In the Enchanted Past, Belle is hanging at the pub with Dreamy, when she notices the locals gearing up to hunt Kristi Yamaguchi. All right, their prey isn't Kristi Yamaguchi, but I watched the Golden Globes first (no, not Belle's cleavage in this episode -- the foreign press awards), so I'm really tired (not too mention bitter on Benedict Cumberbatch's behalf).
When the writers choose mythical creatures with names like Yaoguai, I suspect they're hoping recappers everywhere will botch the spelling, so big...props to the Props Department for creating that lovely "REWARD" poster, which prominently features the English spelling. I'll stop picking on you for your misspelling of Rumpelstiltskin on the Dark One's dagger. Maybe. Okay, I probably won't, but in this moment, I mean to. And thus was paved my road to Hell.
Anyhow, with some encouragement from Dreamy (Grumpy/Leroy), Belle decides to join the otherwise all-male hunting party. If that seems like a spectacularly bad idea, that's only because it is. Belle and the other hunters take a wagon from the Enchanted Kingdom's pub to neighboring Enchanted Possibly-China, which is just about 20 minutes outside of town. The problem is, one of the boorish hunters kicks Belle of the wagon, about 10 minutes outside of town -- but only after she misleads him as to the Yamaguchi's whereabouts. Oh my, I am tired. I just tried to spell that as wearabouts. Yikes.
Being smart, resourceful, and bookish, Belle has no trouble at all tracking the Yamaguchi. Unarmed (save a small bag of Fairy Dust she received from Dreamy) Belle has no clue how to combat the fiery-headed beast. What's worse -- she gets in Mulan's way, and exposes herself to the yawning black hole where Mulan's personality ought to be. Still, since Belle can love Rumpy, she can connect with pretty much anyone or anything.
After Mulan saves Belle from another run-in with the hunters, but is injured in the process, she deigns to invite Belle to join her. Belle can track the Yamaguchi and Mulan will slay it. When Mulan's condition worsens, Belle volunteers to slay the beast on her own. After she extinguishes its flames with water, the beast appears more pathetic than fierce, which we know is Belle's bullet-proof kink. She sprinkles the Yamaguchi with Fairy Dust and he is restored to his original form -- Prince Phillip.
Belle brings Phillip to the ailing Mulan and asks him to see to the warrior's medical care. Mulan is instantly smitten with the handsome prince, so I hope the local doctor has a cure for love sickness, provided it is one which will leave her newly emerging personality intact.
On her own again, Belle pauses and looks down at the town below. As soon as she vows to return to Rumpy, Regina and her guard appear and capture our spunky girl. As Regina locks Belle in her paddy wagon... Is that an offensive term? Does it matter that I'm a Celt? Have I asked these questions before? Did I mention I'm up way past my bedtime? Anyhow, as Regina locks Belle in her um... jail-cell type wagon thing, she tells her captive that it's pretty much for her own good, and I sort of agree, but more on that in the full recap. Right now, it's time to flash forward to...
Storybrooke. Present. The townies bury and mourn the poor bugger they believe is Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket. Geppetto gives Pongo to Emma, because he knows Henry loves the pooch. Speaking of Henry, the poor little guy is having a particularly hard time with "Archie's" death. He's even turning down mom-approved Pop-Tarts. If one of my kids did that, I'd whip them off to the pediatrician before you could say, "It's poppin' fresh," which I now realize is a Pillsbury slogan, not a Pop-Tart slogan, but I'm using it anyhow.
Snow suggests that the family go house hunting, because her hovel is lacking in both space and, as we all learned the hard way, last week -- privacy. Charming's not high on the idea. Like many before him, he doesn't want to die in Maine. Despite the fact that their kingdom is in ruins, ogres have the run of the place, and Cora terrorizes their realm, Charming wants to go home. Snow would prefer to start fresh. Is there trouble in paradise? Once she knows it is safe to do so, perhaps Snow should take her beloved out to I-95, show him a "Maine: The Way Life Should Be" sign, and possibly bash his head against it, until he proves he's had some sense knocked into him.
Rumpy takes Smee out to the town line. He drips some potion on Smee's trademark red cap, puts it back on the would-be pirate's head and shoves him over the line. Smee can still remember who he is, and who Rumpy is. The potion works! Rumpy can now set out in search of Bae.
Rumpy explains the potion to Belle. If you sprinkle it on a person's prized possession, that possession becomes a sort of talisman that protects the bearer from town line amnesia. When Belle heads off to the library, Hook ambushes her, but our resourceful girl secures herself in the elevator and calls Rumpy. By the time he gets to the library, Hook is gone, but Belle is safe. When they return to the shop, they find it has been ransacked. And worse? Baelfire's cloak is missing -- the very cloak Rumpy was going to enchant, to ensure safe passage out of town.
While Rumpy harasses Smee (and eventually turns him into his true spirit animal -- a rat) Belle, armed with the gun Rumpy gave her for self-protection (like that doesn't backfire as often as not) starts her own investigation. After finding a piece of rope tied in a nautical knot, she realizes Hook must have come to Storybrooke on his ship. Fun fact: using a book, Belle identifies the knot as one called "The Monkey's Fist," and I can't help but think of The Monkey's Paw, which could be the moral of this entire series.
