I’m screaming again. Because that’s the only thing you can do after THAT episode. OH. MY. GOD. It’s not like the episode itself, the whole thing, was already exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. But – the last minute? BLOODY HELL. And yes, still screaming. And on the verge of tears.
Be aware that there are spoiler spaces in that review. I always do my best to avoid spoilers for upcoming episodes… I rarely ever succeed. This time, I needed to include an outlook to the next episode(s).

Even though the episode is called “The Outsider”, it’s totally a Belle episode. And a Rumbelle one. And didn’t I love every second of it. Now I know that last week’s episode was definitely one that was supposed to give us the chance to take a deep breath – because this one takes every last bit of it away.
In FTL, we are presented with big Belle story this time. Well, or let’s say, we have another puzzle piece, such as we had it last week. Only that I have to admit – this week’s was way more interesting 😉
The flashback to pre-Curse FTL sends us back into the bar/pub where Belle first met the Dwarves. It’s one day after that first meeting, and after she advised Grumpy – still Dreamy back then – to take his chance with Nova. Because True Love is always worth it. So this is also shortly after she’s left Rumple, or after he has thrown her out. Now she is on her own, and sits there, drinking a beer (oh?) and reading a book, when Grumpy appears.
This scene is so adorable, really. It also finally explains why Grumpy was in Belle’s dream in 2×04; they do have a deeper connection, maybe even something that could turn into friendship, and not only that one meeting where they talked across two tables. It also had me immediately thinking of Grumpy one day being another protector for Belle. He sort of was that in her dream, when she imagined Rumple turning to his dark side again. I would love to see them meet in SB, see if this friendship can evolve. I’d love to see her with the others in general – and if she can convince them that Rumple isn’t as bad as they all believe him to be.
But back to FTL.
Grumpy tells Belle that he plans to run away with Nova, what makes Belle happy; she is such a romantic. No wonder she could/can bring out Rumple’s humanity 🙂 While they are talking, there is a man who reports a beast, the Yaoguai (Chinese for “demon”; should actually be *a* yaoguai), and calls for everyone to come along and fight/kill it. It is an adventure even Grumpy can see piques Belle’s interest and excitement; it is all she ever wanted, after all. Going out, seeing the world – being brave. So when Grumpy encourages her, she makes a decision – she will accompany the hunting party.
Before she leaves, Grumpy gives her a small satchel with fairy dust. At first, Belle doesn’t want it, because she wants to have nothing to do with magic; only when Grumpy explains to her that it is good magic, she takes it.
Now – why doesn’t she want to have magic? Apart from the obvious of course. For me, there are two reasons – one, because of Rumple. He hurt her, he sent her away, he didn’t believe in their True Love. He is personified (dark) magic that is also more important to him than she is, as he told her. The second reason is also because of Rumple, but looking from the other side. She hates dark magic because it takes away her True Love. This seems also a lot more logical, as she is the one who saw/sees the good in him and thus doesn’t believe that he’s the dark soul here, but is only possessed by one and needs to be freed of it. It is the dark magic that keeps them apart, and that’s what she resents about it. The fairy dust, the white/good magic she can be convinced to take, however – any luckily so.
Cut to her on the wagon with the others – all men who obviously don’t take her serious. No surprise here; after all, FTL is a bit stuck in the Dark Ages, so a woman fighting alongside men isn’t what fits into their world view. The exception proves the rule – and has a man fall in love with her (Belle, Snow… arguably also Mulan). The real question(s) that arose for me here was/were: Where did she learn Chinese (because, come on, it’s not like you can learn that from just reading – I know that, have a friend who studied that language, after she had it as a hobby for many years and was very good at it also) and – where did she get that dress?! I mean, forget the Chinese – these clothes look fantastic! She really should wear that more often… and she should have worn that when she was still with Rumple 😉 (sorry)
So after she tells the others where to find the yaoguai – at the lake, something she knows thanks to her book – they throw her off the wagon. Only that they don’t know that Belle told them the wrong location. Ha. Clever girl 😀 That also means that she must have known they would throw her off sooner or later. Why else would she make them head in the wrong direction? When she said it, she was still on board. Bit strange, that; but maybe Belle is just that good at reading people.
In any way is she on her own and indeed, in the woods she finds the cave with the Wraith device. … No. Sorry. The cave with the yoaguai. Terrible when they all have the same filming locations… and I swear that this was the cave with that mind-muddling Wraith device in STARGATE ATLANTIS. Or maybe I watch too much TV. Anyways.
Until now, she’s been brave. She searched, and she found. But fighting a beast is an entirely different thing. So when it suddenly comes out of the cave, Belle runs – and trips. Enter Mulan, who saves Belle, but is anything but happy about the interruption. Me, I loved it. Another two character you would never have expected to be connected, and yet they are. The more of these we have, the more interesting a return to FTL will be, when they all meet again. Already now we can determine who will work with whom, and how strong the forces will be, if needed. This is going to be one hell of a mixup… even more than it is already.
