“The New Neverland” – ONCE127

Medusa's glowing eyes (3x10 The New Neverland)

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As the residents of Storybrooke celebrate the return of our heroes, Peter Pan secretly continues to enact his evil plans, which are far from over. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, Snow White and Prince Charming went in search of a mythical creature that could hopefully defeat the Evil Queen once and for all.

The New Neverland is the penultimate episode before the show’s big break and next week’s winter finale.

Enchanted Forest

This episode brings us a lot of what happened in the first episode, such as Snow and Charming’s wedding. We’ve initially wondered how old Emma really was when the curse hit. The whole thing with Medusa, seems a bit unnecessary; it looks like it was stuck in the storyline. However, it was kinda true to life, imparting us that life is filled with moments, good and bad.

Charming told Snow that “For all we know, that was just blustering” and it was at that moment, since Regina didn’t have the curse yet.

The Summer Palace looks a lot like Regina’s old home. Back in, “Heart of Darkness,” Snow was angry that Regina would be visiting the summer palace because it was for Snow’s mother. Is it the same or not?

3x10 The New Neverland Snow Sword

3x10 The New Neverland Charming's Gold-handled Sword

Charming’s sword from “A Land without Magic”

Before Snow left, she pulled a sword. However, it was not Charming’s gold-handed sword.

Together with Charming, Snow went to find Medusa, a a fearsome, immortal creature that live in a nearby cave that will turn you into stone if you look into her eyes.

3x10 The New Neverland Medusa in her Cave Enchanted Forest

In Greek mythology Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα (Médousa), “guardian, protectress”) was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as having the face of a hideous human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys andCeto, though the author Hyginus (Fabulae, 151) interposes a generation and gives Medusa another chthonic pair as parents.

Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.

Apparently, beheading Medusa is also in the Greek mythology. Are we going to see any more Greek mythology characters in the show? Which would fit the storyline?

Snow said that the only way to free Medusa’s victims is to kill Medusa. When Charming turned back into human, who else was turned back?

It was good to see Snow and Charming’s character development when they journey to Medusa’s cave; seeing their struggles as a newlywed.

Back in the Summer Palace, Snow told David, “We have to find the good moments in between all the bad ones.” In the present, David also told pretty much the same thing to his daughter. Perhaps Henry should say and believe in this, too?

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Storybrooke

It was nice to see Ariel and Prince Eric reunited! However, it was a bit awkward to see Eric cutting fish when they met. But, will this be the last time that we are going to see of them, just like what we have seen of Ashley and Sean?

This episode told us why Mr. Gold kept his cane all these time — to remind him to the man he was, and shall no longer be. Hopefully, it will really change him this time.

Is there a hole in the top of Storybrooke’s cloaking spell now?

Hey guys, so I was wondering, why was it so easy for the ship to just find storybrooke again, let alone just go through the protection spell? Didn’t Bell say Rumple wouldn’t be able to find his way back to her and she agreed? Any answer to this you saw, or maybe just a plot hole. Thanks

— Chris

Rumple said that it would make the town impossible for anyone to find, and Belle asked about how he would make his way back. But he never said he or the others couldn’t get back.

It was nice to see Regina’s continued change when Snow told everyone that she helped save everyone.

Jared S. Gilmore looks better as Henry in this episode, although the sinister look in his face is really good.

Rumple was finally happy to have a possibility of a happy ending with Belle. However, if the curse works, Rumple and Belle’s happy ending, along with everyone else’s, will be torn apart.

Pan-as-Henry barely recognized his book when Emma handed the book. Does that mean that Pan is completely unaware of Henry’s storybook?

3x10 The New Neverland The Golden Bird in Henry's Book3x10 The New Neverland Hansel and Gretel Page Henry's Book
Moreover, Henry’s book showed a few stories, including the story of The Golden Bird, as well as Hansel and Gretel, which is a nice reminder of the first season.

The Blue Fairy asked Tinkerbell how could she believe in her if Tink herself doesn’t believe in herself. Now that the Blue Fairy is gone, can Tink redeem and believe in herself?

