Belle took front and center stage as the leading lady in this week's episode, "The Crocodile," which saw an absence of Emma, Regina and Snow. We were also introduced to the most anticipated character of the season: Captain Hook.
You put syrup on this ...
Belle has a realistic dream about her on-the-rocks boyfriend Rumpelstiltskin, who transforms into his weird creature alter ego and tries to kill Grumpy. She wakes up and spies on Rumpel who is practicing magic, which on this show can now be defined as purple haze.
She confronts him and wants to know why he brought magic to Storybrooke in the first place. "Magic is power," Rumpel says. Belle is unhappy with his actions, tells him he needs courage, and then she leaves.
For some reason, Rumpel immediately thinks that Belle has gone missing, but she's just learning about what ice tea is from Red who was channeling Jack White today.
Red offers Belle a room at Granny's and then suggests she get a job as a librarian, because Belle loves books. I guess the writers had to stick to some aspect of her classic story. She checks out the library and is immediately kidnapped buy some guy in a red beanie.
Rumpel asks Charming for help with finding Belle after he had no luck talking to her miserable father, and because nobody else likes him. Rumpel also asks Charming for dating advice and gets the word "honesty" as the sole answer. Boring.
Charming and Rumpel ask a reluctant Red for help in using her nose to sniff out Belle. Her scent leads them to her dad's flower shop. Her dad reveals that he had her kidnapped and is sending her across the town line so she'll forget about Rumpel.
The red beanie guy sends her flying in a mine cart that looks like it would be a fantastic ride at Disney World. Rumpel stops the cart with his magic, but Belle is still mad at him and her daddy.
She goes back to the diner, where Red has to explain to her what an all-American breakfast is and that syrup goes on pancakes. You read that right.
Belle gets a key to the library from Rumpel, who admits to her that he has been a coward his entire life. Power became so important to him that he chose magic over searching for his son. In case you forgot, his son's name is Baelfire. He tells Belle that he doesn't know if he can leave Storybrooke because he will forget who she and his son is.
As he leaves the library, Belle asks him out on a date and asks if he's ever had a hamburger. Seriously? Apparently she was only fed Ensure the entire time she was locked up last season.
Dude, where's my hand
Flashback time! We see Rumpel before he turned all crazy and when he was known as the village coward. Ouch. Rumpel's wife Mila is basically a slut who only cares about drinking with pirates at taverns, while he seems to be the only one who cares about their son.
We're introduced to Killian, played by Colin O'Donoghue, who is the captain of a band of pirates who supposedly kidnap Mila. The only way Rumpel can get her back is to win a duel against Killian which just isn't going to happen.
Later, Rumpel is at the same tavern but he's now in creep mode. The same man who kidnapped Belle in Storybrooke shows up at the tavern with his red beanie, which he tells Rumpel is a magic bean. In his creepy voice, Rumpel tells that man that he thinks he is bluffing and that it's not nice to spread rumors which the man has clearly been doing. He then sees Killian and his crew return.
He bumps into Killian on purpose, and introduces himself as the "Dark One." He wants to know what became of his wife, who turns out to be dead. After he defeats Killian in a duel and he is midway through ripping his heart out, Mila shows up well and alive. These "I'm not dead" shockers are starting to become not so shocking.
It turns out Mila wanted to be a pirate all along, and fell in love with Killian. Mila has the magic bean and wants to make a deal with her ex-husband: the magic bean in exchange for their lives. Later that day, Rumpel uses their son to put Mila on a guilt trip. Mila tells him that she was so miserable because she never loved him. Burn.
Rumpel responds to this by ripping her heart out and squeezing, and we all know what happens next. Killian attempts to avenge Mila's death, only to get his hand cut off. He seems to take this quite well, and there's no blood or screaming or anything of that matter. Way to keep it PG! Killian vows to kill Rumpel, who laughs and disappears into smoke.
Killian then nonchalantly attaches a hook to where his hand use to be. He informs the red beanie man, who is finally revealed as Mr. Smee, that they are about to go to a land where no one ages: Neverland. It looks like we have Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinkerbell to look forward to. But most importantly, Nana the St. Bernard (I hope).
The end of the episode shows Rumpel interrogating Mr. Smee in Storybrooke. He demands to know where Hook is and Smee swears he hasn't seen him in Storybrooke. That's because Hook and Cora are on the outskirts of Fairlyland, plotting their next evil moves while not being friendly, because that's what evil people do. Their next destination? Storybrooke.
Charming is helping the dwarves mine because he has to be everywhere at all times in Storybrooke. I've determined he doesn't eat, drink or sleep.
One time, Rumpel turned a man into a pig. Add that to the list of super powers I want.
You can't not have an episode with Regina. Get your act together, "Once Upon A Time."
"Have you ever had a hamburger?" -- BelleCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun