It’s Henry’s birthday! That means all his family are gathered around a cake
(NB: for family we’re using the Once Upon a Time definition – which means people who donated DNA and were completely missing for your entire life, rather than people who loved you, cared for you, spent your entire life raising you and are your legal parents and guardians.)
For his present he gets to pick one object from Gold’s shop. Yeah… that cannot be a good idea. He picks up a glass wand. Well at least it’s fragile. Gold uses the wand to turn Henry into pottery then shatter him – for the sake of the prophecy
He then wakes up. Yes, Gold woke up, it was a nightmare. Because he’s just THAT attached to Henry that killing him is a nightmare.
Gold watches Neal play swords with Henry, looking kind of angsty and Regina joins him asking why Neal and Henry are together. Of course, no-one has told Regina that Henry’s father has shown up. Which means Gold gets to tell Regina that he’s Henry’s grandfather. Regina is furious and doesn’t believe that Gold couldn’t have known this before procuring Henry for adoption – Gold puts it down to Fate. Regina tells Gold they won’t accept him, none of them will – she’s seen his dark heart and there’s no way he will play good well enough to be accepted
Gold goes from theatre to visit Belle who is a little surprised that Gold is alive given his dramatic and beautiful death bed phone call. Belle also accepts that since his feelings were true that they did have a past together. He agrees to do everything he can to help her remember herself – adding that she always brought the best out in him and he needs that.
Let’s have a fairyland flashback – to Belle and Rumplestiltskin and Rumple being very very annoyed Belle’s piteous crying all night because she misses her family. When they’re interrupted by Robin Hood looking to steal stuff. He has a magic arrow that cannot miss so even Rumple’s super magic speed doesn’t let him dodge. Of course, when it hits him it doesn’t actually do anything – nice try, Robin.
Back to Storybrooke and Regina is stirring the pot, going to see Belle, being nice and wishing her well – and giving her something; a matchbook. Belle stares at it and says she remembers who she is. Regina’s smile foretells bad things for Gold.
Tamara and Gregg are still plotting, I think as much to remind us who they are as much as anything given the hiatus. And Tamara is bringing in a package – and Greg asks if it’s “stable”. That’s not good. Things that may become unstable are never good.
Since we’re jumping around characters time to check up on Emma, Mary Margaret and David who show Emma the bean patch they’re growing (cloaked by the Mother Superior) and Emma can meet up with Anton the giant again. Then she realises the reason for the beans – Mary Margaret and David want to make a portal to the enchanted forest. Even with the ogres and the destruction, they want to go back and rebuild it, which may heal the precious purity Snow mend her evil terribad dark heart that I have no patience for (do not make me go on another Snow White and purity rant, Once Upon a Time, do not!) . Of course they want Emma to go with them. Uh-huh, because what inhabitant of the 21st century west doesn’t want to go live in a land with no indoor plumbing! Sign me up right now!
Gold arrives at the hospital and finds the matchbook and no Belle – it’s for a bar called the Rabbit Hole. It seems Belle now thinks she’s Lacey, pool hustler
back to fairyland where Rumple is getting through blood stained aprons and making Robin Hood scream and Belle clear up the mess because he dared to steal from the Dark One. Everyone knows you get skinned alive for that. Belle angrily replies no, not everyone knows that. Rumple is sure they will after they discover the body. He leaves and Belle rushes to rescue Robin – refusing to leave with him because otherwise her family will suffer after the deal she made.
Gold confronts Regina who says, yes she did give Belle her memories back – her cursed memories. Lots of threats follow but gold is on his best behaviour to stay in food with Henry (for reasons unknown). Gold intends to break the curse with true loves kiss – he’ll make her love him. Yup, even Regina doesn’t think that’ll work.
Gold goes to Granny’s to get advice from David. Oh dear gods, David, really? The most useless, eye gougingly wet person in Storybrooke after Mary Margaret, the Wet Lettuce herself. David is snippy because Gold got Mary Margaret to murder someone (your wife is a grown woman. Admittedly she has fluff for brains but Gold didn’t twist her arm, she did it her own damn self. And it did save all of your lives). Gold agrees to owe David a favour and David tells Gold to show her the man she fell in love with.
Uh-huh, that ranks up there with “be yourself” in the relationship advice scale. I hope that favour is going to be of equal value Gold – maybe you could lend him an umbrella when it’s raining.
Back to fairyland where Rumple discovers Belle rescued Robin Hood and declares that a thief doesn’t deserve to die (what medieval justice system are you working under, dearie? Death isn’t that harsh for breaking and entering, trespass, theft and attempted murder). She declares she saw good in her murderous burglar. Oh and as Robin Hood left, he stole a wand on his way out. Rumple calls her a foolish, gullible girl. I don’t think she can really prove him wrong there. She cries that you can’t know someone’s heart until you really know someone. I really want to see this kingdom she’s from where the criminal justice system decides you are guilty of a crime only after the judge has really got to know you – and not after you shoot an arrow into someone’s heart.
