“Once Upon A Time” recap (3.03): Welcome to the Queer Fold, Mulan

Previously on Once Upon A Time, Henry got kidnapped by Peter Pan, who gave Emma a Marauder’s Map and Charming a fatal wound, and now half of Storybrooke is in Neverland trying to save him.

We begin with the Storybrooke Adventurers trekking through the dark, forbidden forests of Neverland and checking the map to see how they’ve done. Emma made the mistake of treating it like a regular map and didn’t look at it nearly enough or she would have noticed little footprints reading “Peter Pan” moving camp from one side of the forest to the other.

Speaking of Pan, he wakes Henry up by cawing at him and offering him an apple. Henry looks at the apple as if it were a grenade and refuses, saying it’s a family thing. Peter Pan tells him to get up, it’s time for target practice. His face is so impish and mischievous; it’s very unsettling.

Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, Neal is digging through Rumplestiltskin’s cupboard again, looking for something that will create a portal – a bean, ruby slippers, anything. Little John bursts in, but Robin Hood tells him to stand down. When they realize they’re safe, the cutest little boy in the history of little boys comes bounding into Robin Hood’s arms. Neal smiles creepily at the child and says he knows how to get to Neverland.

In the forests of Neverland, they’re still not letting Regina use magic and she’s still really pissed about it. Hook says that there used to be a fairy on the island that he got on with alright or at least has some pixie dust they could use – which is what Charming describes as “nuclear fairy dust.” Emma, in one of her very Emma moments, realizes they’re talking about Tinkerbell. A flash of fear comes over Regina’s face and she says she isn’t sure it’s the best idea.

OUAT 303-1 Well, this is awkward.

Flash back to the Enchanted Forest, Regina is newly queen and her husband and stepdaughter are always off on adventures. Rumple shows up because she hadn’t shown up to her magic lessons and notices that she’s eating Roast Swan. Which is hilarious to us and to Rumple, but Regina is just confused. Gorgeous, but confused. Rumple gets back to his point and says, using vaguely sexual metaphor, that now that she has started practicing dark magic, she can’t quit. Regina says he needs to GTFO and when he leaves, she storms out onto the balcony in a rage. Unfortunately, she raged too hard, and went flying off the banister. Before she hit the ground, however, she found herself actually flying with the help of a little green fairy. The fairy eases her back to safety and introduces herself as Tinkerbell.

OUAT 303-2“I’m green because I’m too pure to be pink.”

Regina and Tinkerbell go out for a drink and Regina tells her new friend all her problems. Regina admits she feels like the Queen of Nothing (except our hearts) and Tink says, “No wonder you jumped.” Regina insists she didn’t, though she had good reason to. This sparks something in Tinkerbell’s eyes and she says that she can use pixie dust to help Regina find love again, find her happy ending, if she just believes in her.

Not exactly living out her happy ending is Regina, in the present-day forests of Neverland. She dabs some gleam off her forehead and drops her hanky, which a mess of green and blonde scoops up like a psycho ex-lover. Regina catches up to Emma and pulls her aside. She then starts whispering huskily about how her magic might be unsafe, but that together, they might be stronger than Peter Pan. Just the two of them. Making magic. Together.

OUAT 303-3Regina could ask me to eat my hat in that voice and I’d do it.

Emma looks tempted, but says she doesn’t want to risk it. If they both get killed, no one will save Henry. Mary Margaret and David would make out until they died of oxygen deficiency and Hook would drink himself blind from sheer boredom. Regina acquiesces and the trek continues.

In Camp Lost Boy, Peter Pan gives Henry a poison-tipped arrow and puts an apple on Felix-the-Scary-Lost-Boy and tells him to shoot. Henry turns at the last minute to shoot Pan but literally everyone saw that coming, so Pan catches it and laughs it off, the Lost Boys whooping behind him.

Also having secret one-on-one time are Hook and Charming. Hook had seen him get nicked by an arrow and asks him to take off his shirt show him his wound. Hook gives him days, maybe weeks, and says he should PROBABLY tell Snow. Charming has another plan (because his plans always go so well) and hopes to use the pixie dust to heal himself, once they find Tinkerbell.

Flash back to Tinkerbell promising the pixie dust will help Regina and flitting off to a colorful flower village. There she meets a none-too-happy Blue Fairy. She scolds Tink for being late, breaking rules, and for getting “big for no reason.” Tinkerbell doesn’t care, she’s adorably excited that she found someone to help, someone in desperate need of happiness. Blue doesn’t see it that way. She says Regina is beyond help. Tinkerbell argues that this makes her all the more worthy of pixie dust, but Blue says this discussion is over.

In the Neverland Forest, Regina is still saying that she really shouldn’t be there when they ask Tinkerbell for help, and Emma asks if she stole her halo. Hilariously, Regina didn’t get the humor and reminded Emma that Tink wasn’t an angel. Regina tells Emma that she and Tinkerbell have a “complicated history” because it’s always awkward talking about your ex with your current love.

OUAT 303-4“I’ll bet my magical arms you slept with her.”

Regina says if Operation Henry stands a chance, they’ll go on without her. Emma’s heart grows three sizes and she says that’s what Henry would have called it. Regina hangs her head and says Henry would have thought of something better. Emma’s voice loses all its snark and she asks again, “What did you do to her?” Regina replies, “What I always do.”