Once Upon A Time’s Halloween centric episode didn’t do anything with costumes or a monster attacking our heroes, instead it was a Rumple and Alice centric episode with Henry, Jacinda, Lucy, Regina, Victoria and Hook taking minor roles this week. In “Beauty” we found out what happened to Belle between Seasons 6 and 7 and also what lead Rumple to be where he is at the start of this season.
In flashback scenes that take place over a multitude of years, it show’s Belle gradually aging along side her son, Gideon — who is finally aged back into an adult, who was last seen in Season 6 — while they try to figure out a way to finally stop Rumple’s curse as the Dark One at the Edge of Realms where time plays to different kind of rules.
Back in Hyperion Heights, Rumple and Alice play a game of cat and mouse after Alice threatens Victoria with Rumple on her trail. Eventually Alice begins to piece together that everything is not what it seems and tries to force Rumple to remember who he really is before even she forgets.
Also in a another Hyperion Heights story, Henry — thanks to Regina’s pep talk — tries to ask Jacinda out on a date, but instead has to find Lucy who ran off while trick-or-treating under Ivy’s supervision. Ivy, being Victoria’s daughter, doesn’t want to help Henry and the others find Lucy, but eventually caves in and helps them out.
“Beauty” was actually a really solid episode on the Rumple side of things. Robert Carlye always brings his best when the camera is on and it’s no different in this episode. It’s also fun to see the growth and progression between both Rumple and Belle from being total strangers who hated each other to falling in love and becoming a nice alternative to the whole Snow/David and Emma/Hook romances of season past. It’s very lovely seeing them not bicker with each other anymore or even doing anything underhanded to one another! I’m intrigued by the Rumple/Alice parring though, and with how tonight’s episode ended I suspect that Alice is either related to Rumple or with Hook — but they’re saving that reveal for a later time.
Being that there was no actual physical threat outside of the Rumple/Alice at the climax of the episode, you can tell that the writers really wanted to focus on the Rumple/Belle romance and give it a fitting conclusion and reason as to why Rumple is the way he is this time. On the flip side, the Jacinda/Henry romance feels a bit force like how Snow/David was and is instead most likely just being moved along quickly now to serve this season’s plot.
Next week’s episode looks to be a heavy Regina and Henry focused episode and will most likely explain why they both are cursed now with no memory of each other; but that’s next week.