Stay on target
What’s your favorite part of this season of Once Upon a Time? Is it the Rumplestiltskin/Belle baby drama? It better be, because that’s about all tonight’s episode has to offer. As the episode begins, Rumplestiltskin chases down a fairy and has her tied up when he’s interrupted by the Evil Queen. He tells her that he won’t let her join him until she kills her sister like he asked her to. He then sprinkles some dust on the fairy, turning her into an old woman. He sends her back to the heroes and Belle gets the message right away: Rumplestiltskin intends to do the same to her, or rather, the baby inside her.
Later, while she’s in the library trying to figure out what to do, she’s contacted by her future son, Morpheus. He assures her that she will be able to protect him. The answer she looks for is right in front of her. She wakes up face-down in a book, which she brings to Emma and Hook to figure out what it means. Hook sees that the book is written in squid ink, which can paralyze the Dark One. Hook and Emma head to Gold’s shop and splash him with squid ink, allowing them to search the place for the dagger or the shears. Before they can find anything, though, Emma has another vision, and the ink wears off, allowing Rumple to walk free.
He catches up with Belle and produces the aging powder. He tells her that he wants his son to love him. Belle says if he uses magic to get that, there will be a price. If he uses the powder on her, he’ll lose her forever, rather than just pushing her away. Rumplestiltskin listens to reason for once, puts the dust away and leaves her.
Regina (Lana Parilla) saves her sister by threatening suicide. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)
Meanwhile, the Evil Queen is about to kill Zelena, when her heart starts to hurt. Regina appears holding her own heart. She threatens to crush it, killing both of them, if the Evil Queen doesn’t tell her why she’d kill Zelena. When she finds out it’s because of Rumplestiltskin, Regina realizes that the Evil Queen still has a hole in her heart, like she did when she first created Storybrooke. She tells the Queen that Rumplestiltskin is just using her, and allows her to disappear to talk to him.
The Evil Queen confronts Rumplestiltskin to find that he didn’t use the powder on Belle. She tries to get him back on her side by telling him that Belle will eventually leave, taking the baby with her and leaving him alone. Rumplestiltskin reminds the Queen that she is the one who failed before asking her to leave. At the diner, Belle drinks some chamomile tea, given to her by Granny, and her baby is suddenly nine months old and ready to come out.
In the past, Rumplestiltskin comes home to Belle and dumps a baby in her lap. Belle tries to ask where he got the baby, but he brushes off her questions. She asks what the baby’s name is and learns that Rumplestiltskin has no intention of becoming attached to the baby. She asks what he plans to do with it and he refuses to answer before running off on another errand. She vows to figure out what his plans are and to stop them. She finds a scroll written in fairy language and translates it, figuring out that Rumple wants to summon the Black Fairy.
Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) summons the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray). (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)
Rumple appears beside her, revealing that he let her find the scroll on purpose so she could translate it for him. He locks her in the tower and takes the baby with him into the woods. The Blue Fairy then appears to Belle, explaining that the Black Fairy kidnaps children. She unlocks the tower door and sends Belle to rescue the baby. Belle catches up to Rumplestiltskin only to learn that he is the Black Fairy’s son. He summoned her to ask why she abandoned him. Before he can get an answer, Belle grabs the baby, distracting Rumplestiltskin and allowing the Black Fairy to escape.
Belle is taken to the Blue Fairy, who casts a spell to keep Rumplestiltskin out of the building while Belle has the baby. During labor, she has another vision of Morpheus, who tells her she already knows what she must do. She begs him to find another way, but he says they’re out of time. Just before she wakes up, he tells her to “remember the book.” After she has the baby, she asks the blue fairy to take him and leave Storybrooke. She gives her a book to read to him every day, so he’ll know his mother didn’t abandon him.
Emma (Jennifer Morrison) helps Belle through an unexpected birth. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)
Rumplestiltskin vows to find his son before storming back to his shop. He’s met by the Evil Queen, who confesses that she’s the one who dosed Belles tea with the aging powder to poison her against him. As she leaves, the Evil Queen taunts Rumplestiltskin about how fairies make great mothers. That’s enough to send Rumple into a rage, knocking everything over in his shop. Later, Hook and Emma investigate the mess and find the sword from Emma’s vision. They decide to take it, so they can figure out who Emma’s killer will be, and how to stop them. Oh, and Aladdin decides to become a genie of the lamp to help Jasmine find Agrabah. That will come back to bite him and everyone else next week.
This episode was all about setting up the midseason finale next week. The Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin are at odds with each other; Aladdin is a genie, and Emma is closer to figuring out who kills her in the visions she’s been having. Belle and Rumplestiltskin’s story received the most attention this week, ending up in a satisfying, but bittersweet place. I just wish the rest of the characters got so much attention. Every other aspect of the story this week felt rushed. Aladdin turning into a genie looks to be a big part of next week’s midseason finale, and it happened in less than three minutes last night. The Rumple and Belle stuff definitely needed the attention it was given, but it’s just a shame the other storylines had to suffer as a result. In any case, with everything going on in Storybrooke right now, we should be in for one exciting midseason finale next week.