This was the episode I’d been waiting for. Oh. So. Much. Ever since I’d read the press release that said it would be a Rumbelle ep, I was totally on edge. And after getting to see and know more and more about Captain Hook, I was even more… hooked.
To be honest, I have no idea where to start. This episode was the definition of awesome. I couldn’t sit still – or keep quiet, for that matter. I jumped up and down, I yelled at the screen, I had my mouth hanging open, I laughed, and I cried. Not necessarily in that order, but… WHAT AN EPISODE!!!

Okay, I’m gonna try this nevertheless. And I’ll start with Hook because I won’t be able to write anything after I’m through with Rumbelle.
So, Hook. Killian Jones. I love him. No, seriously. I mean, he’s easy on the eyes (understatement of the century), we knew that before. I knew that before. But after actually seeing him in the episode, how he is, how he behaves and talks and all that, I think I may seriously in love with that character. By no means is he the crazy, slightly evil pirate I had expected him to be… for some reason. Instead, he has, despite all his not-so-nice traits he definitely possesses, something… gentle and kind about him. And indeed has he manners.
I believed him that he was in love with Milah – Rumple’s wife. Ah, yes, Milah. Until the end (her end, anyways), I couldn’t decide whether I liked her or not. Actually, I was wondering how one would react to her and Rumple if they didn’t know Rumple’s backstory.
For me as someone who really loved and adores Rumple as a character, I disliked Milah very much I her first scene. She was mean and unfair, she was kind of unfaithful, and she didn’t seem to care at all – about her husband, but also not about her son. Then Bae showed up and she immediately followed him and Rumple home, not once looking back to who was still Killian Jones then.
At their home, there suddenly was another Milah; one that gave the impression that she really wanted to be with her family, with Rumple, when she said that she wanted to leave, see the world, but at least get away from the village where no one regarded them with respect anymore because of Rumple’s desertion during the Ogre Wars. There I thought I could like her; seeing that her unhappiness was also Rumple’s fault and that as a viewer who didn’t know Rumple one would probably have taken sides with Milah, pitying her for her coward of a husband.
But, alas, we know Rumple, and we like him – even though his is still a tale that waits to be told; what happened at the battlefield, how he got his injury and so on.
The next moment that made it hard to decide whom one rather agreed with was on Killian’s ship – after all, Rumple only wanted to get his wife back, and if only for their son. It was the moment where I started to like Killian because he wasn’t all malicious and sly and arrogant; didn’t react like his crew. In fact, he did appear to be quite polite. And from everything we saw of him in that episode in general, I believe that he is… with a layer of the ability to be very cruel beneath that. Cruel is a word that also seems to fit – Killian/Hook kinda reminded me of Jareth from LABYRINTH. At least the attitudes are similar.
So Killian offered Rumple to fight for his wife, which he of course didn’t do. And I caught myself thinking that, in the end, he wasn’t all that wrong by saying that Rumple was a coward. He is, we know it, and he’s said so before, several times.
Time jump. We’re now some time after Bae has left for the “land without magic”; and Rumple is still looking for him. I wonder if Rumple was really ready to take that step should he have gotten the Bean. Even now, in Storybrooke, he can’t give up magic and power – I doubt he would have been able to back then.
In any way, just as he’s about to get another Magic Bean, Killian and his crew show up again. And Rumple sees his chance to take revenge. It was also the moment when the episode title was explained; one that might just follow us into our nightmares because it stands for so much more that is yet to come. So much more I certainly don’t like to think of. Because Killian described Rumple, before he realized who it is, as crocodile – the one, as he says at the end of the episode, he wants to skin.
First, however, the two duel. Of course Killian, as good a fighter he is, has no chance. What I loved about the scenes was the music and how it was in rhythm with the fight moves (or the other way around). This was a little detail which made this scene perfect. And then Rumple did something we’d never seen him doing – but something we knew from two other characters. He reached into Killian’s chest and tried to pull his heart out – only to be stopped by Milah (in a very nice pirate attire) whom Killian had claimed to be dead before.
I should have known that this couldn’t end well. Even when Milah asked for Killian’s and her life in exchange for the Magic Bean it seemed like too easy a way out. I wish I wouldn’t have been right. Usually Rumple is always one to agree to a deal, but this one would have included his heart – it was personal. And Milah made the big mistake to actually confirm this personal aspect when she told Rumple that she had never loved him.
