May 8, 2017
Once Upon a Time: Arrested development
This week on Once: The Beast tries to win back Belle’s heart by incarcerating her. (Hey, it worked last time!) Snow White learns that she’s a terrible teacher, when the subject is anything other than making a birdhouse. The Evil Queen’s kryptonite is finally revealed. And yet another sort-of villain is given a hasty partial redemption arc before meeting his untimely demise.
Let’s review, shall we?
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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beast-Holder
Being dumped by Belle (again) has good ol’ Rump feeling a little down on himself. So, he does what most of us do after a bad breakup.
Get drunk on cheap wine. Eat an entire box of Cheez-Its in a single sitting. And watch on repeat that horror movie where a guy who looks like your ex gets brutally murdered in the first half hour. He gives himself a makeover!
Apparently, Rumpel felt as though the root of all his dating problems was that he had longer hair than Snow White. Her being “the fairest one of all” and all that jazz.
But now that the two characters have the exact same haircut, for sure all the ladies in Storybrooke will want to rumble in the sheets with Rumpel! The Evil Queen certainly seems to like her frenemy’s new ‘do.
Then again, she’s so gosh darn horny all the time, she’d probably make love to a mop if it fell in her general direction.
Speaking of the Evil Queen, she and her new beau Hyde have come to Rumpel’s store to steal an ugly necklace. And they do it in this super stealthy way. Basically, they stomp into the store and loudly announce, “I’m going to take your ugly necklace.”
No wonder Rumpel’s pawn shop revenue isn’t what it used to be. Security has apparently gotten a bit lax. Shrinkage. It isn’t just what happens when George Costanza goes for a swim anymore.
Infuriated by the loss of yet another ugly antique, Rumpel tries to Jedi mind-murder Hyde.
Rumpel fails miserably at this, of course, as he does with pretty much every action he attempts throughout the course of this episode. It’s a wonder the guy was able to cut his hair without accidentally chopping off his right arm.
Speaking of failures…
Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t… Snow.
Last week, I predicted that Snow would end up being a bad teacher, because she spent 28 years teaching the same students how to build a birdhouse, every damn day, and they still couldn’t do it! It gives me no joy to be right about this. (Who am I kidding? I was thrilled! I’m an awful person, in case you haven’t figured that out by now.)
Oddly enough, since most of Storybrooke’s new homeless population is apparently in high school, Snow has gone from teaching birdhouse-making to teaching physics for REASONS. After seeing Snow suck at teaching (every single one of her students failed her exam!), her new teacher’s aid, Princess Jasmine, wonders why Snow doesn’t stick to stuff she’s actually good at, like playing with dwarves, and faking sleep so some hot guy will make out with her.
This seems like solid advice from a total stranger. And this is why Snow decides for her next lesson to take all her students out into the school yard, and teach them how to shoot deadly weapons in each others’ general direction. Public education is the greatest, am I right?
After class, Jasmine heads off into the woods to meet the girl, who’s obviously Jafar in disguise even though they haven’t officially told us this yet, and asks for her help in finding Aladdin. Because that’s not going to end badly at all.
You know what else is going to end badly?
In what will likely be the only non-snarky thing you will hear me say in this recap, I’m totally digging the burgeoning friendship brewing between Hook and Belle, the latter of whom, up until this point, always seemed somewhat separated from the main cast. It’s exceedingly rare for TV shows nowadays to showcase a 100% platonic male/female relationship. So when one appears and it feels genuine, I appreciate it.
I mean, so what if Hook tried to kill Belle a few seasons back? What’s a little attempted murder among pals?
Anywhoo, Hook is moving his stuff off the boat so he can move in with Emma permanently, when Rumpel comes and puts a spell on the boat so Belle can’t leave it. Rumpel claims that he’s doing this for Belle’s “safety”. Riiiiiiight. Because nothing says safe like being trapped in a small wooden mass surrounded on all sides by water, with no immediate avenue of escape, apart from plunging one’s self into the drink. Has Rumpel never seen the movie Dead Calm? Or Jaws, for that matter?
Upon hearing of Belle’s incarceration, Hook, being a swell guy, tries to cheer up his very pregnant pal by offering her booze and a fake telephone.
Meanwhile, Regina and Jekyll are racing to obtain the serum that will destroy the respective dark sides of their souls, before their sexier, better dressed halves, the Evil Queen and Hyde track it down first.
