Subtitle: I made this episode with my brain.
The short version is: I love this episode! The long version is:
I complained about Hook’s behavior while heart-less and attributed it to cowardice more than explicit manipulation – Rumple is certainly always manipulating the situation, but I wondered if he bothered to use the heart. Still wonder back then but there was no ambiguity in this episode. Not only did we see Rumple directly controlling Hook
we saw Hook actively trying to warn Emma that it was happening
and we saw Emma’s Spidey Senses kick in!
It’s EXACTLY what I asked for!
Regina and Robin and Marian and Roland and Some Merry Men.
This is such a soap opera (and I don’t love it, I find it wearying, but there’s a lot of lovely acting). Snow Queen defeated, Regina restores Marian’s heart
Regina is sad because whenever she does the right thing she ends up alone. But Marian pops in to say she’s no dunce, Robin’s love for Regina burns brighter than his love for her, and she doesn’t want to be settled for because she has actual self-respect.
Regina tells Robin it’s gonna be OK. Harder than if she’d stayed dead but Dumbledore says that’s how they know it’s right. Also, and I need to stress this: Marian alive is better than Marian dead. Better for Marian, better for Roland, better for the story. Protect Maid Marian 2k15.
But, of course, they’re not allowed to be grown ups about this and portray a civil divorce and custody arrangement put together with love and respect that not only recasts a literal evil stepmother as a good stepmother and a woman best known for being fought over by men and then dying as an independent single mother but also gives divorced mothers, fathers, and children a place in the land of fairy tale families. No, instead Marian falls over AGAIN.
And the only way to cure her is to send her over the town line. And Roland must go with her. So Robin must go with her. And Regina can’t leave Henry even if she did want to go, too.
Storybrooke is No Longer Frozen
Elsa brings down the Ice Wall but the magic barrier remains so they have to find a portal back to Arendelle. Enter Rumple’s Hook-Puppet to send them all to that haunted mansion he sent Emma to two episodes ago in an attempt to steal all her magic and probably kill her but I guess since the trap didn’t go off they didn’t know it was a trap so away they go again. And it’s not really a trap – Rumple needs Anna back in Arendelle before she can tell them all that he is a lying liar who lies. Unfortunately for him, she’s my favourite:
Anna: Please thank Mr. Gold for me, he seems nice.
Anna: Who is he in the Enchanted Forest? A kind old man?
Emma: A villain named Rumplestiltskin
Anna: WHAT? He is a lying liar who lies! Everything he says is a lie! Why would any of you trust anything he ever says? Don’t trust anything he ever says!
Anna is my favourite! But the portal to Arendelle is real so the Frozen folks are home. Then Anna and Elsa get married.
Belle and Puppies
The alternate subtitle for this episode is “Belle’s adorably expressive face”.
Her glee when Rumple surprises her with honeymoon plans.
Her outrage when we flash back to the very beginnings of their relationship (aside 1: it’s super smart for the show to use these flashes to remind us of the episode they fell in love; aside 2: Belle wears a progression of white blouses with puffed sleeves and I love it.)
Her joyful admonishment when puppy faced Henry calls her Grandma.
Playing peek-a-boo with an actual puppy. And that’s all just icing on the cake compared to:
Rumpletstiltskin Gets What He Deserves
Rumple explicitly manipulates Hook, Emma, Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff and emotionally manipulates Regina and Belle (and arguably Hook and Emma who kiss while Hook is under his direct control, ew). But Belle, finally, realizes it and fights back.
Belle uses the magic whatsit of the week to lead her to what Rumple loves most and it doesn’t lead to her, but to the (real) dagger of (semi) ultimate power. So she takes that dagger, saves Hook’s life
and forces Rumple to leave Storybrooke.
He loses his dagger, his magic, his wife, his home, everything.
It’s glorious. I am so, so, so proud of Belle.
The Queens of Storybrooke
Regina is sad because whenever she does the right thing she ends up alone. But Emma pops in to say, I totally get it, let’s do shots.
Then Henry shows up to ruin everything. Only not really because he found a room full of blank storybooks and Operation: Mongoose is back on and Emma joins up because she promised Regina a happy ending and also hates being left out of adventures and they are the Best Family Ever.
The Queens of Darkness
I am so excited!