Wow. A plot I thought was going to go for several weeks just ended tonight. And that ending? So not a fan. So really, really not a fan.
But before we get there, maybe we need to get through the rest of the episode. So let’s get going, shall we?
As always, let’s start with Enchanted Forest, which focuses tonight on Belle with cameos by some very interesting special guests.
The story here fills in the chapter in Belle’s life from the time she left Rumplestiltskin and before Regina captured her. It opens with her sitting in a tavern listening to some men talk about going to fight a beast that is attacking nearby villages. As she is sitting there, Dreamy walks up and thanks her for encouraging him to run away with his fairy love, which they are planning to do that night. He encourages her to join the quest to fight the beast, gives her a dose of fairy dust, and leaves.
When next we see her, Belle is riding on the back of a cart with the other men on the quest. She is reading a book in a foreign language, and the men are mocking her for it. But she tells them it is helping her track the beast, which likes to live near lakes. Happy to take the information, they kick her out of the cart and set off for the lake. However, she lied to them. It really prefers the mountains.
And she quickly tracks it to its lair, where suddenly she doesn’t quite know what to do. She has a small dagger and, thinking the beast asleep, she starts to head into the cave where it is. She steps on a branch and it wakes and charges out of the cave. It’s some kind of a beast with fire around its neck. But before it actually attacks, someone shoots it with an arrow and scares it away. That person? Mulan.
And Mulan is less than happy to see Belle. Mulan has been tracking the beast for weeks, and she has now lost her chance to kill it. Belle points out how quickly she tracked the beast, but Mulan isn’t interested in teaming up.
So Belle sets off on her own again, but her former co-questers have realized they were deceived and have tracked her down. They are attacking her over lying, but who should come to Belle’s rescue but Mulan. She dispatches the men and then suggests that they do indeed align in their quest to track and kill the beast.
And Belle quickly does track it down. But in the fight to rescue Belle, Mulan got hurt, so Belle has to go face the monster on her own. She is scared, but Mulan’s village is at stake, so she sets out. She lures the creature to a place with water and pipes, and then breaks a pipe, using the water to put out the fire around its neck. Once that happens, she advances with Mulan’s sword, but the creature starts whimpering and writing something on the ground. Belle is able to translate it to a plea for help, and she realizes that the creature must be under a spell. She uses the fairy dust to free him and the beast turns into…
Prince Phillip. Yes, he was put under this curse by Maleficent. Seems there was more to the Sleeping Beauty story than we ever knew, which is such a shock with this show.
Belle takes him back to Mulan, who Phillip is to take to a doctor. Then Belle heads off to go back to Rumple to try to break his curse.
And that’s when Regina shows up. The men Belle tricked earlier went to her, and now Regina is here to capture Belle. After all, we can’t have her breaking Rumple from his curse, can we?
So, now we know how Regina captured Belle. And it’s made me wonder. Was Belle in prison the entire time that Snow and Charming were ruling the kingdom, or did someone free her at some point. If so, why didn’t she go to Rumple then? Remember, he thought she was dead until she showed up in the first season finale.
Hopefully, those are questions that will be answered another time because right now, we need to go to Storybrooke for some twists and surprises.
This part of the episode opens with Dr. Hopper’s funeral. Mary Margaret gives a touching speech that she is barely able to get through. At the meal afterward at the loft, Henry is off by himself very much in mourning while the rest of the group, including our normal heroes, is talking about wanting to go home. Like to Enchanted Forest. Mary Margaret and Emma are upset by the idea since they’ve seen what the land is like now, but everyone else bring up the idea that people can come to town now, so surely that means they will. And sooner or later, that’s going to be bad since there is magic in town. As Red points out, they aren’t going to be happy with her turning into a wolf, for example.
But the story is really about Gold and Belle. Gold has kidnapped Smee and taken him to the edge of town. He pours something on the cap Smee always wears and then shoves him across the line. But the potion protects him, and Smee doesn’t forget who he is. A happy Gold calls Belle to his shop and tells her about his discovery. And he reveals it only works on a treasured item. For Gold, it will be his son’s scarf. Belle wants to come with him on the quest to find his son, but he only has enough potion for one person.
