ABC’s hit fantasy drama ONCE UPON A TIME returns tonight with its season 3 premiere called, “Heart of the Truest Believer.” On tonight’s show Emma, Snow, Charming, Rumplestiltskin, Hook and Regina enter Neverland to save Henry but are greeted by a school of not-so-friendly mermaids who threaten to end their search before it begins, and Neal – with Mulan’s aid in the Enchanted Forest – tries to discover the fates of Emma and Henry. Did you watch the last episode? We did and we recapped it here for you!
On last week’s show show the inhabitants of Storybrooke braced themselves for the end when Greg and Tamara detonated the trigger Regina had placed within the curse, with the annihilation of the town and its residents imminent; and Mr. Gold mourned the loss of his son, Bae/Neal. Meanwhile, back in Neverland of the past, Hook discovered his connection to a young Bae after he rescued him from the sea and soon realized that the Lost Boys are in hot pursuit of the boy.
On tonight’s show Emma, Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Mr. Gold and Hook enter Neverland to search for a kidnapped Henry, they’re greeted by a school of not-to-friendly mermaids who threaten to end their search before it begins; Henry finds himself on the run from the Lost Boys with another escapee from Peter Pan’s encampment; and Neal, recovering from his wounds, travels through the Enchanted Forest with Mulan in an attempt to learn the fates of Emma and Henry.
Tonight’s Season premiere is going to be exciting, and you won’t want to miss it. So be sure to tune in for our live coverage of the season 3 Premiere of Once Upon A Time — tonight at 8PM EST! While you wait for our recap, hit the comments and let us know how your excited you are about Once Upon A Time being back! Check out a sneak peek of tonight’s episode below!
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Eleven years ago: Emma is giving birth to Henry. The doctor tells her that she can still change her mind but she won’t look at him and says she can’t be a mother and they take him from the room. Back to now where Hook’s ship is coming out of the portal off the coast of Neverland.
Henry, Tamara and Greg come out of their portal into Neverland. Henry threatens them that his mothers are going to come after them. They brush it off as Henry realizes that they are there to destroy Neverland. Tamara tells Greg that she’s not getting any power in their communicator. They open it to find it filled with sand. Henry tells them their bosses aren’t giving them an escape route after they destroy it.
Hook tells Margaret about their plan to get ashore. She tells him that Greg called her a villain and that villains don’t get happy endings. Hook tells her that means they have wasted their lives.
Mary tells Emma that she can’t blame herself for Henry being captured. Emma tells her that this is Mary’s fault because of everything that she brought into her life. Mary tries to keep calm apologizing for them not being there as she grew up. Emma says he should have taken Henry and run after she broke the curse.
Gold tells them that he’s going to get Henry by himself because he believes Emma is not capable because she doesn’t believe. He tells her that their foe is too fierce for “hand-holding” and that they can’t take any chances. Gold disappears and his cane is the only thing left behind.
Tamara begins to doubt their plan as the Lost Boys come out of the woods and introduce themselves as the “home office” – that’s who Tamara and Greg have been unknowingly working for. Their mission wasn’t really to destroy magic – they just wanted Henry. They tell Greg he’s never going home and he says then they can’t have Henry. A shadowy spirit attacks and steals Greg’s soul (it looked like a shadow) and Tamara is shot with an arrow!
Henry gets pulled away from the pursuing lost boys by another wild looking boy. He tells Henry he used to be a Lost Boy and they’re after him too.
Hook walks in on Emma working out and she tells him she’s preparing for a fight. Hook tells her that he and Neil had spent a lot of time together. He hands her a dagger that was his and pours them both a drink as they toast Neil.
Neil wakes up with Mulan sitting at his bedside. He asks where he is to discover that he is back in the Enchanted Forest. He tries to get up but is still hurt and tells them that he has to go find Henry and Emma to make sure that they’re okay. Aurora tells him that there is a way for her to find them in their dreams and that she will deliver a message.
Hook and the others fight to hold the boat steady while mermaids attack the ship!
it wasn’t belle – that was aurora (sleeping beauty)
The mermaids are still attacking and Charming starts firing at them while Emma and Mary go fishing. Regina finds their antics too little and firebombs the water and puts an end to the lady fish issue.
Henry and his rescuer are still running from the rest of the Lost Boys. He recognizes that Henry isn’t from there and asks if the shadow brought him. Henry tells him that Pan had him kidnapped as the boy tells him that if Pan wants him, he’ll get him. Henry asks why he’s chasing him and he shows him his pixie dust that says maybe it can be a means of escape. The boy tells Henry about a cave that they can hide out in and they run for it.
Mulan asks Neil how he got there. He tells her about the portal. He also tells Mulan they made a good movie about her life and that everyone in his world thinks they’re stories. Aurora can’t find Henry and the others during her sleep and Neil says that his father would’ve left a way out of there and says he needs to go to his castle. They are shocked to learn who his father is.
Gold revives Tamara and she tells him what happened with the Lost Boys and that Pan wants Henry. Tamara asks Gold if she can forgive him for what she did and what happened to Neil. He says no. He takes her heart!
Hook tells them to get the mermaid off the ship. Regina tells them that they have to keep her hostage. The mermaid blows her shell horn and tells them to let her go or they’re all going to die.
