I guess it is about time that we learn something about Rumple’s history – and I mean the one before there were Milah and Bae. Here now we get a glimpse into his childhood… and into the “birth” of another character.

* It’s not really that much of a surprise that Rumple’s father was a fraud; someone deceiving people and basically stealing their money with little sleight of hands. Poor little Rumple, apparently growing up without a mother (another question left yet unanswered). If we take all we know so far about Rumple, all the misfortune he had to endure in his life – and yes, I count the whole Dark One thing also as a misfortune – I really hope and think that at one point he needs some happiness, he deserves it. Therefore, he hopefully will have a happy end, and with Belle.
But, back to kid!Rumple. As we will later also learn his son is more a burden than anything else for the father. The first proof of that we get when he leaves Rumple with two spinner women who are meant to take care of Rumple. While this seems to be more a side note, it still gives us an insight into why Rumple because a spinner himself – he has talent. The women teach him and he shows great talent for it.
Will there be more to it? Spinning has had some importance in the past, when making magic threads. Maybe Rumple would never have needed the Dark One’s powers? Maybe there’ll be a situation in the future when he can only rely on the magic within him, but without the DO’s, and he’ll use spinning to acquire the magic he needs?
The two woman I still wait for to become more significant – sure they sort-of guided Rumple and also raised him, but is that really all there is? – now tell Rumple what his father really does, that he isn’t looking for a job as claimed. And they Rumple: You have to go away, and alone. You can’t be with your father, because he will always hinder and stop you on your way, and he’s going to spoil you also. That’s basically the message I see there. Though it wonders me that they’d sent a little boy off on his own. Would they really do that if it were normal, responsible women? Rumple alone can’t sustain himself, and even with the bean and his wish he wouldn’t know where he’d end up. I see more to that, but I can’t quite make out what.
Initially, the father wants to sell the bean, big surprise. More of a surprise then was that he indeed used it, and without much of a discussion. It’s – and here it comes – “lovely thoughts” that bring them to Neverland. A dream world in which the father as a child often fled to in his dreams. So that means that NL has always existed – but it doesn’t explain yet where it comes from.
Later on we learn from the Shadow inhabiting the island that no one lives there except for the shadow, and that as a rule. No one can live there, it is merely a world for children to visit in their sleep. It is interesting at this point that if NL is only a dream world, the bean can apparently reach any world without difficulty, if only you think hard enough. Which is curious, since for the return from FTL to SB the others in S2 had to get a compass, and find a body of water. Huh? Have the beans lost their magic? Or is this because of SB, our world, one without magic? The function of the beans seems to change from time to time. Also their effect and effectivity. Intention or error in continuity?
The rest of the story between Rumple and his father, at least in the past, gives a good explanation where all these problems today, and the huge amount of abandonment and trust issues that meanwhile have become a genetic thing it seems come from.
* Living in Neverland is only possible as a child. But when you have a child of your own, you can’t be a child at the same time. Rumple’s father wants to have the good life in NL, the one he always saw as a child in his dreams; he wants to fly. Essentially, he is completely unable to take responsibility and has never properly grown up. Here’s the big difference between him and grown-up Rumple as well – Rumple never wanted to leave/abandon Bae, he was just afraid of the change. It’s interesting if one thinks about it – maybe he was afraid that the same that happened to him and his father would also happen with him and Bae. That he’d find himself in a world where he could only be happy without Bae, and that then he’d be tempted to abandon his son. And that’s something he didn’t want. I’m not sure anymore he was really afraid to lose his powers in a world without magic, as they were supposed to go to. I think at least part of it was also a deja vu, and the fear it would all repeat itself. And that Rumple’s not strong enough to keep it from happening.
NL is a sinister world; unsurprisingly, seeing that it is ruled by a nameless, faceless Shadow we’re still owed a story and explanation about. It makes the weak-minded father send his own son away so he can have a good life. The father, not Rumple. Rumple, being dragged away by the Shadow, loses the straw puppet his father gave him – the puppet he called Peter Pan. Well, hello there, connection.
