"Quite a Common Fairy" is the third episode of Season Three of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson and directed by Alex Zakrzewski. It is the forty-seventh episode of the series overall, and premiered on October 13, 2013.
In their continuing quest to find Peter Pan's hideout and save Henry, Hook suggests tracking down Tinker Bell in the hope that she will lead them straight to his camp. Pan reveals to Henry why he has brought him to Neverland and in the Enchanted Forest, Neal has a plan that could transport him to Emma, but it would involve using one of Robin Hood's most precious possessions. Meanwhile, in the Fairy Tale Land that was, Tinker Bell offers to help Regina improve her life.
In Neverland, Mary Margaret, David, Regina, Emma, and Hook continue on their search for Henry. Emma now has a map to lead them to Peter Pan's camp, but she notices the location changes as Pan is moving his camp to throw the group off.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Neverland, Pan wakes a sleeping Henry. Pan wants Henry to play a game he calls "target practice".
In the Enchanted Forest, Mulan and Robin Hood look on as Neal rummages through the Dark castle trying to find something that will enable him to travel to Neverland. Little John soon arrives along with Robin Hood's son Roland. Upon seeing Roland, Neal figures out a way to get to Neverland.
The group in Neverland looks over the map attempting to figure out a way to get to Pan and Henry. A frustrated Regina once again suggests she use magic to teleport them to Pan's camp instead of walking. Hook believes that Pan will have shields up against magic so attempting to teleport there will result in their deaths. Instead Hook proposes that they uses someone Pan trusts to get close to him, namely a fairy that lives on the island named Tinker Bell. Regina dislikes the idea, claiming that Tinker Bell will not be able to save them.
In the past in the Enchanted Forest, the Queen dines on a lonely feast as her husband and step-daughter are away traveling. She is visited by Rumplestiltskin, who is there to reprimand her for missing her magic lessons. She tells him that she is unsure of continuing her magic lessons as she does not want a future like her masters. The Queen also complains she lives like a prisoner in the castle. The Dark One tells her there is no stopping her magic lessons now that she has begun and she should just embrace the darkness. Feeling angry, the Queen goes to her chamber's balcony and takes her anger out on the fence. She loses her balance and falls. Just before she hits the ground, Regina is stopped by a fairy. The fairy tells Regina she is giving her a second chance. Using magic the fairy levitates the Queen back up into her Chambers and tells the Queen her name is Tinker Bell.
At an outdoor tavern in the former Enchanted Forest, Regina and Tinker Bell discuss Snow White over a meal. Regina insists she fell from the balcony and didn't jump. Tinker Bell offers to help her find what she needs: love. Regina is skeptical, but Tinker Bell tells her to trust in her.
In Neverland, Regina accidentally drops her handkerchief and walks on without it. It is immediately picked up by someone whose face is obscured from view. Catching up to Emma, Regina tries to persuade her to use their magic jointly to find Henry and overpower Pan, but Emma refuses. Regina makes a snide remark about Hook being her boyfriend, then apologizes, saying she's only worried about Henry.
Henry watches Pan dip an arrow into dreamshade, which he tells Henry is "a nasty poison." Then Pan hands the crossbow to Henry, instructing him to shoot the apple off of Felix's head, much like William Tell's feat. Henry takes aim for the apple, then changes direction and shoots the arrow at Pan. He easily catches the arrow before it hits him and leads Henry away, saying he has something to show him.
Meanwhile, Hook tells David that he knows he is wounded and asks to see his wound. Checking to make sure Mary Margaret isn't watching, David lifts his shirt to show that the poison is spreading. Hook tells David he is sorry and that he has only days to live. David responds that he won't tell Mary Margaret, and is relying on Tinker Bell and her pixie dust to heal him.
