'Once Upon A Time's Peter Pan Asks Emma To Accept Who She Is And Other Psychological Warfare

Sunday's episode of ABC's fantasy series Once Upon A Time dug deep into the emotional scars of its main characters with a very familiar topic: orphans. Peter Pan, just as we feared, is a ruthless, little devil, whose favorite way to deal with Henry's family is to launch psychological warfare on them. The episode was aptly titled "Lost Girl" — we've got a handful of parents dealing with the reality that they orphaned their children (whether to save their lives or not, orphanage is orphanage) and Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is coming to terms with her own emotional baggage of being both an orphan and dealing with the guilt of orphaning Henry (Jared Gilmore). Will the original "bad parent" please stand up?

Rumple Has Daddy Issues...

Which probably explains why he was such a bad father to Neal/Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James). The pesky doll that seems to keep coming back in perfect condition after being thrown off of a cliff and burned to ashes is either a gift from Rumple's own father (another murky backstory?) or a past possession of Neal's. (Hence the Lost Boy referencing the incredible hold the past has on someone even after time has passed.) We have yet to learn why the doll has the power to bring him to tears, but it's his vision of Belle (Emilie de Ravin) that convinces him to let go of his pain and the past of deserting his own son and move forward to help Henry, even though legend says that he will be Rumple's undoing. The vision of Belle also assures him that Storybrooke is safe in the absence of basically the entire primary cast. So Rumple has always been a bad dad, but now we're learning that he might have had a bad dad as well? I guess we reap what we sow...

Mary-Margaret Wants Emma To Call Her "Mom"...

So this incredibly awkward moment happened finally. After two seasons of Emma calling her parents by their Storybrooke first names, Mary-Margaret/Snow decided to ask her to call them mom and dad because it'd be less "formal." Naturally, Emma refuses because she's such an orphan with a chip on her shoulder. She DID, however, call Snow "mom" last season during their time in the Enchanted Forest, so there's that, but she's really not ready to commit. I can imagine that it's a little weird for her to call Snow and Charming "mom and dad," considering she's technically the same age as them. And this is where Pan enters...

Peter Pan Wants Emma To Accept Who She Really Is...

So she can find Henry using the blank piece of paper he gave her. There's a map on the paper that she can only access by accepting her true self. At first, Emma thinks this means accepting that she is the "savior": WRONG. But it was kind of amusing watching her pace and say out loud all the things she "really is." (Kind of like when everyone was learning non-verbal spells at Hogwarts.) She gets sassy with her parents (did you guys really miss having to raise her as a teenager?) and Snow, the ever-motherly, tries to help her. She eventually admits that Neverland makes her feel like exactly what she was and still believes she is, an orphan: RIGHT. Emma feels like a Lost Girl. After saying the words out loud, the map appears and they have what they need to find Henry (yay!), but she still needs to learn to accept and forgive her parents.

Peter Pan Makes Emma Realize That She Orphaned Henry Too...

So, after she reveals the map, obviously Pan appears to pour some salt in the psychological wounds he's inflicted all episode. He applauds Emma for acknowledging her baggage and revealing the map but also gives her a harsh reality check: Henry doesn't forgive her for orphaning him and he probably never will. Oh, and also, he plans on killing her parents and probably Regina too because why not? He is a little demon after all. So Emma has only a short amount of time to take her newfound enlightenment and put it to good use, aka forgive her parents for pretty much saving her life and start calling them "mom and dad." As a sidenote to the fact that Pan plans on killing them all anyway, the episode ended on a shot of a grotesquely-pulsating wound in David/Charming's side (RIP Dad?), a souvenir from their scuffle with the Lost Boys earlier in the episode, so he could potentially be the first to go (wah). Pan playfully asks if he can call her "lost girl" and threatens that by the time she even gets to Henry, he'll already have become one of the Lost Boys because his feelings of abandonment will take over the longer he is Pan's hostage.

So we've got a lot of family baggage in Neverland and a manic, pixie demon-child playing tough-love therapist to all of the Storybrooke transplants on the island. He must be avoiding Regina because her mommy/daddy-issues wreak to so high of heaven that they're beyond Pan's meddling. Here's the thing about Pan — he's grossly underestimating the group of people he's dealing with here and as soon as they become privy to his mind games, they're more than capable of reversing them. (We've seen it before.) But until that time comes, we have Tinkerbell to look forward to next week and she isn't creepy-looking!

Image: ABC