This is my first review, which I warn you will be ridiculously long (taking days to write for quite possibly a tiny audience consisting only of me, myself and I), so let's get to it!
Last Sunday night's Rumbelle-centric episode of Once Upon A Time was such a treat. After weeks of seeing my favorite couple together in only 20 second cameos, where their lunch dates and picnics were so rudely interrupted by various fairytale characters, Rumpel and Belle finally take center stage again!
While Belle tosses back a few at the tavern, she's joined by Dreamy. They overhear talk of a hunting party wanting a few recruits in defeating a fiery beast called the Yaoguai. Since Belle no longer has her own beast to tame, it doesn't take long for Dreamy to talk her into joining the men in their hunt.
But first, Dreamy has a little parting gift for her. A bag of sparkling fairy dust, which just might come in handy on her new-found adventure.
And for Belle, her adventure is pretty easy peasy thanks to a book on said creature and her smarts for understanding an ancient language. (Which looks remarkably similar to Chinese). After purposely leading her ride of annoying and boisterous hunters down the garden path, Belle finds the Yaoguai's cave faster than Rumpel chopped off Hook's hand.
But the Yaoguai doesn't like house guests, and has no reservations about killing girls donning perfectly arranged braids and red lipstick. Luckily for Belle, Mulan-the-bad-ass comes to her aid.
Mulan is not amused, and really doesn't care to stick around since Belle just cost her her hunt. Mulan had been tracking down the fearsome beast for weeks and Belle found it in just one day, thanks to her book... which probably had no pictures.
Rambling Note: See? Knowledge really IS POWER! That one Doctor Who episode (coincidentally with the same theme, only concerning a werewolf) and all those after school commercials weren't just engaging in lip service. Books really can be arsenal. How wonderfully nerdy is that?!
Fastforward a bit, and Mulan comes to Belle's rescue a second time. She rescues Belle from the aforementioned bullies trying to give her a good christening down a well. (Which they think she deserves, seeing how she led their gullible minds to believe that the Yaoguai prefers lake habitats over mountainous terrains. Those brutes, with all their boorishness and boasting, and let's face it... probably a lot of ungentlemanly farting and belching... learned the hard way never to trust a woman who could read and think for herself. Likewise, if she's wearing chain mail and carrying a sword, your ass is pretty much toast. I hope they learned their lesson).
Confession - As much as I've not enjoyed Mulan in this series, I loooved it when she fought the guys here. I was definitely cheering her on. Girl Power!!!!
Swallowing her pride, Mulan asks Belle to join her on her hunt. Together, they'd make a good team. Brains + Brawn = That Yaoguai is gonna be dead barbecue to feed to Mulan's entire village. It'd be like a big picnic!
But there's a problem. Mulan's leg is injured, and a la Disney's Gaston, Belle is gonna have to "KILL THE BEAST!"
And she does, figuratively speaking of course, because the fiery creature is in actual fact Aurora's boyfriend/Mulan's future loverboy Prince Phillip. That dragon lady Maleficient had cursed him! Thanks to Belle's keen interpretation of the beast's message (which he scrawls in the dirt), alongside Dreamy's bag of fairy dust, Phillip's curse is now broken.
Random Thought: Phillip explains that's he's been trying to tell the village people who he really is, but I guess loverboy's brains were a little fried (literally) because he should know aggressiveness and pillaging villages isn't exactly the way to get anyone to listen calmly. It's kinda hard to look deeper into a scenario when death is barreling towards you at 30mph.
Apparently, he tried writing a message - in fire - for help, but all the villagers knew was that their homes were being burned down by a monster that breathes fire and charges people like a lion on the kill. Even from a distant hilltop, I didn't see any message written on the grasses below. All I saw was one huge fiery doodle.
Then again, in Phillip's defense my acumen for dead languages are
Now for a little time traveling to Storybrooke.
In the hull of Captain
Quick Thought: I don't really know why he thinks he needs the town's shrink to help. What need does he have of Archie when he has his spy glass which can obviously see through an entire town of brick buildings? Does the brute not understand that he doesn't even need Archie when there's the shapeshifting Cora?
My personal opinion is that he just enjoys being a bully and parading around that shiny hook. I think he's become rather fond of his steampunk-ish hand.
But I digress.
Hook isn't only causing trouble for Archie. First, he breaks into Belle's library... but no worries. A shelf of books knocks him on his pretty ass, and after Belle's frantic phone call with really bad reception, Rumpel comes to her rescue. (All the while, back at Mr. Gold's Pawn Shop Smee steals the cloak for Hook. As Admiral Ackbar would say, it's a trap!)
Rumpel is pretty PO-ed. It's the same old relationship woes that we've witnessed with Rumbelle before. Rumpel wants to rip someone's heart out, but Belle can still see the good inside the beast. If anyone can reform The Dark One, it's Bookish Belle. (This would be a rather unhealthy relationship in real life, but since it's fiction I'll let it slide because I love these characters so much).