For the moment, the two women part ways again. That is until the men Belle sent off into the wrong direction find her in a village and threaten her to throw her down a well. Again it is Mulan who helps Belle (fighting the men in a pretty spectacular way – and a hilarious one when they realize that she’s a woman), this time with an ulterior motive though – after all, Belle found the yoaguai in a matter of days whereas Mulan herself, as she says, needed weeks. So they join forces – Belle finds the beast, and Mulan kills it. Easier said than done. They find the yoaguai, or the village that is burning, thus giving away the beast with a mane of flames’ location – but Mulan is injured. She can’t fight; she can barely walk. So she gives Belle her sword and tells her that she’ll have to defeat the beast. What a promotion – from a bookworm to Xena. Had me puzzled a bit, because even just holding a sword is a challenge to those who’ve never done it, and Belle is a pretty small and fragile person (on first sight anyways). So back home, did she maybe have sword fighting lessons? It would fit; she is the type of girl to have done that. Clearly there’s a lot still unexplained about Belle.
A recurring theme through all that is that Belle always emphasizes that she’s faced a beast before. And in these days, she actually seems to think of Rumple as a beast; at least partly. But she never appears to be angry or vengeful even; only sad, a bit disappointed. What it also proves is that she thinks a lot about Rumple. In the end, all that is nothing else but Belle’s inner journey to her realization that she by far isn’t done with Rumple. In some way, it makes of them star-crossed lovers. Belle is thinking of Rumple, about her feelings for him, about what has happened. And Rumple as well thinks of her – remembers her fondly after her supposed death, carries her name and Chip like a treasure, misses her, never forgets her (in what have been decades?) and even talks about her to Charming (which, in retrospect, is incredibly revealing – when he talks about True Love, he doesn’t remember/mention Milah, the woman he was married to and has a son with, but Belle).
Interlude – fun moment. Belle goes and plans to defeat the yaoguai. And what does she do when she spots it on the field? Calls “over here”. Which gave me a deja vu of a certain Doctor jumping out of his cover from the Cybermen, yelling “Look at me, I’m a target!”. What is it with intelligent people, really?
Without any doubt is intelligent what she does next. She lures the yaoguai to a watermill-construction in the village and when it comes closes, she douses it with water. (“Whoa. Is my hair out?” anyone?) Effectively rendering it powerless, it seems; at least it’s just sitting/lying on the ground, looking very exhausted. Plot twist is coming right up – Belle doesn’t kill the beast, but reads what it writes, understands, and empties the fairy dust on it – to reveal no one lesser than Prince Philip. I didn’t even recognize him at first (well, that guy was on screen for what – 15 minutes in total?), but again, this is so genius I can’t find words for it anymore.
Belle meets Mulan, goes with her on a quest, finds Philip, brings Philip to Mulan, and those two then go off to at some point in the story search for and find Aurora. When I visualize Once, I sometimes see that huge whiteboard with many circles – some already closed, some just closing now, some still needing time. But every loose end is sooner or later connected to another in the story. I already see us getting connections from season five or so back to season one… I guess to create a show, any show, one has to be at least as intelligent as the most intelligent character on that show… what makes Ed&Adam effectively to Rumple(s).
With that mission finished, Belle now knows that she has another, one she never ended – and so alone again, she is about to go back to Rumple. “I’m coming back, Rumple,” she says. And did I wish that in some way, he is able to hear her then – because they have a connection, because he watches her (through a small mirror, ha!), or whatever. Maybe he doesn’t even see her, nor does he see/hear that she is arrested by Regina – but that little moment, these few words…
Before I get to the rest, I wanna cover the events in SB first, as they sort of mingle in the end.
In SB – and the episode – we start by learning that Rumple as finally found a potion that will allow him to cross the town border. His test subject is no one else but Smee. Here I wondered why Smee didn’t just ran away – it’s not like Rumple could have followed. Later on though I had to realize that I obviously still underestimate his power… oh dear.
Anyways. Rumple puts some of the potion on his hat (which Smee says he got from his mother) and pushes him across the border – and indeed, Smee keeps his memories. Too bad Rumple didn’t send him over again without the hat; maybe that would have made things a bit less worrisome. Instead, Rumple sends him off – declaring to himself that he has a trip to plan. Oh, and don’t we know all where this trip will bring him.
The first person Rumple tells the good news is Belle. Well, of course, who else. Actually, I was surprised that he told her, truthfully. That it works, that he will go and try to find Bae. In my opinion, he shows great openness here and I love it. It also proves that Belle and Rumple have fully reconciled after their fallout in 2×04; she forgave him, and we learn throughout the episode (and in the FTL flashback) why.
The shawl Rumple has of Bae – the only keepsake he possesses of his son (seems like he always only have one piece of those he loves – see Chip with Belle) – is the one thing that will bring him across the border unharmed. Or, more importantly, with memories intact. It’s interesting that it isn’t the potion alone that does the work here; obviously it has to be out onto something that the person using it has a special connection to; that they hold on to with their heart. For Smee, it was the hat; for Rumple it is Bae’s shawl. His love for his son is connected to it. I guess it would also work with Chip, since his love for Belle is connected to it. Which in turn means that Belle wouldn’t have anything – except for the cup as well. But even if she had something – as Rumple tells her, she can’t come with him. I love that it is her who asks him if she can come with him. I guess it is part curiosity, because she’s always wanted to explore the world, as we know, and this is a whole new one out there, but it is also part her willingness to stay at his side. It’s those sweet little moments that make this ship so beautiful.
As are the hugs. Oh the hugs. There’s so many of them, and they seem to be their version of showing that they are getting closer. There’s no kissing yet, but it seems as if the hugs have them just one step away from that. So Belle is wonderfully understandable when Rumple tells her that he has to go alone, and they hug. Awwwww.
