Once again, the new episodes of ONCE UPON A TIME seems more like a filler episode; a breather that lets us prepare for the bombs that are yet going to be dropped in the upcoming episodes. This is not means as a criticism. OUAT is a show that needs such eps now and then, otherwise it would become too hard to follow all the plots and events.
Nevertheless reveals this episode also some interesting facts. Most notably do we not only learn Charming’s real name, but we also see yet another side of Rumple/Gold.
But first to the title giving character of the episode. Tiny. Tiny is better known as Anton – the Giant we met in 2×06. In this episode, we see a bit more of his history, of his life before he became the embittered, suspicious man – his life before he first met humans and his Giant companions were still alive.
Giants dread humans. As we know it from many fable and fairytale creatures, Giants also keep to themselves, thinking that humans are bad and evil and what-not. It reminds a lot of “Little Mermaid” or the more recent “Tinkerbell” movies, where there is one adventurous representative of the special species that doesn’t listen to the others and believes in the good of people. So does Anton, who climbs down the beanstalk to meet the humans, convinced that they are as good-hearted as the Giants.
At the same time, we meet Charming’s predecessor – his twin brother James. The real James, the arrogant jerk he is. He’s just about to have some fun with what seems to be a random woman when Kind George comes in and tells him/them that there’s a Giant running around outside – and that they shan’t kill him, but use him. Use him to get Magic Beans. Now, I understand that for someone like George, who may even be the bigger jerk, compared to his adopted son, wants to possess these Beans for power reasons – but for what else? I mean, is it even common knowledge that there are other worlds? Or – do these Beans have other powers than just being able to open portals (something that so far seems to be their only purpose)? I’d really like to know what plans George has, what he’d do with the Beans. To me that doesn’t really become clear.
So James and his flirt are on their way to catch the Giant, or more lure him into a trap. So we find out that said flirt is called Jacqueline – or, in short, Jack. Another proof that if ONCE does something, they do it right – like tinkering a bit with the original stories to make it all fit. In this case we needed the famous giant killer Jack and we needed a reason for what happens in SB in our time.
Because while we see Anton being met by James and Jack, the latter of them offering the Giant a piece of a mushroom that will make him smaller for a little while (great Wonderland shout-out which makes one wonder where Jack got this piece and what her backstory is) and making him help them by promising to get them gold, Anton in SB, magicked to small size and put in a cage aboard Hook’s ship by Cora, after being freed, attacks David, then runs off. When Snow, Charming and Leroy sit together, Charming realizes that the guy Anton thinks him to be is his twin brother.
Said brother, unbeknownst to Charming, climbed the beanstalk together with Jack – who, and there comes the connection, was his lover at the time – and came up to the Giant’s home with a mission: get the Magic Beans. I felt incredibly sorry for Anton when he realizes that he’s once again alone; that after his family/own people also his supposed new-found friends have no respect or love for him.
The story here can be kept short – as the humans battle the Giants, Anton is sent to destroy the beanstalk fields so the Beans won’t fall into human hands. As asked to, he burns them down, but gets one little piece/cutting of a beanstalk from the Giants boss (whose name I don’t know right now, sorry) to keep safe afterwards. Meanwhile, Jack and James steal gold and attack the Giants in the palace, Jack’s poisoned sword injuring one of the Giant before he grabs Jack and kills her with her own sword (that’s a short story if there ever was one…) – and James leaves Jack behind despite her near-death pleading to help her, which I think was most telling in this whole scene/plot.
The moment Anton back in FTL got the cutting I knew it would be of importance later on; that they’d use it in SB. But let’s start at the beginning here. The way to find Anton aboard Hook’s ship has of course to be lead by the pirate himself. Snow, Charming and Leroy bring him to the docks where they demand to be shown how to enter the ship because they want to see whether Cora is aboard – or at least anything that could help finding her. Instead of Cora they find, obviously, a caged-in mini Giant.
What really confused me was that at first, the two Charmings and Leroy lead Hook like a prisoner to his ship – but then he suddenly seems to be forgotten when the problems with Anton begin and they later sit in Granny’s. So where is Hook then? I mean, we know where he is, but – why don’t they keep an eye on him? I don’t understand it, to be honest; actually I would have expected to lock him up or tie him to his hospital bed again. Whatever – as long as he can’t run and make anything stupid (which is more or less a default with Hook in SB and on a revenge trip).
