Gloomy Black and White Frankenstein Land: Past
We see Frankenstein’s past – not in Fairyland but in a monochrome dreary land where we learn that his father was not best supportive of Frankenstein’s work and was tired of funding it; he was much more impressed with Frankenstein’s brother who gets the shiny family watch.
Frankenstein is approached by Rumplestiltskin, looking very colourful in the black and white world, expressing interest in his bringing back the dead science. And he offers money - lots of money – actually more money than he could have fit in the bag which rather surprises Frankenstein in his magicless land. Rumple disappears and Frankenstein gets back to his newly funded work.
Cut to him digging up a body – and being found by his most disapproving brother who supported his work, but not grave robbing. They’re also caught by a guard who puts a bullet in said brother.
That does give him the body he needs for his experiments – which end up frying his brother’s body’s heart. His father finds out and dramatically disowns him. Rumple comes in to check on progress and hearing the burning heart is causing problems, he arranges to set him up with Regina for a super heart.
Using that heart he raises his brother (though he rejects that it is magic – it’s science he claims) and shows him proudly to his father who is ecstatic at the idea. Until he meets Gerhardt and finds him bemused, confused and lashing out. He turns to berate Victor Frankenstein for creating a monster Gerhardt rushes to Victor Frankenstein’s defence, beating their father while Frankenstein watches, until he says enough (after taking his sweet time). Their father is dead – hearing this, Gerhardt runs off.
Victor goes to see him and finds him confused and upset – he even attacks Victor before he recognises him, then cowers in a corner, scared by his sewn together hands (guy was shot in the stomach, why are his hands covered in stitches?). Victor draws a gun but can’t bring himself to pull the trigger, even when Gerhardt grabs the gun and pushes it against his own head.
Following the dramatic events at the end of the last episode, an amnesiac, injured Belle is very confused at the border and she only becomes more confused when Rumple heals her with magic.
Emma, Snow and Charming arrives, Emma tells Hook he has broken ribs and Rumple walks up to break some more bones which Emma and Charming object to (“you can’t do that!” “I can if you let me go.” Rumple remains awesome). Emma tries to invoke Belle being a witness and eventually the whole “what would Belle do” gets through to him. Emma sends the EMTs to treat the stranger in the car – the man from DUM DUM DUM OUTSIDE!
To the hospital where healthcare in Storybrooke is rather lacking due to Dr. Whale/Frankenstein’s drinking. It has to be said, Dr. Frankenstein isn’t going to fill many people with confidence anyway. He’s also indulging in maudlin flashbacks. I’m quite sure that drunkenness and a penchant for maudlin flashbacks are not the best traits in a doctor.
Still he manages to pull it together and get everyone in various beds, even if we have another flashback where his angst and brother’s comfort is witnessed by Rumple. In the hospital Rumple stands at Belle’s bed and she panics and screams – not recognising him.
Hook, meanwhile, has been handcuffed to his bed. And not for any kind of fun reasons. But Emma does play with Hook’s sore places until he admits that he doesn’t know where Cora is. He’s also smug about hurting Rumple by hurting Belle. Emma’s not impressed by this and points out that Hook’s chained down while Rumple is “on his feet, immortal, has magic and you hurt his girl.” She decides this makes Hook Dead Guy of the Year. I disagree – death is going to be kind compared to the horrible things in store for Hook.
Outside the fairy tale contingent are trying to hack the stranger’s phone and displaying a collective ignorance of technology until Emma arrives. Looking through she concludes that the man, Greg, is just a perfectly ordinary person who just stumbled in and whatever magic stopped random people coming to Storybrooke is now gone. They begin a rather random panic about outsiders discovering all these strange, different people at a time when the wronged Regina has gone underground and Cora is out and about doing who knows what.
To add to the complication, Whale announces that Greg is bleeding internally – he asks Rumple to help heal him, but he refuses. He owes no-one, and some of them owe him besides the driver saw him use magic so it’d be far easier to let him die. Whale considers it (Hippocratic oath? Hah) while Snow and Charming are predictably Wet Lettucey-good and won’t hear of it. Whale goes to surgery – stinking drunk – and Greg’s phone rings, showing people are looking for him.
In his shop, Rumple is visited by Cora. She wants Regina back and, in exchange, she will give him an artefact that will help him find his son. He asks if she has spells to restore memory and she says she only knows what he taught her “master” (oooh laying it on a little thick there). Rumple agrees to a truce with Cora, sealed with a kiss.