In the former Enchanted Forest, Regina and Tinker Bell leave the tavern as a clock strikes in the distance. Tinker Bell leaves Regina, telling her she will see her soon. Tinker Bell shrinks and flies to a tulip field, where the Blue Fairy reprimands her for breaking fairy rules. Tinker Bell replies that she was only helping Regina. The Blue Fairy reminds her of Regina's relation to Cora and the Dark One, and that Tinker Bell cannot help her. She refuses to give her the pixie dust and tells Tinker Bell to remain here, an order she immediately disobeys when the Blue Fairy leaves.
In the Dark One's palace, Neal tells Robin Hood of his plan to use Roland to lure the Shadow, and assures Robin that no harm will come to Roland. Neal pleads with him, reminding him that it is because of Rumplestiltskin, his father, that Robin's wife lived. Robin finally relents, giving Neal one chance.
Back in Neverland, Emma comments that Regina is falling behind the rest of the group, and that Tinker Bell's home is right up ahead. Regina tells them to go on, and she'll wait here. Emma asks what Regina did to her, and Regina admits that they have a complicated history but refuses to elaborate, saying that if Tinker Bell sees her, she won't help them with Operation Henry. She continues on, telling Emma that if they can't find Tinker Bell, then don't bother looking and just find Henry, causing Emma to curiously ask again what Regina did to her. She replies that she did what she always does.
Tinker Bell returns to Regina in her palace in the former Enchanted Forest, asking her if she's ready to fly. Excited, Regina is sprinkled with pixie dust and flies out of the palace. Tinker Bell uses more dust to find Regina's "happy ending." The dust points down into the forest.
On the ground, Regina and Tinker Bell peek into a window and see a man outlined in pixie dust, who will be Regina's soul mate. Tinker Bell tells her that this is her fresh start to let go of the past and then she leaves. Regina opens the door of the tavern, ready to meet him, but is suddenly afraid and flees.
In Neverland, Regina hears rustling in the jungle and calls out "to get this over with." Tinker Bell emerges and reveals that she heard all of her conversation with Emma. Angrily, Tinker Bell blows pink powder into Regina's face that causes her to drop to the ground.
The rest of the group searches Tinker Bell's empty tree house for pixie dust. Emma remarks that it reminds her of her old apartment, because it is just a place to sleep. They find Regina's handkerchief and realize that Tinker Bell has been tracking Regina, so they quickly leave.
Regina, with her hands tied, wakes up disoriented in front of Tinker Bell in an unfamiliar location, who says she's "been waiting for this chat for quite some time." Regina realizes that Tinker Bell has no magic and frees her hands with her own magic. Tinker Bell places a poison-tipped arrow at Regina's throat, and Regina asks her how she got so low. Tinker Bell replies that it was because she met Regina.
In the former Enchanted Forest, Tinker Bell visits Regina at her palace to ask how meeting her soul mate went. Regina lies, claiming that the pixie dust was wrong and the man it highlighted was awful. Tinker Bell tells her that it's okay that she was afraid to go in. Regina tells her to leave, but Tinker Bell is upset because the pixie dust she stole for her was wasted. Hurt, Tinker Bell reveals that she thought they were friends, but Regina calls her "a terrible fairy" and orders her to leave.
Back in Neverland, Regina pulls out her own heart, goading Tinker Bell not to let the poison kill her; she should kill Regina herself by crushing her heart. Regina asks her to show her who Tinker Bell is, to which she replies "Gladly."
In the former Enchanted Forest, Tinker Bell flies from Regina's palace and is stopped by the Blue Fairy, who is very disappointed in Tinker Bell. The Blue Fairy tells Tinker Bell that she no longer believes in her, and Tinker Bell's wings vanish. She falls to the ground, human-sized, and the Blue Fairy flies sadly away.
In Neverland, Tinker Bell demands to know why Regina lied about meeting her soul mate. Regina responds that she was afraid to let go of her anger, because it was all she had. She believed being happy would make her weak. Regina tells Tinker Bell that if she crushes her heart, then her own heart will become as dark. Tinker Bell is surprised to hear that Regina truly loves Henry and decides not to either kill her or help her, saying that Henry has been with Pan too long. Tinker Bell gives the heart back to Regina and leaves.
