Skip to content

Once Upon a Time 2-4: The Crocodile

Another episode, another fractured fairy tale. As I believe I had mentioned last week, I love Peter Pan as a whole, so I was interested to see what they were going to do with Captain Hook. It’s added another layer to the story, and I think it is going to make things very interesting.

Let’s start back in the day of the Enchanted Forest.

Our story from back in the day focuses on Rumplestiltskin and his early encounter with Captain Hook. And when we first meet Rumplestiltskin, he’s the cowardly man he was before he became the Evil One. His wife can’t stand to be around him and she is hiding in the tavern, drinking with the sailors from a ship that happens to be in town. Rumple convinces her to return home, but she is clearly unhappy being married to the man everyone knows as the coward who didn’t even go to the Ogre war. She almost wishes he were dead. And since he refuses to leave their village and start over somewhere else, they are at an impasse.

The next day comes word that his wife has been kidnapped by those sailors who are really pirates under the command of Captain Killion Jones. Rumple goes to them to try to get her back, and Captain Jones agrees if Rumple wins a duel. Of course, he is too cowardly to fight, so they throw him off the ship and set sail.

The next time we see Rumple, he has been transformed into “The Evil One” with all his magical powers. He is sitting in the tavern to meet a man about a bean. Seems this man is selling a bean that could take him to another dimension to find his son. Rumple agrees to “buy” it in exchange for making the man young again.

Just as he’s getting ready to leave the tavern, in walks Jones and his men. Rumple stays around and then follows him out onto the street, where he “accidentally” bumps Jones. Jones immediately makes this stranger stop, first comparing him to a rat and then a crocodile. When he realizes it’s Rumple, he still doesn’t think much of it. After all, the man is a coward. Rumple demands to know what happened to his wife, and we find out she died. That’s when Rumple demands a duel at dawn, giving Jones time to put his affairs in order.

The next morning, the duel goes exactly like you’d expect. Thanks to magic and good swordsmanship, Rumple wins quite easily. He’s going to takes Jones’ heart as punishment for taking Rumple’s wife when he is stopped by – his wife.

Turns out she ran away because she fell in love with Jones. She manages to make a bargain with Rumple – the bean he had bargained for last night in exchange for their lives.

He agrees, and they head back to the ship. But that’s where things go wrong. After showing off the bean, Rumple’s wife begins to explain how upset she was and how much happier she is now. That’s too much for Rumple, who reaches in and takes out her heart. As Jones holds her head, he crushes it, killing her.

Jones is holding the bean in his left hand, and in order to get it back, Rumple cuts off his left hand and takes the. When he gets home, however, he discovers that Jones had switched where the bean was at some point and still has it.

Our last scene is back on the ship. Jones brings the man who originally had the bean back on deck and offers him a choice – leave the ship or come with them. For some reason, it took me that long to realize that the man was Smee. Naturally, he joins and Jones uses the bean to take them to a land where they will never age so Jones can plan his revenge. That land? Neverland, of course. As they sale toward the portal the bean creates (and the CGI had been looking so good this season), Jones puts a hook on his left arm.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke….

Belle is having a happy dream about her and Mr. Gold. As they are about to head out on a date in town, Grumpy walks in and demands his ax. When he won’t take no for an answer, Mr. Gold knocks him against the wall and then begins turning into Rumple. While Belle protests that this isn’t who he is, he says it is exactly who he is.

And then Belle wakes up. She goes searching for Gold only to find him in the basement spinning straw into gold.

The next morning, she confronts him on this since he is supposed to have given up magic. When he tries to justify his actions, she gets mad and takes off.

She winds up at Granny’s, where she drowns her sorrows in iced tea. Ruby starts trying to help her, offering a place at Granny’s bed and breakfast and suggesting that since Belle loves books so much, maybe she could get a job as the librarian. The library has been closed for years, but with everything else that has changed, maybe it is time to open it again. When Belle goes over to take a look, she is kidnapped by Smee.