Milah’s heart he did rip out. Most likely just like she’d done with him seconds before.
Now, if there was ever a doubt about where Regina, but especially Cora got her powers from – here it was more or less confirmed to be Rumple. Because this rather unique… um… skill has to be something that comes with Rumple’s magic.
I may overuse this word, but the moment he killed his own wife was shocking. Oh yes. And I thought – what would he tell Bae when he found him? Would he tell him the truth – that he killed Milah? Or would he lie? This will be another very interesting scene, since Bae assumedly will not be very happy to see his father again to start with.
I think they could have had a chance to get away hadn’t Milah said that. She hurt him, because despite what most people think, there is still something human inside him, something that is capable to feel, and something that can be hurt. Only that now he can defend himself. And he does, but without any sense of good measure. All that anger and rage and pain inside him he can’t control, and when he leashes out, it is most likely much harder than the good part inside him wants to. Especially since he doesn’t only kill his wife and mother of his son, but then, instead of simply using his powers, chops off Killian’s hand he thinks the Bean is in. And for those who didn’t realize it before – no, this isn’t a children’s program.
It was promised that we’ll get to know how Hook became… Hook. Or hooked up, if you like – excuse the bad pun. They kept their promise; and they also showed how he became embittered, which is definitely a bonus, because being like this after losing his love and his hand certainly qualify as good reasons.
The scene where he throws the bean into the water and the ships drives into the whirl was simply awesome. And so genius. And… leaving us with many new questions. I was cheering when Hook answered that they were heading to Neverland *g*
Parts of his crew, like Smee, are in Storybrooke. But Hook, for example, is still in FTL. And, which is worse, associated with Cora. So how come he didn’t end up in SB, even though he went through the whirl of the Bean that was supposed to bring them to the other side, our side? Maybe something prevents him from coming here? Maybe something holds him in FTL?
I fear that together Cora and Hook may just be able to open a gateway into our world and to SB. And this will just turn out to become a race against time as Emma and Snow as well must get back; especially since Emma seems to possess special powers.
 
Rumple had a lot to do in this episode. Because besides Hook and FTL, there was also SB – and Belle. And oh my, wasn’t that heartbreaking! Yes, I cried. Let’s start at the beginning though.
Belle’s nightmare gave a good insight into what she wants. She wants a normal life with Rumple. She wants him as the man at her side, she wants him to love her and be there for her, like any good partner/husband would be. She’s actually quite the romantic when one interprets the scene where she gets the necklace and they talk about going out in the evening; like the most normal, domestic, cliched couple. Which is fine – I don’t mind. It’s her fantasy, after all, and we know that it probably will never be like this, even if they have a future together (which I sincerely, profoundly hope!!!).
What confused me a bit were the things she heard and saw in her dream. Grumpy – does she know him, has she met him already? Does she know who he is; and why is her mind assuming Rumple has his axe? Did Rumple tell her about the people of Storybrooke? Doesn’t seem like it, as she didn’t know Ruby later on. Also, dream-Grumpy (Dreamy again, are we? :D) said that nothing in Mr. Gold’s shop belongs to him, which we know is true – but how does Belle know, or at least, where does that thought come from?
Belle is intimidated by Grumpy. She is afraid of him – and when Grumpy verbally attacks her, Rumple reacts with an attack of his own; only that this is a physical one. She may be shocked by this – but it is still her mind. And my guess is that her mind is mixing up her desire to be protected by him with her fear that he’ll overreact again. Also, she seems to fear Rumple as Dark One – or more to the point, she fears him becoming the Dark One again. Right now, he’s Mr. Gold, the gentle, loving man she wants to be with – but as the Dark One, it would just be like it was back in FTL. Including the fact that they couldn’t be close.
Her subconscious seems to work through a lot here, even though she’s living with Rumple.
And speaking of. She’s not only living with him, it seems. And I checked the scene several times. The bed she awakes in she definitely doesn’t sleep alone in. Not usually, at least. Rumple may not be there when she awakes, but he obviously usually is – because the second pillow shows that someone had rested on it, and more importantly, because Belle, after she jerked awake, looked to her side and then confused, just like she was expecting to find him there, only to then see that he isn’t in the bed (anymore).