About the Shadow, though. What if it is made by dark thoughts? What if it is the portion of one’s mind, everyone’s minds, that has all the doubts and fears and nasty ideas? What if it is the cruel reality that waits outside one’s good dream? And in NL, while having a nice time, you’re always haunted by this shadow of reality.
* Back in our time, we have… not that much of a plot that brings us forward, I have to say. Well, okay, there is, in terms of Rumple against everyone else. Rumple and Regina, still alone, come across the rest of the group. Finally reunited, they also all learn of the prophecy. And really, after everything Rumple has done all they can think of is threaten him? No one for only one moment stops and remembers that Henry is Rumple’s grandson, and that so far he’s gone at great lengths to show his good will and do something that can help? Granted, we’re still talking about Rumple, but the permanent distrust is getting old. If someone will be able to help, it is Rumple. He is the only one who can stand against Pan with his magic. At least Regina and Hook, if no one else, have to realize it. Or, well, Hook and Tink maybe, since they know Pan.
It is all about trust in this episode, and mostly about trust in Rumple. It is, of all people, Neal who reveals the prophecy to the others, and once again I’m surprised, because it means that Neal believes Rumple would be able to kill his (Neal’s) son. Does he really? Yes, Neal does not have the highest opinion of his father, and maybe he has every right to. He knows that in the past he has murdered in cold blood. But his own grandson? Not even Neal can believe that, especially since he could still use it as means to blackmail Rumple – remember, if you hurt my son Henry, we’ll be done forever. After all, Neal knows that Rumple wants very much to reconcile with his son.
* The interesting thing here is, when later Wendy lies to the others about her knowledge when it comes to Pan and Henry, and Rumple calls her lie, Neal believes and trusts him. Which is significant, seeing how close Neal and Wendy are.
Neal in general has strange ways of thinking. When Rumple is able to pass the protection spell Pan used and it us because he doesn’t have a shadow (huh?), Neal recognizes that Rumple really told the truth and really is there to save Henry. Second huh. In 3×04 Neal asked for Rumple’s dagger as a token of his honesty, and Rumple said he had sent his dagger off with his own shadow to hide the dagger – so Pan couldn’t get it and control him to stop him from saving Henry. Now, I like that it helps Neal to finally believe Rumple; yet it confuses me because why would that be proof that Rumple actually tries to save Henry? Just because he sent his dagger away? It is surprising no one says that he only did it so the others couldn’t get their hands on it and stop Rumple. Okay, so Pan would probably have the better skills to get the dagger if it was still around. Nevertheless that wouldn’t be proof for me. Not that I need it, but anyways.
* Back to Wendy, and even more so the fact that we learn that she came back to NL for Neal. I smell a love story. Again. Wendy’s yet a child, that’s right, but who says that she won’t grow up fast once she is back in our world? Her brothers are adults, and time is relative anyways in this show. Since I strongly believe that we’re going to get Captain Swan as canon some time soon, Neal will need someone else, and Wendy would be a great choice. Or Tink, but for now I’d think Wendy.
* Henry is an idiot. No really, he is. The most idiotic child in TV history. There stands his family, his real mom, his adopted mom, his father (who is, surprise to you Henry, alive), and they tell him they love him, and that he shouldn’t trust Pan, and what does he do? Trust Pan and sacrifices himself to save something he once wanted to get rid of because it destroyed everything. What the actual hell. I mean, the sheer fact that Henry ripped out his own heart to begin with – that’s got nothing to do with the Heart Of The Truest Believer, that is the heart of the biggest, brainwashed idiot in all realms. And rally I hope that he is brainwashed, because if he isn’t, well…
Of course he isn’t dead. No, that would be too easy (and too good to be true – yes, not a fan of Henry, me, never have been, and am now only less). For the moment though he has no heart anymore, and instead Pan has his heart. We never had the situation of someone having someone else’s heart before, but I guess it’s safe to assume that while you apparently can live without your heart inside your body, as long as it is kept safe, you can’t continue living with someone else has your heart in their chest. The latter being the classic heart transplant principle. So Henry is done for, and very much screwed, because who will allow to have their heart taken away? Certainly not Pan, I guess.
* But wait. One second. Peter Pan has his heart. Um. That bears a few questions, doesn’t it? For one, where is Pan’s own heart? Did he take it out before? Is it hidden somewhere? Did he never have one, or was it taken by the Shadow as kind of a price for living in NL and eternal youth? And how can he live with another’s heart; I thought that wasn’t possible? Something with Frankenstein?
