Whoa. That’s two underwhelming episodes in a row, show. Sure, there were some great moments, especially near the end with Regina and Gold’s talk, but the rest of this episode was awkward.
Fairytale world: Rumpelstiltskin was apparently the beast in Beauty and the Beast. When Belle’s town is threatened by Ogres, Rumpy makes a deal with Belle’s father, Maurice. If Rumpy can have Belle, he will save the town. Maurice says no, but Belle says yes. Belle becomes Rumpy’s housekeeper who has to sleep in his dungeon. Yeah, his house has a dungeon. We really shouldn’t be surprised. Belle drops a teacup and it chips. It’s Chip. Chip does not come to life and start singing, sadly enough.
The two develop feelings for each other, and Belle just must be the most compassionate person on Earth, because we don’t see how she fell in love with Rumpy. Since it wasn’t well-developed, it just came across as weird and a little messed-up that Belle would fall in love with a guy who is such a jerk to her. Rihanna? Is that you? Well, Rumpy didn’t hit her at least. He did catch her when she fell off a ladder. Still. Stockholm Syndrome is not true love. Rumpy decides to let her go. He sends her to town to get straw, not expecting her to return. If she returns, he promises to tell her the story we saw a few weeks ago of how he lost his son and got all evil.
Belle walks away from his house and meets the Evil Queen on the road. Offff course she does. The Evil Queen tells Belle that evil curses (like the one Rumpy is under) can be broken by true love’s kiss. This sounds nice, but we knew it would go wrong, because the idea came from the Evil Queen. Belle returns to Rumpy with straw, determined to break the curse. She kisses him and it starts to work, but Rumpy freaks out. He thinks she is in league with the queen to take his power and can’t really love him. Rumpy is mean to Belle, trashes his place, and then throws Belle out of his castle. Belle calls him a coward for not being able to believe that someone could love him. These lines almost worked and sucked us into the tragic love story the show was trying to write. However, context ruined the lines.
Later, the Evil Queen visits Rumpy and tells him Belle killed herself after being rejected by her father and locked in a tower. Where there were clergy with whips. Huh? Like a moron, Rumpy believes her. We are almost 100% sure that Belle is still alive, because she is alive in Storybrooke. Regina has her locked in a padded room, hidden in the local hospital. She looks all crazy and sad. Belle was played by Emelie De Ravin, who was better on LOST. Also, her accent didn’t match everyone else’s on this show.
In our world, Maurice is a florist named Moe French. He owes a debt to Mr. Gold, so Gold takes his flower delivery van on Valentine’s Day. That’s gonna hurt business, and Mr. Gold's chances of getting his money back. In revenge, Moe robs Mr. Gold’s place. Emma finds the stuff, but Rumpy says she didn’t find everything. He goes all vigilante, despite Emma’s warnings to leave it to her. Rumpy finds Moe, kidnaps him, beats him with his cane, and questions him, dropping weird hints about why he’s really mad. Emma shows up in time and arrests Gold. Moe is taken to the hospital.
Regina brings Henry to Emma’s office and offers Emma 30 minutes to have ice cream with her son. Regina wants a word alone with Gold. Regina admits that she put Moe up to steal from Gold. She has the missing item and will return it to him in return for his real name. Gold pretends not to know what she is talking about, but finally coughs up “Rumpelstiltskin.” Hmmm, so he knows that he used to live in another world. Not a surprise. Regina gives Gold the cup. In B plot, Sean proposes to Ashley (Cinderella, who we barely remember) at her girls’ night out with Mary Margaret and Ruby (Red Riding Hood). Mary Margaret grows dissatisfied with her wrong, secret relationship with David.
We liked the darker, creepier moments of this show, and Gold’s twistedness. The Gaston thing was funny. This show needs to skew dark, but its characters need to act in ways that actual humans would act. Last time, we got a king with mixed motives and weird, slightly despicable decisions. Here, we have a love story we didn’t buy, even though we love the Beauty and the Beast story. LAZY. This was a missed opportunity, overall, but it was a little better than last week.
Episode grade: C+