Back to Storybrooke with Gold going to the bar with David as his wingman.
That sentence alone makes me want to get very, very, very drunk.
Anyway he gets a date with Lacey at Granny’s (and David calls him Don Juan – “Don Juan was nothing until he made a deal with me” heh)
Regina goes to see Emma about Neal and Gold, accusing her of keeping it from Regina. Emma says she was going to tell her but was too busy stopping her and Cora killing her and all her family – ok, that’s a good come back. She says Neal only wants to see his son and Regina snarks with PERFECT ACCURACY that he wasn’t interested for the first 10 years of his life – but nor was Emma. NO LIES DETECTED! Of course, this is passed off as Regina being passive aggressive rather than the legitimate complaints of a mother who has had her child stolen by a couple of complete strangers and Emma goes back to pushing Regina to earn her motherhood of Henry (unlike Emma), or she will lose him for good. Regina realises Emma is hiding something.
At Granny’s the date goes ahead and we see Lacey is rather different from Belle in many ways. She keeps asking Gold why people are scared of him, why he has this deep, dark reputation and he keeps trying to hide it (man, be yourself remember? Ugh are we really going to have this as an Aesop? If you’re a murdering, ruthless monster then gosh darnit, be yourself and show your black heart to win the woman you love!) Of course Lacey says you can’t know what’s in a person’s heart until your truly know them. Because that’s not a clumsy insert in Lacey’s mouth at all.
To fairyland where Belle insists that Rumple isn’t as dark as people say, there’s love on him and how could he be so evil as to hunt down a thief who tried to kill him and expect the return of his property! (I really want to know more about the kingdom she was princess of). He runs into the Sheriff who agrees to tell Rumple where the thief is – in exchange for a night with Belle. Rumple steals the man’s tongue instead and in exchange for giving it back learns that Robin Hood is the thief and he lives in Sherwood Forest. Who didn’t see that coming?
They find Robin and lo he has stolen the wand to heal a sick, dying woman – a pregnant, sick, dying woman, Rumple there is good in you don’t do this, hearts and fluffy bunnies and let’s all forget he tried to kill you - you know the script by now. Rumple fires the arrow… and misses, by a huge margin. Robin flees with the woman we assume is Marion and Rumple declares he’s bored they’re going home. Belle points out the bow is magical, it never misses its target, he spared them. Rumple says the magic wore off.
Back in Storybrooke, it seems Lacey has ditched Gold and is now making out with a man – the Sherrif it seems – behind the back of Granny’s. While on a date with someone else, Belle? Classy. Gold drives him off and Lacey says again that she’s not Belle and the date was a disaster.
Sherriff tracks Gold down outside the Rabbit Hole to apologise again to Gold because, well, Gold tends to carry grudges. Gold says he and Lacey are not together any more and Sherriff is relieved, assuming they’re fine. And Gold snaps – he has tried so hard to be on his best behaviour but he can’t get Belle back any more so what’s the point? He disappears Sherriff’s tongue; so no-one can hear him scream.
In fairyland we see the sweet moment when Rumple shows Belle his library. She holds him saying he’s not who she thought he was.
And in the real world he beats Sherriff on the floor, and Lacey arrives and says it’s all true what they say about him. He’s not who she thought he was. And she likes it. She watches him return to beating Sherriff to a pulp.
Wow, here’s a message for you “always be yourself – even if that means beating people to a pulp and be as evil as you know you are.” Yeaaaah, I don’t think that’s what people mean with the whole “to thine own self be true.”
Meanwhile Regina uses her own magic to find the bean field. And Emma discusses going home – to the Enchanted forest. And Emma worries about August’s his cryptic warning.
And Tamara and Gregg collect their package – Hook. And respect to the man who can be tied and bound and still not smudge his eyeliner.
Regina telling Gold they won’t accept him as family? They’ve actually done more to accept Gold as Henry’s grandfather in the short time they’ve known him than they have for Regina in 2 seasons.
Unfortunately it’s part of a pattern – Gold’s sins are much more quickly forgiven than Regina’s ever were, her evil having way more mileage. And family by blood – with no acquaintance at all – is put on a pedestal but people who actually raised and loved the child do not count.
The messages on family in Once Upon a Time are really toxic: family is DNA, nothing else, adoption is not real parenting and it doesn’t matter how absent (or outright evil) your genetic family are, they are far more family than actual legal guardians and parents.
And why has Gold suddenly grown to care? Since when does Gold give a damn about Henry? I can understand not wanting to be separated from Neal since it’s been his overall goal – but Henry? He learns Henry’s a blood relation and he’s up on the pedestal.
And now Gold is rewarded for being the evil being he always knew he was? Yeah the contrast between Gold the villain and Regina the villain is glaring
Is Lacey being a “scantily clad bar fly” supposed to be an extra horror to Belle not remembering Gold? Also if this is your definition of “scantily clad” you have lead a very very sheltered life.