Belle goes to the library, where Hook is waiting for her. Hook has found out that she is in town thanks to Dr. Hopper, his prisoner. She tries to escape, but doesn’t make it outside. She does manage to lock herself in the elevator and call Gold, but the call starts breaking up after she says she is in the library. Still, Gold comes to her rescue and is not happy to learn that Hook was there.
Gold explains the back story, leaving out the part where he killed his ex-wife. They return to his shop to find the scarf has been stolen. Gold sets out to get it back, but gives Belle a gun and makes her promise to return to the library and lock herself in. Belle tries to get Gold to promise he will stop at getting the scarf back, but he won’t do it. His first stop is to Smee, who he turns into a rat for his part in the theft.
At the library, Belle is picking up the shelf she knocked over in her fight with Hook, and finds a piece of rope. She determines that his ship is there, and heads down to the wharf. She is puzzled by not seeing the boat until she sees a bird perch on nothing. She uses some nearby dirt to find the steps to the boat and climbs on board where she finds Dr. Hopper.
I must say I was shocked by this development. I figured it would be two or three more weeks before we found him at the absolute earliest.
Anyway, she frees Hopper and tells him to go get Gold, and then she starts searching for the scarf, setting the gun Gold gave her down to do it.
And that’s when Hook shows up holding the scarf. He gets the gun, too, and threatens to kill Belle. But Belle manages to keep him talking. Along the way, she learns the truth about who killed Rumple’s wife, thereby why Hook is out for revenge. But she also manages to make her escape at least to the deck of the ship.
By then, Gold has arrived and starts beating on Hook. Belle manages to talk Gold out of killing Hook, pleading with him to stop and show her that there is still some good in him. As they walk away, Hook smiles.
Meanwhile, Emma has found a way to cheer Henry up – Pongo. He’s going to take care of Hopper’s dog. That brings up the issues of space in the loft for David, Mary Margaret, Emma, and Henry plus now a dog. David and Mary Margaret start looking for a place to get, but David rejects every place they consider. Turns out, David agrees they should be trying to go home to Enchanted Forest while Mary Margaret is tired of fighting and wants to settle down and enjoy life. Trouble in paradise.
Meanwhile, back at the loft, Hopper has shown up and revealed to them that he was really captured by Cora. Henry and Emma are overjoyed to see him again but upset by what this means. Yes, they are going to apologize to Regina, but they know she won’t be happy at all even with an apology. And the fact that Cora is in town is bad news as well.
So, back to Gold and Belle. They are at the town border, and they’ve enchanted the scarf. It works, and they are saying their goodbyes across the line when Belle is suddenly shot and falls across the border into Gold’s arms. The shot wasn’t fatal, but who is the person who shot her? Hook, of course. And she now knows nothing about who she is or who Gold is.
Gold is furious and is summoning a magic fire to kill Hook (who really seems more concerned with hurting Gold and getting Gold to kill him than killing Gold himself). However, a car comes barreling down the road from out of town into town. Gold gets himself and Belle out of the way in time, but the car hits Hook, knocking him out. The car is from Pennsylvania. Someone from the outside world has found them, just as the rest of the cast feared earlier.
So, now that an outsider has found them, what does it mean? Is their secret safe? What will they need to do to keep themselves from becoming freaks in our world?
Will this sway Mary Margaret in her disagreement with David over the future?
Will we see more of Aurora, Phillip, and Mulan in any time line?
Was Gold correct when he said that there is nothing they can do for Belle about her memory? This twist did not make me happy because I love Belle and I love how she was slowly drawing the good part of Gold out. In fact, this makes me almost feel sorry for Gold. Almost. They’ve got to try a bit more with him to make him as sympathetic as Regina is to me.
Emma is right that Regina won’t be quick to forgive when they tell her they know the truth about Hopper now. But what will she do to get back at them?
So many plot threads. So many questions. These episodes are way too short and the time between them way too long.
As always, hit me up with the questions and theories I missed. Let’s see what we can figure out will happen next.