This is a not only nice (for shippers) detail, but also an important one. Given how people from FTL are probably raised, and that they still live by what would seem to us as an antique behavior codex, I’d never have expected them to share a bed. Of course we don’t know if they just share it to sleep, or if there has maybe happened anything else, but it is still something I wouldn’t have assumed I’d see. At first I also thought she had her own room – that’s why I had to watch the scene several times, since it is more a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment – and it my first assumption appeared to be confirmed when later he knocked at the door and entered the room like it was hers alone, but her reactions are too significant and clear to be misinterpreted.
Besides, it would also explain why she shows herself in only that… flimsy (come on, it is!) nightgown in the morning, without any hint of hesitation or shame. Even though the scene doesn’t end nice at all, they still have that air of familiarity and intimacy about them. Like a normal couple. Which makes what follows only harder to accept.
It seems to be the old discussion between them. She tells him that he needs to let her in, and she is right. He’s still keeping to himself, even though he knows that if there is anyone he can trust, it’s Belle. By now he should also believe that her love for him is very much real and true. Still he hold back, and of course it angers her; it’s not like she hasn’t told him that she needs him to stop using magic and desiring power if what is between them is supposed to work. Nevertheless he’s avoiding her questions, avoiding telling her the truth.
Little side detail – I think we had that before, but it’s still a squee-moment when she calls him Rumple. This is so… fourth wall-y 😀 I mean, fans call him Rumple all the time, and Belle does so as well, where one would expect them to use their full names, as part of this more… mhh… cultivated and elegant world they’re from.
Not so much squee-worthy is the fact that this is the last talk Belle and Rumple have – not ending on good terms – before she vanishes. So at first she’s still not in danger; leaving the house to get away from Rumple because she can’t bear his secrets and lies anymore. She shows up at Granny’s, hears about the library and… runs straight into her undoing. Or at least what could have become her undoing.
But wait. There’s another thing. Ruby’s and Belle’s talk. She’s been a kept woman? She thinks she just had a bad breakup? Both declarations confused me. For one, and given what she says later on, I don’t hope she’s talking about Rumple, but about the asylum, regarding the “kept” part. And as for the breakup part… I was still hoping for a happy end at that point, so her words were terribly final, but I guess that question is answered by now… nevertheless came that decision quickly, since nothing indicated that she’s actually leave Rumple, even after their argument.
Moe/Maurice has to fear Mr. Gold – the Dark One, as he calls him – so much that he has to resort to kidnapping his own daughter. That man I only wanted to slap – hard. And repeatedly. Of course he’s her father, and of course he sees in Rumple only the monster that took away his daughter, but – he quite daft when he not for one second considers that there could be true love. That’s the problem with single-minded people; contrary to Charming and Ruby, who believed Rumple and his love.
Rumple going to Charming to seek help is… I’m starting to like this new… how do we call it? Association? Truce? Something in between? However one wants to call it, it’s nice to see them act like civilized persons, and that Charming, even though reluctantly, helps Rumple – and that he even remembers that Belle’s the woman Rumple once talked about back in FTL as the woman he loved. I think it becomes clear that Charming may wonder how one can love Rumple, but still believes; thus my claim above. Plus, Rumple truthfully tells Charming that it is possible that Belle has run away, and that he doesn’t know what has happened.
As for Ruby – when they come to her to ask her about Belle, her expressions and behavior seem to indicate that even though she doesn’t trust Rumple, she believes in his feelings for Belle as well, and that he cared about her. Belle was talking about a breakup, not imprisonment (although, Ruby could of course think that “kept” means with Rumple… mhh…).
Fun moment: Dating advice for Rumplestiltskin from Prince Charming. So great *lol*
What Maurice has Smee do to Belle… no, I’ll just get furious about it, so I leave it at that and rather go immediately to the part where Rumple, with magic, brings Belle back. As Ruby put it: “Seriously wow.” I can only agree wholeheartedly. I had no idea that he had that strong magic already again – is it growing with every passing episode? Or is he simply so powerful, even when he isn’t the Dark One and isn’t in FTL, that he can do such things now that magic has been brought to SB?
The scene that follows is highly interesting and informative. Rumple hugs Belle, but she pushes him away; though not in a way that would indicate that she never had any kind of feelings for him, or that she doesn’t think he’d love her back and care for her. It’s really simply a gesture that shows that whatever was is over now. But I also think that if Belle had to decide whom she loathes more for what they’ve done, it would be her father – Rumple at least gave her freedom and cared about her, while her father only tried to suppress her being herself and acting as well as speaking (and feeling!) her own mind. Still she tells both of them that she doesn’t want to see them again. Ever.