3x10 The New Neverland Regina The Evil Queen's Curse Page Henry's Book
Inside Henry’s room, Pan-as-Henry was seen reading to the page where the curse is about to hit. Could Pan got the idea to re-use the curse from the book, or was it his plan all along?

3x10 The New Neverland Clocks in Henry's Room
There were also a lot of clocks that can be seen inside Henry’s room. Moreover, the Shadow was also freed at almost midnight.

Back in the diner, Rumple, for the first time, handed Charming the potion that could heal him of the Dreamshade potion. However, he also said that since they were family now, he might be expecting the Charming’s to be more than receptive.

David and Emma having a father-daughter talk is a great moment. Josh Dallas and Jennifer Morrison are both doing a great job acting as father-daughter. However, when David took Emma by the arm, it somehow looks like a wedding processional as he leads Emma to Neal.

Am I the only one who noticed Emma’s slight moment of jealousy when she saw Tink and Hook? What’s that about? I’m totally against that storyline and would much rather see Hook and Tink attempt a relationship than this silly Hook and Emma hoopla. But it does make you wonder what Emma is finding to be so appealing in Hook? Perhaps it’s his nod towards the “dark side” every so often. She seems to have a thing for the bad boy type… and Neal is too busy trying to play the “good father” to capture her attention.

— Dawn

Hook told Neal that he would stop pursuing Emma, but goes to woo Tink the next day. Are they going to Hook up? Is Emma feeling a bit jealous when they saw them together? Is Hook making Tink the rebound?

Before the Shadow ripped Blue Fairy’s shadow, Blue was heard screaming five times. Is there a significance to it? Why did the Shadow chose Blue’s shadow? Why didn’t Blue attempted to fight back?

I don’t think the Blue Fairy is completely out of the picture. Yes shadow stealing kills, but aren’t we all forgetting that Rumple is breathing just fine without his shadow? Plus this would add to the notion that the Blue Fairy is one of the most powerful (not sure if she’s good or bad just yet) magic-wielding characters in Storybrooke.

And thanks for having such as wonderful (and clean) podcast! I love it!

— Dawn

Is the Blue Fairy really dead? Or are there still some way to rescue her?

The first shocker had to be Blue Fairy’s death.  I still felt there was more story to be told with her (especially with a backstory and flushing out the “fairy rules” a little bit more).  The death felt a little be unsatisfactory. The thought that I am still clinging to is that a shadow can be reattached to its body.  There’s an interview where Adam and Eddy say a shadow can be reattached to its body, so maybe that will be part of the storyline this season.

— OnceWizard

Can Blue’s shadow still be reattached?

Maybe Pan killed Blue because she could stop him, and her sister was a dark fairy?

— Aleana

Is Blue actually one of the beings that can actually stop Pan? Was she the one who wrote the book? If the Blue Fairy wrote the book and Pan realized it’s what led Henry to Emma, maybe this is an action to prevent another book from being written before Pan’s new curse.

Firstly, I was incredibly disappointed with the MOTHER SUPERIOR in this episode.  I mean, seriously?  She is the “most powerful ish” person in Storybrooke and she is running around screaming from a shadow?

But I was also disappointed she died.  I wonder if people really die when their shadows are taken.  I HOPE she is not dead (or not dead yet)…. perhaps there is a time period after your shadow has been taken that it can be reattached to revive you.

If this is the case, I think that Tink is going to be key in saving BLUE.  I would hate to see Blue be gone forever the way she left things with Tinkerbelle.

I reckon Tinkerbelle will have to “believe” in herself enough to make the pixie dust work to reattach Mother Sup’s shadow.  At least, I hope this is what happens!

— ErinJ

Can Tink make the pixie dust work to save Blue? If Tink believed enough in herself, can she revive Blue and earn her wings back?

It was nice to see Belle keep Mr. Gold in check. Even if it seemed like he doesn’t want anything to do with whatever the Charming’s want, Belle is there to make him do the right thing. When they went to the town line to test whether the one in the box is Henry or Pan, Mr. Gold was seen with his shawl to retain his memories.

