Once Upon a Time (season 3)

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Once Upon a Time Season 3
Once Upon a Time Season 3.jpg
Region 1 DVD cover art
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Original runSeptember 29, 2013 (2013-09-29) – May 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1August 19, 2014 (2014-08-19)[1]
Region 2October 20, 2014
Blu-ray Disc release
Region AAugust 19, 2014 (2014-08-19)[1]
Region BOctober 20, 2014
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
List of Once Upon a Time episodes
 
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Once Upon a Time Season 3
Once Upon a Time Season 3.jpg
Region 1 DVD cover art
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Original runSeptember 29, 2013 (2013-09-29) – May 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1August 19, 2014 (2014-08-19)[1]
Region 2October 20, 2014
Blu-ray Disc release
Region AAugust 19, 2014 (2014-08-19)[1]
Region BOctober 20, 2014
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
List of Once Upon a Time episodes

The third season of the American ABC fantasy-drama Once Upon a Time was announced on May 10, 2013. Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis also noted that the season would be split into two volumes, with the first premiering on September 29, 2013 throughout autumn, and the second beginning March 9, 2014 through spring.

The first volume's plot revolved around the main characters traveling to Neverland from Storybrooke to retrieve a kidnapped Henry Mills from the possession of Peter Pan. After successfully retrieving Henry, the characters returned to Storybrooke, only to be returned to their original worlds following Pan's new Curse, leaving Emma Swan and Henry to escape to New York City. The second plot followed the characters' past journey in the Enchanted Forest and how they were brought back to Storybrooke by the Wicked Witch of the West, while also documenting Emma's mission to break the new Curse and save her family. New characters introduced in the season include the main antagonists of the two volumes: Peter Pan and the Wicked Witch of the West, in addition to Tinker Bell, Ariel, Prince Eric, Ursula, Medusa, Rapunzel, Lumiere, the Wizard of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch, the Good Witch of the North, the Witch of the East, Dorothy Gale, Blackbeard, and Elsa.[2]

The season premiere was watched by 8.52 million viewers, achieving an adult 18-49 rating/share of 2.6/7.[3] The mid-season finale received critical acclaim from critics with many praising the episode's ending, Mr. Gold's fate, and the flash-forward technique used. The spring premiere brought in the highest viewing figures since the season's second episode, earning the highest weekly viewership rank for the series since the second episode of the second season in October 2012. The episode was met with positive reviews, with critics complimenting the unpredictable nature of the new story lines created by the writers and producers. The 2-hour season finale was watched by 6.8 million viewers, with an adult rating/share of 2.3/7, becoming the least-viewed season finale yet, despite the improved ratings.[4] On May 8, 2014, the series was renewed for a fourth season, which will premiere in Fall 2014.[5]

Plot[edit]

Promotional poster for the first half of the season, portraying the characters' journey to Neverland to retrieve Henry Mills from Peter Pan.

In Neverland, Henry Mills (Jared S. Gilmore) is taken by Greg Mendell (Ethan Embry) and Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green) through the jungle, only for his captors to be killed, leaving him to flee from the real Home Office - the Lost Boys. Henry teams up with a fellow runaway, who later reveals to Henry that he is in fact Peter Pan (Robbie Kay) and wants Henry as he owns the "heart of the truest believer".[6] With help from the Lost Boys, Pan keeps Henry away from his family, playing games with them and attempting to brainwash Henry into believing that he is the only one to save magic in Neverland. Simultaneously, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), Mary Margaret Blanchard (Ginnifer Goodwin), David Nolan (Josh Dallas), Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla), Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), and Captain Killian "Hook" Jones (Colin O'Donoghue) successfully arrive in Neverland, though Gold leaves the party to search for Henry on the island himself. Emma elects to lead the crew on a direct assault route, declaring that they must believe in each other in order for them to succeed in Neverland. They later track down Tinker Bell (Rose McIver) who reluctantly agrees to help them, after making up with Regina following their past experiences. David keeps his secret of being struck by a Dreamshade infused arrow from the rest of the group, in order to stay focused on their mission to save Henry.[7]

Meanwhile, Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-James) awakens in the Enchanted Forest, being tended to by Princess Aurora (Sarah Bolger), Prince Phillip (Julian Morris), and Mulan (Jamie Chung). It is later revealed that Mulan has romantic feelings for Aurora, though she does not tell Aurora of her feelings, instead deciding to join Robin Hood (Sean Maguire)'s group of Merry Men when Aurora reveals that she is expecting a baby with Phillip.[7] With further assistance from Hood, Neal manages to use Pan's shadow to travel to Neverland and locate Emma, though he is captured by Pan. Emma, her parents and Hook later retrieve Neal from the Echo Caves upon revealing their darkest secrets; Hook reveals his true love for Emma, Mary Margaret confesses to wanting another baby once back in Storybrooke, David reveals his injury, and Emma tells Neal that she wished he was really dead as she did not want to revisit all of the pain she had been through of losing him again. The group then capture Pan's shadow in Dark Hollow, while Henry accepts Pan's challenge of saving magic at Skull Rock.[8]