Still, she can’t come with him – because he doesn’t have enough potion left (made me wonder if he just can’t make more) and – as I said and he adds – it is something he has to do alone. Looking for his son, finding him, something he wanted for… decades? Centuries? After all, it’s all he ever worked for, everything he’s done, every scheme he plotted, all that was always only to bring him closer to Bae. And now he’s closer than ever before.
Well. Almost.
While Rumple is probably preparing his departure, Belle returns to the library. Now, what did I say about the little things, and what was that about the details? Right. The library is to be re-opened soon. The big banner over the entrance said so, and it had me cheer. It’s like… there’s life coming to SB, real life, not just the excuse for a living of the past 28 years, but development. Something is blowing the dust away, someone is reviving this half-dead town. It’s great how they brought that in – even though in retrospect, it makes the ending hurt all the more.
So, Belle is back at work – and finds Hook. It seems to take her a moment to recognize him, as she at first points out that the lib is not yet open. Good girl (again ;)) that she runs the moment she remembers who he is – and puts up one hell of a fight. So far, and next to Emma, Belle is the strongest woman in that show, in my opinion. Snow has many weak moments, plus she has her true love who is a normal “good” guy, while Belle has to fight in every part of her life, may it be friendships, love, family, proving herself… So Belle manages to knock Hook out for the moment by pushing over a book shelf and have it fall onto him (classic!), and runs into the elevator we still know from series one finale where she is safe – for now.
Interesting is what Hook said while he was ‘chasing’ her – that he couldn’t find and kill his crocodile yet, so “right now, I settle for you”. Does he want to kill Belle? It’s again the Hook that irritates me; the Hook who is ready and willing to kill innocents like Belle. So Belle is in love with the Beast, the Monster, the Crocodile, the Dark One – but she’s not a bad person. Hook has no reason to kill her, and he’s also not the type to do that. He despised Milah being killed so much (okay, because he loved her), and he also didn’t, like you maybe expect a pirate captain to do, hurt or even kill Rumple initially, when he first came aboard as normal man, to ask for Milah. Instead, Hook is a sly dog, a great pretender, cunning and deceitful and false – but he is no murderer. His desire to kill Rumple is understandable, what with his revenge and all. But everyone else? No. And it’s not how we’ve gotten to know Hook. So either there has happened a lot we don’t know about yet in the time between Milah’s death and his coming to SB, or someone messed up continuity.
As Hook tries to get into the elevator (and the scene puts every horror movie to shame), Belle gets out her mobile (from… wherever O.o). Calling Rumple doesn’t help much here, though, since the elevator scrambles the signal. Not that Rumple doesn’t understand that she’s calling for help.
Little side note: The mobile. Usually, I have my problems with things suddenly turning up without the hint of an explanation. That’s something that should never be done on TV and in movies. Every script doctor will correct it; will ask: Why does she suddenly have a mobile? Where did she get it? It’s not me being nitpicky, it’s a fact that those details are paid a lot attention to in screenwriting, because it’s them that can throw a viewer completely off without him/her even realizing what the reason for their confusion is. So, by (unwritten) rules, there should at least have been a scene showing how she gets the mobile. No why or what – just a minimal how, half a scene, nothing special.
OUAT doesn’t do that. Not here. And this time, I love it. Because it has a whole other background it covers by not being explained – it gives the clear indication of, why should we show it, tell it on-screen, when everyone knows where she got the mobile phone? Of course Rumple gave it to her, and you see it at the very least by just comparing the phones that are completely similar. It is another one of those tiny hints at Rumbelle, not overtly thrown at us, but gently presented. Fantastic. Just fantastic.
When Rumple shows up, Hook is gone. Another hug occurs (making a list here – they’ll beat Ten/Rose from DOCTOR WHO if this goes on :D), and we finally have something that indeed threw me off. Rumple’s lack of reaction to Hook being in town. He must know that they didn’t come through the well; I don’t know, didn’t they even seal it? I hope that someone’s having an eye on it. Whatever – I would have expected Rumple to be at least for a moment shocked or surprised. He showed neither. Why? Did he know already? I doubt that, because then he would have done something, would have gone against him sooner, and I also don’t think he would have let walk Belle free. Unless he needed bait, and a reason to attack Hook with all force, as he did by reasoning, among other things, that Hook attacked Belle. But no, I really can’t imagine that being true; that Rumple would put Belle in danger. Everyone else, yes. But if there is someone he would protect (as he promised in S1 finale) at all costs, it is Belle – and Bae, of course.
In any way abandons Rumple his plans to leave town for the moment; first, he has to make sure Belle is save. He walks with her to his shop, telling her that there are certain objects that could be of help – something that makes me really curious. Actually, I think Ed&Adam still owe us a closer look at all the objects on Rumple’s shop; so far we’ve only seen a small part of it. Whatever it is Rumple planned to have Belle help – we never get to know.
First, Belle stops him, saying that they should tell the Sheriff(s) that Hook is in town (by the way, shouldn’t Rumple also know that Cora is in town?!) – she wants them to take care of it, so Rumple can go through with his plans of leaving and looking for Bae. Right then, she seems to be more concerned about his search for Bae than him; he, on the other hand, only seems to be able to think of Belle and her safety.