But here they are, letting him walk, letting him do whatever he likes – for example going back to Belle, something I would be afraid of now. Hook knows that Belle is Rumple’s weakness, that much is clear, and as long as no one is watching him and while Belle is still without her memories (a spoiler said her memories are MIA, which I thought was, despite the dire situation, hilarious) it may be very easy for him to have some big influence on her. Especially since he knows how scared she is of Rumple and his magic. Hook is not stupid – say the right words and Belle will follow him, and listen to him, and Hook might be able to do with Belle whatever he wants (no, not… that).
On a side note, I wonder if there is a reason Hook mentioned that his ship is made of enchanted wood. Will this have a meaning later on? It certainly had one in the past, as I guess (and Hook hinted at) this little detail helped him through one or the other stormy day at the sea. But would it really be announced like this if there wasn’t more to this? Maybe Hook’s ship is the only one that can be used to travel between worlds; every other would be destroyed?
But back to the topic at hand – and a still-small Giant running just as free as our favorite captain. Said captain puts a Queen of Hearts card on the ground (literally and figuratively…) and… is faced with Regina. Oops. The big question is – is it really Regina Hook talks to then, or is it Cora in disguise? Wouldn’t be much of a surprise. What tipped me off was Regina’s laughter that sounded a lot like Cora’s. Plus, I just can’t see Regina makes such a 180 degree turn/change. Cora still follows her own agenda, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s using her daughter’s face to cause distraction and confusion, and to bring discredit to Regina also, something she needs to get her daughter completely onto her side of the game. Or war. I guess she needs more people to say/think that it was Regina they talked to and who instructed them or whatever. That she’s part of Cora’s schemes and thus also the enemy. Would be the first time, since Cora had Regina framed for murder also.
Regina appearing at the Charmings’ place earlier, however, seemed more like it was really her, even though she was lying. The only thing I can’t remember right now is if Regina already knows that Archie is alive, or if she only learns that from the Charmings then. In any way is she playing them – until, and that’s my interpretation – the moment Snow and Charming tell her that Henry isn’t there anymore, but that he left with Emma and Rumple. I think she may have expected much, but certainly not this.
That also proposes the question what this will lead to. Regina’s biggest objective is it to get Henry back. She must know that she won’t be able to do it without either putting a spell on him – something the Charmings and maybe even Rumple will try to prevent – or convincing him that she has changed so that he comes to her on his own. The latter way is very hard, as Henry is a clever boy who will know when she tries to fool him.
This is why I’m also still sitting and waiting for what comes next on the Regina/Cora end. For all Regina has done and we know is capable of, I doubt that she’ll risk losing Henry for good – emotionally that is. She can kidnap him, lock him up, but she will never get his love; his true, unadulterated love that’s coming just from himself and isn’t influenced and caused by anything or anyone else. Deep inside, Regina may also know that she will need this love to free herself of all the evil that possesses her.
Therefore I’m not yet sure if it is really Regina we see talking to Hook then, and to Anton afterwards. Whom she gives a piece of a mushroom that will make him grow. Hello Wonderland again – and another proof that this is actually Cora. The thing with elements of the story we don’t see on-screen. I would believe that we haven’t seen Cora becoming Regina yet because it’s a bigger plan that will be revealed later. But that Cora gave Regina the mushroom is a detail I’d have liked to see. That’s like with the mobile we never saw Rumple give to Belle, though there I explained that it made sense because of the deeper meaning behind it – something we don’t have here.
Added to that it would only make sense for Cora to plan it all and also go through with the plan, but impersonate Regina especially when approaching Anton because Cora was the one who made him small in the first place, so we can safely assume that he wouldn’t be too happy to see her. And last but not least would Cora as Queen Of Hearts of course have the mushrooms. It’s either her or Jefferson, and since we haven’t seen Jefferson in a while… I go with Cora. Whoever it is, one of the two Evil women gives small (and suspicious) Anton the mushroom and he grows.