Rumplestiltskin summons his own shadow in an effort to bury his dagger and hide it from others. An illusion of Belle (Emilie de Ravin) regularly visits him in the jungle, though it is later revealed she is Pan's shadow in disguise attempting to steer Rumplestiltskin from his mission. He then collaborates with Regina, summoning the mermaid Ariel (Joanna García Swisher) to retrieve Pandora's Box from Gold's shop in Storybrooke. After Belle protects Storybrooke with a barrier spell, she successfully sends Ariel back with the item, following their misunderstanding with John (Matt Kane) and Michael Darling (James Immekus), who were enlisted by Pan to do everything he says, otherwise he will harm their sister Wendy (Freya Tingley).[8] Rumplestiltskin and Regina later rejoin the rest of the group, though they doubt his true intentions after he reveals the prophecy of Henry being his undoing. To prove himself, Rumplestiltskin travels to Skull Rock to confront Pan, who is shown to be a younger version of his father Malcolm who abandoned him in Neverland years ago. Instead of capturing Pan in Pandora's Box, Rumplestiltskin is placed inside by Pan, who then tricks Henry into giving him his heart from his body.[9] The group then set about to save him, with Regina retrieving his heart and resurrecting him. Rumplestiltskin is released by Neal, then trapping Pan inside the box instead after he discovers him attempting to rip Henry's shadow. The residents of Neverland all aboard the Jolly Roger and travel home to Storybrooke, using Pan's shadow to fly the ship. However, Pan has secretly inhabited Henry's body after switching before being trapped.[10]

Pan (acting as Henry) plays games with the residents, temporarily killing Mother Superior (Keegan Connor Tracy) by unleashing his shadow. Rumplestiltskin gives David an antidote for his dreamshade poisoning, which successfully cures him. After Emma believes that Henry is not himself, she demands that Gold opens Pandora's Box to confront "Pan". After sharing intimate details of their relationship, Henry is welcomed by his family once more, while Pan steals Regina's original curse,[11] using Felix's heart to enact it. The residents prepare to fight back; Tinker Bell successfully destroys Pan's shadow, reviving Mother Superior, who gives them the Black Fairy's wand to return Pan and Henry to their correct bodies. Regina falls unconscious upon touching the curse's scroll and seeing what needs to be done. Pan awakens and removes Rumplestiltskin's magic, seeking out the town's residents to kill them. However, Rumplestiltskin confronts Pan and summons his own shadow from Neverland with his dagger. Finally ready for redemption, he stabs both himself and Pan, sacrificing them to prevent his curse. The distraught others are then informed by Regina that she must undo her original curse that will return everyone to their original worlds. In order to do so, she must give Henry up as he was born in the real world. She selflessly enlists Emma to take care of him, giving the two new memories that erase the events following the curse's enactment. As the two bid farewell, the curse takes hold and engulfs the town, while Emma and Henry flee.[12]

Promotional poster for the second half of the season, revolving around the introduction of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, the characters attempt to work together to restore their realm. Regina struggles to come to terms with the loss of Henry, removing her heart and producing a sleeping curse for herself; though Mary Margaret and Robin Hood persuade her to move forward. Hood and Regina strike a strong friendship, unaware that they are each other's true love.[13] She later takes back her castle, finding the Wicked Witch of the West (Rebecca Mader) inside, who reveals to Regina that she is her older half-sister as she is the daughter of Cora. She explains her back story of how Cora abandoned her, sending her to Oz, and how she seeks to take everything that she never had away from Regina.[14] Neal and Belle travel to Rumplestiltskin's castle and are located to the Dark One's Vault by a candle-man named Lumiere. Neal unlocks the vault, resurrecting Rumplestiltskin but killing himself. Before he dies, Rumplestiltskin takes his body and merges it with his own.[15] Hook departs the group to return to his pirate life, but struggles with the loss of the Jolly Roger. He is later informed by Ariel that the ship was stolen by fellow pirate Blackbeard (Charles Mesure). Following a duel, Hook kills Blackbeard and reclaims the Jolly Roger, while Ariel discovers that her missing love Prince Eric had been kidnapped and taken to Hangman's Island. She later manages to find him and the two live happily together.[16] In the Enchanted Forest, Zelena gets closer to Snow's unborn baby and informs her that she will get it. Eager to find a way stop Zelena, Snow and David seek help from Glinda the Good Witch, who informs them that light magic can defeat Zelena. Understanding this to be a reference to Emma, David sacrifices his heart to Snow, who reluctantly crushes it to create a new curse. Zelena appears and adds a memory spell to the curse that removes everyone's memories of the past year in the Enchanted Forest. Shortly afterwards, Snow instructs Regina to take her heart, split it in half and give half to Snow and half to David, and David awakens before the curse is fully enacted. Unbeknownst to Zelena, who gives Rumplestiltskin a memory potion to keep his memories intact, Neal temporarily removes himself from his father's body and sends the potion to Hook so that he can bring Emma back to Storybrooke.

