Rumplestiltskin and Belle had quite an interesting beginning in Season One, as they were Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely worship Rumbelle, and was thrilled to see another episode about this power couple. Rumple is one of the most mysterious characters, and this episode finally revealed some information about him.
The episode begins in Storybrooke with Belle having doubts about Rumple and concerns about if he’s really going to change or keep using magic to control others. She sets out to explore Storybrooke without telling Rumple, and finds herself at Granny's and addicted to iced tea--which is kind of adorable because she’s only been exposed to the magic world.
At Granny’s, Belle and Ruby befriend each other, and Belle explains that she is trying to settle down in Storybrooke. After hearing that she liked books, Ruby came up with the idea that Belle could re-open the town library. While Belle investigates the empty library, she is kidnapped by a large man in a red cap (who we see later on in Fairy Tale Land).
Belle with Mr. Smee
The man in the red cap brings Belle to her father, who tells her that this was the only way he knew to get her to leave Rumple. Her father gets mad at her desire to stay with Rumple, and decides to have the mysterious man in the red cap send her past the line that borders Storybrooke. Her dad wants her to forget all about Rumple--even if it means she will also forget about her own father.
During this time, Rumple, David, and Ruby were able to piece together what was going to happen to Belle, and they get to her just in time. Rumple’s magic stops her from crossing the border. Still, while she is thankful for Rumple’s help, she is unable to trust Rumple and decides they need a break.
Rumplestiltskin talks to Belle in the library
Belle and Rumple meet at the library, and Rumple comes clean about why he has been using magic. He explains to her how he lost his son, Baelfire, and how he tried to follow him to the non-magical land. The reason he was so upset about the effects of crossing the border are finally clear: the entire time, he’s been trying to find a spell that will allow him to cross the line (to find his son) and keep his memory.
There seems to be some closure for the two, at least for now. But there is definitely some room left for them to get back together. I really like how Belle is still in love with Rumple, but defining the relationship on her terms, and not letting him decide how it’s going to be. How’s that for feminism?
This episode, there’s as much as going on in old Fairy Tale Land is there is in Storybrooke. We discover for the first time how strained the relationship between Rumple and his wife Milah has become. Rumple goes looking for her and finds her in a tavern. She calls him a coward in front of the men at the tavern, and they all laugh at him. She continues to make fun of him, until Baelfire (Bae for short) comes in, and Rumple takes him home. In the morning, he finds out Milah has boarded a ship run by Captain Killian Jones. When Rumple is too scared to fight for his wife, he returns home and is forced to tell Bae that his mother died.
Captain Killian Jones (Hook)
Years later, the mysterious red-hatted man, who is known as Mr. Smee, meets Rumple (who is now known as the Dark One now that he has magical powers). Mr. Smee tells Rumple he knows how to get a magic bean.
The same night, Captain Jones and Rumple cross paths for the first time since the morning Milah boarded the ship, and the Captain tells Rumple that Milah is dead. Rumple invites Captain Jones to a duel the next morning, and when Rumple nearly rips out the Captain’s heart, he is stopped by none other than the very-much-alive Milah. She asks that Rumple spare both their lives in exchange for the magic bean.
When Rumple goes to their ship to retrieve the bean, Milah tells him that she left him (and Bae) because she only loved Captain Jones. Rumple rips Milah’s heart out and crushes it to dust, and cuts off the hand of the Captain, which is holding the bean. When he returns home, we discover that Captain Jones (now Captain Hook) tricked Rumple and still has the magic bean. Captain Hook throws the bean into the ocean, and together with Mr. Smee goes through a portal to Neverland. I'm pretty excited to see what Neverland--a completely new world--will be like.
Rumple confronting Milah
As always, OUAT provides a great cliffhanger ending. In present day Fairy Tale Land we see Captain Hook. Who else but Cora walks up, and shows him the ashes from the wardrobe. She plans for them to go together to Storybrooke, where Cora will see Regina again and Hook plans to take revenge on Rumple. BOOM. Some seriously good stuff seems to be coming.
My friend Dani brought it to my attention that Rumple’s son might actually be the guy who received the postcard from Storybrooke in this season's premiere. Seems totally plausible to me.
Also, I hate to admit it, but I just became aware of the fact that Disney owns ABC. I’m surprised, looking at how they usually market their princesses, that they are allowing the creators of OUAT to have so much creative direction with the characters. The creators go into more detail about the season (and even what possible characters will appear on the show in the future) in the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. (HINT: The Little Mermaid and the Wizard of Oz are huge possibilities. Mickey Mouse and Sherlock Holmes: most definitely not.)
Images via ABC.com