Another side note, alas an important one: I’m already a Ruby/Belle friendshipper. I really hope to see more of that friendship. I think they could make great friends, and Ruby is exactly who Belle needs to show her a bit of this world and how a young girl lives there. Besides, I think it could help that, as I mentioned above, Ruby seems to sense that Rumple’s feelings for Belle are real, that he does love her.
That Rumple sent her the key to the library, is a nice shout-out to the original B&B. That he is there, waiting for her, was to be expected; still, it is a pleasant surprise. Even more since Belle does talk to him, despite her earlier dismissal, and doesn’t run out on him. Maybe, however, that would have been better. Because that talk was simply, purely, heartbreaking. Without even knowing what was happening to me, I suddenly found myself sobbing. Yes, no kidding. The whole talk – what he told her, her reactions – in combination with the lack of background music and the great acting of both Emilie and Robert was so touching, so moving.
And when he said that he’s lost so much he loved, and that he didn’t wanna lose her again without her knowing everything – which he had finally told her (his motivation, at least)… and then told her goodbye… it was probably the saddest moments in this show so far. Especially they both had tears in their eyes because they still love each other. Love doesn’t just go away; certainly not on Rumple’s side, as he doesn’t have a reason to stop loving her, and also not on hers, as her love for him has been too strong from the very beginning – she has fallen in love with a “beast”, after all.
I love the showrunners for giving us hope by this hint of reconciliation when Belly asks Rumple for a lunch date – some time – even though I’m sure he, out of love, would have let her go. For once I can’t see him calculating this move, because he was ready to let go of her once before, rather seeing her happy than enforcing his own happiness with her that then won’t be. Of course, one could argue that in order to go through with his plans, he is better off without Belle and knows it, but – no. This is not what has been shown to us; there was never even a hint that Rumple has ulterior motives when it comes to her; safe for wanting her in his life because he loves her, of course.
 
Okay, so, I have this theory. If there’s anyone who could prove to be a real danger to Rumple it is Hook. If he really comes through to SB and attacks Rumple, he may not be able to defend himself; not enough anyways. Rumple has shown that he has magic and that he can use it (still wow), but how powerful is it, really? Pulling a cart in a mine back is different from fighting against Hook… I assume. Even more if Cora is able to use her magic in SB as well, since magic now exists there thanks to Rumple, and helps Hook.
So Rumbelle could turn out to be Beauty & the Beast, after all. I had that wild train of thoughts that Rumple is fatally wounded and turns back to be the Dark One (or the other way around). Maybe Hook found out how, maybe he was told, and maybe he managed to acquire the dagger. And here comes the romantic in me: With Rumple close to death, Belle declares her love again and kisses him one last time – thus breaking the curse on him and returning him back to normal. And bringing him also back to the land of the living. Yeah, as I said – romantic. Hopeless. Seriously.
On the other hand – what is if Belle is attacked and for once, Rumple has to truly show courage? He is a coward, everyone knows that, even he himself – and he admits it. So it would be an evolution for the character if he actually has to be courageous, especially to save someone he loves – most likely Belle. At the moment it just seems to be more right for Belle to be the one in danger and in need to be saved, not Bae, as one could also think. And I think it would be more fitting this way… unless it involves both Bae and Belle being in danger. In any way could this be a great resolution for the Rumple character – to finally show courage, and thus also overcome his fear of losing power. That said, it of course needs for Regina and some other to lose and/or refrain from their power as well, or Rumple won’t have a long life as soon as he’s gotten rid of the Dark One’s powers… (which makes his hesitation all the more understandable, even if it’s his own fault that so many want him dead).
 
Okay, so now we have again many open questions – especially concerning Hook and Cora and if they manage to come to SB. If we thought before that nothing can defeat Rumple, we may just have to think again. Because Rumple with magic in SB is by far not the Dark One in FTL. And I fear that we’ve just gotten to know who may prove to be the next big villain…
 
On next week: Doctor Whale and finally the revelation of who he is. By what is shown in the promo, the guesses that he’s Frankenstein seem to be right. And Frankenstein is creating a monster… only that this time, its name is Daniel and it used to be the True Love of Regina…
Plus, we’ll see Hook again and more of his story… is it Sunday yet? (Until then, I think I have to watch The Crocodile again…)

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Tags: Hook/Killian Jones, Once Upon A Time, OUAT, Rumbelle, Rumplestiltskin
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