In Peter Pan's camp, Pan tries to convince Henry to stay with him and the Lost Boys, and that magic is dying in every world and Henry must save it. He suggests that Emma is not the savior because she broke the curse, but because she had Henry. Pan gives Henry a roll of paper, telling him that this is the reason he's sure Henry is the one they’ve been waiting for. Henry drops the paper, saying he doesn't believe Pan. Pan cryptically replies that he reminds him of Henry's father.
In the Dark One's palace, Mulan puts everyone in place to capture the Shadow. Neal expresses his doubts that Emma will accept him once they're together, saying that "if you love someone, you don't keep it in, you say it." Little John and Roland enter, and Robin reminds Roland of what he is to do, then they get into their positions. Roland faces the window and says "I believe", and the window bursts open and the Shadow rushes in. The Shadow attempts to pull Roland away, but Mulan swipes at it with her sword and Neal chases it to the window, catches hold of it and flies away.
Mulan approaches Robin, kneeling by a sleeping Roland, and asks if he is all right. Robin replies that he owes her much and offers her a place among his Merry Men. Mulan kindly declines, saying that she needs to talk to someone. Robin asks her if it’s a loved one, and she replies that she will see.
Mulan finds Aurora in the garden of her palace and says she needs to talk to her. Aurora excitedly tells her that she and Philip are expecting a baby. Mulan hides her disappointment and embraces Aurora, then tells her that she is joining Robin's Merry Men. They wish each other goodbye, and Mulan leaves.
In Neverland, Tinker Bell leaves the cave and is immediately confronted by Mary Margaret, David, Emma and Hook, demanding to know where Regina is. They are all disappointed to learn that Tinker Bell can't help them, as she has no pixie dust, but she does know where Pan is. Mary Margaret offers to let Tinker Bell come back home with them if she gets them inside Pan's camp. She agrees, and they head back to their camp.
At Pan's camp, Henry picks up the paper he dropped and unrolls it, revealing the picture of him.
Neal lets go of the shadow and drops into the jungle of Neverland and is ominously greeted by Felix, who tells him that Pan will be happy to see him.
At their camp, Tinker Bell asks Regina if she ever found the man with the lion tattoo. Regina says no, and Tinker Bell accuses her of being selfish because that not only ruined her life, it ruined his.
In the Enchanted Forest, Mulan joins Robin's Merry Men at their campsite. As she shakes hands with Robin, it is revealed that Robin wears a lion tattoo.
A scene or segment where a Knight, played by Dominic Downer, comes over to Regina and Tinker Bell's dinner table, was deleted from the episode, but can be seen in promo pictures. When the Knight comes over to their table, Regina attempts to shoo him away, while Tinker Bell points her wand at him and seemingly uses her magic on the Knight in order to deal with the unwanted guest. The result makes the women and the people around them burst out laughing.
- The title card features Tinker Bell.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on August 7, 2013.
- This episode is named after a passage in chapter 3 of the Peter Pan novel: "She is quite a common fairy," Peter explained apologetically, "she is called Tinker Bell because she mends the pots and kettles." The word "tinker" means tinsmith, someone who makes and repairs things made of tin or other light metals.
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks occur after "The Doctor" and before "Enter the Dragon". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Neverland events occur after "Lost Girl" and before "Nasty Habits". (For more details, see the Neverland timeline)
- The present-day Enchanted Forest events take place after "The Heart of the Truest Believer" and before "New York City Serenade".
- Henry claims not to like apples and calls it as a "family thing"; referencing events in "An Apple Red as Blood".
- Rumplestiltskin began teaching Regina magic in "The Doctor".
- Regina holds Snow White responsible for her fiancé's death, which was shown in The Stable Boy".
- Regina and Tinker Bell dine at the tavern where Snow White and her allies gather in "Lost Girl".