Did I mention that this episode had me squeeing from the beginning until the end (almost)?
Rumple simply answers, “But he tried to harm you.” – and it makes you question the importance of Bae and Belle to him. Well, no. Of course both are important. But as someone said the other day – you can never love two persons the same. There will always be one you love most. Right now, it seems as if Belle is the one he loves more. However, of course we – and Rumple – can assume that a day or more won’t change anything, after he hasn’t seen Bae for who knows how many years. So yes, he can make sure Belle’s all right and safe first before he goes on his quest. In that respect, Belle is more important. And if we go even deeper into that – she’s the one, the only one, who always believed in him, who trusted him, trusted him to be good and capable of kindness and love. As Belle now seems to love Rumple more than her father (then she ever did her father…) – who is to say that, with all his love he has for his son, his love for Belle is not just that little bit stronger?
When Belle asks him about the reasons for Hook going after him and her, Rumple initially shuts her out again. Good thing the lady is persistent – and so he hears the story. Or at least part of it. It was to be expected that he would leave out the part where he is the one who killed Milah; that she didn’t just die, as he says and ends the conversation. It’s no denial on his side; he knows what he’s done, and he knows that it will (could?) horrify Belle. Therefore he keeps to himself rather than telling her the whole truth; still not trusting that she won’t see anything else in him than the monster he believes himself to be. He needs her love, and he needs it too much to be completely honest with her, which is, in the end, a terrible vicious circle. And an unnecessary one also as we see later on.
When Rumple and Belle finally enter the shop, they find it ransacked. And after they’ve overcome the first shock, Rumple knows all too well where to look to learn what is missing. It’s just one thing: Bae’s shawl. Rumple’s talisman; his way out of SB. Or, as Hook, watching from nearby with his telescope: He’s trapped. Rumple is furious, of course, and wants to go after Hook immediately. Before, however, he tells Belle to go to the library and lock herself in. She refuses; she wants to go with him and help him. He doesn’t. An almost-fight ensues.
Before that, there is this little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. Rumple heads for the door, but Belle “overtakes” him to stop him. By doing that, she also touches his hand. There is no movement that pushes her hand or pulls his own away. They actually hold on for a small moment. I just noticed it because with the determination Rumple shows, it would have been natural for him to subconsciously do everything to detach himself from Belle, the factor that keeps him from going after Hook. If he pulls away, he does it when she does as well. There is a cut, so it’s not visible, but Belle is the first one to overtly gesture, so if anything, they pulled away at the same time. It is a physical reaction to each other, the physical presentation of their inner bond – but none that would be done consciously by the actors. Not that I don’t trust them to be that good, but this is a reaction you can’t plan. So what we see here is what Emilie and Robert think of their characters’ relationship. And who doesn’t absolutely love it when actors ship their own characters/couples?!
The fight that follows is… well, one with the hand brake put on. I think this is the first time since their kiss in FTL that he gets really angry at her, or at least projects his anger at her by even yelling at her. And what is it they say? You only show strong emotions when you feel them for someone? This time, it’s Rumple’s fear (again?) that makes him lose his composure – making it clear to her that he is worried sick about her, that he can’t stand the thought of having anything happen to her. As he reasons –

“Hook has maybe cost me the chance to find my son; I don’t wanna lose you, too.”

Says it all. He gives her a gun and turns to leave – but she holds him back, wanting his promise that this is only about the shawl – indicating that she thinks it could also be about her and/or Milah. Rumple doesn’t answer, though. He just leaves. He doesn’t give wrong or empty promises anymore; he has learned from what happened in the season premiere. It’s his step, as small as it may be, to becoming a better man for her. Even if he can’t control his fury about what has happened; he at least is honest when it comes to his feelings and thoughts concerning that, and that he can’t promise that he won’t be overpowered by his desire for revenge.
Instead of going for Hook whom he probably can’t find just like that, Rumple goes after Smee once more and this time, he turns him into a rat (which I thought was cute… the rat, I mean, not the turning as such ^^). And I admit: Until now, I had no idea how powerful Rumple really is. Did anyone? Last week had me already speculating about the amount of magic those who are able to use it possess now that magic is back. Has it been increasing and growing since the season premiere? Or were they just a bit rusty? Or did they (Regina, Rumple) simply not use much of it because there was no need, but for each of them someone they love and who doesn’t like them use magic? Whatever it is; this proves that Rumple may just have the full scale of the Dark One’s powers back; minus the looks (what then still has me think that there are restrictions).
When Belle finds a knot in the library as she tidies things up, she soon finds in one of the books the right picture to it, realizing how Hook came to SB. And so, as brave as she is (sighs), she is off to the port, where she thanks to her cleverness just as quickly finds the ship (I’m really starting to love that girl) – and on it Archie. Another moment where I would have expected more surprise; this was pretty much a non-reaction. Okay, explained by the situation maybe, as there was not much time for reunion happiness, but still…
Belle sends Archie to go and find Rumple and tell him to come here, and even though there are footsteps to be heard on deck, Archie obviously makes it off the ship and back into the town (too bad though they never showed his meeting with Rumple – if they did meet; it possible Rumple found the ship by himself). Here’s me assuming that Hook saw him; but since he didn’t need him anymore, as he had the information he needed (Belle as Rumple’s weakness; it’s not like Archie would know that much more, I guess), he let him go; let him get Rumple, since he wanted to meet his crocodile again anyways. Meanwhile, it was probably a lot more interesting to have a little chat with Belle. Interesting indeed. Not because of what Hook tells Belle (although the shawl part when Hook says he couldn’t burn it because Milah had made it – another one of my questions answered, thank you – was very revealing and gave us the old Hook again) – that was to expected that she’d sooner or later hear the whole truth, and the opportunity was just perfect to hear it from Hook, of all people. At least he was there.