Now real-Giant Anton – just as planned by the Evil crew – effectively keeps the Charmings busy. … Yeah. For Cora & Co. to do what? That is still the big question here. Okay, so the Good ones are distracted, just like Evil ones planned them to be – but for what purpose? This isn’t shown here, and it frustrated me a bit. That’s also what I meant by filler episode – it prepares a lot for the next episode, maybe even episodes, but for now leaves us with some questions. And since I’m afraid there’ll be many new ones in the upcoming eps… what did I say about exploding heads and stuff?
Another thing about Cora and Hook that had me thinking: Technically, they were never part of the Curse. They had this screen that protected them. And they came to SB by boat, where we don’t know how far the town line reaches into the sea. So – could Hook and Cora theoretically leave SB? Could they lose their memories or are they like Emma and August in that respect, because they came in (and also can leave) unaffected by the Curse? This would be a total game changer – Hook and Cora in SB (or FTL) are already dangerous enough, but there they are known. Outside SB though? Uh oh. Because if they are unaffected by the Curse and maybe also the Town Line Curse – then it is possible that Cora could even use magic outside the town. And as long as Rumple is out there without his magical abilities…
Even though nothing points to Cora and Hook following Rumple, it is still a scary thought, also for later seasons and plots. If Cora can use her magic outside SB and realizes just that, this could be the perfect way to blackmail the others because they have no chance to do anything against her hurting innocent and unknowing people then – not even Rumple would have a chance to help.
Okay, back to Anton. He is not a happy camper, understandably so. The funny little voice in my head was asking if a car insurance pays for it when a Giant throws your car around… anyways. Anton is ravaging poor SB, that at least luckily seems to be devoid of any inhabitants except for the usual suspects (where did everybody go?!), and Charming and Snow together with Grumpy try to stop him. Too bad Emma isn’t there whom Anton obviously would have trusted and listened to – a nice wink I have to say, and it’s gonna be interesting how this all develops later on.
Not that there’ll be much development needed – because when Anton changes back to a handy size just in time before he can crush a heroically self-sacrificing Charming and is stuck in the hole he’s “dug” himself, facing almost-certain death, he is of course saved by the Good ones, befriends them – especially the Dwarves, becoming one of them by getting an axe that names him Tiny – and offers to plant the beanstalk cutting.
Not so many surprises here; as I said before, the moment I saw the cutting I knew it would be used in SB. A constant source of Magic Beans could of course open up a way of permanent travel between worlds. There’s just two problems: First of all, how to keep Cora from the Beans? Whatever way one turns it, she is still more powerful than anyone of them. So unless Rumple can be convinced to protect the beanstalk, the others won’t stand a chance. Well. Except for Emma maybe, but…
And the second problem which was also hinted before: Not everyone wants to return to FTL. At least Snow doesn’t seem to want to. She even looks very unhappy at the thought of having an easy way to get back, whereas everyone else is excited. And question is – why? Because there were so many problems and hardships? In some way, Storybrooke does offer her more pleasant memories, even of her memory-free time there. Mostly she was happy I guess, with her life and her job. Now that she has David/Charming (back), and her daughter if course, this life is so much better than what they had in FTL – especially because theoretically, there is no magic, no big curses and so on. Yes, there is magic in SB, but will it ever be extended past the town lines, even if they all manage to leave the town without losing their memories again?
I think this may be the conflict for the next season – the question what everyone will do. Will they stay in SB; will they return to FTL and rebuild their land; will they go off and explore the other worlds; will they even explore our world? There are many possibilities, and even if most of them right now want to go back to FTL because it is their home, they may change their minds later. And who knows what else these portals offer – maybe they even allow trips through time?
Before I forget: This is more a side note, because there are certainly more important things, but we finally learn what Charming’s real name is – David. Back in FTL he had to use his late brother’s name so no one would find out that the real James was dead (how convenient they are twins…), and later he was always only called Charming… or David in SB.
Now to me, this was a pretty unspectacular revelation; but there are still two things that keep me from just considering this all as done and not important anymore. First, there is something like the power of names and words. And consequently second – at the very least Rumple must have known is real name, since Rumple also made the baby deal with Ruth and King George. And time and again we heard Rumple as Gold almost emphasize David’s name, at various occasions. This has me of course suspicious whether there’ll follow another completely unexpected bombshell… though I have no idea at all what that could be.