Mulan asks Neil about what happened with Emma. He tells her about the curse and why he didn’t go after her. He tells her that it’s complicated. They chat about love and its challenges.
Henry and the boy are almost to the cave when the Lost Boys are almost upon them. When an arrow is shot into their path, Henry realizes they know about the cave and redirects his rescuer into another direction and they run into the jungle.
A storm begins to brew and they realize that’s what the mermaid called with the shell. Regina threatens her and Hook tells them that they can’t trust a mermaid. David pulls his sword on her and tells her to stop the storm. He almost cuts her throat buts stops and says they can’t be barbarians. They’re debating killing the mermaid or letting her go when Regina end the debate by turning the mermaid to stone. She thinks that will stop the storm, but instead it turns into a super-storm and a tsunami-like wave is nearly upon them.
Mulan and Neil walk into Rumple’s old castle. Neil realizes someone is there as an arrow lands in the door right in front of his face. He introduces himself as Robin Hood and asks what they’re doing in his castle. He tells him he’s Baelfire, Rumple’s son. Robin welcomes him to look around and doesn’t challenge the claim – he says no one would make that claim unless it was true.
Neil finds one of Rumple’s old walking sticks and twirls it in the air. A cloaking spell reveals a hidden chamber. Robin tells him that he had spun that stick a dozen times with nothing happening and Neil tells him that it was infused with blood magic.
Mary is yelling at Regina to free the mermaid. She punches Regina in the face and tells her she’s tired of her ruining her life. David comes to her defense, Hook joins in and they all start to brawl. Emma is yelling at them trying to say that they’re causing the storm with their anger. She fails at getting their attention and jumps off the ship into the raging waters as a last resort. But she’s struck with a piece of the ship breaking up and they all watch horrified as she sinks.
Henry and the boy are the end of the road on a cliff as he tells Henry they are done for. Henry takes his pixie dust and tells him that everyone knows it’s used for flying. The boy tried to say that it didn’t work but Henry tells him it only works if you believe. The boy says he doesn’t believe and Henry says it’s okay since he does. They take a running jump off the cliff as they open the pixie dust and fly into the sky as the Lost Boys catch up to where they were on the cliff.
They’re all on the edge of the ship looking for Emma. David ties a rope around himself and dives in after his daughter. He finds her and pulls her to the surface. The rest of them pull them back aboard the ship. Emma says “I told you” as the sky clears to show the moon through the storm.
In the jungle, Rumple yells out to come out and say hello. The lead Lost Boy tells him that Pan is interested in having him on the island and the he is welcome anytime. He also tells him that if he’s here for the boy he will not survive. Rumple tells him that the question is not whether he survives or not but how many of them he takes with him. The boy tells him that he’s sure they’ll meet again. Before he leaves he throws an old doll on the ground and tells Rumple that it’s amazing how something we forgot can still make us cry. Rumple is crying over the doll as the boy leaves.
Neil finds one of Rumple’s crystal balls in the cabinet but is having trouble getting it to work. Mulan tells him to think of Emma. He tries again and sees that she is in Neverland.
Emma and the rest are on the shore. She tells them she was as wrong as the rest of them but that they need to believe and work together. She continues to tell them that they don’t need to be friends to succeed but just to be who they are – heroes and villains alike. She ends with if any of them won’t help to get her son back then to get out of her way. She walks away and the rest follow.
Henry and his rescuer land in the winds after the pixie dust winds down. The boy reveals that he is Peter Pan. He explains that he’s been looking for the heart of the truest believer and that he proved it to him when he jumped off the cliff with only his faith and the pixie dust. Pan calls his boys out and they circle around him. He calls out “Let’s play!”Charming jumps into the water after his daughter and the others pitch in to haul them up to safety. It’s a scary moment but then Emma coughs up water and comes to. The clouds part and the moon shines through.
Gold takes a seat and tells the person who’s following him to come out. One of the Lost Boys comes out and tells him that Pan knows he’s there and that he’s welcome except that he can’t have Henry. He says if he’s there for the boy, he’s Pan’s enemy. Gold says nothing has changed. The boy says he won’t survive a confrontation with Pan and Gold says they’ll just have to see how many of them he takes out with him. The boy tosses a little doll at him and says it’s from Pan. He tells him it’s funny the things we don’t think about for years can still make us cry. Gold sobs looking at the little doll – it looks like a boy in a blue jacket…
Neil opens the magic doors and finds a cabinet full of magical objects. He finds a crystal ball but says it’s not working. Mulan instructs him to think of Emma rather than a place. He does it and sees her but realizes she’s in Neverland.
They come ashore and Regina tells them she can fix Hook’s ship and they can sneak attack from the water. Emma says it doesn’t matter because Hook knows they’re there. She tells them they need to believe not in magic but in each other. Regina asks if she wants them to be friends. Emma says no – that they just need to realize that they have to work together – to do whatever it takes. Charming says they need to do it the right way and Emma says that they need to do it however they can.
Henry and his buddy fly up on the shore as his family walks way and come crashing down in the trees. He reveals to Henry that he’s not a rescuer – that he’s Peter Pan. Henry asks why he’s brought him there and Pan says he needed the heart of the truest believer. He says that when he took the pixie dust and jumped he proved it and now Henry will be his. He calls for the Lost Boys and they surround Henry. Pan says “Let’s play.”