And where you already think, that’s it, this will make for a huge discussion with Rumple, Belle surprises – or doesn’t surprise? – another time. She doesn’t care. So Rumple has killed his wife, so Rumple has done many terrible things. No news to her. Initially, she doesn’t believe what Hook says, but then seems to accept it. Yet, no matter what – as she tells Hook – she believes in Rumple. She believes that there’s still something good in him (and knows it also due to the TLK that worked in FTL). She knows that “His heart is true.” – and she says so despite having just heard that Rumple killed Milah, and how he killed her. Ripping her heart out and crushing it should, in all logic, have horrified Belle, if nothing else. But Belle has so much faith in Rumple it sometimes is almost scary, and I guess she tries to find an explanation for herself; after all, Milah left Rumple and Bae to take off with Hook, and even if Belle doesn’t approve of the method, she may just be able to understand why it made Rumple do what he did, however terrible it was.
Ultimately, after declaring Rumple’s heart to be true, defying all doubts Hook tries to plant in her mind, she adds “And yours is rotten” – and knocks him out, again. Go Belle! *lol* Running away with the shawl, she finds her way to the deck – but faces Hook just as soon. He really seems to know his ship very well… though this still seems to be quite, well, impossible. But never mind ^^
Because it is not like Belle has to face him alone from now on. Rumple shows up, and none of Belle’s pleas keep him from attacking Hook. And it’s not like Hook doesn’t have it coming. He calls Rumple a coward – and Rumple proves that he is none. By beating Hook literally into the deck. Without magic. That had my mouth hanging open. I mean, Rumple without his magic – even if he is maybe a bit strengthened by it – is a middle-aged man with a limp; Hook is a young and dynamic man. And still he doesn’t seem to have a chance against Rumple when he starts to beat him in earnest. Granted, Rumple uses his cane, but the lack of Hook’s defense is still interesting. Is he trying to prove a point to Belle? If so, it doesn’t work. Even when Rumple tells her to turn away and goes in for a second round of beating, she keeps on watching, critically, disapproving, but never giving up on him. Only when Rumple is about to kill Hook by ripping his heart out (as requested by Hook, so he can be reunited with Milah – another knife in Rumple’s chest, in some way, I guess), Belle stops him – telling him that she doesn’t want him to lose what he has left of his humanity, his good side.

“There’s still good in you. I see it – I’ve always seen it.”

– She tells him again – and asks him to show her that she is not wrong. And that helps. That does it – it stops Rumple. Belle takes his hands and pulls him away. The impact and influence Belle has on him never ceases to amaze me. And this makes it clear how extremely important her support is, how much he needs it to hold on to his humanity.
A short while later, Belle and Rumple, in his car, arrive at the town border. While they are still sitting in the car, this conversation we have already seen part of in the Timeless Love Stories trailer happens:

Rumple: This would have been lost if it wasn’t for you, Belle. I would have been lost. After everything you’ve learned about me… after everything I’ve done… why haven’t you given up on me?
Belle: I learned a long time ago that when you find something that’s worth fighting for… you never give up.

And it breaks. My. Heart.
There is so much in it. So much. So much said with so few words. Add to that what happened back in FTL, and everyone doubting the truthfulness of Belle’s feelings for the “Beast” should go have their head examined. And eyes. And heart.
Back in FTL, when Regina catches Belle and locks her up, Belle doesn’t think about herself; the imprisonment she is facing in the Evil Queen’s castle, or even the death. She doesn’t fear the uncertainty of what will/might happen to her. She just has one thought – that she needs to get back to Rumple.

“I can save him […] I can break his curse.”

There is not much to say to that when it comes to Belle. There’s neither doubt nor question about what she wants – her True Love, and happiness with him.
Regina, however, is an entirely different thing. After all was it her who sent Belle back to Rumple, to give him True Love’s kiss. So why did she do it if she doesn’t want to Belle another chance now? There are a thousand possibilities for me. Rumple could be of more “value” to her when he’s in pain after his loss. Or Regina has understood that she can’t risk him losing his powers through Belle breaking the Dark One’s curse because she still needs said powers. Or she needs the distraction it will be when she tells him Belle is gone, so she can enact whatever plan she has.
There is just one problem. I still doubt that at this point Regina knows how much Belle means to him. The mirrors in the room we always saw Belle and Rumple in were covered, back in 1×12 when Belle was at his castle. We can assume Regina didn’t see much of what happened there, even though she might have had her ways of getting some basic information. That would make of her encouraging Belle to kiss Rumple a simple attempt to test what the outcome will be.