And then, later on when Rumple confronts Pan at Skull Rock, we have the next problem. Why doesn’t Pan turn into an adult again? Okay, so theoretically he should have turned to an adult earlier on already, when they first met in the forest. But at least back then the audience didn’t know of their true connection. Now however we are aware of what happened in the past. And it was said by Rumple’s father that as long as Rumple is around, he’ll always be reminded that he can’t be a child because he has a child. Yeah. So Rumple isn’t a child anymore now, but he still “Pan’s” child. Only because the kid is an adult now doesn’t mean you’re not his parent anymore. Therefore, in all logic and as it was explained before, Pan should have turned back into an adult.
Pan also has fascinating skills. He takes away Pandora’s Box from Rumple, exchanges it, and then traps Rumple in it. Um, wait. What? It is never properly explained how the box works. Open the lid and you can trap someone for all eternity – okay, but who? Everyone, without any exception? Or only magical creatures? Like, Snow or Charming wouldn’t have gotten trapped in it, but Emma and Regina because they have magic? I was surprised to find Rumple being pulled into it because I thought that it only works for those who are shadow-like, although I realize that it comes from me associating Pan with a shadow where he probably doesn’t even have one anymore… I guess. Or has he?
In any way is Rumple, after declining Pan’s offer to stay with him (surprise…), now trapped – already gone when the others finally break the spell (Why didn’t they show that?! Would have loved to see how Emma and Regina combine their magic!). And no one of them just for a moment wonders where Rumple is. Not for reasons of concern, I don’t expect that – no, because they’ve been so suspicious before, and now they get there where they should expect Rumple saving Henry, and Rumple’s nowhere to be seen, while Henry is holding his heart in his hands, so to speak, and about to be as stupid as ever, or even more so. And no one even asks, where is Rumple? That is strange, really.
As soon as Pan gets the heart, we have a huge power surge going through NL that didn’t make much sense to me. Just for effect, or what does it mean? To make the others realize that something went wrong? Or is it a renewal wave?
* I just had that thought that when Hook learns that Pan is Rumple’s father and thus effectively another Rumple family member has killed another Hook family member (Rumple Milah and Pan sort-of Hook’s brother), the whole conflict could start anew. I mean, for the moment there seems to be a truce, and I hope so much that it will stay like this, because Hook should be past his revenge now, especially seeing that he has Emma, and his love for her, and that Emma’s son’s grandfather is Rumple, so if he and Emma ever get together, Rumple will be part of the family also. Still a seriously messed up family, and it doesn’t get any better.
* Lastly, we have the Charmings. Snow is willing to stay with David on the island, believing that there is no way to help David. Now, apart from the fact that I’d love to see them stay back and be out of the picture – especially Snow – we know that’s not going to happen. Pretty much a pointless plot device; unless you count in what will help David leave: Rumple. He tells the others that after he was poisoned by Hook (cue a nice exchange of looks *g*) he worked on finding a cure himself. Now, thing is, Neal tells his father that he will give David this cure without any price. So far, so good; more or less. Rumple agrees to readily, and while I believe that he’d do a lot to get the acceptance of his son, I don’t see yet that he will really give away the cure so freely. Something will follow, sooner or later.
And what if it doesn’t come from Rumple’s side, but from David’s? What if David feels inclined to do anything for Rumple solely out of thankfulness? It can happen. The only question is – what will be the outcome of that? A sacrifice that has greater repercussions than expected? A connection that will change things significantly?
* For a funny moment, we have this gem: Rumple takes Hook’s (of all people!) sword with the words,

You said no magic and I agreed, but I’m not walking in there with nothing but my good looks.

I almost died laughing because of what came next. Not only Hook’s kicked puppy look and protest, but also David’s quip when he gave Hook a dagger:

Here. In case your good looks fail you.

I will never stop loving this bromance, and I really hope we’re going to get to see much more of it, because with everything David and Hook went through together, I think they can be great buddies. Always with a healthy dose of suspicion of course, but I wouldn’t want it any other way, since this is what makes it funny. And I see David support it, and much more than Snow, when Emma and Hook really become an item. That’ll be so great.

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Tags: Emma Swan, Hook/Killian Jones, Magic, Neal Cassidy/Baelfire, Neverland, Once Upon A Time, OUAT, Peter Pan, Regina/Evil Queen, Rumplestiltskin, The Charmings