TV Overmind has published new and extended synopses on episodes 2×11 and 2×12.
Please be aware that this includes MAJOR SPOILERS.

Two little synopses and my mind is overloading… again. Kinda missed that feeling in the past – what? – two or three weeks? Well, I’ve tried to not watch ONCE ever since 2×09, because I have the tendency to start disliking shows when I get too much of them at once. And I *really* don’t want that to happen with OUAT. Additionally, I also usually try to avoid spoiler (which I’ve never done before), but I just couldn’t resist with these.
Okay… here we go.

2×11 – The Outsider
Mr. Gold finds an unwilling test subject to see if a spell he has concocted will allow him to cross the border of Storybrooke — without losing his memory — and go in search of his son, Bae; Belle stumbles upon a vengeful Hook in the Storybrooke harbor whose main goal is to eradicate Rumplestiltskin; and Mary Margaret and David go house hunting in search of a bigger place to live. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Belle meets Mulan as the two set out to slay a fearsome beast called the Yaoguai, who has been ravaging the land.

Of course, my first thought was: RUMBELLE! Yay!!! 😀
Obviously, we’re taking large steps when it comes ton Rumple trying to find a way to leave town. I can’t wait to see who his “victim” is and if it works. I kinda doubt it… though it would be really interesting to see him leaving town. On the other hand is there 2×12…
The encounter Belle and Hook had to come, of course. And I truly fear it. I have no idea what Hook will do; if he will make Belle part of his revenge, if he will harm her in any way, if he will use her. Everything could work when it comes to luring Rumple into a trap, and it could end fatally for both Belle and Rumple. Now, I doubt that they’ll kill of Rumple as, like, the major character. But Belle…? Killing Belle would mean that Rumple will become even darker where he’s on his way to the way (at least something) to change. I think I’ve written that before in a review. Certainly I hope I’m absolutely wrong with that because – well, who wants to see Belle dead? It would kill my OTP! And if they ever want to give that show a positive ending, then they will need Belle to help Rumple. I want them to have their happy end *pouting fangirl moment*
The other thing that totally threw me off was – Belle and Mulan? They know each other??? That… changes everything. Well, for one we now know that Belle wasn’t captured by Regina right after she left the Dark Castle. This is important for the time line; hers, Rumples, and Reginas. And two – if Belle knows Mulan, this creates a whole new realm of possibilities as to who will work together in future, who may get support from whom, and so on.
It also gives me this idea of what could happen next: Aurora and Mulan find and free Phillip’s soul. Aurora and her love are reunited and stay in FTL; maybe to build it up again. Mulan, however, goes off to SB because she knows there are more battles to fight. She finds Belle and since they are comrades in arms, or friends, or whatever connects them (in a good way that makes them loyal to each other), helps her and ultimately also Rumple. Which would give Rumple another person on his side. And would also exclude the whole “Belle could die” thing 😉
Or… Belle could very well succeed in convincing Hook to forget his revenge… even if she has to pay a high price for it…?

2×12 – In The Name Of The Brother
Dr. Whale is tasked with mending Hook’s wounds and performing surgery on the stranger whose car crashed upon entering Storybrooke. But some of the townspeople fear that the stranger may have seen magic – which could expose their true identities to the world – and think that leaving him to die would be the best solution. Meanwhile, as Mr. Gold tries to reunite with a despondent Belle, Cora attempts to reunite with daughter Regina; and in the land that was, Victor desperately wants to prove to his disapproving father that he can, indeed, bring back the dead.

Finally, more info on Dr. Whale. He may not be the most important character, but he is still an interesting one, and I think the fact that he comes from another land than the rest is really intriguing. I’m looking forward to see more of him, his history – his brother, obviously, especially since he (acc. to the classic Frankenstein) is the one Victor tried to revive – and how much more there is to his connection to the people from FTL apart from what we’ve seen with Rumple, Jefferson and Regina.
As for the stranger – at first I had read it wrong and thought the stranger is Hook *lol* So, my guess: Neal. I think it would make sense. No one (except Emma and August) knows him, and he’s the one who would have good reason to (finally) come to SB. He got the postcard in the season premiere, and I actually wonder why he hasn’t shown up yet; what takes him so long. Maybe August had to go and motivate him? Or… maybe August had to go and stop him? Even if he sent the postcard, August could still disapprove of Neal returning into Emma’s life… We don’t know what else August is planning and plotting. What if there’s an ulterior motive to his actions, one that includes keeping Neal, who is supposedly Bae, out of the life of all SB inhabitants? And, apart from Emma, also away from Mr. Gold? If Rumple finds Bae, it would finish his quest, all he ever worked for, everything he did… everything for. With Bae and Belle at his side, who is to say that it wouldn’t make the decision to refrain from magic way easier for him?
On another note: the car crashed when entering Storybrooke? So maybe there is a reversed effect now – first, cars crashed when SB inhabitants tried to leave before the Curse was broken; now that the Curse is broken and a new one in place, it could keep people out, instead. Which would be a highly interesting side effect – because what would happen if people actually managed to leave without losing their memories (like with a spell Rumple tested in 2×11)? Could they ever come back, because the only portal so far into FTL is in SB. And we don’t know what happens to people if they reenter; they could loose their memories then, or they could fall into a coma, or whatever. Thus, SB would become kind of an island; a part of FTL in our world that may be here, and yet isn’t really, because no one can come, and no one can leave (Island, huh? What did the creators before OUAT, again? ;)). Of course is this contradicted by Hook and Cora coming to SB; though we don’t know how far the border goes sea-side. Hook’s ship may have come through within these borders.
Save the best for last – Rumbelle. Even more than in ep 11, it seems. Belle’s desperation could come from her encounter with Hook. I’m actually very sure it is. Question is what disturbed her so much. The encounter as such, where Hook probably told her of his plans to skin the crocodile? Or because Hook made her his asset, his involuntary help to get to Rumple, and she can’t do anything about it? I just hope that Cora didn’t give him another boost of magic that allows him to rip out more hearts – like Belle’s.
The thought that Rumple tries to reunite with Belle gives me all kinds of far too shippy and fluffy ideas to be realistic 😉 But I hope very much that a true reconcillation is in order, one that brings them back together as a romantic couple; especially in the light of Hook’s arrival and the threat he poses. For everything that happens now, a relationship conflict between those two just seems misplaced because there is so much at stake that they need to stick together, and I hope they also know it. Even if, as said earlier, Belle can be Rumple’s downfall – she can very well be also his savior. And she will be, I know that; she’d do a lot for him, if not everything, because she loves him. I still have to think that she seems to get closer to Rumple again – while we haven’t seen or heard of her father again. She broke with both men at the same time; but obviously she couldn’t ban Rumple from her life, or her heart (he may be more insistent, but still… hey, I’m a shipper after all!)
And that’s what I meant. Two short synopses, and I write definitely too again. Not sure if I’m looking forward to the new episodes… I’ll end up spending several days writing my reviews because they’ll get so long…

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Tags: August W. Booth, Belle, Curse, Dr. Whale/Frankenstein, Emma Swan, Hook/Killian Jones, Neal Cassidy/Baelfire, Once Upon A Time, OUAT, Regina/Evil Queen, Rumbelle