However, looking at it now, it is possible that Regina had ways watching Rumple in his castle (…uh…) and knew all along what was happening and what meaning Belle could have. The question that then remains is – why was she so surprised/bemused when Rumple said Belle’s name, back when Regina visited him after he sent Belle away? And the story she tells – it is really what she wanted to tell him all along, or is it what she just thinks of when she realizes that he holds Belle very dear to his heart, even is in love with her? Maybe before she wanted to tell him something else or nothing at all; maybe before she wanted to use Belle against him, telling him that she’d get all information she had about him out of her. After all, if anyone knows Rumple and even his weaknesses, it is Belle who lived with him for several months, and whom he may just have trusted.
Also, what does Regina know of the kiss? If the above theory is correct, probably not much, because then she’d already know that Rumple loves Belle – as she should know that TLK only works when both persons feel the same. Belle’s imprisonment needs some diving into, and I’m sure we’ll then also see Regina talk to Belle, or to someone so we will get to know what her plans are.
In SB, Rumple and Belle have gotten out of the car, and the scene that follows is so wonderfully sweet and touching. They do it all together – she holds the shawl as he empties the vial over it, then she puts the shawl around his neck (he’s even bowing down for that :)), and I wonder if these two can be even more adorable and if a scene can be even more heartwarming. He holds on to her arm/hand until shortly before his foot touches the ground on the other side, like she is his reassurance and maybe also a bit his talisman, in his heart at least. And when the magic that encircles him for a moment dissipates, his first words aren’t “I can remember” or something like that. No, instead he says one word – her name. In a typical Rumple/Gold manner that makes it only the more sweet. And again they take each other’s hands (counts as half-hug for me *g*).
Funny is that he then emphasizes how much he wishes that she could come with him. Guys. Can never decide what they want. *lol* But them, he also said back in his shop that he wishes that he could take her with him, only to then explain that it is something he must do alone. Would it change something to take her with him? Are there things he doesn’t want her to know (yet)? Is he maybe afraid to lose her to the world out there, the excitement that this new, unexplored world is? We don’t know yet what other plans Rumple has for when he has found Neal, um, Bae and brought him to SB. His son will be an adult by now; which proposes the same problem as with Emma and the Charmings. There is not much happy family life to come, and especially not when there’s such a big time gap. Plus, the relationship between Rumple and Bae is a bit more complicated I guess. But then, there’s still Belle… I hope.
Because there comes in the last minute of the episode. Yep, the sucker punch came in the very last minute. Hello OUAT Shocker (with a capital S this time). First, there is this beautiful (running out of words of adoration here) little speech by Belle when she tells him that it doesn’t matter that she can’t come with him (giving the poor guy almost a heart attack, it seems ;)) – because when he finds Bae and comes back, she’ll be there, waiting for him/them. The look he gives her then, they give each other, says more than a million words (wouldn’t have minded an “I love you”, though…) – as does the kiss that… should have followed. Should have. Almost did also.
But then came the moment that killed me.
Unfortunately, Hook has finally realized that it is the bigger loss to Rumple when Belle forgets him – instead of her being not there at all anymore because she’s dead. So he shoots her (in the shoulder), and the force makes her fall into Rumple’s arms – across the town border. Effectively making her lose her memories. And it’s true, the desperation and pain in Rumple’s voice confirms Hooks “idea” to be the right one, and that it was just the best thing to do to get revenge (part of it at least). Rumple saying “What you’ve done cannot be undone.” (did I mention that I hope, no, believe that he is wrong?!), his voice thick with tears, is so terrible that the only reason I didn’t cry was because I was so shocked. The only thing wanted to do was hug Rumple, undo the harm to Belle, and punch Hook. Hard. In that moment, Rumple is again the man he was before he became the Dark One; a man who feels deeply, and hurts deeply.
It also – and no, I’m not getting tired pointing it out 😛 – shows once more how much Belle means to Rumple, because his reaction is none of someone who just cares and doesn’t love fully (as fully as he’s ever able to – for explanation see below in the spoiler section). No, he loves her, all right, so much that it borders on painful – just like the thought of losing her, in any way, does – he needs her, and he knows it. She is his humanity. In that regard Rumple and SGU’s Rush are also similar – it’s the woman they love that makes them whole, makes them human, reminds them that they are human. Seeing what happened to Rush and his humanity after Gloria’s death… well, Rumple losing Belle shouldn’t be on top of anyone’s wish list.
After what Hook has done now, nothing is able to stop Rumple. And certainly not Belle, who is still conscious, but confused. So Rumple prepares a fireball to end Hook… when Ed&Adam send another Shocker along our way. And a car with it. One that comes literally crashing into the town, running over Hook who comes to lie next to the street, unmoving, and almost running over Rumple and Belle as well, hadn’t it been for Rumple’s quick reaction, rolling both of them aside.
The last thing we see is the car, crashing into a milestone and finally coming to a stop, its license plate that says Pennsylvania and – thunder and rain.
And here it comes. The Regina part of the arrest scene in FTL we had already. The Belle – and Rumbelle – part follows right after it:

“You can’t keep us apart forever. I’ll fight for him. I’ll never stop fighting for him!”

And the award for the best declaration of love of all times goes to ONCE UPON A TIME.
Snow and Charming find each repeatedly, not matter what the obstacles are. They are each other’s True Love – why shouldn’t the same rules, with finding each other despite lost memories and worlds between them and such, not apply to Rumbelle? Even they found each other again, in some way and with help maybe, but nevertheless after they both thought they were lost to each other – because of hatred, or because of death. They got back together, and their love is still as strong as it once used to be, and finally they – or Rumple in that case – even admit to it, which should ultimately give it a chance to grow and flourish.