One year after the enactment of Pan's curse, Emma and Henry are shown living a happy life in New York City. However, Hook arrives at their apartment to the confusion of Emma who does not remember him. He attempts to make Emma believe, insisting that her family is in danger, though she at first ignores him. He eventually manages to persuade Emma to return to Storybrooke after she drinks a potion that restores her memories. In turn, she turns down her boyfriend of eight months Walsh (Christopher Gorham)'s marriage proposal. Walsh reveals his true intentions, transforming into a flying monkey and attempting to attack Emma, though she fights him off.[13] In a flashback, it is revealed that the Wicked Witch of the West transformed Walsh from the Wizard of Oz into the creature after he could not change her troubled past. Returning to Storybrooke, Emma reunites with her parents, who reveal they are expecting a baby, though they have no memory of how they were transported back to the town and who is responsible. The residents then team up to discover the identity of the curse's creator. When inhabitants are reported missing and begin transforming into flying monkeys, they soon realize that the Wicked Witch of the West is the culprit, who is known as Zelena in the town. She plots to get closer to Mary Margaret's baby by becoming her mid-wife, whilst the revelation of Mr. Gold's resurrection is revealed as she holds him prisoner in an underground cellar in the town.[14] She steals a nightroot plant and uses it to take David's courage after he is attacked by a doppelganger.[17] At the same time, Regina begins to see Henry again, though his lost memories mean he does not remember her. When Regina begins to spend more time with Robin Hood, she realizes he is her true love after noticing his lion tattoo that was mentioned by Tinker Bell.[15] Though initially scared of this revelation, she gives Hood her heart to prevent Zelena from "destroying" her.[18] The two eventually begin a romantic relationship.

Emma finds Neal, after he is initially nowhere to be found, only to find that he is trapped within Mr. Gold, thus causing him to lose his mind. Neal asks for Emma to separate him from Mr. Gold to defeat the Wicked Witch, even though he will die; she reluctantly agrees.[15] Belle later learns that Zelena needs three ingredients to create a time travel spell, consisting of Rumplestiltskin's brain, David's courage, and Regina's heart. When Regina summons her mother in order to discover her history with Zelena, Cora possesses Mary Margaret, who is able to witness her own mother Eva's cruel past towards Cora. The group then work out that Zelena wants to travel back and kill Eva for revealing her baby secret to Prince Leopold. Zelena later curses Hook, so that if he kisses Emma, she will lose her powers, which are simultaneously being strengthened by Regina's teaching.[16] Mary Margaret later finds Henry's fairytale book again, understanding that this allowed Emma's memories to be restored originally. Though Emma wants Henry to have a normal life she decides that he must know the truth and gives him the book, restoring his memories. After Regina kisses Henry, the curse is broken and the residents' missing memories are returned. They learn that Zelena has a pendant on her that enables her to focus her magic and only a strong light magic user, like Emma, can stop her.

Soon after, Mary Margaret goes into labor. Emma and Hook attempt to stop Zelena before she could come and claim the child, but she has Gold drown him in a bucket of water, forcing Emma to kiss him and lose her magic to save his life. Zelena steals Mary Margaret's newborn son and begins to enact her time travel spell. Ultimately, Regina defeats her using light magic and takes the pendant, though she spares Zelena. However, Gold later visits Zelena in her cell and kills her in revenge for Neal's death.