Down in Regina’s vault, it’s sad to see her get disappointed when she realized that she was tricked by Pan. On the other hand, how did Pan know which bottle to use against Regina and what was in it? Did Pan learn magic in preparation for enacting his plans?

As the rest are trying to get in, it seemed that Emma is taking her being a savior a bit too far and what it means for her life. Unfortunately, for Emma, the price of being a savior is she doesn’t get a day off.

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The curse

Pan-as-Henry told Felix that with the curse re-casted, time will stand still and everyone will forget who they are. But without Snow and Charming’s true love woven in, even Emma (and Henry) will be powerless to break it. Once re-casted, Pan and Felix will be in charge, making Storybrooke the new Neverland. But what else will the curse really do?

How is Peter Pan going to cast the curse? Don’t you have to kill the thing you love the most? We see he doesn’t love anyone but himself. I hate that we have to wait 12 weeks for the second half of the season, but I look forward to listening to your podcast.

— Aleana

Who does Pan love that would suffice for him to enact the curse? Even if he keeps saying that he does not regret abandoning his son, Rumpelstiltskin, he is still his son. Will he take his son’s heart, then?

In order to enact the curse Pan must sacrifice the thing he loves most. I wonder if it has to be the thing Pan loves the most or if it might be the thing Henry loves the most since Pan has Henry’s heart. Those possibilities are much more alarming.

— Gareth

Whom does Henry love most? If it was Emma, Regina, Neal, or his grandparents, the risks would certainly be more dangerous.

I think that Pan switched bodies not only to stay out of the box, but because it was a last ditch effort for him to obtain the heart of the truest believer. I think it’s still up in the air as to whether or not he has Henry’s heart so my theory here is that Pan now has it because he is in Henry’s body. Up until this episode, we thought he wanted it so he could be immortal and that might have been true, but now I think he needs it because it is the thing he loves the most. It is his prized possession and he needs it in order to use the curse. I love the podcast and I know it takes a lot of work. Your fans appreciate it. Thanks!

— Sara

If having a dark can enact a powerful curse, does one with a pure heart such as Henry makes it even more powerful?

I hope they will maintain or enhance the consistency of stories especially in the back stories…I can only imagine how can i survive without once upon a time after next sunday. may be when Pan enacts the curse, then all the fairy tale characters will be shuffled.haha example: Snow white will be one of the dwarfs.. haha or Rumplestiltskin will become the giant.. haha then that would be annoying.. and comedic.

— Gembil

Although they may not go that far, the character shuffle would definitely be interesting. But is the show going to stay this way? Knowing the creators, anything is definitely possible.

As far as the curse, I pray we do not have to revisit the idea of Emma being the savior and waking everyone up yet again. That would be too much to endure. However, if the real Henry wakes everyone up, then that would definitely help his desire to want to be a hero just like the rest of his family.

Ducking from the curse cloud,

— Dawn

Since Henry is connected, is it possible that Henry would be the only one to retain his memories?

What if Emma has to make a huge sacrifice such as almost dying in order to stop the curse from affecting the ones she loves and the town itself. She is constantly saying she is “The Savior” but isn’t doing much saving. My thoughts are that as long as Emma is in the town the curse will not effect the memories of all the residents, however Emma will be in a delicate state and Regina and Rumple will be called upon to assist their ‘Step-Grand-Daughter / Henry’s mom’ & ‘Unofficial Daughter-in-law / Bae’s love.’  Let me know what you think. As always loving your amazing crazy podcasts!

— Amanda

Being a savior definitely have some sacrifices to make and Emma is not immune to them.

If the curse is cast:

a) I wonder if some people might be able to escape it, perhaps Ariel could swim back to Neverland, perhaps they could take a portal to another world. Neal mentioned ruby slippers when he was searching his father’s palace in 3×01. Perhaps some of them will escape to Oz.

B) I wonder if the curse might actually send them to another world. I’m convinced that the series will eventually go to Oz, so I keep working it in, but the curse cloud could be like a cyclone.

C) Perhaps the curse will not actually remove memories, people will just end up being scattered to different worlds, the enchanted forest, neverland, the colorless world, etc.