Her words as quoted above now are what has me thinking that lost memories or not, Belle’s love or Rumple is so deeply anchored in her very being that she will find back to him, in some way or another. Mentally I mean. She fell in love with him once, and he became her True Love. Maybe True Love never dies, can never be erased. Surely Rumple’s potion he gave to Snow when she wanted to forget Charming could do it. And this town border curse has to be just another part of the Curse, which was also created by Rumple, and has the True Love failsafe.
Added to that there is this little detail of Belle holding/touching the shawl when Rumple puts the potion on it. Even if she didn’t have a talisman; maybe it’s already at least a bit of protection when one touches the potion and it’s magic in any way. And if this protect anything, then maybe what doesn’t need that much of a powerful shielding from the memory erasing effect like all the memories that are always out in the open. Something that is deeply rooted in someone’s heart and soul will have enough hold itself that a bit protection is enough. Belle touched the potion, and she touched Rumple – the one she loves, “what” she holds dear, when she fell across the border.
Let it take a while – in the end, this can be what brings Belle back, or at least her love or Rumple, and thus her trust in him to have him help her find the rest or her memories… or make new ones.

While the theory above excludes everything that was shown/said in spoilers, there is another speculation including them.
I’ve seen the promo for 2×12 and it gave a little bit away when it comes to Belle and helping her – Rumple kisses her as she lies in the hospital bed. But she seems to wake up and scream when she sees him. We know that promos can be deceiving like that; maybe they just cut the thing in a reversed order, and she actually screams the first time she sees him, only to be later kissed by him. The thing is – we know that he leaves SB in 2×14 (at the latest) and I don’t know – after what happened in this episode, I doubt he would do it before he knows that Belle is okay again, with restored memories and all.
On the other hand… this could be an interesting storyline, with Belle having no memories and thus also not her love for Rumple (or maybe the love stays, deep inside her, but it can’t come out into the open?). So far, she’s the one “controlling” him, in a way that she is the only one to remind him of his humanity and reach him with her words also. Without that, everything Rumple has achieved when it comes to his turning away from the Dark Magic (partly, at least) could just be lost. And that would mean a whole new challenge – for everyone. Regina back to her old, evil self, Rumple as well… uh oh.
Now here’s the question. We know by what a curse can be broken – True Love. But is it a curse that is upon Belle now? Or is it something else, something magical of course, but nothing that defines as curse. Or maybe it is one after all, but nothing that holds on to her, but only
something that erased her memories, period. So – would Rumple have a chance to reverse the effect? At all? Could True Love, could True Love’s Kiss, help?
And – the bitterest question of them all: Is his love enough? I truly want to believe that. I believe that he loves her, really loves her, with all his heart, because everything he does, everything he’s shown of himself and his behavior, and even though there were moments his dark side shone through, tells us that he loves Belle. Back in FTL, he did (since the kiss worked then). Or was it never enough and that’s why he could stop the “release” back then? Is the Dark One’s magic so strong that it could even overpower True Love if the DO wants to? And – is Rumple’s love for Belle, as strong as it may ever be, suppressed by the Dark One in him, thus preventing him from helping Belle, from his TLK having an effect?
But wait. True Love’s Kiss. It only works when both feel TL. If it isn’t the case with Belle, then her memories may just be gone, really gone. Nothing hidden inside that could react to Rumple. Thus, she’d have to fall in love with him again before the curse, assuming that it is one, can be broken. Talk about a quest for Rumple. I guess he has still no idea how he did it the first time; how Belle came to feel so deep for him, for the Beast, the monster he sees himself as. How is he supposed to make her love him again then?
Or they make a longer story line of it, with Belle getting to know Rumple again, falling in love with him again, until she finally remembers in the end. Am I a romantic? I sure am. But this is Beauty and the Beast, sort of, and they need their happy ending, just like everyone else. The way may be longer than that of the others, but in the end, it has to end well. There are, until now, only two couples who share True Love – the Charmings and Rumbelle. It would be outright stupid to destroy that. But, as the producers promised, there’s a lot Rumbelle coming up, so I trust that this is just the beginning.
Consequently, this could also mean that Rumple will have to understand that only if he abjures magic, his powers, he can help Belle. I’d love to see that happen – only that it is still too early for that, because if Rumple loses his powers now, in season 2 (where we hope that this show will have many years ahead) it could get a bit… well, not boring, but unbalanced. For now, and with Cora in town and Regina getting back to her dark side (yep, still believe that, see below), and Hook also in the game (well… I think so… he won’t be dead, because that would be too easy and too… lame for someone like Hook – as a character I mean, to send him off like that), Rumple needs his powers. To protect himself as well as to protect Belle, and most probably soon also Bae.
The SB subplot – because it is a smaller and not so important one – is about the other characters. The Charmings are now all living together under one roof – three generations. Time to find a new place with more space. At least that is what Mary Margaret wants. Charming and the Dwarves, however, would obviously prefer to go back to FTL. They are homesick, and – after Archie’s death, Grumpy thinks it’s not safe anymore in SB. Also, there is the risk of strangers coming to SB; there is, as he puts it, a whole world out there, and someone is bound to find their way to SB one day. So what if they see magic?