Unbeknownst to everyone, a green mist flows from her pendant and re-enacts the time travel spell. Emma and Hook accidentally fall into it and end up in the Enchanted Forest of the past, and incidentally interrupt Prince Charming and Snow White's first meeting. They go to Rumpelstiltskin, who agrees to recreate the time travel spell while they ensure that Charming and Snow would fall in love. After a few mishaps, which included Emma being thrown in the Evil Queen's dungeon, they managed to set history back on its proper course, though Emma had freed one of the Queen's prisoners who was due to be executed. Deciding to take the prisoner back to the present, Emma and Hook return to Rumplestiltskin for the fairy wand that can recreate the time travel spell, but it can only be done by a magic user who had used the spell before. The Dark One then imprisons the trio in his vault containing dark magics too powerful for him to use. However, Emma regains her magic upon realizing that home is with her family and open the time portal and they return to the present. As the Charmings formally name their newborn son in honor of Neal,Rumplestiltskin is there and reveals how it affects him by touching his nose, a past scene that his son did when he was but a baby to his father. Later as everyone is happy, Belle and Rumplestiltskin have a private wedding with Archie and Belle's father Moe and say beautiful vows to each other that touches on everyone in the scene. Later the prisoner is revealed to be Maid Marian, who is reunited with Robin Hood and his son Roland, shattering his relationship with Regina. And worse, unknown to everyone, an urn from Rumplestiltskin's vault had returned with them, releasing Elsa, The Snow Queen.[2]

Cast and characters[edit]