While Rumple is out of town and the others deal with their giant… sorry, Giant problem, our lovely Belle almost seems a bit forgotten. At least Ruby takes some time to visit her. I’m a big fan of the Ruby/Belle friendship and love that it is Ruby who comes to Belle here. True, one can ask who else should and could it have been, because everyone else who’d care is either busy or on their way to New York, but the way they chose who is where doing what has nevertheless been given some thought to.
Belle is still in the hospital; though obviously on a normal ward, not in the psych ward again. I guess that would also count as “harm” Rumple talked about in the last episode, what with his threat against the Charmings and all. But even on a normal ward she is – unfortunately – still under control of the woman who we saw as nurse in the psych ward before. I assume no one else knows who she is and that she used to work with Regina, keeping her little dirty secret of whom she had locked up in the basement. Otherwise I doubt that the woman would a) still be Belle’s nurse and b) still be around at all, in the hospital at least.
But, for now it is as it is, and something tells me that as long as Rumple doesn’t come back, not much will change for Belle. So far she is still extremely confused and scared. What confuses me, however, is that she isn’t accepting her name; her whole reaction to someone calling her Belle is not really understandable. It’s not like she’s say, stop calling me that, my name is… – no, she just doesn’t want to be called Belle.
Is it because Rumple, whom she is afraid of because of his magic (that much becomes clear), called her Belle, and she is refusing him and everything connected to him so much that she also doesn’t want that name? But why doesn’t anyone – Ruby for example – tell her that it is actually her name? Of course I can’t say how I would behave if I’d lost all my memories, but to my mind, Belle’s a bit too much against everything that is said and done to her. She shows such a strong reaction I can’t find an explanation for, and that is what really disturbs me.
This is also shows when Ruby brings her a book. That whole event with the magic Rumple used got to her so much that she seems to have no room for other thoughts. Why now ask Ruby, why not let Ruby explain? Does she trust Ruby; is there anyone she trusts? I really want to know what is going on in Belle’s head. Maybe the memories I believe are still there are like another, but now suppressed personality that tries to come to the surface, but since Belle herself doesn’t know what it is she fights it. Maybe she has dreams or something she associates with the magic she saw Rumple use to heal her – and the ball of fire – and therefore tries to get it out of her head – not knowing that it could help her.
In any way it is shocking to hear that they have to keep her heavily sedated most of the time, as the Evil Nurse (sorry, but so far that woman has no name) says – not shocking because that means her state is so bad, but because it can happen, they are able and allowed to do it. If the EN listened to Regina, then she might also follow Cora’s and/or Hook’s orders; or at the very least Cora in Regina disguise’s. So this could still be part of Hook’s revenge, and for Cora this can only be helpful; whatever distracts Rumple is good for her I guess (yep, still don’t believe in the truce).
As we already knew from the spoilers, Greg, also still in the hospital, now tries to get Belle to talk about what she saw – because he’s seen the same. A man with a ball of fire in his hand. Now I’m a bit afraid that he’ll bring Belle on his side – whichever side this is – and kind of agitate her against the others. The only problem is that I don’t know why he would do it. We still don’t know where he comes from and what he wants in SB. How he even thought of driving there, to begin with. Although, his phone talk to his “honey” (girlfriend or wife I guess) sounded like he only planned to pass through before the accident happened and he got stuck. And now that he’s tasted blood (no pun inte— …or maybe it is intended) he’s probably gonna try and stay as long as possible to find out more…
We can only hope that he won’t invite friends or whoever over to join him. Then the SB people will indeed have a problem. So far they are almost lucky that Greg picked Belle, or all people – so she has seen something, but she is also confused and gets tranquillizers, so who knows how much she’ll be able to tell him. It will all depend on what he knows or predicts already. And what he is able and willing to believe in.
Fact is – the more the Storybrookers make of it one big secret, the more curious Greg and maybe also other people will become. What we need is Belle getting his memories back without Greg realizing it, so she can gently convince him that all is fine and that he has to leave – and mustn’t ever speak of SB and the people and what he has seen.
Last point for today, Rumple’s trip. Of course the most important part of this episode was this one, with Rumple, Emma and Henry. The most important one for me – but judging from fan reactions, also for most of the other Oncers out there. Certainly is Rumple’s journey to find Bae of a very high importance. This may also explain why the rest was more preparation than anything else; why there didn’t happen that much in comparison to other episodes.
