Once Upon a Time continues to pick up steam with this week’s “Think Lovely Thoughts”. It has suspense, drama, and a little comedy, all things that caused us to fall in love with Once back in the very beginning. “Think Lovely Thoughts” definitely maneuvers its way into the Once Hall of Fame and the writers prove to us, once again, that they still have some dandy little tricks up their sleeves.
The episode’s main focus is on saving Henry. We are also graced with another welcome glimpse into Rumplestiltskin’s past life. This story demonstrates that the writers are still very capable of creating magical episodes like those from the first season. This week they spend extra time crafting and molding Rumple’s childhood story. We always knew that his father abandoned him, but we never really knew how it happened. Finally we are treated to the answer and it’s an absolute jaw dropper. When it is revealed that Pan is actually Rumplestiltskin’s father the show does a complete one-eighty, showing us just how much these writers have up their sleeves. Not surprisingly, the cast standouts this week are Robbie Kay as Peter Pan and Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin. These two actors have delighted us back and forth throughout the season and Carlyle always commands whatever scene he is in, so to witness this shocking truth in the past storyline and then be treated to a father and son reunion in the present is fantastic.
Another main element of the past storyline is Pan interacting with the shadow that resides on Neverland. The shadow for the first time actually has a speaking role and the casting crew knock it out of the park with this one. Casting Marilyn Manson as the voice of this psychopathic shadow is absolutely perfect, bringing certain darkness to the voice, something that we would expect from this nightmare creature.
The music department needs to be commended as well. Music always plays a big part in setting a scene, whether in television or movies, and the score throughout here highlights just how intense “Think Lovely Thoughts” is. It conveys not only the psychotic madness of Pan, but the fear and urgency experienced by our group of heroes.
The only frustration this week is the ending, and it’s not even a complaint. It is just mere frustration at the writers for creating the torture of a cliffhanger ending. They have finally roped us back in and it seems that they plan on keeping us lassoed until the bound-to-be-epic winter finale.
“Think Lovely Thoughts” continues an upward trend that Once Upon a Time has been achieving over the past three weeks. Momentum is sure to continue building as we draw closer to the winter finale. We can only hope that it will reunite Henry with both our heroes in Neverland and the heroes in Storybrooke.