Regular[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Guest[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
451"The Heart of the Truest Believer"Ralph HemeckerEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzSeptember 29, 2013 (2013-09-29)8.52[3]
In Neverland, Henry befriends a fugitive boy who guides him around the jungle, informing him of the sinister Peter Pan and his Lost Boys. At the same time, Emma, her parents, Regina, Mr. Gold, and Hook successfully arrive in Neverland, and must face each other's differences to work together and retrieve a missing Henry, though Gold has other plans. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, a wounded Neal attempts to find a way to learn of Emma's whereabouts, with help from Aurora, Phillip, and Mulan.
462"Lost Girl"Ron UnderwoodAndrew Chambliss & Kalinda VazquezOctober 6, 2013 (2013-10-06)8.00[19]
Emma comes face to face with the evil Peter Pan, who begins his first game with the group to locate Henry that involves Emma facing her true identity. Meanwhile, Mr. Gold gets an unexpected visitor in the dark jungle who helps him with his troubling thoughts about his looming prophecy. Back in the Enchanted Forest that was, the Evil Queen Regina threatens to remove Snow White from her kingdom in order to adhere to the throne herself.
473"Quite a Common Fairy"Alex ZakrzewskiJane EspensonOctober 13, 2013 (2013-10-13)7.53[20]
Peter Pan begins to reveal to Henry the real reason why he was brought to Neverland, while his family begin to realize that Pan is tricking them. Meanwhile in the Enchanted Forest, Neal searches for a way to travel to Neverland, and finds help in a familiar face. In the characters' pasts, Regina begins to grow tired of her loveless marriage, and ends up attracting the attention of a rebellious green fairy named Tinker Bell.
484"Nasty Habits"David BoydDavid H. Goodman & Robert HullOctober 20, 2013 (2013-10-20)7.05[21]
Neal successfully arrives in Neverland and must team up with his father to find a way to retrieve Henry in the jungle, whilst also managing to settle their mistakes. But with Gold's constant struggle with his theories of the prophecy, Neal becomes suspicious of his father's true intentions. Elsewhere in the jungle, Emma and the group find an item of Neal's that could prove useful in finding an escape off of the island. Back in the Enchanted Forest that was, Bae disappears from Rumplestiltskin's strong view, leading him to the town of Hamelin where children are being reported missing by effect of a mysterious tune.
495"Good Form"Jon AmielChristine Boylan & Daniel T. ThomsenOctober 27, 2013 (2013-10-27)7.23[22]
Lieutenant Killian Jones and his brother, Liam, set sail for uncharted waters where they have been sent to retrieve a plant that has the power to heal any injury. Upon arriving in Neverland, Peter Pan informs Killian the plant is in fact dreamshade, a deadly plant. Liam tries to show Killian that he is being gullible and slices his arm with the plant, only to be poisoned. Killian cures him with water from the spring, but Liam dies upon trying to leave Neverland. Thus begins Killian's transformation into Captain Hook. Elsewhere, Snow and Regina work to capture a lost boy and communicate with Henry. Hook and Charming climb to find his sextant, a ruse to really save Charming using the spring's water. Hook and Emma share a kiss.
506"Ariel"Ciaran DonnellyEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzNovember 3, 2013 (2013-11-03)7.55[23]
Learning that Neal is alive, Emma and the others enter Echo Cave to rescue him. Inside, they are forced to reveal their darkest secrets to one another. Regina separates from the group beforehand and meets up with Gold, saving him from Pan's shadow in disguise as Belle. Together, Regina and Gold devise a plan to defeat Pan and save Henry. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest that was, Snow White is rescued from drowning by a mermaid named Ariel and then helps her meet true love, Prince Eric.
517"Dark Hollow"Guy FerlandKalinda Vazquez & Andrew ChamblissNovember 10, 2013 (2013-11-10)6.71[24]
Emma, Neal and Hook travel to the darkest part of Neverland to capture Pan's shadow, but the mission is jeopardized by the men fighting over Emma's attention. Elsewhere on the island, Peter Pan steps up his game in manipulating Henry, using a captive Wendy Darling to do so. Meanwhile, Ariel is sent to Storybrooke by Mr. Gold and Regina to help Belle find Pandora's Box, an artifact powerful enough to defeat Pan.
528"Think Lovely Thoughts"David SolomonDavid H. Goodman & Robert HullNovember 17, 2013 (2013-11-17)6.66[25]
Emma's group reunites with Regina and Mr. Gold, and they learn from Wendy what Pan's true objectives are. If Henry willingly gives him his heart, then Pan will become immortal and Henry will die. Determined to prevent this, the group heads for Skull Rock to save Henry at last. Meanwhile, in the distant past, a young Rumpelstiltskin is granted a second chance at a happy life with his wastrel father. But Rumpelstlitskin's father has a different idea of a better future for himself...
539"Save Henry"Andy GoddardChristine Boylan & Daniel T. ThomsenDecember 1, 2013 (2013-12-01)6.64[26]
Henry is dying, and Pan is slowly absorbing Henry's heart into his own. Emma, Mary Margaret, and Regina have no choice but to attack Pan head-on, but this will not be a task easily accomplished. Meanwhile, 11 years ago, Regina finds a way to adopt the infant Henry to be her son in Storybrooke.
5410"The New Neverland"Ron UnderwoodAndrew ChamblissDecember 8, 2013 (2013-12-08)6.94[27]
The group returns to Storybrooke in triumph, and it looks like they might have a chance at a peaceful life from now on. But things are not as they appear, and soon a great danger makes itself known. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest that was, Prince Charming wants to enjoy a honeymoon with his new wife, but Snow White is too distraught over the Evil Queen's vow of revenge and seeks a way to do something about it.
5511"Going Home"Ralph HemeckerEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzDecember 15, 2013 (2013-12-15)6.44[28]
Pan is in Henry's body, and plans on casting the dark curse once and for all to create a new Neverland, as no one can age under it. Emma and the others try to stop this, but it may come with the ultimate sacrifice on everyone's part. In character's past, however, we learn of the many events that lead up to the unveiling of Emma's destiny.
5612"New York City Serenade"Billy GierhartEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzMarch 9, 2014 (2014-03-09)7.66[29]
Emma and Henry have been living in New York for the past year, though they believe it's been ten. All this is changed when Captain Hook comes knocking at their door, telling Emma that she is needed in a town she has forgotten, and a year ago in the Enchanted Forest, the fairy tale characters try to rebuild their home, but find that none other than the Wicked Witch of the West is in charge now.
5713"Witch Hunt"Guy FerlandJane EspensonMarch 16, 2014 (2014-03-16)7.75[30]
With her memory restored, Emma and Henry have come back to Storybrooke to help Regina and the others find out who has recast the dark curse. Mary Margaret is also pregnant, and her midwife is none other than the Wicked Witch, Zelena. In the forgotten year, Regina discovers an unexpected connection with the Wicked Witch.
5814"The Tower"Ralph HemeckerRobert HullMarch 23, 2014 (2014-03-23)6.91[31]
While looking for the identity of the Wicked Witch, Charming finds that he is being pursued by a hooded figure. This may be the same hooded figure he encountered in the forgotten year, when he found a tower in the middle of the forest as the inheritance of the long-haired Rapunzel.
5915"Quiet Minds"Eagle EgilssonKalinda VazquezMarch 30, 2014 (2014-03-30)6.64[32]
In the forgotten year, Neal and Belle find a candlestick holder named Lumiere, who may be the key to helping them restore Rumplestiltskin back to life. In present day Storybrooke, Rumpelstiltskin is a slave to Zelena, who has the dark one's dagger. Neal is also found, but something is wrong with him that even he doesn't understand. Also, Regina meets Robin Hood, who she has entirely forgotten from the past year, including the fact that he is her true love.
6016"It's Not Easy Being Green"Mario Van PeeblesAndrew ChamblissApril 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)7.26[33]
With Zelena's identity as the Wicked Witch of the West revealed, she challenges her half-sister Regina to a duel in the town square. Meanwhile, many years ago, a young Zelena tries to find her place in the world. With advice and some silver slippers from the Wizard of Oz, she goes to the Enchanted Forest, in order to be trained in sorcery by none other than Rumpelstiltskin.
6117"The Jolly Roger"Ernest DickersonDavid H. GoodmanApril 13, 2014 (2014-04-13)6.50[34]
Ariel returns to Storybrooke and asks Hook to help her find Prince Eric, who never returned to the town when the new curse was casted. Emma agrees to let Regina teach her how to use magic so that she can help defeat Zelena, and Mary Margaret and David try to prove that they can be just as much fun as Hook is with Henry. Meanwhile, in The Enchanted Forest during the past year, an angry Ariel confronts Hook over her missing Prince Eric, who she assumes was kidnapped and possibly killed by the pirate. But when Hook confesses that the Jolly Roger has been stolen, Ariel unknowingly provides him with a clue as to who the other pirate is, and Hook with Ariel goes off in search of his ship.
6218"Bleeding Through"Romeo TironeJane Espenson & Daniel T. ThomsenApril 20, 2014 (2014-04-20)5.95[35]
Zelena steals Regina's heart, so Regina casts a spell to speak across to her dead mother, Cora, to discover the truth about her's and Zelena's past. Belle tries to figure out what Zelena's ultimate end game is. Meanwhile, in the Fairy Tale Land , young Cora is fooled by a man who claims being a prince and finds herself alone and pregnant. A chance meeting with a real prince will lead Cora to the royal life she's always craved, but she must keep her pregnancy a secret or risk losing everything.
6319"A Curious Thing"Ralph HemeckerEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzApril 27, 2014 (2014-04-27)7.34[36]
Zelena threatens to kill Henry if Hook doesn't kiss Emma, and things begin to heat up between Regina and Robin Hood. Meanwhile, back in the Fairy Tale Land , Snow and Charming go in search of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, to see if she can help them defeat Zelena, and also it will be revealed who cast the curse that ultimately sent the Fairy Tale characters back to Storybrooke.
6420"Kansas"Gwyneth Horder-PaytonAndrew Chambliss & Kalinda VazquezMay 4, 2014 (2014-05-04)6.86[37]
All of the residents of Storybrooke try to make sure Zelena doesn't get Snow's newborn baby, which is very close to arriving, because Zelena plans to use the baby to travel back in time and rewrite her destiny, while obliterating Regina from existence. In the past of the land of Oz, Glinda tries to convince Zelena to fight the evil within her, and to join her and her sisters, the other good witches who protect Oz. Additionally, a young girl from Kansas is introduced who threatens to be Zelena's undoing, and ultimately factors into Zelena's final decision.
6521"Snow Drifts"Ron UnderwoodDavid H. Goodman & Robert HullMay 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)6.80[38]
Everyone in Storybrooke joins Mary Margaret and David as they prepare to crown their newborn son, while the time traveling portal that Zelena created before her demise comes to life, and takes Emma and Hook back to the Enchanted Forest before the events of the original curse. Emma and Hook must find a way to return to Storybrooke. But in their quest to return, they accidentally ruin Snow and Charming's first meeting, and they must repair the timeline with Rumplestiltskin's help before it is too late to undo the damage.
6622"There's No Place Like Home"Ralph HemeckerEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzMay 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)6.80[38]
Emma's and Hook's plan takes a turn for the worse when Regina captures Emma for "aiding" Snow White, and when it turns out that Snow White had been unable to steal Prince Charming's true marriage ring, which was the catalyst for the 2 of them falling in love. After a daring rescue involving the enlistment of one of Snow's friends, Snow White finds herself in a pinch, in which death seems inevitable. However, she barely manages to escape, and Emma and Hook eventually manage to get her parents back together, repairing the timeline. After some issues with the time portal, Emma is able to regain her magic and reopen it, although she also brings someone else to Storybrooke who ends up taking away Regina's happiness. Additionally, unknown to the residents of Storybrooke, Emma and Hook have unsuspectingly brought back someone who could forever alter the course of Storybrooke's future, and potentially introducing a new threat, the magic of whom even Rumplestiltskin fears.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On May 10, 2013, ABC renewed Once Upon a Time for a third season, which premiered on September 29, 2013. The same month, it was revealed that the season will feature crossover episodes connecting with the upcoming spin-off series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.[39] In August 2013, it was announced that the season would be split into two parts, with the first eleven episodes premiering from September 29 to December 2013, while the second half would broadcast from March 9 to May 2014.[40]