D) Perhaps the curse will not affect people in other worlds, in which case Aurora, Mulan, and others would know who people really are.

— Gareth

Can anyone escape this new curse? Where else would they go?

I think the curse will send them all to the Enchanted Forrest, where they don’t remember their Storybrooke selves. (This one stretches perhaps to the season finale.) In the Enchanted Forrest, Regina will find Robin Hood, and they will finally share true love’s kiss which will break the curse. This will restore everybody’s memories, and they will have thwarted Peter Pan’s last attempt at succeeding.

— OnceWizard

After Tinkerbell has hinted Regina’s soulmate, can the curse be broken once Regina and Robin Hood shared a true love’s kiss?

I don’t think that the initial prophecy of “the boy being his undoing” is completely finished, as Belle suggested to Rumple. What if “Henry” is still his undoing, but just while Pan has possession of his form? Just makes sense since all of the other prophecies the Seer made did come true… regardless of how they exactly played out (I.e. soldier’s riding on cows really meant riding on cowhide saddles) .

— Dawn

Is the prophecy about Rumple and the boy being his undoing far from over? Can Henry still be Rumple’s undoing? What would the curse do to anyone? Will another beloved character die? Tell us your feedback regarding “The New Neverland” by sending us an email or using the comment section below. You can also join us in the forum, where you can share your thoughts and theories with other Oncers regarding the episode, “The New Neverland.”

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  • Matt

    I suspect that the blue fairy was killed because the solution to stopping pan involves pixie dust and she is the only fairy we know of (and pan knows of) that can do that. This paves the way for Tink to have to step up and believe in herself (which pan obviously isn’t counting on) and save the day. It fits with blues final words to tink as well.

    • http://DanielJLewis.net/about Daniel J. Lewis

      I like that theory. It would give Tink her redemption that seemed hinted in this episode.

  • Rams

    Hook backs-off honorably for Henry’s sake and hits on Tink in a heart-broken drunken momentary lapse of judgement, and you start shipping her with Tink (poor Tink) and get disgusted with him. Hook has behaved like a man of Honor ever since he came back with the Bean. You guys really struggle with giving Hook the benefit of the doubt, don’t you? ;-) Captain Swan all the way!!

    • http://DanielJLewis.net/about Daniel J. Lewis

      Like I said in the episode, Hook has been more honorable lately and trying to overcome the “pirate” label.

    • Shandelle

      Agree with everything you say here, Rams. One of my biggest struggles/gripes with this podcast is lack of objectivity. It’s like no matter what, episode after episode, they refuse to accept the possibility that Hook may actually be Emma’s true love. To date, the only real argument I’ve seen them give for Emma/Neal is that “it’s just right because they have a kid.” But to be honest, I have seen very little evidence that Emma and Neal are compatible whatsoever. Neal ditched Emma, didn’t come back for her even upon knowing the curse broke and is the root cause for so many of her personal issues and flaws. He is the cause of most of the pain she suffered her entire adult life. Just because they produced a child does NOT mean they belong together. Maybe you could argue that I’m being overly objective about this because my parents are divorced (to be fair, my parents only split up this year and I’m 31). Compatibility is HUGE in determining longterm happiness and success between partners, whether married or simply in a monogamous relationships. I just don’t see it between Neal and Emma.

      Neal does not UNDERSTAND HER the way Hook appears to. I think the main, and perhaps only, reason Snow is pushing Emma toward Neal is because she doesn’t have the foggiest idea what he did to her to cause all the pain in her life and because she doesn’t fully comprehend that first loves do not necessarily mean true loves. Fortunately, Charming actually seems more in tune with his daughter’s emotions and is picking up on her potential feelings for Hook. Emma is clearly conflicted and it annoys me greatly that these podcasters refuse to accept that might be the way the writers are going with this story. Suddenly shipping Hook with Tink over one scene is such a cop out. He was clearly drunk and unhappy. Tink wasn’t in the Echo Cave to hear his revelation of feelings for Emma; her response to Hook about wishing to use her to get over Emma was 100% her picking up on his feelings for the Lady Swan. Why not just acknowledge this??

