TV Time: Once Upon a Time 2.11

As I slaved away (aka enjoyed every single second of) watching and recapping the Golden Globes, Leah took the reigns and offered to share her thoughts on this week’s Once Upon a Time.

Hi everyone! Hope you all survived the craziness of the Golden Globes and Once Upon a Time airing on the same night this week! (For some post-Golden Globes thoughts, check out Katie’s post here.)

This week’s episode was a bit of a rollercoaster, and there’s a lot to talk about. Here we go!

Title The Outsider

What Happened? In Storybrooke, Hook does all he can to thwart Rumplestiltskin’s plans to leave town and find his son Baelfire, while Belle does her own investigating and discovers Hook’s ship. In flashbacks to Fairytale Land, we see Belle and Mulan work together to kill a beast called the Yaoguai, which turns out to be Prince Phillip, cursed by Maleficent into the Yaoguai in order to separate him from his true love Aurora.

Lines to Remember
“So we shouldn’t think of today as goodbye. Just as a way of saying, ‘Archie, we’ll be listening.’” (Snow White, giving the eulogy at Archie’s funeral)

“I’ve always wanted to dissect a cricket.” (Hook, interrogating Archie)

“I think it’s safer to stick to my books. They’re the only adventures I know that have happy endings.” (Belle)

“Enjoy the lake!” (Belle)

“I just imagined a bigger roof. With turrets.” (Snow White)

“Oh, I know this ship like the back of my…well, you know.” (Hook)

What I Thought This episode gave us a good look at more of Belle’s backstory, and set us up for a great episode next week, which will undoubtedly deal with a lot of the events we have been anticipating for most of this season. Before I get to the ramifications of this week’s events on the future episodes, however, let’s discuss Belle.

Belle has been one of my favorite characters since we first met her in Season One ‘s “Skin Deep,” and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see more sides of her in this episode. Over the course of the show so far, we have seen Belle deal with mostly emotional situations and with her relationship with Rumplestiltskin, but we haven’t really seen Belle in action on the battlefield. In this episode, we got to take a look at how she reacts in stressful situations.

My two key words for Belle this episode would be “courage” and “cleverness.” While other major female characters on the show appear to have some sort of training in fighting tactics, Belle uses her intellect as a weapon. In both major confrontations with Hook, she is able to outsmart him or think quickly on her feet in order to escape—once in the library, where she knocks the bookshelf on top of him, and once on Hook’s ship, where she hits him with something hanging from the ceiling. She also uses her cleverness in Fairytale Land where she tricks both the men who were hunting the Yaoguai and then the Yaoguai itself. While she may not know how to wield a sword or a gun, she can rely upon her brain to help her find a way out of difficult situations.

We also see that Belle has lots of courage. She goes off to find the shawl and goes onto Hook’s ship, even when she was clearly terrified of Hook earlier in the episode, and she goes to hunt down the Yaoguai despite clearly not having much, if any, training in how to fight or kill anything. She also doesn’t panic when confronted by Hook, even when he’s pointing the gun straight at her.

Now, to talk briefly about what this week’s events could mean for future episodes. One of the major questions I have is how does the crossing-the-town-line magic work? Is it a curse like the other curses we have seen, which can be broken with true love? Would Rumplestiltskin be able to bring Belle’s memories back by kissing her? Or is this curse impossible to break through true love, because Belle does not know him now and the love has to be felt by both people in order to break a curse? Rumplestiltskin has found a way to make a potion that can defy the magic of the town line, but we do not know how he created it or if he would be able to make more. The rest of the town also currently has no knowledge of his ability to leave, so it will be interesting to see that play out as this season continues.

Another thing to consider is that, with Archie back, Emma now knows about Cora being in Storybrooke, and likely soon so will Regina, Snow, and Charming—along with the rest of the town. In my opinion, Henry is likely to get caught in the middle of the fight, as Cora already knows that he is a big weakness for Regina. How the town will respond, and if they will all unite together or fracture under the pressure, remains to be seen.

Other Notable Observations
• Belle and Dreamy/Grumpy: I had forgotten these two knew each other! It was nice to see them interact, and makes me wonder if Grumpy is a good candidate for being one of the first people Belle makes friends with in Storybrooke once (if) she regains her memories. It also gives more weight to Belle’s nightmare in “The Crocodile” (2.04) about Rumplestiltskin and Grumpy fighting.