The first eleven episodes were set primarily in Neverland;[41] co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis spoke about the setting of the third season stating, "Neverland is a land of belief, a land of imagination, and a land where all our main characters are being stripped down to their core. It’s really allowing us, as writers, to dig deep into who they are and to push them forward to new places. I think being in Neverland is going to have a profound effect on each of the characters. It’s really fun to see these characters and dig deep this year and explore what it’s like for Emma to [be with] her parents. Neverland is really a place where we can sit down and think about that."[42] The two also noted that Peter Pan will feature in the season but will be a more "complicated" version of the character, with Kitsis saying, "We have not yet met Peter Pan and we have not yet seen Neverland, and that is where we're going!"[43] In a further interview, Horowitz stated, "Well for us, Neverland is kind of a place that makes you confront your past. It's sort of the heart of darkness and to be a 200 year-old person, you know because you don't grow up there, you have to keep yourself amused. However long Peter Pan has been there and for whatever reason he has been there, we intend to reveal our take on that and on the legend of Peter Pan. We have a way that it intertwines with our Once Upon a Time mythology that we're really excited to unveil."[44] At Disney's D23 Expo event, the creators hinted at romantic sparks between Emma Swan and Captain Hook, and revelations about how Hook became a pirate.[41] On March 10, 2014, the producers revealed that they may look ahead at incorporating characters from the films The Princess and the Frog, Brave, and Frozen in future episodes, possibly towards the end of the third season if they get the green light from Disney.[45] Later that month, it was announced that the season finale will air on May 11, 2014 and have a duration of two hours.[46]

