Once Upon a Time
The Outsider

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Cindy McLennan: A- | Grade It Now!
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For Whom The Belle Tolls

Yamaguchi-Land. The hunters are dunking Belle's head in the town well because the Yamaguchi wasn't at the lake as she told them it would be. Belle plays innocent, but the hunter accuses her of doing exactly what she did -- purposefully misleading them. They don't get to rough her up too long though. Mulan lassos one of the men, then fights with another. When her helmet comes off in combat, her opponent feels the need to point out to her that she's female. Mulan pretty much rolls her eyes at him and orders both men to leave.

Once the men are gone, Belle thanks Mulan for her help, and Mulan gives Belle some of her backstory. Mulan notes the sun's position in the sky and says it's time for them to move out. If Belle will track the beast, Mulan will kill it. Belle graciously says she'll be honored. We flash forward to the...

Storybrooke Library. Belle finds a piece of knotted rope on the floor. Using her book smarts, she looks up nautical knots and realizes Hook must have come to town on his ship.

Smee is trying to get out of Dodge when he's confronted by Rumpy who magically throttles him, and demands the return of Bae's shawl. Smee confesses he gave it to Hook, but he has no more information. Rumpy doesn't wonder at the fact that Hook isn't sharing his plans with Smee. "Hook knows exactly what you are, Mr. Smee -- a sniveling rat." At a twist of Rumpy's hand, black smoke overwhelms Smee. When it clears, Smee's transformation into rat is complete. Rumpy growls at him to scurry off.

Over on the docks, Belle notices that gulls seem to be perched overhead on nothing at all. Opening a nearby bin, she throws some sand toward the creaking noise that originally caught her attention. Realizing the ship has become invisible, she takes a tentative step aboard. Commercial.

Once aboard the ship, it's not long before Belle finds and frees Archie. She tells him to find Gold, tell him her whereabouts, and bring him back to the ship. Archie wants Belle to come with him, but when they hear footsteps overhead Belle tells him there's no time to argue and insists he leave. No, I can't figure out how he gets off the ship without being seen, either.

Over at Snow's Hovel, she and Charming are doing dishes. When Charming sees Henry on the phone, he quietly asks Snow who the boy could be calling. Snow picks up the kitchen extension of the phone to hear Archie's answering machine greeting. "You've reached the phone of Archibald Hopper. I'm sorry I can't take your call right now. I'm either with a patient..." We cut to Henry who is hanging up the phone and says, "Or dead." Oh my word. I know that feeling. When my Nana died, I used to call her number from time to time. At first, it still rang (she didn't have an answering machine). Eventually, after my mother and aunt cleared out her apartment and shut off the phone, I would get the phone company recording about the number being out of service. The last time I ever called it, someone answered. She'd been gone so long the phone number had been reassigned. I apologized and said I'd dialed the wrong number, then resolved never to call back again. I saw someone somewhere (I don't think it was on our boards) berate the writers here because at eleven, Henry is too old to do something quite that childish. I'm not going to get into an argument with a stranger, but I will note I was 25 when my Nana died. I knew she wasn't going to answer. It was just the closest I could get to her. Oh, now I've made me fool self cry. Let's start a new paragraph, shall we?

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Once Upon a Time

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