With the “death” of Archie last week, things in Storybrooke are getting a bit tense. Even though no one really know that Cora and Hook are hanging about, causing a ruckus, the cat will be out of the bag soon enough. This week gives us a very Belle-centric episode, with pretty much everyone else playing second fiddle. The natives in Storybrooke are beginning to get restless and we finally get to see just when Mulan and Prince Phillip first met. Also, this is the first episode, that I can recall anyway, that has a direct reference point in the Fairytale Land timeline. I’m probably wrong, but at least I can admit that right? Anywho….it’s just something that stood out.
Fairytale Land kicks off with Belle hanging out in a pub reading a book. This picks up the day after she had the conversation with Grumpy when he was still Dreamy, in the “Dreamy” episode. Belle longingly watches as a group of men talk about going out on a mission to kill the dreaded Yaoguai; a creature of fire that has been wreaking havoc. Dreamy tells her to buck up and take the jump and go with the men, which she does.
Once on the wagon with the other men, a couple of them decide to give her grief for always having her nose buried in a book. She tells then that she reading about the creature, and that’s how they will find it. She tells them to head to the lake, and now that they have the creatures location, they give Belle the boot and kick her off the wagon, along with her book. Knowing that would happen however, Belle is quite pleased with herself for pulling a fast one on them and heads instead, into the forest where the creature really dwells.
Belle approaches the cave where the creature is hiding, only to be frightened senseless when she comes face to face with it. Luckily Mulan is tracking the creature as well and is able to save Belle with an arrow. However, Mulan is rather bitchy about that fact because damn it…she’s been tracking that beast for weeks! Belle offers to help track it again, but Mulan tells her thanks, but no thanks.
Belle ends up running into her former traveling companions and they let her know they didn’t take too kindly to being led astray. They demand to know the creature’s whereabouts from her and threaten to drop her down a well if she doesn’t spill the beans. Mulan shows up just in time and takes down a couple of the men, but gets injured in the process. Mulan tells Belle that she needs her help to track the beast, and of course, Belle agrees. When they find it, Mulan tells Belle she needs to be the one to kill it because Mulan can’t, due to her injury. Belle, nervous but determined, makes her way to the village that the beast is terrorizing. The creature, alight with fire, charges Belle, but she’s able to douse the creature with water. She approaches, but notices that the beast is asking for help. Instead of showing it the pointy end of her sword, she dumps the fairy dust that Dreamy gave her on it and the creature transforms into…Prince Phillip. Apparently, Maleficent cursed him and sent him to that realm as the creature. Belle tells him that he can repay her by helping with Mulan. Belle introduces the two and sets off on her way back to Rumpelstiltskin. However, she runs into the Evil Queen who has her thrown into a cage and transported back to the castle to be locked away.
In Storybrook, Mr. Gold stands at the town limit with Smee…who happens to be there against his will. Mr. Gold asks about Smee’s knitted cap and Smee tells him that his mother made it for him. Smee begs Gold to not make him cross the line, because as we’ve alredy been told, anyone who crosses, forgets their FTL identity and will become their cursed selves. Gold ignores his pleas and takes the hat, dumps a potion on it, puts it back on Smee’s head and shoves him across the line. The potion works though because Smee remembers everything. Gold grabs Smee and brings him back to the Storybrooke side of the line and sends him on his way. The next morning, Gold tells Belle about what he discovered and his plans to leave town to find his son. She wants to go with him, but he only has enough potion to enchant one thing: Bae’s shawl. Belle understands and prepares herself for the long goodbye.
Later on at the library, Belle busies herself tidying up, when she notices Hook is already there waiting for her. She recognizes him as the one who tried to break her out way back when in FTL and she tries to get away. She’s able to take refuge in the old elevator and she calls Gold for help. Gold shows up, but Hook is nowhere to be found. Belle wants to know the truth behind Hook’s quest for vengeance, and Gold tells her about his wife, but doesn’t tell her how she died. They return to Gold’s shop only to find the place has been ransacked. As they search, Smee delivers the shawl to Hook, who is watching from a rooftop. I’d say that’s mission accomplished.
Gold is hell-bent on getting Bae’s shawl back from Hook. He gives her a gun just in case Hook comes back and goes to leave, even though Belle begs him not to. After some nifty P.I. work, Belle finds, and is able to board, Hook’s ship. After some snooping around, she finds Archie bound and gagged in the cargo hold. She sets him free and has another confrontation with Hook. She’s able to get the shawl and get away, but he catches up with her up on deck. Gold is there however, and he proceeds to beat the crap out of Hook. Belle pleads with him to stop, which he does…eventually.
Later on, Belle and Gold are at the town’s limit line and Gold pours the potion on the shawl. After putting it around his neck, he steps across the line and the potion seems to be working. However, just as they say good-bye to each other, Hook shows up with that gun that Belle had and shoots her. Her body falls across the line, eliminating Belle as we know her. As if things couldn’t get any worse, just as Gold is about to hit Hook with a fireball, a car comes out of nowhere, hitting Hook and driving into Storybrooke before crashing.
In other news: There’s a rather touching funeral for Archie and at the shin-dig afterwards, Leroy asks Mary Margaret and David about the plan to go back to the enchanted forest. No one has any answers and Emma hand’s are full with dealing with a grieving Henry. She tries to ease the pain by taking possession of Pongo. Henry’s happy, but Mary Margaret questions the logistics of all of them living in her loft. The idea of a bigger place is tossed around, along with going back to FTL but no decisions are made.
Henry draws up some blue prints for when MM & David move out and he wants to make one of the rooms an armory in case Regina tries to come back for him. As Emma assures him that won’t happen, there’s a knock on the door. Emma opens the door to see Archie is alive and well. He tells her that it was Cora, not Regina and Emma says they need to tell Regina that mommy dearest is back.
I’m really glad they didn’t drag the stuff with Archie out too long. That would have gotten very tired, very fast. But what’s going to happen to Belle now? And where the hell is August?Tags: Barbara Hershey, Colin O'Donoghue, Emilie de Ravine, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jared Gilmore, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Lana Parilla, Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time recap, Once Upon a Time Season 2 Episode 11, Once Upon a Time The Outsider, OUaT, Raphael Sbarge, Robert Carlyle