Of course, Grumpy has a point there. While the Curse obviously protected SB from outsiders, apart from those who are in some way connected to the townspeople and FTL (like August and Emma), which seems to have been something like the TARDIS’ perception filter, the town is now open – so to speak. We know that next episode, exactly that problem will occur, what with strangers coming in… or maybe it’s not a stranger, after all?
In any way, Snow and Emma seem to be the only ones who are not all that eager to return to where they’ve just come from after a far too adventurous trip. And so Snow plans to buy a house – whereas Charming would rather go back. And they realize – maybe they both don’t want the same. Trouble in paradise? I doubt that. But it is interesting to see that Snow seems to be content with her life in SB where she should be the most fairytale-y character of all, and the one to lead the group when they return.
Another thing I thought was curious is that Snow and Charming called each other by their SB names, Mary Margaret and David. Okay, so these people have lived with those names for 28 years, but then, they don’t remember how long exactly it was. Shouldn’t they at least hold on to their fairytale identities, whether they return or not? This seems to become a longer issue, and it is clever made, as now we know that there won’t be a return soon – at least not fully. So maybe they decide to travel between worlds on a regular basis after all; with a little magic that should even be possible.
And then there’s Archie. They have a funeral at the beginning of the episode and initially – probably because I knew he isn’t dead – it didn’t touch me much. Until… yeah, until Marco/Gepetto stepped up and put the obligatory black umbrella to the grave stone. That was heartbreaking.
After Archie is freed by Belle and comes to Emma’s (Snow’s) home, I had to laugh. Because what I had been thinking before was written all over Emma’s face then: “Sh.., Regina is indeed innocent.” And here’s the big question again of what will happen. They will realize that they accused Regina whole there was no reason to; and they will also have to realize that they just did it because it was easy, because it was her. If evidence would have pointed to, say, Ruby, they would have done everything to prove that Ruby is innocent. But with Regina, no one cared; except for Emma, but that also only for so long. Now they have a real problem because not only did they convict a guiltless person; they also pushed Regina into isolation where she will come to the conclusion that no matter what, people will never trust her. So even if they go to her and apologize – she’s already back in her dark place, and this is where Cora will find her. Which will consequently make Regina the big villain again, most probably.
Now, as for the car whose driver we’ll get to know next week: Even without knowing that next week’s episode will involve our favorite doctor again (no, the other one), the sudden rain and thunderstorm would have given away what is about to come. If there is something or someone we can connect to thunderstorm and flashes, it is Frankenstein. That the weather changes all of a sudden after the car appears has to mean something, and in this case, it points to Whale, big time.
With the episode’s name, there’s not much room for speculation – well, except for the tiny little fact that Whale says about someone that it would be easy to let him die. Originally, and when I read that in a spoiler beforehand, I thought he was talking about the stranger, who is supposedly his brother. I just can’t imagine Whale would let his brother die, unless he a) doesn’t recognize him or b) thinks that alive he’s too much of a threat to everyone. Because according to the original tale, Frankenstein’s monster was no one else than his brother, if I remember right.
Now, after watching the episode, there is another idea – what if this sentence isn’t about his brother (the stranger) – but Hook? Hook was run over by the car, so he must have some serious injuries. Given that Cora doesn’t magick him away before the others arrive (what Rumple and Belle could notice, though, if they are not too busy with themselves – however, the promo shows them standing a bit away from each other), he’ll still be lying there, and I’m sure that then they’ll bring him to the hospital.
What if, as Hook is associated with Cora and thus dangerous, Whale suggests letting him die to solve a problem? The only ones who know him are Emma, Snow and Rumple (and Belle), but the decision will be with the Charmings – and they can’t possibly know how much of a liability Hook will/can be. It will be very interesting to see Emma’s reaction (as I’m sure she’ll be around then). As much effort the FTL characters put into seeing more than just black and white – it is Emma, and just her, who is actually capable of it. So I don’t see her allowing the others to just kill Hook, or let him die.
Whatever happens – I sure hope Ed&Adam will remember to give us the chance to breath ever once in a while, because at this pace, no one who is a real Oncer can survive for long, and certainly not live to see the season finale.
As far as I am concerned, I look forward to a lot more Rumbelle, who I wish to have many (happy) years ahead, and I also can’t wait to see what they’ll do with Hook (the producers, not the Storybrookers… well, them too, okay ;)), because so far, I was always a fan of him, despite his good amount of non-too-friendly actions; but after what he has done now – the Rumbeller says “Don’t mess with my ship!” – it’s hard to still see any good in him. He needs a damn good back story, and an even better development that turns him into a good person, a good man, and then possibly (again) a suitable love interest for Emma (can’t help myself, still think they’d be the perfect couple… if he loses his revengy attitude and all).
And then there are all the other plots that have been started already, or about to come yet; plots that will reveal new things and answer questions, but also present us with as many new ones.
For now, though, and after almost ten pages and almost 10.000 words, I end this here. If it goes on like this, if there are more episodes like this one ahead – Rumbelle centric ones – I’ll end up with sore fingers.
Damn you show, why do you have to be so fantastic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tags: Belle, Curse, Dr. Whale/Frankenstein, Emma Swan, Hook/Killian Jones, Once Upon A Time, OUAT, Regina/Evil Queen, Rumbelle, Rumplestiltskin, The Charmings