• Where Was Cora?: Throughout this episode, I noticed that Cora was suspiciously absent. What has she been up to during this time? Is she impersonating someone in town (as she did with Regina last week) and gaining information to use against the town later? Has she been following Regina around and relishing in her anguish? Has she kept tabs on Hook at all, and does she know that Rumplestiltskin had figured out a way to leave town? And finally, since it wasn’t actually Archie that she killed, whose body was that? Will we ever know? I have a feeling some of these questions will be answered in next week’s episode, so stay tuned!

• Discord in the Charming Family: We see in this episode a conflict between Charming and Snow: He wants to try to return to Fairytale Land, while Snow wants to take the chance Storybrooke provides to make a fresh start. When the episode ends we have not seen them come to any conclusion about this, and I’m sure that the general theme of the return to Fairytale Land will continue not only as a conflict between these two, but as a conflict in the town as a whole.

• Rumple’s Future: The events of this episode will have effects not only on Belle, who has now lost her memory, but on Rumplestiltskin, too. He has now lost his main support system and probably the only ally he has in the town. Will he choose to stay in Storybrooke by Belle’s side while she recovers from being shot, even when she does not remember him, or will he try to find his son? He has a very big choice to make between the two people he loves most.

• Missing Characters: We still have a few people unaccounted for in this story! Remember the beginning of this season, with the message sent to Neal that the curse was broken? Is Neal on his way to Storybrooke now that outsiders seem to be starting to find their way to town? And where is August, whom we have not seen since he disappeared after the curse broke?

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! What did you think of this episode? Did you enjoy seeing more of Belle and Rumplestiltskin? Do you hate Hook now, or appreciate him as a villain even more? What is your opinion on some of the town wanting to try to return to Fairytale Land? And what are your predictions for next week and how the town deals with a stranger in their midst?



2 thoughts on “TV Time: Once Upon a Time 2.11

  1. The end of this episode was INSANE. (My initial reaction was to yell, a la Leslie Knope, “Crap on a crayfish!”) At first I was devastated–I really liked Belle in this episode and felt like we got to know so much more about how her mind works, and to see her get shot AND lose her memory all in one blow was devastating–but I also have the world’s BIGGEST weakness for memory-loss storylines on television. I know they’re straight out of soap operas (though in this case, the curse on the town line gives it a fun and non-traditional twist), but I grew up watching All My Children with my mom every day after preschool. I believe this explains everything about my television habits.

    I like all of your thoughts about how they might go about trying to restore her memory; that theory on how true love’s kiss has to be felt by two people is especially solid. Where’s that fairy dust they found in the cave a few weeks back? Didn’t they say they could maybe use it to restore the memory of the dwarf they sacrificed on the front lines earlier this season? (His name escapes me because I haven’t seen S1, so my apologies if he was a pivotal character whose name I should know! I’ll be fixing this via Netflix soon.)

    Also, I don’t at all like the idea of Belle and Rumple as anything other than a kind of father-daughtery-type pairing: I love that she sees the good in him but just feel completely skeevy at the idea of anything romantic between them EVER. So I liked the relationship between them in this episode, which was really about her optimistic belief in him. I’m hoping we get more of that as he tries to bring her memory back (which I’m assuming he’ll do, instead of searching for his son–mostly because the writers probably want to keep him with the other characters).

    I agree that Henry will be thrown into the middle of all this.
    I don’t get the appeal of fairytale land, but that’s because Storybrooke strikes me as the PERFECT fairytale home.
    Hook is a FABULOUS villain. He makes words like “dastardly” worth using. I’m mad at him for shooting Belle, obviously, but I LOVE being mad at him for shooting Belle. He’s complicated: evil without being irredeemable, relatable without being “good.” I think there’s good IN him, though. Also, he’s so yummy to look at.

    Great episode, great recap!

  2. I loved seeing more of Belle in Fairytale Land, especially working with Mulan. Of course, that made the ending even more heartbreaking but I should be used to that from the shows I watch by now lol. I am really looking forward to seeing how she copes with her memory loss and the effect that it will have on Rumple.

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