At first, I was a bit amused by Rumple’s whole behavior because he looked a lot like me when I took the plane last year – after almost 20 years of not flying. He looked as freaked out as I must have back then, and I knew exactly how he felt. That was, until I realized that his panic probably didn’t come from this new outside-of-SB world and the prospect of flying without magic (but with science, ha), although I still think this had its part in his panic.
No, as Rumple and thus also we had to find out can’t he use his magic outside SB. My guess is that his apathy came from his deep confusion of suddenly not having his powers anymore. I’m sure he felt this; I have no idea what it would feel like, but it must have been like a part of him is missing.
It is possible that back in SB before the Curse was broken, he either was okay with not having magic because he knew what was happening and that he was more or less safe, plus that he would regain his powers as soon as the Curse was broken – or, as another possibility, his powers were kind of sleeping inside him and he felt them still being there, only that he couldn’t use them, which was still okay then. Outside SB, however, it is possible that – seeing that Belle and one of the dwarves lost their memories – every last bit of their FTL persona is actually erased, as in, not there anymore, not even sleeping. But: Only as long as they are outside the town. When they cross back over the border and are in SB again, this persona may return, even if it is then sleeping, unless one has the spell Rumple used to protect himself.
So even if he gets his powers back – thanks to this protection spell – as soon as they return to SB, as long as they are outside he may have the memories, but not his magic, as the spell may not have that much power. And if his memories are personified by the Dark One, then it is possible that for now, the town line sort of has a True Love’s Kiss, a Curse breaking effect.
Back when the Curse was still on, no one was able to get even close to crossing the town line. Something always happened before that; accidents and such. What if crossing the town line back then would also have broken the Curse for the person in question? What if, by breaking the Curse, the town line effect was only reversed? We know that despite the broken Curse, the town line still kept its powers, for whatever reason. Certainly it wasn’t Rumple’s plan to have that happen, and I also doubt that Regina thought of tinkering with the Curse before enacting it (or that she would have been capable of doing so). So there is much more to magic than they all seem to know. Unless Rumple bringing magic to SB resulted in the town line regaining its powers, where before it had lost it temporarily between Emma breaking the Curse and Rumple throwing the True Love potion into the well.
Again there is much explaining to do by Ed&Adam, and also are there so many opportunities as to how to continue on this – like, will they break the Town Line Curse, will Rumple allow others to use his potion to leave, will they be able to explore the world (literally), or will everyone now coming into the town do so by accident (that mean pun again, sorry) because what before couldn’t get out now can’t come in?
What I absolutely loved about this plot was Emma’s behavior towards Rumple, and also Rumple’s behavior before they left. So he bared his teeth – literally – when Emma said Henry would come along, but still agreed pretty quickly afterwards, even never let come a question as to how the whole thing would be paid. It was like he wanted to protest, but stopped himself short and realized that it might not be such a bad idea after all to take Henry with them. Surely Emma made a point by saying that she won’t leave him there with Cora in town – and I’m just as sure that Rumple kinda has a soft spot for Henry. His readiness to pay for everything is like this little side note hinting at him recognizing that despite all, Henry is just a child. I would even go as far as to claim he feels a connection to the boy, as they as most probably related, but that I’d even doubt myself for the moment.
Whatever it is – it not only makes him generous in that regard, it makes him almost… let’s call it friendly, for the lack of a better word. Of course there is part desperation in it; for all the power he possesses, he still needs and probably also prefers Emma to do the favor she owes on her own free will. Plus, I guess he wouldn’t like using magic with the Good ones, and if only because he doesn’t want Belle to hear of it as soon as she regains her memories and then get angry at him or anything. And in general he surely has recognized that staying on the Charmings’ good side can only help him, at least for the moment and as long as he’s out of town while Belle is still there.
Nevertheless I love this moment between Charming and Rumple when the first one starts his sentence so that it sounds like a threat, but ends it as a request because he really just wants to know that his daughter and grandson are safe. And Rumple recognizes this sorrow of a father and honestly agrees/promises to take care of them, and it is absolutely believable. With all the plans he has and needs especially Emma for, I doubt Rumple would want to let any harm come to Emma. As we know he isn’t a bad person, and he has no reason to hurt Emma and/or Henry, all things considered (his bark is worse than his bite, anyone?).