      • Shandelle

        And can we please acknowledge that Tink was a fairy who felt driven to help people find their true loves?? Aka Regina & Robin! If Tink is picking up on Hook/Emma, why are these podcasters apparently oblivious to this possibility? Just sayin.

        • http://DanielJLewis.net/about Daniel J. Lewis

          Tink made the mistake of practically encouraging Regina to commit adultery. Not cool.

          Tink can simply see that Hook is after Emma, but she hasn’t said anything about their needing to be together.

          • Shandelle

            Well my take on this is that perhaps Tink has the ability to use pixie dust to determine true loves. Sure, it may have been bad timing if Robin was with Maid Marian at that point (and I totally disagreed with her comment to Regina in Neverland about causing him unhappiness by not meeting him in the bar, because he has Roland from that relationship and loves the child dearly, there is nothing unhappy about that at all). However, two people meeting does not necessarily end in adultery. When I met my current spouse in a bar in college, he was with someone else. Three years later, we ended up together. But no cheating occurred at all. Sometimes just meeting someone and establishing a platonic friendship can lead to happiness and love down the road. It doesn’t mean one must cheat on someone for that to happen eventually. With this show, anything is possible. I don’t think they’re trying to condone adultery in their rewriting of classic fairy tale characters.

          • Rams

            I too was uncomfortable with Rink’s apparent encouragement of adultery. But Regina said that her marriage was a sham. We don’t even know if it was consummated. The King married Regina in order to get a mother for Snow. Besides, it doesn’t have to be adultery. King Leopold was an honorable man. He may have released Regina from the marriage honorable if he realized how unhappy she was and how much he had neglected her.

          • Rams

            I need sleep! “Tink”, not “Rink”. “honorably”, not “honorable”. Sheesh!

          • Shandelle

            Exactly. I just realized my comment wasn’t taking into consideration that Regina was married to Snow’s father at that point. I think I lose sight of that sometimes because she was forced into that marriage by Cora. Anyway, just because two married folks meet does not mean they’ll commit adultery. I don’t think the show was really trying to imply that either. Regina was miserable in her forced marriage (surely that sort of behavior is not inline with the podcasters beliefs either, forcing someone to marry another because of physical threat to one’s life). Even if Leopold’s intentions were honorable and genuine in just wanting a good mother figure for Snow, unbeknownst to him Regina was forced to marry him. Had he truly understood the position Cora put her in, he may have called the whole thing off. And we were already shown that Snow tried to put a stop to the wedding by telling Cora.

            I think the writers’ sole intent with this was to provide Regina with HOPE that a second love existed for her and that she wasn’t trapped forever in an unhappy sham marriage. She tried to commit suicide!! Drastic measures needed to be taken to prove to her that she wasn’t necessarily fated to a miserable existence with someone she didn’t love, on top of bitter resentment toward her own mother who was emotionally and psychologically abusive on top of murdering her first love! If anything, I have extreme amounts of sympathy for Regina here because she had no control over the situation at all, fearing for her life. She was forced into the marriage against her will by Cora’s threats. I suppose she could have been more forthright with Leopold about this but she feared for her life. To be honest, her committing adultery is the last thing I was worried about when I watched this all go down initially.

      • Mikel

        Neal not understanding Emma? He knows how she feels, he knows why it is hard for her. Is a pity the writers are using stupid triangle clichés to create drama instead of dealing with this in a more mature way. Hook has done way too many bad things, you can’t trust a guy like that, you never know when he’s going to betray your trust again, Neal is far from perfect, but has never been as bad as the pirate.

        • Rams

          Hook is on a redemption arc (more believable than no-regrets Regina’s). This show is all about second chances. Good Form showed why Killian Jones went off the beaten path into some dark places. Hook has been rediscovering his honorable side ever since he came back with the Bean at the end of Season 2. While Neal has not been a pirate, he is far from being a saint. He was a thief and con artist. Besides, he caused a lot of long-term emotional pain to Emma, some of which was permanent (Emma will never get her lost years with Henry back). I don’t see why Emma has to wade through all that betrayal and pain and get back with Neal when she herself wants to move on.

