in different ways. Neal is Emma's true love and they have a child so of course I'd want to see that little family brought back together. But Hook is exciting and new and will undoubtedly help Emma keep that tough edge that she has. For now, I'll just say that I'm TeamEmma. Not because I want her to be alone, but because I want her to be with whichever man will be the best for her.
Carla: I'm so indecisive about this. Team Threesome? That would be my pick! I believe that Emma and Neal are each other's true love, so they should end up together. That said, Emma and Hook have sizzling chemistry that is undeniable. Until they find Henry and he's safe, I'm all about Team Emma.
Gareth: TeamEmma all the way at the moment. Neal and Hook are both idiots. Neither are worthy of Emma and they both need to raise their game at this point. I’m glad Emma made the point that Henry was the only person she had room in her heart for. He has always been and always will be Emma’s priority. Although Carla’s Team Threesome sounds pretty good!
Christine: At the moment I'm Team Emma I think she's right. She needs to focus on her son but as for the near future…I want to like Neal but I can't get over the fact that he let Emma go to prison for his crime just because August told him it was her destiny. I'm not sure how to get past that. And Hook has been amazing lately. I love that he's being honest with Emma. He wants her but he also want to do it right. So I'm TeamEmma but I'm rooting for a Captain Swan happy ending.
Do you think that Henry is falling for Peter Pan's manipulations?
Michelle: Sadly, yes I do. I can't blame the poor kid, though. Pan has been ruthless with showing Henry only those things he wants him to see. Though I have to say I was a bit shocked to discover that only 5 days had passed since they had all arrived. It felt like a lot longer and made it easier to believe that Henry could be swayed. So perhaps I'm wrong and Henry is only pretending to be falling for Pan's lies.
Carla: During the episode, I was pleading with Henry to not be so stupid and gullible. I really hope he's not falling for Pan. Or, if he is that he ends up seeing through the con before it's too late. I want to like Henry, but ... he was annoying in this episode.
Gareth: I hope Henry is playing Pan otherwise they have really regressed his whole character this season. What happened to the smart intelligent boy who could see quite clearly what all the adults could not? Having said that, Pan is one manipulative son of a bitch and convincing him Wendy is dying is a whole new low, even by Pan’s standards.
Christine: Ugh. I think he is and it's really disappointing. I was hoping for more from Henry but sometimes I have to remind myself that he really is just a kid, and Peter Pan's had many years to practice his manipulations.
Does Snow have the right to be this angry at Charming?
Michelle: Absolutely! As we saw in the episode, her anger came from a place of love and she never, not once, even considered not staying with him on the island. She had every right to know what was happening to him and though I know he was trying to protect her, I'm with Snow. He should've had more faith in them to know that they'd be able to get through anything as long as they had each other.
Carla: She had a right to be upset, but I think she overreacted. She took it as a slight against her when it was the exact opposite. He didn't tell her because he loves her with all his heart. Plus, he didn't want to be a distraction. He wanted them to remain focused on finding their grandson.
Gareth: She does. I can understand Charming’s logic for the most part. He didn’t want anything to interfere with getting Henry back. However Snow would do anything for Charming, even if it did mean staying on the island with him for the rest of her life. I guess Snow felt hurt that Charming didn’t acknowledge or realise that. Charming is always talking about having faith in each other but where was his faith in Snow?
Christine: She's got every right to be angry. They're a team and it wasn't fair of him to keep such vital information from her. His claims of protecting her ring cold to me because if he had died, she never would have even had the chance to say goodbye and that's just not fair at all.
What was your favorite "Dark Hollow" scene?
Michelle: Emma lighting the fire with magic. I like how she's been trying out those powers and figuring out how to use them. I'm sure that will become very important when it comes down to saving Henry. It's also kind of interesting that both of Henry's mothers (biological and adoptive) possess magic. It seems appropriate somehow.
Carla: Definitely when Emma used magic to light the candle and then trapped the shadow. She stepped up in a time of need and gave into her magical side without even a thought. She's starting to embrace her true self, which is awesome. I can't wait to see what she's capable of doing.
Gareth: I loved the scene set in Dark Hollow. It was great visually. And those shadows are really creepy. Emma lighting the candle with magic was a nice touch. I wondered if her anger at Neal and Hook’s intense stupidity ignited the flame. I really hope we see more of Emma’s journey with magic and Regina teaching her.
Christine: I really liked when Hook told Emma how he felt and that he wasn't backing down. And I love how much he believes in Emma. Like he told her, "I've yet to see you fail and when you do succeed, well that's when the fun begins."
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.