Smee has been hired by Belle’s father to find her and bring her to him. They are happy to see each other, but that changes when Belle explains that she loves Mr. Gold and will not give up on him so easily. Her father tries to order her to stay away, but she refuses. She is an adult after all. So he decides to take matters into his own hands.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gold has been searching for Belle on his own (that’s how her father found out she was alive and in town somewhere). He goes to Charming, who is acting as sheriff until Emma gets back. Charming is not actually anxious to help, but he agrees. Along the way, we find out just how horrid Rumple has been over the years as no one seems to want to help. A desperate Mr. Gold asks Charming how he made things work with Snow, and Charming explains they were always honest with each other and truly listen to each other.

When they stop at Granny’s, they finally get somewhere when Charming convinces Ruby to talk.

It seems Ruby’s wolf tendencies have started to come back now that the curse is broken, and she uses her wolf nose to lead them to…Belle’s father’s flower shop. Belle’s father is trying to throw Mr. Gold out, but he lets is slip that Belle is going to forget all about Mr. Gold. Yep, he’s sending her to the barrier around town.

There are patrols guarding the town so no one accidentally crosses the boarder. But there are none in the tunnels under the town, and that’s where Smee has taken Belle. He handcuffs her to a cart, drops the key in the bottom, and sends it racing to the barrier. Belle tries to get out, but drops the key over the side. And just as it is looking hopeless, the cart stops and goes backward. Yep, it’s Mr. Gold at work. But Belle is not happy to see him or her father at the beginning of the tunnel. She tells them both she’s a woman who will make her own choices and that she never wants to see either of them again.

The next morning, she is having breakfast at Granny’s when Ruby gives her a package someone has dropped off for her. It’s the key to the library. Sure enough, it is from Mr. Gold.

Yes, it is a peace offering of sorts, but Mr. Gold also wants a chance to explain to Belle what is going on. He goes back to his days as a coward and then getting magic. He talks about losing his son and beginning to search for years to find a way to come to our world and find him, eventually settling on the curse. And he explains that the power of magic is his crutch – he’s still a coward and hides behind it with magic. He also explains that he needs magic to break the second curse that is still keeping all of them in town. While Belle doesn’t go back to him right away, she does ask him to have a hamburger at Granny’s with her some time. It’s a start, and Mr. Gold smiles as he leaves the library.

Then Mr. Gold goes and confronts Smee. Smee explains that he doesn’t know where Hook is. It seems he was missed by the curse because Smee hasn’t been able to find him in Storybrooke anywhere.

But we still have time for one final scene. And it’s in Enchanted Forest present. Cora is meeting with Captain Hook. She shows him the wardrobe ashes and explains it is part of a portal to our world. It’s not enough to get them there, but it’s a start. And Hook confirms that both Regina and Rumple are in the town.

Fade to black.

So both of our villains are trying to give up magic for those they love (or at least use it only for the purpose of finding his son in the case of Mr. Gold), and the people who would most want to harm them are planning to come to town. Something tells me this is going to get very interesting. Will they be able to give up their crutch of magic and find another way to protest themselves or will this send them on an even darker path?

Meanwhile, I’ve got to point out I was right. The curse was all Rumple’s doing to get him to our world. It’s why he was saying last season he was so interested in Snow and Charming’s future. And it’s why he wanted Emma to break the curse. Of course, it didn’t quite break things like he had hoped, and he’s still trapped there. But I’m still wondering just how old his son would be. Did the curse dump them back in time so that Rumple could find him as a man? A boy? Would he have aged in our world so he’s an old man now? Rumple had to be working on this for quite some time.

So now not only is Rumple the Beast of Beauty and the Beast, but now he’s Hook’s crocodile and Peter Pan (since Peter cut off Hook’s hand). He’s a very busy man. And maybe, just maybe they are giving him too many roles.