      • Rams

        I too am really frustrated with the way Hook is handled in the podcast. I understand being a SwanFire shipper, but as a recapper, one loves to hear objectivity.

        I agree with all your points why Emma and Neal won’t work. Emma and Neal don’t need to get together for Henry’s sake. Henry already has another parent–Regina. This show is about the unique way families can be made. Should we start shipping SwanQueen or QueenFire or SwanQueenFire so all of Henry’s parents can be together? Neal and Emma were not married when Emma had Henry, she was 17 (and Neal was 24) when she got pregnant and Neal and left without a trace before she found she was pregnant. He put her through a lot of misery (without fully realizing what he did), and for Emma to go back to Neal would be like going back to an unhealthy relationship. They were petty thieves and con artists together!! There is nothing romantic about their past relationship.

        They have been building up Hook/Emma for along time. It’s one thing not to like that pairing, but to not even acknowledge that it is happening is really bizarre to me! On the other hand, Tink gets shipped with Hook because he hit on her when he was heartbroken and drunk. Shipping Tink with Hook is not fair to Tink–she does not deserve to be anybody’s rebound. Besides, Hook doesn’t jump from woman to woman–Emma is the first person he loved after Milah.

        • http://DanielJLewis.net/about Daniel J. Lewis

          For clarification, ONCE – Once Upon a Time podcast is a privately held property of a private company. It’s also not a “recap” podcast but a “theories and discussion” podcast. Technical detail, but I wanted to point that out.

          The beautiful thing about redemption is that any person can change when they turn from their wrong (repent) and make lasting change. As we’ve said in the podcast, Hook is making changes and trying to move away from his bad past, but he has never apologized of the wrongs he has done.

          I would love to see Hook fully vindicated, but this probably won’t come in the show until he sacrifices his life so that Emma and Neal can be together as his last expression of love for Emma (that’s my prediction of what he’ll do).

          • Rams

            Fair enough, Daniel–the way you run your podcast is your business. However, I hope you understand that I am not merely bashing, but expressing my frustration as long-term listener of the podcast and as someone who has recommended it to people over time.

            Regarding Hook’s redemption: Sometimes showing you are sorry can be more rewarding than just saying the words. Regina apologized to Henry several times last years, but was quick to backslide every time things didn’t go her way. Her redemption arc only started truly when she tried to save Storybrooke by choosing to sacrifice herself.

            I agree it is satisfying to hear someone say they are sorry. But it can be as satisfying to see them act sorry. Hook’s repentance is shown by the different choices he is currently making when compared with the past. It started when he came back to help save Storybrooke last Season. He stopped merely thinking of himself and started acting selflessly. He gave up on revenge when he realized how empty its pursuit was, and took Emma’s offer to be part of something bigger. He allowed Rumpel on his ship. He refused to take Pan’s deal in Neverland when he had taken it in the past. He helped save Charming’s life at the risk of his own, when he has left people to die before. He was complicit in Milah’s abandonment of her son before. This time, he is complicit in Emma’s desire to put her son first. He potentially sacrificed his chance at winning Emma, first by helping rescue Neal, and second by backing off temporarily for the sake of Henry. The only bad habit he has gone back to is his rum, and that shows he is human and not some unbelievable Gary Stu.

            I do think that Hook may well end up sacrificing his life to save Henry or Emma or Storybrooke. That’s part of the Hero’s Journey (and Hook is of the Byronic Hero archetype). But it may not be a permanent death (True Love’s kiss), and it definitely won’t pave the way for Emma/Neal. But that’s just my opinion.

        • Mikel

          So Hook deserves all the second chances in the world but not Neal? I hope this is not another case of preferring a character just because the actor is better looking. Neal is a better person than Hook, he’s not using another woman as a rebound or make Emma jealous. And if Emma is tired of both, she can remain single for a while till she’s ready, she’s busy enough being the savior and a mother. Hook can redeem himself by remaining honorable, but going after Tink (or other women) is not right, he has too many issues, he’s not trustworthy.