Of course, this wouldn’t be Once without the bastardization of a well-known classic tale. So it’s time for a flashback, in which we learn that Hyde is just a misunderstood hipster with a bad case of pinkeye. And Dr. Jekyll is the sociopathic douchebag: “If I can’t have her, no one can,” says Guy from Every Lifetime Movie You Ever Saw During the ’90s.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jerk-ll and Mr. Hide Me
Once upon a time, Dr. Jekyll wanted to be admitted into some fancy schmancy society, and tried to convince his rich lady crush, Mary’s dad, to let him in, by showing the latter his experiments with the duality of the human soul. Mary’s dad is unimpressed, and tells Jekyll his work is too dangerous for recognition by the society. Jekyll is angry, and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
(Actually, he just kind of pouts and throws a tantrum like a baby, but you get the basic idea.) Enter Rumpel, he of the permed hair and glitter-logged face, to offer up his episodic dose of bad advice to a suitably naive and desperate party.
Rumpel, who apparently was trying to find a magical cure for his love for Belle, helps Dr. Jekyll to finish his serum, and persuades him to use the Dark Side of His Soul to help him gain entrance into the fancy schmancy society, and get into Mary’s pants.
Dr. Jekyll does as instructed. And Mr. Hyde, upon taking over Jekyll’s body, promptly does exactly what he was designed to do. First, he blackmails Mary’s dad (with evidence that the latter is boning a minor, naturally) to get Jekyll into the fancy schmancy society. Then, Hyde approaches Mary and reveals to her Jekyll’s heretofore hidden affections. Mary predictably has no interest in the milquetoast-y Jekyll. But she’s totally bananas for the “passionate and scary, but in a good way” Hyde. (Every girl loves a bad boy, after all!)
Less than five minutes later, these two crazy kids are having sex. And I wish we as viewers got to see it, because I bet it was friggin awesome!
Instead, we find a horrified Mary waking up next to dull as dog poopy Jekyll, and she’s understandably freaking the hell out. Jekyll quickly puts two and two together, and upon realizing that Mary boned the dark side of his soul, gets really angry and (accidentally?) throws Mary out a glass window. Oops! Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Jekyll then drinks the serum, so Hyde can take the blame for his murderous actions. And Rumpel appears again! (You would think a guy who has such great surveillance on the entire universe would be better at securing his personal property and the wife who despises him.)
Rumpel takes one look at the weepy Hyde, and knows instantly that his plan has failed. Hyde, despite supposedly being all dark, twisty, and hipster-like, was apparently just as much in love with Mary as that douchenozzle Jekyll. (I guess There’s Just Something About Mary!)
And this meant that Rumpel would never be able to rid himself of his feelings for Belle, no matter how inconvenient they might be. Pissed, Rumpel decides to banish both Jekyll and Hyde to the Land of Untold Stories, giving both half-men a vendetta against the Dark One, which was sure to come back and bite him in the ass by the end of the episode.
Another Two Bite the Dust
Ironically, even though everybody spent the entire episode fighting for this Magical Serum that could supposedly kill Hyde and the Evil Queen, the darn vial ended up being a total MacGuffin!
First, Hyde uses Dead Mary’s necklace, the one he stole from Rumpel at the beginning of the episode, to track down Jekyll and snatch the serum. Then, Hyde breaks the vial, snatches Rumpel’s Dark One sword, and uses it to control Rumpel and get him to give up Belle’s location. Now, as we know from earlier in the episode, Rumpel has put a spell on Belle’s boat so she can’t get off it, and Hyde can’t get on it.
Unfortunately for Rumpel (and Belle, as it turns out), because the spell was (moronically) limited to Hyde, Lifetime Movie Villain Jekyll was able to just waltz onto that boat and attempt to kill Rump’s lady love. Uh oh, Belle! Time to call for help on your fake phone!
Lo and behold, Hook does actually end up hearing Belle’s cries for help. He magically manifests himself on the boat, and promptly stabs Jekyll to death, which is good! But he also kills Hyde in the process, which kind of sucks, because the latter was actually a fun guy!
In addition to being bad news for bad boy, hipster, and pinkeye lovers the world over, the circumstances surrounding Hyde’s demise are also pretty crappy for Regina, who just figured out that the only way she can kill the dark side of her soul is to… well, commit suicide, basically.
A distraught Regina makes Emma promise to murder her if things get too tough with the Evil Queen wreaking havoc on Storybrooke.
Speaking of uncomfortable conversations, how about the one where Rumpel has to apologize to Belle for trapping her and her unborn child on a boat with a total psycho?
Yeah, I think it’s safe to say the honeymoon is pretty much over for these two lovebirds.
Until next time, Oncers!