Belle finds the ship, even though it is invisible, because she's Belle. She frees Archie and sends him to find Rumpy. She is searching for Bae's cloak, when Hook finds her. Rumpy arrives in time and beats the stuffing out of Hook. Belle pleads for the pirate's life. Rumpy struggles with himself, but ultimately acquiesces to Belle. He leaves Hook with a stern warning to get out of Dodge. Rumpy manages to retrieve the cloak, but alas, he leaves behind Chekhov's gun.
Belle accompanies Rumpy to the town line. I'll hit the stupidity of this in the full recap. She holds Bae's cloak as Rumpy sprinkles it with the memory potion. After he steps over the line but can still remember Belle (and everything else) they lean in for a kiss, but Hook arrives and shoots Belle. She falls across the town line and into Rumpy's arms. The amnesia spell washes over her. Rumpy calls out her name, but Belle cries, "Who is Belle?" Rumpy looks down in horror at the blood on his hands. Enjoy your metaphor. Still brandishing the weapon, Hook assures Rumpy that Belle will live. "She'll just have no idea who you are."
On his knees at Belle's side, Rumpy weeps as he looks up at Hook. "What you've done cannot be undone." Hook shouts that now Rumpy finally knows how it feels, then tempts the "crocodile" into doing his worst. Saying he intends to, Rumpy raises his hand and conjures up a fireball. Before he can hurl it at Hook, a car comes speeding toward them. Rumpy dives on Belle and rolls her out of harm's way. The car crashes right into Hook and sends him sailing in the air. He lands on the roof, then slides off into a ditch. The car careens out of control and crashes into a tree. Thunder rumbles. Lightning flashes. Through the rain, we close in on the car's Pennsylvania license plate which reads 2KFL 138. Have at it, internet detectives. If you're still battle-scarred by THE numbers on Lost and have vowed never again to decode things like license plates, send me your (unspoiled only, please) speculation about this new outsider who has come to town. You can find me on Twitter.
Unlike the mean writers, I'll leave you on a happier note. Emma and Henry are hanging at the hovel when there's a knock on the door. Pongo barks and then whimpers. When Emma opens the door, she is shocked to find Archie. He explains Cora kidnapped him. Henry suggests they let Regina know. Emma agrees, but says, "Something tells me that, either way, we're going to pay the price." Dun dun dun.
I'll be back with the full recap, later this week. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where we're hoping Kristi Yamaguchi isn't in the mood to do a vanity Google.
Storybrooke. Night. Rumpy drives Smee out to the town line. Smee's not riding shotgun in the Caddy, though; he's bound and gagged in the trunk of the car. I really wish we Americans used boot, the way the Brits do. I'd do it here, but I suspect I already use too many Briticisms. I'm always afraid my recaps sound affected, like when when Madonna forgot she was born in Michigan. Anyhow, enough about me and Madge. Once Smee is out on the road, Rumpy removes his prisoner's gag. Smee begs not to be shoved over the border. Oh great, now I have Madonna's "Borderline" running through my head. Let's start a new paragraph so I can clear my head.
Rumpy chides Smee for being more than willing to steal Belle's memories from her, then canes him, causing the pirate to fall to the ground. Swiping Smee's trademark red knit cap, Rumpy remarks that Smee has had it for as long as he can remember. It's important to Smee because his grandmother made it for him; it's his good luck charm. Satisfied with his answer, Rumpy douses the hat with a potion and says the hat's importance to Smee is his only chance.
When Rumpy puts the hat back on Smee, Smee wonders what "only chance" Rumpy is talking about. Rumpy clears up his victim's confusion by pushing him over the town line. Whatever the potion is, it works because Smee remembers who he is, and remembers the Dark One as well. Pronouncing the experiment a success, Rumpy grabs Smee and orders him to go. As Smee runs down the dark road, Rumpy says to no one in particular, "I have a trip to plan." How great is Robert Carlyle, that he can make this character so very sympathetic, even when he's being a callous bastard? I know he doesn't do it alone. He's working with great material, but like Lana Parrilla, Carlyle elevates the strong characterization given him by the Once writers. Title card.
Day. Cemetery. Snow eulogizes her friend Archie and loyal subject Jiminy, whose headstone reads, "Archibald Hopper Friend & Conscience." At first, I find it curious that they're burying him under his Storybrooke name, but later, after thinking on it (and seeing the end of this episode) I suppose it's wise of the Storybrookers to avoid leaving public records of their original identities -- especially those literally carved in stone. Only a small crowd is gathered graveside. There's Snow, Charming, Emma and Henry, who is holding Pongo's leash. Pongo is crying, which would break my heart, except it's fairly clear it's only a sound effect, since the dog is relaxed and looking around. Granny and Red are there too, as are Blue, Belle and the Dwarfs (possibly minus Sneezy). And finally, there's Marco/Geppetto.