There is a lot going on in this episode. Several different plotlines happening all at once with no real correlation to each other. The main one being the conflict and love triangle between Belle, Rumple and Gaston.
Gaston is not exactly how we last saw him many seasons ago. No longer “Sir Gaston” we saw in season one, he is now working in the pet shelter. With a brand new actor playing him. And he has joined the ranks of those out for revenge against Rumple. Hades goes to him with a plan. Shoot him with special arrows forged in the river of souls and Rumple will be trapped in the underworld forever. As good as dead. Gaston believes that destroying Rumple is his unfinished business, as so many in the Underworld do. Belle has other ideas. She believes that since she found a book she once gave Gaston in his locker then she must be his unfinished business. Self centred much? When I say found I do actually mean ‘broke into his locker and stole’ after she gets Rumple to magic away the lock.
Belle came to Rumple at the beginning of this episode to ask him for help in protecting their child. She believes that he can be strong enough to harness the power of darkness for the forces of good, not just using them with good intentions as Merlin said in the first part of this season. Rumple does not believe that this can be true, but as it gives him a chance to work with Belle to protect their unborn baby he is willing to try.
Hades comes to Belle with a different solution to save the child while she is waiting for Gaston in the locker room. He tells her that if Rumple and Gaston fight and one of them throws the other into the river, he will remove the mark on the baby, freeing it to her. She isn’t happy with this idea and he tells her to let him know if she changes her mind.
Belle goes to confront Gaston about the book and find out if he really has it in him to kill Rumple. She does this by dressing a mannequin up as him and hiding in the shadows to watch what Gaston does. He shoots the mannequin in the back. The fact Belle found what she needed to make a Rumple doll apparently very easily is both strange and hilarious. Everyone needs the tools to make a fake version of their husband in order to trick their ex-fiancé? At this point Belle admits to Gaston that she is married to Rumple and he is understandably shocked. In fact his response is that she “always did have a soft spot for monsters”. Presumably a reference to their first meeting, not just the ogre but possibly himself (which I shall get to later). She also shows him the book and he tells her that it is part of his curse and what she did in the Enchanted Forest is what made him weak.
Belle tells Rumple about this and he immediately goes off to find Gaston and throw him in the water, even after promising her that he wouldn’t do anything to Gaston if she told him what Hades had said to her. Typical Rumple. Belle follows to try to stop him and convinces him to let Gaston go by telling Rumple that she loves him. Gaston however, picks up his arrows and in her attempt to save Rumple, Belle accidentally pushes him into the river.
I really tried to feel bad for Gaston. But Belle pushed him in the river in order to save Rumple and quite frankly, Gaston isn’t exactly a nice guy. At least Rumple tries to be the kind of person Belle wants him to be.
Hades shows up and in true fashion of evil deal makers, gets out of it on a technicality. He said that if Rumple or Gaston put the other into the river the baby would be free. But it was Belle so, no deal. He still owns the baby. I don’t know why he wants the baby so badly. To control Rumple or because he really is going to try to enact this time travel spell but loves Zelena too much to use her child now he has another option? Either way, he is very happy that the flowers that had begun to grow in Underbrooke are now dying.
This week’s flashback revolved around the first meeting of Belle and Gaston. Maurice wishes for them to marry in order to help defend the kingdom from the ogres so despite her own first impressions, Belle and Gaston go out for a walk. While on this walk they come across a young ogre far from the borders. Gaston is mistrustful and wants to kill the ogre straight away however Belle convinces him that there could be another way. They go back to the castle and true to form, head to the library. Belle looks up the location of a magical mirror that can show whether someone has good intentions by their eyes glowing red in the reflection if they mean harm.
Belle goes to get the mirror and leaves Gaston to guard the ogre. By the time she returns with the mirror and her father, Gaston is wounded and the ogre is gone. Gaston and Maurice gather a hunting party but Belle follows, determined to know the truth of the ogre’s intentions. She stops Gaston killing the ogre using the mirror, which shatters. In one of the broken pieces she sees Gaston’s reflection, his eyes glowing red with bad intentions. She then realises that the young ogre is hurt and jumps to the conclusion that Gaston tortured it to make it attack him. She allows the ogre to go free.
The next we hear of, ogres are starting to attack. In order to save the kingdom, Maurice convinces Belle that she has no choice but to marry Gaston, who enters and proposes to her. She reluctantly agrees to the arranged marriage. Though looking at it, I’m not surprised she agreed to go with Rumple when he offered her an escape from this situation! Though this still doesn’t give him the right to kill Gaston. Even when he does protest that as it was an arranged marriage he was doing her a favour!
In order to try to find out Hades’ weaknesses, Regina goes to talk to her sister. Zelena tells her that Hades in is love with her and therefore she thinks that she is actually his only weakness. When Regina asks if Zelena is in love with Hades, the older woman doesn’t reply but the tears in her eyes answer for her. After Regina is gone and Zelena is still in the diner, Hades sends her the dead flower that he picked, which she knows is from him and it makes her happy.
While everything else was going on, Emma has had a dream which gives her a spell to use to wiped their names off the gravestones. As she tries to use this spell the dream starts to come true, with Hook saying there is a storm approaching and them running for shelter. Emma tells Hook and Snow that in the dream, Snow is killed by some terrible beast and so the three of them run to shelter in Regina’s vault. Regina joins them and together they decide that they should go out and face the beast as a unit. When they come across it, Regina and Emma use their magic to knock it out and they go to see what it was. A wolf. Somehow Red’s cloak is magically nearby and Snow puts it over the wolf which transforms back into Red Riding Hood herself. But what happened to her? Why is she in the underworld? Last we saw she was hunting other werewolves with Mulan so what happened to that? Hopefully next week will bring us some more answers not just questions.