Once Upon a Time Recap: Crocodile Rocked! Plus, Is That [Spoiler] in the New Promo?!

Once Upon a TimeABC’s Once Upon a Time this week filled in some blanks on Rumplestiltskin’s past — and in doing so hooked his backstory up with that of a famous pirate.

PHOTOS | Once Upon a Time Sneak Peek: Emma, Snow & Company Get Hook’d

We start in Storybrooke, where Rumple gifts Belle with a necklace. The occasion? “Us.” But before he can take her on a tour of the (lame) local nightlife, Grumpy barges in demanding his axe and the men scuffle. When Belle calls out, Rumple whips around to reveal his scaly, wicked self aka The Dark One. Though it turns out to be just a dream, Belle spies Rumple spinning straw into gold in the name of creating a potion. Confronted, he says it’s nothing to be concerned about. Still, she still fears he’s savoring power out of a lack of courage to let her into his heart. When Belle later vanishes, Rumple checks in with her father Moe (of the Game of Thorns flower shop), but he knows nothing — yet he’s obviously determined to keep his daughter from this “monster.” Belle meanwhile is at the diner enjoying the miraculous deliciousness of iced tea when Ruby suggests that she reopen the town library, given her love of books. But no sooner does Belle scout out the property than she is grabbed and dragged away by Smee.

In the fairtytale land that was, Rumpelstiltskin tracks down his MIA wife Milah at the local tavern, where she’s enjoying grog and games with the pirate Kilian Jones and his crew. Milah describes Rumple as “just my husband,” then digs the knife deeper by lamenting her lot to not be an ogres war widow but “lashed to the village coward.” Ouch. The next morning, Rumple is alerted that Jones’ crew took Milah, so he races to the pirate’s ship. Jones challenges Rumple to a swordfight to the death, but finds no taker. “A man not wiling to fight for what he wants deserves what he gets,” Jones warns.

We then jump ahead in time to after Rumple has become The Dark One and lost his son Bae to the other realm. Smee shows up at a tavern to say he has access to a magic bean that can open a portal. (Fun moment: When Smee alludes to Rumple’s cowardly origins, he promptly gets Darth Vader’d.) Later in the alley outside, Jones taunts the “crocodile” of a man who bumps into him, then realizes it’s Rumple/The Dark One. After Jones reports that Milah died a long time ago, Rumple says they will finally have their duel.

Back in Storybrooke, Rumplestiltskin beseeches Charming to help search for Belle, and Ruby pitches in, too, using her wolf-ly sniffer. Belle, it turns out, was brought by Smee to her father’s shop, where she explains that Mr. Gold “wasn’t holding me captive; I chose to be with him.” “Then I have no choice,” Moe says, ordering Smee to move ahead with Plan B — to strap Belle inside a mining car and push her down the track and across the cursed town line, thus sapping her of her memory. Rumple arrives in time to use magic to reel the mine car back up the track (to which Ruby amusingly remarks, “That is seriously wow“). But Belle wants to see neither Rumple or her father ever again.

Nonetheless, she and Rumple soon enough reunite when he arranges for the library to be hers. After Rumple admits his shortcomings — how he tried to make up for his cowardice by amassing power — and after he explains that the magic he’s working on is to undo the curse so he can leave town and find Bae, which became his mission in life after losing Belle, his beauty invites him out for a Grannysburger sometime.

In fairytale land, Rumple and Jones duel, and just as the imp is about to yank his rival’s heart from his chest, Milah shows up to stop him, explaining that she lied about dying because she’d fallen in love with Jones. She offers the magic bean Smee spoke of in trade for their lives, but when Rumple goes to collect the next day on Jones’ ship — and after Milah reveals that she never loved him — he plucks out her heart and crushes it, to make Jones know what it feels like to lose something he loves. When Jones refuses to hand over the bean, Rumple slashes off the guy’s left mitt and makes off with it. Later, though, Rumple realizes he’d been duped — the severed hand was empty — while Jones uses the bean to open a portal in the sea and sail his ship to a place where no one ever ages: “Neverland!” And on that cue, he brandishes his new hook-for-a-hand.

In Storybrooke, Rumple grills Smee about his captain’s whereabouts, but Smee says Jones never made it to Maine. So then where is he? We cut to the fairytale land that is, where Cora presents Hook with the flask of enchanted wardrobe ashes, saying it’s a start toward getting them where they want to go — Storybrooke aka “Where she is, and so is he.”

P.S. How about this promo for the next episode (courtesy of YouTube.com/TelevisionPromos)? “Mad” props to our readers who were apparently right about Dr. Whale’s true identity.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Dee says:

    Captian Hook is a great character. Great casting and excellently acted. They hit the jackpot with this one. Already our favorite character.

  2. Polly says:

    I really didn’t like the take on Hook. Loved Belle storyline though. And Smee too.

  3. Kaylee says:

    You don’t know real fandom pain until you’re a Stable Queen (Regina & Daniel) shipper. sigh

  4. mac says:

    hope that Whale survives…I love this character…

  5. Sam says:

    When are we going to see what happened to August?

  6. Loki says:

    If Bael is Peter Pan…goes thru the portal to Neverland and from there he goes to London to meet Wendy… Later on like in Hook, he stays in our world because he falls in love and grows up and becomes Henry’s dad. Then he would be the right age and Rumple would still be 300 years old. And remember that Wendy took in the Lost Boys: orphans! So that as Bael is an orphan so is Emma and August… They may have met then….

  7. Nina says:

    Hook is gorgeous but I don’t like his story. Taking another man’s wife. I know he’s a pirate bla bla bla. That doesn’t mean I have to like him. And Milah, ugh. I understand why she hated Rumple and all but to leave her son without even saying goodbye because she fell in luurve with the hot captain. Boo.

  8. Bree says:

    Completely in love with this episode. I want to give time to Hook to convince me but my favorite villain stays Rumpelstiltskin, so sorry.
    And Belle has gained a lot of points. I’ve never been a big Rumbelle’s fan, but after this episode I want to give a chance to them. I think it’s what is lacking in their history: a real development. Rumbelle or not, the scene in the library, I liked it a lot.

    Thumbs up for the last two minutes of the episode. What will be the revenge of Hook? Discover the dagger? Kill Belle? We’ll see.

  9. Carda says:

    Whale is Dr. Horrible!! :D

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