In the end, there is no real enmity between them, and there is also no reason for it in my opinion. If Henry really turns out to be Bae’s son, this will make for one hell of a family tree anyways, and then the Charmings and Rumple will have to work together sooner or later anyways. I still hope and believe that someday, Rumple will be able to free himself from the Dark One and his powers; will he realize that he doesn’t need it anymore. And finding a family can only help with that – when he not only has Belle at his side, but also his son back and added to that a grandson and a few other family members.
In the past, Rumple was never really loved, by anyone. We don’t know his relationship to his parents, but surely we know that Milah never loved him, and that the only people who love him unconditionally are Belle and Bae. If the Charmings could learn to love him as a family member as well, if he finally finds people he can feel he belongs to, this may change everything.
But we’re not even close to getting that far, and for now, between the Good ones and Rumple there seems to be the only real truce (whereas the one between Cora and Rumple will soon proof not to hold – I can say that even without knowing any spoilers). And as long as it stays like this, and also if Rumple is ready and willing to help the Good ones (because their objectives will surely match Rumple’s more than those of the Evil ones, and because he’ll be stronger with help), we’ll definitely head down a new and interesting path.
Now, the trip. Rumple, Emma and Henry head to the nearest airport with Rumple’s car. He really does believe in the spell, otherwise driving the car himself would have been extremely risky. But then does he need to believe in it. So they cross the town line and – here comes the part that needs to be noted: Back when he first crossed the border and Belle was with him, he smiled at her and said her name. This time, he face is motionless, he’s staring ahead, and says with a hard voice that his name is Rumplestilitskin. In a tone of voice that makes you shiver.
I don’t mention that because it’s a surprise or anything, but because I just never get tired to point out how much of a different person Rumple is with Belle, and how much I think she brings out the real him, the kind and loving one. Of course there’s no need for him to be all chipper, in prospect of where they’re heading and that they’re trying to find his son, which is a touchy topic to start with anyways. Question is in what mood he’d be if Belle was okay. That she isn’t and that he has to leave her behind to who knows whose influence and what danger (through Cora, Hook, Regina etc.) doesn’t help his mood; that much is sure. Still I like this difference in behavior, because it also proves once again Belle’s importance to him.
Henry, before they cross the town line, asks Rumple if he’s ever been out of SB. And I was like – huh?! Here I’m missing this bit of information that tells us if Henry either knows that Rumple (always?) remembered his true identity or… wait, there is no or.
Actually, this is a pretty stupid question because Henry has to know that Rumple would never have been able to leave town, as no one could come close to the border without being stopped by whatever (magical) force there was. Henry said so himself before the Curse was broken that no one can leave – then why is he now asking if Rumple ever left? That would mean that he knows the Rumple remembered before the others and while the Curse was still intact, and maybe then was able to find a way to leave town… but without magic? Something just doesn’t add up here, and thus is can only repeat – this was a very stupid question. There was no magic in SB, so Rumple never had the chance to leave. I doubt that Henry knows all the details and background bits we know (and even we don’t know everything – by far not), so… did he only want to make conversation? Or is this the first time something our two OUAT gods wrote simply doesn’t make sense – period?
The next thing that I thought was interesting was Emma’s question what happens when the shawl and the spell don’t work. Rumple said that then he’d revert to his cursed self. Wait a second – cursed self? Which one is that? So was there ever a time when Rumple was just Mr. Gold and didn’t remember anything, but then suddenly he somehow, however, regained his memories? It is his Curse after all, so I always thought that he’d have kind of a failsafe or anything for himself as well, so that he wouldn’t be at Regina’s mercy. I always thought that he’d have made sure that he remembered from the very beginning of their SB time on. I guess that’s something we’ll get to know more about soon in the flashback ep that is coming up.
If there ever was a “cursed self” of Rumple I’d really, really, really want to see it. Rumple only as Mr. Gold, without any memories of his FTL life and Bae and the Dark One? Awesome. Was he the nice uncle then, or also a mean, rich loner? Was he well-liked once, but soon turned more distanced and fearsome because he remembered his FTL identity, and so people started avoiding and fearing him? Was he even happy maybe, for a short time?