- Mary Margaret recalls what was believed to be Neal's death in "Second Star to the Right".
- Tinker Bell's wings and status as a fairy are restored in "Going Home".
- Neal's knowledge of the Shadow is gained in "Second Star to the Right".
- Pan recalls Emma breaking the Dark Curse in "A Land Without Magic".
- The drawing of Henry was first seen in "And Straight On 'Til Morning".
- Pan's true motive for bringing Henry to Neverland is revealed in "Think Lovely Thoughts".
- Aurora gives birth sometime between "A Curious Thing" and "Snow Drifts" as a result of the pregnancy being extended after she is turned into a flying monkey in the former.
- The title card features Tinker Bell lighting up the title with her magic, a reference to the style in which the Disney animated version of the character magically brightens the company's logo at the beginning of several of its home video releases.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the Peter Pan story, focusing on the appearance of Tinker Bell, and the adventures in Neverland.
- This episode features the ugly duckling from the fairytale of the same name, the evil queen from the "Snow White" fairytale, Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, the princess from the "Sleeping Beauty" fairytale, Little John, Robin Hood and the Merry Men from the Robin Hood ballads, as well as Mulan from the Ballad of Mulan, and the Fairy with turquoise hair from The Adventures of Pinocchio.
- Peter Pan says to Henry that he's heard a story about a man who once shot an apple off his son's head with an arrow. This is a reference to a motif in a number of legends in Germanic folklore; the best known version is from the legend of the Swizz folk hero William Tell.
- Tinker Bell says to Regina, "I'm a fairy. You might wanna try believing in me." Later, she loses her wings because the fairy leader stops believing in her. This is a reference to Peter Pan, where the titular character says to Wendy that every time a child says, "I don't believe in fairies", there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead. Later, Peter saves a dying Tinker Bell by calling on all of the children who believe in fairies to clap their hands.
- The segment where a tulip opens to reveal the Blue Fairy inside it mirrors Thumbelina's introduction in the fairytale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.
- When offered a place as the first woman among the Merry Men, Mulan tells Robin Hood that she has been in that position before; referring to her past as a woman in the army in the ballad.
- Emma shows recognition of Tinker Bell's name from the story of Peter Pan.
- Tinker Bell's use of poppy dust is a reference to the tale of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- The sign outside the tavern where Queen Regina finds her soulmate (a face made of leaves), also appears outside the tavern Robin Hood takes her to in Isaac's storybook in the Season Four episode "Operation Mongoose Part 1". However, it is not the same tavern, as the architecture outside is different. The same sign is on a building when Snow White and her friends are celebrating in the Season Five episode "Souls of the Departed".
- The Evil Queen has a circular necklace with an apple tree in the center.
- Tinker Bell's hair band was made by Vancouver-based accessories designer Medicina Designs. It was made on a base using fabric from her costume, and covered in Swarovski beads, cut crystals, freshwater pearls, and cut glass beads. Two identical pieces were made for the actress to wear, as well as another version for when Tinker Bell is in Neverland, which ended up not being used in the filming.
- Mary Margaret is wearing a Marc by Marc Jacobs Alex Crepe de Chine Blouse (no longer available). She wears this blouse for the first ten episodes of Season Three, but in most episodes, it is hidden under her jacket. This is the first episode where it is seen clearly.
|Finnish||"Ihan tavallinen keiju"||"Quite a Common Fairy"|
|French||"Fée Clochette"||"Tinker Bell"|
|German||"Eine recht gewöhnliche Fee"||"Quite a Common Fairy"|
|Hungarian||"Csak egy közönséges tündér"||"Just an Ordinary Fairy"|
|Italian||"Una fata piuttosto comune"||"Quite a Common Fairy"|
|Portuguese||"Uma Fada Comum"||"A Common Fairy"|
|Spanish||"Un hada de lo más común"||"Quite a Common Fairy"|