As much as I love the Peter Pan story, I’m not going to quibble too much with how they changed things. After all, they’ve been changing stories all along so I expected it. And it does make things very interesting going forward for the tale they are weaving here. I can’t wait to see where exactly they go next. Like will we get to see Peter at some point?

There was a scene of the dwarfs and Charming working in the mine trying to find some pixie dust to use to get Snow and Emma back, but that’s about all they did with that story tonight. And we didn’t see Snow, Emma, or Regina at all.

And on a more personal note – Belle, don’t get back to Gold. I love books as much as you do. We will spend many happy hours reading together. And I promise to listen to you and be honest with you. Dump him and give me a chance. (Belle’s always been my favorite of the Disney princesses. I have to give it a try.)

Next week? I can’t quite tell what to make of next week, but it looks like a very timely Halloween episode of the show. Until then, have a good week.

And on a different note, Disney has released a lovely coffee table book of their poster art from the theme parks. If you are interested, take a look at my review of Poster Art of the Magic Kingdom.

10 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time 2-4: The Crocodile”

  1. First of all loved tonight’s episode but missed the regulars…
    HOWEVER I am pretty sure my friends and I figured out who Dr.Whale was with next weeks preview

    So Dr. Whale is Frakenstien. There are several prices of evidence to support this claim
    1. Regina was obviously looking for someone to raise ( blanking on his name) her lover from the dead… There was a shot of Jefferson telling her he knew someone who could- the next shot was Regina talking to Whale in what looked like the hospital
    2. To explain the last name Whale- the origanal frankenstein movie was directed by a guy with the last name Whale

    Now some reasons that would disprove this theory:
    1. Frakenstien is not exactly Disney, however nor is Little Red Riding Hood, and there is Frakenweenie
    2. It doesn’t exactly explain the whole thing with David/Charming not being his prince in 2-1

    So I hope you enjoy my theory and I can’t wait till next week to find out!

    1. That certainly seemed to be what they were hinting at with the preview. It’s hard to deny it. Did not know about the Whale connection, so thanks for sharing.

      But I would think it would stretch things far from fairy tales. I mean, Hook isn’t really a fairy tale either. Nor Wonderland. But at this point, I think I’d buy pretty much anything they were selling because they’d be able to justify it well.

      It will be interesting to see just what exactly is happening next week.

  2. Last night’s episode ranks right up there with one of the best so far, my favorite being the Beauty and the Beast episode. Loved how they kept revealing little bits of fun things leading up to Captain Hook becoming Captain Hook – crocodile, tick tock-tick tock said by Rumpelstiltskin, the hand being cut off, Mr. Smee (loved that scene and like you I didn’t realize it until he was being asked his name), and of course heading off to Neverland. It will be interesting to see what they come up with as to why most of the Fairy Tale characters were hit by the curse and yet others weren’t,
    Interesting theory about next week’s episode. Like the Whale connection. It doesn’t look like one I will really fall in love with because I think they are playing to the whole Halloween is coming thing. But each episode is another piece to the puzzle.
    And we still don’t know who the man in New York from the beginning of the first episode is.

    1. I’m really curious why some people were left behind in the Enchanted Forest. One friend is thinking Cora might have had something to do with that, but who knows.

      And what is the deal with that guy in New York. Will we ever even see him again?

  3. It was in the Peter Pan story that the crocodile ate Hook’s hand, so I like the play of Rumple being the “crocodile,” just hope Peter’s in it!
    I wonder if they ever play the idea of the star in the sky being the portal to our world, but only if you have flight.
    Cause the novel, Peter can fly between worlds at will.

  4. So, let’s recap…
    Rumple is The Beast to Belle.
    Rumple is also the crocodile to Hook…

    I wonder how many other baddies will turn out to be The Dark One as the story progresses…

  5. Took me exactly as long to finally recognize Smee AND didn’t really put Belle as BELLE until I realized why the library was perfect for her. Love her too!

Comments are closed.