For the time being, this doesn’t matter – for now is important that Rumple stays Rumple and the spell works.
Another thing that works is the Emma/Rumple relationship. I don’t want to call it friendship or anything, but they definitely respect each other, and I like that very much. At the airport a very edgy Rumple almost causes a catastrophe of sorts when he threatens an impatient man in line behind them – right at the security checkpoint. I actually expected the security guys to bring Rumple away to interrogate him and check him very thoroughly, but they didn’t even flinch, much to my surprise. Even here I would have expected a reaction, and in the US these guys are even stricter I think.
Alas, they don’t react, and maybe it is not only thanks to him being an older man with a cane and a limp, but also thanks to Emma – who pretends to be his daughter whose father is nervous. That kind of let my jaw drop below sea level. Even more when she tells Rumple that she won’t let anything happen to him – when he is asked to take off his shawl and put it in the basket for the x-ray scanners (it would probably sparkle in the scanner or something, because of the spell :D). Here was another surprise for me – I thought that he only needed the shawl and its effect when he crosses the border. But as it seems, he needs to wear it all the time. So this means that the whole outside world (outside SB, that is) is one big town line and it has nothing to do with the actual line.
Thus maybe leaving the town before the Curse was broken was a bit like the outside world and the people in SB are two magnets of the same pole. Now that the Curse is broken, it’s the other way around – people outside the town are the same pole as the SB area, thus crash when they try to enter the town (like Greg, and yep, still my theory that he won’t be the only one ending up in an accident when trying to come to SB).
It becomes obvious that taking off the shawl for even a minute is not a good idea, as Rumple really looks worse by the second after he’s put his talisman in the basket. It is Emma then who actually takes care of him, as promised, and quickly gets the shawl after it is through the x-ray and puts it back on his shoulders. Even though Emma doesn’t know what the problem is – she realizes that there’s something going on with Rumple, and that it even scares him. It is both heartwarming and interesting (because unexpected) to see her so caring towards him, and I wonder where this comes from. Emma is a good person, no arguments there, but she’s not a Good Samaritan, and also isn’t she Mother Therese or anything. And Rumple has done a few things that would allow her to have a grudge against him and not be as caring as she is, but only helpful.
So maybe she’s just grateful because he didn’t put up a fight when she wanted to take Henry with them, but that can’t be it. I think that she, as someone who’s good at reading and knowing people, has already recognized what Belle – so far as the only one – always knew: That deep down, he is good. Emma is the only one who can look with fresh eyes and a fresh mind at all the people in SB, including Rumple. And Emma must not only have seen that Rumple truly loved Belle and she loves him back, but also that bad, evil people can’t love. Thus concluding that Rumple, just like Regina who truly loves Henry, something Emma also recognized and what made her speak up for Regina, despite her behavior toward her before, has to be good somewhere behind this “evil” facade.
I believe that there is more development in regards to their relationship ahead, and I’m looking very much forward to it. After all it looks a lot like Emma will soon turn out to be Rumple’s daughter-in-law of sorts, with Bae being Henry’s father (I so hope he is, I can’t emphasize this enough).
Finally, when they’re sitting in the plane after a moment of desperation and anger for Rumple in the men’s room (I have to admit that this was very strange to watch… him being there, in that location… don’t know why), he looks even more uncomfortable and positively freaked out; just as much as Belle I guess. I think after planning and waiting for so many years, suddenly coming so close to reuniting with his son is another reason for Rumple to panic – where his loss of magic isn’t enough. Right now, there are so many weights on this poor man’s shoulders (meeting Bae, no magic, flying for the first time, being outside of SB for the first time, and his worries for Belle on top of that) that I’m really anything but jealous of him… and I so hope that at least something good comes out if it. Anything. Because he deserves it.
Feb. 17th’s episode will be one hell of the same, judging by all the spoilers, interview with cast and producers, and so on, so I will do what I’ve done with 2×11 before – get up early to watch the episode before work.
Until then I will see what life has in store for me and hope not to go insane while waiting for the all-revealing “Manhattan”.

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Tags: Anton/Tiny, Belle, Cora, Curse, Emma Swan, Greg Mendell, Henry, Hook/Killian Jones, Magic, Neal Cassidy/Baelfire, Once Upon A Time