After Belle rescues Archie from the invisible ship... (those darn gulls resting in mid-air were a dead giveaway that Cora never thought of)... she searches for the cloak which Rumpel needs to find his son. (Like the American Express card, he can't leave Storybrooke without it). Unfortunate for Belle, she risked her life only to find a small chest of buried treasure.
Well, ya can't win 'em all.
Belle turns around to find Hook holding the cloak. While Belle has proven in this episode to be all bad@ss, she isn't quite quick enough to snatch back the pistol Rumpel gave her to protect herself from a particularly sexy and dastardly pirate.
I have to admit something here. Apart from Hook caressing Belle's face with a loaded gun, I was jealous of her in this scene. I don't know if it's because he's near-sighted or what, but Hook seems to be really fond of threatening his enemies with only about a half an inch between them.
All I could think during this scene was that the man put on his eyeliner a hell a lot smoother and better than I do, and that I really hope for Belle's sake that the man munches on breath mints throughout the day. Were I Belle, I could withstand Hook's threats if only he had fresh minty breath.
The importance of good oral hygiene aside, Belle learns of that little detail Rumpel left out about Milah's death. Belle was in denial for about 3 seconds, but in an instant her faith was renewed. She professes to Hook that Rumpel has changed and "his heart is true." (I think she read that in a few romance novels and liked it so much that she borrowed it for her real life. I'd do the same, so color me a little jealous again, nerdy-style). Belle then proceeds to take down Hook, who falls over like a ton of bricks. (He still manages to look all sexy when a girl in heels bests him). Bae's cloak in hand, Belle runs for her life.
But this is Hook we're talking about, and like a cheetah on the hunt he's up on the ship's deck before Belle is.
It looks like it's all over for our storybook heroine, but all that good karma from saving crickets, rescuing princes and hot dogs on the run is on her side... because behind Hook stands her lover whose heart is true!
And her lover-whose-heart-is-true proceeds to beat the everlasting hell and damnation out of Hook.
And deservedly so, I might add.
Next, we hear no whimperings from Hook. In fact, he's egging Rumpel on to rip his heart out like he did with Milah. Belle is understandably upset, not wanting to witness a murder and all, so after a little course correction she gets through to Rumpel whom let's Hook live.
After a heart to heart talk inside Rumpel's car, it's time for what they've all been waiting for. It's time for Rumpel to cross the town line and search for Baelfire.
But just as Rumbelle fans start to witness a smooch between the two fairytale characters, Hook gets his piece of the pie by shooting Belle.
Booooooo! You terrible and despicable rat bastard! Belle is only the #1 princess in all fairy tales! I hate you, hate you, H-A-T-E you! I'll feed you to the hungry crocodile myself!
Belle falls over the town line, losing all her memories. Hook, in that vengeful voice I can't help but be ashamed of falling in lust for, tells Rumpel that she'll live "but just won't remember who YOU are!"
A menacing cackle from Hook would have inserted itself well here, but instead we see Rumpel having a full-on nervous breakdown. Just as he begins to hurl a fireball at Hook, a car is speeding it's way INTO town.
By this point, I'm having a little breakdown of my own. I'm angry with the sexy pirate, feeling sorry for Rumbelle, but at the same time I'm relieved because finally an hour long mystery has just been solved. At last I understand why this episode was titled "The Outsider!"
So Hook gets hit by the car. I really don't care about that. It's the least he deserves after threatening innocent conscience's/crickets and bookworms.
- Is Hook dead? PLEASE, NO! I love to hate him and he's too sexy to die. Really, I just want to look at him. Is that too much to ask?
- I never did speak of Snow and Charming! Snow wants to move out of her adorable shabby chic-ish cottage and spend a quiet life in Storybrooke, but Charming wants to fight, fight, FIGHT for their old home in FTL. Snow is tired of fighting, and I really can't blame her. All the same, my vote goes to Charming.
Charming 1 / Snow 0
- I'm glad the town now knows Archie is alive, but I want to know who Cora really killed.
- I'm happy for Pongo having his master back.
- Ruby and Archie totally need to hook up. Everytime I see them onscreen, I think they'd make a cute-as-pie couple.
- Hook got his butt kicked for this entire episode, but somehow the testosterone went through the roof anyway.
Reminder to the writers: PLEASE let this man survive.
- Henry is one confused kid. One second, he's drawing up plans for an armory in his 20-something's grandmother's old room, to protect himself and Emma from the evils of Regina. Then fastforward two seconds and, learning that it was Cora that only shapeshifted as Regina to "kill" Archie... Henry tells his Mom "I knew it!" He knew all along that Regina was innocent.
Wuh-huh? Sure, kid. I'm glad Archie is back because you just might need someone to talk to about this. It's been one hell of a stressful week for you, and now you don't even have a dog.