This week on the True Adventures of Drawn-Out Plotlines Gone Far Too Wrong, oh, what a tangled genetic web we weave, and more daddy issues than you should try to fit in forty minutes of Sunday night programming. Also, I hope you like dad jokes, because this recap is chock full of them.
The episode opens on a Rumpleforeskin flashback to Young Rumpleforeskin on the street with his father, whose job is tricking people into picking from one of three cards in Ye Olde Greenscreen Village. Shockingly, this is not going well for the family income, nor for RumpleDad’s spleen. He gets the shit beat out of him a lot. This upsets Young Rumpleforeskin. Why can’t his dad just do normal dad things, like get invested in sports he wasn’t even that good at in high school and wearing socks with sandals?
Some important things that keep bothering me: Why is Rumpleforeskin’s accent different than his dad’s? Why would you develop that highly specific Scottish accent if your dad does not have a highly specific Scottish accent and you have been raised by your dad and your dad only? Why doesn’t Neal have Rumpleforeskin’s accent when he was raised by his dad and his dad only? WHY DOES ANYONE ON THIS FUCKING SHOW TALK THE WAY THAT THEY DO?
Wendy’s still “sick” the way that I was “sick” when I was trying to get out of kissing my boyfriend that I had for two weeks before I broke up with him via email. Ugh, feigning straightness was such a lame boring drag, guys. Henry is still falling for Wendy’s shitty schtick like all that raising Regina did was for naught: somehow he still turned out like a fucking Charming, complete with that blank stare when the line coach is too busy shoving down a bagel. Remember when Henry was Bobby Draper, but they replaced him with a Bobby Draper who could handle a speaking part? I liked you when you weren’t happily walking into threatening situations, Henry.
Regina and Rumpleforeskin have got Pandora’s Box and they’re ready to destroy Pan with a method that is, as usual, vague and requires a lot of walking across the jungle soundstage. Regina says that they’re the only team that ever gets anything done, which is true. So far, the Charmings have managed to berate their daughter about her sex life and get themselves physically tethered to this godforsaken island. Such a useful people. Regina and Rumpleforeskin, however, are gonna conquer that shit, even if they are not the ideal pairing.
Back in Ye Olde Green Screen Village, Baby Rumpleforeskin is getting dropped off at spin class. I’m sorry, that was a terrible pun. Actually, RumpleDad is doing the old Deadbeat Dad Abandonment Shuffle and leaving Yung Rump with two random ladies who have spinning wheels in their house. Any backstory on these women is totally lost to us, but we weren’t expecting it anyway because we made the decision to tune into Once Upon A Time, where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.
Over on the other side of the ten by ten jungle soundstage, Snow and Emma are talking about, what else? Fun heterosexual stuff. Snow and the Charmin Bear are actually pretty down with this ‘stay on Neverland and conceive replacement children’ plan. I mean, they already abandoned Emma once. What more damage could they possibly do as parents who have literally told their daughter that they want to replace her with another child? It’s not like Emma has frequently alluded to her deep-seated issues involving abandonment and trust.
Note that in this episode, Charming and Snow can’t stop holding hands because they read in their Being “Good” Characters handbooks that holding hands is sex, and they’re trying to spice up the relationship. Later in the season, they will conceive a child due to what they have been calling “elbow touching.”
Troop Pollyanna Advanced has a run-on with, surprise! Team Mommy AND Daddy Issues. Neal says that Rumpleforeskin is here to kill Henry because it was foretold or something, who the fuck knows anymore. Everyone pulls out their shiny phallic objects against Rumple because Henry because prophecy prophecy blah blah blah. I love how everyone has a shiny phallic object except for Regina, who has magic hands. This show is so gay that there could be two girls fingerblasting in the background and I would not even blink an eye. Emma’s expression during this scene is priceless:
Also, what the fuck is up with Neal’s hair? It looks like someone hung him upside down and squirted lube all over his head. Has his hair always had that unfinished grey sheen to it? Jesus, is he aging prematurely or some shit? He looks rough as hell, like three day hangover and last week’s tampon rough.
Yung Rumpleforeskin is apparently good at spinning yarn. Hey Disney, quick reminder that you never made a Rumplestiltskin movie and thus nothing about this backstory is exciting or nostalgia-bait for our childhood selves. The two ladies in the recycled plastic headwraps tell him that his father is not coming back for him because his dad is a deadbeat piece of shit, and thus he needs to take this magical crystal bean thing and go live his own life. Good thing he’s seven years old and totally ready for that!
Back in the present day – and by day I mean night, because it’s always night on Neverland, which has never actually been explained and thus I chalk up to lighting being outside of the budget this season – where Neal is explaining to Rumple how he doesn’t trust him and never will. But surprise! After an intense Daddy Issues Showdown, Rumple turns out to have the deepest daddy issues on this show. He hates Pan because Pan ruined his father, and his father was the reason for all of his trust issues. Because he wants people to trust him in a way that he never trusted his own daddy, he hands the Pandora’s Box over to Neal. He’s also like, wow, get a haircut and a face reconstruction, you look like three week old shit after a couple hard rains.
In the past world of Ye Olde CGI Backlot, Rumple wants to save his father from the eventual ruin of his gambling addiction, so they decide to go to Neverland because no one there knows of his father’s reputation as a cheating drunk. That’s definitely the most realistic plan.
Back to Jungle2Jungle, and the big happy family, most of which is technically family, is walking across the island to Camp Pan. Fucking finally? My question: Where the fuck are they always walking to? Why are all these furtive glances and deep conversations happening while they trek from one end of the jungle soundstage to the other? I’m pretty sure this is the first time they’re heading to the specific goal of the entire mission because otherwise they’ve just been doing random pointless side quests that involve copious amounts of walking. I feel like the tagline of this show should be “It’s Not The Destination, It’s The Journey. Also No One Is Gay, Shut Up About That, We Gave You Mulan So What More Do You Want Already, Stop Sending Us Angry Tweets.”
Emma wants to talk to Hook. Holy fuck, is anyone on this island NOT interested in pointless processing? They want to save Charmin Bear so he doesn’t have to live on the island forever, and he and Snow can go conceive that replacement baby they keep talking about. Oh, Emma. Honey. Are you really trying to help enable your own shitty parents’ abandonment of you? Rumpleforeskin says there’s a way to save Charming from getting stuck on Neverland, but he’s the only one who can do it. Of course he is. There’s no such thing as a plot point on this show that doesn’t revolve around a poorly developed gimmick about magical limitations.
Additional thought about these group scenes: I like Tink but if that bandana isn’t a hooky cover, there is just no point to it. It’s clashing with her outfit so badly that I’m convinced she got dressed in the dark after leaving a group orgy. One can only hope. Also, we know how much queers love bandanas and for those of you wondering, she is indeed flagging BDSM.
Once they get to the camp, there’s a brief debriefing on the best way to disarm all the Lost Boys. But don’t worry dummies, Regina’s got this.
Ugh, Regina is so fucking effective. I swoon.