Casting[edit]

The primary characters of the third season. From left to right: Belle/Lacey, Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Prince Charming/David Nolan, Baelfire/Neal Cassidy, Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard, Henry Mills, Emma Swan, Regina Mills/The Evil Queen and Captain Killian "Hook" Jones.

In May 2013, it was revealed that season two regular Meghan Ory (Red Riding Hood/Ruby) would be departing the show to star in CBS's upcoming sci-fi drama Intelligence. However, Ory stated that she would still be open for more episodes on the show as a guest member.[47] Ory later made appearances in episodes twelve and thirteen of the season. The same month, it was announced that Michael Raymond-James (Baelfire/Neal Cassidy) had been promoted from a recurring cast member to a series regular for the season.[48] In July 2013, it was reported that Giancarlo Esposito (The Genie/Magic Mirror/Sidney Glass) would be returning to the series, following his absence from season two.[49] In the same month, it was announced that the role of Robin Hood had been recast from Tom Ellis to Sean Maguire. Adam Horowitz stated, "Although we love Tom Ellis, unfortunately he wasn’t available. We remain huge fans of his, but because we have an arc planned for the character, we had to move forward."[50] British actor Robbie Kay played the role of the villain for the first half of the season: Peter Pan.[51] On July 29, it was reported that Rose McIver had been cast as Tinker Bell. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis teased an unexpected introduction for the well-known character, saying, "It's taking the icon and putting our spin on it. How we introduce her, and who she is, is hopefully going to be surprising because we're going to find she has a surprising connection to someone."[43] For episode five, Bernard Curry played a guest role as Captain Hook's brother Liam, while a member of the Lost Boys called Devin was portrayed by Skyler Gisondo.[52] Joanna Garcia was cast as Ariel from The Little Mermaid.[41][53] On September 3, 2013, Gil McKinney was cast in the recurring role of Prince Eric.[54] On October 18, 2013, it was revealed that the American musician Marilyn Manson would voice the character of The Shadow.[55] On October 21, British actor Stephen Lord was announced to be playing Rumplestiltskin's father, Malcolm.[56] He featured in the eighth and eleventh episodes of the season.[57]

For the second half of the season, Alexandra Metz was cast as Rapunzel, who will be rescued by Prince Charming.[58] Rose McGowan will return as a young Cora for the season's eighteenth episode,[59] while the introduction of a young King Leopold as a Prince played by Eric Lange, and the return of Princess Eva (played by Eva Bourne) will also be featured.[60] Charles Mesure was cast as Blackbeard in January 2014, to appear in one episode as an enemy of Captain Hook.[61] In February 2014, a casting call was opened for an actress in her mid to late twenties to recur as Glinda the Good Witch, who is described as elegant, warm and benevolent, as well as wise, clever and shrewd. However, years of isolation have made her lonely and cautious — though at her core, she is a steadfastly filled with optimism. It was later announced that Sunny Mabrey was cast as the character.[62]

After Once Upon a Time in Wonderland was canceled, it was reported that Michael Socha, who plays the Knave of Hearts, was in talks to join the main cast in Season 4.[63] On April 2014, it was confirmed that Michael Socha will become a regular for Once Upon a Time's fourth season.[64]

Promotion[edit]

On September 12, 2013, ABC released the original cast promotional photos for the season. However, due to fan backlash, the photos were removed.[65] Instead, new photos were promoted via social networking outlets with the tag-line '#SaveHenry'. The second half of the season used the tag-line "#WickedIsComing" for promotion pre-release and "#WickedVsEvil" during its run from March - May 2014.