In the hospital the gang is freaking out around the phone with Emma bringing in lots of common sense and knowledge; but it appears Dr. Whale hasn’t gone into surgery and has disappeared, dumping his coat and his pager. Charming explains the difficulty Whale’s had since Daniels rose up from the dead and ripped his arm off – oh and did he mention Dr. Whale is Frankenstein? This is a surprise to Emma and Snow who were in Fairy Land during that drama. They send Red with her werewolf senses to track down Whale.
Cora goes searching round Regina’s house, finding a handprint cast of Henry’s. Henry, meanwhile, goes to Regina’s secret lair calling for “mom”. Regina hears him and lets him into her secret room – where Henry greets her with a hug. She assures him she was framed and Henry says he always knew – then transforms into Cora to reveal she did the framing! (That’s a great way to start a reuinion! “Hi daughter, I framed you for murder! Gimme a hug.”) She tells Regina that she forgives her for the whole magical banishment and attempted murder thing – and she says sorry for all the things she did, including making Regina marry the king. Her changing moment was when Regina cried over Cora’s coffin. Regina doesn’t forgive being framed and when Cora says she used it to make her see what they thought of her, Regina rejects that too – the case was air tight, anyone would have believed it. She says Cora wanted her broken and she demands Cora tell Emma and Henry and the “2 idiots” (I don’t approve of the language choice, but the 2 fools would be a good summation of Snow and Charming) the truth; since she’s worked so hard to be worthy of Henry and if Cora wants to win Regina back then she has to work to be worthy of her.
On the drive back, Cora keeps digging her needles into Regina and eventually offers to help her get Henry back for her.
Ruby finds Dr. Whale about to throw himself off the pier – he jumps and she catches him. Crossing the full length of the pier in less than a second. Ooooh wolfy speed. Step away from the dangerous wolf lady folks.
They sit and talk and Whale talks about wanting his name to stand for life – and it ended up being considered the name of a monster. Whenever he tries to save a life, someone else dies. Ruby sympathises as someone who ate her boyfriend and talks about the blessing of Regina’s curse in that it let them forget their dark pasts but they have a chance to start over and she pushes him to the guy in the hospital.
He goes in and saves the man’s life – he’ll live. The whole gang wants to go in and talk to him but Emma rejects that – in a normal town the Sheriff would go in and ask questions, she wouldn’t bring her parents in with her and if they’re trying to pass Storybrooke off as nothing special, they can’t afford to be odd.
She goes to see Greg Mondell and reassures him about the accident – but wants his version of events. He admits to have been texting while driving and didn’t see anything. She thanks him for his honesty and lets him off with a warning despite it being illegal in Maine (wait, in Maine? You mean texting while driving isn’t illegal throughout the US?). She reassures him he can leave whenever he wants.
In Belle’s room, Rumple tries to convince Belle to look at her cup, the cup he charmed. But she’s scared, doesn’t understand magic and more than a little freaked out by Rumple. It doesn’t help that his way of explaining things lacks his usual… charm and suaveness. In panic and anger, Belle smashes the cup.
Rumple goes home and uses the glass globe Cora gave him and it shows where his son, Bael is.
Emma, Snow and Charming head back home, fill in Henry (Emma’s still weirded out by Dr. Frankenstein which Snow disapproves of) and Henry gets out his book, since Frankenstein isn’t in it, he wasn’t a fairy tale and wasn’t in the Enchanted forest. He concludes that if the curse went to places with other stories, then who else could be in the town (now this is a conclusion? Alice in Wonderland and Lancelot are not usually fairy tales either). Any speculation is interrupted by Rumple knocking on the door to call in the favour Emma owes him. He wants her to help him find Bael (that was her job originally, finding people) and it’s best he leaves town anyway since he’s sorely tempted to kill Hook. Also, should Belle come to harm while he’s gone, he’s killing absolutely everyone.
Rumple’s getting… irritable.
And to complicate things, Greg calls his girlfriend on the phone to say “you’re not going to believe what I saw.”
Oh Regina – I was standing and cheering for her standing down Cora and refusing to be manipulated, demanding that Cora earn her back as she is with Henry. It was wonderful, it was perfect, it asserted Regina’s value and strength. And then it all crumpled.
Ruby may be the most awesome character on this show.
I am curious about the very small but growing tension with Snow White/Mary Margaret, David/Charming and Emma not necessarily reconciling their new relationship as it is now, last week with Snow wanting to move out and now with Emma pushing a more normal definition of sheriff. The combination of Snow and Charming pushing a parental relationship on an adult, independent woman and fairy tale land lives adapting to storybrooke are interesting. I think this is a theme they’re going to develop slowly this season and maybe make a major element of season 3