          • Rams

            Neal deserves second chances too. But I don’t see Emma giving him one romantically. I actually like Neal, and I hope he gets lots of character development. What I am seeing in the show is his arc centering around Rumpel and Henry, not Emma. But again, that’s my opinion. Please don’t dismiss my opinions as invalid because you think I find Colin prettier than Michael. That’s a cheap shot.

          • Shandelle

            I completely agree. I think Neal’s focus on the show is with re-establishing his relationship with his father and being a part of Henry’s life. I don’t see his current arc having anything romantically to do with Emma. She didn’t show up for his ultimatum lunch date because she DIDN’T WANT TO and only started to give it a chance due to urging from her parents. She was clearly jealous at the thought of Hook/Tink and I really think we’ll see more evidence of all of this tomorrow night. :) I don’t watch this show with “shipper goggles” or whatever. I think so many signs and hints have been made pointing to Hook/Emma way way more so than Neal/Emma.

          • Shandelle

            The difference is that Hook hasn’t ever had a first chance with Emma that he abused. Where as Neal ditched her the first time and because he was cowardly about facing his father, chose not to seek her out once the curse broke. Neal has had more than once chance. Hook hasn’t been given a chance at all yet, because Emma is so severely scarred and broken by Neal’s actions, that she struggles to trust new people. And don’t forget that Neal told Emma had he known who she was, he wouldn’t have gone near her. Neal disapproves of magic because it tore apart his family and his relationship with his father. I think Neal’s storyline this season is about re-establishing that relationship with Rumple and being a part of Henry’s life. I’ve read so many compelling arguments for Hook/Emma vs Neal/Emma at this point, and those folks seem to argue it far more eloquently than I ever could… I guess just go read some arguments on the Captain Swan tag on tumblr or whatever.

            At this point, I honestly think Neal is just being used as a plot device to keep Hook and Emma apart in order to create more angst and drama. Emma even questioned her perceived motives that her parents were attempting to PUSH her toward Neal as a means to keep her away from Hook, which she spoke with Charming about last week. She voiced her feelings to Neal in the Echo Cave and reiterated those feelings to him once they were outside. Neal’s “I’ll never stop fighting for you” spiel was stated OUTSIDE the caves (something that I believe was done purposely, indicating that Neal abandoned her before and that his word can’t necessarily be trusted moving forward). I just keep seeing so many articles and posts about things the writers are putting before us that make a compelling argument on their own.. Regina saying, “You have.. ‘this person.. ‘ and a pirate that pines for you” etc. The looks between Hook & Emma. The fact that this past episode saw zero interaction between the two since Neverland and they were both miserable. I think the writers’ intentions seem painfully obvious.

            Just because some fans don’t like Hook doesn’t mean he hasn’t been groomed as a possible true love for Emma for many episodes now. I think this was what Rams and I were initially complaining about. I’ve been listening to this podcast for a few months now and of all the OUAT podcasts I listen to, this one has the least amount of objectivity.. It seems like they are so desperate for Neal/Emma to happen because it fits with their religious beliefs of “man & woman have a child, they must be together,” that they grasp at anything to off load Hook to another female character and totally discredit that maybe Hook/Emma is actually the writers’ intent all along. I think so many many hints have been made to point us toward Hook/Emma that it’s hard to totally discount that pairing anymore. And I don’t think the writers believe he has to totally redeem himself by dying so Neal/Emma can be a thing. I think Hook just backing off temporarily to give Henry’s parents a fair shot will be enough in their eyes.

          • Rams

            I just want to make this clear–I intended no comment on the podcasters’ religious beliefs or how it may influence their opinions.
            I do agree that it seems strange to me that they fail to even give credence to the signs of an Emma/Hook romance, even if they don’t like it or think it won’t work out in the long run. Oh well… we shall know sooner or later what directions that writers are taking us…

          • http://DanielJLewis.net/about Daniel J. Lewis

            We’ve talked about it plenty of times, but simply don’t prefer it. Everyone has their preferred relationship.

          • Shandelle

            My apologies. I don’t want to put words/arguements into anyones’ mouths. I wasn’t trying to offend.