Filming[edit]

Set in Neverland, filming of the first half of season three was shot in a versatile set inside a Vancouver soundstage, re-dressed to represent up to twelve different tropical locales, including the camps of Peter Pan, Mr. Gold and the other residents of Storybrooke. The expensive set took a month to construct and was inspired by both Disney's animated Peter Pan movie and the Ewok village from Return of the Jedi. Foliage wrangler Sarah McCulloch spoke of the set-up saying, "It took us five days to assemble all the plants. We have 200 real plants that have to be watered and pruned every day and heated at night, 30 actual tree stumps and 450 fake branches" to which silk leaves were added.[66] The Storybrooke scenes were again shot in Steveston, British Columbia, Canada.

Ratings[edit]

US Live Ratings[edit]

No.TitleOriginal airingRating/share
(18–49)
Total viewers
(in millions)
Weekly viewership
rank
Live + 7 Day (DVR) Ratings
18-49 rating increaseViewers increase (millions)Total 18-49Total viewers (millions)
45 (3-01)"The Heart of the Truest Believer"September 29, 2013 (2013-09-29)2.6/78.52[3]#24[67]1.22.543.811.06[68]
46 (3-02)"Lost Girl"October 6, 2013 (2013-10-06)2.6/78.00[19]#25[69]1.2N/A3.8[70]N/A
47 (3-03)"Quite a Common Fairy"October 13, 2013 (2013-10-13)2.4/67.53[20]#23[71]1.1N/A3.5[72]N/A
48 (3-04)"Nasty Habits"October 20, 2013 (2013-10-20)2.1/57.05[21]N/A1.32.553.49.60[73]
49 (3-05)"Good Form"October 27, 2013 (2013-10-27)2.2/67.23[22]N/A1.2N/A3.4[74]N/A
50 (3-06)"Ariel"November 3, 2013 (2013-11-03)2.3/67.55[23]#22[75]1.22.703.510.25[76]
51 (3-07)"Dark Hollow"November 10, 2013 (2013-11-10)2.1/56.71[24]N/A1.32.683.49.39[77]
52 (3-08)"Think Lovely Thoughts"November 17, 2013 (2013-11-17)1.9/56.66[25]N/A1.22.593.19.25[78]
53 (3-09)"Save Henry"December 1, 2013 (2013-12-01)1.9/56.64[26]N/A1.32.593.29.22[79]
54 (3-10)"The New Neverland"December 8, 2013 (2013-12-08)2.1/56.94[27]N/A1.12.443.39.38[80]
55 (3-11)"Going Home"December 15, 2013 (2013-12-15)1.9/56.44[28]N/A1.22.503.18.94[81]
56 (3-12)"New York City Serenade"March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09)2.4/77.66[29]#18[82]1.0N/A3.4[83]N/A
57 (3-13)"Witch Hunt"March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16)2.4/77.75[30]#15[84]1.32.683.710.43[85]
58 (3-14)"The Tower"March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23)2.1/66.91[31]#19[86]1.22.623.39.53[87]
59 (3-15)"Quiet Minds"March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30)2.1/66.64[32]#21[88]1.12.563.29.21[89]
60 (3-16)"It's Not Easy Being Green"April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)2.4/67.26[33]#16[90]1.12.453.59.71[91]
61 (3-17)"The Jolly Roger"April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13)2.0/66.50[34]#20[92]1.22.583.29.08[93]
62 (3-18)"Bleeding Through"April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20)1.7/55.95[35]#24[94]N/AN/AN/AN/A
63 (3-19)"A Curious Thing"April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27)2.2/67.34[36]#11[95]1.02.093.29.43[96]
64 (3-20)"Kansas"May 4, 2014 (2014-05-04)2.1/66.86[37]#18[97]1.12.323.29.19[98]
65 (3-21)"Snow Drifts"May 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)2.3/76.80[38]#11[99]1.22.593.59.39
66 (3-22)"There's No Place Like Home"May 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)2.3/76.80[38]#11[100]1.22.593.59.39

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External links[edit]